Starting Over... Aarrgghh!!!

I used to be a half decent runner!?!

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01/09/2006 at 11:36
Hey peeps

It has been a while since I've posted on the RW forums but I'm pleased to be back.

I sooooo need some advice!

I used to be a half decent runner. I've run seven marathons (with a best time of 3hrs 36min), loads of HM and more 10k races than I could even begin to count... And absolutely loved every minute of every one!

I also used to look nice and thin and toned.

Until I had a car accident in January and completely crushed my foot. I now have a foot made of metal and a knee missing numerous important bits of support!

I now live in China, and have started to get back into running. I run about four times a week for about 30mins to 45mins at a time... but it feels so much harder than it used to!!!

I'm now much heavier than I used to be, my cardio fitness is pathetic (from sitting on my bum for months) and I feel so slow and heavy when I'm running.

Do you think the fact that I was mega-fit less than a year a go will mean that I can build up my fitness faster than most?!?... Or am I literally starting from scratch?!?

I hate the thought of being a beginner again. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed it at the time... But when I've been running for years, I hate the fact that I struggle when I get to 40 minutes.

My body is a beginner but my head is a pro!

Anyone got any hints or tips for building my stamina quickly?!?
01/09/2006 at 11:53
This collection of thoughts could be worth a read:
01/09/2006 at 13:07
Be patient.

I'm in a similar sitution except I've never run as well as you.

I'm forced to except that recent surgery may mean I don't run ever but if I do, it will be starting as a beginner.

I found starting to run, so hard compared to maintaining a level of running that I dread it.

My biggest battle will be to start and to not give up because I can't do what I used to. So my advice is v personal - set realistic goals and don't get disallusioned. Good luck

01/09/2006 at 14:41
You have the advantage of knowing how good you used to be and the ability to get there again. Take thing's sensibly and you'll get there once more sooner than you think. I'm sure your previous fitness levels will be an advantage to returning to full fitness.

Good luck.
01/09/2006 at 16:25
In a similar position although not due to an accident but a serious foot injury that took a couple of years to heal – in the interim I got married and we had a son – have put on a couple of stone as well and generally feel cr*p about it all – started to run again in April and felt exactly the same – I used to jog at 7 minute miles and suddenly found after 6 years that I was ‘running’ at about 10 minute miles – to be fair the pace did gradually start to pick up and it was almost a major mile stone when I measured a course and found that I had run sub 8 minute miles for 30 odd minutes – but because I know what I used to do, I have totally lost motivation – did a race and found that instead of being in the top 5% I was in the bottom 5% and was beaten by club mates who couldn’t get anywhere near me a few years ago – the enthusiasm I found before my holiday has definitely waned.

Am guaranteed an entry to the 2007 FLM under the 5 rejections ruling and it is my intention, as selfish as it seems to enter then defer for a year and train properly for the next 18 months to see if I can get back to something like my best – (although as 6 years older that may be beyond me) although a former club mate and rival did run 2:45 this year so if he can I can I suppose – But definitely starting over again -0 although perhaps with a bit more knowledge than originally.

Stick to it – you have been through a lot more than me so I am sure the times will start to come down but would suggest finding a goal
01/09/2006 at 18:22
Hey Moose, I was really touched by your story. Hope you don't mind me nicking it for this week's Reader to Reader article! I just think that so many of us have been through that demoralising injury -> running break -> "argh I can't run any more" cycle (mostly on a far less dramatic scale than yours), so I think a good Q&A round-up would help a lot of people, not least yourself.

(I also loved your line "My body is a beginner but my head is a pro"... very nicely summed up!)

Hopefully we'll get some good advice and empathy from other RW members. The article is highlighted on the homepage now (under the Reader to Reader banner) and links to this thread, so watch this space!

Cheers all, and best of luck Moose.

01/09/2006 at 19:24
Thanks for the advice and sympathy people! It really helps to know that there are others in a similar position... Even if the reason is very different.

Jane - Of course I don't mind... I'm very flattered! I will look forward to reading the article!

Grendel... I think you should make the most of your FLM entry... Even if it does mean putting it off for a year. I don't think it's selfish!

Unfortunately, I had a guaranteed entry for the 2006 FLM because I had at last managed a qualifying time... But these things happen I suppose?!? I won't be up to the distance for the next FLM so I suppose I'll just have to start again. A bit of a bummer when it has taken you four years to get the qualifying time!!!

Thanks for the motivating comment Chase Runner... I might just stick that on my wall for all the times I feel I haven't got a hope!!!

Well... It is half two in the morning China time... So must sleep! Good night everyone!
01/09/2006 at 19:49
Moose- great that your back in the sport you obviously love

Wish I had the answer for getting your staminia back quick would make me a wealthy person

Just had a rough few months my self nothing to compare with what you have gone through but really needed some motivation

so decided to find my fav running distance


so picked one and gave myself 7weeks to get in to reasonable shape

as I know how hard it is training for one and doing myself justice

you know the staminia will return as the training req needs it

I just set myself weekly targets with the main theme being on increasing my long run
by 2-3miles a week

have now done 4x20milers

my marathon is on the 10/09 at mablethorpe
my staminia improved greatly
02/09/2006 at 14:13
Mooose, sorry to hear about your accident.

Can I ask how long you've been back running? If its not that long then back up to 3/4 times a week up to 45 mins is really good I think from nothing!

I had a minor accident compared to yours with a broken leg but was advised to build up slowly to avoid getting injured, didn't listen and ended up longer off my feet.

Good luck with getting your fitness back and enjoying your running.
02/09/2006 at 16:20
I was supposed to be running the Edinburgh marathon (my first), I done all the long runs (22 miles as the longest)and I was really pleased and confident as I started to

I was playing football about 10 days before the Marathon with my six year old son and he accidently kicked me very hard in the ankle, as well as flaring up a tendon. I was in agony and found it hard to run more than 4 miles. After visiting a physio turns out my son had given me a slight fracture. No marathon = one very upset Daddy.

Anyway three months later and many trips to the physio later and I've just started running again and to my utter frustation I can barely run two miles!!

It is really very very frustraing just how
quickly you can lose your fitness. I'm not a great runner and times are not important to me but I just love running. So I guess Moose its just head down time and start ramping up the miles again nice and slowly.

It would be nice to see a RW article about how best to return to running after a spell of injury with a recommended programme.
03/09/2006 at 09:53
Hey cinders. A broken leg doesn't sound that minor to me!... Leg bones are rather important things when running!!!

I attempted my first run/walk (but only for about ten minutes) two and a half months a go... And today I managed my first one hour run!

In fact... I'm so proud I'm goona shout it from the rooftops: I RAN FOR AN HOUR!!! YAAAYYYYY!!!! (Sorry... Bragging over!)

It is still so frustrating though. I used to run for an hour most lunch times... I wouldn't have even considered posting on here to tell anyone.

Yet now, it feels like such a big thing. And it was really hard work.

I want my body to catch up with my head as quickly as possible... But I suppose that if I don't make myself hold back a bit there is a chance my foot won't stand the constant pounding!?!

Oh... What to do?!?

Patrick - That must have been so frustrating!!! With just ten days to go?!? Aaarrghh!!! I agree... A good RW article about how to get back into the training after an extended break would be good!

Good luck with getting your mileage up as well! First to ten miles buys the beers!
03/09/2006 at 12:29

all is not lost as I have said about 7weeks before FLM I pulled a calf muscle took just under 4weeks before started running again

then 2weeks after FLM went down with a chest viral infection lost another 3weeks=5weeks in total

each time I had to build up with slow run/walk sessions

I feel know that I am back to how I was pre FLM which was about 4month ago

the fitness does return but you have to be careful so as not to hurt/injure yourself any more

03/09/2006 at 12:46
i can sympathise with you all, having had one iLLness after another. Have gone from being very blase about 10 miles, halfs, etc., to happy to run for 10 minutes before i have to stop and walk. it's slow and i try and keep positive but sometimes that's easier said than done, particularly when everyone around you seems to be getting stronger and passing you by.

We all managed to get past the "beginner" stage before and it will happen again but patience is needed. unfortunately i don't have any (and i don't know any other runners who have!)

for as many weeks as i have been ill, injured, etc., there is always another runner who has been off for longer than me so i try to keep things in perspective - again it's hard work but it's either that or give up, which i'm not ready to do yet because I LOVE RUNNING

Good luck to you all.

04/09/2006 at 15:11
Well said Aud!

If we think about it... We're very lucky to be back running at all.

I could easily have lost my legs in the car crash... In fact... I'm amazed I didn't!!! Patrick's physio might not have helped... Cinders' broken leg could have been worse... Then none of us would be running at all.

Can you imagine that?!? I can't!

When I think about it sensibly I know that I'm lucky and should stop moaning... But when I'm running and find such a short distance so hard I just want to scream!!!

In fact... I'm going to...

04/09/2006 at 15:13
I totally sympathise - I had a car accident in 2002 when someone drove into the back of my car at 30 mph, which resulted in a serious whip-lash injury. I was off work for four months, almost unable to walk let alone run, I couldn't lift my head or my arms, lie down, or sit down - it was a nightmare. I had been able to run respectable 8 minute miles over a half marathon distance, I was also running regular races and I completed the London Marathon in 2001. When I was told that it was unlikely that I would be able to run again, I was devastated. 20 seconds of in-attention by some other stupid idiot driver was just about to ruin my life!

I'm pleased to say that it didn't. Despite being told that it would take four to five years to recover fully (if ever), a year after the accident I did my first five minutes on the treadmill - it was the best five minutes ever! Since then I have pushed myself to run with the encouragement of my osteopath and chiropractic. Its taken some time but this year I have managed to get through the year relatively injury free and I just completed a half marathon (Burnham Beeches) a couple of weeks ago. It took two hours, but I really felt that I had reclaimed my running (hopefully to continue).

So no hints and tips for building up your stamina quickly, rather the reverse. Take it slowly but don't give up! The main difficulty is getting one's head around the length of time it takes to recover and learning to live with it! Muscles have a great memory, and I am sure with time you will be back to your super-fit self!

05/09/2006 at 10:05
Wow Minnie5... That is inspirational! You have recovered so well!

I'm not sure why the doctors are so quick to say that we'll never run again! My doctor was equally as pessimistic as yours... And said that I may not walk, and if I do I'll be on crutches for at least a couple of years. That was in January... And already I'm running and can walk pretty much without a limp (until I'm drunk or tired!)

I suppose they are just trying to cover themselves, but they need to realise how much they are destroying our hopes and dreams!

I hope you are right and that muscles do have a good memory. My brain has a terrible memory so maybe my muscles will make up for that!!!
05/09/2006 at 20:54
I reckon you should go back to basics here.
After a break from running I dread going back to it. The best solution in my opinion is to not put any pressure or expectations on yourself. You're running, enjoy it, enjoy the buzz after a run. The fitness will return just dont look at the past as unachievable. No go RUN!
05/09/2006 at 20:59
i menat now go run lol!
06/09/2006 at 14:42
Hi Moose, hope it didn't sound too mawkish. I'm glad you've proved your doctor wrong! Mind you rather that than how my GP treated me - he insisted that it was all in my head - and sent me to see a counsellor! Fortunately my consultant at the hospital said it was text book whiplash but complicated because I had damaged the nerves in both my neck and lower back, and then even more fortunately prescribed some effective pain killing drugs!
06/09/2006 at 15:34
Minnie5 (why the 5 by the way?) - You had an evil GP... I don't know how you managed to resist thumping him?!?... Nerve damage in your neck and lower back is serious stuff... Not in your mind!!! Grrrr... I want to go spike him with my antlers (do moose have antlers or is that just reindeer?!?)

I was so lucky really. I hit a building at seventy miles an hour, but somehow managed to avoid any head or spinal damage?!?

A good advert for Alfa Romeos me thinks!!!

However, I smashed every single metatarsal in my foot numerous times... So my foot is now held together with metal plates, pins, screws and wires... You should see my x-rays... They're hilarious!!!

The engine also ended up in my knee so I had to have lots of bone and stuff chiselled out... Eurgh... Doesn't bear thinking about!

Like I said before... We should thank our lucky stars we're running at all...

... But that sooooo doesn't stop the lack of fitness being frustrating!

I wanted to do a long run today but had to stop becuase my foot was making too many squeaking and creaking sounds for my liking... Not comfortable at all. How will I ever get back to form if I have to keep stopping for silly reasons like that?!?

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