Friday, December 31, 2010


2010 was a really wonderful sporting year. In March 2002 I injured my foot. I was a 5-6 day a week runner who loved, loved to run. Running got me through my PhD as well as our move to the US in 2001. Running was a significant part of my identity. And then I injured my right foot. I was stressed, I was run down, running too much on too little sleep, nutrition and rest. Months later, many orthopedic surgeons later, many test later and no one knew what was wrong. It just seemed to get worse and worse with pain radiating up my leg even with rest. Over the years I tried new sports - cycling and rowing, mainly - and for almost a decade I didn;t run at all. My body changed - gone were my lithe limbs and runners' muscles - and I developed cycling and rowing muscles, put on 20 pounds or more, and gave up any hope of running again.

And then I had Raf in July 2009. In November I decided I'd give running a go, thinking really that I'd stand no chance of running ever again. But I did the couch to 5k programme and by December I was running a few miles here and there. I decided that I'd try and train for a half marathon fully expecting that I'd be injured before too long and not able to run it. But I managed to 'train' for it, running 2 times a week, sometimes 3, but always fighting niggles. Something happened in pregnancy and my foot felt a lot better! And I also discovered kinesio tape which really helped my legs.. but I had hip flexor issues, which meant really limited running. Still, I had a goal to dip under 2 hours, and in March I ran the half marathon race at the Run to the Border event. It was freezing, I was happy just to be there, I remember nursing Raf in the car just before I set off, and all the way around, with no Garmin or mile markers or even a watch, I just ran and had fun. I dipped under 2 hours (1:58) and rushed to the car to feed Raf again!

This marked a new era in my running career. Humbling, to say the least, as I am definitely not the fastest woman in the world, and much slower than I was. But on a couple of runs a week I was pretty proud of myself, especially being a mama. The reality, though, was that I needed to take some time off to get over my hip flexor injury so not much running, so I decided to sign up for a triathlon! I chose the Pumpkinman Sprint tri and spent the summer training for it. Running was still difficult to do consistently but I managed to do some pretty structured training and was enjoying getting a wee bit faster.

I had an amazing time at the tri. Unfortunately I suffered with exercise induced asthma (a new thing for me) so couldnt push it as much as I wanted, but I did quite well, exceeding my goal of finishing around 1:30. I finished in 1:27 - with a third of a mile swim in 11 minutes (fast for me!!!), a 15 mile bike at 18 mph (breathing really plagued me) and a 3 mile run at 8min pace. I was really so happy and running down the finishing chute was one of the best experiences of the year.

In October I ran a 10k race with Rich and Raf. I pushed the stroller for about a mile and half and then realized I would never keep up AT ALL with Rich if I pushed any more! We had a great race. I wanted to dip under 50 minutes but we finished in 49:22, with 3 brief walking breaks (silly breathing again).

I'm so happy to be running again. I'm definitely not breaking any records but I'd like to get faster. I only ran 745 miles, so I'm pleased with what I've accomplished on such little mileage. I probably shouldn't be surprised that I'm still an awful swimmer given that I've only swum 28 miles, but I did cycle 1214 miles (outside ). Combined (including rowing and the elliptical) I travelled 2310.68 miles.

I have some goals for the new year that I'll write about tomorrow. I think it's going to be a great sporting year!

Happy New Year!

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