In November and December I ran precisely zero miles.

This period began in an entirely planned way at the beginning of November when I had a scheduled procedure to remove two kidney stones. The general anaesthetic procedure went well and I hoped the enforced bed rest would promote improvement in the fluid on my knee which had been troubling me since September and had become ever-present by the time of my last run on 31 October. As I returned home, with zero kidney stones, the fluid had all but disappeared and I was hopeful that the further rest I had planned, to recover fully from the procedure, would enable my knee to recuperate too.

The first two weekends of November I volunteered at Crystal Palace and Dulwich parkruns respectively as part of my recovery plan. In so doing, I increased my #50at50 count to seven … I have added nothing to it since.

Unfortunately simply avoiding running has not resulted in the full recovery I hoped for. Whilst my knee is rarely painful – I am reminded now as I type at a desk that the most uncomfortable activity seems to be precisely this, but even so the sensation is only a very slight burning sensation, pin prick sized, at the left of my kneecap – the fluid swelling increases at the slightest provocation. A long walk or even a short jog to avoid getting wet on the way home after dropping my daughters at school cause it to increase and, since perhaps mid October, it never disappears entirely.

Having re-learned the lesson that passive recovery is rarely enough I returned to my physio just before Christmas and will be seeing him again in a few days to have my knee taped … I am hopeful, but not anticipating an especially quick return to running. This is particularly frustrating because I should have just completed week one of my marathon training in preparation for my first marathon.

As it is this week zero limbo seems endless. I find the absence of running debilitating, even more so at this time of year when the days are short and grey. It is not entirely the absence of running itself, and hence the practical lack of content, that has resulted in zero blog posts over the last two months. The darker emotions make it difficult to present my running life as positively as I want to; or indeed at all.

mileage 2015


2 thoughts on “Zero

  1. I can only imagine how you’re feeling. I experience overuse injuries each year before my annual marathon and having to ease off for just a week or so just about kills me. I wrote about that recently. It’s the ritual we enjoy. The way it adds structure and depth to our lives & forces us to examine our lives with a clarity that we can’t get at any other time. I applaud you for volunteering. I always say that once I can’t run anymore I will volunteer. Hang in there. Just think how good your runs will feel now that you’ve had this hiatus!


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