January was a tough month for me. I picked up a hamstring injury whilst training on New Years Eve and struggled over the following weeks. Foolishly I continued to run, convincing myself the injury was just a niggle that would sort itself out. Running a league cross country race for my club was probably the worst thing I could have done. I knew this but did it anyway. I’m not sure if this was pure stupidity (what me, stupid?), blind optimism, or the staunch stubbornness of a distance runner. Whatever it was, the result was the same as the injury got worse and I was forced to stop running and pay a visit to my physio.
The diagnosis was not great but also not disastrous. I had a tear in my hamstring and needed a little treatment, a little rest, and a little strength work to get back on track. So, like all injured runners, I spent a few days feeling rather sorry for myself and generally wandering about the house being grumpy (my wife would say I do this most of the time!). I spent the rest of January taking an enforced rest and hoping I could get back to exercise, preferably running, quickly.
So not a great way to start the year. I always find that being injured, however, gives me a chance to reflect on my running and focus on the coming challenges I’ll set myself. And there is always that delightful feeling that we get when returning to running after an injury. That re-discovery of the joy of running freely. A feeling that reminds us why we started running in the first place and why, despite the injuries, we keep coming back for more. It is an infectious feeling and one that I try to retain as I get back to full training. So, as January comes to a close, I start to look forward to February and getting back to running.