I am passionate about running.
It is a big part of who I am.
The very act of running is as much an emotional process as a physical one to me.
Making time to run
Running has figured in every stage of my life. Whether it be the all consuming preparation for a marathon or just ticking along in the background.
I have learnt that the basics of a training regime are oh so important. You know the drill:
- Build up slowly.
- Take rest days.
- Maintain strength work.
- Never skip flexibility sessions.
- Do what makes you happy.
I stuck to this framework over the past couple of years, even making major life changes to allow me to pursue my passion.
My work is now flexible and I live in the heart of the Surrey Hills. Training was going well. I felt strong, settled, and ready to see what running potential I had (I even wrote a post on it!).
On that basis I re-joined my athletics club introducing a tough session to my weekly regime. It felt fabulous to be back with likeminded people who motivated me.
What could go wrong?
Ill health and its impact
Six years ago, a stint of committed training and running fast came to an abrupt halt followed by a long period of recuperation.
I stupidly chose to ignore a plethora of sensations that told me my body was not happy. The unexplained digestive problems, overwhelming fatigue, weight loss and allergies getting out of hand. All of them had crept up on me with stealth.
So it was with utter frustration that in October of this year, I felt the same insidious symptoms returning. I could not believe it was happening again!
My sense of confusion and failure were immense. How could this be? I had cautiously increased my intensity and although challenging, it initially felt good.
But there was no denying it this time, something was seriously not right. With heavy heart I brought my training to another abrupt stop.
Seeking Medical Intervention
At a loss as to how I find myself in this position, I am trying to find answers to inform how I go forward. On this basis I have sought medical opinion.
The initial blood tests have steered me to a referral with a Consultant Immunologist (I had to google it!) for detailed blood tests. On one hand this feels positive, but I am asking myself:
- What if I do not want to hear the answers?
- What if there is nothing conclusive?
- What if I am left conflicted?
Ultimately though, fighting an invisible foe is exhausting so seeking understanding is my only option.
My Passion Today
Two months into my current recuperation, the sensations have reduced although not totally gone.
However, I have not let this stop me getting out into the countryside as my medicine is taking gentle jogs and hikes with Ted, my devoted Sproodle.
Moving at a slower pace happily has an upside. It gives me time to take in my surroundings and pin point the best place for my next photograph. All of which feels wonderfully creative and a fantastic way to lose track of time.
There is no denying it, running remains my passion, but I can certainly say it is not my whole life. My health is far too precious to let the pursuit of fast running detrimentally affect it.
So, I await my chat with the Immunologist, and in the meantime will be out on the trails armed with an OS map and camera.
Keep active. Keep healthy.