I’ve finally grasped the nettle – and visited ParkRun.
Basically, for the uninitiated, it’s a 5km (just over 3 miles) run which is timed – all you have to do is register on the website and print-out the barcode it gives you.
I could see the runners rounding the first bend even from the road.
Despite it being nearly a month since the fracture I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever run again!
In the band-stand I joined Natalie, who’s studying Sports Therapy at university.
“You’ve got to take your time, with the healing process,” she told me.
“It is difficult, but it’s nature isn’t it? You’ve just got to let it take its time, because there’s no point you going back too early – you could fracture it again.”
She added that I’d need the help of physiotherapists too; “Once the bone has knitted you’re going to have damaged areas, (around it) you’re going to have to work on those.”
Another woman – Sarah – appeared at my side – “Where’s the ParkRun duck? I’ve got a personal best!”
Despite having done around 14 ParkRuns, I wasn’t aware of this.
Yup, you grab that duck and you honk him!
Once this was done, I joined Sarah in the ParkRun café, on this occasion a church hall.
Exercise has figured very prominently in her weight loss regime: “I don’t think I’d have lost as much as I have without my running. I’ve still got two stone to go, but I’m hoping if I just keep running it’ll come off eventually.”
So how would she cope if she couldn’t run? “I would be devastated! I’m just starting to get to that point where I’m actually feeling fit – so I’d feel well gutted.”
Alison, another runner, has had problems with shin-splints and, since having her two young sons, sometimes has issues with her hips and back (“It’s very frustrating when you’ve got very limited time, and you’re a busy mum and working, then that’s the one thing that you’ve got and you realise you can’t run”).
She has this advice for those who, like me, have been told that rest is the only cure: “It depends on what the rest is. It could be rest from any physical activity, the jumping up and down stuff – so, although I’d be resting, I’d still be doing Pilates, I could go for a swim. You know, it’s finding the alternative activity and having the flexibility in your own mind.”
Feeling decidedly more positive, I’ve now resolved to remain part of the ParkRun community through marshalling.
And one day, well, I’m determined I’ll get another PB – and honk that duck!
For more ParkRun info click here