I’m a words person more than a number wanger, but here, in solemn memory of my pitiful Maths with Statistics A-level, I’m going to share these number-y sentences:

  • Starting March 14th I did not run for 53 days because of injury and was really miserable about it
  • After that I ran tentatively, with fear and caution for a further 14 days (and wasn’t that tentative about it)
  • 14 days after that I test-raced a 5K*
  • Since 5th May, when I started to run again, I have run 304 miles in 2 continents over about 80 days  (and I’m SO happy about it

*I winned a plaque though!

Self indulgent flash back section: 

That first time I put on my trainers to tentatively run again after the 53 days (May 5th), I was a ball of mixed emotions. I was scared. Was I coming back too soon? Was I about to take bodily repair back by 53 days? But the emotion that was bigger than all that negative stuff was – well, it was optimistic, pure, unadulterated joy.

The re-hab plan was 2 minutes run, 8 minutes walk x 3. As I started that awesome 2 minutes, well, I can’t even describe it, (*I’m about to). If there was tendon pain (there was), it was dramatically overridden by instant, crazy makin’ endorphins. Did I really have to stop and walk? I did it though. I stopped the running and walked fast, watching those 8 minutes tick by, excited for my next go. I did the second rep. I walked again. OK, for the 3rd, stuff it, I just ran. In my head it was a bit like the scene in Forrest Gump as he runs off his leg braces and flies into the distance, leaving bullies and dust in his wake*.

*I don’t recommend this by the way, but it felt right for me, honestly.

And since, oh my golly gosh, dem 304 miles!

 Self indulgent flashback section II:

Here are some of the things I did:

  • That 5K test race in Chicago and getting to run Laura Ive in for the last 2 miles of the half marathon (I did good, and running with this girl, well its like running with sunshine)
  • A 24-hour camping relay whereby I ran 4 x 5 mile trail laps, drew immature, rude pictures on white boards, lived in a yurt and took superb selfies with Lucy Brown. (They made the marketing material!). I got me a bruise too, a good ‘un
  • An awesome trail half marathon in North Hampshire alongside my lovely friend Penny called The Hampshire Hoppit.  I did some Andrew Wetterer-inspired jumping (and made the marketing material AGAIN!)
  • Running the Rohrsome™ Anna Rohr to a 5K PB at a UK Parkrun
  • Running the Legendary LeeAnn Mueller to 5K PR at US Halfway to Christmas
  • 4 awesome speed sessions with Terry and the UK beasts! (Including my first ever mile trial, *it wasn’t as fast as Sarah Hammer though!)
  • Through the powers of gentle coercion over 2 stealth weeks, installing the Dawn Patrol mentality to a bunch of lovely UK Hookers (culminating in a 7am party!) and returning to it in Ohio
  • Running towards sunsets and sunrises, running in heat, rain, in a swimsuit; creating movie posters and famous paintings (grrr), being spice girls, trotting through fields of sunflowers, going out on my own in the dark and with 15 people in the light. Trailing through jungles, following the obvious path (cough), splashing through fords and stopping to pose on potato sorting farm machinery (that’s real). Running really fast around coloured poles in a UK park, over bridges, around lakes, around 16th century castle lodge type places, over hills and far away and a million miles from LA.

You’d think I loved this sport eh? And I do. So much. And here’s the point of all this. Yesterday, midway through a 12-mile group run, we stopped at a cool box of water provided by some awesome fellow runners, (This is the kind of thing runners do for other runners), when another runner stopped next to us. “Hey”, he said, far from breathless, “you lot look familiar– how’s your run going?” He went on to tell us he was 79. (He looked a young 55). He proudly told us how he’d qualified for Boston in every decade of his life since he was 40 and was currently working on doing that at 80. (I subsequently found out he still coached kids at the local school).

It choked me a bit. I caught a lump in my throat as I watched him stride out into the distance with my buddies around me.

And I conclude thus. This thing we do; this running. It’s really good. That’s all.