I’m running again and it’s fantastic… except I’ve got a bit of extra baggage along for the ride now. The metaphorical kind, of course. Unless you count the kegs I’ve stacked on in the meantime.

Have you ever started back at the very beginning of something that you’d conquered before? Compared yourself now to how you were then? Realised that you have a LONG road ahead of you?


To cut a long story short, if you’re just joining the crew – I got injured while training for the San Francisco Marathon, was shot full of cortisone, told that surgery was my best option for getting back to running, and visited a questionable physical therapist.

I’ll leave the road to recovery story for another day but suffice to say, for the past month or so, I’ve been running. Just not with exactly the same careless attitude I had before.

I used to combat every mid-workout niggle and twinge with a good pinch of skepticism. Because I am a whinger (whiner for the Americans out there) at heart, and leaping to the worst possible conclusion seems to be a hereditary thing in my family. So to counteract that impulse, I just tell myself it’s nothing and it’ll go away. Usually it does.

Except now I’m running after injury. Or on a proper injury anyway. A busted hip to be vaguely precise and I have the sneaking suspicion that the other one’s not too far behind. Did I mention hypochondria is also one of my things?

I’m scared that the cortisone will wear off and I’ll realise that the only thing that’s held me together out on the road were the steroids and anti-inflammatories.

Operation Move runs the Learn To Run course that I’ve done previously and am doing right now! It’s great.

So each week I look at the awesome Learn to Run plan that my Operation Move* coach Zoey put together and I get excited, because every week there’s progress and I’m running further and more steadily.

But as the speed and hill sessions get closer the fear sets in. They have always been my two most challenging sessions to deal with each week but now it’s different. It takes me much longer to recover from a run. I end up with back pain for two days afterwards and my left hip isn’t happy either. I find myself being more worried than excited about getting out there these days, which isn’t a nice feeling.

Basically I’m scared that the full-on pain will set back in, I’ll have to stop running again and get surgery for real. So tell me, have you come back from a fairly painful injury? Did you have “the fear”? How did you deal with it?

*Disclosure:
I am a 2016 Operation Move Ambassador. But even if I wasn’t I’d be telling you all about them anyway. I first started running with Operation Move with basically no fitness background at all, and a history of writing sick notes to get out of sports at school. Operation Move gives you a non-judgement support group that keeps you on track and motivated and a schedule that you fit into your life. Do yourself a favour and check them out.