Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The running coach who can't run..

Right.. well there appears to be another 'blip' on my road to recovery... And this time it's nothing to do with my ileostomy or my stupid dysfunctional bowel. 

My right knee has been getting worse and despite doing the correct strengthening exercises and having treatment etc the pain is increasing and I can hardly run at all. So I sought out a second opinion from a physio and she seems convinced it's a tear in the meniscus - not just a muscular tracking problem which we first thought.

This isn't good news. It means a referral to a surgeon, MRI and possible arthroscopy to fix the tear.. followed by 4-6 weeks of no running at all. Physio and strength work just won't sort it. To say it's frustrating after everything else I've been through would be the understatement of the century.  

I've given up running altogether now and the sessions where I coach my group Sarah's Runners I can just about manage a 2 mile hobble with the beginners.. but it's painful and I would reprimand anyone I coach who tried to run with that much knee pain.  So much for my dreams of doing the marathon this year! 

So I am officially the 'running coach who can't run'! ha what irony. 

Me (in the middle) with my lovely runners
On the upside though, we held a charity ball on Saturday night for Sarah's Runners which was a fantastic evening. We raised over £700 for Hospice in the Weald where my dad died a few years ago and everyone had an amazing time. When I started the group 8 years ago it was with a gang of 4 mums from the local village who had asked me to teach them to run. Now the group has grown beyond anything I could ever have imagined where we see over 100 runners each week. I'm really proud of the group and of every single person who comes along, usually petrified on their first session but who then learns what they're capable of and how running can transform their lives. They're a great bunch and I get a huge amount of pleasure from coaching and encouraging them. 

I'll be honest though.. it's not always easy and I have pangs of major envy when friends and others I coach proudly tell me about their fantastic achievements, races and distances. I'm thrilled for them.. but just feel a moment of sadness for myself.  

So yet again I'm faced with another 'bend in the road'. I'd hoped that by now I'd be back running, back in shape and even gearing up for a marathon. Hmmm... 

No-one could have predicted this knee injury and it's nothing to do with the other surgeries. It's just bad luck and could well have been brewing for a while.. My resilience is certainly being tested to the limit though and it's a little set back I really don't need. 

The mention of surgery at first made me go a bit cold. I'm SO done with hospitals, anaesthetic, pain medications (and pain!), surgical procedures, recovery and rehab.. and to have to put myself through it again really DOES NOT appeal. But if I can't run, I can't coach and that is my life. It's who I am and what I do. Running isn't just a hobby. It defines me.

So now I just wait for an consultation appointment and see what is to be suggested. Cycling is still okay though, and as we have thick snow and ice outside, that must mean it's... turbo time!


  1. Sarah, you look great in the photo. Well done with your fundraising too. I feel for you & your knee. Enjoying the blog. Caroline x

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