Coming back from injury is sometimes more a mental battle rather than a physical one, but long-time member Colin Whittle seems to be winning on both accounts.
Druridge Bay 10k: Sunday, 25th May 2014
I’m standing behind the starting line at the Druridge Bay 10k..well behind….near the back to be honest…and I’m absolutely ‘bricking it’. I’ve never felt as nervous in all my life. For a fairly low key 10k up the Northumberland Coast?? Why you may ask?….well here you go……
After retiring from football at the end of the 2011/12 season at 50 years of age I decided that I needed to do something else to keep fit and started to do some running. I did a few parkruns over the summer 2012 – averaging around 20.20 – but couldn’t get below 20 mins.A mate of mine suggested I join a running club but I thought ‘no chance they are full of runners, I’ll be left a mile behind’, so did nowt about it. Then in early Oct 2012 I was out running and felt something ‘go’ in my right knee. At msinsight you will get the best treatment for your knee problem. Through my footballing years I’d taken some knocks but this felt different. After resting for a few weeks there was no improvement so I ended up at the doctors, was referred to a specialist, who diagnosed arthritis in my knee and recommended that I should take it easy with my running. I was a bit surprised by the diagnosis as I’d had no previous knee pain but was informed that an MRI scan was not necessary.
I decided that I wouldn’t be put off and then joined TBH at the start of 2013 (if you were in group 4 you probably would have heard my complaining about my ‘sore knee’) and made my competitive running debut at the ‘Good Friday Elswick Road Races’. I remember it was snowing during my leg! I then ran in the Blyth 10k in March 2013 and realised halfway during the run that I was in some trouble-my knee was really ‘knacking’ me. I decided to go back to the doctors, who re-referred me and this time I was advised that I should give up running altogether which I must admit hit me hard.
I decided that I needed a second opinion because I refused to accept ‘that was it’ – it was getting me down to be honest – and cutting a long story short paid to see an expert at the Nuffield in May 2013. After arranging for an MRI scan he confirmed that I had some ‘wear and tear’ in my right knee but the reason for my pain was because I had a torn cartilage which needed operating on. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! I was put on the NHS waiting list for an operation and at the end of last year was called in for key-hole surgery to my right knee.
I started my rehab in Feb 2014 and decided I had to have something to aim for and so entered this year’s Blaydon. In March I did a little bit of jogging…limping along at first and in April managed to run a couple of miles. I returned to TBH earlier this month and have enjoyed sessions with group 5 and felt as if I was ‘getting back into it’. I didn’t want the Blaydon to be my first race back in case I ‘broke down’ so decided to turn up for a race beforehand just to see if I could manage 10k.
I knew from keeping up with events on the TBH site that members would be doing events all around the UK last weekend so thought the Druridge would be pretty low key and decided to enter on the morning……..which leads me back to where I began.
My aim was to just get round. I didn’t even wear a watch to check my time nor did I wear my club vest for fear of recognition. As expected I didn’t know anybody there. The horn sounded and off everyone went. For the first mile the demons in my mind were shouting out to me…’just drop out your knee’s hurting’… but after the first mile or so I got into it. I took it easy, had no problems, and finished just under 50 minutes. The relief at just finishing was enough for me.
I noticed in the recent minutes from the May Committee that the club are looking at how to maintain relations with club members who are out injured. I would endorse this suggestion. After 12 months out injured completely – 18 months from the date of the original injury – it’s a long road to recovery and it plays tricks with your mind…. but never give in!
…anyway Blaydon here I come!!
Full results can be found here.