Alternative Activities

Nothing is worse than not running for a runner.

At this time of the year, there are plenty of blog posts about running. In fact, it appears that the number of posts on running has multiplied a hundredfold, filled with selfies and 5K race reports and screenshots of running apps detailing stats of the morning’s run.

That’s brilliant; more people do need to get active, and choosing running as one of those activities undoubtedly makes the hearts of many runners swell with pride. See? Our sport is so easy and accessible to the masses, that come summertime, EVERYONE is doing it.

Much as the Ninja Turtle loves to waste an hour (or three) reading blog posts about running, one little issue is beginning to grind on her. A noticeable number of people seem to say things like “I hate running, but I love the results”, or “Running is great for these following 15 reasons” etc.

This makes the Ninja Turtle very sad. Sure, run for all the benefits it brings you, for there are plenty – clearer mind, a sense of camaraderie, a structure to your life – but to go back to Psychology 101, there’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. As soon as people start saying things like how they hate running, alarm bells start ringing. How long can someone keep running for years if deep down, they really detest getting hot and sweaty, the huffing and puffing, of the DOMS in the next 48 hours?

Running for the sake of running is not bizarre, strange, or alien. The Ninja Turtle cannot possibly be the only person in the world who runs because she loves running. Even without a GPS app that measures her splits, even if it’s pouring with rain outside, even if it’s running endless laps or on a treadmill without music, she’d still run. Of course, it’s far more fun to explore a new neighbourhood, or her newfound joy of mountain trails, but take those away and she’d still want to run.

Running 4 races of deceptively short distances has led to a situation where she now realises that there is a good reason why even the professionals train in cycles (meaning breaks have to feature somewhere in there). Two days after the Vosges she went out for a 5-miler, and noticed that the pain in her calf cannot be ignored. In fact, the pain persisted even during simple activities such as walking down the stairs.

So for the moment, she’s booked herself in to physiotherapy, and has been advised to lay off the running. *cue heartwrenching sob* It’s nothing serious, but running through the pain will probably result in a bigger injury that may put her out of action for months. So she’s trying to be smart about it, while her eyes grow big as she reads about adventure running.

And she’s limiting herself to really low impact activities like walking and when she cannot resist, hiking. It’s a great time of the year for these, really. The summer solstice two days ago, for instance, saw her and GodzillaPin traipsing the streets of Metz for four hours as they watched free performances.

Nothing better than sunset jazz, except a good cocktail to go with.

Nothing better than sunset jazz, except a good cocktail to go with.

Their upcoming travels will undoubtedly mean a lot of walking for sightseeing, but walking around one’s own city can sometimes bring exciting discoveries too:

The remains of an aqueduct constructed during the Gallo-Roman period. It's about 1800 years old.

The remains of an aqueduct constructed during the Gallo-Roman period. It’s about 1800 years old.

The Ninja Turtle is going to do her very best to respect this period of recuperation, but like most runners, being benched can be very difficult to handle. She just might have to consider getting herself a bicycle soon!


2 thoughts on “Alternative Activities

  1. I’m benched too!!! A badly sprained and now very swollen ankle, yesterday. Cue 4 weeks of trying to think of ‘alternative activities’ boohoo!!

    • Ouch! Ice ice baby… But seriously, sorry to hear about that, since a sprained ankle makes it hard for most general cross-training activities that runners partake in. Perhaps swimming? Get well soon!

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