A Look Back at 2021

With 2021 hurtling towards an end, it seems like a good time to look back over the past twelve months. In many ways, it has been quite a good year, despite the ongoing pandemic and the limits on our daily life. However, from a running and fitness perspective, it has been a very mixed bag.

After a period of icy weather at the start of the year, I made a start on my couch to 5k running plan. I had realised that months of reduced activity due to working from and ongoing lockdowns had taken their toll, and starting from the beginning was the only sensible option. The benefit of this approach was that I could restart running without any risking any overuse injuries. The lack of any race entries also meant that I was able to adapt my approach in response to how I was feeling, without the pressure of the deadline of a race.

I ambled along quite happily for a few months, steadily increasing my running every week or two. As the weather improved, I felt my fitness increase and began enjoying being outside again in the fresh air. As cross training, I also included a lot of walking and continued to include resistance training at home. I have not yet returned to the gym, so a selection of kettlebells and adjustable dumbells provide a good alternative when working out at home.

What happened next?

Everything was going well with this approach, and I was even avoiding the dreaded shinsplints which have plagued me in the past. This only added to my enjoyment and post-run endorphin rush. Then disaster struck in the form of runner’s knee! Having experienced this previously, I knew rest was best, along with some gentle stretching. This worked a treat and I was back out running after a couple of weeks.

Then, disaster struck again after a couple of months when my other knee, along with my hip, seized up. This made it difficult even to walk, and it was clear that an extended break was on the cards.

The Way Forward

This brings me up to the present day, where I am focussing on sorting out my knee and hip problems.  This means I have decided to eliminate running for the time being, and concentrate solely on rehab and building my fitness through other activities.  A plan is in place to get me through to the New Year, with the 2022 plans taking shape as we speak. 

It’s disappointing to put an activity I’m passionate about on the back burner, even if its only for a short period.  However, I am 100% confident that my current focus will get me back to running sooner rather than later. I can’t wait to get started on the journey through 2022!

Have you made any inspiring goals or targets for 2022? Are you focussing on any exciting races or challenges? Feel free to let me below in the comments.

4 Replies to “A Look Back at 2021”

  1. Rather than focusing on a remedy, it would be best to remove the cause of the injuries, to avoid a future recurrence and possible exacerbation of your condition.
    More running will not repair injured joints, especially as you get older and your joints wear naturally

    • Thanks for the comment, Farhana. You make a couple of very good points there.

      Identify the cause of the injury is important, the professional advice I received was that soft tissue problems are the cause. As they are triggered by running, I will definitely be doing other forms of exercise.

      Also, protecting your joints as you get older is very important, as I have seen first hand the debilitating effects of joint pain.

  2. Hi Grant, I hope you get back to running in 2022. It must be frustrating and finding other fitness activities to focus on sounds like a good idea, as well as the strength work and rehab.

    It’s been hard to keep motivation going during this pandemic. I have signed up for a 6-hour track race in April to give myself something to focus on.
    Katie @RunYoung50