Rob's Cork City Marathon Blog Week 5 - How running benefits my mental health

Are we at week 5 already? The start line tape is getting closer and I’m glad to report that it looks like I’ll be there alongside you.

After a few rounds of physio and over two months out, my ankle and achilles tendon are getting stronger and I’m back doing light running a couple of times a week.

My physio has given me the go-ahead to enter the half-marathon.

So, after believing I was goosed completely this year, I’m glad to announce that I’ll be partaking in the half-marathon.

I did part of the relay in 2010 and quickly jumped to the full marathon from 2011 to 2015, so the half will be another experience for me and will give me the chance to see the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon from another angle.

I’ve previously only met 'half' runners joining up with the full on the docks, so it will be interesting to be part of a different group for a change.

I have no time target at all, I just want to enjoy the day and get through it without any pains or aches.

If you see a bespectacled bald man in his mid-thirties struggling along, that’ll be me!

All encouraging words will be very welcome because I am back down at the bottom rung of the ladder again. I’m a novice, a born-again runner whose faith was tested by fate.

Running is once again my religion and it feels fantastic.

RUNNER’S HIGH

Being injured was a wretch. I felt awful physically. A couple of months hobbling around left me really down.

I wasn’t myself at all. I was in bad humour a lot of the time and my motivation was pretty low - by my standards.

I put on a few pounds and felt bloated and lethargic pretty much all the time. I missed the release of serotonin in the body that you get from physical exercise

The novelty of taking it easy wore off after about two days.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing I love more than sitting on the couch, relaxing and watching soccer match after soccer match, but I always feel like I have to earn that by being productive for most of the day.

I prefer it when I’m stiff and sore because I know that’s my body changing, my muscles gaining strength and I feel like I’m making progress.

The mental health benefits are also huge.

Running is where I make some of my best decisions and come up with my best ideas. If something is bothering me I usually figure out how to deal with it while I’m letting my stride open up on a nice downhill slope.

It’s an outlet, a chance to get all the stress and annoyance out of my body - like squeezing out a soaking wet rag.

I feel lighter and happier when I’m running and my heart and respiratory system get a workout. I also sleep a lot sounder and have more energy.

The first couple of weeks back have been tough. I’m readjusting my expectations because I had built up a level of fitness before the injury that meant I could run for several miles at a time.

I’m down to about two miles before I need to rest.

It’s a slow process but I’m feeling good and very appreciative that my injury wasn’t more serious.

I’m back on the running drug and chasing that runner’s high once again.

Soon my mind and body will be back in equilibrium.

Follow and interact with @whatrobdidnext on Twitter and tweet your training pics to @IrishExaminer using the hashtag #IECorkMarathon

Rob's Cork City Marathon Blog Week 5 - How running benefits my mental health

More on this topic

Course knowledge crucial for O'Hanlon and McCannCourse knowledge crucial for O'Hanlon and McCann

Bus Éireann helps Sanctuary runners as 8,000 take part in Irish Examiner Cork City MarathonBus Éireann helps Sanctuary runners as 8,000 take part in Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon

Watch: All the sights and sounds from the Irish Examiner Cork City MarathonWatch: All the sights and sounds from the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon

Gary O'Hanlon wins Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon for second year runningGary O'Hanlon wins Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon for second year running


Lifestyle

Posh Cork's agony aunt: sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: why aren't William and Kate coming to Cork?

Festival season approaches, legends come to the Opera House, and a young Irish phenomenon continues to impact on UK telly, writes Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll.Scene and Heard: 'the major voice of a generation'

In advance of this weekend’s Ortús festival of chamber music in Cork, musician and co-organiser Mairead Hickey talks violins with Cathy Desmond.Máiréad Hickey: ‘If money was no object, it would be lovely to play a Stradivarius’

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is thrilled to be playing the band’s older material in a new group that he’s bringing to Ireland. But what chances of a final reunion, asks Richard Purden.Pink Floyd's Nick Mason: over the moon

More From The Irish Examiner