Meet Andy Allison. A down-to-earth man who loves a good chat, a long run and meeting like-minded people through our sport. Andy has had a tough few years battling constant injuries but can now see light at the end of the tunnel as he begins to enjoy the benefits of running once more. You may have come across Andy and his story through the Tell Me Your Tales Podcast (HERE) hosted by previous blog guest Brady Threlfall. We're stoked to see Andy back in action banking km's when he isn't knuckling down studying for his degree! Enjoy the full story below..
Running for me has become so much more than racing or setting PB's. There was a time, not too long ago, where I let those things rule the way I ran and the way I thought about running. After an extended period of injury and illness (I have not raced since July 2017), I feel that I really appreciate what it means to be able to get out the door most days and go for a run. It is about the freedom that running provides, the simplicity of it.
I came to competitive running quite late. It wasn't until I was 30 that I competed in my first proper race. Since then I have probably spent 5-6 of those years injured. I fell into the trap of rushing things, trying to do too much too soon and getting carried away with my quick progression and some (small scale) success.
Throughout the latest setback, which has been around 18 months now, I have been overwhelmed with the generosity and support from the online running community. So many people offering advice, well wishes and the sharing of their own stories has helped immensely as I attempted to get back to some sort of running. After having had a couple of failed attempts with the latest being back in November of last year where I well and truly thought my running days were over as I tried to recover from another stress fracture. Running was feeling too unnatural and painful despite being religious in my rehabilitation and cross-training, and I had lost the enjoyment of getting out the door to attempt another comeback.
It was by pure chance that in January, after helping a mate complete his first marathon (with me on the bike), I was challenged to a 'race' across the oval by a friend's young son and realised that my body had 'fixed' itself. I could run freely and without pain. I am now eight weeks back into a running program and loving my running more than ever. I am running with more freedom, less expectation, cutting out all the data and 'noise' and my body (and mind) are responding better than ever.
The lessons I have learned, and continue to learn, are to be more mindful: more mindful in listening to your body; more mindful during your actual running by connecting fully to the experience; and to never take it for granted.
I don't know where my running will go from here, but I feel that if given the chance, I still have plenty of time to slice off my current PB's. For now, I'm just being patient and enjoying the process. I am extremely grateful to be able to move pain-free, reconnect with old running friends and enjoy all the great benefits that running brings: the freedom of movement, better physical health, a clearer mind and a much better outlook on the world around me. Thank you for reading!
5k - 15:21
10k road - 31.42
1/2 Marathon - 69.32
You can keep up to date with Andy on Instagram HERE @theedgerunner