In the last week I have realised that the Transformation I have experienced over this last wee while has been much more than physical. It is about a way of thinking too. Transformation Tuesday may never be the same again – but that is the point surely?
Instagram – Bringing my unique form of narcissism to the masses
I assume most people reading this blog have used Instagram in some capacity. Even if it is to stalk that internet celebrity who spends hours touching up photos of themselves only to post them and say how bad they think they look. In fact I assume many of you have stumbled across my blog through my Instagram account. If you found me by another means then look at the right hand panel → → → where you can see my latest Instagram posts, if you like what you see – and how could you not? – you can click the button to follow me.
Like actual life, Instagram has it’s own cultures and traditions. And much of these are all about the hashtags. You can use a hashtag to find posts about pretty much anything you are interested in, do you like puddles? I recommend #puddlegram.
Obviously, I follow several running hashtags to find accounts I might want to follow, I use the same hashtags on most my posts to help people find my stuff. But that is not the only way people use hashtags, There are the viral hashtags, often a weekly thing, where a little fun comes in or the sub-cultures come together to post about a common theme. There is everything from #followfriday to #fundaysunday. I do use some of these on occasion but one I use most weeks is #transformationtuesday.
Transformation Tuesday is a bunch of Instagrammers posting pictures every Tuesday which illustrate a transformation. It is often something like weight loss or hair colour, with runners it is often pictures of PB improvements. For me it is most often a weight loss picture. The reasons for doing this may be varied but to be honest, I think I do it partially through a mild amount of narcissism and a huge dollop of insecurity – I need the affirmation of the posts from people I have never met saying ‘you look great hun’ so please don’t stop.
I know I go on about how my weight loss was a happy by product of running but that does not mean that I am not proud of it. I am fit and healthy and I look DAMN GOOD. If I was chocolate I would eat myself – I told you I was a narcissist – although I would probably have to go for a 30 minute run to run to burn off the calories.
But recently I have realised that my transformation is much more than losing a shed load of weight. If you look at the picture at the top of this post you will see the usual weight loss picture. I couldn’t leave that out because that is what grabs attention. The bottom pictures are there to illustrate how my running has transformed.
Often when I talk about losing weight and getting to where I am running, I talk about the last 16 or so months. That’s not the full story. I used to run years ago, and I got my weight down a lot then (not as much). What I didn’t do when I ran in the past was run sensibly.
Transformation is more than physical
The picture on the left doesn’t tell everything about the race I had just completed. I started the race injured. I trained injured and ran through it because I had a race coming up. During that race I ripped a calf muscle, it is amazing what adrenaline and endorphins will get you through, and I could barely walk the next day. I spent a couple of weeks limping and it took months of physio before I could run again. That was the cycle of my running then. Run, injury, forced stop, run, injury, forced stop. This combined with several personal setbacks led to me stopping for 4-5 years and putting on a lot of weight.
Fast forward to the pic on the right. This was taken last week. It was in the middle of a good training run and I felt great. When I finished my knee hurt a bit. It still hurts a little now. I know if I wanted to I could go out and run a half marathon distance right now. Training hard on it might hurt but I could probably cope with it, but it would cause damage. It might be that it screws my knee more or it might just be I change my running style slightly to compensate and end up with more niggles. Old Kenny wouldn’t have worried about that, he would run until he couldn’t run.
New Kenny skipped the planned long run the next night and took the next 5 days off. I (I know I have changed from third person to first but I am annoying myself with it so you must be livid) went for a slow shorter run on Sunday and my knee was OK, it hurt but no more running than not. In fact it was possibly better for it,
Now, I have the Brighton Marathon booked in for April, and my training has already taken a couple of setbacks, partially after coming off my bike when I hit ice. I have made the decision to not run it. I have not trained to the distance I need after starting late, then crashing my bike and not injuring my knee. And you know what I am ok with that. There is the real transformation. I have changed my way of thinking and started taking better decisions about my running. There are more races. I’ll just focus on the Yorkshire Marathon in October – where I WILL be getting a PB! (I didn’t say I have fully changed), then the Transformation Tuesday pic on 20th October 2020 will be my old PB from Loch Ness 2019 and my new one from Yorkshire 2020.