I've just been discussing this with a friend at work.
I'm running quite a lot these days. I measure 'a lot' in frequency - not neccesarily distance. I run to/ from work a few times a week - that's about 3 miles each way. On top of that I'll occasionally run at the weekends. Not the distances I used to run pre-marathon, but still a good 5 - 10 miles. On top of that, when I run to and from work I have a running backpack that I load up with my clothes and stuff. This adds I guess 5 - 10kg into the mix.
My limbs are constantly aching. My legs always have that loose feeling you get after a long run. My shoulders and arms are the same - that must be from the backpack because I don't do weights or anything.
The problem is at the moment I'm like Forrest Gump. I just can't run enough. If I don't run 4 or 5 times a week I think I resemble Bella Emberg. I always want to be in my kit, iPod shuffle blaring out Queens of the Stone Age at full blast, sweating out last nights wine and thinking creatively about something. It's when I'm at my most creative. (In fact I've discussed with Mr. Fegan (my frequent running partner) how best to capture these thoughts - I can't write stuff down and I'm too breathless to dictate into a machine... any thoughts?)
The thing is, I now can't remember what it was like to not ache. I can't remember what it was like to have 'normal' limbs. How long would it take my limbs to get back to the stage where I don't feel them? At the moment I'm sat at a desk and my arms are aching from typing this. My legs are aching so much I constantly have to move them about, cross them, uncross them, stretch them out or bounce them around in time with the bass drum from the song I'm listening to.
I guess there's a question behind all of this: when does 'not normal' become 'normal?' Is it to do with frequency? My legs and arms have been like this every day for months now. Is that 'normal' to me now? Is that loose feeling you get my normal feeling now? Is normality linked to frequency?
It comes back to that age old thing - context is king. I'm sure Mr. Frith would agree.