18 March 2014

4 Weeks Til the London Marathon

Two weeks ago and two days ago I posted a 6-weeks-to-go-til-the-marathon-crap-I'm-injured post. And sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. There were tears on that run 2 weeks ago and there were showers of tears when I ran last week.

Last Week's Run (5 weeks to go)

After such an unsuccessful run the previous week, I knew something needed to happen. I had to 'properly' injure myself and prove that I couldn't run it OR I had to power on through the pain and prove that the marathon was not over for me. Within half a mile I was sobbing. Great waves of tears, more self-pity, more frustration at my incompetancies and a LOT more pain. 

Mum was taking the first shift of 8 miles and Dad the second. Mum gave me the opt out when I broke down in tears (after just half a mile), but I knew I needed to keep going. Mum ended up running the whole 16 miles and Dad joined part way through with more fluids and some isotonic drinks. We did a 3 mile loop around a beautiful lake FIVE TIMES (plus running to the lake and home again). Somehow the repetition of the laps made it easier to continue. Each time we reached the car park we would stop and walk to the post box and no further. By walking the pain eased in my left knee, but when I started running again, excruciating pain seared through my right leg. A pain so bad I cried each time. It was ugly.

Ugly crying face.
Knowing that this was my Mum's longest run ever, made me refocus on encouraging her and it helped me to forget my physical pain. We talked about running and our first runs together, pool parties at one of the houses we passed, friends, work, love, travel, life... We bonded and without her I would never have completed that run.

Beautiful scenery helps pass time.

Sunday's Run - Fleet Half Marathon (4 weeks to go)

So... It was make not break after that 16 mile run just over a week ago. This weekend I completed the Fleet Half Marathon and Mum found a place last minute and kept me going with jelly babies and Biofreeze. A particularly hideous cap also really helped in the 20 degree heat (!!).

Cap dork alert.

Ain't nuffin' going to stop that woman and her phone.

I'm still having regular phsyio, I'm still in pain, but I have a new found confidence that I certainly did not have two weeks ago. More than anything it has taken a lot to come to terms with the fact that this will not be the race I was training so hard for. Before, I would have aimed to complete the Fleet Half Marathon in under 2 hours (having run 6 miles there to make up the miles for the week) and today I was thrilled to just complete it... In 2 hours 27 minutes. 

It's hard to tell someone that they won't achieve what they set out to do - that they shouldn't - because their bodies aren't up for it. It's also very unnatural running through the pain, but I just have to trust that my training up until now has been good and learn to recognise what is passing pain and what is a signal of long term damage.

...Contrary to the tone of this post I'm feeling very hopeful for race day.


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