2 March 2014

6 Weeks til the London Marathon

With six weeks until the London Marathon, I have decided now is a good time to start typing. Why? Well, I haven't received a massive injury (touch wood) or fallen over whilst running (touch wood) or even struggled to reach a necessary fundraising target (as I don't have one to meet). Instead I find myself with 'over constricted muscles'. This translates to niggling problems. Nothing is torn, broken, ripped, swollen or snapped. Instead, underlying problems have been exacerbated by running, my muscles are tight, pulling and making my joints painful. It's not enough to stop my efforts completely, but it's certainly enough to hamper training and shatter my confidence.

Two weeks ago today I ran a cruel 14 miles with my Dad. I had missed only one 'easy run' and despite two weekends away I followed my training plan extremely diligently. The weather was sunny, the route was varied, but my joints were screaming. Since then I've been doing light exercise and going to a great physio.


After rejigging my training plan and almost 2 weeks off, I tried a 16 mile run today and had to turn back at 12.45 miles, walking hand in hand with my Dad and sobbing my way to the car park where my Mum picked us up. I knew this could happen and I thought I had prepared myself for this. I had designed my route to be like a clover - so I had escape routes should things go tits up. Tracy had told me that running today would not be ideal, but weekends are the only option for long training runs and psychologically I was already finding it hard to be 'behind' on my plan.

Running is a strange thing - more than any other sport (though I'm sure some will argue otherwise) it involves such mental strength. There I was, sobbing - I had already completed 75% of the run, but it wasn't enough to evaporate the tears. Wallowing in self-pity I made it back to the car, eating my remaining jelly babies, trying to console myself.

Of course as soon as I thought about all those people out there who face challenges much harder than mine on a daily basis I felt like a fool. As I lay in the bath, I read in Running Like a Girl that the author overtook an army veteran who had no eyes and no ears, but was running the Brighton Marathon. You know there are people who are much worse off, but it's YOUR challenge and in that moment all you consume yourself with is your 'failure'.

...And all I can do is wait. I can't revise more, getting up an hour early, ask more questions or challenge myself any more. I have to let my body recover and push my training plans aside.

Comfort can be found in knowing that others are going through the same thing.  If you are in the same boat I urge you to read Running Like a Girl because it may well be the best metaphorical hug of all.
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