…have a tendency to fail and fail they did, for me at least.
The training was going well and I was running through the km’s quicker than Homer Simpson clears a box of doughnuts, but it didn’t last. In hindsight, I was being overly ambitious with my schedule and as a consequence the first run of my third week of training was to be my last for a month. I limped home to contemplate my first-ever injury, which was more than a little scary as I’ve never broken or even sprained a limb before.
After a couple of days of worrying, I spoke to Chris, who I’m running the race with and told him what had happened. He gave me the usual Essex pep-talk and reminded me that we had plenty of time before the race, and not to panic. It was a sobering conversation but one that was necessary. I think that if I was running the race on my own I wouldn’t have panicked as much, but I didn’t want to let anyone down.
I didn’t want to let my colleagues at the Charity down and more importantly, I didn’t want to let the residents down. Residents such as; Tom who lost his leg at Monte Cassino in 1944, Maggie who worked at GCHQ and Martin Sutcliffe who served in the Army during the Suez Crisis. All of the residents have made tremendous sacrifices for this country and I couldn’t, let myself be beaten. A minor limp was nothing in the grand scheme of things, when you compare it to losing a leg in battle. With this in mind, I knew that nothing was going to get in the way of getting to the finishing line in Northamptonshire.
Despite my determination, I still needed to address the injury and therefore took the prudent option of resting it for two weeks. That meant no exercise, in any form, I wanted to rest and fully heal before getting back on it, which was frustrating to say the least, but I persevered and followed these two weeks up with a week of swimming. My theory being that after two weeks of rest and one week of less-strenuous exercise, my foot would be back to normal. I was wrong.
The week after I went for a run and pulled up after only a couple of kilometres and felt a real pang of worry sweep over me. At this point, I was only one month away from the run and hadn’t managed any real training for more than three weeks. However, I didn’t panic and was happy to concede another battle, in order to win the war. I gave it another week, before attempting another run and I’m so glad that I did.
The extra rest gave my body the time it needed to fully heal and despite being the longest run of my career, in terms of my personal perception that is, I managed a 5k run with no twinges at all. I was back and followed that run up a few days later with an 8k challenge and can happily say that I felt no twinges there either, which was a huge relief. Despite the trials and tribulations that I’d faced over the past month, I was still on to make the starting line and could still make a difference.