Bloody running, does your head in!
Its been a rollercoaster spell, these last couple of weeks.
Robin Hood confirmed the full Marathon is back on, and even better because I have an injury-deferred place (despite the difference in fee) I don’t have to pay. So, I can donate it to my charities. This is a doubly good thing.
I had an email inviting me to enter the Eccup10: that’s my one-and-only DNF, and the run which (out of the blue and well within my range and fitness) f*@#ed up my Marathon plan last year. Should I enter again? ….. What do you think!?! Unfinished business! Not that I’m one to bear a grudge, of course, but I will get you back deputy Headteacher Miss Liz Willis….. <breathe, and… relax..!>.
Then my Leeds Half-marathon race-pack has arrived.
I had a week’s antibiotics which made me feel crap. And then a muscular injury to my back which stopped me running for a week (couldn’t move my head or arms, couldn’t stand properly, couldn’t fill my lungs… apart from that I was fine). I think I did it rescuing a supermodel from a burning building; or single-handedly foiling a terrorist bomb-plot; or preventing a runaway juggernaut from squishing a puppy. A puppy leashed to a child’s buggy. An orphan child. Or maybe I lifted a bag into the car overloaded with papers and laptop. Or something. Anyway it took ages to clear up.
So my first run this week was cautious. The second, I was late and bad-tempered going and went too fast… and felt the calf. The Calf. The very same calf that cost me the Dublin Marathon 2006. And has been there on and off ever since. And out of the blue and well within my range and fitness f*@#ed up my Marathon plan last year. That calf, the one with the rusty six-inch nail embedded deep in it.
Just when I was saying 50/50 to get to the start-line, but secretly feeling stronger, joyously running pain-free, The Calf throws up a cheery wave and matey wink and shouts
“Cooo-eee! Still here! Don’t you go getting any ideas above your station, now!!!!”
I’ll be alright. I will nurse it and adjust my plan and my Leeds Half. I have managed this before. I have always said, this is a long and circuitous journey, never a comfortable straight line.
Putting it all into perspective it’s the middle of a Marathon spring as I look off towards autumn. I see lots of people running Paris today, Brighton next week or London in a couple of weeks; the taper-torture of those who are already there; and I see all sorts of anxiety and calves and knees and groins which are creaking. Even my GP has eased off with a single 18-miler before her London Marathon because of a (ta-dah!) persistent calf strain.
I’m fine, I have almost six months. I knew it would have its ups and downs (all-together-now “Ups & Downs!”) and doubts, and wouldn’t be a smooth journey. That’s why, so far, I’ve never said more than 50/50. Maybe a bit less, just now. That’s what it is, a rollercoaster.
But those doubts, the continual questioning of yourself, the pain and nursing and recovery, the adjustments, the taking of the long view while you can (and then rationalising the panic and even more adjustments, when all that’s left to you is an increasingly anxious and short-view)… That’s why it means so much when you make it to the start-line.
Or, maybe I should just take up something more leisurely, more simple entertainment, less turbulent and stressful. Like supporting Leeds United. Oh, hang on…..
Week 12 Index
Week 11: Runs 2; Long 8; Other – none
Week 12: Runs 5; Long 10; Other – 1
Body: Two weeks of not being well, now The Calf has reappeared.
Spirits: As above. 50/50. Or less. But I’ll manage it. (Did I mention; it’s Robin Hood!)