Saturday’s 12 mile run followed by a steady stream of donations had me feeling quietly confident. Pah! This marathon thing? It’s in the bag, baby!
And considering I ran that whole way without using any of the sports gels to keep my sugar levels high, I was feeling pretty darn pleased with myself.
But 24 hours later, I was dashing up the stairs when I felt pain in my shin. Oooo… that doesn’t feel too good, I thought.
By Monday I was in so much pain that I could barely walk. I contacted a running colleague and sports massage therapist for advice. It could be shin splints or squashed, tight muscles but let’s be positive, he told me. After an hour of having my calves massaged, I left feeling better in the legs but extremely worried. Shin splints can take months to heal.
Tuesday morning I was racing to catch the train to work, when I caught the news. I was sickened and deeply saddened to hear of the earthquake in Christchurch. How on earth could this happen? But years of growing up with earthquake drills and regular tremors had taught me to know otherwise.
Normally I can’t bear to run without music or a running buddy. But that night after watching the devastation unfold in my beloved home country, the thought of loud music and noise just felt wrong. So I left all my gadgets behind and ran. Free of all the crap I usually cart with me and free of the noise. Just me and my thoughts and my heavy breath. It was strangely satisfying.
I ran confidently through the streets until an enormous pain shot up through my leg. It was so strong, it made me gasp.
Shit! I thought. What have I done?
I walked for a bit and it eased so I broke back into a jog only to get the same jolt up my leg. I was miles from home. I hobbled back feeling deeply worried and a bit pissed off… even more so when some prick allowed me to cross the road and then honked his horn as I crossed in front of his car. It scared the shit out of me. I fought the urge to give the bird but I’m sure the look on my face said enough.
The next few days were nothing but a concoction of ice and painkillers until I managed to see a physio who confirmed shin splints. She told me that one side of my body is weaker than the other. My shin just happened to bear the brunt of all that uneven activity. She told me that with dedication to some exercises, ice and anti-inflammatories, we MAY get to the race. I have already pulled out of the Silverstone Half Marathon this weekend which was to be my practice race.
I was gutted. I AM gutted. My body has let me down. But shit happens, right? It’s ony a race. And it’s not over yet.
After all… “life is not a journey with intentions of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming… WOW! What a ride!”.
For New Zealand xx