When The Going Gets Tough

“No matter how good or bad things are now, they will change.”

This is one of my favourite quotes that has stayed with me through most things in my life and is what I have had to refer back to several times in the past couple of weeks. I guess it depends on how and when you look at this as to whether you find it comforting or depressing but I look at it realistically…it is a fact.

This is my first blog for a couple of weeks, which reflects how long it has been since I have been able to run. After such an amazing session two weeks ago, this has been pretty hard to take, both physically and psychologically. It was initially a relief that the pain in my foot I had experienced on that Saturday was not present during the run nor reoccurred after. And it was neither a surprise that I was a bit sore on the Monday, with this rather comical conversation between me and my boss:

Boss: Why are you limping?
Me: Hip is a bit sore
Boss: Why?
Me: Did a marathon yesterday
Boss: Oh (slightly confused as to why this was the first she’d heard of it given that EVERYONE knew about the last one)
Me: Yeah, didn’t mean to, it was just part of a training run…
Cue momentary silence as we both digest this information and I then accept the “you are truly crazy” look she gives me…

However this has become less amusing as the days (and heading into weeks now) have gone on.

I’m still not entirely sure what anatomically went wrong but I have a feeling it may have had something to do with over doing it. Yes, I said it. I did what I bang on at everyone else about not doing. I am making no excuses, merely working through this very alien process and getting it wrong every so often. Problem is I hate being wrong.

In hindsight, doing an interval session two days after completing a marathon distance was maybe not the most sensible thing to do and something I would never have dreamed of doing after an actual marathon race but, like with pushing through the foot pain to see what my limits were, I found myself in a new territory training wise. In my mind that Sunday wasn’t a race, it was a training run and after Sunday training runs come Tuesday intervals so it didn’t really occur to me not to do it. The way too fast pace at which I inadvertently ran through failing to look at my watch, however, was definitely not the plan.

And a rather harsh but true message after that session from someone I respect saying “U shouldn’t be doing that after your long run on Sun. What are u playing at” made me realise the errors of that session. It is invaluable having people check in on me but boy is it annoying when they are right!

I have had a couple of comments suggesting I’m overdoing things and in some ways I am inclined to agree, but not on the running side. My only run related regret of late is the pace
at which I ran those intervals because had I actually looked at my watch I would have known it was stupid. Even if the end result was the same with a more sensible pace I would have at least known I shouldn’t have run at all but now I still haven’t learnt anything about doing intervals following a session of serious mileage.


So now nearly two weeks after that session and not having run since I am starting to panic. I am not especially worried about the ultra because there is still plenty of time for that. But it has suddenly dawned on me through all my totally unnecessary irrational thought processes (that all seem perfectly normal to a runner who is unable to run) that I have just 8 weeks until Manchester Marathon. Ordinarily this would be plenty of time given I covered this distance in training just two weeks ago but seeing as I can’t even run round the block at the moment (and 8 weeks is actually only actually 5 weeks of training because three of those should be tapering) I refer back to the ‘I am starting to panic’ bit.

I don’t currently have a rational plan for the next few weeks so I will have to update you with this in a future blog. Until that time I will just be grateful that this down time has come over the same two weeks that I had a cold and visited family (thankfully not at the same time) so have been able to combine difficult weeks training wise at a time I have been unable to train anyway.

I will leave you with a video that always inspires me (and leaves me with floods of tears). I am not in any way comparing myself to the legendary Derek Redmond, nor am I prepared to complete a race or a training run in that much pain – I completely understand why he chose to do that, but I am not quite at the stage where I am about to have my last ever chance to compete for my country in the Olympics!

What I do take from this though is how much I want to finish my race having achieved my dream mileage and the only way I am going to do it is to persevere through the hard times and draw on the support I have around me.