The ‘down’ is a very literal one in terms of this blog update. Down the stairs, to be precise.
Not a whole flight, I hasten to add, but enough to break my big toe and put paid to any plans I had for running an autumn marathon this year.
The ‘ups’ are not so literal. More so highs – a few events I’ve taken part in and enjoyed since my last blog update. I’ll tell you about these later!
But back to my unfortunate tumble. I’d love to have a manly tale about how I was doing some epic trail run and lost my footing on a rocky path, but still managed to bravely make the finish line. In fact, I was taken out by a tin of hair bobbles and two teddies, annoying left on the stairs by my five year old daughter. Embarrassing, but true. Good job we’re all friends on here.
I did the usual bloke thing. Swore a bit, took some Nurofen and assumed the swelling and bruising was a figment of my imagination. It will be fine in the morning. It wasn’t. I finally succumbed and went to A&E four days later and an x-ray confirmed a break. Flip.
I don’t know how long I’ll be out for. It’s been a week now and things are a lot better, but there’s little that can be done apart from rest. And I don’t want to rest, I want to press on and get out doing the thing I love to do.
The hospital has booked me back in for a check-up in three weeks. A running friend reckons it could be up to six weeks recovery time. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
The ridiculous thing is that on the very same day I had made a decision to start a training programme for the Chester Marathon (my nemesis!) in early October. Just casual running had seen me do the programme miles for weeks 1 and 2. This was going to be week 3 and I duly went out after work for a nice four miler.
I felt fine, I felt enthused and ready to commit to another summer of training, which would include a 10k trail event in August across Cannock Chase, near where I live, to provide a different challenge and help me build my strength back up. Shortly afterwards, I gobbed it down said staircase...
Both runs are, of course, now out of the window. I’m only going to do another marathon if I can train properly for it. It’s just too big a risk otherwise. This is the first time I’ve had to contend with an injury in four years of running. So mentally it’s a big deal, even if, in the grand scheme of things, a broken toe is a long way from being anything serious.
My only remaining hope for a decent running challenge this year will be the Birmingham half marathon in mid-October. It won’t require too much training and it’s a distance (and a course) that I’m comfortable with, assuming everything heals the way it should.
Sorry for the moan-fest. It’s silly really, a lot of people would be glad of an extended rest! But it’s just reminded me what a positive experience running can be and how I love routine training when I have an end goal in mind.
They say to end on a high, so let’s try and do that by looking back at two other runs I’ve completed since my last post. The first was the Silverstone 10k – two laps of the legendary track on a glorious spring evening with over 1,000 other runners. I loved it, helped by being a massive motorsports fan.
I was calling off the corners as I went by and thinking of the years and years of racing history that has taken place on that same asphalt (except it’s been resurfaced umpteen times since then, but let’s not spoil the romance here!). And it ended with a new PB – I’ve finally gone sub-46 minutes.
More recently I did the Great Midlands Fun Run, which is 8.5 miles around Sutton Coldfield. This is where it all started for me. I used to run the event as a kid, back when it was a longer 10 mile course. And it was the first race I took on four years ago when I got back into running.
Pleased to say I’ve taken more than 15 minutes off my time since then. This was a great day, made even better by the rare treat of having family at the finish, including my daughter, to cheer me home.
So down, but hopefully not out for too much longer. I can see this being a very frustrating summer, a far cry from 12 months ago when I was in full-on marathon mode. I have the London ballot result to look forward to, but refuse to get my hopes up as we all know how tough it is to get a place.
Now, where did I leave that ice pack…
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