The waiting game

Posted on: 17 Nov 2017

In terms of a running blog, this post really won’t take very long at all.  I took part in the Birmingham International Marathon just over four weeks ago and it was only on Monday night that I finally decided to put my trainers on again.  The end!

More detail?  Well I guess there should be seeing as I’ve taken the trouble to fire up the laptop.  One of the reasons for my extended rest period is to try and recover properly after this year’s injury woes.  It’s something I didn’t do after the Manchester marathon (I can be a stubborn so and so when I want to be) and I paid the price, experiencing regular niggles throughout training and a repeat ‘blow up’ during the race itself.

I was hoping four weeks of rest would help both ankle and thigh repair themselves.  However, we’re not quite there yet it would seem.  Both have been rather sore since running, despite me doing only a fairly gentle 5k.  All I can think is, for my thigh in particular, that the new muscle is still quite weak and probably needs some conditioning to return to strength.

I’ll resume the stretch routines my physio worked out for me earlier in the year and hold back on the running for a bit longer.  Unfortunately I’m not really in a position to book any further sessions with him as cash is a little tight at the moment (a bit like my muscles!).  If anyone has any tips or thoughts on what I should do, I’d be very grateful.

I’ve not got any events planned for the coming months yet.  I did promise my brother I’d do a Parkrun with him this weekend as he’s on a mission to go sub-30, but I’ll see how I’m feeling first – otherwise I’ll stick to cheering from the side-lines.  Whatever happens, I think I’ll be a long way from my own distance-best of 22 minutes!

It’s funny that in all these years of races and training, I’ve never actually managed to take part in a Parkrun.  I love the idea, but the Saturday morning slot has never worked for me because of childcare.  But this time, my sister in law is coming to the rescue and will stay with Iz while the boys go out to play. 

This extended period of downtime has been annoying on the one hand, but also quite useful on the other.  There have been some big changes in my home life these past few weeks and so I’ve been able to concentrate on that, clear my head a bit and try and make the most of the time with my daughter. 

Unfortunately things haven’t been great for a while now in my marriage and the upshot of it all is a trial period of separation.  Nobody’s fault especially, these things happen as the saying goes.  We made the move at the end of last month and will see how it goes between now and the spring, which is when I’ll need to make a decision about the house.

Deep down it probably explains why I’ve been so focused on training since the New Year and why I was pushing hard to get that blasted four hour marathon – it was a welcome distraction, plus I wanted the sense of pride and achievement in order to feel good about myself again.  Hence the immense frustration around injuries – they were taking that potential pleasure away.

Not that either marathon was a wasted experience, as the respective blogs will testify.  You learn a lot about yourself when the chips are down and there’s a terrific sense of camaraderie, mutual respect and support amongst those runners at the back of the pack. 

The ambition hasn’t gone away, but I know I’m going to have to be patient now when it comes to distance running, otherwise I fear I might end up doing some long term damage.  Add to that additional time to think, reflect and reassess my priorities and with a bit of luck I’ll get back in control of things soon.

And just because I’m not running doesn’t mean I’m not interested.  I’ve been blown away by everyone’s performances at Snowdon and would love to experience it next year in some way – running or watching.  It’s yet another example of how this community looks out for people, encourages them and spurs them on to achieve major personal goals.  You’ve helped me plenty of times in the past.  And with what lies ahead, I know you’ll do the same in the future.

Run strong everyone, whatever you’re setting out to achieve.


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