An update. I’ve been trying to remain positive, religiously following advice and completing the exercises prescribed by the physio, it’s incredibly slow process but that’s to be expected with a tendon injury.
Since my last post, I’ve experienced a lot of emotions. Mainly frustration that my body is taking so long to heal but also that of letting down the charity I’m scheduled to run for, the people that have so kindly sponsored me to date and my workplace who have publicised my fundraising with an additional offer of £250 towards the fundraising total if I complete the marathon (along with four others from the company). I decided it would be fairer to speak to the charity and let them know my situation, they were so lovely! The lady investigated other options including allowing me to defer my place to next year which would have been a great option. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible and finding someone else to run wasn’t looking hopeful either. In parallel, I contacted the comms team at work to remove my name from the list while we thought of other options and suggested I could walk the route if we didn’t come up with any other ideas, pain permitting.
Then it struck me… My husband could run in my place if I was unable! This seemed like the perfect solution to me. Many of the people that sponsored me would have sponsored him and the charity would not be let down. I’d still have the disappointment of not receiving the donation from work and dealing with the frequent “ohh, I hear you’re running the marathon” conversations (along with the huge frustration of listening to how others’ training was going) but it was a plan that also allowed a slight glimmer of hope for me in case I made a miraculous recovery. This was in May and the plan wasn’t to start until 16th June, so all good.
Two obstacles, agreement from the charity and agreement from my husband. My husband is not a runner. He’s not a runner but he was willing to complete the 16 week beginner training plan if it meant I had longer to formulate a plan. What an amazing thing to do! We discussed how he would feel if he started the training and then I felt I could at least make it around the course, would he be disappointed? He said no and that he should probably get fitter anyway so that was perfect.
In the meantime, I visited the charity and saw the work they did first-hand. The opportunity to ask questions was fantastic and it was incredible to see the resources available to support people with mental and/or physical disabilities, have a look: https://calvertexmoor.org.uk/. It was a great experience and really made me determined to raise more and get around the course, even if I had to walk. Publicity photos were taken and a new sense of pressure to perform ensued.
As the weeks ticked by, the pain changed but didn’t reduce. I could feel my hamstring getting stronger but it was constantly tight. Foam rollering didn’t really help and neither did stretches. My impatience got the better of me and on 23rd May I went for a little run, just to see how it felt. I ran a mile at slow pace, no pain while running but excruciating immediately after.
I told the physio when I saw him next, he didn’t seem overly impressed but not entirely surprised, he added some Nordics to the single leg bridges and suggested I could try some short runs after my next appointment. My next appointment was on the 28th June.
Fast forward a few weeks and with the 16 week training plan start date already having passed, I visited the physio again and asked the dreaded question “what are my chances of taking part in the London Marathon, still slim to none?”. His response was “slim but not none, we need to see how you get on with the next set of exercises”. My hamstring was stronger than it had been and this gave me hope. With a new exercise regime, to include super short (5 minute) runs over the next three weeks. I knew there wasn’t time to train properly to achieve a “good” marathon time but even completing a marathon is a huge achievement that many will not experience in a lifetime. Walking, jogging, Jeffing… but possible!
I came home, new plan in hand and (dare I say it) excited that I may be on the mend.
After putting the children to bed, I changed into my running things and set out. The rain was pouring and the recent warm weather was replaced with a blustery cold wind but I didn’t care, I was running for five whole minutes! It felt good to be out, my legs still worked, my lungs weren’t quite as cooperative but I was running and I didn’t feel immediate pain.
Very sore the next day but the physio suggested I’d feel this way so I’m blindly trusting him and assuming it’s ok for now. Knowing whether the marathon is still an option is a little way off, but I’m enthused and remaining positive that I’ll at least be mobile, if nothing else.
Next dilemma… It turns out my husband is now hugely motivated to run the marathon. He’ll certainly be fitter than me, he’s following the plan more stringently than I ever thought he would and is enjoying it, which is great. I don’t feel I can take that away from him, especially after he selflessly offered to train to give me longer to heal.
So, pros and cons (love a list), assuming I’m capable of getting around the course:
- I’ll share a marathon day with my dear friend who, after all, is the reason I signed up in the first place
- The huge achievement of finishing a marathon (although there are numerous others I could enter)
- Completing the London Marathon has always been a dream (and after many, many ballot rejections, I never thought would be possible)
- An additional £250 towards the charity from my workplace
- Potential injury niggles
- May never have the chance to run London again
- It won’t be the experience I’d hoped it be (won’t be fully fit)
- Upsetting my husband
Pretty even at the moment, I guess I’ll just have to see how my (ridiculously short, for someone hoping to run a marathon in 95 days) runs go over the next few weeks.