Sucker for Punishment

Slippers. Not great for impact sport

It’s been a pretty slow week. I have been putting my feet up pre the big race on Sunday on advice from my firm but fair physiotherapist. She has advised that any further impact training will just inflame the Irritable ITB even further, making running the half marathon this weekend pretty uncomfortable. And I have since come to learn, that my physio’s idea of ‘uncomfortable’ is my idea of ‘agony’.

So I have resigned to cross training. And not the fun kind i.e. cycling/ rowing, which would just aggravate the hip flexors and ITB further. No I have been advised to use the actual Cross Trainer. The one with the arm movements and everything. IT IS SO VERY VERY BORING. I feel like one of those 80’s aerobics obsessives, swinging pony tail and retro headphones to boot.

But anything to keep the cardio up, although I have to say after 6km on the damn thing I did contemplate throwing myself in front of the women on the treadmill opposite. Just for a thrill.

My dark mood turned blue when I received the Elvis magazine along with White Jacket of Rejection through the post on Saturday. Those in the know will be nodding in recognition.

Runner Rejection. No VLM for me
This just made me sadder. Bad Elvis

The news arrived, I didn’t get a place in the 2013 London Marathon. Sad Face (although secretly my physio is thrilled). But I have now got it my head that a marathon is the next challenge.

Which begs the question, while I sit here popping nurofen having been through an excruciating hour of sports massage which practically had me crying for my mother, am I losing my mind?

Along with a whole new vocab to describe pain, and precisely where it hurts (I thought ITB was some tax agency, and I won’t go into what I though the piriformis was), I also seem to have picked up a virulent strain of masochism.

When training is going well you can look forward to the following:

  • Punishing long runs that leave your legs like jelly
  • Interval training that fairly often is so intense you think you may be sick 
  • Hill training that has you gasping for air 
  • Blisters
  • Chaffing
  • Abuse from cyclists, construction workers, lager louts hanging outside pubs

And when its going badly you can expect all of the above with the added joy of being injured. So there’s the frustration of not being able to actual clock the mileage (or clocking it through gritted teeth), and the fact that you are probably in additional pain in some for or another. Never mind the mental kicking you give yourself for getting injured in the first place, if its self inflicted, like mine.

So why bother?

It keeps me sane. I am going out of my mind not being able to run. Now that I have mastered the run-without-music its a real meditation is just letting go and sweating it out. So here are my top 10 positives (there are many many more)

  • I earn my dinner and can eat with guilt free abandon!
  • I sleep better and wake up more rested 
  • I am less quick to complain, or get annoyed (probably because I’m exhausted)
  • I am more relaxed and more positive, more flexible muscles, less tension
  • I have more confidence, getting medals is very rewarding!
  • The sense of achievement having completed the mileage never gets old
  • Although I look a total sweaty fright post run, I feel totally rock and roll 
  • A long run gives me time to help me think and organise my thoughts 
  • I feel more connected to my body (right now, I would rather feel less. It hurts)
  • Running reminds me to BREATHE. Simple, but helpful for obvious reasons

Ultimately it makes me a better human being to be around. So send your good vibes people, I just need enough to get round 13.1 miles on Sunday!

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