This could be dangerous… I’m sitting with a full bottle of wine in front of me, determined to move on from my last post ’10 things I like about marathons’ (which was only partly tongue-in-cheek) and work out where I’m going.

I might even neglect to check it for spelling and grammar. Yeah… I’m living life on the edge!

I’m not an elite athlete.
I wouldn’t describe myself as an ‘athlete’ at all.

That may not come as a shock to you but I state it clearly because it’s relevant to the next bit.

I’m not even sure I would describe myself as a runner.
But I run. I have enjoyed running (and sometimes hated it).
I play tennis.
I ride a bike.
I swim.
I like a physical challenge.

I don’t do these things because I’m brilliant at them. I do them because I enjoy it. Sometimes, there and then at the time – THE PROCESS… and sometimes because of the results, accomplishing something that was tough, feeling fitter, feeling stronger, feeling healthier – THE PRODUCT.

I remember entering my first marathon, which happened to be London in 2000 and thinking it was well out of my scope of possibility but with regular training, being unable to afford food, and a large helping of blissful ignorance, I made it over the line in what has since remained my PB. This marathon, I enjoyed. I would have been happy to just ‘get round’ but I felt like I’d really done myself justice. I finished in 4:15:something.

5 years later – another marathon. It was a 5:32:something misery.
5 years after that, a respectable marathon time of 4:32:53 followed by a 4:38:something a few months later.

Now, I’m not an elite athlete. I think I’ve made that very clear, and this isn’t about the times, but it is about feeling fit and feeling strong….. Or not.

The Nottingham Robin Hood Marathon was completed by me a couple of weeks ago in 5:17:something – I could go and look up the ‘something’ but there isn’t really much point because it’s not about the time.
I didn’t feel strong.
I knew the build up was not good.
A little nodule, which has since been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis was niggling a little, then a tendon injury 5/6 weeks out meaning my longest training run was 16 miles at just the point when I was building up nicely with speed work, hills, tempo runs, you know… all the ‘proper’ running stuff!
(Around about this time, I also fell on my shoulder during a game of football, but my foot/ankle was so painful, I ignored this)

I’d like to give a full-on race report but I’ve never been good at that. If I did, it would go something like this:

Arrived in good time.
Hung around a bit.
Used loo numerous times.
Hung around a bit.
Chatted to some people at the start line who thought I was weird for chatting to them.
Walked a bit.
(Repeat x lots – it was a walk/run strategy I’ll have know, to prevent tendinitis flare up and all that)
Got cramp.
Saw family.
Got cramp.
Hid in toilet.
Had a little cry and slapped myself in the face.
Got stone in shoe.
Bent down to remove shoe,
Breathe… Breathe… Breathe… Thank goodness it wasn’t in both legs at the same time!…
Talked to self lots.
“Just get round now and hope there’s a Mars Bar at the end”.
Eat mars bar.

Or something like that, anyway..well… I’m now half-way through the wine and I’m not too worried about checking for correct chronology (that’s easier to type than say, right now).

There is an element that I’m happy to have made it round. And the fact my tendonitis did not return is good. Even the plantar fasciitis (which was never bad enough to stop me running) did not, and has not since, worsened.
But if I’m honest, I didn’t want to just ‘make it round’.
I’ve ‘made it round’ before. And I’ve been happy with that before.
Despite everything in the build-up, I think I was hoping to prove to myself that I wasn’t actually getting older and unfitter.

At least at the moment, it feels like I have proved the opposite and I’m finding that a little hard to deal with.
Especially as I have recently dragged myself to the docs with this:

…which in recent weeks has been really frustrating me as I can’t play tennis pain-free, swim pain-free, or ride a bike pain-free. I used to do push-ups or pull-ups periodically for strength training but find that too painful now as well.

I’m booked in for an x-ray next week.

To make myself feel better I paid for a proper hair-cut yesterday (I normally just grab my trimmers and shave it all off for a few months), and when he’d done, the barber offered to trim my eyebrows too!

I punched him*

*in my imagination only (in reality, I accepted the offer).

  1. Shaz says:

    What about the ears when they need trimming oh and the nose then you are OLD. Please take care of that shoulder and ankle both look so painful.

  2. mia79gbr says:

    Well … at least he didn’t offer the ears and nose hair trim … this time!! Shoulder looks sore – get well soon!

  3. Heal hard, Mr. I hope you get back to what you enjoy doing, without the pain, really soon. K x

  4. abradypus says:

    Ouch! Maybe it’s time to consider something a little less perilous … like parkour.

  5. getgoing-getrunning says:

    Ouch. I hope that isn’t a collar bone. It might be the AC joint in your shoulder. I’ve done that, playing football, and it is crap, but it healed up fine.
    Hope you’re back up on your feet and injury free soon.

  6. plustenner says:

    ouch! but what a brilliant race report – I was chuckling all the way through it – not at your crsmp and shoulder knot of course! 🙂

  7. fortnightflo says:

    Yeuch that pointy stickyouty thing is WRONG! oh, its your ear….your shoulder looks bad too…

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