When injury rears its ugly head

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I’ve injured my leg pretty badly.

I did it a couple of weeks ago but didn’t want to write about it because that would be like admitting to myself that my Sydney Marathon hopes are in jeopardy.

But after my third physio visit today it’s now official – my Sydney Marathon hopes are in serious jeopardy. I’ve been given strict instructions by my physio not to run for another week and there isn’t much chance of me not listening to him because even if I wanted to risk it, my leg is just too painful to run on.

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The last time he did this to my upper leg I fainted then vomited on his carpet. Today I only cried. I’d call that winning.

Stupid idiot bastard leg.

At this stage it’s looking like I’ll be out for at least four weeks and my calf is going to have to do some pretty miraculous healing to make that happen. Four weeks out of a sixteen week training plan is significant and although I could still finish the marathon it’s certain I won’t be able to race it.

Only another runner can truly appreciate the desperation I’m feeling. Sometimes I really need to slap myself to get a grip because this past week has seen me feel the lowest I have in quite a long time and in essence what I am depressed about is being robbed of the opportunity to go and run 42.2km and half kill myself in the process.

That’s the funny thing about marathon running. We willingly put ourselves though four months of gruelling training, risk injury every day, make sacrifices in almost every other area of our lives in the process, test our physical and mental limits on race day running an extremely long way and then paying actual money for the pleasure of it all.

Bonkers really isn’t it?

This is the longest I have gone without running in eighteen months – since my last injury. I was so traumatised by that last one that since then I’ve gone to extreme lengths to keep myself from getting another one which makes this new injury so ridiculous. Because it isn’t running related.

I have run thousands and thousands of kilometres in recent years and not once have I Β fallen over. Its always been a fear of mine and towards the end of my training for the London Marathon I was completely paranoid about it.

So to actually trip over when I wasn’t running irritates the bejesus me. I might even feel better about this if it had happened while I was running but all I was doing was getting up off the floor to standing position and I fell over on to my ankle in a weird way.

So basically I fell over an air pocket. An invisible mass of nothing. It takes a special kind of student to be able to do something that talented.

I managed to seriously damage my anterior tibialis ligament doing something I have done every day for probably my entire life. Just standing up.

So so so annoying.

I am bored. So bored. I am frustrated. Cranky. Moody. Emotional. Prone to snapping at anyone and everyone (I apologise if you are one of them). Tired. Sad and just really, really, really disappointed.

Running is one of the three most important things in my life and without it I don’t work properly. I didn’t work properly before I discovered it and I’m unsure what to do with myself again without it.

People keep saying to me “go swimming”, “use a cross trainer”, “ride a bike” .. but it’s not the same. I don’t feel the same doing any of those things as I do when I run. Running for me isn’t about losing weight, toning my body or looking after my arteries (don’t get me wrong, those things are valued but it’s not why I do it).

Running nurtures my mind like nothing else does. It’s what keeps the balance in my life. It makes me calm and it keeps my head the sanest it has ever been.

It is my tonic.

I know this injury will eventually heal and I will be back running in the future – but as dramatic as it sounds, for now I feel like my world has stopped turning properly and I’m not sure what to do while I’m sitting on the bench.

Padded cell. I give it a week.

Padded cell. I give it a week.

Note: Upon editing this post it was completely obvious to me that if you aren’t a runner you will probably think it’s ridiculous. In fact I probably would have teased the crap out of someone like me before I started on my running journey. I’m positive I would have!



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