So.…..the running part of this journey is not going to end the way I expected. The way I wanted it to. The way I needed it to. My out spoken goal was to complete the half marathon in less time than 6 years ago when I last ran it, which was 1 hour and 53 minutes. My secret goal that I had set for myself, was to do it in under 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Up until around 2 months ago, everything was going perfectly. I was way ahead of schedule with the kilometers I needed to be running. My fitness was on point. I was running pain and discomfort free. I had it in the bag.
Or so I thought….
It started in my left knee. A little niggle every now and then. It would pull really tight and be so painful I’d have to stop for 30 seconds or so for the pain to ease. I was worried obviously that I had injured something in my knee. But then I really started to listen to my body. I took note of every tiny little thing I could feel in my body. I had noticed for a few weeks that I was pretty tight through my right hip but it was when I was at work or just sitting around so I hadn’t taken much notice of it. But as the weeks went by, the pain started to intensify as I was running. I realised the pain in my knee was because I was running off kilter to protect my hip where the real injury was.
I tried to ignore it. I buried my head in the sand. If I didn’t think about it, it wasn’t really happening right??? It got to a point where I just couldn’t run through the pain any more and went to see a Physio. The outcome after a few sessions was a possible stress tear in my medial glute. (One of my ass muscles for those that aren’t up to date on muscle names, and in very basic terms – it connects your hip bone to your leg bone)
Then I moved and had to change physio. Jump forward a few weeks and after finally being honest with her about the level of pain I was in (yes I again tried to hide it and not accept it), the diagnosis is indeed a stress tear in my glute and also a tear in a ligament in my pelvis. Both injuries require 6 weeks rest to heal.
This kind of does not fit in with my plan of running sub 1:45 in only 3 weeks time.
What now? Not starting the race is not an option. I set this goal for myself over 9 months ago and have busted my ass tirelessly to train for it and get myself prepared for it. I have spent every single day 100% motivated and committed to achieving my goal. It’s only been over the last few weeks that I’ve kind of lost my mojo for it all and this was due to the fact I knew this news was coming.
I’ve known for awhile now that the pain I’m feeling isn’t just normal aches and pains that come with long distance running. I knew it and I’ve been doing what I can to listen to my body and pull back when it gets too intense. Have more rest days when I know I need it. But I just didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to face reality.
The best I can aim for now is to finish. Which I’m not ok with. I’ve been putting on a brave face. Saying I’m totally ok with it and will still be proud to cross that line. It’s all bullshit. I’m not ok with just finishing. I’m not ok with sitting on a slower pace. I’m not ok with not going out there and giving it my all, leaving it all on the line to hit that goal.
And I know that everyone will say that I’ve still accomplished so much to get where I am. And that there’s millions out there that could never do a half marathon. But right now I don’t care. I worked so fucking hard on this and to have something come up that is out of my control stop me, it’s devastating.
To be honest I’m so fucking angry and disappointed I could cry. I want to yell and scream and completely lose my shit. Maybe throw a few plates. Punch the shit out of something.
But what’s the point? It wont change anything. Nothing and no one can change this outcome. The sad reality is, is that it comes with the territory of this type of training. Injuries happen. It fucking sucks, but they happen and there isn’t a dammed thing we can do about it.
My plan of attack now, is to sit with this disappointment. Not run from it. I have to sit with it and feel it in order to accept it and move on. I don’t like it one bit and every fibre of me is wanting to run from it. That’s what the old me would have done. And I guess this shows how much I’ve grown throughout this journey. I could easily block all of this and pretend it’s ok and suffer in silence, but all that would do is leave it sitting there for me to deal with later on.
I don’t know what’s going to happen come race day. I will be on that starting block come rain, hail or shine. But how fast I get to the finish and what state I’ll be in by the time I get there, who knows.
All I know for certain right now is that I’m not giving up. I’m pulling up on all pace training and will just being doing slow and steady runs to try and manage the pain and not make the injuries worse.
I have to trust in myself and the fact that I’ve done the hard work. I’m mentally and other than one spot on my body, physically ready. I have to focus on the skills I’ve learnt through this process. I have to look deeply at the fact that I went into this journey completely broken and I’ve pulled myself out and upwards. These are the real achievements. Crossing that line would just be the icing on the cake.
I need to accept that maybe I won’t get my icing, but I’ve got my cake already and it tastes amazing.
This is just another shitty bump in the path of my journey. But it’s highlighting how much I’ve grown and I’m coming to terms with that. I’m a perfect mixture of hating this lesson, and completely appreciating it. Which is a solid step forward from how I would have handled this only a few months ago.
And all I can say right now, is that I’m really proud of that fact and I know that the final acceptance of this will come with time.