Week One – Denial.
To begin with I told myself, the doctor and the physio that it wasn’t that bad. That it was only muscle pain. That the deep, lasting pain in my foot was nothing but a scratch. With only a week until I was meant to be running a marathon I simply couldn’t be injured. Every morning I would wake up and before I put my feet on the floor I’d tell myself that I could feel no pain, I was getting better. Then I would get up and put weight on it. Pain is undeniable.
Week Two – Anger.
Having to cancel a race is one thing, having to cancel a marathon abroad is a whole other thing. I had imagined the Rock ’n’ Roll Lisbon marathon, that elated feeling of crossing the finish line of my fourth marathon. The stress fracture had snatched that from me. While the city was unbelievably beautiful and I had so much fun while I was there, the anger at my body followed me like a shadow cast by the warm Portuguese sun. That feeling of failing led me to still take part but in a lesser way; a 6km walk. I wore my huge boot and hobbled through the heat because I craved that feeling of accomplishment. While I loved every minute of my trip to Lisbon I still feel as if I missed out on something.
Week Three – Bargaining.
I had a half marathon booked in for the following week. So I spent week three, trying to ween myself of being reliant on the boot. Stupidly. I even tried to see if I could run while wearing the boot which only resulted in a lot of chaffing and a sore ego after I fell over just outside my house.
Week Four – Depression.
I should probably call this week gluttony. By Monday I knew that doing the half would be a mistake, even wearing the boot and walking it. I risked messing up the rest of my year and maybe even running permenantly if I pushed my body too far. This resulted in my body deciding to go back to it’s old ways of craving junk food and laziness. I fell effortlessly into the ruts I had worked so hard to get out of.
Week Five – Acceptance.
Acceptance into future races. I figured the only way to get me out of my self imposed funk would be to look to the future. So I spent the week entering the Edinburgh and Rome Marathon as well as the Endure24. The Endure24 challenge is simple; run as far as you or a team can in 24 hours. I’ve entered it with a few friends and in June 2017 we will be camping, running, eating and running! I also started running, pain-free without the boot. These very short 1-2 mile runs felt incredible. I had to restrain myself from doing too much, too soon as I ease my body back to my weekly mileage.
Week Six – Running.
With my foot almost completely recovered, week six (last week) marked the start of marathon preparation. I have upped my mileage and while my fitness has taken a hit, I am so happy to be back. Athens is my final marathon of the year and even if I have to walk a lot of it, feeling that medal at the end will make all of the pain and frustration of the past six weeks worth it.
Miles Left to Run: 209
NEXT RACE: Athens Marathon (November 13th)