2015 was meant to be the year I did ALL THE RUNNING. I have had some great times, the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon, the Polaroid 10k series and the Paris marathon have been particular highlights. I have always loved my les mills classes and giving them up while I recovered from fracturing my ribs was hard, but not as hard as I thought as I had my running.
Way back in January I signed up for loads of races. Edinburgh Marathon, Liverpool marathon and then the Clyde Stride 40 mile ultra in July. I wanted to be an ultra runner before my ‘big’ birthday and everything I did for 2015 was leading up to that point.
I decided a few weeks before Edinburgh to drop down to the half – I just felt too drained to put myself through a marathon – then another two weeks later in Liverpool. Better save it all for Liverpool. I did want a fair crack at 13.1 and with Edinburgh’s flat course I had slight hopes I might do well.
Let’s just say if the man upstairs had stood in front of me banging cymbals, waving red flags and shouting STAAAAAP I still wouldn’t have listened. I was determined to run, despite getting a 10k PB only two days previously and having a slight niggle in my hamstring which had been bothering me for weeks.
There were also weather warnings for the day in edinburgh too – which came to nothing – tbh it was perfect race weather for me, cloudy and over cast. Set off from Regents Road with a slight feeling of déjà vu having ran the same race last year. I was late to the start and got to baggage as they were closing the trucks. I got changed in a Portaloo and ended up losing my pyjamas and my yurbud headphones…it’s a funny story – I promise. I had to start from the back too as I was so late. If I had been clenching my jaws any tighter I would have broken my teeth.
The start was uber congested and it took ages for me to get going. I knew deep down that a PB would be impossible after the first few miles as I would have to make up too much time but nevertheless I ploughed on. Once we got to the beach section at Portabello I cheered up a bit. It wasn’t too crowded which meant I could overtake more easily. I knew from the playlist I was using roughly what time i was at for 10k and tried to make peace with the fact that this wouldn’t be a PB…. Then my hamstring just went. Complete and utter searing pain. I started panicking as the pain just took my breath away – but I kept going and tried to calm myself. I knew that stopping would be the sensible thing to do but also – I was at PORTABELLO FREAKING BEACH – I’d still need to get 7 miles to the end to get my baggage.
I decided to plough on and see how it went. It was 7 miles of torture. At one point i couldn’t bend my right leg and had to sort of drag it along. Then the pain spread all around my knee which was just delightful. It just kept getting worse and worse. Then came the out and back section. My god I felt like I ran for hours for those few miles. Mentally it is appalling. My knee and hamstring were screaming at me and I was no longer over taking anyone. A girl in a ducking novelty t shirt overtook me. I looked at all the great runners coming back towards me. Running properly. Un injured. And I’m kidding myself on limping like a possessed maniac. FINALLY we turned and headed back towards the finish. FINALLY I saw the 12 mile marker and this hell was going to end. This guy who was breathing like an athsmatic donkey overtook me. I wasn’t even out of breath – I could barely move my knee by this point. Finally the end came. I actually smiled as I crossed the finish line. It felt like the longest race ever. 1.46.41.
I hobbled forward to get my medal, water, goody bag etc and the feeling of complete and utter devastation just washed over me. Went to baggage and managed after a LOT of hassle to get my bag. Got the £1 bus into Edinburgh. Fabulous service by First! No one should ever pay a tenner for the official shuttle bus which was nowhere to be seen. Tweeted a bit while on the bus. Managed to actually laugh at a funny txt message.
Realised on the train home that I need to get the fuck over myself. I’m lucky to be able to run. I’m lucky that I’m getting faster at all. Not every race will be a PB, or even a great experience.
People ran that day for loved ones who are no longer with them, to raise money for fantastic charities and people who have overcome serious illnesses themselves. Running is important to me but I do need to get a grip and see the bigger picture.
So I’ve torn my hamstring and damaged the tendons at the back of my knee. I need ultra sound treatment and muscle therapy and time off from running. It’s all character building and part of the journey. I’ve also been told to take up something called ‘Pie and Lattes’ classes which sound great.
The second I got back to Glasgow I got really drunk. Some things never change.