I feel like a bit of a fraud with this blog title. Preparing? That’s the one thing I haven’t done! On Sunday (two more sleeps to go…) I will be lining up at the start line of the Norwich Half Marathon, ready to run 13.1 miles. God knows why.
I had a whole training plan drawn up. It was 12 weeks long, realistic, do-able. On the first day of the plan I was cross training, roller derby to be precise. I fell over and bruised my coccyx. If you’ve ever done that you’ll know how incredibly painful that is. Moving HURT and running was out. I got myself some kick-ass codeine from the doctors and gently started jogging again. But two weeks into the training and I’d missed 5 runs. I had a really good 3 mile interval run and was happy that things were starting to get easier again, phew!
Then, of course, I did more roller derby cross training and broke my arm. With every step the pins vibrated in my bones, with every swing of my arm I felt like it was going to explode. That was it, running was off again. And no cross training either. I was to be out of action for at least 6 weeks. In reality it took 7 weeks before I could start running again, leaving just 3 weeks to get ready.
My first run was hard. I took my husband with me on a 5 mile route. It was horrible. You see, I was counting on the fact that my general fitness level is good so figured I could just power through, mind over matter and get the run done. What I didn’t think about was how much my body had been through. It’s spent 9 weeks recovering from injuries, I was on morphine and high doses codeine, I had an operation. That’s a lot to put yourself through and still expect to go out and run 5 miles.
I took a few days to think about what had happened and what I could do. My form was awful due to having to hold my injured arm still so I’d have to work on that, and eating the right things before running would be a good idea too.
Since then I’ve been on a few more runs, and they have been better, but my recovery time is so much longer than it was pre-injury. Two days of really painful legs despite stretching after runs and I can’t seem to get enough sleep. It’s not all physical, I know I’m completely unprepared and I know that nothing I do now will make a blind bit of difference to my ability to run 13.1 miles on Sunday.
So what am I doing now to prepare? Well, I’m drinking lots of water, I’m eating lots of pasta and I’m envisioning that wonderful finish line. I’m getting my running kit together, filling my bum bag with jelly babies, trying to figure out how I’ll get home after the race. I’m going to try my best to finish the course in three hours. It will be so slow, it will be painful, it will be horrible. But I will do it.