Hobble, hobble, hobble.
I am limping again. I did a 21km run yesterday and I could feel my right leg hurting a little bit whilst I was doing it. The pain was around the knee and the front of the thigh but I was determined to get my distance done so I just kept on going. I never said I was smart or clever, just very very stubborn.
I did my stretching and post-run exercises but I could still feel the pain and as the day wore on I had to apply more and more BioFreeze on it. And it’s still there today. Following some vigorous googling I suspect a mild quadricep strain. I should really drag myself to physio but I am going to give it a few days; more RICE and just a gentle run on Saturday & Sunday (I am good at ignoring the “R” in RICE).
But I really want to report back on my latest attempt to bring water with me on the long runs. On an impulse I bought a small water bottle from Sweaty Betty last weekend and tested it out yesterday. So far it beats the failure that the Karrimor waterbelt was, hands down. Yes – it is incredibly annoying to have to carry a sloshing bottle in your hand for the whole run but it really wasn’t too heavy at all. It was easy to grip and didn’t tire my arm out too much. It doesn’t hold much liquid though – I only took a few small sips but the bottle was almost empty when I got home. I do think that this is probably the best way to get used to drinking whilst running and when I have mastered that I can look at the belts again.
So I may be injured but I am hydrated!
I had plenty of time to think about things whilst doing the run on Thursday (21km / 2h 2min). You know how your mind wanders just to distract you from the fact that you feel like running home but still have another hour of running to do.
I thought about the fact that last year this time I was doing some running to get ready for the bunion surgery which took place in June. I was running maybe 7 or 10km at best and thought I was pretty tough for doing it. I never ventured outside the track or the gravel path in our communal backgarden. I also thought back to about 5 years ago when I was going to the gym 4 times a week and running an hour on the treadmill each time. If only I had known then, what I know now. That running is so much better when you get outside and “out there”. I find it really hard to do distance on a track and only go there for my tempo or interval runs. Otherwise I just feel like a hamster on a wheel. If someone had told me then that I can run for over 2 hours and cover the distance of a half-marathon I would have thought they were joking. And if they had told me that I would prefer sparkling water to a pint or a glass of wine in order to be fresh for my run the next day I would have known for sure they were making fun of me.
But there I was, running. I have stopped looking in the mirror and feeling upset about the way I look. I can now look at myself and see that my legs are stronger. I can see the muscles in my calves and that the “saddlebags” are gone. And I have stopped being so obsessed about “being fat” or “putting on weight” since I know I am looking after myself. My idea of what is attractive in a woman, and in myself, has changed. But even more than that, I know that I am mentally strong. That I can convince my body to do so much more than it comfortably wants to do. I can drag my ass out of bed at 5am to go out for a run, no excuses. But I want more..
When the marathoners take off on Sunday at the London Marathon I will be glued to the tv. I will be taking it all in. I want to be one of them so badly – not to run a race but to be able to cover that distance which almost feels like superhuman to me now. Every single person out there is a hero to me. The hours, days, weeks and months of work that have gone into getting ready for the race is amazing. The pain, sweat, tears and injuries. The effort that has gone into the fundraising. This is it, folks! The LONDON MARATHON, baby! So if you are running it this weekend consider me as your personal cheerleader. I would say good luck but you don’t need it – you have worked hard to get there and it will pay off. Just go out there and kick ass!