My Marathon Diaries – 5

This is basically me last week, comedy fall at its best.

Well for me at its worst because I smashed my knee cap in to the concrete with my whole body weight behind it. Ouch!

I felt stupid, really really stupid. I was late and flustered and not paying attention and did I mention stupid.

My knee was pretty bloody and swollen. Resembling someone trying to smuggle golf balls.

I thought the swelling would ease in a few days, and I’d be back in my running shoes in about a week… wrong. I tried to run and it was quickly clear that was a bad idea. I tried yoga but no. Even my good old friend cycling didn’t work; stretching out my leg on the bike was really painful. It was clear that I was going to need to just do nothing for a little while longer…

I’m not very good at doing nothing.

I have a race coming up. I need to keep my fitness up. I’m not sleeping well. I’m not feeling good. Oh and what about my race! Are just some of the thoughts that entered my fed up brain.

I had been putting off seeing my physio until my knee was better so we could get back to the important stuff, you know the running, and ignore this stupid idiotic excuse for an injury.

I soon realised that was an equally silly thing to do and I needed some professional advice on my knee and my fast approaching10 mile race.

What I got was not what I wanted… So let’s talk a little bit about disappointment.

Disappointment to me feels like an actual kick in the stomach. When your disappointment is self inflicted It brings with it swathes of guilt, regret, and shame. This washed over me like a sea of negativity, and my head dropped as my mind swirled round a million thoughts largely on the topic of what an idiot I am.

It may seem crazy right, to feel so down about being unable to compete in a local race. But it is that feeling of disappointment and let down that just gets you, or at least it gets me. This is what I like to call the spiral and my brain just loves a spiral to all sorts of places.

So let’s talk a little bit about how I stop a spiral…

It all comes down to switching my focus from what’s happened to why it’s happened.

What has happened?
I’m an idiot that’s what. I smashed up my knee, I can’t run my race, I have to do nothing, I let people down, I let myself down and spiral…

Although this seems to be my default way of thinking, i’ve learned that if I can just switch my brains focus to asking a different question… I get a different response:

Why did I smash up my knee?
Because I tripped up

Why did I trip up
Because I was running late

Why was I running late?
Because I was going for training run with a friend

Why was I going for a run?
Because I’m training for a marathon

Why am I training for a marathon?
Because I’ve lost so many people to suicide
Because mental struggles are real struggles and physical struggles are real struggles, but they are both temporary
Because I want to raise a bunch of money to help people fighting the fight, a fight I’ve fought, a fight I fight
Because I want to prove how mentally physically and emotionally strong I am
Because I never thought I could
Because I know I can

Will missing this, stop me from achieving any of that… simply put no!

It sucks that I won’t run on Sunday and that my journey has taken a different route, but isn’t that life in a nut shell. You can plan everything out but in the end it looks and feels completely different than you expected. My goal has always been to run Brighton marathon, and all I can do is prepare myself the best I can for that. Right now preparing looks a lot like sitting still, or maybe going for a swim, but that’s ok because that’s what my body needs.

I have many more runs to run, many more training days ahead, so much more to show you all. This set back will not be a defining moment in this long road I’m undertaking.

And in the mean time I get to do squats up against a table with a nice elastic band round my legs… every cloud!

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