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Limping with Demons

№314 ~4 minutes

In which there’s only three weeks left to the London Marathon and I must confess, I’m not sure if I’m ready to run it.

For a moment I was really worried that my journey of hurting toes and not vomiting violently had come to an early end.

Seven weeks ago I ran a half marathon as part of my training.

It was glorious, spectacular, amazing. With a time of 1:54:32 it became my new personal best.

Afterwards, I felt fine— no, great! No muscle soreness, nothing. I was invincible.

Then a week later I was scheduled to do another one.

15 km in, I had to stop.

The pain in my right knee was unbearable.

For the days that followed, I struggled to walk.

It wasn’t looking good.

Then Ben—who had been dealing with his own knee injury—reminded me that because we were running the Cambridge Half Marathon in support of Arthur Rank Hospice, we had received a free first-come-first-serve appointment at the Sports Injury Clinic.

I had already missed my free appointment opportunity but figured it wouldn’t hurt to book an appointment anyway.

After the first session with Daniel, it was very clear that:

  1. Runners are stubborn as fuck—myself included
  2. It was a surprise that I had managed to go injury-free for as long as I had
  3. A hip bone graft I had over a decade ago was probably the cause of my issues

See, when my knee points forward—like it should—my foot points outwards.

If I make my foot point forward—like it should—my knee points inwards.

This had resulted in that every time I ran, my patella wasn’t tracking but instead—

—You know what? I’m not a doctor or a physiotherapist.

Basically, my knee bone wasn’t really connecting to my leg bone. Or however that song goes.

With ten weeks until the London Marathon, instead of increasing my mileage as my training suggested, I had to stop running altogether to do physiotherapy and let it heal.

I had to drop out of the Cambridge Half Marathon.

I stopped recording episodes of Running with Demons.

I was so disappointed in myself.

Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. Dean Karnazes

But I wasn’t going to give up.

I wasn’t going to quit.

Daniel had recommended that I get myself a Spiky Massage Ball—there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

So I did.

And I got a foam roller.

I know, I know, I probably should have gotten both of these ages ago.

I foam rolled.

I spiky balled myself.

And it got better. It’s getting better.

Last Sunday I went out for my first run since February 18th.

A glorious 16 km mud and obstacle run called Only the Brave, organised by none other than EAAA—the same charity I’m running the London Marathon for.

Carlos Eriksson covered in paint.
Mud, cold water and a fucking awesome time!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, that was probably pretty fucking stupid because what I should have done, was to go for a nice 5 km run to assess my recovery.

But I’m stubborn, remember?

Afterwards, unsurprisingly, it hurt to walk again, in both my knees.

But.

Unlike last time, it got better really quickly.

I’ve decided to still take it easy—even though it means I won’t be going for the scheduled 32 km I’m supposed to run today.

I’m still foam rolling myself.

I’m still spiky balling myself.

And whilst I must confess that I’m not sure if I’m ready for the marathon, I’m running it in three weeks, so I better be.

We’ll find out.

In the meantime, please support my journey by donating, sharing and telling all your friends and family that, ready or not, in three weeks I’m running the London-fucking-Marathon.

Running with Demons: The Road to the London Marathon

Insane in the Terrain Brain

The Descension

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