A short write up below, if you fancy a read!
December the 6th, 2021… following a appointment with the podiatrist, I called in at A+E to have a X-Ray at the fracture clinic, to rule out the chances of a stress fracture. Everything pointing in the direction of something else, hobbling down to the X-Ray theatre; the same way I’d been hobbling for a month prior to that. Foot on the table, a quick zap and that was that!
2 stress fractures in my right foot, 3rd and 4th metatarsal. A healthy dose of blood thinners supplied, a lower leg boot and a follow up appointment at the hospital a few days later. Slipper cast applied, foot boot and blood thinners taken away. Mileage dropped, back to ground zero. But the streak was not lost, hobbling my one mile a day for the entirety of December. Worn through a pair of Alphaflys and got my mile stupidly down to a 5.10 with a ‘broken’ foot. I was told it had healed by Christmas Eve, but to take it really easy and build up gradually. Taking the full month of January and touching into February to do so. Nothing stupid, this is what got me here in the first place. 2021 was a right off, pulled glute, broken foot, possibly another broken foot earlier in the year when I was training for Wrexham. I needed to learn my lesson the ‘hard’ way.
Focussing on getting myself back to where I want to be, slowly but surely one foot in front of the other, one single, pain free step at a time. It’s a simple game this running, run easy when you need to, run fast when you need to. Make every stride count. Learning that it takes time, something that I’ve known all along. You just need a reminder every now and then. If something is worth having, it’s going to take time to get there. I’ve taken each race, each training run, each slow jog or faster and speedier one; as a part of my lesson.
I picked Edinburgh Marathon, a race I’ve done before to give myself the longest possible time to get myself prepared for a Spring Marathon. The latest one in the season. The real achievement wasn’t crossing the line today, it was actually making the start line. Standing proud and knowing that I’m going to work, and I’m going to work hard.
Setting off comfortable, clicking into gear and not getting carried away with the downhill course to begin with. The leaders kicking out of the blocks and clocking a 5 minute mile for the first mile of the race! I’ve learnt my lesson nowadays not to do that, confident I’d pick some of them off later in the race. Split it in 5k’s again and evidently still managed to get carried away!
Breaking out of Edinburgh eventually towards Musselburgh and the famous wind tunnel that is the coastal road, felt like there would be a tailwind on the return; how wrong was I? Made mile 18 in good time, feeling relatively strong and legs running like clockwork until I made the gravel track at Gosford House. Slippy stuff. Long 8 mile drag back to the finish now, looking for everyone who I knew that was out on their own journey today. Seeing Naomi looking comfortable and very strong!
Head on into the oncoming runners, clocking the miles off as they go. Reflecting back on my own journey, how different things could’ve been. Knowing I’ve still work to do and the path is far from over yet.
Made the turn into the finish, knew I’d be on for a sub 2.30 but didn’t want to let it slip away, we all know what marathons are like for over measuring. Must be a ego thing?
2.29.23 – 5th place!
This journey I’ve come on over the last year or so, the dips and troughs. It’s a simple thing, but I’ve had people to pick me up when I’ve been down, there’s been plenty of those moments, there’s been glimpses of highs. My A Team, the squad I couldn’t do it without. Whether it’s the lads giving me rubbish for being a cripple, or my Mum and Dad knowing exactly what’s wrong in my head without me having to say a word. The Butcher’s for being that shoulder to lean on and constantly having my back. Of course, Naomi Drakeford who has taken to this running game like a duck to water; knowing my struggles and listening to my moans and groans on a daily basis! Loving me dearly and being completely content in joining me on the journey.
Herself clocking 3.09.49 today, something I’m extremely proud of her for!
We go again, bigger picture and all that. Back in the right playing field, but knowing I can do better than that.
Just Keep Running, one day at a time!