I was absolutely brimming with confidence when I last posted because of finally being able to run again. Then I went home on Thursday, took off my shoes and promptly skidded on the wooden floor that our cleaner had thoughtfully polished to a lethal shine. If I’d even skidded on my left leg (the good one) rather than my right it would have been fine … as it stands I am now once again unable to walk without pain, let alone run.
Well there’s an old saying about tears and spilt milk, so I’m not going to brood on this. What this definitively means is that I now have absolutely no chance of clocking up decent mileage before the big day. It’s just not going to happen as the risk of further injury is too great, and that would count me out completely. So, excitingly and rather terrifyingly, I will have to test the theory that marathons can be run on the basis of general cardio fitness alone. Also (horror of horrors) I will also have to complete the majority of my training on that most tedious of gym machines, the cross trainer.
A few things are keeping my chin up and enabling me to overcome the desire to go and hide somewhere for a few months until everyone’s forgotten that I was supposed to be running 26 miles. I watched the documentaries about Eddie Izzard’s insane and heroic mission to run 43 marathons in 51 days in aid of Sport Relief … after only five weeks training and with no real running experience to boot. I watched him battle pain, injury, boredom, loneliness, distraction and personal demons with my jaw on the floor. The Boy didn’t have to say to me ‘well if he can do that, then you can manage one piddly marathon’, because that’s exactly what I was thinking. It was truly inspiring.
I’ve also raised almost £2000 to date for Barnardo’s. The thought of not completing the race and not being able to donate that money is pretty tough to swallow, too. What price my pride or lack of guts, eh? I can say with absolute certainty that I am no longer attempting this with a view to achieving a good time. I just need to get round (preferably before it gets dark and ahead of that maniac who does it in a vintage diving suit).
That said, it will still be an achievement. My lovely mother is so determined for me not to give up that she’s said she will walk the route with me if that’s what it takes. Knowing her as I do, I can assure you that she means it.
So the clock continues to tick. When I think about the day itself I feel physically sick, and I simply don’t know if that’s down to fear or excitement. I’ll opt for the latter. Keep ’em crossed for me that I don’t do something idiotic like fall headlong down some stairs, or dive under a moving bus between now and then.