When you enter into a challenge, no matter how big or small, the last thing you think about is the possibility that you will have to admit defeat and defer.
During the training for the London Marathon back in 2017 I found myself with a few niggles, strains and even a small groin injury that put me on a week long time out. But generally I ploughed through the pain and boredom of training with little complaint.
Second time round it seems that I have been riddled with injuries. The beginning of my training schedule saw me struggle with the annoyance that is shin splints. Then, as documented several weeks back, as I attempted to increase mileage I hit a major stumbling block.
Diagnosed with Peroneal Tendonitis and ligament damage in my ankle put me on a serious time out. Easing off the training and instead resting, whilst carrying out a variety of strengthening exercises.
The last three weeks have not been easy. As I struggled to come to terms with “rest” and panicking about time slipping out of my hands, attempts to run were filled with stress and anxiety.
This weekend I had planned to spend it picking up the miles again. But yesterday morning I lay motionless, summoning myself to pull myself together and to get running. With my anxiety level through the roof I managed to get out the front door and pounding the pavement, only to find that dull ache in my ankle increasing and the sense of failure overwhelming.
I knew right then I had to make a decision. Do I push myself through the pain when I am clearly not ready and hope that 10 weeks is enough to pick everything back up? Or do I make the most disappointing, but probably most sensible decision to defer my entry to 2020?
It is very easy to slap on a brave face and push through both the physical and mental pain. I am not one to admit defeat. I love the thrill and accomplishment you get from working hard to achieve things you never thought possible.
That said, at times you can do more harm than good carrying through when your mind and body just has other ideas.
So, after much deliberation and with a heavy heart, I made the move to defer my London Marathon space.
Instead I will be concentrating on building up strength, both physically and mentally, and most importantly I will be concentrating on learning to love running again. With the pressure off I can head back to the simplicity of running just because I can, not because I have to. To spend Saturday mornings enjoying the local parkrun and weekday evenings pounding the track and streets with Harlow running club.
It’s time to shake off the disappointment, to start loving running again and to focus on the London Marathon 2020!