What have I done wrong?

I’ve been a little quiet this week. I’m embarrassed to write this post. I absolutely cannot believe it. You can see what’s coming can’t you?

After Reading half marathon I had a bit of pain in my foot which I thought would just go away. I tried running a few days after and it felt sore and stiff. But I thought it was just the aftermath from the race. Anyway I became ill over the weekend and couldn’t run anyway. So my next run was Tuesday night. I got 1.9miles and my ankle was in a lot of pain.

I walked back, falling quickly into a pit of despair. Are you joking? Is this really happening to me again?

Did I do something in a former life to piss someone off? Seriously? Do I deserve this? I’ve done everything I can to ramp things up slowly and to be sensible.

Anyway I just couldn’t blog about it, or talk about it really. I was really really sad. Talk about déjà vu right? I mean in terms of blog content this is getting a bit repetitive.

I saw my physio this morning and he thinks it’s a sprained ligament in my ankle that happened at Reading and with all the adrenaline I wouldn’t have noticed. He’s actually quite positive about it. He said it’s an acute injury that has come on very suddenly and should disappear as quickly.

But ‘quickly’ is all very relative when you have an impending marathon in just over three weeks time. Obviously I won’t be able to run 18 miles this weekend. In fact, I can’t run until next weekend (two weeks before the marathon) – provided that the treatment I had today and next week goes well.

To say I’m panicking and upset is an understatement. But I can’t give up just yet. If I’m running by next weekend – properly with no pain, no discomfort, no issues – then I’m still going to do Paris.

This might be madness. Believe me, I am fully aware of how very undertrained I am at the moment. Not only did I start my training just recovering from an injury, I also missed a significant long run and going forward I will have lost almost three weeks worth of running from another injury.

But if I can run by next weekend I will still have two weeks left (when people normally start tapering, ha!). Obviously I can’t do any sort of significant long run. I can however, get some consistent running in.

I am fully aware that I will not be able to hit any of the time targets I had dreamed of. I have completely stepped down my expectations for Paris now. This race will just be about enjoying the day, the sights, the crowds and finishing. I know I can run a half marathon at 8-8.30mins/mile chatting away without issue. Perhaps I can run a marathon slowly? Yes I might need to walk, yes it will be so very hard but better to do it and get rid of my marathon demons then just give up?

Is this madness?

30 Replies to “What have I done wrong?”

  1. Oh Anna :-(. Reading this had made me sooo sad. It’s just not fair. I have a very speedy friend who has also just come back from injury, has built up slowly and just picked up another injury. Not sure what I can say that might make you feel any better, so just know that your supporters are ‘with you’ and sending healing vibes. Be kind to yourself.

  2. Noooooooooooooooo! 🙁 This wasn’t what I wanted to read this morning. Really, really sorry you’re having injury issues again. It doesn’t feel like injuries are dished out very fairly – you’ve put in so much hard work and done everything you’ve been told to do. Please don’t panic though. It is still three weeks away until your marathon day. People walk entire marathons and you’ve put in so much work with your base training – and you’ve run multiple runs over ten miles so as long as your ankle returns to normal by the day you will be fine. Don’t underestimate how far the crowd will pull you along too. Time doesn’t matter – it’s about finishing your first one. (Then you’ll find it much easier to beat second time round as well!)
    Perhaps you should just stay inside wrapped in bubble wrap for the remaining three weeks?!
    Hope you’re finding something to fill your now non-running time so that you don’t let it get you down too much. My fingers are crossed for a super quick recovery. 🙂

    1. Haha that comment about the bubble wrap really cheered me up. I wish!! Though with my luck I’d probably do something to myself regardless.
      As long as I’m not still injured then I will attempt to do it. It’d be a waste of money and a holiday to not. Like you said, the crows will help and I can beat the time when I am fighting fit and have had proper training.

  3. Oh no, I’m so sorry to read this Anna, how frustrating for you 🙁 Is Paris quite a flat course? I’m sure you can complete a slow marathon, if your foot recovers in time – people walk marathons and there would be absolutely no shame if you needed to walk some, it would still be a HUGE achievement. Good luck with the next few weeks, I have my fingers crossed and am thinking of you x

    1. Paris is quite flat I think thankfully! At this point I don’t care if I have to walk, I just need to get over my marathon demons and do one. Then I can focus on beating it in a healthy and fit state later on.

  4. Oh I’m so sorry to hear this Anna, how rubbish. If your foot is better I’m sure you’ll be ok, just take it steady and remember there is no shame whatsoever in walking/going slowly. I have my fingers firmly crossed for you xx

  5. Hi Anna
    Sorry to hear this, spoke to Ben last night at training. Please don’t stress about it and put pressure on yourself to run a certain time, as all this will just put a negative slant on what should be a really amazing positive achievement. My first marathon was my slowest time, took it easy did 10 minute miles and enjoyed the carnival atmospthere. It is by far still my favourite memory of running a marathon as I was not trying to beat any particular time.
    If you run, can you and Ben run together and just think of it as a sightseeing tour of a great city on foot ?!
    See how you go next weekend and take it from there. The fact that you did Reading HM in a time close to your PB after a period of injury shows how good your aerobic fitness is, so have confidence from that. If you can do a long run of 15-16 miles then great, but I wouldn’t try to cram in a longer run than you are able as better to be undertrained than overtrained. If your ankle heals and you slow down your pace of your long run a little, I think you will surprise yourself how far you can run. Take care

    1. You’re right. I think I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself for the ‘perfect marathon’. I just need to let go of my initial hopes and just complete the damn thing. There are more marathons to come (I hope!!)
      I think I will probably run with Ben, which will be nice as we can chat and just relax a bit 🙂

  6. Really sorry to hear this. It must be really frustrating for you.
    I am not running anywhere near as far as you, but I keep injuring my knee and it makes me so angry as I just want to improve my running, but my knee keeps standing in my way.

  7. So sorry to hear this!!! I am glad to hear that your physio thinks that it will heal quickly. I think you can still do the marathon even if you can’t run this weekend… but may have to adjust your goals. I am sending lots of vibes your way to heal quickly!!!

  8. Oh Anna, I’m so sorry 🙁 You’re right to be annoyed, frustrated and angry – you have been doing all of the right things and you absolutely do not deserve yet another setback. I can absolutely understand why you’d want to run Paris, and based on your base fitness levels I totally believe you can do it. You’ve already had to miss one marathon through no real fault of your own, and if you can truly let time pressures go then I think you can still have a great experience. Running a marathon at a relaxed pace is definitely VERY different to racing it all-out.

    Wishing you all the best, and I’ll keep everything crossed for you.


    1. You’re right. I’ve hugely changed my expectations and I’m just going to ‘enjoy’ it now. Who cares about pace. I just need to get through this damn thing and then get back to normal fun running for a bit. Take the pressure off.

  9. I don’t think it is madness. Before my first marathon I had what I thought was another UTI (actually was my cyst), and was on antibiotics, and had told myself that if I felt bad I would not do it, but of course we had travelled all that way and there was pretty much no way I was not doing it. 4 weeks before I had done 20 miles in just under 4 hours (3.50 I think) and I felt that approx 5 hours would be realistic. But on the day I just slowed and I was just glad to finish- I am still very proud of that and I think that for a first marathon just getting to the end is fine. You are so speedy so I would imagine that even if you did a run/walk strategy you would get around fine.
    Just channel the Martin Yelling inverse taper 😉

    1. You’re right. This is my first marathon and I should be proud to just finish.
      You definitely inspire me with your story – it’s amazing what we can do if we really push and motivate ourselves.

  10. Oh no Anna! I’m so sorry to hear about this. I’ve been away for awhile as I rehab my own injury, but happy to report I’m back running again and discharged from PT! I thought I’d start running again this summer, but its only 8 weeks since surgery and I’m running short runs a few days a week.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back and forth with run walking Boston. I have a number for this year and its killing me not to run it. I will still be there, but as a volunteer on the course instead. I really hope you are able to heal up quick so you can run your race in a few weeks!
    The way I look at running is that it ebbs and flows, and as hard as it is to sit out a race, its better for your long term running “career”. I’d rather listen and be patient than persist and be out of the sport longer. Good luck!!

    1. Oh brilliant! Glad it went well and you’re back to running. That’s fantastic news! :))
      It’s so hard when it comes to knowing what to do about a race…as long as I’m no longer injured I will do it, but I will scale back my pace and just ‘enjoy’ it.
      And you’re very right in the ebbing and flowing. I have years ahead of me, so there’s no panic or rush. I love that about running – it’s a sport you can do whatever your age.

  11. Argh this sucks! I can’t believe you’ve been hit by injury again! Honestly I would throw all concept of time out the window for Paris, and just focus on finishing, that’s what I did for my first marathon. I’m sort of in marathon limbo, as I missed pretty much 4 key weeks of training, and have got up to 8 miles this week. I’m attempting 12 tomorrow, but just not sure how the leg will hold up, it’s still niggly and I’m fully comfortable on it right now. Sending you all the healing vibes!

    1. Thanks Lauren – we’re throwing healing vibes back and forth between us, aren’t we?? I’m glad you’re on the mend though 🙂
      My goals from the marathon have certainly changed…but it doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the experience and learn from it for next time.

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