As marathon day approaches, Jess is in pain and not sure how she will run the 26 miles.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’ll admit that here.
The marathon is days away and I have only managed one good run and three really bad ones in the past two weeks. As always injuries are sidelining me. I have been trying to maintain my fitness level with lots of workouts at the gym and the pool. I am still in good shape, but I can’t run, even this morning, without excruciating pain in my hip (or be more precise, in my hip flexors, a group of muscles that run up the inside of your thigh, through the groin area and attach at the lower back). They are the muscles that lift up your leg.
I’ve had intense (and painful) physiotherapy sessions, I’ve had ShockWave Therapy and massage. I ice and I stretch. I do special exercises and roll out my muscles. I’m doing everything right, but things are not really improving.
I am in “taper” mode right now, so the lack of running is not devastating. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me. But I missed my last long run. Missing that run has really screwed up my mental fitness. My mind can’t wrap itself around running 26 miles when I had to miss that last 20 mile run. I’m just not sure I can do it.
I sleep restlessly every night. My leg causes me to wince whenever I try and turn over, reminding me constantly that maybe, just maybe, I won’t be able to do this.
In the big picture, I realize that if I don’t do the marathon the world isn’t going to end. Nothing will change and I can just keep training for another race. For me, though, this marathon means everything. One year ago I decided to start running to try and stop the chronic cycle of depression and destructive behaviour that had ruled my life for a decade.
I wanted to see if i could go a full year without depression and suicidal thoughts. And I have. I feel better than I have since I was a child. I feel alive and strong and able to handle the emotional roller coaster that my body throws at me.
Somehow the thought of completing a marathon one year later has kept me focused on running. It has been such an amazing year and I have such a strong desire to run this marathon that the constant breakdown of my physical body feels like cruel punishment. But all three of the half-marathons I have done this year were done under similar circumstances. I keep that thought in my head too because I know I can do this and I know I will do this.
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