Originally I was going to undertake a few more test runs between now and Wednesday 8th before deciding whether or not to toe the line at the Country to City 45 miler but after yesterday’s very wet and muddy mixed trail/road run I decided to make the decision based on what I felt my body was telling me this morning.
Frankly I am in no physical condition to run 45 miles. I woke to find my sinuses blocked, my head aching and my limbs and lower back feeling quite sore. I know that I could get through next week and get to the start line of C2C but I fear that it would be in a worse condition than I am in now. My mind is telling me:
‘You’ll be fine, you’re tough, you’re resilient, you know you can do this, you ran a marathon with a worse cold, you know the Marathon des Sables will be tougher on your feet…’
But it’s at times like this I feel a person needs to be rational and to slow down the thought processes a little. I knew for a fact after breaking down how I was feeling physically that I would more than likely not make it to the finish line of C2C and it dawned on me I might not even make it to half way. I’ve had this cold, or a form of it, since the day before I ran the Pisa Marathon and I just cannot seem to shift it which is unusual – I don’t normally suffer from colds and when I do I clear them pretty quickly and always manage to run and/or swim through them. I could run with this cold but I really think my body is telling me I need to slow down and rest a while.
However, the thing that has sealed the deal for me is not the cold, as I’ve made clear above, it’s the tears I have on the underside of both 4th metatarsals where my toe actually connects to the foot pad. Whenever I run on hard ground – be that road or hard pack trail it is very painful. That said, as soon as I’ve been running for a while in the cold and wet my feet tend to go numb anyway and I can’t feel any sensation. Over a short distance I’d say this is beneficial – I think I’d be able to complete a half marathon on trail with my feet in the condition they are without causing much more damage but I am certain that if I went on for over two hours the tears would deepen and/or widen and potentially cause me some serious long term difficulties.
So it is has come to pass that I have officially withdrawn from the Country to City and transferred my entry to the Shires & Spires 35 miler on June 1st. As it stands I will be taking at least a week off from running and will transfer my cardio efforts to the pool once my cold has cleared up. I hope that my tears heal quickly as I really don’t want an extended period away from the roads and trails this early in the year – they say that life is what happens when you’re making plans and that is certainly the case here!
I know that I’m making the best decision for my long term running ambitions but it still stands that I’m fighting with my mind at least once an hour to reverse my decision and to just go for it. I’m combating these irrational thoughts by concentrating on the healing process and remaining determined to run at least one ultra and one marathon this year – hence my entry into the Shires & Spires and my ongoing mission to find a worthy marathon! Another thing playing on my mind is how my non-running friends will view this situation, I know deep down that they won’t be looking at me as a quitter but the irrational part of my brain keeps putting the thought out there once in a while! In the days to come I’m sure that I’ll put my mind over the matter and steel myself for the training and races that lie ahead in 2014.
Thanks again dear people for your continued readership. I’ll be back up and running before you know it, make no mistake!
Peace & Blessings