On Thursday 22nd December at approximately 7.50pm I ran into 4 safety cones that were warning me of a raised manhole cover. I hopped/skipped over them and landed on my ankle. A crunch swiftly followed.
The other runners in my group caught up and ran past me, thinking I was just waiting for them. I smiled. I then turned and began the hobble back to the club house about 1/3rd of a mile away. It was a painful journey.
Cue stage 1.
Denial: as the pain and heat got worse I honestly believed this was just a short lived glitch and by the time I got home I’d be fine. I was even planning the following day’s run. I got to the club house and I saw the swelling had arrived. I still remained in stage 1 but getting closer to stage 2.
Stage 2. Anger: As I sat in the club house I began to get really irritated with myself for getting myself into this mess so close to marathon training! I was angry at me, as if I could have done something to prevent it. This stage was with me until I got home.
Stage 3. Bargaining. “If i could just be ok for Paris I’ll give up running for the rest of the year”. This lasted all of 2 minutes. I promptly fell into stage 4.
Stage 4. Depression. As I lay on my sofa, crying with the pain, the overwhelming feeling of despair and sadness swept over me. It may have been the pain that made this stage worse…I don’t know. Visions of leg splints/operations etc swam through my mind. As the tears dried up I was falling into stage 5.
Stage 5. Acceptance. About 3 hours had passed since I fell and I had finally accepted I was injured and that an extended running break was required. I started to plan the cancellation of Paris marathon – my A race. A strange calmness swept over me and I felt ok, considering, about the recovery process to come. I went to bed knowing I’d be fine eventually and Paris is just one race. It’s just a challenge, a challenge that will wait for me.
After being seen by medics the following day, a sprain was confirmed with instructions to rest for 2 weeks and stop running. I had already accepted this fate the previous night.
As I lie in bed now, I still feel optimistic. I may not ‘race’ Paris or even run Paris, but I will run in the future and that’s all that matters.
(Damn you Health & Safety)