This week I read a statistic that I’ve heard before. That 98% of people who start the London Marathon make it to the finish line. That’s pretty good odds on me completing the race and getting the medal on April 13th.
As long as I make it to the start line.
Last weekend after I’d posted about my Surrey Half Marathon experience I went out for what was planned to be my longest training run. I was mentally well prepared, I’d had a good night’s sleep, I was feeling relaxed and ready for the challenge. It was perfect running weather and I’d plotted my route to take me along the river to Westminster and then back to complete miles 14 – 18 of the London Marathon route.
Two miles into the run I started to feel a dull ache in my left outer hip area. I quite often get aches when I’m running, especially in the first few miles, they usually disappear once I’m properly warmed up and into my running groove. So I thought nothing of it and carried on.
By 3 miles it was still there and I was becoming more aware of it. By four miles it still hadn’t gone away and I was starting to get concerned. I stopped to stretch out the area but as soon as I started up again there is was. Not a sharp pain but an ache, in an area where I’ve had a few issues in the past. After a bit of thinking it through and a couple of texts to get some second opinions I decided to can the run. With only 4 weeks to go until marathon day I just couldn’t risk running through the pain and causing an injury.
It was massively frustrating. I desperately needed a good run after what had happened the previous weekend. But it just wasn’t worth the risk. I sulked my way home knowing that I’d done the right thing but feeling pretty dejected about it. After posting on Twitter and getting some encouraging messages supporting my decision, I felt a bit better. I’ve got the 16 mile Whole Foods Market Kingston Breakfast Run coming up on Sunday so I decided to focus on getting prepared for that instead of getting down in the dumps.
So over the last few days I’ve been stretching, foam rolling and trigger pointing the affected area. I tried a short 30 min run on Wednesday morning and things seemed to be OK. Today I went to see my physio and had some very painful treatment done on the area. He’s told me to rest until Sunday and I’ve promised that I won’t be an idiot/hero if things start to hurt again during the race.
Having deferred my marathon ballot place from 2013 to this year I don’t have the option of deferring again this year. The chances of getting another ballot place for London again in the future are very small indeed. It’s this year or maybe never. I need to get to that start line on April 13th in one piece. If that means pulling out of the race on Sunday to protect my legs then that’s what I’ll do.
Hopefully though everything will be fine. I’ve arranged to run the first half of the race with the lovely Dash. It will be great to have company and I’m really looking forward to that. But if I need to stop then I’ll stop. My eyes are firmly fixed on getting to the start line of the London Marathon in Greenwich Park on April 13th.
And as long as I do that then chances are that I’ll be in the 98% that finish! .