Monday, 21 March 2011

Keep on Running... Post-run pain and analysis...

Very Jim'll Fix It-esque medal
Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 2 hr 16
Area covered: All around Reading...
Weather: Cool but with the sun coming out for the last 40 minutes. Lovely.
Playlist: Highlights were Allegria by Gypsy Kings, The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars, and a lot of Miike Snow and DJ Marky.
Comments: After a week of twinges and occasional stabs of pain in my right knee, I was amazed that I ran "comfortably" for the first 8 miles. However mile 9 seemed like it would never end and the pulling in my knee and up the outside of my thigh sharpened. The thought of having to then run another 4 killed any kind of hope I had of keeping my pace up. I slowed down considerably and thus realised I wasn't going to achieve any kind of great time or even beat my previous personal best of 2.06. Bizarrely this realisation took a weight of pressure off my shoulders and I was able to run more comfortably up to mile 10. Somewhere between mile 10 and 11 I chose to walk. I'm not proud of this but I wanted to enjoy the finish and the rest of my day with my other friends who were running and Mo (who sped off from me not long after mile 2 - go Mo! She aced a just sub-2 hour time. Amazing!). After walking (limping) for just over a mile and with all my best choons failing to distract me from the pain in my right leg, I saw a fellow runner wave at me from my right. He was saying something I couldn't hear. I pulled my headphones out. 
"Sorry??" I shouted at him wondering if my shoelaces were undone or if I was wobbling all over the road more than I thought.
"I was just saying that the Royal Marsden saved my life," he pointed to my vest. "They saved my life. It's so great to see someone running for them,"
I burst into tears, thinking about a beautiful girl I know, so full of life and love, who is currently a patient at Royal Marsden undergoing chemo. 
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you," He panted, still running at a reduced pace alongside me.
"It's fine. Thank you, really, thank you." 
He smiled and said "It did. It saved my life" as if to confirm this to me. The subtext of course was "It can save other lives too". Still smiling he then jogged on ahead of me.
I kept this moment in my pocket and pulled it out so that I could run the last mile into Madjeski Stadium. Our team achieved various times, from 1.49 through to 2.31 but unlike the majority of the other runners our times and speed were of less importance compared to the £1500.00 we have raised for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity which really does save lives...

Thank you to each and every person who has commented with words of encouragement and support. A special thanks to a few who contacted me directly and sponsored me. Well done to Twitter lovely @ruthbrown who aced a personal best (and is running another Half Marathon later this year - wow!) and as always thank you to Mo, NewMan and my other buddies who carried me to the pub yesterday and will probably need to for the next week.

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