As he’s speaking, I’m doing maths in my head, four weeks to the Leeds Abbey Dash!
Next year! Well I entered again, but it was the week before the Home Nations, I decided it was too close to the big race so I gave it a miss, More PB’s this year. Ok, so I really must do this race next year, I felt sure that I could do both.
The whole of the next year as I trained, I kept thinking about the Leeds Abbey Dash. I had a great year, setting PB’s in every distance from 3000m to half marathon. As Leeds and the Home Nations approached I stepped my training up, my target was a sub 32min and all my sessions were heading that way. I was pushing my training doing cracking sessions and high miles, but then I over did it and got a stress fracture.
Really bad timing, I got the stress fracture five weeks before the Abbey Dash and six before the Home Nations. I kept training, but all non weight bearing, so some aqua jogging, but mostly twice a day on the Nordic track. I was into my fourth
week off and I was desperate to run, I knew racing Leeds was out, but I decided to run it with Clare to test my foot out, my thinking was, if I can get around then I had a chance of racing on the softer ground of the Home nations cross country.
The race went ok, Clare ran well and my foot stood up to 10k on the road, so I felt happy, but for yet another year I saw friends and rivals run PB’s, so although I was happy to be on the road to recovery, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth, another opportunity gone.
I managed another couple sessions before going to Glasgow for the Home nations, all things considered I ran quite well, but I knew what shape that I’d been in prior to the injury, so I was disappointed.
Well, this pretty much brings us up to date and anyone who has been following my blog, once again I entered the Abbey Dash, but the last nine months my training has been terrible, my worst ever period in my running years, but I’ve never given up, I haven’t run a step in 5 months, but I’ve been training like a mad man on the bike and checking the post every day for physio and hospital appointments.
So sitting in that gown, chatting to Mr Clark, I’m thinking, jogging again in two weeks, by the third week, I’d be getting used to running again, by the end of that week I could still run around with Clare, so the last month that has been my target.
My plan was to be able to run around without getting injured or aggravating my surgery scaring. The week of the race, things were going well, I even did a light session on the Tuesday and felt stronger by the day.
The night before the race, my competitive edge came out and although I knew that there was no possible way that I could race, I did fancy pushing myself to see how fast I could go with so little training and the bravado of saying I ran a **.** minute 10k four weeks after an operation was tempting, but that’s just crazy.
We set off from our correct place on the start line, which was between 35 minute marker and the 45 minute marker. I’m not used to starting back here and I couldn’t believe how long it took to cross the start line and then the amount of people in front of us. It was chaos! People were darting all over the place, some people had pushed their way up front and were out of their depth, I swear I’m sure some people were almost walking after about 200 meters. Why do that? It’s dangerous and frustrating for other runners. It’s one of my pet hates.
In the end the crowds were too dense for me to push on, I didn’t fancy all of the twisting, turning and dodging past the other runners, not great when you’re still a bit stiff in the stomach from an operation. I think it was a blessing in the end.
Clare ran a season best, so we were both happy, but then I started hearing all the other runners talking about how fast they’d run and it started to sink in, it’d been the perfect day, perfect conditions, perfect field on the perfect course. I’ve waited five years for a day like this and I’ve missed it again. After everything that I’ve gone through this year I’ve managed to stay positive, but as time has gone by I’ve had to tick off target races and I’ve seen friends and rivals running well and set PB’s, but this was my biggest low, I felt as though I’d had salt rubbed in my wounds.
It’s now a couple of few since Leeds and I’ve had my best day, a good long run in the morning and my first gentle attempt of a session and I’ve come through feeling good. So I’m feeling happier and a lot more optimistic.
It feels like forever since the operation and at times I feel as though progress is slow, but when I look at my training diary and see it was only two weeks ago that I went on my first gentle jog. Since then I’ve gradually stepped up my runs, done a couple of sessions and done a 10k in a respectable time. Not too shabby!