Progress of a marathon girl

So the London marathon is only 1 week away eek. To think 6 weeks ago thought my marathon dream was over after tearing my medial ligament whilst out fell walking.
I was thankful that I sought a second opinion after a physio said “it takes 8 -12 weeks for this kind of injury to heal, so you won’t be running the marathon”. I just burst into tears that everything I’d been walking towards had been shattered.

So I visited the Body Rehab in Staveley for a second opinion, I’d known several people who had been and plus they are a customer too. So I met with Graham for my first appointment, I was feeling pretty low as was in a lot of pain, couldn’t walk and just feeling generally dejected. So he examined me and agreed it was a torn medial ligament. He said he couldn’t promise that I would be running London but we would give it our best shot in treatment and how my body responded.

So Ice massage, laser treatment, massage (I did have a potty mouth moment! as my muscles were very tight) and acupuncture. The moment when the needle was turned I nearly jumped of the bed as the pain was excruciating! But for the first time in 10 days I could walk, it was painful but could walk. This was such a big thing and for the first time thought “there’s a small chance I could still do the marathon”. Graham said the key was to keep my cardio fitness up but without putting any pressure on my recovering knee. So with the loan of a float joggers belt, I was off water running, if it’s good enough for Paula Radcliffe it was good enough for me. My god it is hard work, I sounded like a scene from the film when Harry met Sally!! Also I was to get over my fear of cycling and get on Dave’s turbo trainer as this was good for my cardio fitness. Armed with my daily exercises, I was determined to try and help my body get this healed! How many times have we all been to the physio, been given exercises that we forget how to do as soon as we get home. Graham emailed me my exercise plan which had accompanying videos to make sure they were done correctly.

On my next visit, Graham suggested I go on the altitude trainer, now this was hard work, to say I was pink and panting was an understatement! The key to the altitude trainer is it promotes the production of red blood cells which help the body repair itself.
Week 3 and Graham said ok think it’s time for you to try your first run. I was both excited and nervous as hell as panicked to how my knee would perform. So enlisted the company of Rob who I work with to come with me. It felt good to put my trainers back on and run, but on the run had pain which was tolerable but I was in a constant state of apprehension. Got back, 2 miles done, I could still walk, didn’t feel too horrendous result. Graham was away to Flanders but said text me and let me know how you do. So it was suggested to go again, but 2 days previously had my wisdom tooth out and felt pretty grotty so that run was abandoned. Next run decided to double the distance, just under 5 miles done. Still pain but again tolerable, still apprehensive.

Went again and did just under 6 miles, got back and burst into tears as said to Rob, I think that for the first time I can do London. Next came the real test, my longest run since the injury. We set off, endomondo tracking the miles, we would get to a point and Rob would say ok? Yep, ok let’s go here and this went on for the rest of the run adding bits in, increasing the miles until we were home and had done 9.5 miles. I was so pleased and had finally relaxed. Text Graham and he was pleased, the reply came back ” ok good now ice, rest and recover”. A couple more smaller runs and came my test. I really wanted to do half marathon distance just for my head really. Off I set, my various tracking devices but these were having technical issues so just decided to run. It was hard pushing myself, I had my recent discovery, the fruit gels with me to help. Soon I was in my stride and ticking off the miles. There were moments when I was in pain but I could cope, it was such a beautiful day it was a pleasure to be out. People ask what do you think about when you’re out running. On this day I was thinking that my London dream was alive, thinking about the day and all the people routing for me which will help me round. Oh and what were we going to have for dinner that week and boring household thoughts!

Fatigue set in but home was in sight, 14.2 miles done, I was so happy that just burst into tears. But I did it, one of the only things I’m grateful to my mother for bloody mindness! Now was time to get excited for London marathon, I’ve told inner competitive Gina that doing it under 4 hours isn’t probably going to happen. So I’m going to enjoy it, well as much as you can enjoy a 26.2 mile run! Enjoy the day and not chase the clock, doing a sub 4 IS going to happen when I compete in the Chester marathon in October.
Not that I’m on commission but I’m so thankful for Graham at The Body Rehab for all his support and mending me. The fact that I can text him and he’s there to give advice really helps. In my last session, he said I’m getting excited for you in competing in London. I have my list of instructions post marathon of what I need to do in recovery!

Also thankful to my OH Dave, who has been a domestic god when I’ve been laid up on the sofa with ice attached to me or doing my exercises! To all my twitter family for their virtue hugs and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

So 6 more days to go till Wonder Woman is let loose on the streets of London, can’t bloody wait.
If you haven’t already, please support my fundraising for Anthony Nolan on
http://www.justgiving.com/Gina-Pennington thank you xx

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