Marathon number 2 in 8 days was upon me. Having felt some pain with my knee in the three days after the Yorkshire marathon last week, I was mildly nervous about my left leg. I had been feeling 50/50 about running again in Amsterdam, but once the latter part of the week came around, my legs had started to feel really fresh again, so I was running! It was that simple. Oh, and I’d do so wearing my banana costume just for an extra challenge. Like you do.
For those of you that want a laugh at me running as a banana, or for those who can’t be bothered reading the full blog, just watch my race video. It’s packed with selfies, awesome supporters and me having a mini banana breakdown. I soldiered on, though. The banana never quits!
Firstly, I’d just like to say that 2 marathons in 8 days is a terrible idea. Don’t do it yourself. I’m a complete fool and I take on ridiculous challenges just because I shouldn’t. I’ll do more ridiculous physical challenges in the months and years to come, I’m sure, but you should not emulate these acts. If you do, you only have yourself to blame for what it will do to your body and mind. Sprint Kitchen takes no responsibility for you being a crazy fool too haha.
Having suffered knee pain after last week’s Yorkshire marathon, I was only too aware that I was likely to suffer at some point in this race, and by mile 5, I was staying to feel the ache, just to the left of my left knee, in the ITB area.
“Shit… This pain isn’t going to ease. Don’t panic, just lower the pace ever so slightly and try to maintain that steady speed. It might not progress too much.”
Once those pains are kicking in, it’s very difficult to focus on anything else, but I was dressed a banana… The response I was receiving from the crowd was epic as it always is when I run dressed up, and this would be one of the key factors behind me finishing the race.
Not quite 50% of the race was gone and I had to pull over to stretch and try and massage my knee. This dull ache had turned into a very sharp pain. The kind that on any other day was my body’s little message saying…
“Stop running you tit. You’re done. This marathon is coming to an early finish. Just accept your fate. You’ve done far too much in 8 days. Lessons learned… Just bow out and recover.”
Fortunately, once I have a goal to achieve, it takes something huge to stop me. I convinced myself that I could get my leg going again at a jogging pace, and from that, I could try and get running again. The one thing I could not do was stop. As soon as I took a few seconds to rest, my leg was seizing up and I could barely bend it at the knee.
Again, I need to point out that I’m a fool and that everyone should stop when they have this much pain in their leg. My body was screaming at me to end this torture. When I shuffled myself into a jog again, I was in agony. I could have yelled quite happily. But I’m a stubborn runner, like many. I had 2 marathons to do in 8 days, and there was no way I was returning home without another medal in my bag.
There’s one thing for certain, running has made me damn tough mentally. I’ve battered myself with tough training over the last 4 months, and without that, I never would have struggled through the last 14 miles of yesterday’s race. I couldn’t have got through something like that a year or more ago. Not a chance!!! This is one of the main reasons I run. It’s why I challenge myself constantly, teaching myself to push that extra mile every time I struggle with anything in life.
Never give in. Take a deep breath, regroup your thoughts and remind yourself of every tough obstacle you’ve overcome before now. You can do it!!!
Getting through the last section of this course was one of, if not the toughest physical challenges I’ve faced over my time as a runner. I can clearly push myself through severe pain barriers to go where I want to go. I will, however, learn a few valuable lessons from this experience…
Never again will I book 2 marathons so close together.
Unfortunately, as with the sensible lessons learned, I will undoubtedly take some stupid ideas from this race as well, knowing that I can overcome such an obstacle only for my head with the crazy question of…
“If I can do 2 marathons in 8 days… What else can I do?!”
Ah, the crazy mind of a runner. I will be doing an ultra next year…I know that much already. Let’s have it!!
One last thing before I shoot off…I got the chance to finally meet Marathon Girl Gemma Hockett during this weekend and spent a good amount of time with both her and her husband Lee. They are both absolutely brilliant people and this is, without a doubt my favorite thing about running…meeting so many awesome people. Keep running hard Gemma! You are gonna smash 2017!
Thanks for reading you bunch of legends! There’s been a lot of running blogs lately from me, think I need to throw a few more healthy recipes your way.
Take it easy! Leg it!!