Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Why is it that, having been injury free for a long time, and relatively cough, cold and other nasty bug (so easily caught when cooped up in a classroom all day) free for weeks, that a week or two before a race everything starts to go pear shaped?

I've done other races this year (apart from parkrun).  I started on New Year's Day with a 5k race around the airfield at Lasham (having first completed Basingstoke parkrun naturally), and then went on to do the Bramley 10 and the Winchester 10k, but these were not really races I had built up in my mind as being 'a big deal.'  That's not to say they weren't hard work, and if you want to know just how hard I found them, or what a prat I felt when I fell over then you can check all that out at my personal blog, but some races are different.

Last summer I got it into my head that I wanted to do a half marathon.  I'd failed to get a place in the ballot for the Royal Parks Half (although I later went on to get a charity place), and wanted my first half to be somewhere special.  Hence when the Berlin Half was mentioned I jumped at the idea.  I checked the school holiday schedule - we could fly out on the first Saturday of the holidays, run on the Sunday, spend Monday being tourists and then come back late on Monday evening.  Husbando was keen to come along too.  I paid for entry to the race, booked the flights and a hotel.  A nice hotel, because I figured it was as close to a holiday as I was going to get!   I was excited.  Very excited!

Then in October news of another run on the same weekend emerged.  I entered the lottery, along with thousands of other people (Husbando included) for the Olympic Park Run.  To be honest, I don't think I was really aware that it was the same weekend.  I always seem to let enthusiasm run ahead of practicalities (like checking the diary to see which other races I've already entered) when I see a race entry pro forma on a website!  I was one of the lucky 'few' (5,000 to be exact) who secured a place in the race.  Husbando didn't and neither did any of my parkrun friends.

5 miles isn't a long run.  Normally, if you said "Toria - go out and run 5 miles without stopping, and try to run it fairly speedily!"  I'd just yank on my trainers and get out and run.  But, but, but, on Mothering Sunday I went flying during my long run and banged up my left knee.  I hobbled around all week, did a couple of gentle runs and parkrun on Saturday and thought that everything was OK(ish!)  My long run was not a joyous and relaxing experience, but I slogged on.  Last night's run resulted in a sore right leg and knee - I put this down to new trainers and switched back to my old pair for this evening's walk.  It didn't make much difference.

I'm going to 'rest' now!  In as much as one can rest running around after five children, and teaching on three different floors!  My knee feels distinctly wonky.  Once I have finished on the computer for the evening (I only have another few lessons to plan) I will retire to the sofa with an ice pack and a pile of marking.  There is no way I want to miss out on this 'once in a lifetime' experience, but I suspect that the run will not be fast and will not be pretty!  And once again, I find that the holidays are approaching with me not in a fit state to take advantage of them and do lots of lovely running!

At least it will take my mind off the fact that Number One Son will be out in the wilds of Sussex doing his training expedition for his DofE!

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