50 Mile Ultra – Check
Windy Coastal Half Marathon – Check
London Marathon – Check
2 Sprained Ankles – errrr. Check?
Well what turned out to be a fun week of races in beautiful locations and with gorgeous weather, slowly turned to pain as I pushed myself through the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon.
Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best of ideas to run 70 miles worth of races within my 6 day holiday, but then when have I ever been known for my great and sensible ideas. The 50 mile race you have already heard about, I loved it along with the almost perfect weather. Unfortunately I missed out on the total distance and the mega medal, but there is always next year… right? The half marathon took place down in Dover at the Samphire Hoe park. A very windy day, but some great costumes and laughs all arounds. It was during this race when I noticed some twinges in my right ankle. This was only my second race with my new shoes (Inov8’s), and despite them working beautifully in training I feel like now they were not providing me with enough support for my soles and ankles. This was a major problem as in 2 days time I was taking on the London Marathon and had no time to break in some new shoes! Now this is where most people would have thought about maybe pushing their marathon place to next year… but… i’m not know for my bright ideas! By the time I arrived at the marathon expo I deep down I know that I shouldn’t be running the next day, I had tried on some Hoka running shoes that morning and they were like heaven! Imagine running with your feet inside the softest pillows ever, instantly I wish I had bought these instead of the Inov8’s, but the day before a race would not have been the most sensible thing (neither would be runnin the race!)
To be fair my race started out very well, one of the best marathon starts I have ever had. My feet were surprisingly feeling great, no aches or pains, and I was on track to smash my marathon PB. Maybe these shoes were finally doing some good. I spoke too soon, by the time I had hit mile 7 I had to stop to get checked out at the first aid point. The guys there were great, they iced my ankle and gave me some painkillers, and after they said there we no major problems I set off again. Everything was back to normal now, maybe i just hadn’t stretched properly and the niggles just needed to be run out. By the time I had hit the halfway point and the charity cheering station, I know that there was a problem. Most normal people would have pulled out here…. but me? Nope, I kept of trucking. The right ankle was in so much pain I was having to put all of my weight onto my left ankle, which was not doing it any good. I spent the next 6 miles hobbling between first aid station and fist aid station. They were taping ice packs around my ankles and feet just to keep me going as I refused to drop out. Did they realise how hard it was to get a place in the London Marathon?! I was not dropping out at mile 19, to me the damage was already done, what could possible get worse in the last 7.2 miles!
By now I was obviously not going to hit my PB, but still on track to beat my worst marathon time, somehow. These last miles were the most amount of pain i have ever been in. by the time I reached the finish line I was in agony, almost forgetting to even collect my medal and finishers bag. I swear the 200m from the finish line to the first aid tent was longer than the entire distance i had just run. I spent the next 45 minutes with some amazing people from St John’s Ambulance, who looks after me so well, and after realising that I could not put pressure on either foot, wheelchaired me to the charity after party where my worried parents were waiting.
Was it worth it?
Looking back probably not!
But hey, I got a shiny medal to add to the collection!
After the race was over I realised that the biggest challenge was about to begin. Getting back to Austria! With the thanks to my amazing brother who literally carried me AND my luggage across london to and from the hospital, on and off trains, up and down into the underground, and put up with my complaining fro the whole night. I made it back to the airport then onto home. I literally don’t know how I would have made it back without him…. and he had a dissertation to finish the next day!
The doctors prognosis was 2 sprained ankles and a severely bruised achilles tendon. So this means that the next 2 months will be spent on crutches, not the best use of my holidays!