It’s been about four months since the day I realised I had more than a niggling pain on my right leg and that I was rather dealing with a full-blown injury.
Over the four-month period I have been through six weeks of rest, many hours of physio sessions, countless icing, many foam rolling, stretching and strengthening exercises as well a depressing process of building up from a 2km run every second day.
Fast forward to last week Saturday and I was ready to attempt a significant milestone and longest distance of the season, a 32km long run! To cut the story short, I was able to finish the 32k run but could not ignore the pain on the insertion point just below the knee. I iced like I always do and took some anti-inflammatories but by the time I got to gym, I had calculated that the leg was never going to withstand a further 55km. I knew at that point that the 32km was going to be my last run of the season and was overcome by sadness at the thought.
I was already sad because I was not going to make Two Oceans Ultra this year, so when I lost hope of running Comrades, it became a bit too much to bear. It took a lot from me to accept that stopping running now will probably be good in the long run.
I don’t expect anyone who is not a runner to understand why it is depressing to bail out of a race due to injury. Some of my friends and relatives even "sympathised" that I have been saved from yet another torturous experience. Another comment was that I should still be happy with four Comrades and four Oceans, there should be nothing further to prove. So I will put those comments aside for now, they do not assist me at all at this stage.
What is assisting me is that I have since taken up cycling and I am able to take my mind elsewhere to avoid returning to running too soon. I don’t know how much cycling will assist my running but that is not the point. I am enjoying the new challenges and would like to continue cycling for a long while still. Before the end of the year I would like to ride my first (metric) century and I have also registered for 94.7 cycle challenge.
If all goes well, who knows, I might even enter for the Iron Man 70.3 taking place in Jan 2013. But picking up from where I left off in long distance running I will. Hopefully by next season.