Normally, I plan my morning runs meticulously, the evening before. I map my route; set my alarm; pack my running backpack and set out my running clothes by my bed, so I can jump out of bed, get dressed and get out of the door before I’m sufficiently awake for my brain to come up with any excuses.
Over the past few days, I’ve been eating badly – too much sweet stuff, a bit of wheat stuff, and generally sliding my nutrition down the scale. So last night, I felt bloated and sponge-like. As we all went to bed, I muttered to the ever patient Mr P, “I must run in the morning!”. Wednesday isn’t a running day. I should have known it would end badly. Nonetheless, I put my kit out and clambered into bed.
When the alarm went off, Mr P said “Shall I drop you somewhere, so you can run to work?” Genius idea! So I flung some stuff into the backpack and got ready to go.
Unfortunately, the kids didn’t follow suit. They both missed the school bus, and so by the time I was ready to leave, they’d cajoled Mr P into taking them to school, too, the cheeky sods. So we set off…
It was quite a nice morning; the temperature was up at about 10 degrees, the wind wasn’t *straight* off the arctic, and there was a low sun. I hadn’t planned for that; the sun was in my eyes and I was wearing tights when shorts would have been wiser. My legs were tight, it took ages to warm up. I was listening to an audio book (Me Before You) which is actually really winding me up (well read, poorly written); I couldn’t settle into a rhythm that felt comfortable. After three miles, I decided that I really am fighting a virus, and I’d just relax and proceed on a stop start basis.
About 7km in, I paused to walk and rang Mr P for a whinge. He was suitably sympathetic, but there wasn’t really much he could do, and so I set off again…. It wasn’t comfortable and it wasn’t pretty, but I was beginning to hit that zone where my legs were just doing what they do, and I could settle into it.
And then, about 400 metres from my destination, something went ‘ping’ in my right knee. An excruciating stab of pain almost toppled me, and I’m pretty sure I gasped aloud. I stopped instantly – to be honest, I didn’t have much choice as my leg pretty much refused to bear my weight. As the pain subsided, I tried to walk a few steps. No joy. My knee just wasn’t having it. I tried to call Mr P – really not sure what I was expecting him to do, as he was about 13 miles away! But he was on the phone, anyway, so that put paid to that. I managed to hobble a couple of yards to a bus stop, from where I called a colleague who came and rescued me in her car. Embarrassingly, by the time we’d driven the five minutes back to the office, the pain had subsided and I could walk, which made me feel like a terrible fraud. But it’s not right. I went to see our nurse, who referred me to a sports physio, who I’m seeing on Monday.
In the meantime, it’s bloody sore. Uneven floors, stairs and any kind of speed at all seem to be completely beyond me. It’s going to be a long few days, and I’m already trying not to panic about my training…