It’s hard to keep up a running blog when I’m not running. I can’t run, not now and I miss it like crazy. I’ve been seeing so many posts about upcoming races, spring and summer are always full of them and I miss being a part of the excitement. This recovery is taking so much longer than I thought it would.
I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t in pain.
When I was in my early teens, I was karate flipped over someone’s shoulder as a joke. It turned out to be a bad joke; I was knocked unconscious and taken to A&E. It turns out that I had hyper-extended my neck, tore up some muscles in my back and chipped a vertebrae.
I’ve been in chronic pain ever since. The level of pain varies. Sometimes it’s a dull ache between my shoulder blades. Sometimes the pain is so intense it radiates outwards until I wonder how anyone standing next to me can’t feel it too. And twice, the pain has been so bad I’ve been nearly paralyzed with it. My spine has grown into the wrong alignment but no amount of treatment has helped; and believe me I have tried nearly everything. My back always hurts.
Last year, while cheering at the Dublin Marathon, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I’ve been thinking about it all year long and next week I’ll finally get to make that idea a reality.
At the 2016 marathon, I was standing just before mile 13, handing out gels and giving high fives when I started noticing how many men were running with blood on their shirts. I wished then I had plasters and vaseline for them and that’s when my idea for a marathon nipple stop was born.
This year I will be bringing my ‘Fix yer nips!’ station to the Phoenix Park. I’ll have plasters, vaseline, wet wipes and other assorted items to help runners suffering from chafing. It’s not a first aid station but a ‘help yourself to what you need’ station for the men and women running the marathon, Nipples, thighs, feet, whatever is chafing, cracked or bleeding, I’ll have what you need to sort it out (or prevent it, if you’re not feeling it yet!)
Brilliant, right?! I am so excited!
If you’re running the marathon next Sunday I wish all the best of luck and good weather on the day. Rain or shine, I will be in the Phoenix Park on Chesterfield Avenue, on the stretch between the zoo and Aras on Uachtarain (between mile 4 and 5). I’ll be on the left hand side, wearing a blue ‘Fix Yer Nips!’ t-shirt, with big signs* and hopefully balloons so you can’t miss me.
A big thank you to Ash of Run Logic for loving my idea so much and printing my t-shirt and signs!
*Cat not included
I am not ok.
We are all made up of a mind, body and spirit. When one gets broken, the others can be a part of what helps lift a person back up again. But when all three come under pressure, sustained and prolonged pressure, then break all at once…like Humpty Dumpty it seems impossible that the mind, body and spirit can be put back together again.
I’m in that place right now. And while I know it’s ok to not be ok, I’m currently getting the help I need to get out of it. But in between appointments, and specialists and treatment and medication, there are things I have to take responsibility for and begin to change in order to be whole again.
Today is the annual VHI Women’s Mini-Marathon – a 10k race taking place on the streets of Dublin. For the past 3 years I’ve run this 10k, raising money for charity and challenging myself to PB in the process.
This year, I’m ignoring it. I’m not running it and I’m not even going to go cheer at it.
This is still a running blog.
Even though I’m not running right now, I’m still a runner.
The past few months have been really shitty. Pardon my language. It’s not that anything particularly bad happened, but depression doesn’t need a tragedy to rear it’s ugly head. Having said that, life isn’t great at the moment either. I’m struggling with certain pressures both in work and in my personal life, pressures that I could cope with more easily if it weren’t for being depressed.
I’m still struggling but I’m getting better. I have good days now, whole days where I feel hopeful and bright and energetic. I treasure those days. When my depression is really bad those moments are reduced to mere minutes and those rarely. So this is an improvement.
I’ve taken advantage of that and decided on a plan of action for the year ahead. I’ve talked it over with my coach and we’re both hopeful that this will be just what I need to get my love of running back.
I call it Project Gazelle and it’s not about running.
I didn’t mean to leave it so long without posting anything on this blog. It’s just the way things happened but I feel it’s time I give an update on my running and where I’m at. I think it will be helpful for me to get these thoughts off my chest and possibly helpful for anyone reading who is in the same place. Knowing that I’m not the only one going through this has encouraged me and I do feel better for it.
I’m not even sure where to start so why don’t I just come out and confess the worst.
I haven’t been running at all lately. Right now, I’m not even sure I want to run.
I had a lot riding on this race; some personal and some physical. For me it was yet again another big test of my abilities and training. In the week leading up to the race I was constantly asking my coach various questions, making sure I understood the strategy and that I was really prepared for this.
It didn’t help that the day before the race the weather turned stormy and the day of the race was predicted to be stormy, windy, rainy but humid.