I started 2014 wanting to run a(nother) marathon and to do a couple of big (for me) bike rides to try to raise a bit more money for Myeloma UK.
It immediately went completely wrong when my sciatic nerve decided to play up after running in Wilmslow in March 2014 and it took 2 months of rest and physio before it calmed down enough to start walking again without it screaming at me.
Perhaps it was something which was fated to happen; Mark refused to believe in fate, I always have done. I don’t believe that you don’t have control over where you’re going, rather that there are things which will occur along the way which you really have no say in the matter. But it’s what makes us who we are.
Whilst off my running legs I started working on the cycling and kept the concept of Challenge 2014 alive knowing that I could still train for the two bike rides that I was able to fit in this year – the third one clashed with a family wedding, but will be there for another year.
In late May I went up to Auchterarder, not far from where the Ryder Cup has just been held, for physio on my back. Two weeks away from home, life, distraction was a perfect opportunity to stop. And I mean completely stop. It became apparent at that point that, true to form, I’d carried on with life since Mark’s passing at a rate which hadn’t really allowed me to let go properly. Having that time to contemplate, meditate and re-focus was as beneficial as the amazing work the physio did on my back. I made some new friends, learned a load of new stuff, picked up some new skills and came back with a new appetite for living.
I got back, did the first of the bike rides in Snowdonia and felt good. I had a great birthday weekend and that was really positive too. Even the headwind which plagued me on the Manchester to Blackpool ride didn’t stop me getting there (although it was hard work towards the end!).
The nice thing with this last ride was that I was with other people which was great at the end because for once I wasn’t on my own. When Mark was alive he managed to come along to see me across the finish line a couple of times (although as his health deteriorated that become less possible). Since then I’ve only had support at the end of a couple of races which is always a little bit sad when you see the welcoming committees that others get. I guess it’s why I always thank those who line the streets cheering people on during the race. It’s great to have support.
So tomorrow I set out to see whether my legs will go the distance. 26.2 miles from Chester, towards Wrexham and then back again, part in Wales and part in England. The weather is supposed to be non-descript, which is good in my books; too hot and it’s very hard work. Too cold and it’s easy to get injured as muscles cool down. Afterwards, a hot bath and a good relax, with hopefully nothing majorly wrong with me 🙂
If you use Twitter you can apparently follow my live progress as there will be split times at each 10k and that will beam an update to my account which is @SWFN_runman if you want to go and follow that and see what it does. You’ll know before I do!