To live in a soap opera……

Anglesey Half Marathon 2015

Although not a fan of any soap operas personally, it’s hard to ignore them as they fill the tv airwaves as long and wide as they broadcast. And whilst they go seeking for evermore realistic and current subject matters one generally questions whether so much could go on to so few people in such a short space of time.

In the world of Midsomer Murders, where the body count on a weekly basis can sound like a  modern-day conflict, reality and fantasy seem to be far divided.

At least so I thought, until this last week, where my own life seemed to take on far too much drama for the time provided.

The first weekend of March I was in Anglesey, North Wales. One of my favourite places in the world for probably my favourite road-race, which is now called the Anglesey Half Marathon (previously it was the Island Race). I ran this route in 2013 as part of the 13 Challenge and had wanted to revisit it since then.

Unfortunately in 2014 I was working. And in 2015 it was blowing a gale from the West. Which meant that the outward bound section was way too fast and the return was into a strong headwind. By 10.5 miles I was exhausted and struggled through the final 2 miles although my time was quite good at 1.34.40, roughly a minute faster than in 2013.

Anglesey Half Marathon 2015

Anglesey Half Marathon 2015

It was only after I got home that I realised my left side was a bit sore. I’ve had some physio on it this year already and following on from the Stockport Trail Half Marathon a week earlier and my concerns about my trail shoes not feeling quite right I thought I’d better get that checked out. But with working during the day for the next 6 days, this was always going to be a challenge shoe-horning an appointment in.

So far, the week was not too bad. But things took a downturn when I discovered that one of my tenants had committed suicide during the week. I think it was more the shock than anything, but it totally threw me out. I’ve written recently on here that my mind hasn’t been entirely where it should be for a while now, and I guess this was the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back. So Wednesday itself was spent in a haze, I really cannot remember much about the day at all except that I finished work slightly early so I could get to the physio appointment.

The appointment went ok, nothing really to report and I was given the green light to run the following weekend as I had planned. That was the real reason for making the appointment, more to make sure that there was nothing actually wrong. Sure it ached, although it was a lot better than it had been 2 days earlier.

From a work point of view, thankfully I was on a course for the latter part of the week which at least gave me a little more space to comprehend the news about my tenant without impacting the work I would otherwise have been doing.

It was only as I drove home that I missed a call from a family member. Having got home and realising they had called again, I picked up the message which was for me to call back ASAP. This is not a usual situation from a family point of view, so I already knew something was the matter. I wasn’t prepared for the news – that a family member had committed suicide that day.

I think by this point in the week I had reached emotional saturation point. Even to this point I haven’t manged to particularly react to this second death; I think the supply of emotions has run dry and needs replenishing before I can even start to grasp what has happened. It certainly hasn’t hit me yet, which something of this enormity would be expected to.

With working all day on the Saturday at least it kept me occupied. In fact I intentionally left my phone at home so that I could not be contacted with any more bad news.

With only having the Sunday off, I was quite looking forward to the race as I’d not had the chance to go out during the week for a run. Unfortunately whilst I was cooped up all day on the Saturday whilst the weather was glorious, the Sunday was a soggy and wet affair in Wrexham, with the only plus point was that the race didn’t start until 10.30am so it wasn’t a crack of dawn start.

Actually I didn’t get into the race for a good few miles. The route itself wasn’t particular scenic, with it winding through various residential and council estates for rather a lot of the time. But I was keeping a decent pace and the terrain was considerably lumpier than I’d anticipated which did make it more interesting.

Unfortunately (a word used a lot in this post) at mile 11 a searing pain went through my left side. As a result all running ceased and I was reduced to a limp. With no marshalls to hand I figured a steady walk/limp back towards the start/finish in the town centre was probably the only option – after all it was only 2 miles away.

As it happened as I got into the final 400m, with crowds of supporters cheering on the race and a couple of high-5s with the children watching, I managed to jog the last bit to get over the line. And amazingly the race photo of me at the end looks like there was nothing the matter at all. Perhaps relief at seeing the end masked the sharp pain that screamed at me whenever my left foot was in contact with the ground.

Wrexham Half Marathon 2015

Wrexham Half Marathon 2015

Normally I look at my race time at the end, but this was not a normal situation. It didn’t help that the clock at the end was measuring the time for the full-marathon also taking place. It was only when TDL sent me my time via text that I saw I managed 1.39.55 which given I wasn’t running the last 2 miles is astounding.

I always hold off writing for a few days if something significant has happened, just to try and get perspective on it. I don’t want to read back raw emotion I’ve experienced, and I’m sure nobody else would wish to do so either. So 3 days after the ‘terribilis sabbati’  I’m sat with my leg elevated, trying to get an appointment with a doctor ahead of seeing the physio tomorrow. My suspicion is that I’ve torn a muscle in my hip area, judging by the bruising that has started to come up but I’ll let an expert eye tell me what’s really going on and let me know how long I’m likely to be out of action for (I’m sure my Wilmslow entry is going to be unused anyway). I’ve not heard about any funeral arrangements as yet although suspect they will follow later next week.

So, would I like to exist in a soap opera world in reality? I think that’s a resounding no.

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