Staring up at the clinical bright white light above my head I was surprisingly relaxed chatting away, excited about my upcoming race that weekend. I was looking forward to the Coniston 14 for so many reasons not least as a marker to see where my running fitness was after several months of working hard.
The Hazel brown eyes blinked and listened politely as I waffled on and then I noticed them widen into a stare just above the duck egg blue clinical mask. “I’m sorry Andrew but there is no way you will be physically capable of running 14 miles this weekend.” And in the blink of a surgeons eye, the man smiling at me about to cut me open with a scalpel ended my pre-ultra racing schedule.
Electing to have the short notice ( told Monday, operated Wednesday ) groin operation without a general anaesthetic had been entirely so I could race that weekend. Some part of my thick skull had convinced myself that I would be ok to run a hilly 14 miles with 6 stitches in my groin – what the hell was I thinking ! – suddenly I now wanted the drugs but it was too late.
In total I missed three vital weeks of training, the Coniston 14 and the Liverpool Half marathon. It was so painful to just walk for 2 weeks, there was no way I could attempt to run.
That first run back, 20 very nervous minutes I was like Bambi on ice. Each step was uncomfortable, I could feel the stitches rubbing but I could deal with it. It felt good to be plodding again.
I’m now 4 weeks out from my 50km race, the Meridian Ultra. Physically I feel underprepared, although the reality is I’m good, I’m excited and mentally I’m toughening myself up. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be uncomfortable but so it bloody should do it’s 31 miles of running. It’s not a walk in the park. My coach Gobi has been very patient and as readjusted the plan to take me right up to race day. It’s about survival and getting the job done. Next time I’ll be quicker 😉
So I may have dropped a bollock in the build up but come race day I’ll be growing a pair and chasing the goal that I set myself.