This wasn’t the way I wanted to start a marathon or finish 2017 but a step in the right direction. Most of you will know I have had a battle with Glandular fever which truth be told probably started mid-December but wasn’t diagnosed until my wobble and DNF in Seville February 2017.
Since then its been a battle with acceptance and also grit and determination to overcome what I have felt my biggest demon ” REST”. So, in essence, to cut a long story short its been a roller coaster of DNS and DNF’s all through the year and do something that nearly had my quit competitive running and reduced me to tears.
I had therefore written off the year of racing and done a few less stressful ” team events” to build up and being the headstrong person I am refused to let ” Valencia” drop off the calendar despite recommendation wanted to complete.
Slight problem another challenge… 1.5 weeks out I saw the sign of a virus (not a hypochondriac) and resulted in bed rest for a few nights/days off running but seemed to improve but by last weekend was in a terrible state and feverish which scared me to believe ” GF is back and with vengeance”, Having had stomach cramping and unable to run from Sunday to Wednesday I was close to withdrawing and to draw a line in the sand as of Friday 17th. Somehow I got off her death bed still not 100% and squeezed in from Thursday 3 days worth of eating carbs in the hope it may salvage something.
Onto the race still feeling dizzy light headed Friday improving each day I had made the decision to get to the startline and still in the front section and run a different race…. This was going to be hard for me, no gels, no funny race pre-nerve antics!
I had to run fast at the start with a very strong field of Kenyan’s and international athletes and 20,000+ other runners the only way was forward and fast. Barely taking my heart rate over 130 bpm I just ran how I felt, treating almost like a sunday run without pressure, couldn’t believe I even had this in me and time to ” high five!”. Although I hit halfway at 1.24 it was due to a fast first few miles but my goal was sub 3hrs and I didnt care as long as it was a decent pace still. What I do know is that its more congested some 10 + mins down from my usual and it motivated me in the future to run faster and I know I can. The clock finished on 2hrs 56.00 and I kept the pace steady to the end. this is my slowest in some years but the emotional journey of this year, the satisfaction of completing and not DNf’ing was worth any win. It felt like I had won and walked away not hobbling or as if I had run 26.2 miles, if only every post race could feel that way !
Onwards and upwards and advice would always be, there is always a comeback, don’t be despondent for long! What Glandular has taught me is never abuse your body and reminds me a few days rest or backing off isnt a bad thing.