I'm not bitter, oh no. I am furious and resigned and tearful at the same time as trying to be patient and grown up about it all - and failing.
According to my googling I have a grade 2 calf strain which requires RICE for about a week and then a few weeks before even starting to run, but I will get it confirmed by the physio tomorrow.
How did this happen, you ask......
'Twas Christmas Eve at the Northrops. The tinsel sparkled, fairy lights twinkled, reflected in the polished tables and floors. The clothes hung freshly washed and ironed in the cupboards and the smell of mulled wine floated through the house. I had just changed into my running gear for a short easy run when the phone went. As I skipped down stairs to answer it, something in my calf went ping. That horrid ping that you know is something really, really not good. Like that crunch you get when the car collides with metal. For a split second you hope it's not really happened, you try it again. It still hurts and you know it's not your imagination. You have an injury.
The rest is tediously predictable but essential. Off with the running gear and on with the ice pack, in with the ibuprofen and up with the elevated leg. Apart from limping round the kitchen, that's been me more or less for the past few days - sitting and waiting to get better.
I know that there's nothing I can do if I want to get fit enough to even think about a marathon, but I am getting ready. I am prepared to postpone my marathon if I have to. A weekend in Barcelona is not a hardship and everything happens for a reason. I'm also ready to lower my goals and go back to just focussing on getting round in one piece, if I'm lucky enough to run at all. In a way, it's easier because I have no choice - I can't run. It's pretty clear that anything more than a hobble makes it worse, I am not being a wimp and to run would be plain stupid.
The post mortem is postponed til I can talk to the physio, but of course I am trying to understand why this happened. Of all the bits of me I worried about, I've never even had a twinge in my calf. I'd been listening to my body after @nuuutymel and @santababy reminded me that it's not just about Garmins and numbers, so I was paying attention and not working against myself. I stretch religiously and do calf raises regularly and work on core strength most days. I even 'rest'. And to think I worried about my toenails falling off!
Did I push too hard too soon? I had just done a slow 14 miles the day before, but I added a few hills, and there was a headwind and mud - was it too much? I'd done 13.5m the week before and had gone slowly so surely that was within the rules and I felt fine when I finished. Did I over do it? Did I do too many long runs on the trot? Is it because I couldn't slow down enough? Am I just unlucky or weak or stupid or just not up to running a marathon? Was I too confident or arrogant? Is it the revenge of the mouse! I'll have to wait and see.
I can feel already the doubt setting in and the negativity and that's a bigger risk than the injury itself. I know from my Twitter chums that coping with injury is hard and can be immensely testing and frustrating. If I can be a fraction as dignified and patient as @DunsRunner I'll get through it. If I can have the courage and honesty of @Rhinomittens I can cope with what might lie ahead. Already I've been getting lots of tweety help and support to get me through. Massive thank yous to @RunningJoelnJax, @Canteenrun, @MsClareSmith @Pyllon and @DiminutiveRunr for advice, sympathy and cheering me on. Thanks guys, I just hope I never ever have to return the favour!
I know it will be okay. I have seen many tweeps who have gone through injury and out the other side victorious. I know this too will pass and I will be fine. This is not serious in any meaningful sense of the word. BUT.......
So dear reader, we await the next chapter. Is this the end of my dream of running my first marathon in 2012 or just a hiccup along the way? I don't know yet ("wipes a tear from the keyboard and smiles bravely through the tears"). Whatever happens I will achieve something in 2012, I just need to wait a little while to work out what I'm aiming at and when.
In the meantime, I am blessed with the company of great friends and family and festive cheer. Fliss and Terry last night. Sue and Ed today and the family arrive en masse to see us and Mum tomorrow. On the downside, I have put on a few pounds and developed a serious Stramash habit. Oh well, at least I still win at Uno!
This is the last blog of 2011. Thank you to everyone who's commented, encouraged, advised, commiserated, amused and just been you! I really appreciate every tweet and comment.
Wherever you are, whatever you're up to, may you stay fit and healthy and happy and loved.
Have a great New Year when it comes!