With 5 days to go until the 2017 Comrades Marathon I have had to make one of the hardest decisions ever to not run this year’s race for my back-to-back medal. It is so disappointing as I have put in a lot of time and effort to overcome injuries and still manage to get the mileage in but unfortunately last month my right ITB started to play up to the point the pain was so sore I literally could not run or walk properly for over a week.
After four weeks of visiting my physiotherapist, deciding to go for a cortisone injection and starting to work with a biokineticist I am still not able to run 100% pain-free for 35 minutes. It has been some of the hardest few weeks for me mentally as I am not one to quit on chasing my goals but I have got to the point that I must listen to my body and just focus on getting better as priority.
Some people have asked me “why not just start the race and see what happens on the day?” but although this is tempting it is just not worth it in the long run as I can’t afford to make it worse at this point especially as I plan to start trail running training in the next few months with the end goal to complete the 100km SkyRun in November.
I have been utterly bleak and down the past few weeks and I have felt very bad for my husband and family who have all had to deal with my disappointment. Last week Friday I finally started to see the light again after being a very dark, black hole of unhappiness where I came to the realization that I just need to re-focus my mind on the good things in my life (outside of running and Comrades).
To try keep some fitness up during this recovery period I have also dusted off my mountain bike and started riding again. Thankfully my knee and ITB seem to be ok when I ride. It has really been so enjoyable to cruise up and down my old MTB routes along the Braamfontein Spruit. Although my technical skills are not what they used to be I know the more you ride the better and more confident you feel on the bike. For now I will continue to work with the physio and biokineticist to get me back running on the road/trails as soon as possible but until then I think I will spend a bit more time having fun riding my mountain bike.
I will still be going down to Comrades as I am working at the Garmin stand at the expo. I will also be helping at my running club EasyEquities Born2Run’s first water table on race day.
To all those friends and colleagues that I know running on Sunday, you’ve all done the necessary training so just go out there and enjoy every minute of the Ultimate Human Race! I will definitely be back in the future to complete the Comrades Up Run as a stronger and more determined runner.