Neesha takes on the London Marathon for SSAFA
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"The finish line is in sight…
So here I am four weeks before the marathon and it's been a great journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
During my training at the start of Jan all was going well - I was feeling strong, the miles were clocking up and in fact I was slightly ahead of the training programme. My next challenge was to survive a ski holiday I had coming up at the end of Jan -to say I was paranoid was an understatement. The ski holiday had been booked long in advance of me getting my marathon place and had I known at the time of booking I would later go on to be offered a marathon place I probably wouldn't have opted to throw myself down the side of a mountain on skis.
So with much caution I went skiing and survived! My first run after returning home was good and in fact felt the week off of running had done me well. Unfortunately the following day whilst walking (yes walking) I had terrible pain in my foot. I managed to get an appointment with a local physio within a few days as I was unable to walk without limping and the thought of running, well there was no thought of running –it was just not going to happen. It transpired that the injury in my foot was a strain which was actually the result of a strain in my calf! Physio's advice "no running until you can walk pain free".
As you can imagine my heart sank and all I could think about was getting back to running and how long I was going to be out of action for. Well the answer to that was just over a month! Gutted was the word probably best to describe how I felt and it took lots of reassurance from family and friends that in the grand scheme of things I was still early in the programme and I would have time to catch up. In order to keep up my fitness up I continued going to the gym and used the cross trainer in place of running. I was having weekly sessions with the physio to iron out (obviously not literally) the strain in my calf and to give me leg strengthening exercises to help with my recovery and prevent further injury.
When I finally got the all clear from the physio to start running again (which felt like forever) naturally I was apprehensive! What if I can't run anymore, what if I re-injure myself, what if it's still too painful and I need more time off … there were lots of what if's! But with no time like the present and positive thinking I went back to basics and started off with just a 4 mile run. Well I did it, I was probably hypersensitive to everything my body was feeling but all in all it was ok. So by the end of that week I was back up to 10 mile runs, which I intended to gradually increase. I so desperately wanted to be back to where I should have been in the training programme, but I had to put that thought to one side otherwise there was the risk of re-injury.
Over the next two weeks I managed to clock the miles up and I was embarking on my longest run to date... 16 miles. Again I did it and although I felt I had to dig deep for the last couple of miles I was just pleased I had done it.
In the weeks that followed I increased my long runs each weekend by a couple of miles which culminated in my run last weekend being the longest one in training... 22 miles!! The build up to the long runs over the last few weekends haven't been plain sailing, as I suffered with a niggle in my hip and groin. As a result I sacrificed a lot of my runs during the week in order to be somewhat rested for the longer ones as I deemed it more important to get the miles in my legs.
Well after all that it seems to have all come together - So with my final big run in the bag it's time to start tapering and get the rest my body needs before the big day."