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crutchesYou would think after last year, when I said I was ready for London and patently wasn’t, that I would have learned to keep my race hopes to myself rather than being quite so public about them. Turns out I am not ready for Palestine, after all. I have a stress fracture in my right tibia, and now I have a boot and crutches to play with. I won’t be going to Palestine at all now, because much as I would have loved to watch the race from a table outside a cafe, drinking mint lemonade and cheering people on, I was the trip leader and would have needed to do huge amounts of walking over the five days we would be there. I am a complete novice at using crutches and I’m wobbling about at snail’s pace. I need to get into work tomorrow, and have been exploring bus and tube routes in my head, trying to work out which will minimise the number of steps I need to take. It’s a salutary reminder of what many people have to cope with every day, negotiating a transport system with limited mobility.

My training this time hasn’t been higher mileage or any more intense than previous years, so it seems strange that it should break me. Apparently, cancer treatment can affect your bones so I need to have a bone mineral density scan to see what is happening out of sight within my skeleton. I am trying not to catastrophise and to wait for a verdict from someone who knows what they are talking about. It’s frustrating to have to cancel running plans but I’ve been here before.

After I wrote about being high maintenance, Nigel responded with some wise words about adapting to being an older runner: ‘an interesting ‘coping mechanism’ is to embrace variety. …sometimes in the great journey of life I think it pays to bag the medal and the memory and move on.’ So I’m calling time on my Palestine marathon attempts. I’m still captivated by the people and the place, and hope to go back another time, but not to run 26.2 miles. Time to move on.

6 thoughts on “Fractured

  1. I’m sorry to hear this! From reading/following you, I know the race, place, and people are important to you. Hope you get some answers via the scan and that everything can be addressed or managed.

    Nigel seems quite wise. It’s tough for older runners, both physically and mentally/emotionally – especially for those of us who have had/are having health challenges…which is most all eventually! What’s the saying, “aging is not for sissies”. At least we’re still here to be able to have the struggle at all.

    I read an interesting book recently, Run Strong Stay Hungry by Jonathan Beverly (it’s out in the US now) in which he speaks to older professional and “regular” runners about their longevity in the sport and draws lessons and tips from them. One thing I have latched onto is “trample the past” – look away from PBs and other accomplishments that simply are not going to be bettered at this point, find new challenges, look forward, and do the best you can with the body and time you have now. I’m trying to do that, every day, though some days it’s harder than others. Grateful for what I can still do in running and hoping to continue for a very long time. I hope it for you too.

  2. So sorry to see this Jenny – We know how much you would have loved to have run the marathon in Palestine again. But as you suggest – the place and the people leave a lasting impression and I’m sure we will also return . Thank you so much for leading us so brilliantly last year. With love and best wishes for a speedy recovery – and happy cycling! Paul & Sarah

  3. Aggghhhh! So frustrating. Hopefully just ‘one of those things’ but let us know if it is anything more serious.

  4. Aw Jenny I’m so sorry to hear you’ve got a fracture 😦 If it’s not one thing it’s another! I ended up with plantar faciitis so haven’t been out running since October. Breast care nurse suggested taking up a weight lifting class to help muscle and bones. It’s not the sort of training I’ve ever done before but actually am really enjoying it. Osteoporosis – no thanks! I hope the scan shows favourable results.

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