For the last ten years, I’ve been on the receiving end of lower back pain, courtesy of two stress fractures and a bulging disk. It’s an injury that’s ended my tennis career twice (the first time sheer stubbornness and willpower brought me out of retirement, but it was short lived). It’s a problem that has limited my ability to do a lot of things, and now, four weeks from the marathon, it’s reared its ugly head once more.
I should preface this with saying that I have quite a high pain threshold. I’m not the type of person to stop at the first sign of a twinge. In fact, I played an entire season of tennis with a broken wrist. And, if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you that I have repeatedly assured them that giving birth is easy – so things have to be pretty bad to get me complaining.
Anyway, back to this marathon versus back pain. The long and short of it is that I am finding the training a genuine struggle at this point. It hurts. It really hurts.
Not only that, but I’m uncomfortable for days after the long run. Monday to Thursday has been spent hunched over and permanently attached to a hot water bottle for the last few weeks. I struggle to sleep properly, I can’t lift my daughter up, I can’t sit or stand for long periods of time and running is definitely a grin-and-bear-it activity.
The training accumulation is very real at this point. My legs are heavy, the stride is shuffly, and the back pain is nothing short of horrendous.
I’m sure that there is many a runner out there floating on air as London looms. In fact, my Instagram is full of them, all smiles at mile twenty. Kudos to you, ladies, because that’s truly amazing. But, I am not one of those women. I’m leading the rally cry for the hunched over women at the back, shuffling and eating eight million jelly babies. I’m here to tell you the end is in sight, the taper is near!
Do you hear me back pain? Do your worst, I’ve got one more grueling long run and then two easier weeks before race day, and I am certainly not going to let a small thing like pain, lack of sleep and general irritability get in the way. No sirree. I might be a broken woman, but lookout London, I’m coming for you.