Friday, 6 July 2012

Injuries and Niggles

I'm sorry for not blogging before now I have struggled mentally to handle this phase of my journey, I have for the first time since I started my journey made a decision to not blog after my last race as I struggled for inspiration to write in the blog, I also felt I needed to find some answer's for myself and also balance spending some quality time with Hazel rather than being on the computer most of the time. (just writing this blog will take hours) I had also spoke with my parents and they were concerned I had not blogged as well.

Lets just go back to Sunday 10th June 2012 and my first international run and also representing Portsmouth City Council I am proud and passionate about my home City so I was pretty pumped about running this event. This is the link to the run and my thought's of the day.
my notes are honest and true and meant at that time, But I have to admit to being really disappointed about that run, not about the time or the weather or injury or any other reason but with the inner Darin the one that spoke the loudest and stopped me running to my full potential, only running for one mile was poor by any standards even on a bad running day. I wish I could now write a paragraph about how great I feel and how much I have learnt from that day but I can't. More on why not later in the blog. I have taken the positives out of the day I'm just not jumping up and down about it just yet. 

Since the 8th June 2012 I have only ran three times, one race and two training runs this is my last training run before the Caen race. I have just read it back and the last sentence horrifies me, how can I be so stupid and deluded to think like that, where did my common sense go "I will take a week off running but I will do boot camp"!!!! Really. Tracey Cox I am so sorry to have let you down, I give you all the advice that I have learnt over the last year you ask me questions then say Why! and I explain the reasons for doing things in a certain way so you can make good choices. I not only go and do the opposite but write about it without realizing or looking back to see what happened and learn from it.  

I have done six Boot Camp sessions since the 8th June 2012 As I am writing this blog and looking at my training log its hitting home just how far I have fallen my from journey plan. I am at this very moment feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and downright bloody stupid. When did I start to think it will be acceptable to not run because I have an injury I do not understand, but I can/will still do Boot Camp (here's the truth coming to hit me full on in the face)  because I have paid for the Boot Camp session's so I will do them. REALLY!!!! Someone kick me up the backside now. (in a month or so times would be better!) Whilst my Boot Camp training is new the other reason for going is that I have fallen in love with them, I have seen some good progress and I want to continue doing them even in the rain!, I honestly thought I would do this for a while and stop and find something else to do just because at school and still now I was/am not that good at some of the exercise's, as an adult/athlete I understand the benefits of pushing ones self to improve, to say I'm shocked by this is an understatement.

I feel the need to write this paragraph not to justify myself but to unload and hopefully move on. Money. I freak out about money I am way better than I used to be Hazel can testify to that one. Whilst I am not tight I look for value for money like why pay for a gym monthly get tied in for ages and then never go (just one example) Having saved a fortune on food since I started Thinking Slimmer I want to put that money to good use which I have by buying running kit in sales etc Running shoes buy the best your feet need them. And entering races. In general Hazel and I get by we have a little for emergency's but we have to make decisions  about were are money goes. I am aware of that and we had a major chat about me seeing a Chiropractor because it only benefits me and that worries me a lot, to be fair to Hazel it only cost me £49 for her to get a new mobile phone whilst I spend a few hundred pounds getting better lol. In all seriousness here lies the crux of the problem I have known for a long time I needed to see a Chiropractor but was unwilling to do so because of the cost hence making the problem worse and Hazel being annoyed with me for being stupid (and she wanted a new phone!) I hope to learn from this episode and move on this has clearly been a mental block that has stopped me making the correct choices at the right times and I have clearly suffered for it now. 

So I have an injury that is like a trapped nerve I take pain killers and think it will go away, I take more pain killers and still it does not go away I know that going to the Doctors may not solve the problem. I am also very well aware of my friend and running partner Becca Jones who has been seeing  her Chiropractor since last year and all the good work he has done for Becca. Yet it takes me to wait for a Groupon deal to turn up to get me to do the right thing and see someone who can help me (see above paragraph for reason's) I make the appointment have the first consultation which is basically me telling Chris (My Chiropractor) what's wrong with me what I have done or not done about it, feeling more stupid as the realization hits home the more the words slip out of my mouth, I also have two x-rays done. I go back two days later for the results and treatment plan.

We start with the X-rays and a skeleton of the spine and hips, the good news is all is good which was a worry after years of abusing my body only one of the bones is slightly worn down and is of no major concern  I get a brief run down and I am happy with the information I am given. My hip is high on the left hand side and is basically the reason why I have had the problems with my left leg, this also explains why I have had problems with my calf's and predominantly on my left side also all my massage sessions when my left leg was always worse than the right (I can see the light bulb above my head flickering) My bones our stiff in three places in the neck this is why I have been getting major headaches for the first time in my life? in the lower spine where all my problems are at the moment and my hips are also stiff. (now the light bulb is shinning brightly) All my problems since I started training/running boil down to this moment, I had help from Becca but I choose not to go down that road until my body broke down. This answer's so many question's that I having been asking recently that I could not find or see. 

The Biggest question of all was Why did the marathon not go to plan? how did it fail so badly? I have trained so hard for the marathon why why why??? Today the answer is in front of me staring me the face as I write this blog. Yes I trained very hard and I should be so very proud of myself on that front I did all that I could do and by finishing the marathon this was proved. But I ignored my body and all the danger signals that it kept sending out, my going to have leg massage's were only masking the problem not making it better.(I will still have massage's but will expect different results from them in the future.) 

Becca I am so sorry that I did this so wrong that I was so naive or scared to find the answer before the marathon, that it has taken until now to find the answer, at least I never stopped looking for the answer which is good, now that I have I can truly come to terms with the failure of that day and move on to be a better runner and running partner who can carry on loving the sport and encourage, inspire and help others to enjoy being fit and healthy. You are right Becca I would have and will if needed do exactly the same for you without hesitation.   

So now the bad news because I have not done things correctly I now have to suffer, the price I have to pay is very steep, no running/training for a minimum of one month. I know this is going to hurt and frustrate me on the plus side I now know that when this works and I am fixed and with regular checks ups in the future I will be able to run and train with the freedom I have not been able to do for a very long time. Chris has allowed me to the British 10k this Sunday the 8th July 2012 I am so grateful for this and it will help me through the tough times when I want to run and I know I can not. I will take this time to go back to basic's as I have another issue that will come to light now. Eating, I clearly eat enough food for my training and I clearly have been eating a little too much recently with not really running, this show's I have to from today reevaluate how much food I need to eat and to a lesser but still important point what type of food it is, as I will not be doing any exercise I will be listening to my slimpod every day without fail to help me achieve this goal. 

The treatment will last nearly 3 months to start with so this is not a easy fix but a proper long term fix. 

The positives to take out of the last couple of months are that if you keep asking yourself questions you will always find answers, that some questions are harder to find the right answers to than others, that trying something new like (boot camp) and struggling with an injury that its ok to stop take the time to recover and then start again. (Its not a failure) And the biggest positive of all for me is to get myself injury free and back to doing what I truly love to do, Running. I think there is a clear link between my last blog and this blog that answer's so many if not all of the questions posed and I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. 

To recap in One Year I have ran and finished a 10 mile race (GSR) a half marathon (Brighton) a full marathon (London)  inc in two days time three 10k race's (Marwell) (Caen, France) (British 10k London) and lastly I ran in a 20 mile race (Worthing) and failed to finish but still completed 10 miles.;postID=8658592993085402451  The realization that most of this has been done whilst not 100% fit show's just how far I have come on my journey from 21 stone  lazy person to this point in my unfinished journey and also show's how resilient our bodies really are when they are pushed, far tougher than I ever thought possible. After today when I read back on my blogs and my running records I will take the happy memories that come with them and look at all the disappointing things of those runs in a very different light. Today is another eureka day when the enormity of what I have learnt really hits home. 

I am really looking forward to Sundays British 10k fresh in the knowledge that all I have to do is enjoy the day the wonderful surroundings and sights of London and the victory is crossing the finish line when I get there. That will be the difference between my last 10k and this I will have no baggage or expectations hanging over me which is a shame because the Caen 10k was a lovely route. Saying that and meaning that has been very difficult in the past as its only natural we want to be better or faster then we were yesterday, it's just not always possible, so enjoying the run is the victory every single time. 

I would like to thank my parents for mentioning that I had not blogged for a while and was I ok.  I was ok I was just looking for answer's in the wrong place and it took a little time to find to find the right place. And to Tracey Cox Thank You for noticing I was a little quite and messaging me to say so and check I was ok those chats were good and made me realize I needed to find answer's in a different place to where I was looking. For allowing me to mentor you the past 10 weeks in the build up to your very first race, in just over a weeks time, the race for life 5k I have so loved helping you watching you grow in 10 short weeks to go from not being able to run at all to making decisions that are right for you (except about resting and overdoing it!) One whole month your moaning about a couple of days lol. Remember the goal to be able to not walk the whole 5k You are so ready for this I am so proud of you. Get out there enjoy the day and the occasion, then we prepare for the Great South Run I cannot wait for that this year, Just look back at how far you have come in such a short space of time it really is possible.  


  1. Darin, i love you to bits and had a tear in my eye reading the end of your blog. Just as my journey is ongoing, so is yours and you must remember 'there is no failure, only feedback', just as i have learned a lesson about not over-doing training this week, you have also learned not to ignore your injuries (because like me you're too bloody stubborn to admit defeat! lol) I know how frustrated you will be not training, but look at this as a time to re-evaluate and take some time out for you and Hazel so that in a months time you're all sorted and raring to go again. (easier said than done i know!) I'm so proud to say i know you and so proud to have you as my running mentor (even if you do give me advice you don't take yourself! (*slaps you round the back of the head*! lol) *hugs* xxxx

  2. This is the most eloquent and self aware blog post I have read from you Darin - it shows how far you have come on your journey that you can write this way. Sometimes we learn the most from our most difficult patches. After all, those who have everything as plain sailing lack the resilience of someone like you.

    And I suspect you are worried that you are almost a "fraud" when you are helping people so much with their own journeys. But you know, we're not inspired by someone who just does things with no problems. True inspiration comes from seeing someone overcome significant struggles and come out of the other side having learnt some (Sometimes tough) lessons. It makes us think 'if they can do this, then maybe I can too'. You are a huge inspiration because of the way you deal with the hard times. Bravery is not being faced with something and not being afraid, bravery is being afraid but pushing through and carrying on.

    I think it was Becca that said those elite marathon runners who do it in 3 hours or so are wusses. We can run for nearly 6.5 hours - that makes us way tougher than them!

    Inspiration isn't about our story, it's about the way we deal with it...

  3. Oh and no day when you go running is a failure. You got up, you ran, you've made some mistakes, you've learnt from them. I see no failure in that. x (isn't that what you told me?!)