Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Injury Period

Its hard to blog when you have not run for three weeks because not a lot happens in that time, unless you live in my head that is.

Three weeks with no training and I'm not climbing the wall desperate to run. Does this mean I have fallen out of love with running? does it mean I don't care? does it mean I have given up? does it mean I'm a failure? Are these questions fair to ask? Lets see.

Why am I not climbing the wall this time around? The easiest question to answer, Expectation, How can I be expected to run and /or run faster and longer if my body is not one hundred per cent fit to do so, we go back to the London Marathon, that was the day that subconsciously I realized that my body was not fit to do the task in hand, it broke way to early in the race, if I'm totally honest I knew my body would brake down all my long training runs had shown this would happen, what I was expecting was it to brake down so quickly but so much bigger than in training, in all my training runs I was always able to walk it off then run a bit then walk it off. In the marathon it went and I could not run or jog another step BANG gone kaput as you all know I could walk and walk I did to the finish line.

I am now at peace with the London Marathon with my time with crossing the finishing line NO REGRETS any more I completed the London Marathon in Olympic year I am proud of what I achieved on that day. I am a winner.

Who can remember me saying this would be my one and only marathon? I can officially say on this post right now that as long as my injury can be sorted out and I get fixed I will run another marathon in the future, I have to know that my unpublished goals for the marathon whilst not overtly hard. I can do knowing everything that I do now about the the race I know I was on target before my injury kicked in. As the new Darin knowing I was on target is not enough I have to push myself to doing it again for my own peace of mind. I never again want to go through any part of my life with what if's.

Have I fallen out of love with running. I bloody hope not I love the freedom of running I love that you can run on your own or with friends I love that its not always about running P/B's but sometimes just about running, I love that running makes me feel alive I may feel tried after a run but not for long. I love that when I run a race and I check the results I start from the back of the finishers list to find out where I  finished or my time (it's quicker that way) I'm proud to have finished a race I don't care if I'm last I went out and took part that is always the victory if its a good time for me all the better if not I still ran the race and finished.

Do I care. You bet your ass I care, I care very deeply I have spent the last three weeks caring, thinking, working out what will or will not happen. Its because I care that I am not climbing the walls this time about running, its about knowing that something is broke really broke and needs fixing to be able to continue doing what I plan on doing for the rest of my life and that's run until its no longer possible to run.

I am really scared at the moment that my injury won't clear up that I may have to make adjustments maybe only run shorter distances worse case give up running altogether. I'm already thinking about cycle riding  as an alternative should the worse case happen. I think it's natural to think this way especially as I have spent pretty much my entire running career not being one hundred per cent fit.

I have had some major ups and downs during my first year of running as I look back over the last year and taking into account everything I am learning about myself this past three weeks, I think that everything I have achieved is even more remarkable than it was when it happened I just wish I was not as hard on myself when I had bad times just because at the time I had no understanding of my body and its weakness's, now that I do I can look after myself get the required help to fix it and hopefully carry on. I really the love the idea of being able to run pain free in the future now that really would be FREEDOM.

Have I given up. NO I will never give up any more, I will make adjustments as necessary I will always have or find a plan B, I am also aware of how running has brought my attention to my body and how it adapts when put under pressure, by learning different things we can try new things to make it better I will be doing this by very shortly buying new Bare Feet running shoes this seems a perfect fit with my four week injury break to introduce this and I am very excited with the whole idea of going back to beginning of man and the fact they used to hunt for food by running after its prey in bear feet, it never did them any harm. Clearly I have not given up always looking forward to find answers to improve and carry on.

Am I a Failure. How can you fail if you do something that you never did before? I have to say I used to be worried that finishing at the back of the field was considered a failure (A blog about peer pressure and the old Darin to be written one day) I will remind you of the Worthing 20 mile road race.http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=9152129482720036279#editor/target=post;postID=8658592993085402451 This is the one race I did not complete and at the time it caused me a lot pain and turmoil I asked myself many question's about running and putting myself under that much pressure. The one thing I do know is that I still struggle when I put myself or others put me under pressure, I will never not push myself because to beat this is to face it head on with good information and give it a go, never ever give up.

This race whilst not up there at the very top of my achievements is one step below them, it is the most important race I have ever entered, run in my life I suspect it to be the most important race I will ever enter for the rest of my life just because it was the race that I learned about Darin McCloud the person the athlete. I liked what I found to be honest it has helped make me the person I am today writing this blog.

From the jaws of failure comes greatness to those that look for it. You cannot fail for trying something you only fail by doing nothing.

For those people who may read this at the start of your journeys and think why bother it may hurt or I will never be able to do this, I am not the only person to run through the pain barrier my running partner Becca Jones has problems as well so never give up on yourself.

I would also like to mention as the Olympics are on at this time Paula Radcliffe and amazing and truly great British long distance runner who has had the misfortune to pull out due to injury, an injury that may mean she can never run marathons again Paula has stated that she will not announce her retirement she will fight her injury problem and if the worst happens she will carry on running smaller distance's because she is so in love with the freedom that being out there gives you. Injuries happen to fun runners like us and also to professional runners like Paula. Never ever Give up. 

The other important thing I need to add to this blog is that over the last three weeks with no training I have become more tired I have slept in the afternoons after an early shift (I never had a sleep in the afternoons since training started)  So one of the effects of training is to help you to be more awake, more alert, more alive. I need to train again and very soon I need the structure that is training because I need the drug that is LIFE. But only when I'm told will I start training again and not before.


  1. "Becca Jones has problems as well" - Love it!

    Great post and it's brilliant that you've had the time to reflect and are seeing all this in a positive light. You won't have fallen out of love with running but getting back into it might feel frustrating - I've experienced a dip in my cardio fitness so don't be surprised if it's the same for you.

    But - it's a perfect time to get into barefoot or minimilist running. Personally if you've not already bought them I'd go minimilist rather than totally barefoot first. It's quite a big jump to go from big Brooks to totally barefoot and October isn't far away really. I love my minimilist trainers but it's taken a couple of weeks to break them in and get my calves and achillies used to them.

    I have everything crossed that your chiropractor will be able to fix you. They are magic in my experience. I'm sure you'll be back running before you know it

    Becca xx

  2. Thanks Becca I have already tried minimalist shoes on and they are the way to go I have had my eye on these bad boys. http://www.runnersneed.com/nike-men's-free-4.0-v2/natural-/-barefoot-shoes/running-specialists/fcp-product/3357 Hopefully after Saturday I will be able to start running I will go and buy them then I don't want to go and get them run on a tread mill and do myself any harm. It will be hard running again with the cardio down at least I won't push myself by running to far with the new shoes the timing is just right always a good sign.

  3. Another lovely blog to read Darin - and the writing in this one shows a very different you to the ones I've read before. There is an excitement about your future that is infectious.

    I agree on the energy thing. When the little one was up through the night lots, I had a choice to catch a sneaky nap or to run. The only thing that has ever given me enough energy to get through my day, no matter how tired I was, was to choose the running option.

    Now I am no running evangelist, but I would say to anyone, given the choice of doing nothing or moving - be it walking, jogging or running, you will never regret choosing to move and you will often regret choosing to do nothing!