It was not due to lack of training, I have clocked up over 400 miles this year already. It was not the toughness of the course, there were hills, but compared to the Blackhill Bounders runs on a Tuesday night around Consett, it was flat. Best described as an undulating course. It was also not down to the weather, nice sea breeze, dry and slightly overcast, almost perfect running weather
In short it was down to my broken body, or more specifically my back. I injured it on 15th December 1991 getting out of a truck, well actually cracking 2 ribs on the steering wheel, cracking my shoulder blade and hurting my back on the passenger seat, before getting thrown onto the road through the windscreen as the truck gracefully rolled into a ditch. I have long since learned to manage it and through regular visits to Stephen Henderson at the Osteopath Centre on the Team Valley it hasn't been an issue for as long as I can remember.
So Saturday morning I wake up in pain, I have no clue why, normally it is caused by straining it lifting something, but this time it just decided to catch me by surprise. (Victoria thinks it is because I haven't had a drink for 5 days!). I got through the journey to the Isle of Man with plenty of pain killers and to be honest this morning I had pain, but it wasn't to bad.
So 9:30 we start and within half a mile I was in bother. When my back goes the muscles around my spine go into spasm to compensate, and my spine develops a convincing question mark shape! It was also starting to go very wrong. In the first 2 miles I had to briefly stop twice as the muscles spasms extended to my left leg, then it really hit me, fortunately next to a very nicely manicured lawn which when my left leg stopped working I gracefully fell onto, much to the shock of other runners. These 3 occasions proved to be the only times I stopped running for the entire race.
I kept running/jogging with the odd stumble due to left leg ignoring the simple run instruction issued by my brain. At 4 miles the pain killers kicked in and I managed to keep a steady pace with only the odd stumble through to the end.
My official time was 2:14:01 which isn't brilliant but it is a time. There was almost a tear of relief at the end. Tomorrow will be spent getting my back repositioned in the correct place.
They say no pain no gain. Hopefully my pain will be Willow Burns gain. I could have given up but that would have been a failure at the first hurdle. I have got a couple of contingency races up my sleeve in case of flight cancellation or injury, but I certainly wasn't going to use my joker so early.
4 weeks now to recover before Glasgow!!!