Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Day the Porta-Loos Made Me Cry

I made quite a spectacle of myself in Greenwich Park on Friday. I was trying to not pay too much attention to the excruciating pain emanating from my hip when I spotted them: The Porta-Loos for the Marathon.

"They set them up already?" I thought to myself. "Is the race really that soon?" Then I started to cry. I tried to pull myself together, but then I started to cry even harder. Luckily, everyone around me was wrapped up in Spring hoopla, so no one noticed me. I finally got it together and started to limp down the hill.

Now anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not really the crying type. I didn't even cry at my own wedding, for goodness sake. I think my reaction was along the lines of "Oh, F***! This is really going to happen, isn't it?" rather than a reflection of how I think the Porta-Loos sully the beautiful Royal Park that is my family's playground. It didn't help that at that moment I was having a difficult time running without grimacing and/or swearing, due to my hip.

The hip problem is a new and unwelcome development. In the past six months training for the race, one part of my body from my head to my toes has been sore every day. I've suffered from headache, sunburn, chest problems, stomach ailments, sore thighs, dodgy knees, aching Achilles tendon and black toenails. But I've been lucky in that none of those ailments lingered for more than a day or two (or I got used to the pain).

The one thing I've been most concerned about while training is avoiding injury. It seems as though everyone else I know planning to run has been beset by a major ailment. I really counted myself lucky that I was able to stay relatively injury free. Until Friday. My hip started to hurt in the last miles of my 20-mile run last weekend, but I didn't think much of it until I was finishing up my workout on Friday and it suddenly became painful to walk, let alone run.

I have been religiously icing it ever since. I skipped my planned 11-mile run today, given that I ran about 10 steps before the pain became excruciating, and I know at this point rest is more important that miles. I'm still sure that I'll be at the start line IN TWO WEEKS!!!! (yes, I'm shouting, but at least I'm not crying at the sight of some Loos in the park).

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