One week to Race Day: My Tale of Woe

Preface: 11 days have passed since my toe fracture and I have been a-ok for most part. Never really dwelled on Raceday -I just imagined that something will happen and I will run fine- maybe a tad slower but without any major stress.
Part A: The Pall of Gloom

6 am: It is more than a hairline fracture, and it has just begun to heal. A fracture needs 6 weeks and it will only be 3! What if I dislocate it again!!??
7 am: During the usual strength session bechara Lokesh felt my wrath, “No, I will not do the chest press. No upper body. It’s useless! We do core!! ” Poor guy- didn’t stand a chance- had to acquiesce.
8.30 am: The Beginning: What if I cannot complete the race? What if I damage my toe further? These doubts marked the loss of faith in myself and the healing process.
12 noon: I was in the Abyss of Despair, and decided to sit with my sadness and grieve the loss of my sub-4 marathon training, a sub-par race and welcome the prospect of a DNF.
4 pm: The Realisation (?) : It is an ego game a I am being foolish. It doesn’t matter to anyone except for me and I should let it go.
But, I couldn’t. I continued to wallow, expressing my frustration with all who were willing (or unwilling and were bullied) to listen, feeling the futility of doing “cardio”
9 pm: The Rebellion: I finally consoled myself by having a large piece of cake while watching a terrible TV (breaking my no sugar-until-race rule!)
My spirit was at its lowest and the darkness only grew.

Sunday 6.30 am: What would have been my brightest Sunday morn, was a grey haze. A dark cloud, deepening and widening.

A recollection of the nightmare multiplied the despair, that I was late for my race, that I had forgotten my nutrition belt and that I could not find the start line. Doomsday is upon me.

Part B: The Slap

7 am: The Conversation with Sukhpreet
Me: (in a whiny voice) Even going to the gym seems pointless. I am going to run slowly, so what difference does any work make now?
She: (a little irritated) What is wrong with you?
Me: (continuing) I am sick of this dumb “cardio”- I just want to run.
She: (yet in a gentle voice) But cardio is important na…
Me: But how will help me in race? Nothing I do now can repair my toe!
She: (pissed off) Race! Race! Race! You are obsessing about that one day…but think about your Journey. You’ve had a superb training block, a lot of fun with your boys and see how fit you’ve become! Your blood work is great and you are complaining!!?
Me: (Stunned silence)
She: What about all your gyaan about enjoying the process and blah blah?
Me: (sheepishly): Hmmmm
She: (same mom-tone) And your holiday after the race? 15 days vs the one raceday!!
Me: (Small voice): Ya
She: (Relentless): And then? Will there be other races or not? Or it is Doomsday? the world is ending?
Me: Arre but
She: (full impact now) Are what but? Worse things have happened na? You have to only run a little slower, that’s all- it can’t be that bad! If the pain comes then DNF or walk and enjoy London- what is the big deal? You have a 15-day vacation after! Look at the trip in its entirety.
Me: Ya, true that.
She: (softening, finally): Of course you are upset. But it is ok na. This is an accident. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. You missed Bombay marathon last year, but you ran it this year na, so you can run London again if it means so much to you. Where is going?
Me: (waking up, finally): Yes, I have been really really lucky. Racing until now without any major mishaps has been a privilege. I should be grateful.

Part C:
London Marathon 2024
A Goal: Complete the Race
B Goal: DNF, when the pain begins.

A quote that we all know:
“The miracle is not that I finished, but that I had the courage to start.”

~ John Bingham, 1999

Thank you all for support, encouragement, admonishments and love!



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