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Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
When I started this blog, it was to track my progress from an occasional kayaker to taking on the Devizes to Westminster non stop 125 race. Little did I know that would start me on a long distance obsession which has resulted in my completing the 30th Marathon des Sables. It has been a strange and sometimes painful ... but always wonderfully challenging journey

This is my occasional account of a middle-age mother's attempt to take on things which are really quite beyond her.

6 months of training, 1 fall and it's all over before it began

crawlingkiwiby crawlingkiwiApr 5th 2012
It's just a day before the start of the race which has occupied my every waking moment for the past few weeks and every training session for the past 6 months. But I'll no longer be on the start line.

It has been a tricky couple of weeks. I was trying to open my loft hatch when it swung down and hit the end of my thumb, pushing the joint back into my hand. For a canoeist, this is not a good injury and when it only became worse after a week, I went to the hospital to get it x-rayed. It wasn't broken, but there was some quite bad tendon damage. It takes more than a sore thumb to put me off, so with a newly acquired brace to imobilise my thumb I was soon back in a boat and able to paddle without too much pain. It was difficult to portage on the left (when you get out of the boat and carry it around a lock), but it was manageable.

Then last weekend on a final speed session, I slid down a bank, dropped the boat, wrenched my shoulder and landed on my already painful hand. After a little shouting and slight whimpering, we were back in the boat and paddling. That fall definitely did some more damage to the hand but with the brace now being worn 24 hours a day, I was still able to cope.

Finally I had managed to get just 2 days out from the race - preparations were in full swing, I had already bagged up and labelled changes of clothes to get me through the night, we had had final meetings with support crews and I was gathering my drinks and powders together. I decided not to risk pulling things out of a high kitchen cupboard and safely stood on a chair. The next moment I was plummeting through the chair onto a daughter who was holding piping hot lemsip at the time.

A strut holding the seat had collapsed and I had gone straight through, landing very awkwardly on my left foot. I knew instantly that there was real damage and that my chances of competing had all but disappeared. I tried to tell myself it was ok, I could walk on it and iced it immediately. But an hour later, with strange bumps and swellings appearing on both sides, it was back to the hospital for more x-rays. My 2nd visit in less than a week.

Nothing major broken, ligaments very damaged and possibly a small bone near my arch is broken. So now I'm on crutches, damned near immobile and not taking the lack of independence very well at all.

I had to break it to my K2 partner, which was horrible and have spent today jumping on one leg and unpacking everything which was ready for the 24 hour race.

I was very upset while waiting at the hospital, but made myself feel better by googling other long distance events we could do. Of course there is only one Devizes to Westminster 125 miles non stop race and I'll have to wait until 2013 to do it again. But we are going to aim at the Cheshire Ring, a 95 mile non stop race on June 30/July 1.

I'm absolutely gutted, but as long as I have a new goal I'll be ok. All that training will not go to waste and I have 11 weeks to be my deformed foot and damaged hand back to full recovery. And there's my first middle distance quadrathlon in July. And my cycle to Paris. And the Olymics to watch.

In the meantime I'll track the competitors via the website from the relative comfort and warmth of my bed. And I'll be wishing with every fibre that I could be out there putting myself through hell, just to say I have finished it again.
justalby member: justal, Apr 6th 2012 08:01
Sorry to hear that, you must be gutted.... As you say though, onwards and upwards, pick a new target and aim for that. Think about the positives as far as the experiences you had and the fitness and skills you've obtained whilst training for this challenge. You may have been unlucky and unable to complete the final step but I'm sure the journey there has been fun and satisfying in its own way.

crawlingkiwiby blog author: crawlingkiwi, Apr 6th 2012 15:02
Thanks Al - difficult watching the race preparations at Devizes go ahead without me. But yes, my time will come again and at least I successfully completed it last year.
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, May 25th 2012 16:19
So sorry to hear that, hope your recovery is going well and that preparations for 2013 are in full swing! Sarah
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