Thursday 6 January 2011

hey runner, what are you running from?

Perhaps it's a result of the cold I'm just shaking off, but my body feels pretty fatigued at the moment.  I had two days off from exercise before playing football tonight, but even before I started running around, I had a deep-set aching in my muscles and a distinct lack of energy.  By the end of the game, in spite of my usual thick wrapping of layers, gloves and a hat, I had also pretty much lost sensation entirely in my hands and up towards my shoulders.

It's true that I've had a few late nights watching the cricket recently, but I have a feeling that the fatigue is probably a result of my immune system being stoked up even higher than normal to fight off the cold I've had over the last couple of weeks, and now all those extra white cells are roaming around my body like ASBO kids looking for trouble. Besides, how can the cricket be anything other than inspirational at the moment, eh?

It's funny really; this latest bout of fatigue comes hard on the heels of C and LB talking to me about running the Nottingham Half Marathon again this year, and asking if I will join them. I've been slightly hesitant about agreeing.  It's not so much that I don't want to do it, it's just that I know myself too well.  No matter how much I tell myself that it doesn't matter how fast I run it, or if I beat the time I did in 2009, from the moment I sign up, I will be determined to do the very best that I can.  I will get a training schedule, and I will push myself to train hard and to be as ready as I possibly can be.  I run a fair bit now, but training for a run like that will double or triple my weekly mileage over the next few months. 

Plus it was bloody hard work last time too.  I got around in a little under two hours, and was delighted with my time, but found the whole thing quite an overwhelming and emotional experience.... not to mention absolutely knackering.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I'm going to do it, of course.

In fact, I was actually wondering about whether I might enter the London Triathlon this year too (or perhaps instead of the half marathon).  It was whilst training for this event in 2005, you might remember, that I noticed any MS symptoms for the first time (I woke up one morning with a numb hand), and I was forced to drop out on the advice of my neurologist a couple of weeks before I was due to race.  My name was on the race t-shirt.  It feels like unfinished business. 

Who knows, perhaps it was the training back in 2005 that triggered the symptoms in the first place?  The MS was probably always there, but perhaps it was all those miles on the road and hours in the pool that forced that first relapse.  I was okay training for the half marathon a couple of years ago, but perhaps it's unwise to push my body this hard?

Who am I trying to kid?  It's punishing my body like this that makes me feel the least affected by MS.  No matter how hard I find it, it's when I'm out running that I feel the most free.  As I've said before, it's the day when I can no longer do things like this that I will really feel like my life has really taken a turn for the worse. 

Until that day, fuck you multiple sclerosis, I can and will do this and I won't let you stop me.

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