Monday 17 October 2016

cos I hobble when I wobble...

I'm acutely aware that this blog is a little in danger of turning into an MS blog.  No matter how much I want to be writing about inconsequential ephemera, I seem to keep coming back to my multiple sclerosis. I try not to allow it to dominate my life, but there it is.  That and running.... or actually about how it affects my running. I try to have lots of other facets to my life that I extemporise on at length here, but i'm afraid that my portfolio of subjects seems to be narrowing.

Of course, when it comes to MS,  I’m very aware that - relatively speaking - I’m pretty lightly affected. If I was looking for a dedicated following of the kind of people who really hoover up the misery of MS Sufferers - and I have to tell you, that if you are a part of this audience, then there are many, many blogs for you to choose from that will be all too eager to serve you up some unmitigated wallowing - then you're probably looking in the wrong place here and you'd best go back to Azkaban with the other dementors.  In fact, eleven years since my first symptoms and I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been. I’ve run a couple of marathons, for goodness sake… things could definitely be worse and I try not to moan about my lot in life.  Why moan about my health when the country - THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD - is going to hell in a hand basket around us?

But of course, that doesn’t mean that MS doesn’t affect me at all.

Any misery hoovers still there?  I know I generally seem excessively stoical about such things, but let me throw you a bone:

I’ve been bothered over the last few weeks by my legs: they don’t quite feel like they belong to me; they’re stiff and awkward and I’m finding increasingly myself hobbling around like an old man. It’s affecting my running too, and although my mind and heart and lungs are willing, my legs just aren’t able to carry me as fast as the rest of me wants to go. Although, to be fair, every runner probably knows that feeling.

It’s frustrating. I'd love to be setting new PBs like all my running friends seem to be doing at the moment... but I'm miles away from that kind of form. I'm delighted for them, of course I am... but I'd also love to be improving and not going backwards and running through treacle.

The other night, I had restless legs, with the muscles of my thighs twitching uncontrollably of their own accord as I watched TV on the sofa and tried to ignore them. The next morning, it took two attempts to get out of bed and to get my legs working at all. I'm still running, of course - I ran that very night.  It takes more than something as trivial as my legs not working properly to stop me running...If I thought that, then I would have stopped running years ago.  To be honest, I'm also not sure that resting will help all that much; this might just be how things are for me now.  I'm stoical about this, but it's still frustrating to feel so slow and to feel that 26.2 miles - a distance I ran as recently as six months ago - currently feels like a very, very long way.

But of course... 26.2 miles *is* a long way.  A really long way. I really shouldn't feel bad about slogging around 6 miles: it might be slower than I'd like, but at least I *can* still slog around six miles.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but no matter how slow and painful it might be, I do try to remember that running still feels a whole lot better than not running.

In fact, given that I'm not running a marathon in 2017.... is it bad that I'm thinking of entering a 20 mile race?


  1. ha! love the fact you see 20 miles as some kind of athletic light snack - i hate to think of myself as a dementor* (mostly because i have no idea what one is) but in a weird way it's nice that you can share the less sunny times - all life is here, eh? i certainly relate to your legs not feeling like they're part of your body - but like you, i try not to wallow.

    i'm currently reading Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis by the brilliantly named George Jelinek - not that you can OVERCOME it, just that you can find better ways to live with it (that is, i know i certainly can).

    the bits about a positive state of mind and reducing stress are well and truly filed in the 'stating-the-bleeding-obvious' folder, but there's a lot of sense (and a lot of your brand of stoicism) in there.

    that drink never happened did it?

    * i imagine that the very fact that i've commented on this post marks me out as some kind of grief vampire/sorrow leach!

  2. You're not a ghoul, Steve. Don't worry about that. I know you're keeping it real. You and I both know what I mean!
    We never did have that drink, and we must. It's not a drink, but I'll be in the Derby Into Boots most of the day on Thursday working a shift, so if you're around, pop in and say hi!