Since my last post there were two big moments.
Both of them involved shredded nerves on my part, both of them were painful to watch, and both ended with the same positive message; Through all of the pain endured, there can be a happy ending. Miracles do happen.
One of these events was my trip to see the knee specialist at the London Sports Clinic.
The other was my trip to Parkhead for The Scottish League Cup Final.
Let’s deal with the specialist first. They say you get what you pay for, it’s certainly true in medical terms. Within 10 mins of my initial consultation, the doctor had me on a bed, scanning my leg with an ultrasound machine. After various tests and stretches came the verdict. Textbook ITB injury, thankfully nothing more serious.
Solution? Take your chances resting it completely for 4 weeks and hope it doesn’t flare up on the marathon.
anti-inflammatory injection to be administered immediately. No need for a 6 week NHS wait!
The nerves I had before the diagnosis were packing up their kit but then the description of the injection by the consultant gave them another go at my brain, heart and sphincter. 2 (very painful) jabs into the side of my knee later and hope was on the phone, asking for me.
Dr Houghton warned me that the next 4 weeks should involve light, short runs and to “load up” on anti-inflammatories and painkillers for the day itself. “Forget any time targets, just get round. It won’t be pretty”
How strange that these words were inspiring me even as he said them!
His final warning was to rest the knee completely for 3-4 days first. Which brings me to event two…
Sunday 16th March. Parkhead. Aberdeen FC in a final. 14 years since I last saw such a thing. (And that final was over as a contest 2 minutes in when we lost our goalkeeper to injury and had no replacement on the bench. We lost 4 nil)
I know the Doc said to rest the leg, but for the whole 90 mins I was on my feet with the other 40,000 dons fans. Then again for the half hour of extra time before the dreaded penalty shootout. It was 2 and a half hours of torture partly because it was a poor game (0-0), mostly because I was terrified that we’d blow it. But 19 years without a trophy was ended with a 4-2 win on penalties and for the 2nd time that week a huge mix of elation and relief enveloped me.
The walk back into Glasgow after the game was again not what the doctor ordered, nor was the Guinness, chips, whiskies & shots that were consumed when we got there (or the ones for breakfast pre-game) and the less said about the 5 hour sleep and then 7am flight straight to work on Monday the better, but even if my marathon training was on track and I was injury free, I wouldn’t have changed Sunday at all, other than one very personal disappointment.
I had planned on taking my 1st son, who was a baby when we lost that 4-0 final and has put up with misery as a dons fans ever since. Sadly he decided not to come, and much like most of the past 12 months, I think it’s something he’ll regret in the future. It would have meant the world to me to have had him there when we lifted the cup. I hope it’s not another 14 years for him to get a chance to share a day like that with me.
So 4 weeks to go. Cortisone injection done. My last night of alcohol before the race well and truly done. Tomorrow sees my first attempt at running since my knee gave in.