Last summer, when I was injured, I came to the conclusion that my brand of idiocy comes in onion form. Peel off one layer and you reveal another, equally idiotic. Carry on peeling, and you will only discover more idiocy underneath.
Since I started running again, my foot has never quite stopped muttering. It will be quiet for weeks at a time, but just as I start to relax, to believe, to hope, it mutters. Instead of enjoying my tapers, I get more and more stressed, convinced that this run, this event, this day will be the day when that muttering becomes a scream, when I have to face up to having another three, or four, or five months off running.
Every time I come through an event unscathed, I relax a little, because if it were still broken, surely that XX-miler would have killed it? But then, sure as eggs is eggs, the next event approaches and the muttering comes back. With South Downs Way 50 in just under a week’s time, the muttering is louder than ever. Every step I take, I assess my foot. Does it hurt? Am I imagining it? I lie in bed and check for tender spots, but when I find them, I’m not sure if it’s broken-tender or merely bruised-because-I-won’t-stop-prodding-it-tender. I know that I should be planning for Thames Path 100, but don’t dare to think beyond SDW50. I promise myself that as soon as SDW50 is out the way, I will relax and look ahead, but I know that even if I can walk the following day, I will still be convinced that my foot will give up the ghost at some point before race day.
I can think of only two sensible ways to get rid of the sword above my head: to treat my foot as broken and rest for another three months or to persuade my GP to send me for a scan on the basis of a non-specific niggle. Given the timescales, I’m going for neither. I’m choosing the idiot option of chucking things at the sword to prove that it is firmly attached, while hoping desperately that I don’t cause it to come crashing down on my head.
I am an onion of idiocy.