martedì 14 febbraio 2017

Diary of a wanna-be marathoner (Episode 1): Rome 2017, how it all started

Typical me….

… to throw myself into new crazy adventures. Sometimes without thinking. Too often without hesitating. 

At the very end of 2016, filled with sadness, angst, and anxiety over too many things going wrong in my personal (family, friends, and sentimental) life, I decided that what better way “not think about things” than making myself so busy and so tired that I have no time or energy to worry and think about sad things?* That is when I reached out to my equally crazy friends in Abu Dhabi and told them we are signing up for the 2017 Rome marathon to be held in the eternal city on April 2nd. A little over 14 weeks away. They heard the badly disguised cry for help in my tone. They did not hesitate (they are my Tribe). They said yes.

The thought of running a marathon had titillated the minds of my immediate circle of fit-friends for quite some time before such resolution. We contemplated China’s wall marathon, Paris, Lisbon, even Medoc (check this one out!). However, very well aware of the level of commitment and sacrifices needed for such epic endeavor (Dr. Reem one of these crazy friend had done one, so she KNOWS) we had wisely decided to relegate such a quest to 2018. However, when a tribe member throws a cry for help, her people come to rescue. So, two of my special people said no problem. We are in! I did lose one on the way due to injury but gained another one (probably the craziest of us all as I am still waiting to hear about his runs….of which there are no signs….).

So here we go! We register for the event and get plane tickets (to make sure there is no going back!). We draft a plan, make life and diet adjustments. Organise, work, social life, and EVERYTHING around mileage, cross training, recovery…etc. Dr. Reem also happens to have a husband and two jewels to nurture (not sure what she is on to manage this all, but I want some). Then I realise, the plan works! I am so busy with and tired from running, packing, unpacking, washing gym gear, training, planning (for the running, the packing, the unpacking, the washing, the training) that when I have some rare free or alone time, I am either dreaming about Rome or I am so tired that I collapse and sleep. No time to be sad! Whoop Whoop goal achieved. 
Except…now I have another matter that keeps me busy….my injuries. Little had I factored in my “new life as a runner” that I might get injured. No. How could that happen? I am following a well-studied plan. No overtraining, no over or under eating. All is meticulously thought of. How could I possibly forget that things not always (if ever) go as planned. My life is a testament to that!

Right now, things do not look good. Not only does my injured lheg hurt, but as I am compensating with the other leg I now have two silly legs rather than only one. To say that I am frustrated and sad (another type of sadness if I may add than the one which led me to jump into this suicidal marathon mission) is an understatement. Not only I have been training for weeks, made sacrifices, spent money….etc but other people are now involved. Dr. Reem my awesome crazy friend made the same sacrifices (if not more given she has her own little family). My friends are flying from London to cheer and support me. One of whom is even bringing her wonderful mamma along! My own family, led by the one and only nonna, are all pumped up for the Marathon (and most importantly for this rare family trip to the capital). I feel the pressure because I am not only disappointing myself (and trust me…. I am as harsh as harsh can be) but I might be soon disappointing a whole lot more of people.

In addition to unavoidable consultation with Dr. Google to find answers to questions like “how to train for a marathon with ITB issues and shin splints”; I have seen two orthopedic doctors, a chiropractor, several physiotherapists and sport massage experts, and even a specialist in neuro kinetic therapy (!!). I even have a moral and physical support network that gives me access to some of the top notch non-medicine based therapies available. I am really trying to pull through this. I would have given up long ago if it wasn’t for my tribe which believes in me more than I believe in myself. Reem keeps telling me that this is a mental game. The mind gives up way before the body does. I believe I have a strong mind. When I make up my mind, I rarely (read I cannot remember) I give up. 

So dear tribe, what I promise you is that I will give it my all. I will rest, train when accessible to me. I will medicate and listen to those who know more than me. I promise to continue this journey with all the optimism that you entrusted in me. I will come to Rome having done everything I can to cross that finish line. If worse comes to worse I will be in Rome with my friends and family cheering for you “Reem the invincible”, waiting at the finish line, holding a massive heart shaped Pizza. Because I love you and I am a hopeless romantic.

*Congratulations Kamilah for the longest – ever- sentence. You would have failed your students on such syntax back in uni days!

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