Tag Archives: Warsaw

Wondering about Warsaw

I had spent most of the first nine months of 2016 wondering about Warsaw. In January, after returning from a long and muddy training run along the North Downs Way I noticed a bulge in a place there shouldn’t have been one. A bit of gentle pressure and observation, followed by Dr Google suggested an Inguinal Hernia. With the next 5 alphabetic marathons and my first serious ultra (NDW50 miles) already at different stages of organisation I had two immediate choices.
1 See my doctor, get the self diagnosis confirmed, and be told either that it wasn’t bad enough to need an operation in the coming 12 months so keep on running OR immediate op needed so all planned runs for the year cancelled.
2 Tell no-one, carry on running and perform all actions that could exacerbate the problem with extreme care.
Being a bit of a ‘glass half full’ male, option 2 won.
So before, during and after every run and at times when I might notice the bulge I always wondered, ‘Will I get to Warsaw and be OK to start?’ Well I did
I had met Victoria Tetlow when we both ran Utrecht in March and she said she had already entered Warsaw. Quite randomly we bumped into each other on Friday evening as we walked around the old town, and even with over 6000 runners in the event we met again as we jostled with everyone at the start. We ended up running a majority of the race no more than a few metres apart, but she actually was stronger than me at the end and finished 20s ahead.14484906_10154586566062650_7926712036234374677_n
It is unusual for spectators to be anything other than supportive, especially over the final hundred metres or so of a marathon. However here one spectator, who I think had moved out into the wide road to congratulate someone she knew then decided to return to the side without looking at all, and I ran straight into her…yes I did swear quite loudly and as she was still standing I didn’t wait to ask if she was OK, I was more concerned that I successfully finished!
Without doubt my management of the hernia over the year had been successful, but it also meant that I wasn’t ever going to make good use of a flat fast course. Just completing number 23 was all I wanted, and by being half an hour inside my Athens time, my other aim, to run the other 25 faster than my first, was still being achieved.
Within a couple of minutes of finishing, when my wife joined me I disclosed my secret, knowing that a visit to the doctor as soon as we returned home was essential…14449948_10154586558182650_3920831125660756586_n