Sunday, 4 March 2018

How to complete a marathon with one broken foot

I wouldn't have begun training for my half-marathon if I had known that three weeks later some idiot driving a four thousand pound SUV was going to run over my foot.

Yes, I was in the crosswalk. Yes, I had the 'walk' indicator. Yes, he blew through the red light. And yes it hurt.

My training was interrupted two and a half months when the Fracture Clinic doctor finally allowed me remove the clumsy walking cast . "May I resume my marathon training?" I asked, to which he replied with a snicker, "Sure, but it's gonna hurt." He was right. Five months after the SUV crushed my foot leaving me with 'significant soft tissue damage' and a 3m break of my fifth manner tarsal. The darn thing still hurts with every step. Some days more than others.

Keeping in mind that successfully completion of a marathon is 20% mental effort and 80% physical, how did I manage to the physical effort necessary to train and complete my broken foot marathon? Well, basically:
  • Healthy eating (many thanks to my wife)
  •  Ice packs
  • Epsom salt baths
  • 15 training walks of 2 1/2 hours each
  •  Twice weekly core and weight training
  •  The occasional Advil
  • Calcium supplements (to speed the mending of my broken bone)
  • Physio twice a week
  • and a genetically endowed stubborn streak
How did I manage the 20% mental effort necessary? Well, that list is far shorter: I simply pinned a photo of my lovely grandchildren, Zyg and Mila Ramsay to the front of my jacket and kept walking until one of the race marshals at the finish line blocked my path and told me I could stop now.

I heartily encourage every one to enter a marathon. A simple Google search will pull up dozens of marathon training programs - some as short as three months, some lasting a year. Or join a walking club. Or sign up for one of your local running store's training sessions. You may want to start off with 5k marathon then work you way up to 'the big guy'. Yes, yes - I know that everyone of us can list a million excuses for not exercising but the fact is you only have one body so 'use it or lose it'.

So starting tomorrow I'm going to allow my 72 year-old body a five day vacation before I begin training for my next  marathon - this one, double the distance.

Happy marathoning and watch out for SUVs.

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