The road to London: A sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach

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  • A weekly catch-up with Courier & Weekly News sports editor PAUL OKEY as he builds up to his long-awaited London Marathon debut.

If I thought falling over at Newbold Comyn and rolling into a puddle would be the low point of my training (see last week’s blog), I was wrong.

For this week (we’ll call it week 2), I was seriously thinking that my training was over before I even got to start my schedule.

Captured in action at Warwick parkrun.

Captured in action at Warwick parkrun.

I’ve stepped it up a bit as I’ve been on holiday from work so in effect I’ve been a full-time athlete (if the definition of a full-time athlete is someone who also has a long list of DIY jobs to do, nursery pick-ups and a perpetually full dirty washing basket).

However, the day when it threatened to go wrong was just supposed to be an easy recovery effort straight after dropping Iris off at nursery.

I knew something was amiss when I lifted Iris out of the car. I’ve had an inguinal hernia for close to 15 years and it has never been too much of a problem. I get a pain in the pit of my stomach, push the hernia back in and all is fine.

This time, though, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma as I’m in a nursery. No matter, I’ll drop Iris off and deal with it on my run.

Now the plan was to set off on my run in a gingerly fashion, find a quiet back road and just force it back through the opening.

A few furtive fumblings and it’s not going back in.

More running and now I’m quite a way from home and seem to have found the busiest road in Warwick.

There is a quiet passageway and some trees, though, which afford me a bit of privacy. But they could also make the situation far worse.

“I saw him in the bushes, officer, with his hands down his shorts and a bulge in his pants.”

So my only option was to have a few quick rummages when there was a gap in the traffic and hope for the best.

It still wasn’t going back in.

In fact, five miles of uncomfortable running and a warm shower still weren’t able to clear up the problem and I seriously thought that was going to be the end of my hopes of running London.

Sensing the moment, I even sat with my head in my hands and a towel on my head.

In the end, though, a second (lengthy) shower did the trick, my protrusion was no more and marathon training was back on track.

However, I will be lifting nothing more than a pen in the run-up to London.

Sorry Iris.


I have my first road race of the year on Sunday when I take part in Not The Roman IX.

And in the manner of most runners, who reel off a list of ailments before a race, only to knock out a massive PB, I wish to point out that I shall be doing a ten-mile training run the day before.

So, my legs will be heavy from the mileage. Oh, and did I mention my hernia?

Completed training:

Saturday: 9 miles including Warwick parkrun in 19:29.

Sunday: Around 15 miles easy.

Tuesday: Mile warm-up, speed session at track, mile warm-down.

Wednesday: 5 miles recovery.

Thursday: 3 miles warm-up, 6 x 1k at around 6:20 pace, 1.5 mile warm-down.

Imodium usage (running total): 2.