On a personal note I can only apologise to Children with Cancer UK for being unable to run the London Marathon on Sunday and to the many people who sponsored me on the basis I was running it in my morphsuit. I will focus the remainder of 2014 on fundraising for CWCUK and I will hopefully sort out a replacement marathon so that the sponsorship already raised is earned!
The last few weeks have been a nightmare what with Michelle suffering a Hemiplegic Migraine, hospital visits, being told she can still run and then being told she cant! It was last Tuesday when in with her GP I asked if she was OK to run? He said no! The main risk being that this early in Michelle's recovery there is a risk that dehydration could bring on another Hemiplegic episode and certainly do her more harm. To say she was devastated is an understatement. 6 months of effort, build up and anticipation seems to be for nothing! It is not, of course, because she had laid the foundations to rebuild and prepare for London 2015 but that doesn't initially help with the disappointment she faced. As it transpired we ended up back in A&E last Friday! This time she had chest problems for which she was given antibiotics and painkillers and told to rest for a couple of weeks. A pleuratic episode they said and a bronchial somethingorother! Even if she had not suffered the Hemiplegic Migraine the problems with her chest, which followed a period of lurgy, would have ruled her out just 36 hrs before the start!
Thankfully after all of the problems of the last 4 weeks, none of which are related to running, Michelle is finally on the mend. I think that after a couple of weeks rest which she should get during Easter school hols, she will be recovered and back running. Its been a scary time and I am relieved to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I just want her well again!
Fridays trip to hospital meant that on Saturday I wasn't keen to leave Michelle to get to the expo and collect my number for London. I was however confident the tablets would kick in for Michelle so I could still get down on Sunday morning, run and then drive back. A few calls to my men on the ground, Leeky and Ian, meant that they got me in touch with Colin at the expo who, after a few security questions were answered, was able to release my number to them. At this point the dream was still alive. I had extended the window of opportunity by a few more hours.
I should say that I was off work ill myself on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Headaches, shivers, shakes, sweats, muscle aches and a cough had wiped me out. I went into work Thursday and Friday and was still going to run albeit I was resigned to the fact I would have to be slow and cautious with the lurgy still lingering.
Unfortunately, during Saturday afternoon, I suffered diarrhoea! (I know, you couldn't actually make this up!). It meant that by 8pm I hadn't eaten at all and I felt weak and entirely unwell. I had thought I could run with lingering lurgy but the reality I had to face was that running London in a Morphsuit, in 17 degree heat, without 4 weeks of training, without having eaten, 7 lbs lighter than the day before and with an explosive gut was not possible!
Reluctantly I made the decision to withdraw. The reality was that regardless of all the bravado, stubbornness and stupidity it would have been bordering on the insane to have run. It would have almost certainly put others at risk if I took up a medics attention or an ambulance ride or a hospital bed for attempting to run when ill.
I told Leeky and Ian who had gone well out of their way to accommodate my ever changing plans and resigned myself to having to watch London on the TV!
I know it sounds silly but I was gutted to let down all the people I was looking forward to seeing on the day and sharing the London experience with. In a perfect world me and Michelle would have run together, met loads of people and had a great experience.
My place was a charity place so I cant defer and next year I will be supporting Michelle from the sidelines with the kids so that we are there for her. That means that at least for the foreseeable future and then entirely dependant on Ballot luck, I wont get to run London.
Michelle believes in fate! I don't although it was not lost on me that a chap my age died after finishing. My heart goes out to his family. Also a good friend of mine was blue lighted off the course at 24.5 miles after collapsing with kidney failure due to dehydration. At the time he was on for a 20 mins PB and 3:15!! He had recovered from the lurgy himself about 6 days before the event. After a night in Hospital Gaz is home and recovering and he should be fine in a week or so. He also accepts that it could have been a far worse outcome.
It wasn't fate that stopped me running - in the end it was common sense although as someone who has dabbled in endurance events common sense is not normally something I am blessed with. It was also touch and go as to whether common sense would win.
The pressure to run, especially when running for a charity, especially when its a charity place and not a ballot place is immense. You commit to them in return for the opportunity. To then not run means a place was taken that could have been run by someone else. The guilt associated with the decision makes it all the more difficult.
I will make it up to CWCUK this year. It will just take a little while longer for me to raise the funds I know I can.
So, for both of us, London Marathon 2014 was the marathon that wasn't meant to be. Health and family come first as without both we're good for nothing.
As a final thought I read some stats that apparently highlight people who cheat in the marathon. The main suggestion is a fence hop just after London Bridge meaning splits are produced like 2:07 first half and 50 mins second half! I truly hope this is not true but if it is and these people are apparently running on charity places too, I sincerely hope that Karma (something else I don't believe in) pops up and restores the natural order of things!