TRAINING has proved a rollercoaster of emotions for me over the past few weeks and I would be lying if I said I was feeling 100 per cent confident approaching the big event on April 13.
The fact of the matter is that my knees clearly cannot withstand the constant pounding on the pavements and it has become clear to me that I will be undertaking more walking than running when it comes to hitting the streets of the capital.
There are no words that can express my disappointment at the way things have panned out. I have interviewed many
sportsmen and women in my career but it is only now that I realise just how much heartache and frustration injury can cause.
Not being able to do something you love and have worked towards, for so long, is gut-wrenching but there comes a time when you realise you cannot let it beat you.
Over the past month I have slowly started running again, steadily increasing the distances and training on softer ground but I have still been feeling the same aches and pains, particularly in my right patella.
So last weekend everything came down to a sink or swim scenario. I put on my knee support, set my iPod to shuffle and then left my house at 8.50am feeling nervous about the 13-mile journey ahead.
I sailed along Littlemoor Road but as soon as I hit Dorchester Road I began to feel that familiar niggle in my right knee. With every stride the aching worsened so I decided to walk for a bit which is something I loathe doing.
I made my way up towards Wey Valley School & Sports College and then broke into a jog again but by the time I got halfway down Radipole Park Drive the pain proved too much.
I walked for a bit and then tried to set off again but it was clear that my knee was warning me that enough was enough.
The temptation to immediately head back home was huge but my determination kept me going until I had rounded Radipole Lake and began making my way up the path that runs alongside Weymouth Way towards Chafeys Roundabout.
It was there that I allowed my frustration to get the better of me. My water bottle took the brunt of things as I hurled it down to the ground.
I could not help but feel cheated, like some external force was stopping me from doing something that means so much.
But after letting out the anger it hit me. The reason I took on this challenge was not about running, times or even proving something to myself, it was about achieving something in my Mum’s memory.
It was about taking on a challenge as a family and raising money for a worthwhile cause that helps support so many people through the hardest experiences of their lives.
With that I slowly continued on my way up to Chafeys Roundabout, down past the Wessex Stadium, along Granby Way, down Chickerell Road into town and then along the seafront back to Preston.
I walked all the way and with every step I became more and more focused. The route took me three hours to complete and when I arrived home I was immensely proud of myself that I had not allowed the pain to beat me.
My plan now is to just keep things ticking over but not to stretch myself too much. I want to give my knee as much rest as possible so come the big event I will able to achieve the main goal and that is just to reach The Mall and cross that finish line, however long it takes.