Time to start blogging my countdown to the World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento, California from early July.
Sounds positive, eh? Yup. It’s coming together very slowly. My optimism in the last blog was misplaced. Within a few days of feeling things with my leg were sorted, it all reverted to pain and frustration. However, Mike at Southcote steadilly pressed on with treatment, and a week ago, may have achieved a breakthrough. At the time, the only breakthrough I was aware of was the risk that his thumbs were going to break through one side of my calf and pop out of the other, mind you. A day or so later, I was jogging much more pain free, though cursing a pain beginning to emerge in my other leg.
By now, I was also committed to running for points at the Kent Masters League match a few days later. Note, I said “running”, not racing. That Friday evening arrived, damp but bright, with little wind. I warmed up without incident (itself a marvel) and ran 200m from Lane 2, finishing in 3rd place, with no leg pain at all. I was even leading comfortably off the bend. I’d promised I’d run 50m hard, cruise 50 and then run 50 more, before turning off and coasting home. That was how it was. Not sure I had the running fitness to do more, anyway.
Euphoric? Me? You bet. I’d run with my legs taped. Not sure I needed to do so, but it helped keep them warm. Next day, no pain. Day after, when DOMS normally kicks in with me, no pain! Steadily, cautiously, I am now going to be ramping up the training. British Masters Champs in two weeks, then almost immediately off to the USA.
America is going to be our 30th wedding anniversary trip too. Six days in San Francisco before the Championships in Sacramento. I am going to the Championships with no expectations at all.I would just like to run one heat of the 100m and one in the 200m without mishap. I’ll be happy then. I am media crew as well. Several weeks taking photos in the sort of weather we are being asked to expect (hot, dry, 80F at 7pm) will be a trial. There’s a break midday to avoid the heat, but that means early starts and late finishes for all events – and three different stadiums. It’s a challenge I am looking forward to. Many of my best friends in the world (literally) will be there. Can’t wait to meet Ken, Doug, Vesa, Torrey, Pino, Annette, Robert and and others again.
Lots else happening elsewhere. Major work changes are leading to 40 posts needing to be shed. I’ve put my hand up for voluntary redudancy. If it goes through, there will be no notice periods to be served. I’d be out by the start of September. Not getting my hopes too high, but in my view, it’s the old guard like me they need to be shedding first, especially if I would go gladly, on the right figures.
Can’t end without another piece of optimism. Steadily over the last twelve weeks, I have been reducing my dose of antidepressants. My GP and I felt it was time to give it a good try. Yesterday, I cut into four pieces the final pill I will be taking – a quarter every other day, as the end of the final phase. Six more days, as I write, and I am off them completely. At some point I will blog again about depression and athletics. Remember, I am off the antidepressants. I am not “cured”. Depression has changed my life for ever, but it is not beating me. Once upon a time, it might have semed scheduled to do that. To the friends who have helped me to this point, what can I ever possibly say by way of thanks?