Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Tuesday 2nd April 2002

Stopped in training - crunch decision time next Sunday

Last week I spent fifteen to twenty minutes each day stretching to avoid the problems I have had in my right knee and hip. I went training with the club on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and I managed to complete each training session okay, although I did take it easy and on Tuesday and Thursday cut the training short.

On Sunday morning, I decided to try out my legs by running ten miles with my running collegues from Reigate Priory AC.

The pace on these runs is not too high, so I was running well within myself. Everything was going fine until the seven mile mark, when I felt my hip pulling. The pain in my hip increased until, a mile later, I finally started walking home from about two miles outside Reigate. I did manage to run about half of the way back, but I really couldn't have run much further. This pain was just the same as the pain I was suffering from in the last London Marathon, although last year it effected my left leg, whereas this year it effected my right one.

When I finally got home (with a lift from Linda, a kind RPAC member), I got out the stretching instructions from my visit to the physiotherapist last year. This involves four stretches, to be performed three times a day. I immediately started to do these stretches as advised, and my hip certainly feels different for doing them - it feels a bit stiff, and I don't know whether this is a good sign of not. I don't know whether it's advisable to stretch this injury.

Today I made a visit to my physiotherapist. She told me that my sciatic nerve in my right leg is probably being aggrevated by my piriformis muscle, and she gave me some massage which certainly felt it hit the spot! She has advised me to continue on with the stretches, and she also showed me how to do them properly. My wife Sarah will from now on massage my piriformis muscle every other day. I ran about five miles this evening without feeling my injury, so it seems that the stretching has at least done no harm. However, this is the nature of the injury - it come on after so many miles.

I will try to run ten miles next Sunday, which will be exactly a week before the marathon. If I succeed in running ten miles successfully, then I'll deem that I'll be able to run the marathon. If I fail to run the ten miles, then I will have to pull out of the marathon because of this injury.

I continue to be hopeful that I'll be there on the day. I think that you have to be confident right up to the time you pull out, to keep up the motivation to attempt everything to stay in it.

Although my sponsorship is all a little late this year, I'm holding off from advertising my sponsorship collection at work until next week, when I'll know for sure whether I'm in it or not.

Fingers crossed!

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