those of you who remember me from my C25k battle and subsequent bits of running here and there may recall that it was a little health scare that started me on my path to running redemption last year.
Yesterday was in fact the anniversary of that incident, or cererbro-vascular accident or transient ishemic attack as they call it, or mini-stroke to the rest of us.
It sounds rather more draatic than it actually was. It was not the precursor to a larger stroke in the few days that followed and did not have any lasting physical or mental effects, but it did have a seismic effect on my outlook on life and led me to examine how I was living my life and how I wanted to change that in great detail. And, I am pleased to say, I largely succeeded in doing that, although it is still very much a work in progress and there is a long way to go.
I changed my diet, I vastly reduced my alcohol intake - I now drink less in a month than I used to in the morning -, I took up exercise and I started running for the first time in thirty years or more.
I had been rather smugly looking forward to posting my anniversary missive, and had rehearsed the wording in my head (while out running) since about New Year.
Pride, however, comes before a fall.
I have been on the sick bench for the last couple of weeks after a catastrophic 10k at Longleat where I struggled not to DNF after stomach and leg cramps the whole way round. I thought I had a combination of overtraining and manflu, but after blood tests, I discovered yesterday, a year to the day from my original incident, that I have contracted leptospirosis. I spent my anniversary back in the same hospital I was in last year being brain scanned, only being lung scanned and having tests for kidney damage. And just to rub the irony in, it seems I may have picked it up from ingesting rat wee from immersing myself in dirty water filled ditches doing OCR training.
I had to miss the last race of my winter cross conutry season last weekend and my race calndar is scrubbed for the next few weeks, which is a real blow, not just in lost entry fees - I am going to miss some races I was really looking forwad to and training quite hard for, but, before it sounds like I am just feeling totally sorry for myself (well perhaps a little) and whinging (perhaps quite a lot), I can see the humour in the whole thing, and if the last year has shown me anything it is that setbacks are just there to overcome. A few weeks recovery and a few more to regain my fitness and I will be back on track. It's still 6 weeks till my C25k anniversary and I am determined to be fully back on my feet by then. At which point I shall raise a glass. Which shall not have any rat wee in it.