How things have turned around for the worst…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I’m sitting in a hospital ward watching the same old man walk past my room on crutches backwards and forwards for the past two hour. Never ever have I been so depressed and down in my entire life.
How things have turned around for the worst. One minute I was so excited to be in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in, then the next split second it’s all over.

I was given the opportunity to race in the London Diamond League at Crystal Palace over the 3000m SC. It was my last opportunity to gain a second B standard towards selection for the World Championships. I knew I was in very good shape, and was looking for a big PB. In the race, I felt so so good, not tired or heavy legged even though I was running at a pace a lot faster than I had ever ran before. I knew I was capable of the A standard of 9.43 but I just needed the opportunity of a no-pressure fast race.
Everything was going extremely well, and my plan was to stick with one of the American girls who I knew had a PB of 9.40, however on the second last water jump I sort of slipped when I placed my right foot on the barrier. This resulted in me landing maybe a little funny on my left foot. As soon as my foot hit the ground I heard a massive ‘pop’ and a massive pain shot up my leg. Through adrenaline I got to the next barrier but every step my foot was absolutely killing me and I was crying whilst running.
I was about to drop out with a lap to go but when I glanced at the time I realized I was well on for a massive PB and within the A standard, and so I kept going. Maybe not the best decision I’ve made as it had probably made the break a bit worse and moved the bone slightly, but I’m glad I did keep going as I now know exactly what time I am capable of doing. I feel I can definitely run a sub 9.40 if I can run a 9.44 with the last 500m ran on a broken foot!
As soon as I finished a guy ran over to me with a Lucozade and I just casually replied: “I think I’ve broke my foot,” he then proceeded to just hand me a drink and wander off. I couldn’t get up though it was that painful, and all the first aiders and physios were telling me it couldn’t be broken as I wouldn’t have been able to keep running on it. How wrong they were!
Got my MRI the next day, and I have broken the navicular bone on my foot, they said it’s a very strange bone to have broken and that they have no idea how I ran on it. To be honest I have no idea either as I am a total pap and not very strong physically (which is why the crutches they have given me are KILLING ME! Can’t lift my own bloody bodyweight!). But maybe there’s a similar mentality to my mum, she managed to keep running through a broken knee, so maybe craziness is inherited that way.
The day I found out my foot was broken, I’ll be honest, I cried…a lot. I have no idea how my boyfriend manages to put up with me sometimes. It’s just upsetting to me, as I have already had a year out due to injury and illness and I know firsthand how long it took me to get back into things and how hard it is not to stray away from the sport. I worked so hard this year to get myself fit and sacrificed almost every other thing in my life for athletics. I stopped living like a student and started living like an athlete an obviously it worked for me. But it does make me upset to think what have I done wrong to be in this position now!?
Broken foot, surgery in a few days, weeks in a cast, then months of rehabilitation. It’s a long, long road ahead but I am willing to do whatever it takes to get back fit again. It’s a full year till London 2012 and I really hope that I will be there on the start line, not just healthy and back running, but competitive.
This year I have had such a large improvement and a great learning experience for bigger things to come. I am upset that maybe I could have been at my first ever World Championship age 20, a full 20 years since my mum won gold, but this is only the beginning for me.
I would just like to thank everyone for their lovely texts, Tweets and Facebook emails, it’s made me cry several times reading them all. I do appreciate them so much and just to know that other people do believe in me and keep reassuring me that things will get better.
I’d also like to thank my boyfriend Howell, as honestly don’t know what I would do without him, he’s had to look after me since the break and keeps me smiling even when things are extremely…rubbish. It’s been a very tough week for my family with all the negative media, my second little brother being diagnosed diabetic and now me breaking my foot. They say things come in threes, so hopefully this is it. Onwards and upwards. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how fast you get back up again.”
Eilish Mc x

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