I think it was the trip to the physiotherapist where the sheer embarrassment really kicked in, writes Chris Broadbent
My visit was due to a pulled hamstring, an injury I had never suffered before in 10 years of running. But as I was being questioned on how I came about the ailment, I truly felt like a naughty schoolboy called into the headmaster's room.
I had recently started to ramp up my training with the target of a speedy 10k to finish off the year. I think it was the sight of Mo Farah leaving the world in his wake at London 2012 which had given me renewed enthusiasm for the popular distance. Not that I can pin this one on the double Olympic champion. This one lies solely at my own feet.
As well as logging up some regular five to eight mile runs, I had begun to pepper my training schedule with interval training and hill repetitions to give my legs that extra bit of zing for a race situation. To be honest, things were going brilliantly. I was completing my reps quicker, recovering quicker and just feeling that bit fitter. And that's probably where the problem started.
I had started to become a little complacent and maybe even a little cocky. For this particular session, I decided to add two further hill reps onto my usual tally, such was my confidence. It happened on the final rep. Anecdotally I understand that is often the case. I pulled up in the style of a football winger straining to make the through ball.
I think that's how I knew it was a hamstring injury straight away. So familiar are we with the identical reaction from seeing professional athletes suffering hamstring injuries on TV. So, off to the physio I went to have my condition officially diagnosed, to receive treatment and rehabilitation advice. It was the questioning I wasn't prepared for. "Did you warm up beforehand?" "Do you do much stretching?" "Do you warm-down properly afterwards?"
Despite my decade of running, I was ashamed to answer "no" to every single query the physio had. I may as well have hung my head whilst he yelled "You are old enough to know better Broadbent!"
No matter how fit, how strong and how healthy we feel, the basic preparation and recovery drills of running simply cannot be dismissed. For me, the pre-Christmas goal has gone. Bring on the New Year resolutions.