Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Running through my mind

I feel that my ankle has finally recovered. Ok that's the good news out of the way.

I managed to follow up my root canal with a cold, and my running came to a complete halt for the week.

On Sunday, after a full week without so much as a fartlek, I lined up for the 10 km River Run. A lot of things run through my mind, and I often keep them to myself. This day was no different, my mind was occupied with the many thoughts that I keep to myself. This allows me to hold the illusion of sanity just that little bit longer. The Only Normal People Are the Ones You Don't Know Very Well. - Joe Ancis

As I queued for the pre-race bathroom visit, I wondered if the seat would be warm (I hate this). I also wondered if eating beans the night before was a good idea. I did a pre-race warm up, and noticed how tight my left calf felt. I built up to doing some strides, and all seemed ok. I wasn't feeling particularly fresh, and perhaps I was a little flat. I wondered if I would be able to breathe properly, and if I was sufficiently clear of my cold.

Starting the race, I was holding pace comfortably with 4:04 for the first kilometre. The next marker came 4:14 and I was tracking close to the goal of 4:10s, which Coach Pat had assigned to me.

Quite an uneventful race continued. And although I concentrated on maintaining pace, I noticed that I had to increase my effort. By half way, I wasn't particularly confident of achieving anything special on the day, and settled to ensure that, at the least, I wasn't going to drop off too much.

As I was just upon the 8 km marker, my left calf went. PING! I felt a sharp pain with each step. A few more steps and I started to walk. Walking wasn't that painful, but a couple of attempts to run were. I felt that nothing would be gained by injuring myself any further.

Missing out on this race meant little to me.

... and then I thought about it some more.

* There is not much time left to recover before the Melbourne Marathon in 3 weeks.

* I can't go through the pain of a marathon with a torn calf again like last year. I just can't!

* Any chance of running my best in Melbourne is now gone.

In the 2 km to the finish line, over 400 runners passed me. It was the longest 2 km in my life.

By the time I walked in, I had convinced myself that my marathon hopes and all the training in preparation had evaporated. Give me a root canal any day.

I started to turn things around in my mind. What can I do now? Is there something I wasn't doing because of the dedication to my training?

Katy and I went down the beach. I enjoyed a swim in the surf, and started to feel much better.


Blogger speedygeoff said...

What wonderful Escher lego!

9:47 pm  
Blogger Laurie said...

Oh man! That stinks about your calf. I hope it heals up fast.

11:09 pm  
Blogger E-Speed said...

sorry to hear about the calf. Beach time does sound nice though!

I miss your wife's blogs! Where did she go?

I'm glad you pulled up and walked. Maybe that will be the thing that saves your calf from further pain and allows you to still rock the marathon.

12:02 am  
Blogger 21stCenturyMom said...

Owie! PT? Massage? Roller? I'm sure you know about all of them. Hopefully rest and babying will do the trick and your marathon will be a success.

Love that lego piece!

2:05 am  
Blogger Bolder said...

did you say that instead of running, you went to the beach for some swimming, then some biking, and then did some running?...

12:00 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bugger. Can you afford a trip to Ireland to visit Craig Mottram's physio?

I think the 'something' you weren't doing, was not running for a week, then doing a race - even if it was a soft race.

Anyway, the ping has ponged. Don't run for 3 weeks and the tear should be fixed :)

4:55 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Flippin heck Toasty! What a bugger. Stick to what wise old Ewen said.

9:25 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Bad luck Toastie. Still three weeks is a long time. Better than three days as I did before Canberra this year.

All the best with the rehab.

10:37 pm  
Blogger mike said...

Deja vu: 2 years ago, same race same injury, same 8 k mark & same hobble to finish...Agree with Ewen, I think it took me 3 weeks to recover from a mild 'ping'.

10:50 pm  
Blogger Peterhorse said...

is that your alter lego on display?

was sorry to see you had an injury in sunday, but 3 weeks might still be ok to get to the start line? fingers crossed

12:42 pm  
Blogger Mat said...

Bugger, that sucks! Sorry to hear that. I hope a bunch of rest & ice, etc etc helps real fast.

12:14 pm  
Blogger Coach Tammy said...

See, the universe is trying to tell you to become a triathlete. That's why you had the fabulous idea of going to the beach!

Seriously, sorry about your calf, but way to turn it around! Taking a break is a good thing, focusing on other areas of life... sometimes when we refuse to take a break, our body has a way of letting us know it's time. Enjoy the break! :)

12:54 am  
Blogger Scott said...

Sorry to hear this old son.

I'd just give it up for the time being. Try body surfing for a while and get back into running when you are well and truely over the current problems. I'm serious if you push it now it could mean the end of running for you for up to a year and that is not what you want.

I feel for you and hope things work out Toasty.

1:45 am  
Blogger massoman said...

i like the escher lego. that's cool.

bummer about your calf. good that you walked it in.

11:59 am  
Blogger The Lucky One said...

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I think Scott has the idea. Heal fully so you can run fully soon. Best!

1:24 pm  
Blogger the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

OMG. I forget to catch up with you and THIS is what happens?

What is it about September? I'm going to start calling it Weirdtember. Or Injurytember.

Waah! I feel your pain!

1:41 pm  
Blogger *jeanne* said...

" The Only Normal People Are the Ones You Don't Know Very Well. "
- Joe Ancis

how sadly true
i'll tell you about it someday
or not

2:39 am  

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