Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First post-injury win - Sutherland Half Marathon

Again, it's been some time between posts. The good news is things have been going really well. For the first time I'm beginning to think I've conquered this high hamstring tendinopathy. Seeing as though I was told in no uncertain terms that there was a chance I wouldn't get over it, I'm very happy with how everything has been going.

My best piece of news is that I've finally won a race again - my first win since being injured. My coach put the Sutherland Half Marathon on my program - a tough little off road race. I knew it wasn't going to be a fast day so I thought that if the pace was right I'd try to stick with the front girls and hopefully outlast them.

The start of the Sutherland Half Marathon.
Surprisingly, the plan actually worked. There was a group of four women early on which dropped to three, then to two by the turn around point (a little over half way). I thought I'd try and put a bit of a gap between myself and the other female, which I managed to do. I'm not actually sure how much space I put between us, but after I while I couldn't hear her anymore so I relaxed a bit and kept the pace comfortable.

Now, at this point, let me point out one thing. The woman in second place was Laura James - who is a much faster runner than I am. My advantage came from the fact that Laura had already run, and won, the 10k race earlier that day.

Getting closer to the end of the half I considered speeding things up a bit, but given that the terrain wasn't great, and I tend to be pretty uncoordinated, I thought it'd be safer to stay at the pace I was at. With 4k to go Laura pulled up along side me - 'Oops', I thought, 'I should've run a bit faster!' Luckily I had some fuel in the tank and managed to put a gap between us again. I won, but I really do want to say what an awesome effort Laura put in. Winning the 10k then coming second in the half mara after it - she's such a strong runner.

The time was nothing to be proud of - even for a tough course - 87:29. Having said that, I made a conscious decision to race for the win, not for a time, and that's what I did. I raced the race I was given and, thankfully, it went my way.

After the horrible year I've had it was really nice to finally achieve something. Although, I guess it should be said that recovering from the injury was a pretty big achievement in itself.

Thanks to Sutherland District Athletics Club for putting on a great event. I got to speak to a few people from the club and they were all really friendly and enthusiastic about running. I love this sport.

Since the half mara training has been solid - up until last week when something weird happened to my ankle/foot. After the Sutherland Half my ankles felt a bit stiff - I just put it down to racing off road, but it was enough for me to comment to my husband on. Then I got a pain on the medial side of my left arch, which was a bit worse after being on the dance floor at the Pink concert wearing Converse boots. After a couple of days, that arch pain moved and I started getting a pain up in my ankle joint. It was also a bit swollen, tender to touch and felt hot. I iced it, put some anti-inflam gel on but nothing helped and I ended up skipping a couple of runs, including a 35k long run (I did 12k and called it quits) because I was worried about doing damage. Out came the anatomy diagrams so I could try and figure out what  on earth was wrong, but that whole area was just far too confusing so I booked in to see Brent (physio). Better to get straight on to addressing whatever it was.

I saw Brent after work on Friday and whatever manipulation stuff he did seemed to help a lot. He said I probably did something at the Sutherland Half (likely, given that I nearly tripped over a handful of times). His advice was to watch it, ice after running, use anti-inflams if I needed it and don't run off road on uneven surfaces. After physio I gave it another day to settle down, and had a couple of anti-inflam tablets, and by Sunday it was much, much better.  I got through a strong 35k run and only noticed it a couple of times, and even then if i hadn't been consciously thinking about it I doubt I would have taken any notice of it at all. It has stayed settled down so I'm hoping it was just a small hiccup which is on its way out.

Just over three weeks until Melbourne Marathon.


  1. How has the injury behaved since your race? I'm dealing with the same injury and am nervous to start running again...

  2. i have the same issue as you both and i went back to training and running about 8 weeks ago after being off since Nov last year. Mine is chronic (i've had it for over 3 years) and i will start seeing the physio again at end of next month. I wasnt better but i went back as i was starting to get depressed. Oddly enough it is behaving better than i expected and actually feels better than when i was off. I'm training for a half marathon (didnt think i'd be able to) at the moment but i am just running to get the distance and time under the legs. No speed/interval sessions as it doesnt like it.I get bad days with this but then i back off a couple of days to let it settle down. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed i can get to the start line and complete the race. My advice, give it a go, go for a short run and see how it behaves during and after. If its hurting back off a few days, see how it recovers and then try again. If your physio has said to start running, just go for it