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.|
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.