Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scotiabank Half Marathon 2012

After suffering from shin splints for the weeks leading up to this race, I then endured an achilles problem in my left leg. Unbelievable, more injury woes!

I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to run in the race, or at least if I did, I would be just jog around what promised to be a very scenic and enjoyable course.  Zoe, my girlfriend from the UK, was coming out on holiday during this time and had also signed up for the race too.  She is a good runner but had been suffering from a calf strain recently.

The day before the race, Zoe had decided that she would run for sure.  I was still in two minds, do I run and risk prolonging the achilles injury or play it safe and not run.  As all runners know, it is very hard to be sensible when it comes to missing out on a race.  So off we went to the race expo to pick up out race packs and I would delay my decision until the morning of the race.  Very sensible I thought.  At the expo, I saw a stand that was selling 'The Stick'. A device for massaging the muscles that works like a rolling pin to get the blood moving through the muscles and releasing tension and knots.  I sat on the seat and let the man take a look at my lower legs. It became instantly obvious that my calf muscles were as tight as a drum and knotted to hell.  This was probably contributing to the ongoing lower leg injuries that I seem to be suffering from recently. I tried using the device, it was agony but it had potential to help.  So, I bought one! 

That night I worked my lower leg muscles with the device and suffered serious pain as the muscles were manipulated but I was convinced it was helping.  The next morning, my legs felt OK.  I could walk around my apt without limping or feeling any tightness. OK, I can run.  Great!

Zoe bringing it home

On the start line I felt happy to be there but a little nervous about how my legs would hold out over the 13 miles that lay ahead.  "Just be sensible, run slowly and enjoy the event" were my thoughts. It was a beautiful cool morning, perfect conditions.  Zoe was feeling in a similar vain, don't go off like a steam train but take it easy.  However, she decided to start off at a decent pace whereas I was going off super steady. 

I am glad to say that the race went really well.  My legs coped fine, my pace was slow but I suffered no pain and ran a solid race.  The weather was great and the course was super scenic.  I crossed the line on 1hr 46mins, a personal worst time for a half marathon for me but I was relieved and happy.  Zoe ran 1hr 45mins and felt the same way.  It actually felt nice to just run in a race for a change without any pressure, chasing a time and pushing myself.  A refreshing change.  Doubt that attitude will last long though, my competitiveness will return once my legs will let me run freely again.  Please Mr your magic!!!!

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