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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Painful in Sydney

Sunday May 17, 2009 - I awake early to have my pre-race breakfast - wholewheat toast with honey and peanut butter, a banana and cup of coffee. With much nervousness and alot at stake, I took the brief walk from the hotel to Hyde Park in central Sydney. At 7.30am the gun goes off, and I am off with 8,500 fellow runners. Alot of runners so it was hard to make a break for the first 10km. It's two laps of a course which winds its way through the downtown area along the harbour. That said, there are also a few killer hills - including the infamous Hunter Street Hill (500 metres between Pitt and Macquarie Streets) as well two climbs at the turnaround point of Mrs Macquaries Chair. The first being a long gradual rise (250 metres) followed near after by a short hard climb (150 metres) that trebles in length on the second lap. Another run up the Argyle cutting is 500 metres and although not as steep as Hunter Street, it was tough.

I was running at a good pace, well on my way to getting a sub-2hr time. Then in the last 3 kms, I felt something go in my left calf. I slowed down. Oh no, please not now. So close to the finish line. Not now. I start to feel pain in my right calf as well. I slow down to a walking pace. I stop and stretch. Can I finish? Everyone is running past me. I continue to move forward, hobbling all the way to the finish line and straight into the medical tent - for ice packs and water and water.

I ended up with a time of 2.06.47, respectable but a personal disappointment. Our fellow Team Joe running, Marcel did a great time of 1.47.33. Well done.

Now it is back to physical therapy and a short retirement from running.


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