by Phil Green
You would think being a teacher that writing would be a natural process. Alas, I was not born with that gift. However I would like to try and convey the events, as they happened to me, at the Sun Run.
Sometimes the best laid plans fall to pieces. This year’s Sun Run was an excellent example to me of expecting the unexpected.
Having completed my usual warm-up and visiting with team-mates and some familiar faces (it was great to see Lucy [Smith] looking fit and ready to go so soon after baby Maia), I proceeded to go into my first stride. About five steps into it I felt like I had been shot in my calf. Having had many calf injuries before I immediately pulled up.
To premise this: I haven’t had an injury in 10 months and my training has been going great thanks to Mike my coach and the wonderful group I train with at City Track.
Anyway, picture me sitting in the gutter, head in hands in disbelief that this could happen after such careful preparation. I tried several times to run on it but toeing off was almost impossible.
At this point, with about five minutes to the start, Rick Hickson came up and calmly told me to relax and try to massage the knot out. He also told me about a similar experience he had had and that once he got started the knot loosened, and he ran a P.B. that year. He also told me to run on my heel as much as possible.
Thanks for the advice Rick, because at that point I was close to giving up. I hobbled to the start line, despondent, massaging like crazy but still in pain and with the idea I would give it 200m then pull out on one of the side streets. The gun went and off I hobbled as fast as I could down Georgia. By 200 metres, amazingly enough, I was able to plant my foot correctly a couple of times and although the pain was still there it didn’t get any worse. I went through 1 km in about 3:02 and was running freely at this point. I knew I was going faster than usual because of the people I was running with, or attempting to run with.
Five km’s flashed by and by 6 km I was caught by Steve Mattina. We worked hard into the head wind on Beach, although Steve did most of the work, and at times I was just hanging on. I saw Art Boileau in the near distance and said to Steve, in a moment of oxygen madness, “Let’s catch Art.” Didn’t happen!!!
Went through 8 km in a PB of 27:30 and had almost forgotten about the calf. Did the usual grind under the bridge and pushed hard through the final km, finishing in 34:27, a 20 second PB, with Steve just a tick behind me. Thanks Steve for the help down the back!!!!!! I’ll take you up on the shoe offer!!!
Met Mike my coach – thanks Mike for being there at races – and to my surprise two Grade seven boys from my track team at school. Thanks Victor and Andrew, your support means a lot. Saw team-mates Sean 33:45 (not bad for an 800m runner), and Jeremy 32:22 (a 1-1/2 min PB) and went to do the cool down. This was short-lived as I ended up in the medical tent with my calf in spasms. Thanks to the physio who did some painful but excellent work on my calf.
Thanks to my wife who puts up with incessant running talk and who had a great run herself and managed to find out where I was. (Go figure, the bozo is in the medical tent. What now?????)
That’s about it, except for the great food at my wife’s company, thanks T.K., the great barbecue and fun at our friends. Thanks Dave and Sue’s. Last but not least thanks Patty for looking after Samantha and Fiona. They had a ball!!!!
P.S. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone who made my day successful and fun. Today (Monday) I can walk freely thanks to that great physiotherapist supplied by the Sun Run. Because of him I am looking forward to the Times Colonist 10km on Sunday.