I am so thrilled to be writing a Race Report – that has been a long time coming.
When I was convalescing in Melbourne, I decided that I was going to set some post operative goals – as you do – as there’s not much you can do with yourself, except think, read and surf the internet. As running was something that fell by the wayside as soon as I sustained the hamstring avulsion, I decided to make it my goal to be able to run again. Many people who sustain a hamstring avulsion and who don’t get it repaired can no longer run and often those who do get them repaired find it difficult (but not impossible).
That is how I found myself with an entry into the Twilight Bay 5km run. Surely I could run five kilometres five months post surgery? I informed my physio, who smiled at me, told me it was good to have a goal then told me to keep working on my strength because I didn’t have enough to run just yet.
A few weeks ago, I gave up on the prospect of running, and heeding my physio’s advice, went to the gym and started working on my strength.
Last week, I ran again as a bit of an experiment – one minute on, one minute off on the treadmill. It was better, but didn’t feel quite right and I was feeling rather despondent about the prospect of showing up for this run and well, not being able to run. What a waste of money that was going be!
Then poor Mr Lucy copped an earful about my failure to run and kindly suggested that I pull out – to which I told him that there was no way I was pulling out of something that I had paid to do.
I headed off to Wynnum solo and after a well timed pre run toilet stop at Murrarie (as cyclists, we know where all the good stops are and as a runner from way back, know the joys of finding a quiet bathroom pre run), found the start line and wisely decided to do some hamstring activation drills.
Still with the thought of having to stop and walk, I approached the start line, broke into a gentle jog, and ignored the crampy complaints my hamstring was giving me. Before I knew it, I saw a great big sign that read “1km”. I was delighted – after all I hadn’t been able to manage 200m, let alone one kilometre post op. I asked myself if I was in any pain. Funnily enough, the weird cramping had stopped and suddenly I found myself running the second kilometre faster.
Then I saw the “3km” marker. I couldn’t quite believe that there it was and I was still running. I could feel my old “bulldog tenacity” coming back. I knew then that I was going to complete the 5km, running the entire way.
At the 4.5km mark my glutes were starting to tire, however, I could see the finish line and I willed them to keep working for that last five hundred metres.
I crossed the line in 32.50 and instantly felt very emotional. I had done it – run! I wanted to tell everyone around me that I’d recovered from hamstring surgery and run – luckily I saw my good mate Karen and her family and was able to tell her how pleased I felt.
Yesterday was a turning point for me – I feel like I chased away the “black dog” and found an inner “bulldog” in its place, a dog that has been “lost” for a long time. I am glad it came home. My heart and my feet are lighter. It is a good feeling.