Larian Hijau MPSP 2012 (Green Run)

It was Friday 24th Aug. Had a short 3.5km jog. Even then, the pain in the calf was still troubling me. That was despite a whole week of abstinence and intensive physiotherapy. And the withdrawal symptoms were showing too. I was quite irritable and at times, just plain depressed. The lingering uncertainty of the whole process taunted me. To make matters worse, I was already 2 weeks behind schedule for Osaka.

Now, faced with the dilemma of whether to participate in the Larian Hijau (Green Run) MPSP or not, it seemed the easier option was to forego it. I said "easier". But not necessarily an option that I would lightly settle for...

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Holding on to a glimmer of hope, I made my way to the starting line at 4:30am. Conveniently, MPSP was just right across the road from my hospital. So, I decided to "camp" overnight in the hospital bed to avoid the morning's mad rush.

I was well aware of the distinct possibility that I could crash out after just a few km: DNF for the first time in my running life. Or I would hobble back after a few hours with an aggravated injury and wounded ego. Anyway, the dice is cast. I have come this far. Against my 'better' judgement. It would be pointless to think too much about the consequence now. That's because I would be finding that out pretty soon....

Met a few familiar faces. Fellow Youth Park runners. Some who knew of my injury were surprised to see me. Moved by their show of concern, I reassured them that I'd be very careful and not push myself senselessly. Mee Han warned me that she didn't want to see me up on the podium. I concurred that it was very unlikely.

Just as we gathered at the starting line, I quickly conjured up a strategy. It wasn't a complicated one: Just start slow. Gauge for any pain. Gradually increase pace to the point of any perceived strain. And slow down if that happens. In other words, go easy.

Flag off was punctual at 5am. I stayed somewhere at the mid pack. And slowly worked my way ahead as my jog turned into a stride. Chatted with Shannon and Adeline for a brief moment. And then it occurred to me that there was no pain. I started yanking up the pace to about 4:30min/km, and I was surprised that I was able to maintain it without much aggravation.

I was relieved but knew that it was much too early to rejoice. If there were no injury to dog my mind, I would be aiming to run at 4:15 pace or below. But on that day, to maintain at 4:30 and not feel the pain was already a bonus. Soon, I spotted Dave Ang and gave chase. I always prefer to chase after a target rather than running alone. It is certainly more interesting and less lonesome. So, we paced each other for a while. However, at about 16km, I began to feel the strain coming on. The calf was beginning to hurt.I had to wave to Dave to go ahead while I slowed down at a more manageable pace. The race was more or less over at that stage. I maintained my pace and kept the pain at bay for as long as I could until the end. On that day, I was just glad to have finished with a decent enough time of 1:33:16.



For Junior Vet category, I was awarded 1st Runner up. A delightful bonus. But what was more memorable was the opportunity to race together with my fellow runner friends. It wasn't so much about the position or trophies or prizes that were won, (though Youth Park Runners did an excellent job of sweeping most of them in all categories), it was the camaraderie and fellowship that we shared that deeply impressed on me. The experience was priceless.



On a personal note, I went away with more of a relief and an assurance for overcoming the fear of the physical pain and it's mental impact on me. To a non runner, this probably means nothing. But to an avid runner, you will know what I am talking about. An injury can be quite devastating.

But I learned that day the need of confronting my fear. And I was glad I didn't back down. Had I foregone the run, I know that my level of confidence would have taken a severe blow. But the miraculous thing was: As I recuperated for a day following the event, my calf pain was almost entirely gone. It was too good to be true.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the author is not implying that the above method is recommended to anyone suffering from a sport related injury. Please refer to your doctor to ascertain your condition and seek proper treatment as your first priority.

On another note, the organizers did an excellent job for their inaugural event. I was impressed by all the aspects from punctuality, placement and adequacy of water stations, to the accompanying marshalls and traffic control etc. It was impressive to say the least. Well done! I will be back next year!

Next report: Sungai Petani (SP) Half Marathon.....

Comments

  1. I know how I would feel if I had to sit out a race too cos of an injury so good job on your determination and glad that the injury wasn't aggravated further. But damn, I was about to follow your method until I came to your disclaimer ... LOL!

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  2. Haha Nick, I would be irresponsible if I hadn't put the disclaimer there. The fact remains that I was also gambling a bit when I went ahead with the run. There was still a possibility that I could aggravate the injury. But I guess Someone was watching over me....:)

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