Monday, September 22, 2014

Surf Coast Century - DNF

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. You're not a real ultra runner until you've had a DNF! I suppose in the back of my mind I had real doubts about whether I was going to be able to get through a 100k with my current issues, but I tried to go in with a positive frame of mind and hope for the best.

All set to run 30% of my race!!

The race started promisingly enough, cruising through the 4k out and back feeling good, chatting with Stephen Rennick for a while, then settling into a nice pace with Andy Turner as we went back past the start line and started the long haul up the beach towards Torquay. The first sign of trouble came at the 8k mark, as we scrambled over rocks going over a small headland. I slipped a couple of times, and each time there was a sharp tug of pain in my stomach as the injury made itself known.

From that point on, a dull ache gradually became a sharp stabbing one each time my left leg came forward, and another couple of minor slips on the rocks at around 15k, further exacerbated the situation. By the time I reached CP1 at 21k, I pretty much knew my day was done, but in another one of my questionable in-race decisions, decided to press on to see if it got any worse. And sure enough, worse it got. By 28k, it was like a knife going into my stomach, and I could no longer run. I limped the last 4k into CP3 at the 32k mark, told a marshall I was dropping, and got a lift back to the start from a lovely couple who had witnessed my less than speedy arrival at the checkpoint.

Once back at the start, I sat down with Allie for a while, and we watched the leaders come through at the half way point. Andy was travelling beautifully, and went on to have a great race, finishing 7th in 9:27. He also raced in the Salomon series event the next day, and won the concrete shoe for the fastest combined time over the two events. A great effort and result from a bloke whose company I have really enjoyed in training runs over the past couple of months. Seeing him do so well was a silver lining to a pretty shitty weekend.

Winner of the concrete shoe - Andy Turner!

The Monday after the race I saw the surgeon my GP referred to me to. The consultation lasted all of 5 minutes, and was easily the quickest I have ever spent $150. He decided immediately that I didn't have a traditional hernia, which I had already worked out anyway, and referred me to a sports physician down the road. Before rapidly dismissing me from his esteemed presence, he mentioned possible causes which were already on my radar such as ligament damage, impinged nerve, and Osteitis Pubis, which had been my original self-diagnosis.

So far I haven't seen the sports physician, or even made an appointment. I've decided just to rest for a couple of weeks to see if it improves and go from there. I'm still getting out 3-4 mornings a week with our kelpie Billy, just for an easy 8k at 6+ min/km pace. I find if I don't run any faster than this, then the injury doesn't get any worse. Icing and Neurofen also seem to help, which does tend to suggest that inflammation in that area is the root cause.

Hopefully I can get this right within a month, which will still leave me plenty of time to get ready for Two Bays.