It has been a while since my last post and I have been very busy. On the 17th of June, three days before flying to South Africa, I ran the inaugural Kowen Trail half marathon. It was hard work with a lot of long, hard climbs but a lot of fun. It was successfully organised by three of the Wednesday West running group – Peter Komidar, Jess Robson and Pam Muston who are all amazing endurance runners and great mentors. This new event, ‘The Kowen Trail Run – 12km, 21km and 42km’, is affiliated with the Australian Mountain Running Association and over $5000.00 was raised for the local Wamboin Rural Fire Station.
Unfortunately, during this event, I injured myself running too fast down hills. Especially the last kilometre home. I have been struggling with a sore right calf and weak feeling in the whole leg and low back since. This wasn’t helped in South Africa when I was bouncing up and down in a safari truck six to seven hours a day and then sitting for up to four hours a day in a course between safaris – all for seven days from 23-30 June. Despite this I had an amazing time (Check out some photos on my personal Facebook Timeline) and I did manage a few treadmill walk/run sessions while I was away. Running outdoors was out of the question in South Africa and Zimbabwe where we visited the Victoria Falls. I wasn’t going to push my luck trying to outrun a rhino, leopard or lion.
I have been back in Australia for almost two weeks and only just feeling on top of my injury. I ran 8km yesterday and 22km today. I still have a vague feeling of discomfort but I no longer have the very heavy lead-like feeling in my legs, especially the right, that I had for the first few outdoor runs back on Aussie soil. I have come to understand first hand why injured runners can’t bear to hear the advice often prescribed by health professionals – ‘you need to rest!’.
I was reassured after listening to a podcast by Dr Chris Segler, that taking the often prescribed ‘six weeks off’ is not only unnecessary but can also be counterproductive. I am learning to train and maintain fitness without aggravating my injury and without setting myself up for further injury due to loss of strength and condition. I realise there are occasional times of course when ‘rest is best’ but, even then, I believe there are ways and means of maintaining some strength and fitness.
My next big run is Sunday 30 July. The Sri Chinmoy ‘Gungahlin Gallop’ from the Hall show grounds up to One Tree Hill and back. This will be the first of my long preparation runs for the New York Marathon in November. I have also entered the 14km ‘City to Surf’ in Sydney for the very first time! This will give me some idea of what it will be like to run with a crowd of over 50,000 other runners! (insert scary face) Wish me luck.