Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Worst Nightmare: Injury during the NatGeo Earth Day Run

It's every runner's nightmare to get injured during a race. I never imagined it happening to me, having been doing a lot of practice runs and gym workouts. But it did. And it hit me bigtime.

There are a number of factors that I consider before joining a particular race event. There's no doubt Runrio-organized ones are the best, so I usually join those. The advocacy behind the event would be another point I'd look at (a good sample of this is running to save the dolphins last Condura Run). And of course, the price of the registration fee. This is probably a wrong conclusion, but I usually equate high fees with high quality races - caused a lot of debate among runners (if you read various blog sites and forums), but it's something I believe in. That's the reason why I joined the National Geographic Earth Day Run, held at the Mall of Asia, over another Earth Day Run which was held at the Fort. Without timing chips or any race freebies, the reg fee was at P700 for the 10k category. This is the most expensive 10k race I've joined in to date. Well, it's National Geographic anyway, and they're giving away "technical shirts", for whatever reason they're called that way I don't want to know.

April 18, 2010 - Race Day. I headed to MoA, sporting my new, green Nike singlet and Mizuno running cap. I didn't wear the race shirt since I'm not comfortable running on sleeved tops. As you can see on the picture below, we have two additions on our running group - Chaniel (leftmost) and Rappiboy (rightmost).

Now familiar with the MoA route, having just joined The Green Miles Run, I upped my race pace. By the 5k halfway-point, I was elated to beat my 5k personal record - 24 minutes, translating to a pace of 4 minutes and 48 seconds per kilometer! I was on my way to a new 10k PR (hint: Sub-Piolo). The photo below was taken by Tey, just before I hit the 5k mark.

The excitement didn't last long though. During the 7k mark, I felt there was something wrong with my left ankle. "This could not be happening to me", I keep telling myself. I slowed down, hoping the pain would subside. I then tried to increase my pace again, but I was not just imagining things. I had no choice but to say goodbye to my new PR dream. I did a 7 minute per kilometer pace on the final few kilometers, with runners overtaking me left and right.

After crossing the finish line, I continued to walk, assessing the feeling on my left ankle. It was still painful and I was already complaining about it to my running companions. But the drama needs to be forgotten for a while, photo opportunities await!

Rap and I saw Gladys while walking around the finish line area. Notice how Gladys covered her race bib on this photo. She didn't want anyone to know she only ran 3k. Oops!

I also met my elementary and high school classmate as well as college roommate Winsley (that's him on the right) and his friend Noel (yes, another Noel). These two are very strong runners.

Finally, we wouldn't miss doing the "superposition". I just couldn't help but laugh whenever I see Chaniel's chicken dance and Rap's armpit scratching. Maybe the superposition takes a lot of practice to perfect.

Mils, Rap, Chrissie, Paolo and I then had a yummy breakfast at Cafe Breton. During that time, I had to do some first-aid, so I was putting on ice to my injured ankle. By 9am, Mils, Rap and I attended Sunday mass at the nearby church. I was just leaning on the church wall throughout the mass, and by communion time, when I attempted to move from my position, I knew I can no longer walk on my own. The pain was already excruciating. I decided it was now time to go to the hospital. Rap had to go home already so only Mils was left to accompany me to Makati Med (Thank you Budeh!).

It was my first wheelchair experience. The nurse asked me my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10; I answered a definite 8! I was given a quick acting pain reliever, my ankle was bandage-wrapped and applied an ice pack. The hospital attendants also did an x-ray on the affected area to make sure I had no bone fractures. Thank God it was only a muscle sprain. I was advised to continue applying ice to my ankle, keep it wrapped in bandage, elevate it during rest, and take the prescribed pain reliever.

With this injury, I was devastated since I had a number of future race events I've already registered in. You'll definitely read more on the developments of this injury on my succeeding blogs.

Oh and by the way, I finished the race in 55 minutes and 49 seconds, still a sub-1, but a shattered new PR goal attempt.

1 comment:

  1. the wheelchair pic is classic! :D time flies too fast, and now you're nearing your running prime again. yey!