On Sunday the 4th of July, i had the opportunity to compete in the Gold Coast Half Marathon. This has been an event i have been training for all year so i was determined to run a good time. Little did i know how a small cut on the foot could lead to a very disrupted month of training in the lead up to the race.
About a month leading up to the race i was on a trail run and cut the bottom of my foot on a trail run due to a stone being in my shoe. I thought nothing of it and whacked a bandaid on it. As a Teacher i am on my feet all day and i noticed the pain got considerably worse towards the end of the week. by Friday the pain was quite sharp and it was of a concern. The day after i had the N.S.W short course x-country relays and i was put on the team. Checking my foot, i couldn’t see any real damage or irritation so i thought perhaps it was just the hard sole shoes i was wearing. The following morning, the foot was aching but tolerable to walk on. As the day progressed the foot got worse and worse however i was still determined to work through this pain and run for UTS Norths and hit out the relay as it was only a 4 x 4k relay.
I got to the race and warmed up and the foot was still sore. When i put on my spikes, the lack of padding really aggravated the pain. I took off for my leg of the relay and it was one of the most painful 4k’s i have ever run. As soon as the race finished i took off my spikes and my left foot was so swollen and very painful to touch. That night i had a dr come and have a look at it and he said i had an infection in my foot and gave me some antibiotics. This antibiotics seem to settle the pain but not get rid of it completely. Being on my feet did not help either.
I had 2 weeks off running and the pain still persisted. I ended up seeing the dr again who then decided at that point to take a swab. The results returned and it was established that i had a Staph Infection in my left foot. The Dr lanced the foot and drained the fluid and after that, the pain in my foot was thankfully gone. It was such a relief as it was very painful.
A couple of days later i got back into the running and decided to go for a run. I did so at jog pace and managed to get about a 45 minute jog out. I did the same on Sunday, however towards the end of the run my knee started to feel sore. Little did i know that this was the early staged of Patella Tendonothopy. This too was painful and felt very jarring to my left knee, which was the same size as the foot i had the staph infection on.
I booked to see the Physio right away (Sportslab Drummoyne) and Dave the physio said due to the fact i had rested for 2 weeks, then got back into the jog the tendon had flared up causing tendonitis. 2 weeks out from the Gold Coast Half, this was very the worst news however Dave assured me that if i followed the isometric knee exercises and drank plenty of green tea i should be ok to run…
At first i was very hesitant as the knee was in so much pain but as training progressed the knee did get better but it was sore very on and off- particularly running around sharp turns. The knee would feel good for about 2 reps in a short session than flare up. When i went on my long runs, interestingly, the knee would hurt at the start of the run but then disappear 6k into the long run. Another thing to add to this was that i was on nurofen twice a day, 3 time a day.
On the day of the GC Half, my knee was sore in the warmup and it was making me feel very nervous. I hadn’t ran 21k since prior to my injuries so i felt like i was adventuring into the unknown. I was told by one of my running friends Sophie, not to take any nurofen the morning of the race as this can cause dehydration. I didn’t take 2 nurofen as prescribed however the pain was a little too sore so i had one. In doing so, i knew that i would need to make sure i stay as hydrated as i can, particularly with my history of dehydration.
In the final hour leading up to the race, I did my best to use the power of positive thinking despite being told by many people not to race, however i thought the best person to take advice on was the Physio who said to me that the knee will feel sore at the start but should hopefully feel good as the run progresses so that kept my mind at ease.
The gun fired, and i took off at a fairly moderate pace as i didn’t want to expend too much energy on the knee. The knee did still feel sore and i was rather worried. I sucked up the pain and kept running on it. As predicted by the physio, the pain did ease around 6k into the race and i was able to run with a larger stride and catch up on some lost time. I went through the first 10k in 36 minutes and in the second 10, 37 minutes which was pretty consistent. Overall i was pretty comfortable. The last 2k hurt possibly due to my lack of fitness leading up to the race but i finished in a goal time of under 80 minutes in 78 minutes. i was over the moon and relieved i completed the race which was my main goal and secondly ran under 80 minutes which has given me alot of confidence to run a good Half.
The knee currently is feeling pretty good but still needs some more physio. I am continuing to do my isometric exercises. I am climbing My Fuji next week and apparently the down hill should be ok for the knee.
A big thanks to my sponsors TomTom Global, Skins AU, SOS Hydration, Run Crew and Chief Bar and to the awesome physios and massage therapists over at Sports Lab.