Saturday afternoon I had my second shift volunteering at the Cat Protection Society Op Shop. I was with the same old ladies as before – Robin and Barbara – and they mostly left me to tend the till while they sorted and priced donations. I had a good time though and the hours just flew by. I met an American guy who gave me some recommendations for our trip in November and I found a pewter beer stein that I knew the Snook would love. (He did.) So that was successful.
Saturday night was the Lord of the Rings Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. Our seats weren’t great; we were sitting in the front row so we could basically only see a couple violins, cellos, and the conductor. The music was fantastic though. I got shivers when the flautist started in on the Hobbiton theme. The projected concept drawings were beatiful and helped remind you where the music came in the films (though they did look like they were put together using the “Ken Burns Effect” in iMovie). The second half featured Katie Noonan extensively and she sat right in front of us. (She’s the lead singer from george, an Australian band.) She was amazing. Really, really good. I loved her rendition of “Gollum’s Song” and “Into the West”. It was cool to see so many little kids sitting still for three hours at the symphony. I’m very happy that we went. (I’ll admit that I spent at least an hour watching this kickass lady cellist and thinking, “Why aren’t I a cellist? Can you study to be a cellist when you’re 27 or is it something you have to start when you’re 2? If I were a cellist, I’d wear my hair just like her…”)
So… the Nike Women’s Classic was today, Sunday. That suuucked. Unfortunately my injury reduction plan didn’t work very well. I’d had a couple short runs this week without any significant pain, so I figured I’d worked through whatever was bothering my left foot. I started out the race in fairly good form, though I was disturbed that I seemed to be the only one wearing a terry cloth sweatband. (And I thought it was such a brilliant idea!) I was happy to make it to the drinks station (2.5km) before taking my first walk break. That’s when I noticed some slight achiness whenever my affected foot hit the ground. I pounded on… and it got worse with every step. By the 3.5km marker, I was gritting my teeth. I was getting shooting pains up my left leg. I started walking at 4km, thinking I could at least finish the distance that way. Within a few minutes, it became obvious that I needed to stop. I was worried that pushing on would lead to some sort of serious injury. So as I approached one of the race volunteers at the final turn back towards the finish line, I told her that I was hurt and I needed to take the shortcut back to the start. I’ve got nothing but praise for her and the rest of the race staff. She offered to have the medical staff come pick me up but I said I thought I could manage. I saw the Snook soon after, as he’d been watching for me with the camera. He knew what was up as soon as he saw me limping. I made it to the medical area and had a nice hairy paramedic check me out. He said that it could be a stress fracture, or it could be a torn ligament, or maybe it could even be a “spur”. He said that if an X-ray didn’t turn anything up, to pester my health fund for an MRI. Then he rubbed down my ankle and heel with some smelly Chinese balm and sent me off. Snookums and my other running buddies urged me to go collect my race goodie bag before leaving, but I felt like such a loser that I didn’t want to get any prizes that I didn’t earn. So I didn’t even get a medal this year. I hobbled back to the car and headed home. I’ve been putting more smelly balm on it all day, and I think I’ve pretty much isolated the source of the injury: the ligament below my left ankle that runs the length of my foot. If I point my toes, it feels like it’s just going to snap. I guess a visit to the sports physician is in order, huh?
And on a related note, I have decided that running sucks and I’m never going to do it again. 🙁