A successful Woodford to Glenbrook campaign

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Time away from home: 26 hours
Time spent driving: ~ 7.5 hours
Distance drove: 660km
Time spent running: ~ 3:20 minutes
Distance run: ~686m

I enjoyed the weekend.

So, I may have DNF'd the Woodford to Glenbrook run which I had been so looking forward to (I'm technically a very good downhill runner), but I did the 'right' thing, and am benefiting from it. And, to top it all off, I got to meet in the flesh (and mohair singlets) three more members of the Cool Running family; Two Penny's, Colin and O Runner.

The band downstairs didn't disturb me too much, I woke a few times and heard them finish their set at around 1:30am. Felt great in the morning, showered and was ready in good time, leaving Springwood at the time I had hoped to. Found a cluster of CR caps at the start, but went off in search of friends from Canberra who were here for the run. The weather was surprisingly mild, and my concerns about the cold were unfounded. With bikes everywhere, eventually the race got underway and I happily settled into the middle of the pack as it pounded down the first section on Railway Parade at Woodford. I had decided at the last minute to leave a light long sleeve top on, to be removed later. As it started to rain lightly I was pleased with my decision. The light deteriorated, and I removed my sunglasses and put them in the zippered back pocket.

Just as the run left the road to enter the trail down to Glenbrook I felt my right ankle go snap. I can't remember slipping, twisting or landing awkwardly on it, but it wasn't good. Thinking that it was just one of those things that improves with running, I stopped stretched it a bit and watched the field go by. Typically of the kindness of runners in these events, at least every second person asked with concern "If I was alright?" The field thinned out and I was confident that even starting from the back I would be fine in making up the time. Tentatively I tested it seeking to jog, but it hurt - a lot - and even placing in on the ground was not a good feeling. The rain got heavier, and I did the sensible thing, trudging back to the roadway where I hitched a ride in a brand spanking new 'Fire Appliance'.

I was hoping that my friends husband would still be at Woodford station as he had my car keys, phone, cash and spare clothes. No luck. I wandered over to where I had parked my car in some vain hope that he was there, and to check that I had locked the doors. I had, and the rain got very heavy now, and I was beginning to feel rather cool. I took refuge in a bus shelter to assess my options. I thought about catching a train down to Glenbrook (without a ticket), although my terminally honest nature found this unacceptable. I saw a CareFlight vehicle drive south, and moved on to Plan B - and hitched yet another ride on the same Fire Engine. Although well out of his way, the driver took me all the way to Euroka Clearing after dropping off some other firies at the Warrimoo Station.

At this early stage, I was concentrating on doing everything I could to minimise the effect of the injury. I kept my ankle well elevated and applied pressure with my hand. I hobbled over to the First Aid Tent at the site finish, got it strapped and had an excellent view of the finish as I sat up like Lady Muck with my foot on a chair chatting about cycling to a friendly firie, Paul. Although my ankle wasn't swollen like the previous strain when it rapidly assumed the dimensions of a grapefruit, it hurt far more. I couldn't imagine that it was broken, and managed to beg some pain killers. Ultimately, my friends husband found me, and I was able to put on warmer gear, and have access to money and keys.

It was great watching the runners finish - the leaders ahead of many 'fun' cyclists who had started first. From my vantage point I had a growing sense of pride as cool runner after cool runner finished strongly, certainly taking the majority of the first 20 places. Fats had an awesome run, finishing second behind Paul Arthur and looking fit and strong to the finish.

After a restorative coffee, I wandered over to the other side of the finishing chute to say G'Day to a few blue and yellow caps - here I was delighted to meet Two Penny's, O-Runner and Colin. It's a slightly surreal experience coming face to face for the first time with someone you have chatted to and got to 'know' on the computer for the first time. On one hand you know all sorts of things about the person, their sense of humour and likes and dislikes. On the other, they are strangers! The sense of strangeness quickly disappeared, although I felt like a real woose having pulled out of the event. I joined Colin in getting a lift back to Woodford with O-Runner and felt that all was good with the world. Now, only to drive home.

I had packed an insulated bag with ice packs and my fortijuice, so I cruised back along the highway with almost frozen bags wrapped around my ankle and tucked into the leg of my tights. An uneventful and enjoyable trip back, stopping at McDonald's (I have to admit it and come clean!) at Sutton Forest for their toilets and a cup of McCafe coffee. Not the best coffee, but better than most on the road. With the fuel light showing as I entered Canberra, I diverted and filled the tank up first, so that I wasn't stuck during the week. At home, the house was freezing, but managed to get the fire going with little drama.

My ankle is decidedly much better. In fact running from Tuesday seems quite a reasonable thing to do. It has been a salutary lesson in the benefits of learning to read my body better, and not seeking to struggle through at all costs. The pain has largely subsided, there is now only minimal swelling and I am confident about returning to running soon. Isn't it wonderful what old age does in making one do the right thing?

15 Responses to “A successful Woodford to Glenbrook campaign”

  1. Blogger RunDave 

    Thanks for your comments FD. I am feeling better today so we'll see how things go.
    I hope your ankle gets better quickly. I wish I had the presence to know when to stop for my own good.

  2. Blogger tim. 

    bugger about your ankle. Good to see you kept positive about the day and still got an adventure in.

  3. Blogger Hannah 

    Ouch! Glad your ankle is better... the whole snapping thing sounds awful!

  4. Blogger Friar 

    What a trip for such a short run.

    Sounds like the day was such fun though. Riding with firies would have been great if they had the siren going.

  5. Blogger Dave 

    Great to catch up with you yesterday FD even if not in ideal circumstances. Sort out that ankle asap!

    Don't forget the TDF compe either, less than a week to go.

  6. Blogger CJ 

    Shame to hear about your ankle FD, hope it gets better very very soon. Sounds like you had an interesting day anyway - helped along with a couple of restorative coffees as well (coffee always help, in my opinion!)

  7. Blogger Eddie 

    Thanks for your comments on my Blog Flash Duck. You obviously speak from experience. I hope your ankle heals quickly and that you are back on the track soon.
    I am looking forward to the GCM am thankful for any amount of cheering - every bit helps.

  8. Blogger go girl 

    Thanks for the comments flashduck,
    Wow sounds like an eventful weekend. Looking forward to meeting you at the GC!

  9. Blogger Luckylegs 

    Carolyne, I could hardly believe it when I read that you'd hurt your ankle on Sunday! Have to admire the spirit in which you take this blow....I suppose that's where the 'flash' bit comes in !

    Enjoyed your lengthy account of the whole weekend...always more interesting than just the race itself.

    Hope you're looking after yourself; say hello to Bob & hope his ankles etc are in good form.

    We both had a good laugh about the spatula!!

  10. Anonymous Anonymous 

    This is a cool way to be updated about your happenings!!
    WE miss you lots.

    xo Lisa, Gretchen and Dominique

  11. Blogger Spud 

    Flashduck, sorry I missed meeting you at he W2G.
    Keep icing and strap that ankle up. I did the same thing 4 days before a long run last week but managed to make it back on the road in three days with regular icing, rest and compression. Also remember to rotate and stretch the ankle at night too, I found tracing the alphabet with your foot helped!


  12. Blogger Gronk 

    Sorry to read about the ankle FD. Trail running quickly turned into bush walking ! Wishing you a swift recovery.

  13. Blogger Orko. 

    Sounds like you had fun on the run. Hopefully the next one goes a might bit better.

  14. Blogger TA and the Gnome 

    Hope the ankle's better. Glad to see you took it on the chin and enjoyed the race from 'the other side'.


  15. Blogger miners 

    Gee Carolyne - real shame to hear about that. But it was lovely to see the title of your race report regardless of the ankle incident.

    Glad you met a few of us! I know what you were trying to say about knowing us strangers all so well. Can't wait to meet up with you soon too!

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