Post Race Piece: 23rd Yakult 10 Miler. My First Unfinished Race

I was joking with my team mate Mac as I was swerving to the side of the road to the water station after the third kilometer, when suddenly my body tipped to the side.  I felt a searing pain in my ankle and before I knew it, I was hopping in one foot to the median island. I can only shake my head in frustration when I saw my ankle is swollen - like a big red tomato.  This doesn’t look good.  But I’m still hopeful…. I want to finish.
They say that failure is one of the most difficult topic for a person to talk about. Obviously that’s what  happened to me after spraining my left ankle during the 23rd Yakult Ten Miler event.  It took me more than two weeks to write this post race piece.  Though I mentioned about the sprain incident in some of my earlier posts, I haven’t written an actual post race piece for this event like I traditionally do to all the events that I joined.

So to cut short the agony of telling the story and to get over this once and for all, I am blurting this out right now - After a year of running, I have my first unfinished race!  It happened on my second 16K run during the 23rd Yakult 10 Miler event.  The annoying thing is that, I wasn’t actually running when it happened. I was heading to the water station.  The bad road under construction got me off balance.

 My left-foot-less Bowerman and my improvised ice pack :(

At first I was still hopeful that I can still finish the race, but every time I tried to step on my left foot, the more I feel that it was hopeless.  The pain is getting persistent.

I gave myself several more try, until the last runner made the turn around at my injury point. After that, I forced myself to accept that I can not.  “Runner down…” is the beginning of my SMS to one team mate whom I estimated had finished her 5K run.

I realized that the day is somewhat ominous but blessed.  I don’t usually bring a mobile phone during a race, and I also seldom carry money with me.  For some estrange coincidences, I both have these two necessities with me.
I carried my mobile phone because my music player won’t play that morning, and the money because it was left in my running kit when I used it on another purpose some few days before the run.
The other wisdom and realization I got from this experience: 
  • Having a running team is the greatest. (I will write a separate post about this).
  • A runner in her last ounce of power will not let herself be delivered in the finish line in an ambulance.
  • I now know the true meaning of “crawl if you must”.
  • Learning to embrace defeat at the right time will spare you from further trouble.
As for the race itself,
  • it is my personal opinion that this kind of run is not so much for fun runners but perfect for competitive runners.  It lacks the mood in which you usually find in a fun run.
  • I’d like to have a special mention on the medics on bike.  What a relief they applied on my ankle which enables me to walk the three kilometer distance from my injury point back to to the finish line. And extra thanks to their encouragement for me to walk back than ride the ambulance. 
  • the amusing water station banners.  it gives runners something to smile about. Sorry, I photographed just the first two banners.
The race result can be found here and my thoughts about it here.  Another consolation I have on this run is seeing my two best running buddies finished their first 16K. Hurray!

Till next run, when my ankle pain is gone…

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