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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stunner Conquers Sigma 2013!

My Sigma 2013 gear!
In my last post I wrote about my intentions to run the annual Sigma Corporate Run this year and my hopes to even try to get a medal by training vigorously. Well, getting a medal may have been a bit immature at this point in my life but a man can dream can't he?

With my eyes firmly set on doing well in the Sigma 5.5k this year I started out my training regim and went to Emancipation Park at least three times for the week. Things started out rough as I have not ran in ages, almost eight months in fact. So I started off by walking about two laps around the park, each lab being equivalent to 500m, then running as much laps as I could after which I would walk the remainder to make it 5.5k. So going around the track at Emancipation park eleven times would be the full Sigma 5.5k distance. Things were going well as each time I went to the park I ran longer and ended up going around the track even more than eleven times. At this rate I was sure to be in good shape for Sigma, or at least so I thought!

Icing my knee
By my third week into running I started feeling pains in my knees, at first it was that bad and so I thought it was just a little soreness as my body was not used to the running as yet. So I figured that after a few mow times running it would eventually go away, just like the soreness associated with starting back at the gym. However, this pain only go worse, even walking became a painful ordeal no matter how slow I went. This caused my training to come to a screeching halt and much to my dismiss and utter disappointment. I resorted to icing several times for the day and rubbing Voltaren on my knees, but this only temporarily eased the pain a bit. As if this wasn't bad enough my sinus started to drain and gave me a nasty chest infection. At this point Sigma seemed to be nothing more than a dream dashed to pieces by a series of unfortunate events. I had to go to the doctor for medication to put an end to the chest infection and also decided to ask him about the knee while I was there. The good news was that I got medication that would clear up my sinus issues and chest infection, but the prognosis on running was very grim. I was basically given pain killers and told to rest and at most walk at most if I still wanted to do Sigma. My dream sank even further into the darkness, no Sigma for me.

Some of the medication I was on
Two weeks of pain went by slowly as I watched the days go by in my dismal routine of icing my knees and rubbing Voltaren. Three weeks of only walking... No limping to do my daily activities. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel, as the week before Sigma progressed the pain got less and less until there was only an intermittent hint of discomfort. By Saturday night February 16 I was virtually pain free and I cleared myself to run the following morning!

Me just before the Sigma Corporate Run on Knutsford Blvd.
I arrived at Emancipation park at about 6:30am and already the place was abuzz with activities as participants were all ready to challenge themselves for charity. I went up to the starting area on Knutsford Boulevard so I could at least get a decent position, which was a good idea as people were already there securing a good starting point. I did a few stretches and did some stepping in place during the starting ceremony to get my muscles warmed up. After about 20 minutes the horn blew for the runners to start and I was off! I made my way along the route at a steady pace, not as fast as I had hoped I would have been going, but it was what I could manage. The route was not easy, despite the morning being overcast and cool. As I progressed along the route I passed many runners who sprinted off only to come to a snails pace and I also got passed by a lot of people who were obviously in better shape than I was. Nevertheless, I pressed on with my steady pace as I listened to my running music that I had complied just for the half marathon. But as the route continued so did the difficulty and  the muscled and my body cried out for a break! Would I make it?

The Sigma Corporate Run 2013 was the same route as that of 2012
By the time I was going up Hope Road and unto Winchester Road my body had enough and was ready to give up, my running pace slowed down to a brisk walk by the time I was midway along Winchester Road, this was it! But then I said to myself if I continue to walk now then I would have completely failed. I grabbed my iPod Shuffle which was clipped to my shorts packed and skipped a few tracks to the Rocky Theme Song! It started and so did my pace, it picked up slowly like a locomotive train and builded and builded up, by the time I realized I was in a a full out sprint! my body running only on sheer mental energy and will power. My chest burned, my muscles ached, my breaths were short, my heart was pounding but all I could see is the finish line, all I could hear was the Rocky Theme Song playing. As I got closer I groaned, I puffed and as the finish line as nearer, the faster I went and the more people I passed. It was there, before me, the prize, the finish line! I did it! I did it! I crossed the finish line like an unstoppable force! Pain, agony, fatigue was nothing compared to the will to succeed! I conquered Sigma!

The champ not long after crossing the finish line on Oxford Road
I finished the Sigma Corporate Run in 33 minutes and 7 seconds, not as well as I wanted, but not bad considering the circumstances.  Now, I have reaffirmed that I need to get even fitter, to challenge myself even more. With this in mind I will continue to run, I will do more half marathons and maybe one day, just maybe I will conquer a full marathon!

My results 00:33:07
The race has ended, but the journey continues...