Tuesday, June 08, 2010

In which I slightly break myself

Jo and I were set to run the City to Sea walkway yesterday, a roughly 12k urban trail run, starting near Parliament and finishing on the rugged Southern coast. In the days beforehand Hamish and I had been in Auckland staying with friends. We'd spent a long night/morning on the dancefloor and then spent the rest of the weekend lounging around on their sofa eating, drinking and watching movies. To say it wasn't the best buildup for the run would be understating matters somewhat. I should really know by now that I can't do that to myself and expect to feel good!

On Sunday before we flew back down to Wellington our friend, who is a chiropractor, offered to help Hamish with some back issues he was having. He sees a chiro regularly down here but the night on the dancefloor had put things out and he was dragging his right leg. My right hip was still niggling so I decided to give this chiro stuff a shot as well. There was a lot of loud cracking, which felt really great at the time. She also did something to my ankles to free them up, leaving me feeling like I was moonwalking.

We had a curry for dinner on Sunday night, again probably not the best decision. I spent Sunday night dozing fitfully and suffered the kind of night sweats I haven't had in about a year. I woke up feeling queasy and unrested, but I was still excited about the run. I couldn't really stomach much breakfast but had a spoonful or two of porridge.

Outside it was drizzly but surprisingly not too bad. The wind was coming from the North and it was warmer than it had been. It was forecast to go South later that night, but we though we had hours before the gales kicked in. The plan was for us to run the trail then around the coast to a cafe in Lyall Bay, where Hamish would meet us with dry clothes.

The walkway starts with a short, sharp climb through a graveyard and into the botanical gardens. By the time we got to the top we were already shedding layers. From there we ran round the perimeter of the university then down into Aro Valley. A short climb then took us through a park and community gardens, then it was out onto the road again, then through a series of trails in Central Park.

Crossing through Central Park we emerged halfway down Brooklyn Hill, then crossed over and headed through Prince William Park and past the Scottish Harriers clubrooms. As we came out of the shelter of Central Park it became clear the Southerly had arrived earlier than expected. As we ran through Prince William Park it was rapidly getting darker. As we crested a hill we could see dark clouds moving in dramatically over the harbour, and it became clear we would soon be getting very very wet.

After the clubrooms we ran through a narrow section of singletrack in the pine trees. This section was undulating with lots of stairs and pine needles made it very slippery. As we came out on Hutchinson Rd the threatening rain started to bucket down. We traversed a steep and treacherous climb up a grass slope to the top of a hill in Macallister Park. If Hamish had been looking out the window he would have seen us running long the ridgeline. By this point I was soaked through, cold, and my glasses were both steaming up and covered in rain. I could see nothing.

We dropped down off the side of the hill then jogged around the edge of Macallister Park to the bottom of Farnham Street. The next section of the track skirts the edge of the Berhampore Golf Course before climbing up an impossibly steep trail to Tawatawa Ridge, then drops back down again into Island Bay. I've written before about that steep section of trail. I slipped over four times going down it a few months ago. I wasn't keen to try going up it in this weather, especially when I was running blind.

It didn't take a lot of agonising to decide to abort and walk the kilometre or so up Farnham Street to home. We were as wet as if we'd jumped in the harbour, and cold. We then treated ourselves to brunch in Lyall Bay. Driving around the coast we were very very glad not to be running it.

Later that day I developed a sore throat then my sinuses started to block. This morning I woke up shivering with cold and aching all over. I've also managed to wreck my lower back, which is very stiff and sore. It probably wasn't a good idea to try to do that run right after an adjustment. Sigh.

I got up to go to work but couldn't stop shaking so went back to bed. Around mid-day I started feeling too warm. My stomach is also feeling less than solid. I feel well and truly broken! Outside it's around 4 degrees with a wind chill of -1. There have been reports of snow squalls around the city. Ede has spent most of the day on my lap, Gaffer and Tissy asleep on the bed.

I'm hopeful I'll be well enough tomorrow to go back to work, and I'll get my back looked at by either my physio or massage therapist. I doubt I'll be running, unless I experience some kind of miracle recovery.

I was suffering too much out there to take any photos, but a few other bloggers have done so, including here and here. There's also a Flickr photo stream, though the last few are of central Wellington rather than the walkway. It was an amazing run, and I think it's incredible that I can be in our capital city and yet still have easy access to so many great trails. I will be doing this again!

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