Considering that a week before the run on 19th May 2013 I was unsure of making it to the starting line due to a right calf injury, I am satisfied with my 46:56 performance (bib# 578) in the race with an overall ranking of 189 out of 8137 finishers. The icing was the 3rd place finish out of 191 runners in the 51 to 60 eyars category behind awesome runners Pani and Sid. Running through right calf pain for the last 2 Kms was quite tough. The wonderful capture below around the 9th Km by Shantanu Singh shows this well.
I literally limped over the finish line with severe right calf pain - thanks to friend and fellow runner Ravi Venkatesam for getting the volini spray from the medical tent in the finish area. After spraying that generously the calf felt much better.
Ravi and I left Domlur Layout at 6am by car and after parking at UB city we reached Kanteerva stadium by 620am. There were hardly a handful of runners in the category A section(finisher in less than 50 mins within the previous 2 years) at that time. At 630am the World 10K men racers took off at a blistering pace. Soon thereafter the area was buzzing with runners - many of them familiar. After using the restroom one more time I went down the steps to a position close to the gate to the tracks. At about about 7:19am (by my Garmin) the gate was opened and all runners rushed out tot he start line. The pushing and jostling was much less compared to the previous two years - though it was still there specially with the corporate challenge runners also joining the category A runners at the same time. (I understand it was much worse for the category B and Category C runners - their gates were opened a few seconds later). The race started at 7:21 within a few seconds of my getting to the start line. I was able to get a good start and clocked the 1st Km in 4:07 much faster than planned. Ran at a good pace till Km 4 clocking an average of 4:16/Km - the gradient after the turnaround at Ulsoor slowed me down considerably and the pace gradually fell. By the half way mark I knew that sub 45 was not going to be possible and soon thereafter also vanished any thoughts of a beating my previous PB of 2011. The last 4 Kms were really tough as the right calf pain steadily increased. Surprisingly, my usual left calf and left glutes niggle did not show up this time. I have always found it difficult to sustain a fast pace in the shorter races - My goal was to ensure that I finished sub 50 and as close to 47 mins as possible. I was doubly relieved to cross the finish line around the 47 min mark. As has been my practice at the 10K race I consumed water 3 times during the run all in the 2nd half. I felt the weather was quite ok.
After hanging around in the finish line a bit - stretching and getting photographed - drove to Konark for the wonderful breakfast hosted by Nagaraj Adiga (aka 'godfather'). It was great to exchange thoughts with fellow runners and also an opportunity for more pictures. Got back home around quarter past 10am - well fed but a bit worried about the right calf.
A day after the race I discovered that the right calf had swollen quite a bit. In general the right leg was quite sore even more so than after a typical marathon. Next day when I found some internal bleeding below the ankle it had me really worried. The ultrasound scan of the calf area (recommended by Doc Gladson of Attitide Prime) revealed ' a partial tear of the proximal muscle fibres of soleus with associated hematoma'. The soleus is one of the 3 muscles that form the calf muscles. A hematoma is defined as a collection of blood or a clot that has accumulated outside of a blood vessel. The blood has leaked from a ruptured artery, vein, or capillary and then seeps into the surrounding tissue.
The only solution for such an injury is to ice the area and stretch lightly frequently and stay off from running for a few weeks. After a complete break for 5 days I did some cycling over the weekend. After a week the swelling in the ankle has gone but there is still a dull pain while walking or going down the steps. Depending on how it goes I hope to restart running the week of 3rd June and after a couple of weeks of light training start the formal training for Hyderabad marathon towards the end of the month!!