Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sydney Marathon: Post Race

As I crossed the finish line I was too tired to be elated, or even think about much. I shuffled slowly round towards the table where they were handing out the finishers medals. On route a volunteer took the electronic timing tag off my shoe. I felt a bit guilty that someone else was untying and doing back up my shoe laces, but quite honestly I don't think I could have done it myself.

Once I made it over to the medals tent I was given my medal, a t-shirt, hat and most importantly bottles of Powerade and water. I quickly devoured a couple of orange segments from big boxes that had lots of runners crowded round them and then I made my escape from the crowded finishing area.

Heading into the Botanic Gardens to find bag collection I downed the Powerade in seconds (liquid gold after an event) and then started to down the bottle of water too. I feel into conversation with a couple of other first time marathon runners on my way to collect my bag. Both of whom were looking a lot better than I felt at that moment in time!

Once I'd retrieved my bag I found a spot on the grass to do some stretching and wait for Trish. I was thankful that the knee pain, that had been with me for the last seventeen kilometers, had gone; but my quad muscles felt like they were on fire! I've never had a sensation like it. I spent about 10-15mins stretching, but I'm not sure how effective any of it was, I couldn't really feel anything beyond the burning sensation in my quads.

Stretching over I reached into my bag for all of the goodies I had packed for me to devour. I had something to drink and eat and began feeling a little queasy which isn't a feeling I'd had from a post run meal before. The muscle ache and queasiness was making me slightly apprehensive about the toll I'd just taken out of my body.

I hadn't managed to spot Trish so I gathered all of my things together and headed over to our pre-arranged meeting place. It wasn't long before we were re-united, Trish having run in the excellent time of 3hrs 50mins.

We'd planned to go to Boy Charlton pool for a dip in the - hopefully cold - water to help flush the lactic acid out of our legs, shower and to get changed. The pool wasn't as cold as I'd have hoped, but I think it helped to calm down some of the inflammation in my muscles. Once I was out of the pool I had another Powerade and chocolate bar, followed by a wave of nausea. What was happening to me?

After the swim we headed over to the Tilbury pub in Woolloomooloo to meet some of the other members of the gym who had taken part in the half marathon or who'd come along to support us. One of the initial reactions when people saw me was how dehydrated I looked. It's not the very clear, but can you see my sunken eyes in the photo above? Apparently a classic sign of dehydration.

I spent the next few hours in the pub almost constantly drinking glasses of water. Once we'd been there about an hour I decided to try a cereal bar, and when that didn't make me queasy, I ordered some food from the bar. The rest of the afternoon we spent chatting, me trying to resist Trish's plans to immediately sign up for another marathon and devouring all of the snacks that I had in my bag.
In a lovely surprise the running group and brought me a new running belt as a congratulations for completing my first marathon.

When I got home I went to the gym next door for another fifteen minutes in the pool, followed by five minutes in the sauna, hoping that my muscles would welcome the heat treatment.

By the time I'd got back from the gym, showered and changed it was only around 6pm and I wanted to keep moving so I decided to go out for a walk and treat myself to an ice cream in Darling Harbour. While I was out I had a craving for protein so popped into one of the food courts in China Town for some BBQ meat before making my way back home.

What a day!


  1. This post was sponsored by Powerade. Well done Ricardo!

  2. If only they were paying me! I didn't like the term 'sports energy drink' so mentioned the brand name. It does sound like a bit of an advert....

  3. I am a Lucozade man myself. Actually I'm not, I find both brands far too sweet!!

    Still in awe.