Sunday, October 03, 2010

Suffering Fools Gladly

Sophie has joined the cross-country running team at school. Fiona has been keen on running for more than a year. So all three of us signed up at the Kaslo Sufferfest, the girls in the Kids' Race, and me in the 25k True Blue Trail Run. Six or eight weeks ago I had gone over the hump to check out the True Blue trails. Gulp. I started having second thoughts. I wondered about opting for the 10k run. The trails are not only steep, but even the downhills are so root- and rock-ridden that you're watching every step. There aren't many places to open up and just go. But the Race Director is a friend and she gave me the gears. I should do the long run, she said. I was feeling pretty good after the Rocky Mountain Half, so I agreed.

The Kids' Run was along the trail Sophie and Fiona and I ran/walked a week ago. Unfortunately I couldn't watch them run; all the races were simultaneous. Sophie had a good fast run. She was just a few seconds out of medal placement. Fiona had fun and earned a silver medal in a very small age group. But she ran the whole thing, and made friends with another kid and her mom on the way, talking most of the way along the route.

My race wasn't quite so successful. I've had a niggling bit of plantar fasciitis in my right foot since the Half Marathon three weeks ago. I had laid right off running, just doing 5-15k a week. It had been feeling a bit better but I was pretty sure today would make it worse. It did. The foot itself wasn't that bad, but I guess I was favouring it a bit because my knee started to bother me. And that last long descent, which should have been a gift, was pretty painful. The trail has 900 metres (over 3,000 ft.) of elevation loss and my knee wasn't happy about a lot of it. I walked most of the steepest downhill sections. I was pretty much fine on the flats, except for a bit of complaint from the foot, and felt like I had plenty of energy, but I just couldn't put on the speed during the second half of the race.

I had hoped to crack 3 hours, but gave up looking at my watch at the last summit, knowing that was likely out of reach. As it turned out, I probably could have managed it. Once I got to the flats in the last two or three kilometres I felt much better and could have pushed if I'd known I was close. But I didn't, and came in at 3 hours 2 minutes and change. It was good enough for a silver medal in my age group (in a fairly shallow field), but nowhere near as fast as I know I am capable of running.

Knee feels fine again already but foot is not at all happy. I'm planning to take 4 weeks almost entirely off running in an attempt to fix my foot. Then we'll see.

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