Friday, July 22, 2011

Taking it Easy

Well Vermont did not go as planned. After training very hard and going into the race in really good shape, I was brought down after only 50K by an ankle injury. I started feeling some pain in the ankle several weeks ago after running a local 5K. Over the next few weeks the pain would come and go; I figured with some rest leading up to the race everything would be OK - I was wrong. I took off with the leaders at a fairly aggressive pace for a 100 mile race. After about 10 miles I began feeling the pain in my ankle and after 20 miles I could not push off it normally, and backed off from the lead group. At mile 31 I met Anne for the first time and took off my shoe to reveal my swollen ankle. At that point my race was over - only a little over 4 hours after it began. It came down to making a difficult decision, but I did not want to risk further damage to my ankle and the possibility of a prolonged absence from running. I will live to race another day.

The one positive is that Anne and I were able to start celebrating our Anniversary a little early. We had a good time just relaxing and spending some quality time with each other. When we got back home I went to the foot and ankle specialist (the same one I saw last Fall, same ankle - different problem). He determined I had damaged my Posterior Tibial Tendon, but luckily it had not completely ruptured. So some physical therapy and a little more support for that foot should fix me up.

I did pick a good week to take some time off (both work and running), with the weather being near 100 with matching humidity. I've also been able to use the extra time to show the boys how to weed the garden, make tomato sauce, and put together a train set. Although Gavin has missed his normal time in the running stroller:)

Right now I am forced to take it real easy, but I should be back to normal training in a few weeks and can begin focusing on the Fall racing season. I am currently thinking about running in the 24 hour Championship in September. It is not necessarily my preferred type of running, but the type of training I've been doing and am able to do where we currently live probably suit me well for a race like this. After that I will either run Oil Creek or Grindstone. I am getting a lot of pressure to run Grindstone, and it looks like it will have a really good field of runners. However, I really want to go back to Oil Creek after being pulled at mile 85 last year. We'll see, but first things first, I have to get this ankle back to 100%.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Prep for VT 100 and Running to Inspire

About ten days until the Vermont 100 and I am starting to really look forward to this race. Now that I have completed the distance and have a better idea of the mental capacity that goes into covering 100 miles on foot, I have much more confidence. The race also coincides with our 7th wedding anniversary. After the race, Anne and I will be spending some time relaxing in Vermont/New Hampshire (without the kids, thanks Nana!).

My training has been fairly consistent since OD 100. I took a few days off after the race; slowly got back into my normal rhythm and have been running around 110 to 120 MPW, including one eight day period of over 160 miles – this included Highlands Sky 40 Miler and the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon. I’ve also thrown in some shorter races just to try to keep my fast twitch muscle fibers somewhat sharp. Since running MMT and OD 100 my pace for these races is a bit slower, but with the focus on running a solid 100-miler a slower 5/10K time doesn’t bother me too much. Physically, I feel pretty good. The only troublesome area is my left ankle, which has always been a bit finicky. My posterior tendons just don’t want to cooperate with the rest of my body. It doesn’t impact my running at all, but there is some tightness and occasional swelling. I am now going to actually try and take it easy leading up to Vermont and hopefully I won’t have any problems with it come race day. I am happy with my training and hope that it all comes together for a great race. After Vermont, my plans are still up in the air. There are many races I want to do, but I cannot run them all…

On a completely different note, I am pleased that recently my running has encouraged others to live healthier and get into better shape. I am an extreme introvert by nature, but I have made an effort to become more involved in the local running scene (with a little prodding from my wife). It has been very cool to see that by simply running with and talking to people you can have an impact on their decision to live a healthier life. While running, - Ultra running in particular - is a fairly solitary (selfish?) activity, there are still many ways that you can use this ability to make an impact on society however small it may be. I hope that my running can continue to inspire others and those people in turn will become an inspiration.