I've seriously neglected this blog, but as I said before - I'm still toiling away and still training. Although I'm also trying to still sort myself out.
In late March, I switched employers (YAY!), but with changes (good or bad) always has some kind of growing pain. So after missing Mt Si, I was more focused on getting some serious miles for the Watershed.
Last year, I volunteered as the Trail Director and Course Sweeper. I enjoy sweeping the course and I'm GOOD at it. I really embrace the "Leave No Trace" thing when sweeping.
The main goal was just to go as much as possible for the whole 12 hours. However, I didn't put in the running miles that I should have. Most of my regimen has been lifting heavy and some cardio from some biking and running. The course was going to punish me for sure.
Throughout the race, my ankles and the tendons around my ankles were suffering a serious beating. This is what I get for not training more specifically. I was running fine until the end of the 3rd loop and feeling my ankles buckling underneath me.
Reviewing my training weeks, I ran anywhere from zero to 10 miles a week. The last three weeks before the event I ran/walked 7, zero, and 5 miles. The zero was when I was sick as hell and trying to recover. Major muscles groups were pretty solid from my lifts. My hamstrings were sore, but not to the point of being debilitating. Had I ran more per week, have some decent long runs, I believe my ankles would have held up better and I could have gone further.
Thankfully, a timed event that is as long as this one allows anyone to chill out for as long as they needed to and I took that opportunity. So after a really painful 4th loop that had me walking and sitting to massage my ankles, I sat on the sidelines and chilled my legs in a very tall horse trough for over three hours before my ankles were able to support my weight again. I had decided to offer up my services again to Chris and Tom (the RD's) and sweep the course in the last couple of hours. So I went through the course in the final two hours, taking down markers and signs, looking out for trash and erasing any sign that the race ever took place.
Near the end, I managed to get in before the 12 hours were up and throughout the last loop, I ran pretty good for a big guy. Plus, that small loop was the most exciting thing to be apart of. Runners were going full-tilt at this point and at the end, I chased the first place runner down to the finish while ending my sweeping duties at the same time.
Loop 1 - 1:16:00
Loop 2 - 1:15:43 (2:31:44)
Loop 3 - 1:31:20 (4:03:04)
Loop 4 - 2:18:03 (6:21:08) <- Took a serious poop and a good number of rest breaks to massage my ankles
Rest - 3:38:51 (10:00:00) <- Refueled, Recovered, and shy of fixing myself up with duct tape and Gorilla Glue
Loop 5 with Extra Credit - 1:59:20 (11:59:20)
28 miles (actual recorded distance since the extra credit didn't count: 26.88 miles)
Lessons learned: More specificity training...and more ice baths...and mixing Aleve and Canadian 222's is a GOOD THING.