If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Heck of a Run/Hike

How to NOT taper for an extremely difficult (at least to me) 50km:

1. Ride for 5 hours last Sunday
2. Take Monday off due to being wasted (see #1)
3. Drive to Osoyoos for a funeral then come back home at night (with 9 hours on my ass I should be rested, right?)
4. Get decking materials delivered Wednesday and work on it that day plus Thursday
5. Go to the Cultus Lake waterslides on Friday with the kids and make approximately thirty trips up the stairs to get to the slides (good quad workout but not the day before a race)

Things I would change about the week - none.

Yes I've finally admitted that I may have scheduled too many races this year with not enough recovery in between. Most of the 'A' races have been ones that I've never done and I therefore wanted to do well at. However since my shin splint issues I haven't regained my fitness and am having trouble being rested for these events and also to get ready for the next ones.

On that note, the second of three races in six weeks was the Knee Knacker on the North Shore. The way the leaders took off I thought for sure I would see at least a couple of them in a few hours, them having gone out too hard. I never saw them after fifteen minutes. I thought I was taking it easy on the first huge climb up Black Mountain but I felt thrashed halfway up, shades of Bighorn. Once I hit the top there I felt somewhat normal again and puttered through the snowy, muddy forest. Some sections I saw nothing but mud in front of me with a pink ribbon on the other side indicating that that was indeed the route I had to take. Seeing as there were other footprints through the muck I jumped in and across it. It almost took too much effort to look for a way around the stuff.

There was an eventual decent into the Cypress Mountain parking lot aid station but it was short lived as we went into the forest again for a very technical section. My right knee has been bugging me since Bighorn when I run for more than ninety minutes and it acted up around here. Still unsure what it is.

After arriving at the Cleveland Dam we had to make our way up 500m of roadway to the start of the Grouse Grind. There was only a couple hundred metres before we veered right taking a slightly less hilly route up. From about the three hour mark whenever I'd walk a steep section, I made myself run once I reached the top. I figured that if I kept walking when it levelled out these walks would become longer and longer and I'd never finish. I remember getting to the final major aid station and someone saying that there was five miles left with a bit of an uphill included. Then about a half hour later at a road crossing someone said I had four miles to go which couldn't have been right. A third person later said two and a half so I counted on that one being right (hopefully). I'd never run this last section and the steep part in the middle kicked the crap out of me. Then on one of the final downhills I could hear the finishing line announcer and thought I could make my goal of 5:30 having ten minutes to do so. Of course it wasn't to be as there were a couple nice walkable uphills before the final decent into Deep Cove, then a flat section to the finish. I was eight minutes over my goal time but had such a great feeling of accomplishment when it was over.

This is an abridged version of what we saw on the run because it would be too hard to describe all the stream crossings, views, hills, rocks, roots, stairs, volunteers and aid stations we came across. Just to note that it was an amazing experience that I'd love to do again one day.

As a side note Gary Robbins suggested I try Injinji socks to help prevent my toes getting thrashed and blistered. I've used them minimally in the past and on a whim pulled out the only ones I have and gave them a try on race day. I also tried a double taping method of my big and little toes instead of the usual single wrap. Maybe it was the socks or the lack of big toenails but whatever it was my feet survived admirably. The right had a small hotspot but the left had no discomfort whatsoever. I could be on to something here.

As a side note to the side note, Carrie reminded me that she, too, uses Injinji socks and has been trying to persuade me to use them more for quite some time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Darin,
Just reading your blog. Interesting stuff. Hey, if I had known that you were a father of twins, as am I, and married to a teacher, as am I, while we were passing through the Cleveland Dam and going up Nancy Greene Way I would have brought it up in conversation. Would have been a great diversion. Anyway, great blog and fantastic training. See you at a race in the future. Maybe the KK.
Mike Palichuk