Monday, May 20, 2013

Pick Your Poison RR, Sulphur Soon, 50K???

Well, it has been a while...

Mind you, I did post a PYP race report on Running Mania.  Skip this if you have already read it:

Most aspects of this race are great in terms of execution and perqs. A T-shirt and honey in your race kit, very cool socks for finishers and a course that keeps them coming back every year. Weather was not a big factor this year, just a bit of rain to start the race and some snow on the traverses, as in traverse a ski hill or three.

Race Report

Well, some good, some bad. I was a little apprehensive about the first race this year. Would the knee implode due to the toughness of the course? PYP is a 12.5K course (I did 25K) that requires both attention to terrain and a vast amount of effort. Many of the 50K runners were wiped by the end of their race. I did well for the first loop and had some aspirations during the first half of loop 2. Unfortunately, at 20K, my torn calf made itself known. A torn muscle is not really an injury, more of an annoyance, and with some rest and judicial training, can be made whole after a couple of weeks. I thought I had it nailed 2 weeks ago. Wrong! Of course at 20K, with a sharp pain on every right footfall, my only thought was "only 5K. I'm not stopping because of a tiny tear". At 23K my right calf explained that continuing was not an option. So I walked a bit. At this point I was having trouble walking uphill. I decided that enough was enough - let's get this over. I started to run. It was painful but felt great to be getting to the finish line. My calf then explained that it was serious about wanting to stop and gave me an ultimatum. Stop or experience an ubertear. Hmmm. The thought of a DNF in the first race with only 2K to go overcame my better judgement. I continued to run, but only the flats and downhill.

I finished 25K in 3:05, which is officially my worst PYP 25K finish. I also have a very cranky calf to contend with. I'm looking at 2 or 3 days off running. I am not happy with my time, or with finishing the race (I should have DNF'd). I am happy that the season has started. I am very happy that my knee (Surgery last year) held up admirably. Overall: I give the day a 72%.

(End of RR)

After reading the report, 2 things strike me.  1.  Although the muscle tear was annoying (bad) I don't think I should have DNF'd. There are very few runners over the age of 5 that have not had an injury.  It is part of any sport, not just running.  2.  It appears that I am belittling a muscle tear ("not really an injury").  Try telling that to an elite hockey player sitting on the bench during the Stanley cup playoffs.  On second thought, wear protective gear before telling him...  I should have described it as an injury that will heal quickly, given proper rest and care.

So, 3 weeks have gone by since PYP, I have rested my calf and ramped up to 28K long runs.  No, don't ask.  Just consider an oxymoron as a valid logical construct.  Next week is 25K at Sulphur Springs, Canada's largest ultra race.  As of now, 293 people are signed up for an ultra distance of 50K, 50M or 100M.  I don't know of another race in Canada that has that many people registered for a long run.

This might be premature, but IF SS goes well, I plan to sign up for 50K at Niagara.  I have not completed an ultra in about 3 years, so I am scared senseless.  Part of the mental game is to consider Niagara a test, if I DNF.  I need to run long, I need to see how the knees hold up during a long run, I like tasting wine...

Well, gotta run!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Pierre! Sorry about the injury situation - definitely no fun! Hope you are healthy for Niagara. PS - loved running with Sharon at Worlds. Tell her hello for me!

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    I'm not familiar with any of these races, so it's nice to get some perspective on them before getting into it. Who knew there were so many of them so close to me! I'll definitely have to put these on my list for next year.

    The psychological aspect of something challenging is usually the hardest part to train for. I find high intensity workouts that are quick in duration, but difficult to finish, get me into the mindset that I can push through the pain.

    Hope your injuries subside for the remainder of the season! ( and afterwards, as well ;) )