Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Bench

A few of my fans (and yes, they are exactly that - a few) have been wondering where my race report is for the Pirate's Cove, which I ran on March 19. Life has been busy, as well as other things going on, so until now, it just hasn't happened. However, I'll give you a brief rundown.

Pirate's Cove was run in the Marin Headlands. The same course I ran four weeks prior for Golden Gate, except for two changes. One of those changes I feel made the course harder. If you're wondering about gain/elevation, go look at my previous report where I posted a profile pic.

The race was fantastic. Absolutely 100% fantastic. The weather was total crap again (rain, wind, hail, even a thunder boomer thrown in for good measure), but I couldn't have asked for a better race. I felt great the whole time, never once had a depressing thought, nutrition was spot on. Every . . . single . . . thing . . . clicked . . . like nothing I've experience before. My God, it was a great feeling!

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact I knew what was in store for me. Nothing was a surprise. I knew which climbs would suck (or as my friend Kate described them before - are diabolical), and I was prepared. Keep your head down. Get through them. That's why you're here. Don't be a damn baby.

My hope was to finish this 5 to 10 minutes faster than Golden Gate. I didn't dare hope for better because (1) I had been out here a mere 4 weeks earlier and (2) I only had a very short mini taper for this race. After all, it was to be a training run in preparation for the Leona Divide 50-Mile Endurance Run at the end of April.

As I came down the final flat half mile, the ocean stretched out in front me, I was feeling very satisfied. Neither the suck butt elements, the course, nor my own mind demons had gotten the better of me this time. I was ending this run with a smile on my face, so what more could I ask for?

As I rounded up into the parking lot, like before, I gave it all I had for the final push. The finish line volunteer, who had been trying to stay out of the pouring rain, met me as his truck (the finish line), gave me a hearty congratulations, and handed me my ultramarathoner finisher's coaster.

"Do you have the time?" I asked.

"Yeah. (looking at his computer) 7:20:10."

In my head: "WHAT?!?" Outside of my head, a subdued, "Yes!" accompanied by a fist pump.

"You met your goal?"

"Yep!" with a huge grin on my face.

Let's look at the math:

Feb 19 - Golden Gate 50k: 7:44:06
Mar 19 - Pirate's Cove 50k: 7:20:10

Four seconds short of being a full 24 minutes faster!! To say this was more than I expected is an understatement. I was totally blown away. And upon getting home and looking at finishing times for previous races that were similar in difficulty - A 19:00 PR!

I still find this unbelievable. And two weeks later, I still can't keep from grinning when I think about it.

So why is this post titled "On the Bench"? That's a good question. A great question, actually. I'll tell you why - -

Long story longer, I've been on crutches since Monday. I finally got to see an ortho today, and he concurs I have stress fracture in the top of my foot. Said he'd send me for an MRI or bone scan to get official results if I wanted, but wouldn't treat it any differently, so I opted not to spend the dinero. I go back to him on the 15th. If there's no improvement, then he'll order up a scan or MRI.

He had me stand on my toes and on my heels, which I did with no problem, but now, a couple of hours later, it's still achy. He was happy I was able to do both of those without pain. He also noticed that my injured foot is dark than the other one, which I had noticed, too. Said it's because of nerve damage. Recommended contrast baths 2 or 3 times a day, and taking a soft loofah or paint brush and brushing the top of the foot to help the nerves wake up/heal. Interesting. Those of you with foot fetishes would probably like that one. I'll have to ask The Hub to bring home a couple of buckets that my foot will fit down into.

Two more weeks on crutches. Stay off the foot as much as possible. I CAN do my stationary biking so long as I don't have it cranked down to the toughest gear. No weight-bearing at all. He also suggested swimming, so I'm going to go and chat up the folks at CalCourts re pool running. Our office pays for people to be members. NICE!

Funny: He said something - I can't remember what - and I told him I'll do anything he wants me to, I just want this to heal. He said, "Well, good. Sometimes runners are like heroin addicts. (rubs hand across face) They refuse to stop running no matter what." Big grin He did, however, say he thought running was good for you because it helps build stronger bones. He also said this may be an indication that I might not be able to go the longer distances, we'll just have to see. I asked him if that meant I couldn't do a 100-miler like I've had pricking at the far reaches of my subconscious. He just smiled at me.

Anyway - There you are. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks I'll be able to start putting weight on it again. We'll see . . . .

I've already gone through a few crying jags, and spent about 3 days throwing myself a pity party. Today I finally canceled all my reservations for Leona Divide. :-{

1 comment:

Kate said...

OH CRAP! I totally know how you feel!! I was sidelined by an injury once before a big run and I was almost inconsolable. I'm so sorry to hear you're skipping the 50 miler. But, do as I did and just pick another one out in the future to look forward to instead, after you've healed.

An until then you get to relish the wonderful performance you had at Pirates Cove - diabolical climbs be damed! Great job. So proud of you.

100 miles? heh heh