The other exciting thing that will happen on Wednesday is Pat and I will head to Colorado for the Leadville 100 this weekend. After we drop Caitlyn off we will hit the road. My mom is in town and will pick her up and probably do something special like go out to lunch at McDonald's and then have ice cream. I'm excited about this weekend but I must say, I'll be lining up on that start line at less than 100% healthy. Cool was my downfall. And new shoes. Here's the story.
Running at night is cool. I guess that's why the 12 Hours at Cool Night Run is really cool. Last year was my first time doing this event and it was also my first night run. I was running on an injury so I decided to just do 3 9 mile laps for 27 miles. The first lap is done in the daylight giving you a chance to get to know the course then you gently enter the darkness as the sun sets over the golden hills.
Horses make way for the runners
I reached the top of the hill and decided I wouldn't stop running until I crossed the finish line. I would treat this like it was the end of Leadville and push myself harder then I wanted to. If that lady wanted to pass me, she would have to work at it. When I got to 1 mile to go, I knew I had it. I continued to push and crossed the finish line in 9:07:10. I debated about doing the extra 5.5 miles to the back side aid station but I already had my Western States 50 mile qualifier so I called it a night. The lady behind me came into the finish laughing that I must have really wanted to stay ahead of her because she really ate my dust. Turns out she did 4 laps so I was ahead of her by a full lap. Oh well, it was good to push myself. However, after seeing the results I was a bit disappointed. I finished 4th female but if I had run that extra 5.5 miles, I would have finished 2nd.
I got cleaned up, visited a bit, then headed home. The sun was rising. I had to pull over about 25 minutes from home and take a quick cat nap so I didn't fall asleep while driving. I got home, crashed on the couch for another hour before the family woke up and we headed to Incline Village. I wanted to get in another run but I noticed my right knee was pretty sore. So while my family played at the park, I ran up Tunnel Creek to the flume trail and back down. It was only 6.5 miles but it was a strong 3.25 mile climb with a painful descent.
We had a nice lunch at Steamers in Kings Beach then headed home. By Monday, my knee was really hurting. It felt like a very tight ITB. I got a foam roller and rolled it, iced it, and started the Ibuprofen routine. I ran easy on Monday and Tuesday but it was very painful. So I stopped running. My coach asked if I had done anything different and I told him about running 100 miles in a brand new pair of shoes (TRT and Cool). He ordered me back into my older shoes and I finally tried running again on the 14th. I ran 1 painful mile. Things were not looking good for Leadville but we went on with preparations to go.
I finally seemed to turn the corner on this past Sunday. I ran 4 miles but in a type of pain that I can work through. I've also been seeing my chiropractor trying to get my periformis taken care of. Things seem to be better in that department as well. So here's how things stand 4 days before my first 100 mile run: my leg/knee still hurts but I think/hope it's something I'll be able to work through on race day. I've run about 13 miles in the last 3 weeks (since Aug 5) but I'm hoping my fitness hasn't disappeared (notice a lot of "hoping" here?)
So my diagnosis is this: an over-use injury from running 2 50 mile races within 2 weeks of each other (one with 10,000 ft of climbing) in brand new shoes which aggravated my ITB and periformis. I'm hoping (there's that word again) that I was able to rest long enough that it will be fine on race day. At least I'll be well rested :) It's definitely not the type of taper I was shooting for.
I'm pretty convinced that if I had run the schedule my coach wanted me to, and was smarter about breaking in a new pair of shoes, this wouldn't have happened. But I let my ego get the better of me at Cool and I ran more than I should have. Will I ever learn? I'm sure nobody else has ever done anyting like this before.
I'm headed to Leadville with the intention of finishing. But I'll be smart. There's a difference between pushing through pain and pushing through an injury. I hope I will know the difference.