Monday, October 13, 2008

Injuries galore, a year end analysis...

Ok, I am getting the signs, the signs that it's time to rest for the year...and when I look back I had a good year and can't complain, but also when I look back and see that I've "raced" over 300 miles, it's makes sense.
Some achievements for the year were ranked in order of importance to me:

1. Finally got my 2nd Hardrock finish in 7 attempts.
Damn that run is hard, especially when you don't live "up there". I was able to get through it this year by bowing down to the course and staying at a slow pace for over 50 miles, then picked it up a bit until I couldn't no more, then brought it in. My time was 43:25, 2 hours slower than my 41:14 back in 2001, but Ii enjoyed this one more and I'm 6 years older!

2. Sub 20 minute 5K (19:52) at age 56 in June.

3. Survived all the mileage and racing, some of it hard trail racing, until just recently.

I was not able to accomplish only one of my goals, which was a sub 3:30 road marathon.
This is frustrating because it seems like only yesterday that I could just show up at a marathon and run sub 3 hours.... Guess I let the years slip by running ultras and this has slowed me down along with just plain ole' getting older. I'll be 57 in a few weeks, so can't complain much. My dad was 4 years from passing on from a heart attack at this point in his life, living a completely sedentary lifestyle.

I had plans on running just one more race, the Hellgate 100K in December, but recent injuries are telling me that it is time to rest, so I withdrew from it. A couple of weeks ago at the marathon I was trying to do that 3:30, I developed knee pain that I mention in the post below. I was on target to run my time, but bailed to keep my knee from blowing out.

So I then decided to return to recovery mode and run all my runs at a low HR training pace in order to recover from all the racing miles this year, so then after taking a week off after the marathon, I strapped on the HR monitor and kept it all to sub 70% of max, which is a nice easy restful pace. I did that all of last week, running around 5 hours over the weekend and then one hour a day all on trails and I was feeling great, even thinking about running another race!

Then this past Saturday on a long trail run on one of my favorite trails, I turned an ankle and now can't put much weight on it. It's swollen and is many colors and I'm guessing I'm 2 weeks minimum from being able to run again. The trails around here are all leaf covered now as the trees prepare for winter and rocks were hiding under those leaves. It's a dangerous time of year to run trails, those rocks are sneaky...they hide under the leaves for unsuspecting hikers or runners.

But that's OK.....this is the time of year for rest anyway....soon we'll be snowshoing and XC Skiing, doing different things to rest the legs in prep for next year's trail running season :-)


Peter Lubbers said...

Sounds like a smart move, Steve. Congrats on all the accomplishments this year. Great stuff!
Take care,

olga said...

Steve, what's up with those injuries? Don't even try to blame it on are not there yet! Ha! Now take care of yourself (and Deb) and I will see you guys next season. Too bad you are not joining in this weekend.

ultrastevep said...

Thanks, is good!

Olga, I will be there very soon! Right now I feel like I've gone beyond there ;-)

Tom said...

Hey Steve,

Sorry to hear about your ankle. You may remember I run with hinged braces. I swear by the "McDavid Ultra Ankle 188". I haven't had a serious (or even moderate) ankle twist in 4 years since I started wearing them. I will NOT run trails without them.

ultrastevep said...

Hi Tom....

I generally don't have this problem, even though in my 33 years of running I've probably done this 3-4 times, all on trails. It was one of those things....I was being real careful running and feeling through the leaves, then I came to a steep downhill, charged down, saw an older couple coming up hiking. While sidestepping to let them up, Tucker went to greet them, I jumped to the side to avoid him and rolled it downhill. I'm a fast healer and am already walking on it "almost" pain free and should be running easily again in a couple of weeks. I might stick to the roads for a bit until it's 100%...

I need the rest anyway ;-)

Thanks for the tip and comment,

Ryan said...

Looks like another great season, kick those ultra feet up and recovery well.

Jason Halladay said...

Hey Steve, rest and/or cross training is a great thing! Some people's bodies can really do much better with loads of running while folks like me have body that just doesn't go for too much of the same thing. Winter's chill is in the air and it's time for some other great sports such as curling and ice fishing.
Congrats on a great year! Finishing Hardrock for a second time was a crowning achievement!

Dave said...

Steve -

Don't give up on the sub-3:30 marathon. We've corresponded before. I ran a marathon in 3:28 last year; all out effort - but can't break 21:00 for a 5K. With your 19:50 5K and your ultra-efforts; you can easily do it - you just need the right day.


ultrastevep said...

Ryan....thanks and great run at Wakefield! It does pay to be persistent in this sport!

Dave....thanks for your comment. Since writing this post I have somewhat come to my senses. Running fast is in my blood and is where I cut my teeth in the early days of my running. I will always have a desire to run fast marathons, or as fast as I am able as I get older. Just last night I was scanning the horizon for a marathon to run in one last attempt to qualify for Boston. But first I have to rehab this ankle sprain, which is coming along, but is still sore. I always use the infamous ankle sprain of Scott Jurek one week before the 2007 Hardrock as a reminder of what "can" be done. I haven't lost any fitness, I'm sure.