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 :-)