This should really be called what not to do when you're not in shape to run a half marathon (on trails no less) and have a turned ankle that just won't get better.
Loren and I (and Barb!) signed up for Horseshoe Lake months ago. Since then, Barb came down with a stress fracture, I tripped over a street sign in front of my house badly turning my ankle, and Loren stuck with her usual training plan: running with the dog, going long when I tell her to, and riding the 40+ miles to work once a week. In short, not good training conditions for anyone.
I really hemmed and hawed in my head about even running. While my ankle did not hurt to run on, it would ache after, all up my leg. So I would tape it, and wear a sleeve, and try off and on running with a brace. Most of my runs were short, 3-5 miles. This, of course, is not enough to run a half on.
Last week I figured I should try and go longer than that, but I didn't want to do it in my hilly neighborhood. I went and ran 8 flat on the Embarcadero. For this run, I KT taped by ankle ( using the method for peroneal tendonitis), wore an ankle brace, and a compression sleeve. This is ridiculous. I miss my NYC physical therapist. I had no pain running and a wee bit of soreness post run but I figured this was a green light. It feels the best when I run with that silly ankle brace, so there you have it: run with the brace for now.
Still, I spent the week lamenting. My biggest concern really is not running, it's being able to climb Mount Hood in early June. Loren and I are heading up there for a summit attempt with Highpointers. This coincides with the annual convention (or as they say konvention). Yes, there is a club. Yes they have a convention. Yes this is terribly nerdy, to the point where Loren is almost embarrassed. I think it's kinda cool. We're gonna meet some crazy ass people who, like it or not, are kinda like us. Plus, we're going to climb Hood! This will be my first glacial peak so I'm really excited and don't want to risk hurting myself. My mind the last few weeks has been very much like it is when marathon tapering. Um. Yea.
Part of the reason we've been running all these trail runs is to stay in shape for the climb. It's also a ton of fun. As you can see, the last month or so has been a bit of a mess, so I went in to this with low expectations. Very low. Like, finish, maybe, most importantly, not get hurt.
The field was kept very small due to lots of single track on the course. There was a 5 miler (different course) half, full, and 50K. I'd say less than 200 for all distances with the half being the largest. As far as elevation, it gained 1800' which considering some of the other Coastal races we've done, it's not bad. (Click here for elevation chart).
There was one point on the out portion that was simply not runnable. It was like a straight up wall. The rest, not so bad. The bummer for me was my being cautious on the downs. I'm usually a really good, aggressive downhiller. I wanted to be careful not to turn or twist anything so I backed off. That was the smart thing to do but a little frustrating, esp. in the last few miles as I was stalking a woman very close in front of me who I just could not catch.
The wall we had to run up was no picnic coming back down either. Lots of roots and rocks and oh so steep.
My legs started getting heavy and tired by mile 8. Ooops.
I was trading places with a couple who was running the full and we were chatting. I said I was doing the half but was really only in shape for about 8. The guy said well, I'm doing the full and am really only in shape for a half.
Close behind them were 2 women running together who I really didn't want to catch me. I could see they had gained a lot on me since the turn around. I just didn't have a lot in the tank to try and pull away from them. They did pass me, but one of them was struggling so I was able to pass back and stay ahead. That got me through to the end. I was never able to pass the woman who was close ahead of me, but I was able to hold them off for good.
As I approached the finish, the couple doing the full were on their way back and there were high fives all around.
I ran through the finish to see Loren, Barb, and Pete all waiting. I didn't feel terrible, I didn't hurt myself, and no one soiled themselves so I'd say it was a success.
Finish time: 2:10:56
Over all: 17/97
Age Group 2/6
Loren was 7th OA, 2nd woman, and 1st AG.
No more big runs until post Hood! I of course will update about that when we get back!