Thursday, 30 August 2012

Marathons, vacations, and running injuries

After inadvertently deleting my last post, I have tried to recreate it here, with some minor edits. Here is the jist of my former post.--JW

It has been a while since my last post, but I have not been resting on my laurels. Trips to Saskatchewan, Whistler, Kamloops, Dominican Republic, and Otter Lake/ Tulameen have filled my summer, making this the best summer we have had as a family yet. Preparation for the Meet Your Maker 50mi race in Whistler on September the 2nd has been on  my mind, as all efforts training is like saving for that first house--You hope you have done enough to make sure you have success. Part of my training was to do another marathon after the BMO in May. On the 29th I completed my 3rd, the Kamloops Marathon. Under sunny skies, and rising temperatures, I ran what would turn out to be a personal best, but not without hurting myself along the way.

Leading up to it, I paid a visit to Physiomoves, Tyler Dumont's physiotherapy clinic, for some treatment on my locked up left ankle. This has been a problem from the beginning of the year, and I have dealt with it each time it comes up. Christine took it to task and had me feeling right as rain in no time, ready for the marathon on the weekend. PT is becoming a necessary part of my training, so it seems, in order to correct the little things before they become big injuries.

The marathon was organized by Phil Hiom, owner of the Dirty Feet Trail Series. This guy is gold--he knows how to throw a race, and the Kamloops Marathon was no exception. Although the field was small, the course was flat and well laid out. A 6:30 AM start time had me up at 4:45 to eat breakfast and digest it a best as possible. Nick Gill picked me up and we made it down to the Start/Finish in the darkness of the day.

Hide a deuce, bit of a warmup and my prerace prep was rock solid. I bumped into Kevin Black, an old high school basketball team-mate from Kam High. He started running a couple of years ago, and completed Boston this year. The guy is a competitor, and has a killer instinct that I knew him to have years ago. He was shooting for a sub 1:30 in the half. I was trying to keep up with Rika Hatachi from Coquitlam. She finished the BMO with a 3:07 this year. My fast time goal was 3:00, my soft goal was anything under 3:10 so that I could get a Boston Qualifier, even if this course did not offer it, I wanted to know that I could do that time.

The race started off quick with Ryan Day (3rd at the 2012 BMO) taking off, followed by Rick Brewster (a killer runner--old and fast). I managed to lose sight of them along Westsyde Road, but keep a solid pace going, shooting for a 4:20 min/km.

Things were going well as I came through the halfway point at 1 hour 33 minutes, 2 minutes slower than in May. I met up with Aaron at about 25 kms, and he rode with me for the next 15 kms. It was great to have him there to keep me focused and to encourage me all along.

I was on pace for a sub 3:10. Uncomfortably comfortable, if that makes sense. However, coming back towards the Overlander bridge I began to slow, I did the math and realized that I would not make my time goal unless I could run a 40 minute 10km. Then, disaster struck.

As I crested the bridge, I pushed a hard go on the down slope. What I did not realize then, was that I blew out my O-Ring, for real. The final two kms of the race were some of the hardest that day. I did not hit the wall as far out as I did for Vancouver, but I did slow my pace over the last 2kms on Mac Arthur Island.

3:11:53. A shade faster than Vancouver in 2012. Disappointing, even if it is a personal best.

Crossing the finish line, things went a bit blurry, tunnel vision set in, and I saw stars. I walked right past Lori-Ann as she waited to place the medal around my neck. She had to chase after me as I was shattered, knackered, and all the other British terms that describe the feeling of being tired.

The two best post race amenities the organizers had for races was:

 1. A horse trough to dunk you whole body in cold water to begin the recovery process. Submersing in cold water after completing this race in the Kamloops heat was magical.

2: Post race massage. I had a post race massage for 50 minutes. WOW!! That was crucial to my feeling like I had not even run the next day. I was flushed right out, with little muscle soreness, save for the hoop. Hands on Health Manual Therapy Clinic took care of me something fierce. Always go for the post race massage. Always.

Speaking of that, I visited the doctor the next day. Dr. Dodd at the walk in clinic assessed the situation, and prescribed me a steroid creme and suppositories for my injury. It took 14 days, but I am back to normal now, thanks to that banned substance that I had to apply daily.

Looking back, I am pleased with this one. I am getting older--the ripe age of 36, and am getting faster. This is a good thing, defying odds and logical thinking. Again, all of this was in preparation for the Meet Your Maker 50mi, now in a few short days.

A good race, a great day. We booked it over to Whistler a couple of days after the race to meet up with the Baker's and their crew. On this trip, Sean and I ran Singing Pass, over to the top of Whistler then down to the Roundhouse, a 4 hour run that was the single greatest run of my life, even if I was all blown out and sore.

The majestic vistas, the terrain, the snow, the challenge--this run had it all and more. An amazing run capped of with a ride down the gondola to the village made for something that was near perfect.

The MYM is in a couple of days. I hope I am ready. This will be the ultimate test.