Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Running the Chuckanut Mountains: A lesson learned over a year later

From the Ridge looking to the north east. A long way down.

In 2013 I took part in the Knee Knacker, a race I said was "THE HARDEST RACE".

On Tuesday, I think I may have figured our why I made that run so hard on myself, let alone how hard the course was on me. My brother-in-law Sean and I made our way down to Larabee State Park to do a 21k run in the Chuckanuts, with the focus on running up Rock Trail and along the Ridge Trail.

My legs felt like crap from the get go. On about 5 hours sleep, I thought it was my own fatigue. I just could not get them going. I was actually running in pain. That was until the 6k mark of our run, when I stopped, took off my Zoot compression calf sleeves, and stuffed them in my Nathan HPL20 hydration kit.

Let Freedom Reign!! Making it to the top sans lower leg encumberments.

My legs were free. I could actually feel my muscles move, uninhibited. Something that I take for granted on every run I am on. After removal, I felt like two lower leg casts had been removed from my legs. I could actual run without pain.

I remembered the same pain for 50 kilometres at the Knee Knacker. I would not be having it this time. I ditched those infernal things early. I have friends who run in calf sleeves. I thought the sleeves  might be one of those types of things to enhance or make my run more efficient, faster. But no. Those bastards are now solely for recovery, if I feel like it.

And often, I do not feel like wearing compression for recovery. It is just not my thing, save for the rare occasion that I pull our my knee high Sugoi socks.

21 kms. Another beautiful run in some of the best trails around! The profile is sweet!

The old mantra of do not try anything new on race day would have been something that I should have heeded over a year ago on the morning of the Knee Knacker. Instead, I flipped it off, squeezing into my calf sleeves, and trying to get to the finish of the hardest race I have ever done. I made that race even more uncomfortable that it needed to be.

My calf sleeves are ready for the trash. They are not for me.

Note to self: Never try anything new on race day. No new shoes, no new clothes, no new nutrition. Nothing.

And, the Knee Knacker is still one mutha of a race. Damn hard.

And, never, ever, wear calf sleeves while racing or training.


National XC Championships is November 29th, followed by the Deception Pass 50k!!

Life is good.