Monday, September 16, 2013

Pikes Peak Mile and the Granny-Shuffle

Not a ton of cool racing news going down right now, but this is a pretty accurate picture of the current state of things:
Anyway, hopefully we won't all be sloshing/swimming our way through runs for very much longer.

In other news running-related and otherwise, last month the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent crew decided to instate something new and put on the Pikes Peak Mile. This was a great one and took place at the tip-top of the Peak and was 6 loops in the dirt lot up there. The women's field was tiny this first year and composed of Nicole M., Adrian, Rochelle, and myself, but on the upside it was a BRC/adidas sweep (by default, but who's keeping track?). I think maybe this first time around everyone was sort of waiting to see
what would happen in terms of after-effects to the first batch of people idiotic enough to run it. They even had physiologists on hand taking all sorts of before and after readings, so we all lent ourselves to science. Although Tommy warned us against potential bloody phlegm, collapsed lungs, destroyed alveoli, irreversible recovery, and other dire consequences resulting from running an all-out mile at over 14,000 feet, I am pleased to say that none of the aforementioned ill effects occurred, and that I will happily go back for round 2 next year because it was a ton of fun. For the record, it feels like a normal mile race, just drastically slower with a slightly more accentuated than usual indoor-track-hack in the days following. But I did run my High School sophomore PR of 5:58 (woo!) and won $500. Probably the only time in my entire life I'll ever be able to say that I was paid $90-something dollars per minute. Yes, probably the only time. Ever.

That was sort of my Last Hurrah race before getting an angry meniscus taken care of. It was a long time coming as it had been a source of great irritation, frustration, limitation, inflammation, and consternation for about...oh, almost two years. After I finally got out of denial and came to terms with the fact that no, it's not going to fix itself (which is what they told me a long time ago, but let's not kid ourselves, runners have ignored doctors since the beginning of time and will likely continue to do so forever), yes it feels worse than it used to, and that yes someone else would have to fix it for me, I was at least thankful for the fact that I could more or less time it on my terms. So between the idea of playing Russian Roulette and hoping to get to Clubs and USA's with no guarantees and without doing more damage, versus biting the bullet, doing it now, and having the chance to get fit again in time for both, I opted for the latter. Big thanks to all of my running friends (you know who you are) who've dealt with the same thing and offered their extremely helpful advice as it never gets any less unnerving to let someone cut on you no matter how minor, which leads me to say thank you Dr. Peter Millet for doing such great work, and Kelly Haddock for jump-starting rehab.
^This was one day after, it looks waaaaay better now.^

So about 3 weeks post-op I was able to start some granny-shuffling, the duration's gotten longer over the last week but it's still the granny-shuffle. Not very far, not very fast, not every day, and definitely not twice a day. Yesterday Adrian and Christie blitzed by me on their long run and I was reminded of Cassie's quip the other day regarding being 8 months pregnant, out running, and unable to catch up to old ladies power-walking. These girls are definitely not old ladies power-walking, and I'm definitely not 8 months pregnant, but that's sort of what it felt like. I wasn't out for long but doesn't seem to take much to make the legs forget what "running" is. But during the times when the best you can do is take it a day at time, it always helps to keep the longer term in mind; where you want to be in 6 weeks (racing), where you want to be in 3 months (top-20 at Clubs...and by God we better win this year), and in a year (making a US mountain running team), it's a bit more encouraging and inevitably things always come around, all the drops in the bucket will eventually add up.

That's all I got right now, the pool beckons and hopefully next I'll have a post about a sweet race, can't wait to be back out there.

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