Friday, September 10, 2010

God is pissed!

I'm not sure which deity I pissed off or why but I'm pretty sure one of them is out to get me.

Monday was the Walpole 10K and I was seriously contemplating running it.  Last Saturday I had managed to get out and do eight miles so I had the distance behind me.  Monday morning I was still undecided but at the last moment I opted to pass on it.  My rationale was that I have been following a conservative rehab program so now was no the best time to jump into a race that I knew would get me to push my pace faster than I should.  Not only that, but my speed has gone to hell and I didn't want to embarrass myself.  But mostly the rehab part.

Instead of the race I gathered up my gear and headed out for a long run, somewhere in the ten mile range, at a nice comfortable pace.  The route I chose would take me through Noon Hill.  it's not the easiest route due to the hills but the low volume of traffic and being surrounded by trees for most of it makes for a peaceful time.  As I made my way through I passed some people out walking their dogs along the trails and then a thought came to me.  I could do some trail running too.

The trail head was just coming up so I stopped and consulted the map.  Lo and behold the trail did seem to come out near where I was headed anyway so why not do some off-roading!  Away I went barreling down the trail with only the vaguest notion of where it would come out; you see, the map didn't actually show what road the trail finished on, it just showed part of a road.  But I was having fun, even though the strange signage did send me down a side trail at one point accidentally.  No harm done though, it soon looped right back into the main path.

Back on the trail I was cruising down a hill and was just about to hit the bottom of it when suddenly, as I began bringing my right foot back forward from the end of a stride, I hit a root at full speed.  Luckily my toes were slightly angled up so there were no broken toes but that was the good news.  As I lurched forward from the sudden deceleration my left leg drove into the ground in front of me.  My knee was already bent so it was able to absorb the shock without any issues.  But as Newton has taught us, a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and my body continued its motion forward until it forcefully connected with my now motionless knee. The knee hit me squarely in the lower ribs and boy did it hurt.

"Walk it off", I kept repeating.  "Walk it off".

Luckily it wasn't severe enough to stop my run and I made it home some time later.

That was Monday.  It still hurts today.  I'm pretty sure nothing is broken but it really wouldn't be much different if it was.  Fortunately it only hurts when I lay on that side, when I am running, from coughing, sneezing, touching it, climbing stairs, walking, or breathing.

I don't know what I did to piss of a higher power but I'M SORRY!  Now please, leave me alone so I can get back to doing fun things.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spoke too soon

In my last post I spoke about the progress I was making and that I hoped I wouldn't jinx myself.  Well I did.  During today's run I developed some nasty blisters.

That'll teach me to be optimistic.


I don't want to jinx it, but I am making some progress.  The running is going well and while the ache in my foot continues, it has shown no sign of getting worse.  I haven't tried to do any speed-work or hills or anything other than straight-up running but I may start incorporating them back into my routine soon.  This weekend we went up to Maine so Saturday I went out and ran eight miles.  Most of it was slow but I was more interested in the length so the pace didn't bother me at all.  More importantly is that I finished fast and strong so the whole run was rather encouraging.  It's good to see my mileage getting back up there.

Sunday I decided to go for a bike ride to enjoy Maine's scenery.  I kitted up Sherman and set of in the wee hours for what I hoped was going to be an enjoyable trek.  Clearly I had completely forgotten that we were surrounded by mountain-sized hills.  This realization came crashing in on me very quickly as the ride became a succession of long painful climbs followed by a short burst of speed on the downhill and then quickly down-shifting for the next hill.  But this is how we get better.  Right?

Riding through the heart of Raymond I was given a brief respite as it was mostly flat because it was the top of the hill.  The elevation also allowed me to get my first cell signal of the weekend. Soon I came to the down side of the hill where I had the most fun of the ride; my speed topped out at almost 40 mph as I bombed down the road, hoping that a moose didn't decide to walk out into the open at that exact moment.

Alas, the fun couldn't last and it was back to the long slow climbs.  This continued for several miles, but at least it evened out a bit so it was a somewhat pleasant ride along a big lake.  I was enjoying the scenery and the nice, sunny day until I came up to the intersection of Rt 26 where I needed to...wait, Rt 26?  That wasn't on my route.  Dammit!  I missed my turn!  A consult with the map showed that I could take a road and cut back to where I wanted to be but this little detour added about 8 miles to the ride.  Super.

Off I went, trying not to get killed on the absolute worst road I have ever ridden on, until I was making my way back to the road that would get me back home.  I knew I was getting closer to my last turn, although I couldn't help but notice the very large and steep hill that was getting nearer and nearer.  Where the hell was the turn?  No freakin' way was I going to make it up that monster hill.  It had a radio tower on top of it!  For the first time though, luck was on my side.  The road I was looking for ran along the base of the hill.  Finally I was heading towards home and man was I tired.

My luck was short-lived; they had saved the best for last.  A couple miles down the road began the longest and steepest section of the entire route.  Looking up the hill I couldn't help but curse its very existence.  I rapidly down-shifted and kept doing so until I found myself in first. Yes, I actually had to use first gear.  The climb began and didn't stop until nearly two miles later when finally, tired, worn out, and increasingly frustrated with the entire state of Maine, I emerged at the peak. At this point the terrain took pity on me and it was mostly downhill from there. Arriving home at last I rapidly took off my shoes, threw off my shirt, and submerged myself in the lake.  Aaah.

You can just make out the mountain goats on that last peak