Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tom Thumb 50K Turns Into 25 Miles - 6:04:12

Well, it happens sometimes you have to listen to your body and take the road that will lead to the least injury.  After about 19 miles the trail offered a split where you could go back up the Mountain and do the complete 50K or return back to home base along relatively flat ground.  I was suffering pretty bad knee problems and by the last two miles I was knocked back to a slow walk with bad pain with every step.  I'll take much of the next two weeks off so I can have a prayer of finishing the Old Pueblo 50 miler on 6 March 2010.  I am fit enough, now I just have to make sure I'm not injured.  I can't believe I've gone almost two years with pretty high mileage without a problem, but now I've had this nagging knee issue since the beginning of this month.  I bought some expensive Glucosamine Chondroitin pills in hopes that it helps, but I wonder if those really work? 

My splits: 
.1 mi 2:08
25.1 mi in 6:04:12 ave 14:30 per mile

Anyway, I'm also going to be a wimp and go to the doctor today to see what he may suggest and if he can recommend and/or prescribe some hardware that may help me on my run.  I'm all about insurance paying for some of the things that I will need instead of paying out of pocket; even these Glucosamine pills cost an arm and a leg. 

Oh and now to talk about another reason why I pulled up from the 50K and ran only 25.  We had beautiful weather for about 3 1/2 hours of the race, then the clouds rolled in and a very cold rain pelted us for about 45 minutes.  I was more than half way up the beautiful Tom Thumb trial when the clouds hit me, granted it was beautiful in its own right, but it was very cold and I was not prepared for the drastic change in temperature.  I had a wicking long sleeve shirt, that had very little weight to it, and gloves, but they soon became soaked and made my hands even more cold.  All this is too bad because the clouds made it impossible to see further than about 100 ft, and the view from the summit is supposed to be to die for, yet I was not going to wait for a view.  I made it to the top and quickly headed down the other side looking for the aide station.  The summit was at about 16 miles into the race, and the aide station was at 18.6 miles.  As I took a short break to fill up on fluids and to take in some much needed salt and calories, I pondered if I really wanted to continue to freeze and make the whole 50K and go back up the mountain, or just go back to the car where I could warm up.  What made the decision worse is that I came to the water station with a couple older gentlemen who decided to go on and conquer the mountain for the full 50K.  With or without a nagging injury telling me to go back pride still suffered, but when it is all said and done I did the right thing! 

I've included a few pictures of the area, someday I may carry a camera, but for now there are enough images on line to meet my needs for this blog.  To say the least it was a very memorable run and I'm glad to have travelled this trail and experienced it despite the bad weather.  Tom Thumb will be a great memory I will treasure! 

I think I know what I have and it is called Iliotabial Band Syndrome and here are some stretches I need to do, along with the normal RICE strategy.  I'll go and buy a bag of peas to use as my ice bag and ice it down good tonight.  I was doing some research and some say these are the main factors for this type of pain:
* Exercising on hard surfaces like concrete (I do a lot of that)
* Exercising on uneven ground (I do a lot of that)
* Beginning an exercise program after a long lay-off period (okey I've been pretty steady with my program)
* Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly (I've done four marathon lenght races in four weeks; so guilty again)
* Exercising in worn out or ill fitting shoes (I've been trying to stretch my running shoes to save a few dollars)
* Excessive uphill or downhill running (especially yesterday and at the Sedona Marathon a couple weeks ago when this really reared its ugly head)

So even though it does not come up often, my lack of stretching comes to haunt me.  I need to do more and I need to do some more strength training.  As for now I will be in the pool more to keep my fitness while my knee heals.

Today proved to be the first day of not running due to injury in a long, long time.  I feel strange sitting the day out, but it is just what I need.  I will hit the pool tomorrow and get a good workout there to make up for the lost running, however, nothing compares to the road.  I went to urgent care just to see if they would prescribe a IT Band, and they did along with some 800 MG Ibuprofen and some Vicoden.  I'll save the good stuff for Old Pueblo, just in case I'm hurting out on the race course!! Hope this heals very soon, so I don't have to make drama out of an everyday thing. 

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