Sorry it took so long to get this out. I sincerely hope all 2.5 of you that read my blog are not too disappointed with my laziness.
The forecast was clear for the weekend, so Dave & I drove down the morning of (with Abby & Hannah in tow). I'd say I'm getting a little old to drive to out-of-town races on race morning, but I'm usually met with sarcasm, disbeleif, etc, when I bring that up. For me, at 32, 8 years removed from Achilles surgery, and much less removed from a partial tear in the other Achilles, it's more about chronic injuries & tightness than age...but I reheheally don't like going further than 30-40 miles on race morning. Dave was kind enough, to his detrement, to prove my point by pulling his calf three steps into his warm-up. As I got back to the car after warming up on the short course, he was taking off the race gear. CRAP! At least he's got his six races in, so missing this one didn't hurt his points. Hopefully it's a quick heal, although it's likely related to recent knee issues. So, he joined Abby & Hannah in spectating (good course to do that on I guess) for 17 minutes or so while I ran the short course.
I'd decided that the course was not so technical, and decided to wear my Asics Piranhas, even though they are an ultra-light road shoe. BAD. IDEA. I think I'd have been fine if I hadn't already made the mistake of wearing them at the Davis Stampede 10k without socks, but, well...I get away with that with the uber-comfy Nike Mayflys, so I took a chance. At the end of that race, I noticed a couple hot spots on both heels, and a blood blister in-between the balls of my left foot. No biggie yet. I ran a normal week, and did one of my best workouts EVER on Wednesday (a 14:57 all downhill 5k on the treadmill - which irritated the blister a little more) before experiencing some nice & sharp knee pain after my (pretty mellow) Thursday run. So, I kind of tapered off at the end of the week & didn't hit any of my weekly goals, but the knee was feeling good enough by Saturday that I expected to be able to race Sunday, and the warm-up confirmed that it could stand up to hills & uneven terrain. The Piranhas (with socks this time)felt fine at first, but as my feet started sweating profusely, they moved around a bit on the loose gravel and rocks, and I could tell I was making said blister angry.
On my way back, as I hit the one mile to go mark, I picked up the pace a little, as the next .7 miles were basically flat, but about a minute later developed a side cramp. What the hell?! Can't explain that one, but I ran through it just fine, if a little slower. When I came across, I looked at the clock and saw :46 at the end, meaning I had run 4 seconds slower than last time we ran this course. No biggie, except I ran the 17:42 the day after running a 16:10 at the Davis Turkey Trot, so my goal had been to break 17:30 this time around. Not until later did I realize the clock was for the long course runners. I'd actually run a 17:38...still a little off my goal, but at least faster than when I ran it with tired legs. I did, however feel the CostCo sized blister immediatley when I started my cooldown. I usually jog the short course, but as I hit the levee, I knew that wasn't happening this day, so I walked about a half mile in, talked to a father & daughter waiting for their family members to come in, and gingerly jogged my way a half mile back. The kicker? The circular blister had grown and morphed into a very clear (and very red) heart. How sweet...if it didn't hurt with each step.
So, a little bit of a rough day for this half of Team Library Dork, but...if the good weather holds and there is no double points race in the finale, the 100 points from this race locks up the series for me. There's a battle a brewin' between my two closest competitors, with John Couillard currently sitting 3 1/2 points ahead of fellow Nevadan Kirk Ferris with one race to do. Up until this week, John had done the long course each time. Kirk had signed up first and chosen the long course. Maybe strategicaly, maybe not...John then signed up for the intermediate course, so there was no head to head between them. I'm rooting for that in the last race, though. Kirk has been in front when they've done the same race, and only has one more shot to make up those 3.5 points.
On the way home, we met up with Gretchen at 50 50 in Truckee, for the 3rd release of barrel-aged Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniel's style. Apparently, the $20 they'd been charging for the previous two releases wasn't enough, so they jacked it up to $22.95, which made Dave & I purchase less on principal alone. There are some awesome, awesome barrel aged beers out there for less than half that price, so I'm not feelin' the price hike 50 50. Of course, since it was the most expensive release, it was also the weakest of the three. Still good, but a bit one dimensional. We had a great lunch though, and I "traded" a lunch & beer for a plethora of Hammer products that Gretchen had won in the Ultrarunner series. We even met up the next day to run 1 1/2 times around Donner Lake. Thanks Gretchen! That was, however, my last run of the week to this point. I'd never - ever- skipped a run for a freakin blister before this week (now I'm at 3), so I'm either a panzy, or it's a doozy of a blister. Maybe a slight combination of the two. It was nice to lift legs this morning, though, with out putting in 10 miles first. Makes things just a bit easier.
Well...I'm signed up for the You Gotta Be Crazy 5k in Verdi on Sunday. In the Mayfly's, where I can go bearfoot with moleskin protecting my tattered tootsie! My goal had been to run under 17:00 on the hilly road course, but I can feel the rust. Hopefully I can get out there and run tomorrow and Friday without starting the pissed-off-foot process all over again. No rest for the wicked...2/28 back in Folsom, 3/6 Bidwell Classic 5k in Chico, 3/14 Shamrock Run 8k in Portland (I think there may be a few breweries up there too), one weekend off, followed by a 5k* out at Scheels. 15 minutes from home...just what the doctor ordered. Til next time...
Results/pics/points link -
I'll add a couple of Abby's pics tonight. As always, thanks to Diane & Co for the great race, and to Brian for the pics!