Monday, June 27, 2011

An unexpected turn of events

For the crazies in our running family they have done night runs from Barrie to Orillia and back to Barrie to condition the runner to be able to run extended distances during the night to simulate the experience they will be having when doing their endurance race.
One of my girls is running her first 100 miler, yes you saw that correctly, in another couple of weeks and along with another runner doing his first 100 miler organized this night run on the rail trail. My concern was that because she’s a “slower” runner that there would be little to no support for her, so Friday morning I started sms’ing with Catherine to find out the logistics of her team. It was just her and Bill & perhaps Chris. The extent of my volunteer was going to be to drive a support vehicle between the concessions to make sure she had everything when she needed it.
As it turned out Bill was driving support on the way up, would I like to run with her. RUN? TO ORILLIA? The most I had done was 21.1 on May 29th. Last week I crawled back up to 18k at a decent training pace. I haven’t done 35 k in a long time…. Sure why not! The worst that could happen was I had to bow out part of the way, but at least she’d have someone, Chris wasn’t going to meet her until part of the way (I found that out later).
It use to be that distance would intimidate me, but on this occasion it did not. So by the afternoon it was decided that I would run up to Orillia on the rail trail with Catherine.
I got home, walked the dogs, couldn’t eat cause I don’t eat before I run, I get indigestion. So I picked up a small Dairy Milk bar & two small(ish) bags of regular chips. I figured they serve them at ultra races, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
I like a salty treat now and again.
We were to meet at Hooter’s and start running around 6pm. Then it changed to 6:30 and then finally at 7:04 Catherine and I started off down the trail. We were gabbing away. It was a glorious evening. Her running strategy was run 5 minutes walk 3 minutes. Okay. I’ll do that. It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about anyone else but Catherine and getting her to Orillia and back.
The male contingency of crazies was heading off around 8pm – so we expected them to overtake us around 10pm, so with that in mind we continued our 5 & 3’s. Our pace whilst running was a solid 6:13 sometimes even quicker.
Dusk was setting and the rain was gently falling on us, it was so light and gentle it was hard to tell if it was raining at all. The fireflies were out in force and lit up the scenery around us. Frogs were calling out, crickets were chirping & stillness lay about the land. It was amazing. The only down side was hearing the crush of snails under my feet. I certainly felt awful trampling them, made me rather ill inside. However; I couldn’t see them even with my headlamp on. So many acts of generosity & kindness will need to be done this week.
We passed by a pond chatting away only to hear a huge SLAP of what I can only imagine was a beaver’s tail. Then further down the trail a HUGE porcupine ambled across our path. She was NOT going to go any faster than she wanted to & we were NOT going to push her.
However; all of this wildlife made Catherine rather nervous and she started to pick up the pace a tad. When I hit the 25Km mark I was getting a tad bit fatigued & started to use some tricks I picked up on how to combat pain. They were working up until about the 28K mark. Then I started thinking about all the people I know and to say 5 nice things about them, by the time I hit 30K I knew that I was on my last few kilometers.
I hadn’t prepared properly for the run. Not enough hydrating that morning (as I didn’t know until late in the day I was running), no proper carb loading & didn’t put electrolyte replacement in my water.
My calf muscles were seizing up every step and when we saw Bill at the 30K mark I was not smiling, I was grimacing. I said I would run until the next line and make my determination at that point, but those last two kilometres were agony. It was like a set of escalators going up my calves. The muscle spasms would start at the bottom and work up to my knee then start again.
At 32k Bill took Cathy the last 3 k to the turnaround point and the lads had not caught up to us. We did see a single light behind us & figured that must have been Chris as we never did meet up with him on the trail. So it was a good thing that I did end up running with Catherine or she would have been alone.
At the turn around I started to inquire about logistics for the run back. The guys apparently were fine, yeh them. My concern was that someone be there for Catherine. As it turns out none of the fellas thought that far. ( I won’t say typical) Luckily Steen showed up to do some support type duties. He took Brendan & Chris back to Barrie and I stuck around to follow Catherine & Bill. Luckily I did. At the 49 K mark – Concession 14 Catherine was having ankle problems. We put some topical anti-inflam cream on it and she went off again. I drove to the next concession to wait, unfortunately Catherine wasn’t any better and decided to drop out of running any further in fear that she might injure herself and not be able to do her 100 Miler. I think that was a wise choice.

Saturday was spent trying to catch a bit of shut eye. I didn’t make it home until 3:30. I was up again at 7am because the dogs don’t care. Off for our walk at 8am. House work, lunch, nap, more house work.
Sunday I had wanted to do 23K – but as per usual I decided NOT to listen to myself. I picked up the map for the marathon clinic & started to do that. It was 13k and all uphill for the first half. Currently that just does me in, as I train better this will disappear, but for now BAHHUM BUG!!!!
I couldn’t imagine running past the 4 k mark. Greg caught up to me around Johnson & Blake street. We chatted… I carried on. Then Tracy & Catherine caught up & I stuck along with them. At Grove I turned left and followed it all the way back to Owen. Once on Grove and on my own, I felt much better and I knew I should have stuck with my original game plan. Right now I need “flat” with manageable inclines. Next week… I’ll listen to myself. I did get just under 11k in so I was happy with that.
I surprised myself being able to pull that run out of my backside, and I’m very glad that I could be there for Catherine. It was about her. It’s unfortunate she had to pull out after 51K – however; that’s still a tremendous distance! GOOD LUCK CATHERINE.

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