Adventures In Running

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Epic Fail and Frustration

So far, 2013 has not turned into the running year that I had planned. I was supposed to complete the 50K at the Buffalo Run last weekend on Antelope Island and also be trained and ready for the Big Sur International Marathon at the end of April. Instead, I have dropped my plans to run Big Sur and dropped down to the 25K at the Buffalo Run. The foot is just not recovering as quickly as we had hoped from the Plantar Fasciotomy in November. Too many days I end up with pain in the heel and have to cut back my plans so as to not aggravate the Plantar Fasciitis again. I've cut back even more and am back to doing all the stretching, icing, topical anti-inflammatories, sleeping with the foot in a Strasbourg sock, etc.

I'm sure part of the problem is age. Things definitely recover more slowly as I get older. Another part of the problem is weight. I need to get 20 pounds off to be at a decent running weight. Part of it is working too much – I don't get the weight training in that I need to.

Whatever it is – it is frustrating. I am mad and ashamed of myself. I get depressed. Right now I wonder if I will ever be able to even do a marathon again because 12 miles is about as far as I can get and then I limp the rest of the day.

I am making progress, it is just slow. I run like a dead turtle. No speed, but slow and steady. For the month of March I am focusing on running 3 minutes/walking 1 minute and will increase the running to 4 minutes in April.

Enough of the depressed, bummed out runner…..

Friday and Saturday were the days for the Buffalo Run. This was year 9 and I have volunteered or raced every year – sometimes a bit of both. The plans were that I would volunteer on Friday (100 mile race start), camp out overnight on the island, then run the 25K on Saturday.

Friday morning I was at the gate well before 7 a.m. I was running packet pickup at the gate and Britta Hanel dropped off her friend Alicia and the packets at my Jeep shortly after. I enjoyed several hours sitting in the Jeep trying to stay warm and getting to know Alicia. In the 9 years of the race, we hadn't had too horrible weather, but this weekend was going to be bitter cold and windy. Volunteering I had on thermals, sweats and my snow gear. Brrrr. The most entertaining part of the morning was watching Alicia trying to make coffee in a portable drip coffee maker. I think this was her epic fail because it wasn't working and took an hour to make 1 cup of coffee.

Got to see lots of familiar faces as they picked up packets – Karl Meltzer, Mark Hellenthall, Davy Crockett, Craig Lloyd, Scott Wesemann and Christy Jo Mason McFarland. Was able to meet the Jester (Ed Ettinghausen) and he gave me my own official Jester bracelet. I was also able to put names and faces together of several people I have met online.

We finished packet pickup at 11:30 and headed on island for the start of the 100 mile race. Said hello to running friends again and headed outside for the official start. I was looking the wrong way (actually wanted to see the start) and missed the brilliant person who wanted to take a photo of a buffalo and threw a rock at it and shook the fence. The buffalo objected and pinned the guy against the fence. Luckily – someone got it on their camera so we can preserve it for history. And the guy got a ticket from the park rangers.

The 100 mile race started and I set up my camp for the night. Really fun setting up a tent in the wind. That was an experience! Then I helped out at the start/finish line for a while until Alicia and I headed over to run the Mountain View aid station for the afternoon. Long story short, it was great to cheer on the runners and watch the lead runners blast through the aid station. Karl Meltzer was cranking his usual speed and went on to set a course record.

After standing around for several hours, I headed up the hill to go off island and meet my sister for dinner. At this point my foot was killing me and I had no hill strength and it became obvious that I was not going to be able to run 16+ miles the next day. I went back to the start/finish and DNS'd (Did Not Start), collapsed my tent with all the gear in it and threw it in the back of the Jeep.

No regrets about not attempting the race. Just regrets that I am not where I want to be and pulled out of another race. Hearing all the stories online about the incredible exploits of the runners and them powering through adversity though has me feeling like a total wimp/wuss/loser. I really hope that I can get back to longer distances running soon, but in the meantime I just have to be patient and take baby steps.