This past weekend Kim and I participated in the Lake Conestee Forest Freak 50k. We had prepared for it as best as I think was possible. Both of us have been plaqued with injuries it seems over the past year or so. Me with my weak hip flexors and partial paralysis in my right foot, and Kim with what I call her knuckle foot, but more aptly labeled arthritic bunion.
How did we prepare? After I finished up my physical therapy we both started the Furman First program, we went on the cheap and bought the book, which I highly recommend. However, since we live in such close proximity we could have just gone to Furman and taken part in their coaching but ain’t nobody got’s time for that so we did our own thing.
But we adjusted it. Neither one of us wanted to do the sprints on a track. That is boring and honestly I can’t do it. My foot can’t hit pavement without causing too much discomfort so we opted to do all of our work on the trail that we were going to run on. I really think this was a good decision because we became very intimate with the trail, we knew its ins and outs. We learned where the roots were gnarly, we learned where the bridges were slippery and where our soon to be pet snakes would show up and what time. We also learned where the horse flies would show up and how far they would follow us before going to look for an easier meal.
We trained for 16 weeks slowly increasing our distances such that three weeks out we had a long run of 28 miles, which was only 3 less from the race. I am not sure if this was the best decision as it may have fatigued us in advance or caused some unneeded stress on our old joints.
Now that the race is over I am sad. I don’t recall having ever pushed myself this far physically but on the other side I don’t feel like I pushed far enough. My cramping legs of course would beg to differ, but that aside I believe I could have done 50 miles instead of 30 had I prepared my supplements better. I drank coconut juice and ate a banana but this was after the cramping had already started. Kim thinks I drank too much water which may have diluted my electrolytes; conversely, she didn’t drink enough as she finished with a migraine and some nausea.
Monday morning I had big plans to get up and run a 5k, but alas reality struck and these old bones said go get a massage and rest for one or two more days. Tomorrow I plan on getting a run in; however, I am not sure I can commit to any substantial distances. I miss Conestee, I miss being out there in the morning by myself, perhaps this is what is depressing me.