Trail and ultra running is an interesting thing. When I used to do most of my running on roads I had a few injuries, some minor, but the most serious was a stress fracture in each of my femurs, at the same time. That really hurt. I’ve run two road marathons, one in 2003 and one in 2004, and after each one I took two weeks off from running altogether. Since I started doing the majority of my running on trails, about two years ago, I’ve been injury free and have discovered a love a long distance running. Two and a half weeks ago I did a long run of about 32 miles, and last Sunday a long run of almost 31 miles. In the 4 days since that last long run I’ve run three times, and I feel great. Mostly.
Monday morning I got up at 5am, met a few folks at 5:30 and ran to Ri-Ra for a pint of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, then ran back. The hardest part of this run was just getting up that early, my legs were stiff but the beer helped to loosen them up. That was about 4.5 miles with a 10 minute beer break in the middle.
Tuesday I ran at Twin Brook with Emma, Chuck, Jim, Colleen and first timer Nate. Although I started out feeling just a bit sluggish I quickly perked up and was really enjoying the run. The snow on the trails was pretty soft (it was shorts warm) and my right ankle was feeling a bit sore. I really wanted to do 8 miles but Emma encouraged me to stop before the pain in my ankle got too bad so I ended the run at 6 miles. I’m glad she was there to talk some sense into me, the last thing I want three weeks before a 50 mile race is to turn a minor pain into a real injury.
Wednesday I took the day off from running, probably long overdo since I had run 4 days in a row for a total of almost 60 miles. Emma and I went to a circuit training class at the Y, I was relieved to see that our regular ass-kicking Marine of an instructor wasn’t there and a more easy going guy was in his place.
Thursday (tonight) I felt fully recovered from my long run and went out for a medium paced run around the Portland peninsula and Back Cove. I started out at an 8:30 pace and picked it up to 7:30 as I was going around the Back Cove “trail”. 8.7 miles at an 8 minute pace and the ankle felt good. I decided that I should stay away from the snowy trails for the next few weeks to make sure my minor ankle problem doesn’t get any worse. So I’ll be sticking to the roads for now, which I actually find a bit scary since every running problem I’ve even had has come from running on roads. I hope I’m doing the right thing.
Up next: 22 miles Saturday morning.