A bit of a delayed write-up here, just trying to get back in the swing of things, and this is still not a race report for Stone Cat.
Following Stone Cat I decided to take a full week off from running to let myself recover. Normally I like to have an "active recovery" but given my work schedule during the following week, and the severely strained right calf muscle I was feeling for several days, taking a full week off seemed like the right thing to do. At about mile 14 of Stone Cat I tripped and manage to catch myself before falling but in the process made a sudden movement that caused my right calf muscle to completely lock up and I ended up falling down anyway. I massaged the muscle, swore a lot and managed to get back on my feet fairly quickly, but for the rest of the race (36 miles) it didn't feel quite right. As soon as I finished it got very tight again and didn't want to be forced into moving right away. It was actually pretty tough to take that much time off, and I almost didn't manage to go the whole week. I really think that a couple of easy runs would have helped.
But the way things worked out I didn't get out for a run until Saturday morning when I met Jim, Shauna, Jamie, Lily, and Dom at Pineland. My plan was to get in as close to 10k as possible. Erik and I are cooking up plans to expand upon the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge and turn it into a multi-day event with the addition of some shorter distance races, so I wanted to check out a possible 10k course. We started the way all the races currently do, basically from the YMCA onto the Campus Loop, up by the Visitors Center, down to the River Loop to the Yurt. This was about 3.5 miles of mostly downhill running, a great fast way to start a short race.
At this point everyone else was running longer and continued onto the Valley Farm Loop. I turned back on the other half of the River Loop and began the long gradual climb back up towards the YMCA. By this point I was starting to feel some tightness in my calf creeping up on me, but everything else was feeling fine. The pace was pretty comfortable, a little under 9's but that felt pretty easy on the mostly dowhill trails. By the time I reached 5 miles on the back side of the Camups Loop (with some steep climbs) I was really feeling some discomfort in my calf but decided another mile or so wasn't going to cause any damage and I really wanted to know how close this route would be to 10k.
It turned out to be just over 10k by my Garmin measurement, which might actually be a little longer than the race course because I started and finished from the YMCA parking lot and not from where the race would actually start and finish. But to be honest, I'm not really concerned if my 10k course is slightly long. Anyone who cares that much about precision course measurement shouldn't be running trails.
Although my calf acted up it still felt great to get out for a run, good weather and good company (at least for half my run).
distance: 6.3 miles
weather: upper 40's, overcast
conditions: mostly dry, leaf covered trails
gear: Inov-8 Mudroc 280, Smark Wool socks, shorts, t-shirt, Moeben Sleeves, hat