Injuries are a tough pill to swallow, especially since a lot of them are ultimately self-induced (albeit by accident). It's a complex emotion to know your poor judgement was the cause of your ailment, but sometimes acknowledging that your nature is wild and free is a small (minuscule) silver lining.
Friday night Katie and I went for a shakeout run up Strawberry Peak, which in itself is very scenic and idyllic. The trail from Red Box gradually winds around through two saddles before a single track follows the ridgeline to the peak. Once at the peak, we were treated to beautiful views of the heart of the San Gabriels. Perhaps it was the new proto's on my feet that felt awesome or maybe the freeing feeling of running on a Friday afternoon, but I elected that we inspect the western ridge of the peak, which lead to the north-western chute that was hazardous in almost every sense of the word. After four hours of crumbly rock climbing, getting lost, traversing poison oak, yuccas, and terricula, we emerged hobbling to our car in pitch black darkness.
We're generally responsible adults that pay our taxes, have health insurance, and work hard at our jobs, but on that night I was motivated by know-it-all-ism and proceeded to tear apart our bodies leaving us mostly worthless by Saturday morning. I was so mad with myself that I went crazy for a couple minutes in the middle of a patch of poison oak and added urushiol to the yucca barbs in my leg. We were lucky to salvage a workout on Sunday, but my ankle was not too happy on the downhill, so I'm headed to the Dr. tomorrow to see what can be done about the barbs.
Easy 2 miles, just shaking it out
4x10min - I tried to run the Sullivan Ridge singletrack and found it exceptionally tough to run well. I know this is part of my development for UTMB, but running up a 30% grade on and off puts the hurt on me. It only lasted two intervals before I ran out of that wild terrain and started cranking it on the fire road. It was nice to finish up on Westridge where it was surprisingly easy to cruise downhill at 5min pace.
Off, bad scheduling and extra sleep made me run out of time to run.
5x8 min on Los Leones - The legs didn't seem to appreciate the extra day off, as I found it hard to crank out too much speed on the groomed fireroad. Using the Wahoo HR monitor during the workout was interesting, I never expected it to be so hard to keep HR up above 155, but it seemed to want to dip below that if I didn't focus and hold my intensity and form. I think I've probably done too many years of Long Slow Distance.
Said adventure/bad decision run on Strawberry Peak
Licking wounds and yard work.
5 1/3 x 10min - Uphill seemed okay on the warm-up, and downhill seemed not too painful to keep me off the mountain. Again, the lack of a significant recovery run made my body feel flat. My lungs worked overtime to keep a running stride on the intervals, which felt satisfying (even if the pace was slow).
54mi, 11 hours, 12,900ft +
I'm not especially happy with the week, but it's just the way it goes sometimes. I'm not a professional athlete, or even a professional person, but I take what I can get to in the training I can get. I'm glad I did all my workouts, but I'm hoping this minor setback lets me run hard in July.