The Problem of Pain

Two days out from Spartan Sprint Toronto and things don’t look so good. I’ve been out running very lightly but the tendon continues to flame up and hurt, and I’m nowhere near optimal speed and strength. Thankfully my elbow has pretty much healed entirely so I don’t anticipate difficulty with climbing and lifting, but the speed won’t be there at all. The good news? Nobody asks how you did when you get the Spartan trifecta, they only know that you did it. So the mission for Saturday at this point is merely to finish with no regard for time at all. It’s my first ever Spartan race and I’ll defeat it one way or another, and I’ve got it in the back of my head to potentially run another Sprint – competitively – later in the year. (Helloooo Fenway Park!)

My race partner, Jay, has suffered an injury of his own. Dude is beast mode 24/7 and has been training hard for months, and in a race last Saturday managed to sprain his ankle. Still waiting to see if he’ll even make it, and if he does, he’ll be walking it. Which leaves only Jeff, who tells me he hasn’t really done any running or training, as the one of us likely to perform the best. It doesn’t pay to train? :)

My attempt at a light run this morning hurt so I pulled back and called it a day, which means my pre-race training is now complete. The next time I strap on the gear – and the brand new Reebok All-Terrain Series OCR shoes for the first time – will be Saturday for the 9:30 Spartan Sprint. I’ll let y’all know how it goes! Then it’s light runs with more weights leading into Warrior Dash. Keeping my eye on the prize – the Spartan Beast in Killington this September!

Running Dry

Nothing like a little disaster to take you away from your blogging commitment only one post in! So the story goes: Shortly after my last post, as I referenced in it, I hit my first race of the year with the 5k Run for Southlake in Newmarket. I ran all three days from that post to race day, including (and I should have known better) the day before.

10155875_10152357763089420_1142034682490347701_nThe day before race day is always a rest day. Always has been for me, from my first race. Yet this time, in my obsessive rage to become a Spartan, I decided I don’t rest. And not only do I not rest, I run 17km. Prior to that day the longest I’d ever run in one go was 10km, yet there I was, pushing myself to new limits. Burned 1,400 calories and came back accomplished. Ate like a crazy man and was up the next morning for the competitive run.

So here’s the good news – finished it in 23:01 for a new personal best. That time put me 9th/63 amongst men my age, 38th/377 men, and 53rd/1089 overall. The weeks of hitting the pavement almost daily, hill trials, and pushing for time had paid off.

10264972_10152357764749420_3648711805101751780_nUntil the next day, when the pain set in. Something close to “searing” on the right side of my right foot. So I smartly rested for what ended up being a week and a half. Finally hit the road again this past Thursday where I could only muster a lowly 2k. Matched that lowly 2k on Friday, then pushed it to 3.5k on Sunday. Monday I strapped the new gear on, bolted out the door… and stopped. Reluctantly admitting to myself it hurt far too much I angrily came back, showered, changed, and went to work. Spitting nails that my goals had been lost.

The good news is it appears to be a scare – a small case of tendinitis in the foot that, after constant icing, stretches, and one physio treatment is coming around. Physiotherapist feels I could be back on the road by Tuesday night, and should be able to hit the Spartan Sprint at Brimacombe on June 7th without difficulty.

What have I learned from this?

  • New shoes: I was still wearing the ASICS I bought in 2011 for the Island run, and that’s idiotic
  • Pace: I’m not going to be an elite racer overnight, pace myself and work my body up

Hopefully I’ll have more training to report on shortly.