|Grant Swamp at Hardrock. No, this isn't Kansas.|
Having said all of that, my plan is to be down in Silverton next July for some pacing and volunteer work.
This is a fantastic podcast with elite mountain ultrarunner Anton Krupicka. As many know, Anton's battled a broken leg and tendonitis in his shin all year, effectively missing all of 2011 save a strong effort at the Rocky Raccoon 100 back in February. He's a heck of a nice guy and so I wish him all the best and hope he busts out a huge comeback at the Bandera 100K in January.
Last Tuesday morning on a 9-miler I felt a twinge in my right Achilles tendon but I got through my run without missing a beat. The next morning I headed out for my usual run in the Parker hills and, about 5 miles in, felt that twinge again. It quickly turned into full-blown pain in my Achilles, with no option for cutting my run short due to where I was on my loop. I almost called Anne to come pick me up, but instead I slowly jogged home, walking the uphills to minimize the damage. Since then, the farthest I've run is about 5 miles flat on my treadmill. I'm now in full-blown cross-training mode and only running a few miles at a time so to avoid any further aggravation to the Achilles.
It sucks that this injury has crept up on me just when my training for next March's Georgia Marathon had started to take off. I was feeling good, logging 70+ miles a week and getting in some nice quality when the injury hit. It's hard to say how long I'll be sidelined--maybe a few weeks, maybe more than a month. One thing's for sure; I will not try to "run through" this injury. Running through just about any injury sounds well and good, but in reality it is a recipe for disaster, as I learned late last summer (2010) when I got hit with a near "career"-ending injury that lasted for five months (plantar fasciitis).
In fact, I would say the #1 mistake most runners make is trying to run through injury. You can often cross-train through injury, as I'm doing now with light jogging, hard walking and plenty of cycling (indoors) but, when an injury hits, the best course of action is to cut back and/or stop running altogether. This is where cross-training can be very valuable in helping to maintain fitness. Fortunately for me, I feel no pain if I jog only a few miles, cycle hard and walk fast.
So with my Achilles inflamed, a PR effort at the Georgia Marathon on March 18 may be in doubt. Only time will tell--only I don't have a lot of time....
Over the past five days I've been cycling on my new Blackburn indoor bike trainer. In the winter of 2009-2010 I used a similar trainer that I borrowed from a friend and really enjoyed it. I'd intended to buy one but have only now gotten around to it (actually, it was a very generous, thoughtful Christmas gift from my mother- and father-in-law that I was forced to open early thanks to this injury). I've really enjoyed my trainer; it's quiet, smooth and a great workout. I've also noticed improvement in my performance. I have to think cycling is a fantastic cross-training activity.
I'm not just cycling. I'm also walking at about 12:30 pace, which is pretty fast, and doing push-ups and core work. I want to get lean and strong for the spring and summer racing season.
Next Saturday I find out about the Western States 100. I really want in but I'm very realistic about the odds. If my calculations are correct, I have about a one in ten chance of getting in. Obviously the math is stacked against me, and that's OK. I'll just keep entering the lottery until I get in :-)
If I get into Western, it will be my big goal race for the summer...and then I'll do my best at the Leadville 100. If I don't get into Western, the Leadville 100 will once again be my focal point and I'll then I'll start penciling in other races, such as the Mount Evans Ascent (want to break 2:20), the Leadville Marathon (want to break 4:30), and maybe the Jemez 50-Mile or San Juan Solstice 50-Mile. I'll know after next Saturday!