Thursday, October 28, 2010
What Am I Thinking?!?
Note: I actually wrote this post on 10/17/10 before doing the Ragnar event. I just didn’t get around to posting it until now. My post-event report will be coming very soon!
Why? Why? Why did I commit to running leg #2 of the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay with only 2 week’s notice? Ragnar Relay is a 24-hour 195 mile relay race made up of teams of 12 people. Everyone on the team runs 3 legs anywhere from 3-10 miles long. As runner #2 my legs happen to be 8.8 miles (under the classification “very hard” – great), 4.3 miles (easy – whew!) and 3 miles (easy – love it!).
Okay, I’ve run plenty of 5K fun runs. I don’t consider myself a distance runner at all. I was a hurdler and high jumper in my track days. 3.1 miles is a challenge for me but is fun and do-able, which is why I like 5Ks. I have done one 10K in my life back in college. I ran it casually with some friends and think I even walked a ways while going up the steepest hill. Several months ago K and I ran a 4 mile obstacle course fun run and had a blast! It was a tad unorganized but we think we got 2nd in our division; I was brutally edged out at the last moments while crawling through the mud pit. (Note to self: add more mud-pit crawling training to workouts). Then we biked through most of the summer or did our circuit workouts at home, which did include some shorter running intervals but I certainly hadn’t done any long runs recently. So why would I think I could handle jumping into an extreme road race that totals a running distance of over 5 times what I’m accustomed to?!?
I’m nutty. I’m crazy. K certainly thinks I am and has told me so several times. What has added insult to injury, literally, is an actual injury. Since I committed to run this, I’ve gone on two longer runs of about 6 miles. In regards to my fitness and fatigue levels, I felt pretty darn good. But both times around the two mile mark this stabbing pain started behind my right knee and persisted and intensified for the rest of the run. Ugh. I have never dealt with this before. I suspect some tendonitis or maybe a bit of a strain. I know I need new running shoes and I also know that I increased my mileage way too quickly and suddenly. But I still think that if I had tried doing this same thing even a few years ago, I wouldn’t be dealing with this issue. So I’m blaming the majority of the problem on age. I’m getting old and my body ain’t the same.
How it happened is that I received an email from a friend who was trying to find some one to fill in for an injured team member that had to pull out at the last minute. I initially dismissed the email but I found I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’d heard of those extreme road relay races and was intrigued by the notion but my interest hadn’t extended further than that.
I don’t know why the pull to jump into the race was so strong. I think a big thing is that I wanted to kinda test myself and see if I was up for challenging myself like I never have before. And also to see if my fitness routines have been doing me any good. I’m pretty happy right now with my weight and body composition and feel that I’m quite “in-shape”. I love the idea of just being able to jump into any adventurous situation and enjoy it because I’m trying to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
I am excited to do this and feel I’m up to the challenge … if it weren’t for my darn knee. Oh well; overcoming difficulties is what life is all about, right? Plus it provides me with a handy excuse in case I totally suck.
Ummm… I’ll keep you posted. I might be dead next week but if I’m not, I shall return and report.