Yesterday I went up north to the OUS/OTS Sprint Warm Up. I hadn't registered in advance in case I changed my mind. I left the house around 6:30am and followed the directions of my Garmin GPS for and hour and a half. I got to the town (?) of Avening, Ontario, at 8:00 just as the race director pulled in the parking lot. The weather was nasty. Winds of 30-50 mph, snow and freezing temperatures combined to produce conditions that would be, as my kids say, "character building".
About 15 to 20 people showed up for the "race", which was really a training run with an aid station. You could pick between a 16k, 14k or 7.4k loop and do any of those as many time as you pleased. The 16km loop was mixed hilly back roads and trail. Muddy, hilly, wet trails.
Earlier this week, during a speed workout, I did something to my left hamstring. At the time I thought it was a cramp, but it's been bothering me ever since although I can run on it. Right from the start I could feel it and it was a constant pain in the ass for the whole time. My right Achilles tendo ached a bit but never got to a point where I had to stop.
I ran with a group of colorful characters. We exchanged war stories and had a good time despite the killer side winds with almost whiteout conditions in some sections of the course. A few of them had run 50 and 100 miler races and I tried to extract as much information as I could.
At the end of the second loop though, I began to falter. My running companion at the time kind of said this was it for her. The others all made a bee line for the Community Center, where "base camp" was. One guy was going for a 16 km loop, which was too much for me. I might have been sucked into a 7.5k loop but nobody was going for it, my hamstring felt really achy so I called it a day.
There was pizza inside, I listened to everyone else's stories about the various ultra races they'd raced. Good times. Some other runners, which I believed had left, came in to warm up a bit, and THEY went back out for that extra 7.4k loop I didn't do. By that time I had changed and just couldn't make myself put those wet clothes back on to go with them.
All in all, a good training day and it was nice to meet some people who don't think I'm crazy!