Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'll take it

My left ITB is still giving me grief. It now feels great for about 30 minutes but after that I can feel the burn coming back. I've broken down and seen an ART practitioner (or whatever). Yesterday was my first appointment so no comment for now. I promised I would give her two weeks, during which I will not run if I can feel any kind of pain.

Today (Sunday) was supposed to be my long run but that was changed to a 4 hour fast hike up on the Halton Hill side trail. Since there would be no running, I decided to go all out for everything else. I loaded up a pretty heavy pack, with many layers of clothing so I could try different combinations. There was a few inches of snow on the ground, so I put my snowshoes in the outside pocket of the pack as well. Finally, I wanted to experience the trail at night so I woke up at 4am and got to the trail at 5:30, giving me at least 1:30h of darkness. The weather was around 0C (32F) so it was pretty comfortable, maybe even a bit warm.

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Being alone on the trail in the dark is a weird experience. I had slept trailside a couple of months ago, but I hadn't walked or run in the dark. During my "sleepover", I surprized myself by being a bit nervous during the night. I even had some dreams of a bear getting in the tent while I couldn't get out of my mummy sleeping bag. Encounters with bears are the fear of many ultra runners. Today though, I'm not sure if it was the snow (aren't bears hibernating?) or the fact that I was moving, but I found the first couple of hours weirdly enjoyable. I had my Petzl frontal lamp and a torch, but I mainly used the head lamp.

I managed to keep a pace of about 12:55min/km overall, including food breaks, a bit of sightseeing and changing in and out of my snowshoes (just to try them for about 20 minutes, there wasn't much snow). The pace doesn't sound like much but a race like Susitna is not about speed. Not for me anyway. Looking at past results, I'm not sure how much actual running I'll be doing.

So I managed to go about 18.5km in a shade under 4 hours.I felt fantastic to finally exercise for more than 40 minutes. I experienced no pain whatsoever during the walking or snowshoeing.
I was really afraid that it would flare up but thank goodness it didn't happen.

There's hope for me yet.


Caroline Novak said...

Sounds like such a fascinating expedition. Even with the bear dreams and all :)

Derrick said...

Great day long day yesterday!

Full steam ahead. Moderate runs + moderate ellipticals + long hikes = All good!