I guess, maybe, someone somewhere will be looking for a race report from me. Probably not. The short of it is, nothing went as planned for the Cayuga Trails 50 mile. A week before the race I was running one of my last easy runs, on my easy trail, at an easy pace, on the easiest flattest part of the trail.
And that is when it happened.
NOT going up a climb, not rolling over a rock, or descending a steep descent.
No…on the flat stretch along the creek, I felt an electric shock radiate my body, the epicenter being the middle of my right calf. The same right leg that within the past two weeks was hobbled by knee pain and a rolled ankle days before (both of which were gone at this point). I hobbled it off and of course kept running, I was only a mile into my 6 mile run.
Three miles later the pain in the calf had reduced me to a hobble walk run sloth mode. Made it back to the house and entered pissed off mode. Posted about it on Facebook and CUE the: its only taper aches, and it will go away.
My mind and gut said no.
NO…this was different.
I’d never experienced this, this is why it was different. I could walk, but any running action instantly brought me to a halt.
On the next day I took Emma and Ollie out for a walk thru EPW. There are some climbs there and was hoping some walking and climbing could help reset it. An hours worth of walking/hiking and I felt fine.
Tuesday i strapped on the shoes and headed out the door for another easy taper run. I got to the end of the street (1/4 mile) and felt it, pushed another 1/4 to the trail head and realized I can’t do it. Turned back and hobbled to the house.
Talked with coach and decided rest, massage and stretch until race day. It will go away.
On Friday we headed down to Ithaca and got there early so we walked around a bit. The calf remained at the level it was all week, dull. Just a dull ache. I thought this was good.
Saturday morning. Race day. Got up early, took down camp then made our way to start.
To say I was optimistic, would be an understatement. I was moving around well. The sun was out, people were smiling, it was going to be warm and I have had great training.
Off goes the ram’s horn.
Start slow…feels ok
Bump it up.
Feeling good…let check stride.
Feels great, ok put it in cruise control.
1st mile everything is peaches and cream and moving well, turn the corner and hit the first noticeable climb and stair….
its over. Cut like a knife. I felt my calf completely let go, give out, rip apart…let me down.
I winced. But there was a downhill, fly down it, hit a flat barely run, hit a climb feel destroyed.
Well…lets push thru this, push harder.
It only made me slower and the pain threshold went thru the roof. I hobbled into the AS and thru a tempertantrum my children would be proud of.
It was over.
6 months of investing in the best training I have had in 5 years of running. 6 months of money paid to a coach, to gear, time away from family, from work.
In that moment I fell apart.
I had two options, get in the car and head home and bury my head in the sand. Or gather my shit and go cheer on the others making a sacrifice out there.
I chose the latter. Went out and encouraged my friends the best I could, all the while fighting the demons and constant stabbing I was feeling.
So here I am in the aftermath, what now.
Well, I put this out there, and now I am done talking about it, my experience and my injury. I don’t know what the future is going to hold, but sulking about what happened and rehashing it won’t let me move on. this is among my top 10 disasters in my life. One of the very few that actually brought me to tears.
So I removed myself from Facebook for a bit and just don’t want to talk about it.
I’m also not going to lie. It hurts. 2 days later it hurts bad. Every step is a reminder, physically, mentally and emotionally of what happened.
So if you read this, and see me, lets talk about you or something else. I’m done with this. I’m not that important.