"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Spokane River Run 50k
I decided to run the Spokane River Run as a "recovery" run from Umstead. I would love to keep my mileage up a little higher this year, to push a little harder this year. Umstead was two weeks ago. It was a decent effort for me. I recovered well but had a little left over soreness in my adductor that kept me cautious last weekend when I ran 12 miles over two days. I rested the rest of the week and yesterday, took a literal run around the block to see if I should toe the line at the River Run. I felt ok, so I gave it a go.
I ran this race last year. It's a gorgeous two 25k loop course on mostly single-track trails. There are flats and climbs and rocks and in some places LOTS of rocks. The weather plummeted over the week to a chilling 24 degrees by this morning. We had snow and clouds and then sun throughout the day. If you were dressed right though, the weather was actually quite nice.
I didn't know what to expect with running a 50k just two weeks after a decent-effort 100 miler, so I took it real slow the first loop. The key to reminding oneself to keep it slow and easy and not get caught up in racing...is to carry a camera. That I did, and it helped to remind me that my finish time didn't matter, just my recovery and staying injury free. I reluctantly wore two - yes, two - ankle braces, one on each foot of course, to protect myself from repeated ankle injury. Try as I might, and rehab as I did - and continue to do - I can't seem to keep my post-surgical ankle from rolling. I was so reluctant to wear the brace, which I've had forever and was told by my surgeon 2-1/2 years ago, that I should wear whenever I was out on the trail. I did for a while, then tried to get by without, and after several more significant sprains, I gave up and stuck primarily to the roads. And when I WAS on trails, I ran in fear and carried with me a PTSD-type feeling of dread for the next ankle sprain.
So, anyway, I wore the ASO braces, and I am sooo glad I did! They freed me to run and enjoy the single-track rocky trails like I used to.
My legs were notably fatigued on the uphills, but instead of giving in to the fatigue on the second loop, I figured it would be good to run a little harder instead. So, I did, and ran a negative split by about 20 minutes, finishing in 6:09. After a healthful post-race meal, I am tired - that good tired feeling - and ready for bed. Back to work in the morning.
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!