Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trail running, a cruel mistress

Running injuries have a way of appearing out of nowhere. On the flipside, rehab time for an injury could very well be measured in geologic time.

That's how it went down for me, anyway. I ran 10k on some local trails on a Sunday afternoon in March and felt indestructible. That is, until the last half-mile when my right knee started talking to me. A couple days later, I didn't even make it one mile before pain set in. BANG. Injured.

It's taken me five months to build back up to a modest three miles. Five! I've acquired quite a taste for humble pie during this time, believe me.

Despite the fact that the trails were where all this injury drama began, I really didn't want to miss the last race in the Renegade Summer Trail Series, because the experience I had running it last summer was just so incredible. I'm also a Renegade rep, so my registration is comped. So I signed up, figuring I'd just walk part of the course.

Objects in photo are dirtier than they appear.

The first mile was flat with a slight incline; piece of cake. I started feeling more confident. So, when I approached the first major hill, I decided to run it. I'm pretty sure I heard the hill laugh at me. Nature always wins.

The next mile-and-a-half or so looked very much like this, repeating over and over...

...which is, admittedly, a gorgeous view and a nice distraction from the agony of running up, running down, running up, running down.

I got a second wind around the halfway point. I do suspect it was all in my head, since the big hills were now all behind me and I knew the rest of the course was a net downhill. Whatever; I was flying. I finished with that sweet feeling of exhaustion that I haven't felt in months.

I just don't really ever get those kinds of highs running on the roads. Let's not even talk about the treadmill; it's no contest. Like I said, nature always wins.

Runners and triathletes! Renegade has a bunch of upcoming late summer and fall events. Check out the lineup and get 10% off any Renegade event registration with code VERONICADISCOUNT.