I came back from Germany with a souvenir: a bug that caused nausea and a nasty headache. After traveling for close to 15 hrs (10:10 hr flight Germany - Denver, 1:50 hr flight Denver - Phoenix + lay over) I was ready to get off this machine. It really is not fun to sit on an airplane for over 10 hours feeling like you have to throw up any second (and I had the window seat, that could have been fun for the two next to me :-)
The next day felt exactly the same, so I mainly slept all day and complained to JR about it :-) Hihihi.
Friday I started to feel better so I tackled a 45 min run. Saturday I also ran and everything felt 80% normal. Probably a few pounds lighter then usual due to the bug JR and I took off to go to the White Tanks for the Xterra 20 k Sunday.
|Elevation Gain:||1,946 ft|
|Elevation Loss:||1,998 ft|
|Min Elevation:||1,476 ft|
|Max Elevation:||2,896 ft|
This is what my garmin gave me for elevation changes. YIKES. The race went out on a really pretty (aka easy) trail for about 2 miles before you had to run up a mountain. It seriously looked like a Grand Canyon Trail. I just shuffled along, feeling really good. Check out the elevation profile for this thing.
My plan was...well I had no plan. I think you just have to go by feeling on long trail runs. Go with the flow. I hit some 6:XX min miles and also some 9:XX miles, depending on the up or down.
The top of the hill gave us a fantastic view. The twists and turns were super tight and dangerous if you come around the corner too hot. The 1 mile ridiculously steep uphill felt like a stair stepper :-) On the downhill I just tried to go with how I feel, and it felt great. Until this happened:
My trail leg caught on a rock and as my garmin showed me I went down at 6:18 pace screaming down a rocky trail. According to my garmin I sat there for 2 min and 12 seconds (moving time vs finishing time), I honestly thought I broke my knee cap. I could not bend my leg. But what choice did I have, I was 4 miles from the finish in the middle of nowhere so I might as well shake it out and try to run :-)
My Garmin data:
The next 2 miles were still downhill and I hobbled 1 until my leg just went numb and then I just let off the breaks for the other mile. I am already bleeding so how much more can it hurt to crash again right?
Unfortunately I never found a gear on the flat part anymore and had to slow down by a lot :-( I wasted around 5 min stopping/hobbling, but despite that it was most likely the most beautiful run you can do in Phoenix. The good news is that the run (until the drop) felt great and almost too easy for a race. Maybe the three day unexpected taper helped :-)
The loop is amazing and the race organization was GREAT. I mean at one point I saw 4 ARROWS in one corner to help us stay on track. And the volunteers in the middle of nowhere were fantastic. Yet, some people still managed to run the wrong way :-)
As I got on the last 500 m this guy came up from a different trail. All of the sudden he says: You cut the course. I was like: What? I was following the other guys where did you come from? All he said was: I went the right way. And then he challenged me to a sprint to the finish. All I knew is that a guy who calls me a cheater has to go down in this sprint :-) He never passed me - hihihi. As soon as we finished I asked him what the mileage on his GPS says...11.7. Aehhhhmmm, Mister I hate to break it to you but YOU are actually the cheater because I had 12.42 miles on mine :-)
There were a bunch of people coming from that "wrong" trail, but it is too difficult to say who did and who didn't run the full 12.4...unfortunate for the ones who ran the right amount and therefore .7 miles longer.
Anyways, shit happens. Everyone still had a ton of fun. I can't wait for the Xterra race number three. I hear it is less rocky :-) Maybe my knees will be safe.
Here are Teri and me on the podium. She is a rockstar!!!