Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Sunday, May 4, 2008

55 Miles of Owww!

I ran 25 miles in this race on a larger relay team last year. This year, I started the Blue Planet Run 24- Black Mountain on a relay team at 9 PM and was planning on running until 10 AM. I made it to 8 AM, but I was in bad shape at 6 miles!! Yeah, that's 49 miles of being in bad shape! Owww. I had to stop because I ran the whole race with problems that could end up being serious injuries- the same old sciatic nerve problem, and achilles problem I've had when I run in the mountains for the past 5 months, and a knee problem which just appeared in this race. The knee was most severe and I would say for 9 hours, I was between a level 7-9 on a pain scale from 1-10. This picture (courtesy of Josh) is an hour after I finished, eating a tofu burrito with my team and "sister team."

The course was fairly tough- 1 mile straight up a mountain, 1 mile straight down a mountain, 1 mile pretty flat, 1 mile mostly uphill, 1 mile mostly downhill & flat. The downhills were, by far, the worst parts. Because 9.5 of my 11 loops were in the dark, I had to be a little more cautious than usual on the washed out gravel road downhill sections and had to put the brakes on. That's what caused my sciatic nerve & knee problems. 6000' of elevation gain & loss.

So I ran 55 miles in 10:49. OK given the pain, dark & terrain, I guess.

60 miles last fall felt very good- and like 100 wouldn't have been a problem that day. My last lap was my fastest then. Today was completely different. The worst experience I've ever had running, but I did learn a lot of things. One of the biggest was, "Hey, if you can run 55 miles in under 11 hours in the mountains being dead tired in the middle of the night & having your legs completely thrashed, you can do a lot more than that on a good day starting in the morning."

Oh- and all day before I ran I stood around officiated a regional track meet. That didn't help things.


Anonymous said...

Coach, what would you tell your athletes if they had anything near that kind of pain? Stop! I know you're hardcore and everything so maybe that's not an option but it should be. Congrats on running 55 miles but also on learning somethings about your running. Sometimes that's more important than a PR or a good race.

Vanessa said...

Owwww is right! Great job Coach! A sane person would have stopped a lot earlier. hee hee

jt said...

You made the right decision. Pushing yourself now through pain beyond what's normal will make you mentally tougher when it's time to run a 100 miler. You are also right-- you ran through the worst of it. 55 miles at night in 11 hours on a tough course will make 100 on an easier course feel easy. OK maybe not easy, but you've already experienced the toughest part. NICE GOING!

Anonymous said...

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