Saturday, April 26, 2008

DNF At Capitol Peak aka The Princess and the Pea

I ran at Capitol Peak 55K today and made it all of 15 miles before calling it a day. But first the prequel....

I originally hadn't planned to run Capital Peak this year since I was running Chuckanut in March. But Rich, whom I ran with last year, said his mom was flying out from CT to run and he wanted us to run together. She's exactly my age and apparently he told her about me! So I agreed to sign up. I also decided to run Mt. Si 50K (I forget why) and realized if I ran all three, I would be eligible for the elite status of Marathon Maniac! So I had a plan to do all three. All was on track, and my friend Tracy wanted to try Capital Peak, originally as a comeback ultra from her achilles injury. But as they say, life is what happens to you while you are making other plans. Tracy plays tennis, and during a game, she came down funny on her leg and knocked her fibula out of whack. The first diagnosis said it was injured and she needed to allow it to heal. But after seeing a PT, he suspected it was just out of whack and recommended a chiropractor, who also happens to be mine. After one adjustment, she felt better (but has some more). He and the PT allowed her to run just half of the course. So now the plan was for her to hang with us and drop at AS#3, which was also the start area.

Meanwhile, I managed to catch a very mild intestinal bug which hit Wednesday, and by Thursday I was messed up in the electrolyte dept, as well as really tired. My latest chemistrys showed my sodium and chloride were low (after Mt SI - duh!) so I was a little extra cautious about getting hydrated for Saturday, drinking water and Gatorade or Nuun. Friday I had a kinesis session at 7 am (note to self - no strength training the day before an ultra, even just upper body!) and got stretched by Laura at 8, and saw my chiro at 9:30. I had a weird feeling on my right knee, like I had scraped it, but all that was internal - no surface scrape at all. And there was some swelling to the right of the front, below the kneecap. Laura massaged some Arnica into it, and I showed it to Mike (chiro). He said it looked like a case of patellar tendonitis, and not to do any long runs this weekend. I told him I had one planned but didn't say how far. I decided to see how it felt, and also make sure I took my Arnica. Also topped it off with a hit of ibuprofen to lessen the swelling.

Tracy picked me up and we stopped by Essential Bakery for a coffee and treat. We ran into Mike who was also on his way to Oly but to volunteer. He had just come back from running rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon - tres cool! We made it to Oly in time to get our packets and get a bite to eat (another note to self - stop eating creamy pasta the night before a race lest you wake up with a head full of snot!). After a somewhat fitful night of sleep, we got up at 4 and got ready. I put my shoes on and they felt tight. Well, my toes felt it! What was going on??? I thought maybe they would loosen up when I ran. We headed out in the dark to Capitol Forest and got there with a few minutes to spare before the start.

I saw lots of familiar faces and met Chandler's dad - really nice guy! How did he get someone like Chandler??? Oh wait - Chandler's cool too - duh!!! My reason for being there was no where to be found, though I found Rich. Mary Lou was somewhere but the Go signal started and off we went. She was hanging up front, but after a couple miles she got more sense and came to the back with us. Finally I got to run with her a little and chat. What a sweetie! I wished I could have lasted the whole way to hang with her! Here are her and Rich catching up after a quick bathroom break:

We leapfrogged off and on and when we were together I got to learn more about Rich and his siblings. I snapped a photo of Mary Lou on the trail - hopefully I'll get to run with her back east some day!

We climbed and descended and after a while, my knee felt funny (but not where there was swelling - more later) and my toes hurt- like raw hurt, like they would feel near the END of a race, not in the first half. What was going on???? About mile ten I made the (somewhat) tearful decision to drop with Tracy at AS#3. I couldn't see running another 16 miles with toes like this; the knee, maybe, but not the toes. So we came in and Tracy and I dropped and said goodbye to Rich and Mary Lou.

While we hung out, I asked about my shoes and toes. Alison's theory was I hydrated really well and my feet were swollen. Possibly, but my other shoes fit fine. My toes were tender though. I asked if shoes could shrink. Eric said by all means, especially if they had gotten repeatedly wet. Well duh! I went with that theory. Til later....I also iced my knee and discovered the source of my "pain" was an allergic reaction to something I had rubbed against. It had nothing to do with the swollen area! We socialized a bit more and eventually got it together to get in the car and head home.

I called SRC to see if I could talk about my shoes and to exchange some road shoes I had recently bought. I went in, with my muddy shoes in a bag. I told my story to Robert, and noted that they also hurt at Cougar last Saturday, and that I had gotten a pedicure the day before. He started laughing, and it turned out he had personal experience with getting a pedicure (and getting the callouses taken off) and trying to run afterwards (he did his gf a favor when she needed to do a practice pedicure for Gene Juarez). The callouses were there for a reason - which may be why my toes are so tender! Especially at the tip and where the end of the nail and skin meet. So that is my latest theory and in future (if any) pedicures - I'll forgo the salt scrub and callous removal, thank you!

So I have until the end of May to figure out where to do my third marathon or beyond. I'm thinking Tacoma marathon, especially after seeing Rob's mug in Northwest Runner. He's the volunteer coordinator - I might as well race and make the job worth his while!


robtherunner said...

Sorry to hear about the DNF, but 15miles out on beautiful trails is certainly better than no miles at all. We'd love to have you in Tacoma. We'll take good care of you. I was hoping nobody read that magazine anymore:) I'm not a good picture taker.

olga said...

Laura, I sai dit before and will say again - if it's no fun, then it's no fun. And it doesn't mean races shouldn't be hard - they are, but still, for me the fun factor has to prevail. So go run Tacoma and be happY!

Backofpack said...

I'll be running Tacoma, early start. We gotta jet out of town and head to the way southern Oregon to see our oldest son for Mothers Day. You should run it - it'll be fun!

Laura H said...

Thanks - toes are healing. A friend at work said she supported herself in undergrad by dancing - in four inch heels (I have an idea what kind of "dancing"). She got a pedi and was out of work 2 weeks! Good stories coming out of this....

Rob - your photo looks fine! It's cool you're doing that!!

shawn said...

I like how you didn't tell your doctor you were planning to run. I ask if I can run and they ask how far I say "JUST a 50k" as if they'll think maybe I said 5k and everything will be okay.

We were talking about pedicures after Capitol Peak! *tc was saying how they'd probably throw our ugly feet out the door, and I was thinking they'd schedule us for weekly pedicures! Good to know about the calluses. Never had a mani or a pedi myself, but a pedicure does sound good.

Glad you came out Saturday despite the DNF. I've DNF'd twice at CP myself. But it's still one of my favorites.

Alison said...

I love my calluses and have always been weary of pedis. However, I just did Sunflower up in Winthrop and had a case of hamburger feet, even with caluses, so I'm figuring that out now. Fun stuff. Have fun at the marathon!