Sunday, February 13, 2011

18 mile run in Alum Rock Park (Feb 13, 2011)

Feb 13, 2011 – 18 mile run in Alum Rock Park (with Dave, Norm and Vimal) – This was a big planned run to train for our Marathon at March end. I have never run Marathon, so was looking to see how we hold up. My shins were aching for a week now from tempo runs and interval training, however, nothing where I had to stop running and take a break. However, I was thinking that it would be nice to take a break, as we still have another 6 weeks to go before the race.

I look forward for long runs, as they are run at 60-90 seconds slower pace than your planned Marathon Pace. Idea is to increase the endurance, and most of the time we can chit chat during the long run. Since there was no rains for quite some time, ARP was dried up. We decided to do South Rim and then do another loop till Bridge and come back. Well, that was the plan at least. All of us were prepared with nutrition (bars, Cytomax etc).

Dave was in a good form today, and we were just trying to keep up with him. I was hoping that my calves and shins would warm up and pain would go away after couple of miles, however, it did not. I was having doubts as how I would break 4 hours, if the muscles are already getting fatigued. After covering our usual elevation gain of 1000 ft, I was able to open up during downhill, was able to keep up a good pace, following Dave and Vimal. I was glad that trail was all dried up as I always fear for balance on wet downhill trail. Everybody was doing fine, and finished all uphill and downhill, and covered 13 miles. Then all of a sudden, I tripped and next thing I remember, I was all flat on the ground. Fall sounded really nasty. However, after smelling the wet soil patch where I fell, for 10 seconds, I knew that no bones were broken or joints were damaged (well at slow pace of 10 min/mile what do you expect). Dave came and inspected all fours (Hands-elbows and knees). Of course everything was scraped badly and right hand was bleeding. I told him that I could run, and we ran to nearest water tap to wash the wounds. He mentioned, good thing that you didn’t scraped your pretty face, otherwise Promila would have never forgiven you !

I felt more alive than ever, and thought I could do another 10 miles. The shin pain and calf pain was gone, I think shot of adrenalin woke me up. After cleaning up the wounds, I was leading for some time, I still wanted to do another 5 miles. Dave screamed from behind again, “Now we cannot lose you, all we have to do is follow the blood trail”. I know my legs are going to be pulled for a long time now, hope they help in stretching some of the muscles too. Since both of my hands were scraped I knew that I would not be able to stretch my calves after the run. And as I write this, though the pain from scrape is tolerable, but muscles are now seizing up. Anyway, completed 18 mile run in little under 3 hours (10 min pace). I thought this was a pretty good indicator as we climbed over 1000 feet.

After reaching home, Promila screamed, while keeping her hands on her ears, and Prem ran to the family room and disappeared. Great to see family support system in action. I guess some of the blood clotted and made it look worse than it was. Promila washed my wounds and dressed me up well and Prem came back with some water-proof bandage. My right hand is swollen, and I am limping not because of the scrape but because of calf muscles are not stretched. I guess, I have now proper sign to take that week break from running which I was longing for. All in all, I feel that Marathon training, to run it in less than 4 hours, is quite grueling. I am hoping at some time pain associated with running would go away, till then, thank you JnJ for making Tylenol.