Happy February! We have left January and moved into the month of love… or not. Mileage these last couple of weeks was mainly on the indoor bike relaxing the calf injury I endured during a practice run two weeks ago. I was determined to get back into some working shape so I could run the Nippy Niner ~ a nine mile trail run in at the Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area in St. Louis. I’m happy to report there was much more love than hate going into this race that made it successful.
Physical Therapy. I’ve been going to PT for a couple of months for my hip and my therapist was so kind to work on my calf for these past two weeks. I stretched, massaged and worked out the kinks. I could definitely tell a difference and I was disciplined. I foam rolled every night and although it wasn’t perfect it did get better. Lesson learned to stretch out a bit more and strengthen some other core muscles.
Concentration and foot placement while running. I didn’t bring any music this time to run. One, it was raining and two I needed to concentrate. I know there are many views on running with music. Although I like to be somewhat competitive in my races I do like to have fun while I’m putting in the miles. It was a good decision to make. I wasn’t 100% and I needed to focus on stride, breath and foot placement. The constant up and down of part of the trail required focus and a couple of times I could feel the pull. I was able to concentrate on core and tended to run more on the balls of my feet (something I don’t do well) and it made all the difference. If you don’t like to run without music ~ may I suggest giving it a try ~ there is a difference.
No eating dirt this time. Last go round I fell four times (it was snowing) and broke my iPod. This time I remained on my feet. It was muddy but that doesn’t bother me.
Too much layering. Apparently I haven’t broken the code on layering. It was cold and rainy so I layered and purchased a light rain jacket. I was shedding around mile 3. I just didn’t want to chance it this time so I paid for it later. Not too much issue but I had to maneuver it off.
Pain from the beginning. Yep, I had done some warming up and jogged a couple of days earlier and the leg felt fine, then on race day (of course) the niggles started to come back. So straight out the gate I dealt with the pain. The first mile was painful, but with stride adjustment I was able find my happy place.
Shoes ruined. Normally when I get ready to change my shoes out I like to clean them up and donate them ~ not this time around. There was no amount of cleaning that was going to get that muck out. They died a slow death but lived a full live. Into the trash they went.
In the end the race was enjoyable, a challenge and gives a good sense of accomplishment. I ran it with 5 of my co-workers and that was special. I picked up 33 more miles this go round with 9,482.26 miles rain or shine ~ happily remaining.