01 December 2010

one more race for the year: TNF 50 mile

I'm the kind of guy who generally doesn't like a lot of hoo-haw or circuses at the races I go to, but I jumped at the opportunity to head down to The North Face Endurance Championships 50-miler this coming weekend. I am glad I did, because the tens of thousands of $USD (that's about a gazillion in $ULTrarunning) are attracting most of the top athletes in our sport and it is looking like it will be a heck of a race for both the men's and women's fields. I haven't seen this much hype over a race since.... just since August for UTMB, and then June for Western States before that....OK, so there's been a lot of good competitions this year.*

*just as an aside, wow, what a huge change in our sport since the days not very long ago when it was "what one or two guys might make Scott Jurek break into a sweat at WS this year before he drops them at Green Gate". But that's a whole different topic for a blog post.

It has been a lot of fun reading the various pre-race posts from Bryon over at iRunFar, Karl Meltzer's picks, and personal notes from said picks Anton Krupicka (unfortunately injured and out), Geoff Roes, and Dakota Jones. These dudes are fast, and it is always interesting to hear their perspectives on preparations, anticipation, etc. Their writing reveals that they are just like the rest of us - just faster!

For my part, "fast" won't be part of the equation this Saturday, and to be perfectly honest, I have been sitting on the fence over the past couple of weeks wondering if I should even go or not. My post-TdG training was going well with some daily high-intensity speedwork and climbing efforts, but then I got sick just over two weeks ago with some stomach/gut bug that laid me out for about ten days, a lot of which was spent doing this:
and that was just the top half.

Anyhew, once I had the energy to get running again, I slowly ramped up out on some real trails again, and then had a great three-day jam last weekend mixing a day of snowshoeing, a day of flats, and a day of hills. All in all, pretty good


Ever since TdG, I have had some lingering pain issues in my butt and hips. The butt pain, something in the top of my glutes, was bad enough immediately after the race that couldn't sleep lying on my back. Since then, after doing my runs, I also get some aching pain in and around my hips joints. I'm pretty sure it is some residual soft tissue stuff instigated by the 79000' of downhill pounding I did during TdG. I know I should get some therapeutic massage work done, but just haven't got around to it. You know how it is, it bugs you at the time, but then you forget about it when it goes away, then say "oh yeah!" when it happens again. And months pass....   

So, the point is: I'm going to the race this weekend kind of injured. Why? Because I am excited and looking forward to:
  • run in a place I have not been to before, and people say is quite beautiful
  • seeing some friends from the south who I haven't seen for a while
  • seeing my teammates Ty and Devon from nuun and Nathan from LaSportiva.
  • hanging with the local Vancouver runners who will be there (Ryne, Jackie, Tamsin, Ellie..yeah, Ellie lives in Banff but she used to be in Vancouver)
  • what's not to like about running 50 miles? In California? In December? Cool!
Such things are way more important to me than a pain in the butt. These are some of the reasons I run. 
After all, you know I'm not in it for the money at this one!   :-)


don said...

I have done the 50km version of the TNF course at SFO. It is really beautiful and I consider it my reward after a busy season of racing.

Derrick said...

Sounds like a great way to end the season and be a part of such an exciting event.

Have fun and good luck!

Holly Vipond said...

sorry to hear that you're not feeling up to par... but it will be an epic race, and I wish I could go! Have fun, good luck, and take care!

Sara said...

Have a great race!

Be sure to take care of that pain in the butt after you get home (says the one who wished I'd taken care of mine sooner).

lonerunman said...

Thanks very much for the enthusiasm and encouragement, everyone! It will be a lot of fun, and seeing so many friends will be a great closer to the season.

Don - thanks for confirming what I have heard about the beauty of the area from your first-hand experience. I think such a nice place will inspire me to keep slogging through our winter in Vanc.

Sara - yes, you are absolutely right, I have to, have to get some work done when I get back. Thanks for the tip/warning!

Sue said...

Ahh the pain in the butt! Been there just recently so I know how that feels. Have a fun time in San Fran. California in December lucky you :)

Gravityh said...

Yeah Bruce... I have the same pain in the butt.....but... it doesn't keep me of the trails. Somebody said it was my psoas... Sounds more like sore ass..


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