Sunday, October 25, 2009

An over-competetive pre-sweeper

Today was the Hallows Eve 1/2 marathon and 10km. I first did this race 2 years ago and boy was it tough. There is a shit load of stairs and lot's of climbing with some pretty rewarding downhill and flat sections to recover. My boyfriend Peter is the race director and I helped him out by pre-sweeping the race course with my friend John Foy. A pre-sweep essentially just runs the course before the race starts and ensures all the flagging is still in it's place. People who walk the trails regularly sometimes do not take kindly to random objects thrown into "their" forest. Last year, I swept the course after the race had finished, so I thought it would be nice to change it up.

We set out around 7:30am. It was a beautiful crisp morning and I was happy to be running as the sun came out. I was glad to see that all the flagging had remained in place, making our run that much more enjoyable. After 90 minutes John met up with his girlfriend and her daughter and we parted ways, and I finished up the last section solo. As I came into the Gazebo aid station I saw a few familiar faces. The Mountain Madness gang were all dressed up as Pirates. They looked awesome! Tom Skinner was also there dawning a girl's costume with red head pigtails and all. I saw the first 10km runner come through and it was my friend Dylan Gant. I got excited and decided to run with him, which lasted about 10 seconds. Not to far behind was the 2nd place male. He came 2nd last week at Around the Lake Giv'r Take 30km. I saw 2 other speedy 10km runners and I cheered them on as they passed swiftly. I was now running back to the start/finish, which is the same trail you run along for about 5km when you start. There were at least 50 10km runners dressed up in their creative Halloween costumes. I cheered them on as they worked their butts off coming up the stairs. I saw many familiar faces from Innovative Fitness, knee knacker runs, mountain madness trail clinics, and the local trail community scene.

I finally made it to the top of Baden Powell before the flats (diamond trail) going back to the finish. Mike Hilleger always volunteers there, so I took a little break and chatted with him. A few more male 10k'ers passed. Then I saw the first female coming up the climb. I politely told Mike I had to go and set out for a random little tempo run back to the finish. My competitive nature kicked in and I wanted to see if I could hold her off. Yes, she had just been working her butt off for 7km, and I am sure her HR was through the roof but I had been out there for 2 hrs 15 min and had done 18 km. Ok, so maybe that was a slow 2:15/ 18km but whatever. So I take off and catch up to this guy dressed as a girl, wearing Lulu lemon pants and a tank top. It was hot. He was keeping a good pace and I was only barely closing the gap. I thought this would be good speed work in prep for mountain masochist, although I hope I don't have to run this fast there. Volunteers kept telling me I was the first woman, and I felt pretty bad and had to keep saying I was "just the sweep". We were coming into the final stretch and everyone is cheering and the announcer says "here is the first woman coming into the finish". I know the announcer quite well and had to go back and explain myself, telling him I am not racing, I am just an "over competitive pre-sweeper". All in all, I really enjoyed the run and seeing all those familiar faces. The running community on the North Shore is an amazing group of people and I am glad to be apart of it.

Thanks to Peter for putting on the race. I saw first hand how much time he put into this event. For the last week, he has left the house after dinner to go back to work, spending hours on the last minute details of the race. I reminded him yesterday that all his hard work will pay off and tomorrow it will all be over and his email inbox will be filled with wonderful race comments from participants.

This week has been pretty random. I took 1 day off after my race last Sunday, doing nothing but a light Hatha yoga class. Tuesday I did a flow Yoga class at YYoga and I lead a running clinic through some downhill eccentric (quad muscle lengthening) repeats but took them easy letting everyone else do the work (hey, I was recovering)! Wednesday I went for a run and felt good so I went for 2 hours. These days, I never know if I'm going to feel good or tired. I thought to myself, if I feel good, go longer because tomorrow I could feel the opposite. On Thursday however I had this little ache behind my knee cap. I thought something might have been bugging my hamstring tendon but was unsure of what was really going on. I decided to take a day off and rest it. Friday, I set out for a nice long hill run but 12 minutes in realized it just wasn't going to happen today. My "knee pit" (that is what I call the back of my knee) was bugging me again and I just knew running on it would irritate it even more.

I went to see a Chiropractor by the name of Paul Wiggins. This guy is unreal and every time I go see him I am amazed at his knowledge and understanding of the human body. I don't go to him for adjustments, I see him for his impeccable ART skills. ART is a technique whereby a trained physician massages out an area as they lengthen the muscle, moving it through an active range of motion. It's very specific and highly effective. He identified that it was actually the head of my gastrocnemius
(A.K.A- Calf) muscle that was very tight. He worked it out through ART and I left feeling pretty good. I almost forgot, he also did one more thing. I had this clicking in my knee pit whenever I fully straightened my left leg. It doesn't hurt and so I never really thought to ever get it looked at. I mentioned it to him and he fiddled around back there and presto, the clicking was gone. I went to a hot yoga class that night and I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the weekend. The next day I went for a 2hr 20minute run pain free. There was absolutely no pain or discomfort in my calf. It was the best $40 I ever spent.

2 more weeks until Mountain Masochist. I can't wait! I feel good and ready to rock.
I am hoping I feel like this at the finish!!!!!!!!!!


MJ said...

Ha! I thought you were running the race... you seemed so fresh to be in first place! I was really quite impressed!

Tell Peter it was great and all the people I came with/brought had a blast!



You can take the girl out of the race, but you can't take the race out of the girl!

Glad your 'knee pit' is better. That is too funny. Never heard that one before.