Saturday, November 15, 2008

USATF XC Preview

To quote Isla Fisher's character in the movie Definitely, Maybe:

My shit is a mess.

I started running again this week by showing up to Fed Hill Runners on Monday. After a mile my body was falling apart. I took Tuesday off. I tried to run again on Wednesday from Canton. I did much better, making it about 5 of the 7 miles before my body crapped out. I got back in the pool on Thursday for my first swim in 6 weeks. That went about as well as what you'd imagine. Yesterday I just wanted to run a few miles again, and I started out pretty slow but didn't feel terrible. Halfway through the 5 miles, this feeling changed. I "picked it up" the last mile home - 7:01. My right hip is all sorts of f'd up, and my left knee hurts more than anything has ever hurt on me ever.

Needless to say I should probably not have run this morning at the cross country race, but a) I have too much pride and b) I really wanted to do it. I arrived at the course out in scenic Derwood just after 8 and watched Denise roll to the women's masters win. Then Dave Berardi ran well in the men's masters. Finally at 11 it was time for the premier race of the day - men's open. By far the biggest field of the 4 races and very competitive. I was foolishly wearing a long sleeve pullover/shirt thing, which, after 2k, was stifling as the temp reached the mid to upper 70s. I went out pretty slow but was committed to running whatever my body could handle. As it turned out, that wasn't that bad.

My first 4km were 4:13, 4:14, 4:11, 4:20 (6:45/mi). I was really warm after that, so I wanted to back off on the third lap. 4:26 and 4:39 were the 1km splits on that lap. Then my body just started to fall apart. My left knee couldn't handle shit, it feels like it's going to give out on me. I ran a 4:47 kilometer 7, and then tried to pick it up a little to have somewhat of a decent finish (4:25).

My overall time was 35:17, which is actually a little bit quicker than I first anticipated. I thought I'd be running 7:30-8:00. The course is quite challenging, but you can go pretty fast I think if you run smart. On the back end of the course there is a steep downhill with a sharp turn at the bottom, and with it being as muddy as it was (rain the last 3 days) that became tough. There's a hill on the front end that is a little challenging, but it's not bad. Undulating. Never really flat in any points. The first kilometer of the 2k loop is quick.

I'm not sure what place I finished in, or how many people were in the race, but it wasn't a terrible day. Now my knee hurts so bad I can't even walk. I guess I'll be taking a few days off from running, and I'll see if riding doesn't aggravate it tomorrow out in Columbia. Shit.

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