This edition of the Trail Running Chronicles is really a race report for the Starkey Stomp, a race held by Endeavor Racing at the Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey. This race is the first in a series of three weekends in a row of racing (this week being a 15K at Trout Creek, followed by a 50K, my longest distance attempt, at Croom on April 1st), and I headed into it with foot issues still very present.
To be honest, I was not very optimistic heading in, and the issues started right away, almost from the first step.
Here’s the frustration …
Walking to the car, standing at the start, warming up, there is NO pain at all, and that results in my head beginning to think that maybe this race will be different … that maybe I can get through this one and not feel like I am struggling the entire time. Then the gun goes off, and with the first step the heel barks at me.
How is that possible???
The first three miles I really thought that there was no way I was going to get through it. Not only were my Achilles crying out to me, but for some reason the back side of my knees decided that they were tired of being left out and started yelling at me too. This is a FLAT course. There was NO climbing. So why in All that is Holy was this hurting so badly and so quickly?
At about 30:00 I gave in and popped three Advil‘s (600mg). This has never really worked in the past but I was getting pissed off. By mile 5 or so I was starting to feel a bit better, which I guess I can attribute to that Advil, and at 6.5 miles, after starting the second loop I was actually running at a good clip. I felt the soreness in the heels and feet but it wasn’t bad enough to stop me, and I could work through it. In the beginning of the race I was not doing a run/walk by time, opting to go more by feel, but at mile 7 I set the alerts on the watch for my normal 30/60 split and started to try to really push it harder. At one point I was running at the 11:00 range, while still walking at a 18:00 or so. I felt OK.
I also ate a Clif bar at mile 7, which may have helped a bit with energy, and downed a Gel (Montana Huckleberry) at mile 8. The energy lasted until mile 11, and though I down more Advil the pain was back and it wasn’t going anywhere this time. I was still able to run the splits, but the pace was back to a 15:30/19:00 split again, and though that is not bad for me, and well under what I need to do for the 100, I know very well that there will be no 100 finish if this is how my pain is in May.
The good take away was that the soreness afterwards was minimal. I was able to walk without pain, and joined Nancy and her daughter Laura for a quick bite before heading home. Slathered my calf’s in Arnica Oil and feet in BioFreeze, slipped on compression socks, and elevated them as best I could for the night. Sunday was a bit sore but bearable, but Monday it was VERY tight (calf mostly). Tightness I can deal with. Pain I cannot. This has me concerned, and is now concerning Meghan, which makes me MORE concerned because she never waivers and I feel like she is starting to doubt if I can do this 100 too.
But I will start it, and if I get one loop complete, or two, or three, I am going to give it my best shot.
I am just so VERY tired of failing.