Saturday, August 7, 2010

Well, What the Heck Did You Go And Do That For?!

What's the definition of insanity? Yeah, that's what I thought. What's the definition of insanity? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I ran a low-key, donation-only half marathon this morning (First Call, put on by Adrian Call, who does a very nice job). There was also a full marathon and a 50k, along with three different start times. The race started at Bothell Landing and was an out-and-back course, mostly flat. After destroying my heel on a 2-hour hilly trail run on Monday, I decided to be smart and skip this event, opting to volunteer instead tough it out, heel be damned, and run the stupid race. Ah, I can hear a couple of you booking flights to Seattle right now so you can show up at my doorstep and knock some sense into me when I answer (which is why I don't answer the door, most of the time).

I went out at a 7:44 first mile, backed off the pace a bit, then picked it up a little on the return trip, for a finish of 1:41:44...which is only :22 off my (rather soft) half PR...on low training and a bum wheel. It was the longest run I've done since my marathon on May 15th, and even though the last couple of miles were tough, I managed to run negative splits, which is rare for me. The only downside to this race (aside from my injury) was that I ended up running all but the first 2 miles alone, so it felt very much like a training run...which is how I was going to treat it, anyway.

So why did I do this when my heel has been so agitated this week? 'bout them Cubbies!

Honestly, I wrestled with the decision. I knew the course was flat (the hills have really been killing my heel), and I figured I'd start with the idea of DNF'ing if the pain was too much. Well, there was pain, but I guess I didn't consider it "too much". Plus, I'm not always the brightest bulb in the pantry (we keep our spare bulbs in our pantry. So there.) Now, maybe due to overcompensation, my lower right calf has been hurting & getting tight during my runs, and I've felt hints of Plantar Fasciitis underneath the heel. My whole right foot is going on strike.  I figure that if I'm going down, I might as well go down with a big THUD, instead of during a routine neighborhood run. The deck chairs on the Titanic look better rearranged, anyway.

I've got an ice pack on the heel as I'm sitting here. I'll alternate ice with a tub of warm water for the next hour or so. Here's where I feel like Fonzy, from Happy Days: I plan on bbbbb....bbbbbb......bbacking off for awhile. How long? Oh, what time is it now? Kidding. I don't know yet whether I'll do an official "shut down" for the long term, or just play it by ear. I still hold out hopes of running the Baker Lake 50k on October 2nd. The reality is that I probably won't be able to put in 1) enough long runs, and 2) enough trail time to feel comfortable running it. But there's still a glimmer of hope. We'll see. Other than that, I have no other races on the schedule, and that's kind of a relief right now. I'm hoping to reconcile with my heel and tear up these divorce papers.

Man, this ice is cold.


  1. Colin, Colin, Colin, I just booked a direct flight to Seattle. I'll be there soon with a big 'ol can of whoop ass. Hey, you're a big boy and it's a free country. So, I only tease you. Your approach reminds me of another Seattle guy. You may know that Kurt Cobain wrote in his suicide note, "It's better to burn out, than fade away". Dude, why stop now, 50k? Screw that, you should sign up for Badwater or Western States.

  2. I think Kurt Cobain must also have been a runner... he certainly knew our collective mentality!

    I don't know. On the one hand it truly does sound insane to run a race with a bad heel, but then again, as George Sheehan famously said "We're all an experiment of one..." Bottom line - you finished with a close to P.R. - and you don't seem to be in worse shape because of it, so GOOD JOB!

  3. Not sure if I should admit it, but that sounds a lot like me. I'm sure if things got bad you would have backed off so well done! The 50k...? You'll do the right thing but be careful with a bad heel on trails. Good luck!

  4. Holy crap Colin! You ran a freaking half marathon and basically ran the same race that you PRd in!?! Good Lord! Keep icing and for God sake...take care of yourself:)

  5. Can I whoop some ass with Chris.

    You made the right decision holding off. Some reading material on the topic: