Once again I participated in the Bigfoot 5 and 10 mile race near my house. However, I think this will truly be the last time. I didn’t fall this time, but it seems that no matter how carefully I step, this trail is designed to make me roll my ankle. I rolled it twice to the point where it hurt and a couple times that didn’t hurt. As I write this post near the end of race day (it will not be published until the new year), my foot is not throbbing and it doesn’t hurt to walk, so I think it was strained a bit, but not sprained (thank goodness).
The nice thing about close, local races is not having to wake up so early or travel so far. I got up at 0630 for this 0900 race. Partially because I also had a swim meet later in the day and wanted to each lunch at a decent time, I decided to have a half-portion of my normal breakfast. (Usually for this distance I would have just had some raisins and then breakfast when I got back) It was fine and I didn’t have any stomach issues during or after the race. I did cut it a *little* too close because by the time I got a chance at the porta-potty, I had to hurry to get in line with wave 1.
This caused me to get near the middle of the pack and end up behind some slower runners early in the race. The early portion of the course is not hazardous at all. It was pretty easy to go as fast as I was able to go, given that I was stuck behind some folks. Starting somewhere around the halfway point is when there started to be some hidden branches, especially since the trail was covered with leaves. This led me to, as I said above, roll my ankle multiple times. I didn’t fall this time (hurray!) but I still am having to take it easy walking and will probably very slowly ramp up my run training this week. (Or maybe even wait until the weekend, depending on how I feel) So, it turned out to be a very good thing that the Ted Corbitt run last week and the swim meet this week led me to select the 5 mile course (in other words, just one loop). If I had to go through that course twice, not only was I risking turning my ankle even more, but I also would have done more running on an injured ankle. I think I would have just chosen to not finish. At least it was mild enough that I was able to finish the race and just have some pain whenever I restart walking – seems to me like a Grade I sprain.
Once I’d rolled my ankle the last time, I slowed to just a jog. This also helped since this part of the course was incredibly muddy. I was able to increase the pace once I knew I was out of the woods (both metaphorically and literally) and got 12th overall and 4th for my age group. Not bad for getting injured and having to drop my speed! When I compare my pace to last year, it’s not too bad. I did 7:55 last time and 7:59 this time. Last time I fell and this time I had to go slowly for the last mile. But overall, I kept a similar pace and I thought that was pretty interesting.
It’s too bad the path is so injurious to me, because it’s a nice, local race with an overall chill attitude. But I’m not going through these things a third time.