My BumpInTheNight torn toe tendon (30 March 2005) means there's no running for me in the near future. To review the bidding for the past season of sallies through the woods and along the creeks, see:

In late January, when I foolishly signed up for several marathons and ultramarathons, I began pursuing a strategy I called "aggressive resting" between events. I noticed that my visible bruises tended to take 2-3 weeks to heal completely—and I theorized that invisible microbruises and other damage to joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles required a similar length of time to repair.

Therefore I cut back radically on training, and trusted that whatever semblance of fitness that I may have acquired in prior months would persist long enough to see me through this season of long-distance madness. It mostly did—until catastrophe struck less than a fortnight before the Bull Run 50 miler of 9 April.

At this point only one outing remains to be reported:

(26 Mar 05) - 6+ miles, 68 minutes — Comrade Ken Swab and I enjoy a cool, damp morning in the Seneca State Park, thanks to the Montgomery County Road Runners Club's sponsorship of the "Piece of Cake" 10k race. We arrive early and Jim Rich recruits me to help with the quarter-mile and half-mile Young Runs that take place before the main event. My job is to be the pylon that the kids turn around at the midpoint of the race; I fulfill that function nervously but adequately.

Then it's our turn to run. Ken's goal is a steady ~11 min/mi, and we almost achieve that with splits of 11:00, 10:37, 11:22, 11:23, 10:16, and 11:00. Rolling hills and a couple of water stops account for most of the variance. Ken is fast on the downhill segments of the course; for my part, I mandate walk breaks every 5 minutes or so, especially on the steeper climbs. We encourage our fellow runners as we jog with them and discuss baseball, politics, baseball, training, baseball, our families, and baseball. Near the end of the race Ken skips and dances to Jimmy Buffet music coming from a friendly volunteer's car stereo system. I finish a nanosecond behind Ken and feel some small twinges in my left knee ... perhaps a sign that I need to rest yet more aggressively for the next couple of weeks?

Michelle Price, like me, wears a HAT Run cap today with quiet pride; we speak together briefly before the start. Karen Mathias jogs for much of the distance with Ken & me, but drops back during the final hills. She reports that she hasn't been training much lately and is just starting a return to racing. In the fifth mile I encounter Patricia Rich, who laughingly calls me a "Gross Runner"—an epithet which I wrinkle my brow over, until Patricia gently reminds me that I'm wearing bib number 144 this year. Near the 6 mile point Ken & I catch up to and chat with Wanda Walters. who comes in a few seconds behind us, perhaps after setting a slightly-too-brisk earlier pace. Christina Caravoulias, ultra-active racer, finishes almost five minutes in front of us; she tells me that she and Ken had a most excellent duel last week in the MCRRC "Super Sligo" 4 miler.

We eat (I score a piece of pound cake!), drink, visit, and then drive home, getting lost briefly on the winding roads of rural Montgomery County ...

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2005-04-26

(correlates: MusicalDream, PaulHolbrook, NetworkNomenclature, ...)