This year I reached mile 6 of the 10 mile uphill that begins the 17+ mile journey from Ouray to Telluride in pretty good shape. Clicking off 12 and 13 minute miles, my legs felt okay, my spirits were good. Then, very quickly, my back began to tighten. By seven miles it was spasms. At the Upper Bird station, I was determined to press on knowing that with the top, came the downhill (and I LOVE running downhill). Very quickly, it became walk five steps, stop and stretch my back; walk five steps, stop and stretch my back; repeat, repeat, repeat. After 8 miles I couldn't even walk. It was time to stop. I walked back down to the aid station where a wonderful fellow with massage therapy experience tried to do a little magic. When after some maneuvering, he said, "There's a knot or bulge in here that's huge," I decided to stop for good. Sorry IPR, not this time.
DNF: Did Not Finish. But also:
|Start line serious|
DNF = Did Not Focus. My lack of race experience over the past decade shows. Not having much recent racing has left me without the proper pre-race rituals in place. I've been forgetting little things prior to races and this time it was Advil. And I sure could have used some Advil. I also picked the wrong hydration pack wearing the vest instead of the waist one. Never really felt comfortable in it.
DNF = Did No Fast. I've run a lot of miles in the buildup to this Run. The problem is that while I have a nice base, I have nothing beyond that. No hard hills, no tempo runs, nothing to really prepare me for hard running or the discomfort that is the result of tough workouts.
DNF = Did Not Flex. I began this "serious" running with a consistent routine of strength and core work. It lasted about a month then went to the wayside. So did stretching. If I truly want to be a trail/mountain runner, I need to be stronger and more flexible in my core. When in distress, the biggest issues arise in your weakest places.
|Steep in the 6th mile|
DNF = Did Not Face. I did not face reality. One of the downsides of 49 years of running is that I have a long past, full of some pretty good performances. Unfortunately, I often evaluate this Rich against younger, faster Rich. Unrealistic expectations are worse than none.
DNF = Did No Fun. I had little or no fun in the week prior to this Run. Doubt and apprehension ruled the days leading up to the start. It needs to be excitement and fun.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be overly tough on myself or dwell on the negative. I'm just trying to take a realistic, analytical look at what went wrong so that I am armed with the information I need IF I am truly wanting to be a serious racer. The other option is to be an old guy who participates in races with little or no expectations. Enough said about that.
Let's move on.
|Never quite made it to the top|
On the upside, I finished the week with 70 miles, and ran "with" Emelie Forsberg, (http://runspittle.blogspot.com/2015/09/ive-fallen-down-and-i-cant-catch-up-my.html), saw some GORGEOUS scenery in Ouray and Telluride, met some very nice people, and didn't do any unrepairable damage along the way. Can't beat that, I guess.