Friday, January 9, 2015

Feelings about my upcoming race

Oh, time to talk about feelings! Nothing big, just going into race weekend and starting to feel a different kind of nervous. Sunday is my second attempt at the 25km Columbia Trail Masters race in Khao Mai Kaew, down near Pattaya.

Last year, this was one of my first trail races and it didn't go like I had imagined it would, to say the least!

So yeah, last year I busted my ankle at kilometer 8 and fell on it again on another downhill at kilometer 11. The ankle affected me the rest of the year. I ended up visiting the doctor for about six months trying to get it fixed without surgery. The thing was a mess. I've since accepted that it will never fully heal. I've learned to run in a way that minimizes the pain in the ankle when it rears it's ugly head. **I just caught the ankle last night on our staircase at home and it sent that shock that I've gotten used to throughout my body! Oh dear! Two days before the race that inflicted the injury!!

The course has been made more difficult for this year's race with more ups and downs. I read on Facebook that the third place team from last years TNF Duo (Jan and Helge) helped the organizers adjust this year's course. They were sweet enough to put a big climb and descent into the finish line (final 2km)...which is just asking for people to try to go faster on the downhill, trying to finish better...I can see it now...there will be pain. I just need to make sure I'm not one of those suffering such pain, tumbling down the final hill in a heap!

I know I have to slow it down, take it easy and get through the race in one piece (unbroken piece). With The North Face Duo race coming up on January 31st, this race serves as my final Long Slow Distance training run.

Training. I have to pound that into my head over the next couple days...TRAINING...not racing!!

Making this a little harder to go out easy, jog through the course and walk up the climbs and work on my downhill form is the fact that the 25km race is almost sold out, meaning that there are going to be upwards of 500 racers for the distance. That is a lot of runners for a course that is billed as mostly "single trail". Not much room to maneuver out there, especially if you get behind a slow pack from the beginning. Truthfully, that's probably going to be the best thing for me, if it happens, because it would force me to slow down.

Not like I'm going to be out there tearing up the trails. I tend to suffer a lot more on the trails than I do on pavement. I love the trails though, so much more than running on roads. They don't love me back though, not yet! I had serious calf and thigh cramps during my last trail marathon, from all of the downhill portions. Those muscles need to be worked more often. I need to actually TRAIN for running downhill to avoid getting these cramps that can stop you in your tracks.

I'm not worried about the outcome, but I know once I toe the start line that I'll be all excited and just run like I tend to run. I need to limit that. Last year's finishing time was 2:36 with an easier course. I fully expect to spend about 3 hours on this year's course. Given the hills and how technical it will be, I don't think three hours is a stretch. It rained last night as well. The running gods could throw some thunderstorms our way the night before the race to mud-up the place. Now wouldn't that be interesting!

I'll be driving Saturday night to arrive at the race venue by about an hour prior to start time, a 2 hour drive? Run, eat, come home ;) It should be fun, I'm just a little nervous considering how things ended up last year. I'd like to think I'm a little more experienced and wiser this year.

So, here are my goals and mental notes for this race:

Baby the still weak (structurally) ankle...take care not to have a repeat of last year's moment of stupidity **my "I think I can fly" moment.**

"Sunday long run"..."Slow and steady...lives to race again in two weeks"..."Hotel is booked, registered for the TNF Duo with Eric, don't let my partner down!" "Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle...Marine Corps shu-ffle"

Don't look at the final results and feel bad about being outside of the top 20 (translation- manage expectations... alternate translation- manage ego) This may mean me starting to refer to this as a RUN rather than a RACE ;)

Don't run like I drive...If there is a runner behind me who wants to pass on single trail, slow down and pull to the side to let him/her pass. If there is a slower runner in front of me, patiently wait for him/her to do the same rather than risking a rock trip face pummeling, root grab faceplant, ankle twist or pig trap triggering (there are booby traps set by farmers to kill wild pigs set right off of the trail in places, quite dangerous but runners are fine as long as they stay on the beaten path.)

Don't poop my pants.


mardenheyjude said...

Hi Guy:
It is Monday here and you have already run the race. I hope you met all of your goals and mental notes like you planned and didn't injure yourself. As far as pooping your pants, that should be the least of your worries. You can't hurt yourself if you poop in your pants. I will patiently wait to hear how well you did. Love always to you and Pae.

mardenheyjude said...

Guy & Pae;
Just saw on the news elephants in Khao Yai National Park went on the attack and crushed some cars with their entire body and broke windows with their trunks. These elephants just climbed onto the car and sat. (crushed the car to smithereens) According to the news nobody was hurt. They said that it is elephant mating season. If I am not mistaken you ran a trail race in Khao Yai National Park last year.

Anyway, watch out for those elephants. Talk about pooping in you pants.
Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

Auntie Judy,
Ran Columbia this Sunday. Had a great time on a great course. Only hit the deck twice. Made it through uninjured, yay. I think I came in 31st position and 12th or 13th in my age category. There are so many good trail runners out there and this is one of the races that they show up for. There were nearly 500 runners for the 25km race. So many foreigners for the 25 and 50 km races :) I'll post more about the race soon. I think I have two pictures from the race, so perhaps by the weekend ;) Love ya, Pae and Guy

Pae and Guy said...

p.s. I didn't poop my pants!!

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