In Leavenworth a few weeks ago, it felt like my allergies were bothering me. They bothered me less while I was on Whidbey Island, though. In the week before the Multnomah Falls Trail Run, I did a couple of easy, 4-mile runs. I’d already decided to treat Multnomah Falls as a workout, not a race. It’s the last long run before the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Half Marathon, and I figured all that descending would be a good leg workout.
Only maybe I didn’t … although I didn’t feel adequately prepared for this run, I took seven & a half minutes off last year’s time. I walked the entire way up except in the flat spots, and to stop my legs from screaming I walked a bit on the way down, too. The bigger mistake, though, was poorly thought-out recovery: last year, we met my niece, her fiancé, and his parents, for brunch after the race. We had time to spend before brunch, so we walked around a bit. Even after the brunch, we did some sight-seeing on the way home. Not this time: we got in the truck and I drove. We stopped in West The Dalles for lunch (and to watch the Seahawks game). No sightseeing, no walking it off. I paid for it!
I didn’t do another run all week. We walked a lot, but no running — despite my repeatedly saying, “I’m going for run today.” Finally, come Friday, I realized I was able to lower myself onto a toilet seat without holding on to something for support – my quads were finally not in agony!
So, based on this, I had concerns about LOHM, too. Friday evening, lying in bed, I touched the lower end of my right ITB and it was sore to the touch. Well, I’m screwed, I figured. I could very well end up walking the HM, I thought. I give myself credit for assuming I’d walk, rather than DNSing. Not sure if this was one of those miraculous healing events or if I was just over-reacting the night before an “A” race, but there was no pain in my ITB the next morning. I’m going to throw in a “thanks be to God,” just in case.
Another issue with the week between MFTR & LOHM is that I was sick. It was just a run-of-the-mill rhinovirus, but camping while sick is not fun. On the plus side, because it was cold in the mornings, we slept in — I think the earliest we got out of bed was 8-ish — and because there were very few people camping during the week, it was very quiet at night – no noisy campers keeping me awake until midnight! We were the only tent-campers in the loop where we were camped. One night, I walked around to see if anyone else had a fire. At all of the other campsites in our loop, everyone was inside their RVs.
The morning of the LOHM, I woke a little early, and we ended up with plenty of time to pack up and head to Leavenworth (we spent the night in Wenatchee). There were quite a few other LOHM runners in the hotel lobby while we were there; it was a nice bit of camaraderie.
Getting to the staging area was a slow-go. The southbound lane of East Leavenworth Road was closed for the race, and along parts of Icicle Creek Road there were flaggers only letting one lane of traffic through at a time. Although we were caught in that back-up, we arrived with about twenty minutes to spare. There were several other women wearing hokey beer maid costumes, so I was not alone. I gotta confess, I think I look adorable!
I started off walking; I think I walked almost a mile before I started running. It was a fairly crowded course, so walking was the best option, anyway. (I seeded myself at the back of the group.) I felt pretty good. At about mile 4.5, the course drops down into the parks along the Wenatchee River, which means the runners have to re-gain all that elevation before getting back to the highway. I stopped to re-tie my shoes — that’s why my Garmin time differs from my chip time — and it saved my toenails.
I was putting up some pretty decent splits — mile 5 was 11:56! — but I wore out. I walked most of mile 11.5-12.5. I tried running once I hit mile 13, but I decided to save my energy for the finish-line chute. Even with feeling slow, this HM was a better time than my last, by about three minutes. I’ll take it!
I tried putting all of my nutrition – Belly Flops & Annie’s cheddar bunnies – into a bag (they each got their own bag) and doling it out as I needed it. That didn’t work very well. The bags were too big, so I had to wrestle them back into the pouches on the HydraQuiver. The cheddar bunnies did not survive all that wrestling, so I ended up with a bag of bunny bits & cheddar-y powder. Lesson learned. On the plus side, there were two aid stations with GUs, and I snagged a Salted Caramel at one of them. OMG – BEST FOOD EVAH! (When you need it, you need it!) My second snag was a Vanilla Bean GU. I am sad to report it didn’t taste all that different than the Salted Caramel one, although it was not as lovely.
After the race, we headed into Leavenworth. We decided to forgo paying waiting in line to pay $20 each to wait in line to pay too much for food & beer, so we skipped the official Oktoberfest-ivities and went to a restaurant for food & beer. I’m really glad we did. Our lunch was delicious, and we didn’t have to eat it within a caged-off “beer garden” with plastic utensils. I had the goulash, and this may be the I-just-ran-a-half-marathon speaking, but it could change my opinion of German food.
Having learned for the previous weekend, I asked The Hubs to drive home. I took the opportunity to massage my right foot and take a lacrosse ball to my thighs. The foot had some questionable moments during the race: I felt a sensation like tearing or abrading, but with no pain, a few times in the arch of my right foot. It scared me, but I never felt any pain.
The self-torture worked: although my PF flared up briefly (about a day), I didn’t hurt the next day. My quads are still tired, but I feel good. I want to go for a run, but I’m sticking with my week off: next week, I start training for the Badger Mountain Challenge 50K. I deserve this break!
I’m still waiting on the photos from LOHM to be posted. I hammed it up for the photographers when I saw them, so there should be some pictures of me.
The race bibs are already on the wall in my office, along with the finisher’s medal. The finisher’s medal is a bottle opener — that seems appropriate, given the season. But now I just wait until I start training again.
And we all know how good I am at waiting…..