Yesterday was the Mt Macedon Trail Runs. I entered the 50km, thinking it would be fine. The last time I went for a run was my last post – 6 weeks ago. At least then I was running 1-2 times per week including hills or intervals. Since then I focused on a grueling hypertrophy program, often spending over an hour at the gym every single day. The volume got to me and I got sick twice in 2 weeks. Then somehow I still thought I didn’t need to run in order to complete 50km. What a stupid idea!
It was so cold at the start line, there was frost on the ground. I wore my arm sleeves for the whole run, which is very unusual for me. At the race briefing Brett warned us about some sections. I am not good at paying attention here as it is always a bunch of words that don’t mean anything until you’re out there.
Once we were off I felt awkward from the start. I was wearing my MW101 trail shoes, but despite being minimalist, they felt clunky compared to my usual flats. My fingers were freezing and I was trying to find a good spot in my pack to keep my Garmin watch (since it is almost dead and I knew the batteries would go flat so I just wanted what data it could manage but didn’t want to wear it). The ground surface was really nice and soft, and it was such a pleasure to run on. I was thinking about this, while my frozen fingers fumbled with my watch, when I literally fell into last place. My main concern was not landing in kangaroo poo. I managed to land on some rocks, with massive scrapes on both thighs. Fortunately it was so cold, I couldn’t feel if anything hurt. In hindsight, I think Brett mentioned something about being careful about the rocks in the first 200 metres.
It took about an hour for my achilles to warm up. It was really painful to start with but I have been vigilantly doing my achilles exercises for the past week so I was able to run the rest without achilles pain. I quickly caught up ahead of a few people and finally settled into a rhythm.
The hills in this run are so mean. Both up and down. Some of the downhills were not even runnable. I found one was very smooth dirt, and everyone was sliding down. I was stepping carefully on the grass on one side, whilst holding onto ferns for balance.
It was very windy out there, and after Hells Hole, on the top of Mt Towrong, it was very exposed and it was very chilly. Climbing back down was difficult as I was being blown about in the wind, while trying to navigate the tricky rocky trail. My legs were feeling shaky and unstable from my trail shoes and the fall early on so I was taking every step very cautiously.
At about the 20km mark I considered dropping out at 30km. I just felt so slow and cumbersome (remember, 3 weeks of hypertrophy training and 6 weeks of no running or metabolic work of any sort). This should really have felt comfortable and the run just wasn’t working for me.
|Look, no knuckles! Does anyone know what causes or how to cure the hand swelling in some long events?|
Heading up the Zig Zag track, I decided that even if I made the 30km cut off time, I would drop out there. 50km would have been unnecessarily torturous.
I missed the cut off by about 7 minutes. Brett said I could continue but I said no way. I think at least 3 others DNF’d at 30km.
It really was a lovely trail and it renewed my enthusiasm for trail running and ultras. I feel like I have run a lot of crap races recently and it’s time for me to step it up. I want to run comfortably again and I’m going to hit the hills and trails a lot more often now. The You Yangs 50km is on in 6 or 7 weeks. I originally thought I might volunteer in this but now I am going to train and I am going to do it well.