More Than I Can Chew
You’re at a buffet, one of those fancy buffets with steamed crab legs and prime rib, so you fill your plate with everything that looks good. Do you keep eating until you hurt and have to unbutton your eatin’ pants or do you quit before your stomach looks like an overinflated beach ball? What is the clue that maybe, just maybe, you have bitten off more than you can chew?
Late last year when I decided I was going to attempt the Ouachita 50k, I didn’t immediately set out on a training schedule to maximize my “feet on dirt & rocks” time. For a few weeks I kept doing what I’ve always done, a lot of circuit training with a mix of interval cardio sessions and strength training. I did very little long steady state cardio, occasionally running or biking when weather and time permitted. It is winter after all and though the weather is typically moderate here, it was often the availability of time that kept me from going on multi-hour runs or rides. So about 15 weeks ago I started on a marathon schedule, but keeping mainly to the once a week long runs, while incorporating more of the same circuit training/sprints/short tempo runs during the week instead of shorter mileage runs. I’m not sure if this has backfired on me or not. I’ve been running a route that is not the race route because it is more convenient and less isolated. This weekend I went out and tried the actual race route including up and over the boulder scramble on Pinnacle Mountain.
The next challenge would be up the hill to the Vista over Lake Maumelle at about mile 9 where I stopped to fuel and take in the view of Pinnacle in the distance.
The first couple of miles was slowed by the steep descent and ascent from the trail head to the scramble then up and over Pinnacle Mountain but coming down from the Vista, I was still feeling strong. And then it went to hell. On the return I started having some pain in my knee. It has happened before but not recently. I just got new shoes so that’s not the issue and this time it was definitely unilateral. The pain slowed my pace to a hike for much of the return trip and the same mileage I had accomplished the week before on a different trail took more than an hour and a half longer to complete. Am I out of my gourd? What have I done? Can I do this? I’m still only doing about half the mileage of the race and having issues like this, what will race day bring? I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Maybe I shouldn’t have put the extra crab rangoon on my plate.