An encouraging, yet baffling week.
Onto the numbers...
8/28, Sunday: Off (planned)
8/29, Monday: 10 - 1:17:25, Bowdoin Fields. Plan was to keep the pace sub-8:00/mile, which I didn't think would be too tough on the level fields/trails. I ended up averaging 7:44/mile, but it was much harder than I would have liked. I'm chocking it up to a strange 24-hour stomach bug, though. Starting Sunday afternoon, I had some low-grade nausea, and it stayed with me straight through the run. D and Sam came to play in the fields after I finished, but I had to shoot straight home a wallow on the couch with a headache and feeling generally out of it.
8/30, Tuesday: 5.5 - 50:28, TMR TNR @ Twin Brook. First time running on any "real" trails since my ankle injury, and it went very well. Ran with Mindy the entire way, chatting and keeping the pace nice and easy. Nausea was gone by the time I went to bed on Monday night.
8/31, Wednesday: 6.25 - 57:47, Mt Ararat x12. With the ankle feeling good, I really wanted to get back to my favorite torture. Shockingly, I could feel my hips and butt from the "hilliness" of Twin Brook the day before, which shows all the flat running I've been doing because Twin Brook only boasts a few small bumps, so I was uncertain how it would go. Thankfully, after I creaky start, I got rolling and felt good by the middle and end of the run. I was cautious and slow on the downhill sections, and it showed in my overall pace. However, still a solid run.
9/1, Thursday: 5 - 39:54, Highland Green. Once again, my legs started a bit heavy and creaky, but no worries by the end. Good, easy recovery run.
9/2, Friday: 13.5 - 2:28:33, Bradbury Snowshoe Bad Ass + 1 mile on Boundary Trail. Plan was for at least 20, but a bad re-roll of the left ankle cut things short. Plan was to run the Snowshoe Bad Ass (all three snowshoe courses from the series) and then assess how my legs were handling the hills. If I was feeling good, I'd tack on the Breaker. If I was feeling mediocre, I'd do a loop on the flatter East side. If I was feeling terrible, I'd still do a loop on the flatter East side, but I'd suffer a lot. Kirk offered to meet me, but didn't arrive until after I'd finished the first course. Timing worked out well as I was just getting back to the lot when he was headed out to meet me, and it was great to have some company for the remaining miles. We chatted the entire way, and the hills just kept rolling past. I was being cautious on the downhills (and flats for that matter) due to the ankle, and felt only a few minor twinges here and there after some odd landings. We rolled through the first 12.5 miles in about 2:19, and it had felt very easy. I was confident the Breaker would be no trouble and was confident we'd get it done it under 4 hours. Unfortunately, less than a mile along the Boundary Trail, on a fairly innocuous section, I rolled my ankle. Hard. I was certain that I'd torn something, as I rolled on the ground yelling at the air. After a few minutes, I got to my feet, and Kirk walked while I hobbled back to the parking lot. Strangely, with each step it began to feel and bit better and was barely noticeable when we reached the cars. I'd expected major swelling and/or a nasty bruise but found neither when I removed my shoe and sock. Odd. I even had thoughts about finishing my 20 miles on the roads...
9/3, Saturday: 5 - 41:08, Highland Green. After a long, but really fun, day, I snuck out before dinner/during Sam's bath time to test the ankle. I wasn't sure if I'd make it a quarter mile or the entire five. Well, I made the entire 5 with ease. No issues at all. Some minor tightness in my shin (outside) and bottom of my foot, but no pain in the ankle. I was a bit low on energy due to the day's festivities, but I'm not complaining. This is the strangest injury ever.
Speaking of the day's festivities, Mindy celebrated her fortieth birthday by running 40 miles at The Brad, which is an amazing way to celebrate and a terrific accomplishment. Sam and I went over in the morning and caught everyone as they were finishing their first ~8-mile lap. Once the crew headed out, I loaded Sam up in the backpack, and we went out on the trails to cheer. Unfortunately, it started to rain once we were out there, but between the backpack's snazzy hood and some solid tree cover, she stayed fairly dry. And, I'm still in the running for father of the year...maybe. We also managed to catch the runners a few times, and Sam even got out for a little trail run of her own. "Muddy shoes!" A middy return home for lunch and a failed nap, then it was back to The Brad in afternoon to see Mindy finish up her 40 miles along with Emma, Ian, Jeremy and Zak. I'm extremely impressed by Mindy's ambition to set such a lofty goal and have the determination to see it through. CONGRATS! How could I not get out for a short run after that?
Like I said, an encouraging but baffling week. Pleased to see that I was able to do another solid week after 50 last week with only a few moments of creaky/sluggishness. And, had I not rolled my ankle on Friday, I would have easily been over 50 this week as well. Encouraging. The ankle injury is baffling because even though I felt like I got shot when I rolled it on Friday, it was fine both hiking with the kiddo on my back and running the very next day. Granted, it's not 100%, but it's not crippling. As much as it's going to kill me, I'm probably going to have to stick to the roads for many of my runs until the strength is back in it. A lot of writing the alphabet in the air with my foot for the next couple weeks.