August 8, 2017

Baby races

Running in Castlegar ahead of The Green Race 25k.  Photo: Martin Cai.

So after very, very, very little racing in 2016 I launched off my 2017 race season with a local 15k trail race ... in July.  Sometimes I find it's better that I don't over analyse that sentence as it's just not exactly encouraging.  Sure, I have since followed that 15k race up with a 25k race just two weeks later - but that still amounts to just 40 kilometres with a race bib on ... when I used to consider a 42.2k race as a mere training event.  In 2012 I raced a total of 950kms ... in 2017 I have so far raced 910kms less and I can't see that I will be making a huge dent into that 'deficit' in the remaining three months of the year.  I guess that's ok.

Buckin' Hell 15k finish line with a couple of local running friends.  Photo: Scott Robarts.

I guess I should be a little optimistic - I mean, I have managed to string together some weeks of running that made me think I could race 25kms and not suffer too many injury setbacks afterwards.  I say not too many as I am far from running without any aches and pains.  Sure, I know many of you reading this will say 'well, I always have aches and pains, get on with it' and that has certainly been the reasonable feedback many folks give me - but I just don't know how much discomfort in the form of possible injuries I'm prepared to run and race through.  Time will tell.  For now I am still a very long way from creating anything that resembles a training plan or a race schedule, and I am still very unsure if I will be able to reach the minimum distance (50k) that is required to be able to call myself an ultra runner again.  But most weeks I am trying to add a couple of kms to my long run and I will see if I can build on that week on week.  I have made it up to a long run of 33kms so far - I almost died but didn't - so that's a positive!  I have also been making it back to my run club weekly trail intervals which was a huge goal of mine as I love those workouts and those are definitely what is needed to try get me back in any sort of shape again.  You may think that getting back into running shape is easy but I assure you, it's not.  To put things in perspective - I ran 25kms on July 1st of this year and that was my longest run in 14 months (since BMO Vancouver Marathon in May 2016) - yah, my endurance is shot, my legs are not strong and you can now see why I am unsure if I can build to ultra distances quite yet!  But I'll keep plugging away and see where the coming months and years take me.  Weekly strength work with my trainer (Michelle) is a big part of that too.


Hill repeats with VFAC.  Photo: Nic Browne.

I certainly have made enough progress that I only see my physio every two to three weeks now (yay time and money savings!) and I am hoping to start working back with my running coach as I feel I have a somewhat shaky but still workable base that we can springboard from to get me back running a little faster and maybe even further.  In the two races I have run so far I had no goals other than making it to the finish line as fast as my current fitness would allow and not getting injured.  If I came dead last - fine, so long as I was exhausted and no more injured at the finish than I was at the start.  I successfully achieved these goals at both Buckin' Hell 15k and The Green Race 25k, and came 2nd in both (against some great runners)!

As many runners might be starting to wind down their race season, I'm hoping I can soon get out of the starting blocks without too many false starts.  But that's ok, because running has no seasons - it's a lifestyle and one super lifestyle that I hope I can lead again, ideally in the not too distant future.


Making my way up the 1200m climb of Mt Sentinel in The Green Race 25k.  Photo: The Green Race.

Dr, race winner, Salomon teammie, friend.  With AM in the smoky Kootenays.

33 comments:

  1. You are the best Ellie and as loveable as they come :-) I KNOW you are going to get back to a really really good spot and that you have the patience and support to do so... and you have the raw oomph factor. Thank you for being best person and runner lifestyle inspiration. Big Love from Wise Marmotte :-) Good luck Ellie :-)

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  2. Thanks for the honest and insightful thoughts on facing setbacks and regaining race fitness. A story many of us can relate to.

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  3. Injuries suck, and particularly for one who makes their livelihood from their ability to move their bodies in extraordinary ways. I live in Boulder and know a handful of pro athletes, some of whom are going through similar things to you. It's scary and frustrating, but it's great to see you turning a corner and getting back out into the mountains again. Perhaps we will see you again in this part of the world soon, even if only as an iRunFar foreign correspondent 😀

    Good luck (from a fellow Canadian with BC and Scottish roots).

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  4. Working on a running base from 4 years of God-knows-what thing when body fatigue shut down anything more than a couple miles shuffle. Lifestyle it is, indeed.

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