August 31, 2013

50 days to Kinabalu

It's funny because yesterday I threw in the towel.  My hip and back which have plagued me for the last 2.5 years were aching just like they were when I cracked my femur almost 3 years ago.  15 minutes into the run I called it a day, hung my head and walked back to the car in the rain contemplating, "It's over, I will never be able to run the same again.  I'm done.  No Climbathon this year."  I didn't even bother stretching, just hopped in the car to go buy a tub of ice cream.

For whatever reason, perhaps out of habit, I laced on the shoes this morning as I have routinely done the past month after a morning read, quite time, and 50 pre-run lunges.  I felt lethargic but plodded along anyway hoping to get at least 30 minutes of distance run.  At the 11 min mark, I took a hard fall slicing my knee open and scraping my elbow and bip.  I laid on the gravel track for 2 full minutes on my back with knees pulled to my chest waiting for the initial surge of pain to subside.  When it finally let off, I got up to assess the damage.  The knee was gushing blood and dripping down the leg but it would clot up within a few minutes.  Miraculously, I felt fine and even better than I did before the fall.  Off I went.    

I ended the day with two hours in the Perth Hills.  The longest run I have done since...Well, since last year's Climbathon.  The pain experienced in my hip the previous day did not amount to anything.  The runaway emotions and worry and self doubt proved pointless.  One day I was down and out, and the next I was back to full form.  There is value in showing up, even when there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  Every good runner (or anything) knows that.
    
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The ticket is booked; I am off to Malaysia again in October to run the Climbathon.  And thanks to the fantastic Air Asia sale, I am heading to Bali the following swing off in November.  I am still a bit puzzled how cheap and easy it is to fly to Bali.  A flight from Perth to Sydney or Brisbane would easily cost double, and the accommodation and food costs about 10 time what it would cost in Bali. 

I am going to enter the summit race the summit race this year.  33km up a big mountain and back down.  I believe I can finish the race and not snap my femur in half.  Running economics tell me that I should run the 23km version.  That 23km race pays out Thru the top 18.  (I actually won 300RN or 100 bucks last year for 18th).  The 33km version pays more for the top 3 but only for the top 3, which I would not be in the hunt for this year.  Maybe I will just double?


Last year, I just winged it (running the 23km version which does not go to the summit).  No real training.  This year I am gaining some momentum and putting in some borderline serious miles.  I have a pretty poor history at high altitude mountain races that I don’t expect to change this time.  I live at sea level, in western Australia, where there are essentially no hills to speak of.  I am just making the most of training and enjoying the journey to Kinabalu.   


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