Vulcan Redux

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Yesterday was our second attempt at the Vulcan run in Pawtuckaway.  Our first attempt was about 300 degrees (ok, maybe 65) with crazy wet humidity.  That was 10/20/12.  I finished 11.4 miles in 3:01 and was exhausted.  Our redux was cool (high 20s to start, 36 at end) and cloudy.  Total distance was 11.7 miles and time was 3:11.  I was still exhausted.  How do I know this is a good training area?  It kicks my ass.

The first part starts deceivingly flat and peaceful with rolling hills… about 1/2 mile in it gets technical and stays that way on and off until mile 5.  Here you hit “Tower Road” and start to make the climb to the fire tower.  As you would expect, there is a sharp elevation change as you start to make your way to summit.  In my head I crushed it up and over the tower and on the way back down.  Somewhere between 8 and 9 my right hip started to nag me.  I remember rolling my right ankle at one point and don’t know if it’s related, but the rest of my right leg started to bother me all the way down to my right big toe.  Hamstring, quad, knee and hip were all effected.  I alternated walk and run, but the pain continued to nag.  I also became ravenous about mile 10.  I had a Clif bar with me, which helped, but I now know I need more than just gels to get by at this about of time on my legs.

I think I started to hit the wall or my dark place for the first time.  And I honestly think it was more induced by lack of food than by pain.  I use the term pain loosely in that yes it was SORE, but I could keep moving.  And walking didn’t so much bother me.  The blinding feeling came when I realized I was so hungry I might eat Tony’s leg.  Seriously.

This run reminds me that this sport is hard.  It reminds me that no matter how far I have come, I need to work harder.  But, I also managed to complete it close to my former time with a little more than half the miles on my legs in the last month.

My quads are a little tight two days later, but my hips feels fine.  No feet issues or calf issues either.  I am ready to put my sneakers back on!  On a side note, I threw caution to the wind and ran the entire distance in my Speedcross.  I do love the shoes, but I think my body needs a little more adjustment time 🙂

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