Post-Marathon - Aspen Backcountry Aug 27, 2011

Ran the Breck Independence Day 10k in 1:11 - not too bad really, considering how little time I spent on the trails prior to that, especially hills. I managed to injure the insertion of the left Iliotibial Band. Went to the chiropractor Angie has been using, got some E-Stim (Nigel it, please) and acupuncture. I bent the needles going in - made him laugh.

Had some more acupuncture and did some rolling, stretching and massage, and took two weeks off running completely. Figured that would pretty much undo my marathon attempt. Oh, well....

When I got back to running, with some input from my support people, I made a few little changes, and after a couple weeks did some trail intervals at Keystone Resort. Pretty decent, and no pain, so I figured maybe I could do the marathon after all.

Just then I got a last-minute "no one has signed up, please, please, please..." notice from Breck Rec for a trail half marathon. What the heck. I ran the Hunky Dory Half Marathon. Nearly 1500' of gain and loss. Really hurt a lot and beat me up bad. Made me rethink my goals for a bit. Maybe quit running and stick to just light duty treadmill work? (picture below is finish at Hunky Dory)



But what the heck again, 3 weeks later I decided to go ahead and give it a shot, though I'd been running only 15-20 mile weeks prior to that, and had never run more than 13.1 at any time in my life. I got to Aspen two nights before, and spent the day before walking the streets of Aspen killing time, acclimatizing, and just flushing blood through my legs. Angie flew in that night, and in the morning assisted me in preparing and getting to the start. (pic below is me in starting area, 5:45 AM in the dark)



I took off fairly slow and cruised to the top of the first large climb, but on the way down I felt really bad and hurt a lot. Like a lot. I managed to fall and hit my face, elbows, and knees in the dirt, but kept on going. The downhill starting beating me up really bad. I almost had to crawl down the area called Sunnyside - a red sand/dirt slippery trail with lots of rocks poking out. My Bondi's had almost no traction at all there.



The last big hill really sucked, but I made it. 7:30:04 - not great, but I did manage to finish the Aspen Backcountry Marathon. 5300' of gain and loss. My shoes were full of dirt, but I got no blisters or black toenails, so I'll post some shoe/sock/foot advice later. (pic above is the finish line at Aspen)

I've been running fairly slow this past week to recover. Did a modified hill interval session at Suncrest yesterday. Hurt my knees a lot on the downhill, so I cut it short by one set. But I am recovering, and did a lot of recovery work prior to bed last night and feel pretty good today. Active rest day fwiw.