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Week 7: Ended on a High.

Week 7 ended up with a total of 33.1 miles.

Quite happy with the runs but I need to step back a bit next week. This old body is feeling the effects of hard training over time.

The plan for the week is to do a bit more biking than running. Iíll get a few short runs in somewhere. The longest run will be no more than 8 along with a 6 and 4. On the bike side I hope to get in about 60 miles. Hopefully that will give my tired old legs a chance to recover.

Below is my race report from my event today. 25K (15.5 miles)

It wasnít pretty but I finished. I wasnít last however I was in the final 5.

First before my report I really need to thank all of you out there that compliment me and support my efforts in running. Sure you may think I am crazy but Iíll tell you your words are quite supportive. Thanks

The first six miles of my event went as smooth as could be. Everything was right on with how I wanted to be. My pace was just a bit over 10 minutes per mile. Nice and steady. I was quite relaxed through 6 miles.

Just a bit after six I was disabled by a cramp in the back calf muscle (gastrocnemius). It was a nasty cramp. I pulled up quickly. Pulled my foot towards me to get it to release. Tried to lightly stretch and work it out. Walked a bit to see if that would help. Sat down and pulled my foot towards me. That seemed to help a little bit. Walked a bit more or I should say limped a bit more. Than I took the shin wrap that I had on my left leg and moved to my right. Hoping that maybe if I warmed up the muscle a bit I could at least hobble through the loop at get to 10 miles which would put me back at the start point. That seemed to help so I walked/ran to see what I could do.

I called my wife and told here it didnít look good for me finishing the event. I kind of needed someone to share in my misery. She was very sympathetic and made sure that I would be able to walk the 3 miles to get back to my truck. I shut my Garmin timer off and started walking. I ran a few spurts here and there. I had pretty much decided I was going to have my first dnf.

While I was walking a few feet and running a few more I caught up with another runner, his name was Joe. We talked while we walked together than ran together a bit. Told him what I had going on and he said itís a tough course and not surprised that a person would cramp up. We stayed together for a few more minutes and he needed to walk again so he told me to go on. As I moved on I restarted my Garmin.

After leaving Joe thoughts of my fellow RCC members (runners I chat with online) started coming into my head. Along with that thoughts of everyone who encourages me in my efforts to run also came to mind. Knowing that this event was limited to so few runners was another thing that was on mind. Doggone it I just had to find a way to finish it.

When I hit the 9 mile mark I was pretty confident that I felt I could get it done. I could still the knot in my leg but the discomfort was a bit better than it was at mile 7 or 8. I made it to 10 and the start finish line. At that time I decided that I need to do this and kept on going. As runners were coming to the finish line and I was heading out for the last five mile loop I wasnít discouraged at all. I welcomed the compliments by the runners coming in that were telling me keep going you will make it. And I did just that.

The course was brutal thatís for sure. Heck it has a hill named Pukes Peak. I donít think there was ever a stretch of the course that was flat for more than 10 yards. According to my Garmin in one mile the total ascent was 435 ft and the descent was 397ft. I assume that was Pukes Peak. Looking at the graph for elevation from my Garmin results it looks like the printout of an electro cardiogram.

Without a doubt finishing this race was just about as exhilarating as finishing anyone of my marathons. When I went past the 14 mile mark I knew I was going to get it done. A bit of emotion did well up in the eyes. I rounded a corner just after that and I saw another runner ahead of me and I used him for the rabbit. Rather than a greyhound chasing the rabbit it was probably closer to a St. Bernard chasing a rabbit. I did manage to catch him about a ľ mile before the finish. He didnít have much interest in talking so I just pushed ahead. I finished at 2:53 and change.

The distance that I was traveled without the use of my Garmin was bout ĺ of a mile. Enough of a distance to contemplate lifeís up and downs. Enough of a distance to gather thoughts together and make a decision on quitting or going on. A distance traveled that I will remember for a long time.

Take care my friends.
Tim

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