Two years ago, the 50 miler on day two of the West Virginia Trilogy was my first ultra. This year, in a rare moment of bravery, I registered for the whole thing (50K on Friday, 50 miles Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday.)
Then, 13 days before the race, I sprained my ankle.
I was able to run the 50k on Friday, but I’m not sure that I should have.
I did two short, easy runs on the road the week before the Trilogy, but hadn’t felt ready to test it on trails. The 50k would be my test. It didn’t go so well. The uneven trail and slippery rocks took their toll. I was feeling the ankle just enough to make me worry. So I ran timidly trying to protect it, and ended up with some compensation injuries.
By the last six miles of the 50K, I could only run a few steps at a time before my knee would start burning. I hoped that by morning, everything would have settled down and I’d be able to run. But I don’t think I believed it because I was already feeling pretty bummed.
Saturday morning I got up feeling a little better. The back of my heel hurt in my shoes, but I had tied my shoes tighter than usual the day before hoping that would give my ankle a little more stability, so I didn’t think much of it.
Unfortunately, as soon as I started running, my knee started hurting again. I spent about a mile and half running a few steps and walking a few steps, hoping it would work itself out, but it didn’t. I knew there was no way I would make it 50 miles if I could only run a few steps at a time at the beginning. I was in tears when I decided to turn around and walk back to the start.
I finished the 50K, but I’ll still get a big fat DNF (did not finish) because I registered for the full Trilogy. And it feels like a big fat DNF. Actually, it feels more like a DNS (did not start). I feel like I didn’t even get a chance to try. It’s the second year in a row that a fluke injury has kept me from doing a big race that I’d trained for.
I’m not sure how my knee is doing because my heel ended up being a bigger deal than I’d thought. There’s a bump on the back that hurts too much to wear shoes. I can only wear clogs and flip-flops. I’ve self-diagnosed it as Achilles bursitis. Whatever it is, it’s keeping me from running and I don’t like it.
Registration for next year’s Trilogy starts February 2nd. I know what I’ll be doing that day.