24 October 2016

Hinson Lake 24 Hour 2016 Race Report: Listen to Your Body

Hinson Lake 24 Hour is a race I kind of always have to do. My first time there was a blast - not only did I win it, but I made a ton of new friends. Everyone cheers each other on; there are silly signs around the 1.56 mile loop ("Mount Hinson" at the small hill; "200 miles to South of the Border;" "Woohoa, we're halfway there" amongst others); the aid station food is pretty fantastic; the volunteers are friendly; and the race is super cheap. Plus, it's 2 hours from my sister's place, and I always like to have another reason to visit her and my adorable niece and nephew. Oh, and her husband too. Hi Brian. 

A few days before my race, my old tendon injury flared up a bit. I took off a day, and was glad the race was on softer trails.

My nutrition was good, my sleep was okay, and I was feel pretty excited to run for 24 hours.

Before the race start, several different people, including the RD, came up to tell me I had a win in the bag. I felt all the pressure on me suddenly, and it overwhelmed me. "I'm just going to have fun."

A lot of people out there, kept asking, "What's your goal?" I have various goals, but would rather not share them with people. I had a few people who kept saying, "Well, yeah, what's your mileage?" I'd respond, "All fun miles," and finally one guy I had to say, "LOOK, I don't want to talk about it - why don't you tell me your goals." He was happy to do that, and we had a nice conversation.

In the beginning, I was not topping the leaderboard at all, but I know Hinson. You get lots of people who just come out to run a fast 50k, fast marathon, whatever. People who think they're going to run all night, but don't. I had my pace, which was pretty chill, and I felt good. 

My pace was slower than I would have liked, but I stayed there, deciding to take it a bit easier and see what would happen. Every so often, I felt a twinge in my ankle, but it was definitely better.

Well, better until the 40s. I saw Ray, my coach, and we had a chat lap. He of course is always favor of pushing it, and doesn't really understand the concept of injury. I told him I was going to go to 100k, and then make a decision. I got into the 50s and still wasn't sure. Darkness began falling, and what was I doing out here.

My name was on the leaderboard. I watched myself climb places as people dropped from the race. 

The pain grew. It wasn't a twinge; it was full out pain. I was at mile 59 and starting to hurt.

Two more. I can do this.

I finished those two more - at what cost? I was nearly limping at the end. I didn't take my own advice.

I was in second place.

I walked away.

My tendon was hurting a lot. Did I ruin myself?

I saw Ray, "Maybe you want to just rest and then --"

No, this isn't something an hour or two can cure.

I drove back to my sister's and was there in the morning to wake up with her kids. I took a week off of running fully - and was able to come back to running. Listen first, run later.

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