Last night I left the house at about 6:15 pm to start Squaw Peak at 6:30 pm. I worked hard going up. My goal was to see if I could push myself on some of the hills and definitely run what is runnable.
It would be great to memorize the course a little more, so that I can anticipate where to push and where to hold back and save energy. But I didn’t do bad. I managed to keep myself moving and not take a rest at traditional places I tend to take a break.
There were a few people on the trail, but once I turned on the 060, things quieted down a bit. I was alone in my thoughts and efforts. I ran through both meadows and took smaller steps when the trail inclined greatly.
When I reached the top I stopped my watch and enjoyed the scenery (everything was still lit up). Took a few pictures and then prepared myself to run all the way down, no matter what.
As I ran, I noticed that my legs were holding up very well under the stress of turning and hitting lower points in the trail. I felt somewhat strong. It occurred to me that maybe I can run hard downhills, but that I need to be strengthening more of my body to handle it.
Some of what I might need to strengthen: Ankles, hips, quads, back, butt. If I nailed down these muscle groups, I could probably handle just about everything.
I kept a close eye on my watch as I descended, also realizing that each glance at my pace was just inviting trouble (falls). I reached the end of 060 and turned west to finish up my run. Right before I came across the drinking fountain that is .80 miles up the trail, I fell.
I can’t remember how it happened, but as I was falling, I realized that I needed to protect my left knee. But in this process, I ended up overextending my right knee. As I lay in a heap I knew that the incidental scrapes and bruises would be nothing compared to what was going on in my newly-injured right knee.
Standing up, my leg gave out and I had to shift my weight over to my left side. I figured out that as long as I didn’t extend my leg all the way, it could bear my weight. And there were other urgent matters: I was still trying to PR.
So I started off at a slow gait, then worked my speed up until I could run about a 10 mpm pace. It was uncomfortable but not excruciating. In retrospect I should have walked. I did no favors for my knee and also risked another fall.
I counted down my bridges (5,4,3,2,1) and made it back to the truck in record time, shaving a minute off of my PR (new PR: 1:53:00!)
Happy about the PR. Disappointed in falling. I hope I can get myself together for a long run this coming Saturday. I’m supposed to go 16 miles.