The 2015 Calico Red Rock marathon is my first race since recovering from my leg injury. In 2014 I injured my leg during Calico Racing’s Twilight Red Rock run, which is the same course, just in the dark. I “ran” the 5k option of the race with my kids. I was training for a 100k so my mileage was higher than normal. I could ‘feel’ that an injury was coming, but I had to run with my kids!
My legs seem to be recovered and I’m back to my normal mileage – though slower than in the past. I intend to run a 50 mile race this year and need to be able to run these longer distances without injury – If I can’t complete a Marathon with healthy legs, how can I complete a double marathon?
So I set out to run this race nice and slow with no thought to pace. The course is a 13 mile out and back, climb for 6 1/2 miles and descend for 6 1/2 miles then run (walk?) back. The half marathon starts an hour later and does the “return” leg of the marathon.
Since the start is uphill, keeping pace down isn’t too difficult – although it’s still tough to keep pace down when people are passing me. But the wonderful downhill. How can you not open your legs up and fly down the mountain? The half marathon runners are spread out across my downhill. It’s just so much fun to fly by someone, it just feels like you are showing them how awesome an athlete you are. Never mind that I was at the back of the pack and nearly every other full marathon runner had already passed them.
This was the second time I ran this race. I knew I needed to keep my pace down on the downhill. But I didn’t and I paid for it on the return trip. Not sure how but my left ankle is now swollen and I have a slight twinge on my right knee. Over extending? It’s my normal reoccurring problem. So my return trip was mostly walking back.
If my goal was to race, this would have disappointed me. I had the cardio-vascular strength tocontinue running but it was hurting my ankle and knee. So I just had fun listening to my iPhone and staying fast enough to stop anyone else from passing me.
There isn’t a nicer on-road course in the southwest for either distance. It’s challenging with the hill climbs, but it’s not a mean climb. The road is still open to traffic, but it’s one way traffic and the entire 13.1 miles of the course is coned off (That’s a lot of work! 13 miles of setting cones and then 13 miles of picking them up!).
As for my results, I finished in around 5:15. I had fun but I did have more injury than I wanted in a lead up to a 50 Mile. Fortunately I have some PTO time to burn this month. I’ve mapped out a neat 30 mile course to try. Perhaps getting a few more really longs run in will help my diagnosis some changes before the 50 Mile race I’m eyeing gets too close.