A weekend of running begins with an Avalanche.
This weekend has promised to be interesting since I signed up for Avalanche Run and then got a place at Coventry Half for the following day…
Today saw part one of this back-to-back extravaganza and I was in bouyant mood since my training had picked up from having my wobbly knees knocked back into shape by Jamie. I had a good layering strategy- merino, Kooga and t-shirt with tights and twin skin socks below. I had slept well. I had eaten well. Bring it on…
We met up with various members of the extended MFC family in Rugby and Northampton before the start and enjoyed one of the most sedate warm ups I have seen. Then we were off- choking on white smoke while a herd of determined souls set their sights on either 5k, 10k or 20k of muddy obstacle fun. The first 2k were tough enough: rolling through an old quarry now used for 4x4s. The mud was thick and over ankle deep in places, leading to some interesting sliding and sloshing straight away. Then into some woods, where we met the first of the water. Cold. That’s all I can say, because part of my brain shut down in an attempt at self preservation at this point. It kicked back in when we were climbing some wooden walls and got running again.
There followed a lot of very thick muddy running across fields and wading through streams. A few obstacles to climb, a few to crawl under, but mostly a lot of claggy beige clay. I was doing ok: I was warm enough, felt fit enough and was enjoying the atmosphere. You can sense the but coming, though, can’t you…?
Around 6-7k my right knee felt a bit funny. I couldn’t quite work it out- it was niggling and felt tight on the outside. I felt the panic rising in my chest- I couldn’t afford to lose as much training time as I already had due to my knees and wasn’t willing to risk it. I decided 10k would do rather than pushing on to 20k, so finished just 1 lap with legs working and only a small sense of defeat.
After “washing” with Sainsbury’s finest baby wipes and putting on as many warm layers as possible, it was time to wait for the others. Unsurprisingly, the 10k runners appeared quite soon, but I was interested by the number of 20k numbers pulling up short. Some had obvious injuries, others merely looked beaten and shattered. It is a tough course- far harder than Wolf Run if you want a comparison.
After getting home and assessing the damage, it seems that the knee issue may have been caused by some fairly hefty bruises all around the bone and ligaments. Stretching was done, a little play on the roller and a bath with some salts seemed to do the trick. The half marathon won’t be easy, but I am not worried about my knee. The right decision was made to leave the other 10k to those that felt up for it, I will treat the 13 mile jog tomorrow as a training run and hopefully it will show that I can once again have faith in my shonky patellas.