Friday, December 10, 2010

Thunder Road and Club XC Eve

As I'm typing this entry, we are less than 24 hours away from the biggest racing weekend Charlotte has seen since...well, forever. (D2 Track Nationals was arguably a more prestigious weekend but tomorrow's events will by far have more participants.) As many of you already know, Jordan decided a little over a week ago to attempt to defend his title at Thunder Road. Like last year, he plans to wear the Karhu Racers. Unlike last year, he plans to wear a pair that aren't three sizes too small. Another difference between this year and last is that he actually has a time goal this year, specifically something in the 2:22-2:24 range. There's no question that he's strong from having put in over two months of consecutive 100+ mile weeks; now the question will be whether that strength is enough to overcome the inevitable prospect of running solo for the last half of a somewhat hilly race. Fortunately he has been able to "legally" enlist the help of a pacemaker in the form of Paul, who will probably be able to take him through 8-10 miles at the pace he's aiming for. Caitlin and I and hopefully a few other friends plan to track him down at several points during the second half of the race, as we don't really need to be at McAlpine for our own event until at least 11am.

Speaking of, I must admit that I'm approaching tomorrow's run with a bit of trepidation. I've had to cut my running practically in half this week due to the Achilles situation, and as we speak it is still a bit swollen and sore. The worst is in the morning when it is especially stiff. As you can imagine, the frigid weather we've been experiencing this week is also less than ideal. Fortunately our race tomorrow is rather late (12:45pm) and is forecasted to be significantly warmer than the rest of the week (upper 40s to low 50s), both of which will benefit me from an injury standpoint. My spirits were further lifted during my appointment with Dr. Duffy this morning (have I mentioned that the folks at Greenapple Sports & Wellness continue to save my life on a regular basis?) when he concluded that the problem isn't my Achilles at all, but actually a muscle that runs down the medial side of the Achilles called the flexor hallicus longus. I realize that sounds made up but he swears it's a real thing. It also connects down at the big toe which means, as per usual, this probably all comes down to my bunions and generally deformed big toe joint. Thanks again, Mom. Fortunately, however, the upside is that he doesn't think my Achilles is in any danger of rupturing or otherwise rendering me incapacitated tomorrow. I will probably experience some discomfort during and after the race, but nothing that will further exacerbate my injury. Once I get through the race tomorrow I'll just need to take several days of icing, stretching, Sticking and easy peasy running until this thing clears up.

So, with that bit of relief in mind, I'm definitely feeling more confident about tomorrow. Not necessarily about my placing, as there are some seriously legit girls running, but about my ability to compete to the best of my ability without being distracted by this injury. I hope tomorrow brings a new PR for Jordan, a successful race for the CRC team and a bitchin' time at the afterparty. Let the great Charlotte running weekend begin!