I’ve been laying low since Steamtown. I went into it with recklessness as my plan and did get a PR. I also smashed my legs up pretty good in the process. The Thursday after the race I went out for a run and after a couple of miles my left knee started howling at me. I’ve never had problems like this before and could tell my muscles were still a little beat up from the race. I decided on a few more days of rest….that is until a friend started asking about trail races. She wanted to run a 10k at Brady’s Run Park in Beaver County that coming Sunday.
Trail to Eagle 10k
A friend’s first trail race….an opportunity to run in the place I first started trail running…it was all too much to pass up. I said I was on board and drove out that Sunday morning excited and with some trepidation regarding my knee. Upon arriving I registered and walked back to my car to get ready. Allison and Patrick were parked next to me! We talked for a bit and walked up to the starting area where I met Antonella. We chatted until the start.
The race started with a hill climb of over 300 feet on gravel roads before turning off onto single track making it’s way westward. Around mile 2.5 the trail met with a paved road which we followed down the mountain. The pounding downhill aggravated my knee which would only get worst over the back half of the course. The bottom of the hill had the first water stop. I had a handheld and ran by thanking the volunteers for coming out. Then it was across Brady’s Run Road and up a steep ascent on the south side of the park starting the
eastward return. I felt good on the uphills, but the flats and downhills were painful. Despite walking sections and hobbling down the largest hills I managed a time decent enough for a 2nd in Age Group Award.
After a few minutes recovery I decided to walk the course back to see how Antonella was doing and maybe get a few action photos. As I took my first few steps I saw her coming across the field towards the finish. Her first trail race and she left with a 2nd in AG as well!
After the race I knew I shouldn’t have run…or at least not hard. I would take as much time as necessary off to get better and ready for 2017 training.
This race ranked very high for me. It was a small event put on by the Eagle Scouts and they did a fantastic job. The post race food spread was awesome and the finishers medals and trophies were unique and fun. All this coupled with a challenging course and I rate this 7/10.
After reading up and taking a self inventory on my muscles I self-diagnosed an inflamed IT band to be the culprit. I took about 2 1/2 weeks off resting and eventually adding in foam rolling, core, hip, and glute work which I am continuing as a regular plan going forward.
It was the week of the EQT 10 miler and I hoped I could run it. I knew my plans to race it were out of the question, but simply running 10 miles would be amazing if I could. I took a slow run on Wednesday testing my leg. I managed two runs for a total of 5 miles with yoga and foam roller following each run. Things felt tight and awkward in my left leg, but I was able to move. Oftentimes when I’ve had troubles after a period of rest returning to running helps more than anything else. Thursday and Friday I ran around 3 miles each day followed by yoga and foam roller. Each day things were getting a little easier. I rested Saturday and opted to try and run EQT, knowing I could probably walk most of it fast and still make the cutoff.
EQT 10 Miler
I headed downtown early so I could get my race packet and good parking. As I walked towards packet pickup Arjun ran by warming up. He circled back and we talked for a bit. It was a crisp morning with temperatures in the 30’s and this maniac was in shorts!
I grabbed my bib and headed back to the car and cranked the heater up until it was time for group pictures. After meeting with friends and getting Runderful and SCRR pics we moseyed on over to the start corrals. Vicki, Ely, Suzanne, Lisa, and I started together in Corral B, with Lisa quickly taking off to run her relay leg hard.
As we all ran and chatted the miles began to fall away and we were all surprised our paces were as quick as they were. We were really just taking it easy and enjoying each other’s company and our city on a beautiful fall day. That is the magic though. More and more I find that if I don’t put any pressure on myself over a race and just try to enjoy it that the results are better. As we ran up the hill on Western Ave I felt a surge of energy and sprinted up it happily weaving between people and then slowed until my friends caught up.
The race was enjoyable through and through and there isn’t much to say aside from that. I broke off from the group and ran the last 1.6 miles hard just simply because I wanted to run fast. In the end the fun run ended up a PR by almost 2 minutes. Run happy, run strong!
From here it is more core, hip, and glute work and a gradual building of my base again focusing primarily on trails. I am missing my forest time terribly and can’t wait to get back at it.