Friday, July 22, 2011

Gettin Stupid

Hello folks.  It's been over a week since my last bloggering session which means that I've neglected to write about a race till now.  I'm in Mill Valley, California as I type with my right leg in a recycling bin filled with ice water.  Tomorrow will be my final Mountain Cup race of 2011 and if all hopes of winning the series weren't dashed at the Vail hill climb they most certainly vanished last weekend at the Beat the Heat 5k in Winston Salem.

Beat the Heat 5k is the NC USATF state championship 5k race.  This years like each previous year I participated was loaded with North Carolina Talent.  First and foremost is local legend Bobby Mack, fresh off of a 8k road National title.  Joe Moore was the clear number two entering the race with a sub 30min road 10k back in May.  Then there was Devin Swann, a former NC State teammate of mine who I haven't beaten legitimately in two years.  Also Jon Compton would be showing up looking for revenge after I got him at teh China Grove 5k.  It was a deep field. 

Driving to the race with buddy Scott Williams I bitched and moaned about all my aches and pains and how I shouldn't be racing.  My right calf had a deep knot in it, my left hip ached, and my groin was sore.  I wondered why I was doing this race as the prize money would be gobbled up quick.  But it was just a 5k and it was less than 75 minutes from home so why not.  Plus, the weather was nearing record lows for July making ideal racing conditions.  "Let's do it" I thought.

After chasing Bobby from the gun last year in an opening 4:25 mile I limped home to a painful 15:30 5k.  This year I would be smart with all my aches and pains and let him and Joe go leaving me to race with Devin and Jon.  We cruised pretty quickly through the first mile in 4:41.  Quicker than I had hoped but I was racing and under control.  Mile two consisted of slight overall elevation gain (~80ft) and we checked in a bit slower at the two mile in 9:30. 

At this point I'm feeling good and I can feel Jon going back door and I can sense Devin laboring.  I pushed the last remaining uphill in the race and seperated from Devin.  I got seperation quickly and momentum began to build as I could see I was closing the gap on Joe Moore who went with Bobby early.  All I had to do was finish within 7 seconds of Joe to beat him in the WAVA age grading because I'm getting old.  Confidence was building as was my speed as I approached the final turn in the race at 4:30 pace with 3/4ths of a mile to go and 80 feet of decsending welcomed me to the finish.  Then....
Right in the heart of my Right calf muscle.  It was the pop of tendon pulling away from muscle and it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Just like that I was walking in what should have been the fastest 5k I should have run since 2008.  There'd be no prize money, no Beat the Heat coffee mug, and now my Mtn Cup and World Mtn running championships were all in jeopardy.  I'll take "Bummed out" for $1000 Alex.  What is "Ryan Woods."

At least I broke Devin and he knows it.  :)

The Getting Stupid
Well, for the next 5 days I did nothing but ride the exercise bike.  I had planned a week long trip to California for my last Mtn Cup race as a vacation for Kadie and me.  Napa, Bay area, Stinson Beach, Hwy 1, and Yosemite all an the radar.  But what about the race?

Well yesterday I ran for the first time.  3 miles, at 7 min pace.  It was a shuffle with some deep aches but no real pain.  Today it was 4 miles.  6 min pace though!  Less ache, more on my toes, and faster.  Comfortable.  Still somewhat awkward though.  Tomorrow... it'll be 15.5 miles of racing with 3,800 feet of ascending and descending.  STUPID.  I mean I can tell patient's what to do to get healthy but when it comes down to it I can't make the smart decision for myself. 

But I need points in the series.  It'll just take a couple to maintain top 3 overall which just means a top 10 finish.  If I can sneak in the top 5 then maybe I can still get 2nd in the series.  There's about 3 grand of wiggle room.  I'm not broke but damn that has an influence on me.

Here goes nothing
Well, here goes nothing.  Odds are next time I blogger it'll be about dropping out half way down a mountain in California and how I can no longer walk straight.  Should be fun. 


  1. sorry to hear that woods. that's an impressive effort in Winston though, and maybe next year you can break Devin again!

    all the best on your final Mountain Cup race!

  2. At least you make your patients smarter!

  3. Thanks guys, I survived the last Mtn Cup race and will write about it and my vacation shortly. I won't title it 'gettin stupider' although it would be appropriate. I definately blur the line between athlete and doctor at times.