Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 Uwharrie Mountain Run - part 1

This is me hitting mile 36.
I was literally run over by a truck once.
[Some would say I actually ran myself over with a truck. But that is another story]. I was lucky to escape death or dismemberment, but I was in the hospital for 3 days.

So when I say that right now that I "feel like I was run over by a truck", I am speaking from experience. In some ways, the Uwharrie 40 was actually worse. The truck only broke my right arm, took a chunk out of my right thigh, and removed some skin.

But the race left every inch of my legs swollen. Knees, calves, feet, toes, hips, quads, hamstrings, soleus, shins, Achilles tendons. Everything. (Well, I guess my IT bands are OK.)

The thought of running is laughable, and walking is still difficult.
At night, I have to use my hands to lift my legs into the bed, and I think I could really use an IV drip, a bedpan and nurse.

What was I thinking?
Getting hit by a truck was an accident, but I actually chose to do this to myself.
"What were you thinking?", my sister asked me, when I told her of my condition.
All last year I kept hurting myself in one race after another, struggling with injuries, and she had to listen to me whine and complain about it.
"What is wrong with you? Why would you run some crazy ultra-marathon? "

  • Uwharrie is not just a race. It is our local epic adventure.
  • I did the race in 2010 and had a lot of fun, and felt great
  • In 2011, I came tantalizingly close to the glorious "organ donor" status, before breaking down at mile 39.
  • And, well, everybody is doing it!
I just want to belong!
Not a Good Engineer
So here was my thinking before the race.
This January I had finally recovered from all of my lingering injuries, and a 20 mile training run proved I could make it at least halfway. So the race was a "go". It was just a question of what my goal should be. Here are the choices:
  1. A relaxing day in the forest. Take a lot of walk breaks from the very start. Try to finish without any pain or trauma.
  2. Go for sub 7:00 organ donor again.
Being an engineer, I like to make my decisions based on empirical evidence. So here are some numbers, comparing my running state of being before Uwharrie 2011 and the race this year :

Pre-Uwharrie state of being20112012
Mileage previous 6 months1089596
January Miles228119
Peek mileage week8141
Little River 10 Miler1:12:341:11:33
Eno Equalizer26:0626:12
Uwharrie Result7:05????

Hmmm. Compared to last year, I was only capable of running about half as much.
However, my race times were about the same. Maybe mileage doesn't matter!
It's all about "quality" runs, not "junk mileage", right? Right!

Organ Donation, here I come!

Onward into Uwharrie... to my doom.