I had a tough decision to make, that took all of 30 seconds to decide. After hearing the doctor say I can run, that I only had an inflammation of the tendon (at least that is what I heard thru all the medical jargon), I knew pretty quickly I was going to try to run the Harbison 50k this Saturday. It didn't matter that I hadn't run at all since Christmas Day or that I also had a chipped bone in my 2nd toe (the one that doesn't bend, likely the result from that kick that almost stopped me in my tracks during the latter miles of the Camp Croft Trail Half Marathon a while back). I was excited, giddy almost - ready to start preparing and analyzing how it was going to unfold - my quest for a 2nd ultramarathon finish.
So today I ran. 4 whole miles. Quite a bit slower than normal. Foot didn't hurt (until tonight, just barely). Cardio was obviously affected and my legs were slightly weak. Minor little annoyance from my right calf, but I survived. Now - only 7 more of those after the first and I'll be fine. Yikes....what have I gotten myself into. Remember the last time I took off some extended time, then immediately ran a trail half? Time wasn't horrible, but I felt like I struggled from mile 3 on.
My plan now is to go out slow, stay with the pack, relax and let the miles go by. Aid stations every 4-5 miles for so will help. Getting to the halfway point - and then heading back out for a 2nd loop will mean I will finish (hopefully within the 9 hour cutoff). Not so positive I will finish, but don't want to make it too easy to quit, you know? I do have the 24 mile training run at Chattooga and my one 50k - those went great as I ran what I could and kept moving otherwise.
There will be a great group out there...it will be interesting to get lapped by the likes of Anne and Mark Lunbald and see how they run for the minute it takes them to drop me. Good people out there from Chattooga: Byron, Psyche & Charles, Mark, and of course Jason (only Volunteering, but already cheering me on - thanks!). Can't wait! There will be pain, but still, can't wait!