The next few months will encompass the most challenging atheltic achievments of my life. If I pull it off, it will really take my running to the next level. When I started running again, I never though it would really get to this point. November 6th will be my second Shut-In Race, followed by the Tsali 50k in early January, which is a training run for the 4o mile Mt. Mitchell Challenge at the end of Feburary.
In the next few weeks, I will make the journey to Hard Times Road, to climb the Shut-In Trail. Last year was my first year running this trail classic. I was happy with a 17th place finish (out of 200 runners). My training was focused and consistent. This year, my training has been on and off. Summer was good, then the early fall got messed up with my work schedule. It got back on track when in preparation for the Blue Ridge Relay, where I ran with the 5-time Championship team, Norms Maggots.
After the relay, work got crazier and we moved, which put things behind again. Last week was my first textbook training week in a long time. It had intervals, tempo runs on the trail, heavy use of the Garmin and even two a days. Sunday approached and the long run with a couple of the Maggots was supposed to finish off a perfect training week.
About on hour-fifty minutes into the run, my ankle took a turn on a rock and the wheels came off a great week. I hobbled and shook it off, but as I went up Shut-In trail, approaching Bent Creek Road, something was not right. Frankie, Chris and Mark waited up for me, as I had falled behind. After drinking some water and assessing the damage, I was out. The went back the way we came and I limped down Bent Creek Road, hitching a ride to the next vehicle that would come that way.
My ankle is still somewhat sore when I step on the wrong rock or stick. On flat surface it is fine. Tuesday,I am going to attempt to run on asphalt and see where it's at. If all is well, I will continue my training, but stay on the pavement until Shut-In.