Success for both of us: Ucluelet’s Edge to Edge Half-Marathon!

LDSC_0069Dave and I have got a bit behind on posting to this blog…. In part, that’s because I have had so many injuries this past year and a half that I haven’t been running as much, and also because that has affected my enthusiasm for running. So, my most recent injury is metatarsalgia, an inflammation of the metatarsal bones (in the forefoot, those bones that connect to your toes). It started up a few days after our Guadeloupe race (6-day ultramarathon), back in April. We had signed up for Ucluelet’s Edge to Edge Half-Marathon as soon as we made it through Guadarun… but, by the last month before the E2E, I didn’t think I would even be in any condition to show up on the start line for it.

But, we had already signed up, booked our accommodation, and paid. I wanted to at least have some possibility of justifiably wearing the T-shirt I had already paid for! So I figured that I might as well just see if I could at least walk it, and that if my foot was hurting too much I could always just pull out. (Long-term healing is definitely far more important to me than walking a half-marathon course). So I told Dave I was going to give it a go, and that I would probably be at least 3, or possibly even 4 hours.

Race start, in Ucluelet. You can see Water's Edge Resort, where Dave and I stayed, in the background - how convenient!

Race start, in Ucluelet. You can see Water’s Edge Resort, where Dave and I stayed, in the background – how convenient!

Fitness-wise, I was actually not feeling bad. In spite of my foot problem, I had been biking a lot, and swimming a bit, so was good muscle-wise and endurance. And I had also been trying out pool-running, a total of five sessions – more about that later, but it definitely is a good way for an injured runner to keep “running,” and be able to use the running muscles and still do intervals, without any of the issues of weight-bearing on a problematic injury.

The first three quarters is pavement, and the last part on trails.

The first three quarters is pavement, and the last part on trails.

So, I ended up on the start line with Dave, not sure what I would be able to do, and not about to risk much. Of course, I felt like a dork walking right from the start line when everyone else was running, so I started at an easy jog along with the pack. Amazingly, after a few km, my foot stopped hurting. Partly due to it warming up, but also, I discovered that running on smooth pavement is much easier on it than running on irregular trails. So I ended up jogging nearly the whole thing – and enjoying it!! – with some pain near the end, on the trail sections, from the pebbles pushing on the injured part of my foot. But the best thing is that my metatarsalgia did not flare up afterward, either – pushing it like that seemed to actually accelerate the healing process. Which was great, because Dave and I were booked to run a 50k ultramarathon (Squamish to Whistler) three weeks later – more about that shortly!

It really is one of the prettiest running courses around - the final km mostly on Ucluelet's Wild Pacific Trail.

It really is one of the prettiest running courses around – the final km mostly on Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail.

So, in the end, I jogged the half-marathon in 2:25:44 – at first a bit disappointed that I was a bit below the 50% ranking, but then remembering that I had not even been sure that I could walk it, and I should be pleased to just have finished it at all. And Dave did really well, for not having trained much – he finished 27th of 244 finishers, in 1:46:16. (And the Ucluelet Edge to Edge Half-Marathon is not a fast course: lots of hills, and some trail sections). Neither of us took any photos of our race – so the photos I am posting here are from when I shot the race back in 2008.

And here's our buddy, Jeannie, racing to take 2nd woman and 12th overall in the 2008 race, with a time of 1:43:18!

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