Monday, May 18, 2009

PCTR Big Basin Redwoods "Event"

I was more than ready to tackle this 25K course. For the first time ever, I set a time goal for myself. I wanted to finish in under four hours, in order to start preparing for finishing ultras in the normally allowed eight hours. I was super excited to run yesterday. I was also excited Christy was joining me again. This was her first PCTR run since she injured herself at Pacifica in January.

After getting lost a couple of times on our way to Big Basin and finally finding a place to park, I met up with Theresa and her friend Toni before the start of the race. Theresa (on the right) participated today but Toni was putting in her volunteer hours. ;)

The 15K, 25K and 50K runners all start on the 15K loop together. Christy and Theresa were signed up for the 15K so we were able to run together. I had already decided I wasn't going to take a TON of pictures because I wanted to make my time goal. (That changed as soon as I got hurt.) I was feeling very strong. I didn't start at the absolute rear like I usually do and I was willing to pass other runners when I could. At one point, I was in a group of about ten runners on a very nice downhill portion and was actually pissed because I was at the mercy of the front runner. I could tell the girl in front of me wanted to pass so I quietly told her I would follow if she wanted to go. She made a break for it and we cruised on by and picked up our pace down the trail for a while.

It was for a very short while, however. Because it was at this time, mile 1.69, I rolled my ankle and heard a snap. This is not the noise you want to hear when you are less than two miles into a 15.5 mile run. I stopped right there. I didn't even put my foot back on the ground. I was on a bridge so Christy told me I needed to move off of it. I sat down and took my shoe and sock off. Theresa reached into my hydration pack and handed me an Advil. Christy suggested I put my shoe back on before it really started to swell. I put my shoe and sock back on and started walking. At this point a decision needed to be made. Hike back out to the starting line or continue the eight miles to the finish. It didn't feel THAT bad, let's go forward. The scenery on this course is probably the prettiest I have ever seen. All covered single track trails. And just look at everything I would have missed out on. ;)

This one is my FAVORITE!

So forward we go. Christy and Theresa said at this point they were not worried about their time and wanted to stay with me. I was able to run some, mostly the downhill portions. But I wasn't really hobbling. If I landed my foot more on the front part, it actually wasn't that bad. But I did stop for many a picture opportunity (as you can tell).
Then, all of the sudden at about mile three, I go hurling forward and roll off the trail. I have no idea what happened! When I stopped rolling, Theresa was there with a hand to help me up. I asked her what the hell I tripped over. She humored me by dragging her foot across the extremely smooth trail surface and said, "um, I don't know." My left arm and rib cage took the worst part of that fall. WTF? Thank God they agreed to hang back with me. It made for good conversation and laughs at about mile seven! LOL

This was a very interesting portion. Moss covered, steep, wet concrete steps alongside a waterfall. You needed to hang onto the cable handrail to make your way up to the top. It was pretty cool though.

This is the first banana slug Theresa has ever seen. They're pretty cute and they are University of California Santa Cruz's mascot. I would try to get them off the trail when I'd see them so they weren't in danger of getting stepped on.

At mile 6.5 I was upset about my initial decision to not hike back out to the start. I did have to take another Advil before it was over. At one point I felt like my entire calf was swollen but I guess it wasn't. I pleaded with Christy to let me take my shoe off. She and Theresa simultaneously told me "NO!" If it weren't for them, I'd probably still be sitting on the side of the trail, trying to fit my shoe back on my foot. My sincere thanks to both of you!
The three of us eventually made our way through the 15K loop in three hours. Surprisingly, we weren't DFL. LOL I immediately took my damn shoe off, (now that I COULD) and asked Sarah, the RD for some ice.

I did go get checked out this morning. Just to be safe. Nothing broken, just badly sprained and bruised. No work for me this week. It was very difficult getting out of bed this morning. It's my right ankle and my left arm and rib cage. I feel like quite a wreck. It's not my first sprain but it was my first tumble. Will it stop me from doing what I love? Um, that would be a big fat NO!
Until later.............


Anonymous said...

Hello! :)

AKA Alice said...

You are one tough cookie...that's for sure.

Beautiful pix. I still don't get how you run through that though.

Glad you didn't break anything, still sprains hurt like hell...take it easy.

MJ said...

Great pics again... and glad you didn't break anything!

Rick Gaston said...

Oooo you are tough, tough, tough. First an ankle roll then an off trail tumble. Well I'm glad nothing was broken. Heal well.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

My sympathies! I have a weak ankle from many previous sprains and it has held up well to trails, even rough ones, if I use an ASO brace (with crew length socks). It used to flop over on me with no provocation - even on a flat sidewalk (like your second incident). It's gotten stronger and I don't have to wear the brace on road runs anymore, but I'm afraid to chance it on trails. If you support it well, you will likely not reinjure it while it heals.

Wishing you a good recovery!

Anonymous said...

That is such a bummer about your ankle!!! I hope you heal quickly. The pics that you took are so beautiful. I have never thought of myself as ever being a CA girl, but wow, I could get used to that type of scenery. :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

What a bummer that you tripped and fell and rolled and hurt yourself.

I'm surprised you still finished any distance after that.

Great photos (as always!)

AnthonyP said...

Fantastic pics and write-up. I'm just happy to hear that you didn't break anything and are o.k.

Southbay Girl said...

I'm a banana slug!!! That is my new mascot! For I feel like a banana slug sitting in the airport right now having sucked down 2 bloody mary's becausae I decided to volunteer to give up my seat my a voucher!!! 3 hours in an airport can drive you to drink!! But a free ticket for my kid-so worth it! But I am a banana slug!! Can this banana slug run a 25k at Mt Diablo?? All I've run is pitiful 3 milers while I've been in TN-and we know when I get back to LA my running suffers due to something called WORK! But with all this free time I have coming up I so want to drive north with the girl! Boomer and Velcro would have a BLAST!!

On to you know-what a selfish biatch I am! I am so sorry you twisted your ankle, which BTW can hurt more and heal slower than a break! But you took a tumble! How coo is that! I've never taken a tumble yet-and you tumbled in a beautiful place! Your trails are so much prettier than ours! It must be the trees! We don't have pretty shady trees!!! I want to live in northern california!

209Mike said...

You poor thing. Take care of that ankle. Ice the hell out of it and rest.

Looney said...

Good job and great pictures. Get that ankle healed.

I am going to try some an ankle brace the next time I do Big Basin, because I have had the same problem. Those Redwood trails always seem to twist it up, although it is also related to starting out in the dark.

Victoria said...

Oh boy, girlie! You need to rest your little ankle-- but I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of the 15K enough at least to take some pics! And I am SO sorry you had a SECOND fall!

p.s. Out on Diablo today and let me tell you-- that marathon was a TOUGH course-- you can handle ANY 50K as soon as your ankle heals if you can run a marathon on Diablo!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the trail is absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I can't count the many times I have fallen on the trail and I always believe I'm the only one;-)

I hope it's nothing too serious and you'll be back on your running feet soon!

aron said...

just trying to get caught up on my reader!

:( such a bummer!! but wow, you still went through and finished, you are tough! love the pics as always and i hope you are feeling better soon!

Sarah (PCTR) said...

I'm so sorry about your ankle and your fall, too - I didn't even know about that 'til I read it here! You are one tough girl and I look forward to seeing you back out there before too long!

And the pics are lovely!


PS Victoria's right about the Diablo Marathon, you know. :-)

Stuart said...

That looks like a beautiful trail run, great pics thanks for stopping to take them!

Remember tuck and roll...that's the polite version!

Judi said...

so sorry i am just getting caught up on my blogs! i am sorry you are injured! i bet you heal up fast - take extra care of yourself!

Kristin said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your injury! But it looks like you're slowly getting back into the swing of things...

The route there looked beautiful though, at least you got to experience that!

I hope you heal soon!

(and yes it was me who said my mom didnt work out...she is amazing me every day with what shes been doing!)

RBR said...

Big Sur is my favorite place to run. I am so sorry that your experience was sullied by a twisted ankle (although I have to say the trail dive made me giggle a little. Sorry :o( ) Awesome pictures and way to make the best of a tough day.

Rest that ankle and you will be back on fighting form soon!

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Can you imagine how many photos are taken in a event like this near the trees?

It's probably like a tidal wave on the following day when everybody posts.

M. D. Vaden of Oregon