Monday, September 12, 2011

Reach the Beach: Here we go!

My fall happened on October 2 last year about 2 weeks after I completed the Reach the Beach Relay for the 6th consecutive year with the Red Eye Runners.  Naturally, when I started my recovery, Reach the Beach not only became my goal...it became my mantra!

For the uninitiated, Reach the Beach is a relay race that starts at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire and ends at Hampton Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  It is over 200 miles in length and cuts through the White Mountains and the beautiful lakes region.  Team consist of 12 members each running 3 legs varying from 3 to 9 miles in length.  Ultra teams do more legs with less people.  It's a big party and teams dress up and decorate their vehicles.  The running is work, and you don't get much sleep, the vans smell pretty ripe after 24 hours of sweaty runners, but it really is a lot of fun!

It was hard to envision initially.  Goat was in disbelief when I told him I would be ready for RTB this year.  My crooked gate in May and June inspired no confidence.  As the summer progressed along with physical therapy, I became stronger and somewhat more coordinated.  My fumbling started to resemble running, and my mile times started to reflect a jog vs. a walk.  I now sit 5 days away from competing in our 7th Reach the Beach, and I am one happy camper!  

Is my stride right?  No, it will never be the same.  I miss my smooth stride.  Am I running comfortably?  No, I have pain in the fracture zone, the hip, and in my lower back.  I could go on and on.  My legs rub together so much that they start to bleed, but we'll figure it out eventually.

My theory is, "If I can run one 7 minute mile, I can run many!"  Just need time and patience...  OK, and a body that will hold up to the abuse.  We'll see...

I am happy because I get to spend 48 hours or so with my friends doing something we love.  I was once caught on video after finishing another year at RTB saying, "Every year until we die!"  I thought about that after the fall, and wondered if I'd be able to hold up my end of the bargain.  One way or another, I intend to run my 3 legs this weekend.  Goat said I could get a sub for my last leg if I was hurting.  I told him I'd rather walk it in than have someone do it for me.  Just sayin'...

Training Update:

This was my first 20+ mile week of training in a year!  

Mon - Great gym workout
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 3 miles on treadmill (1st mile - 8:30ish, then two miles at 8:00 pace or better)
Thursday - 4 miles on treadmill (averaged about 8:15s)
Friday - Rest Day, played golf of all things (first time in 21 years!)
Sat - 8.8 miles with Goat at reservoir (9:17 pace - 20 seconds/mile improvement since last week)
Sun - 6.3 miles with my old buddy, Tracer
Total miles - 22.1

Leg was very sore today, so we kept the pace slow.  

Have a great week everyone and hope to see many of you at Reach the Beach!

Peace,

Steve

1 comment:

trailgrrl said...

I love that race...for three years i ran with the Perfect Strangers...but then I discovered ultras and had to do Pisgah instead...I miss RTB and felt bad as this year my old team was in need of a last minute runner..I chose Pisgah...glad I did but a little part of me missed the fun and excitement of RTB...hope it was all you wished it to be!!!