The November stats:
Which makes 5929 miles, 900h 19min and 1,051,800' of climbing on the year.
A discerning eye will notice that those monthly totals look just a touch deficient when compared to what has generally been my norm in 2010. Unfortunately, this is not because of a particularly aggressive taper for this weekend's highly anticipated TNF 50 Championships, which, much to my disappointment (obviously), I won't be running.
For the past week and a half I've been nursing a strained calf muscle that resulted from running uphill in snow without sufficient traction, which in turn resulted in my first extended break from running of the entire year (I missed five days in a row last week, bringing my yearly tally of days off to 11). While I'm back to some very light jogging now (20min this morning), I unfortunately won't be in Marin this weekend duking it out with the rest of the best trail/ultra runners in the world.
I know it foils all kinds of dream match-ups (Geoff vs. me for ultrarunner of the year, a Western States re-match between Geoff and I, a taste of Europe's best vs. North America's best, fast road marathoners vs. fast 50/100 milers, etc., etc.) and, believe me, I have been at least as interested as everyone else to see exactly how things would've shaken out this weekend with me in the mix. Now, I'll just be watching from the cyber-sidelines like most people. I've been focusing my training on this race so much this fall that I still can't quite believe I won't be lining up.
Whenever I get injured I first get really frustrated and generally pissed off at the injustices of life, but I eventually cool down and start to try to learn something from the situation so that maybe I can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. I'm still not sure what exactly happened this time. I first tweaked the calf on the evening of November 14th while completing lap two of a double-dose of Green Mountain. I'd gotten out for an easy jog up the mountain in the morning and that evening had PRed on the first lap and headed up the second time at a more moderate intensity in order to just round out my planned two hours of running. My feet had been slipping plenty in the fresh snow on the top half of Green Mt and on round two I felt something pull a bit in my calf on a particularly steep stretch of trail. Of course, if I were to do it over again, I wouldn't have headed back up Green for a second lap that night--the PR effort on poor footing was probably more than enough strain on my body as it was.
When I woke up Monday morning my leg was definitely sore, but it loosened up after a mile or two of easy jogging and kept improving with each run the rest of the week, so I assumed I was in the clear. However, on Thursday evening (after a pain-free run up Green in the morning) I set out on a typical flat, easy shakeout jog, and after waiting for a car to pass on a cross-street, I sprinted across the road and the next thing I knew I could barely run and ended up having to walk the mile or so back home.
Since then I've only done a very little easy jogging and lots of icing, ultrasound and acupuncture. I can tell that it's coming around but certainly will in no way be ready for a hard 50 miles this coming weekend. I'm sure I'll be back on the trails in the next 10 days or so, though, and ultimately, this couple weeks of rest/very easy running will probably benefit me for the exciting year of running I have planned in 2011. I wish the best of luck to everyone on Saturday.