It’s taper week for the Desert R.A.T.S 25-mile trail race.
My last long run was a week ago; I tromped through the mountain trails with my trail running buddy. We covered 19 miles in 4 hours, soaking up the beauty of the spring flowers and power hiking our way through some sections.
On Sunday night I arrived in Charleston S.C. for business for a few days, and did a slow 4.5 mile run Monday morning to acquaint myself with the area and get my bearings. The following morning I planned to go out again, but the sports bra and shorts still hung on the bathroom rack, soaked after washing them the previous day in the sink.
It’s Friday morning and I leave for Fruita in a few hours. I’m just starting to pack. I have a few work things to do this morning before I can even consider getting on the road.
I’ve never run fewer miles in a taper week. Initially I thought it would be more along the lines of 30 miles… but no. Couldn’t even squeeze that in.
Saw Bob Cranny, my adored Physical Therapist, yesterday, and showed him my right foot. The arch has this puff of swelling that’s been there for about 6 weeks now and doesn’t respond to ice, rest, rolling or acupuncture. There’s also residual swelling that sneaks up the inside of the ankle.
Bob did his magic and proclaimed that pretty soon (not today obviously, we’re a little pressed for time) I’m going to need custom orthotics. The foot is rolling inward at a strange angle because God attached my right leg with just a slight twist in the socket, so I do a little compensating. This is part of the reason why I can’t seem to strengthen the right glute, the hamstring is pretty tight, and that IT Band gets cranky on long, fast distances.
I’ll take my running shoes to Bob later this morning; he’s going to put a small post in the shoe to take some pressure off my foot.
Now, it’s 6:48am and I’m watching birds flit in and out of their little birdhouse outside my window. My cup of Chinese Breakfast tea with Almond Milk sits next to me, steaming. I’m freshly showered and the tiger balm on my calf muscle is working its magic.
The surreal feeling that creeps up around these long races is back. Last October I drove to Moab alone; the man I had been seeing was supposed to accompany me and bailed, even though he kept calling and texting to see if I was okay. Today, there is no lover in the picture. I’m not running a 50k this time (or 59k as it turned out), just a mere 25 miles. This will be a little more than a “walk in the park”, but well within my wheelhouse.
The taper has been good for me; I turned all my attention from running and focused on work. My brain was moving at the speed of light and some really good things happened this week. Now, I’m going to shift that attention again, and consider my body, the trail, the people around me, and sink into camping in the wilderness for two days with my new JetBoil and cozy tent.
This Colorado girl is heading to the wilderness.