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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Lessons from the Trail: Rundles Revenge

Rundles Revenge takes place in lovely Canmore, Alberta. Home of the Canmore Nordic Centre. 
The scenery is OK, I spose. 
Let's be honest. This is hard work running out here. Higher elevation. Hills (ummm helloooo mountains to climb), bears and other lovely wildlife is standard, not rare. Yes. It is one of the most magnificent places to run! I am lucky I get to do several races out here every year. 

Rundles is a tough race, but early in the season so a great way to measure progress on the trails. I was in for 25km (two loops of the 12.5km route).I was ready. I was feeling strong and my training was consistent. I was ready! And excited to get out there. And, had a few pals running too!
Race morning starts...we are all in the chute, getting the bear safety talk. 
Then comes time to start. It's going to be a great time. 
I decide to run the first loop conservatively. Run with a few of the gals who are doing one lap.
And off we go!
(I am the orange tank behind the pylon!!)
For the most part the run is going well. Climbs are hard as hell. But I knew that going in. Walk when you have to, run when you can. It was all pretty good. Even the photographers got a couple of good shots! At one point I pulled ahead and was chasing my friend Sue...a few turns and I couldn't see her but run right into these beauties. 
I stopped backed up a moment and waited for them to move on. They wanted to hang out and weren't going anywhere. It was nice to see. Then, they moseyed off. The sight made me forget about the heat. It was hot! And getting hotter. Drink that water.

I could tell I was almost done the first loop. Maybe I got excited. Maybe distracted. But I stepped on a rock, and rolled right over. Lying on the ground. CURSING. Tears welling as I got up and thought I have to keep going. I walked close to a kilometre - with only a couple of the 50km racers passing me. I am trying to stretch and wiggle and tell myself there is nothing wrong. And yet I cannot shake off the pinchy stabby OMFG feeling. SERIOUSLY. I have wiped out, skinned my knee, bloodied an elbow, split a lip while running trails. BUT NEVER TWISTED AN ANKLE. waaaaaaaaahhhhh. Insert EVERY SINGLE CUSS WORD EVER HERE. 

Finally with less than a kilometre left, I get back some stride. I cannot get the pinchy out of my mind. In my mind I am runnings smoothly. Apparently, I am not. As I am asked by two volunteers at the last turn before the chute to go through to the second round. As I come thru the chute and timing area, I am asked if I am ok. I have a discussion with the Race Director. The tweaked ankle wins. I do not finish my second loop.  Aw SHIT. My first DNF. I am torn. I feel awful. And sad. And like I made the right choice because what if I got thru another couple hours and couldn't finish. Or did more damage. Wasn't really sure of the damage. I am the gals are assure me I made the right decision. I have a snivel in the bathroom. then came out and took a few pics. And, decide to get a beer, a burger and pack some ice on my ankle. 
The smile MAY be a little forced here. But I was trying to be cool with the shitty end of race. I am certan i am not "injured" BUUUT I here i am limping and on ice. ummmm. Shit and #alltheswears
After the BBQ, we decide to go to the Quarry. The water will be cold, I can soak and cool down. 
And JackAss around. Clearly.
 I need to just be OK with the mileage. There will be more trails. And less tripping.
I decided to take off my socks, CEP sleeves and shoes to head into the water....

How bout I soak in here for a bit??
BUT watch your step -- Less than 10 steps and BAM the bottom drops. Literally. 
Are you laughing? I was....what a dolt!! haha. 

The soak and beer (and yes even the cry) made me feel better. The next morning I go to the doc. He assures me I have bruising, but no damage. Elevate and a quick laser treatment help alleviate the pain. But it doesn't make me feel better. I have more trail I have to be OK with 12.5 km done...and 25 km to come later! Right??? Riiiiight. But a tiny voice calls me out for being a baby and stopping...
They are kinda cool. I do not like how I look. But I have had several pals tell me how strong and HAPPY I look. It's all about perspective. If I dwell on the negative, I miss the positive. The happy and the awesome. So I use this as a stepping stone to bigger and better. And stronger. A wise friend once told me, "When you are knee deep in The Shit, don't stop to pitch a tent!" She is right. FORGE ONWARD!
I love this one of me and Sue...the photographer was actually standing in the middle of the path. We stopped for a sec...its a glorious view...and we were just having such a good laugh.
I am disappointed in the result. But I cannot be disappointed in ME. I will focus on the upcoming awesomeness. On what lies ahead. And thank GOD I did not injure myself - as there were some spectacular injuries at this trail race.
Do you run trail? 
If you don't you should!  


  1. You are beautiful, and look fabulous in these pics!! Darn on the twisted ankle, I rolled mine in the last km of Powderface but luckily it was ok and didn't have any lasting effects.

    Trails are the best!

  2. Great job! Holy crap those pictures are effing gorgeous!

  3. Poor you. Oh well lesson learned. Stopping was a good move. Great pics!