While I really wanted to run the Malibu Creek 50K, I had zero desire to be stupid and end up sidelined for months. I already made the mistake of running (and/or walking) too much in my beloved Vibrams last week and causing my previously, repeatedly injured Achilles to be achey and have a “crunchy” sound when stretched. My right leg and left arch were not 100% this morning so I arrived at the course with my running and carpool buddy, “Shacky,” almost certain I would not be running anything more than the 25K. When I felt my achilles tightness with every step I jogged around the parking lot prior to the start, I began realizing what I didn’t want to admit yesterday…that a DNS was in my best interest. After checking in and seeing Danica and Emil finishing/getting ready for volunteer duties, I realized that hanging out and seeing other runners would be a viable option. I mentioned my thoughts to Sarah, the RD, and Shacky and Billy so that no one would wonder what happened to me if I did a U-turn early in the race.
Rob (“Shacky”) and I…he’s the one whose advice about Vibrams I asked for after being stupid
Getting ready to start
The start was the typical, low-key affair that I love about ultras. Billy zoomed ahead and I ran with Shacky. I felt my right hip/butt/thigh, left arch but knew those might be okay…but the discomfort I felt with every step in my achilles made turning around after 1/2 mile an easy decision. No point in doing a gorgeous, challenging run and risk tearing it or causing inflammation that would prevent my training for and running my goal race. I jogged back to the start, getting odd glances from the other runners. Back at the start/finish, I had the chance to catch up with Danica and see Stuart; Stuart was there to man an aid station and invited me to join him.
Billy, Emil, Rob, me
Since I love seeing other runners and felt I should make the most of the beautiful day, I headed out to the first aid station of the race, the one right after the creek crossing. It was cool seeing the runners coming through, helping them by refilling bottles, advising about taking salt tabs, etc. I got to get advice on what trails I could hit for night runs from Stuart and to baby my achilles and foot with ice and my TENS machine. Then, I headed back to the start/finish hoping I would see Billy and Shacky finish but those speedy guys were already finished and relaxing. We waited for Emil to join us and for the 50K winner to finish before heading to Pho Show in Culver City for a great post-race meal. While I hated missing out on a beautiful run, I enjoyed seeing friends and sharing in another PCTR race experience.
Tofu and veggie pho…yummy!