Races: Knowing My Limits and Skipping a Race

This past weekend, I was signed up to do a summer biathlon on Saturday and a trail run on Sunday.

Saturday morning, I got up early and drove about two hours to the Pemigewasset Fish and Game Club to run the summer biathlon. I will explain this more in a later post, but the short story is that it is the summer version of the Olympic biathlon, which is skiing and shooting. In the summer, it is running and shooting.

I did the race and drove another two hours home. At one point, I bent over and my whole lower back seized up. I have some elaborate thoughts around how this happened, but suffice it to say that I have not stretched enough after my training runs.

I was signed up for the three-mile race at the Middlesex Fells Trail Running Festival for the next day. I decided that I would set the alarm and see how I felt that morning.

When I woke up, I got out of bed with pain in my heels and my lower back/hips so tight that it was hard to stand up straight. Once I straightened out, I could move okay, but I decided that a trail race was not in the cards for me.

This next week is going to be one of rest and stretching for me. Maybe a few gentle cross training exercises. But I figure it is better to rest now and let this be a minor annoyance than to push through and have it become a major problem.

Still, if anyone out there has had similar troubles — given the stiffness and pain in my heels, I think it is more than just a tweaked back — please tell me what you have experienced. In the meantime, I’ll be stretching, resting, and probably writing gear and digression posts.

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