A little update on my Tarawera training.
I had a good summer where I got in some long run/walks while holidaying with the whanau. My right knee would ache on occasion.
Then I did a 40k offroad run to Titirangi which was fun, except how I had to walk the last part because the right knee was now very sore.
That was four weeks ago. I saw the physio, cut back the training (in what was meant to be the biggest month of training). When I was able to get out for a 2hr flat run last weekend, things were looking up again.
This weekend I got in my last biggie. I thought it unwise to send my dicey knee into the breach with a Hillary Trail expedition; so instead ran around the cones and trails of Auckland City. Result: 4:30 run, 41k completed. Right knee was OK till the last hour where it got quite sharp and I was reduced to walking.
This leaves me in an odd position. I am feeling strong and fit – in better shape than last for Tarawera last year. However, this right knee (Iliotibial band friction syndrome with some other general nastiness) issue is a real threat to my even completing the race.
I think it will go one of two ways: 1 – I run well, the knee only aches and never progresses, I have the usual ups and downs of a 100k run and finish on or ahead of time. 2 – The knee goes bad on me and I am reduced to a walk, while the rest of me chomps at the bit to start running again.
So I have to think about my race strategy in light of this. What level of pain would make a dnf acceptable to me?
Meantime, I am going to try not to aggravate the knee before hand. That means no more long runs. OK, maybe one – the Coastal Challenge. Its a bit foolhardy I know. But its also me hedging my bets – I may not be able to complete the Tarawera but I feel I should give my body more than one chance to deliver a result on its current fitness. But that will be the last long run. After that, I will be all about short runs and just rely on my endurance reserve to get me through the 100k.
Also; I have decided it is best to pack a headlamp in case I require a protracted walk out of the bush on March 17.