After a bike race ends, racers will often say “wow, that hurt”. We usually mean “hurt” in the sense of extreme fatigue, periods when we were in severe oxygen debt, or legs burning from lactic acid.
But when I say, “wow, that hurt” after a running race — every one of the running races I’ve done — I mean that it literally caused me to be in pain.
The most recent torture was the Run With Your Heart 15km trail race. 15km is the longest I’ve run. Ever. Running that distance on a snow-covered trail made it seem even longer. Going off trail in foot-deep snow to pass people really made it seem longer.
But the worst were the parts of the course that were littered with hoof prints from the horsey-people that use the trails. (I don’t ever want to hear one of them complain about how mountain bikes damage trails). It was like running on a miniature ski-mogul slope. Toward the end of the first loop it seemed every other step I would land on a bump that sent a shock wave up through my right arch.
Other than that the course was very cool. Slow courses seem to be better for us “bike racers pretending to be runners.” At the time my foot started to hurt, two of us pretenders (Rudy and I) were respectably holding down the 3rd and 4th spots, talking about bike racing as we ran. But then I had to slow down and change my gait so that I could finish. I did manage to limp my way to the finish and just barely hold on for the 5th spot (Rudy took 4th).
Now I have a feeling that for the next few days at least I will have to carefully choose which shoes to wear, and watch where I step.
But here’s another illustration of the superiority of the bike: even after a painful run, I can still go out on the bike. Tired, yes, but without pain.