5 Peaks Buntzen Lake race report

I really can’t form an opinion on today’s little jaunt around Buntzen Lake, the last of the 5 Peaks season. This is mainly because the last three weeks have been a frothy blend of non-training and IMS physio. More on that, but first a very brief recap of the run. The weather was just about perfect. Warm and sunny, but mostly shaded on the trails, it was a real sweaty affair as most people cross the finish line drenched in persperation.

Bing map from Garmin Connect - click for player

As with any of the other 5 Peaks events, I had nothing from last year to compare this to. And, as with many of the other 5 Peaks events, they had to do some last minute route tweaking due to trail conditions. The route still climbed up around some of the Diez Vista trails but was about 13k, as opposed to the planned 16k. With the aforementioned physio and training issues, I downgraded to the enduro this past week, as I was originally registered in the half marathon. 13k was a good distance today – nothing too gnarly but enough to get a workout.

My first couple miles weren’t bad, even with heavy legs from a lower body/core workout and nearly an hour on the trainer yesterday. From that point, my typical lack of big hill training and trail running played some kind of role, made even worse by my recent low mileage. Looking at my mile splits and elevation profile, there’s a pretty close correlation between the two. The hills didn’t feel too bad, even if they did feel a bit slow. The reduced elevation gain of this run from the other 5 Peaks events had me feeling I should have been a little faster overall, but given everything I still ended up planted firmly in the middle of the pack. I was in the back third for men, but 6/10 in my AG with a time of 1:24:54 and it turns out I had a better race than I originally thought (and in truth it did feel better). As I wrote this right after the race, the posted results at the event suggested my finish was kind of lower than expected. However, looking at the official results as I update this the Wednesday after the race, officially I was 30th overall, 26/77 for my gender and 8/26 in my AG, so I did move up a tad from absolute mid-pack. Greg had a good race, knocking about 14 minutes off last year’s Buntzen run and Dario, in typical fashion, was sixth overall and third in his AG.

Splits and elevation in perfect harmony
When I look at these types of results it really makes me want to do a much better job of getting out on the trails or, frankly, not do trail races. In particular, because I’m much stronger on the road than I am off, I’d like to see a little more balance between the two types of races. The only way to get there is to balance the kind of running I do.

The aforementioned

I’ll just briefly touch on my past few weeks. The knee has continued to become less and less of a factor in my running thankfully. The rehab and strengthening I’ve done seem to really have put it in a decent place. However, for some time I’ve found my hip gets weaker the longer my runs are. It really impacts my push off and how I can finish runs. I decided to hit Sport + Spinal in Yaletown, given I had good results with Colin on some upper body stuff a few years ago. He has since become a strong proponent of Intra-Muscular Stimulation (IMS), which is effectively deep muscle acupuncture, the purpose of which is to get the nerves and muscles working in proper harmony again.

I won’t pass judgment until I’ve had my third treatment in a couple weeks and I’ve seen whether there’s any significant or lasting improvement. So far things feel decent and different. Colin’s analysis also suggests my arches are collapsing enough that there’s a good chance they’re a prime suspect in some of my alignment and knee issues. As such, I’m also running with some arch support. All in, I’ve needed to give the IMS treatments two or three days before working out again and I’ve added the orthotics so things are quite different. Another physical issue for which I have no diagnosis or treatment yet, is my mysterious toe cramping. Beginning somewhere in the early summer, I’ve had shooting crampy pains in my middle toes which can get bad enough to force me to stop and give them a crack. I didn’t see that issue today, but it’s always percolating.

I’m not sure how much all this affected this run, as I had a similar middling result to the other 5 Peak runs. Since I have no other races planned at the moment, I now want to give my physio and orthotics a chance to do their magic (or not as the case may be). I’ve also got to figure out where I want to go, as I’m mulling over a return to multi-sport, or leg and foot willing, considering a really hard season of running next year.