Saturday, March 8, 2008

Land Between the Lakes Race Report

(one normal ankle, one super sized.)

the short version:  
I twisted the holly hell out of my ankle at mile 13, then at mile 30 I couldn't take the pain any longer so I DNFed

Longer version:

Land Between the lakes is a 23k marathon, 60k, and 50 mile trail run held in Grand Rivers Kentucky.  The course starts out for 1.7 miles on road then goes into and 11.3 mile trail loop, that loop is run between 1-4 time depending on the distance, then you finish back on the road.  It's a really pretty course with great views of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.  The trails have a decent amount of roots, and some hills, but as far as trail runs go the elevation change is on the lower side.

I left for Grand Rivers, KY on Friday around noon, just as the snow was really starting to fall in cincinnati.  The drive wasn't too bad, the highways were mostly clear it took about an hour longer than normal.  I was staying with a group Buffalo from Illinois, not actual Buffalo (although that would have been pretty cool) that's just the name of there running group.

The plan for the run was for Marla and I to run the 50 miler together.  She wanted a tune up run for McNaughton and this is the only way I would ever be able to keep up with her in a race.  The race started out well enough.  It didn't snow during the race, and with around 200 runners (200 less than what was expected, because of the weather.) the snow on the trails was packed down pretty well.  We didn't really have a goal time but the pace we set from the beginning would have put us at about 9:45 for the 50.  the single track on the first loop was pretty crowded and we had to fight through some deep snow whenever we needed to pass, but the first loop went by without any problems.

Less then a mile into the second loop is when I twisted my ankle.  It hurt like hell when I did it and I thought it would swell, but I know the best thing to do to keep the swelling away for as long as possible is the keep moving on it, so I vocalized a few obscenities and continued running.  It hurt from then on, but I was still able to run somewhat normally on it until mile 25.  At that point I started limping pretty bad and Marla couldn't handle my snails pace any longer, so she ran ahead and my run slowly transformed into a shuffle then into a walk then into something that can hardly even be classified as movement.  I picked up a stick to help me walk, it had a "V" at the end so I put it under my armpit like a crutch, that last about 5 minutes before it snapped.  I then convinced myself that if I found to large sticks that were strong enough to support my body weight, I could use them as crutches and at least finish the 60k.  But I couldn't find any sticks that would work, it wasn't a very well thought out plan in the first place.  After about an hour of shuffling 2 miles, I started getting lapped by the winners of the 50 miler, including Ellen who won the women's race.  She even offered to stop and give me an advil.  I'm glad I declined because she ended up finish in some thing like 7:59:40, I would have felt like a loser if she missed sub 8 hours because she stopped to give me an advil.  So I covered about 2.5 miles in 1.5 hours, a blistering pace of 36 min/mile, and finally reached the next aid station, mile 30, where I got a ride back to the start/finish line.

Just another injury to add to the list.  The race was fun while it lasted.  The sprained ankle is no big deal, it'll heal after a few days, but I would have liked to get in a 50 mile training run before McNaughton.  My knee didn't hurt too bad during the race, although I could feet it, it didn't really slow me down, but it definitely hurts know that I'm done.


Nick said...

So sorry to hear about the ankle.

Great effort of trying to go on. I would have done the same thing.
Hang in there and get some cross training in while you heal up.

Ice should be your only friend right now.

Kim said...

Holy ice pickles batman!
Too bad about the race, I was wondering if you had even made it out of town. Did you make it back to Cinti yet?

Ice that ankle down!!!

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Holly shit dude, that looks like it hurt. Way to make it there and back!

Liz said...

oh. my. oh. my!

its amazing that you continued for as long as you did! you should be the nicest person ever to your ankle this won't take long to get back to par. don't fret!

i'm glad you survived the snowwwww too!

Bill said...

I was looking for you! Nice ankle, which one is swollen? A bucket of ice would do you some good or just go walk around barefoot outside.

Happy recovery.

Josh said...


yeah, I didn't quite because I was being smart, I quite because I was too much of a wuss to keep going.


Yep, made it back to Cincy saturday night after the race.


You bet it hurt! But it's just a sprained ankle, no big deal.

Anonymous said...

Did Kim really just say

"Holy ice pickles batman!"

Please see my post made about mister J Dillingham prior to seeing Kimba's comment. Josh definitely has his nickname from me.

Sorry you DNF'd man. Hope you are right for Saturday...

tony said...

Sorry about your ankle, Josh! Looks bad and you weren't a wuss for stopping, you kept going as long as you could, incredible you made it 30 miles!
Ankle better / healed in couple days???...oh to be young again!!
R.I.C.E...Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate. Hang in there tough guy!

Anonymous said...

We were worried about you driving back to Cincy but I see you made it. I should have made you take the Aleve--it may have helped with the initial swelling. Anyway, we'll see you at McNaughton next month all healed up and ready to go. Other than your ankle, you looked really healthy and in good spirts.


Josh said...


Yep better in a couple days, didn't you know I'm an M.D., lol, I just say it will be better in a couple days because thinking of not running for longer than that drives me nuts.


Yep, made it back fine on Saturday night, the road conditions were pretty good. Can't wait to see all of you again at McNaughton! I may not be trained but I hope to at least be healthy! Congrats on a great race! You're going to kick ass at McNaughton!

Sensationally Red said...

OMG! That is some super-sized swelling! Take care of that ankle. Amazing you could go so far after that, but chalk it up to your ever-present sense of perseverance!

SLB said...

Plenty of ice on your ankle and in your martini, it'll take you mind off of it for now.

Well done for stopping when you did, the tough but right choice