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Wildcat Ridge Romp – August 13, 2016 (Photos)

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On August 13, 2016, I participated in a trail race in Rockaway, NJ: The Wildcat Ridge Romp. It didn’t go so well for me. But I took some nice pictures, as you will see below.

As I wrote about in this post, I sprained my ankle on June 26. I was diligent with going to physical therapy three days per week right from the start. I was determined to get this thing fixed in time for Wildcat. On day #38, I gave running a try for the first time since my injury. I wrote about that here. On day #42, I ran part of the Wildcat course with some pain and some doubt as to my ability to run on race day.

Day #49 came. Race day. I had high hopes and was prepared to go the distance. I had signed up for 50K, three times around the 10 mile course. I imagined: the first loop would go okay with a bearable amount of pain; the second loop would be tougher and I would use an ankle brace if needed; the third loop might be a bitch and I might have to walk a lot and maybe drag my dead foot along. The reality was: by mile two, I had some tough pain going on; by mile three, I was texting my wife to say I “probably” wouldn’t do more than one loop; by mile four, I was texting my wife to say I was “definitely” not doing more than one loop; by mile five, I gave up on texting because I was so drenched with the humidity that the touch screen on my phone wouldn’t recognize my sweaty swipes; also by mile five, I gave up on running and walked; by mile eight, I just wanted it to be over; by mile nine, I ran the remainder of the course to at least come in running. I was done.

At the end, someone said to me, “Wow. It took you 3 hours and 20 minutes to do that one loop??” I mumbled something about my ankle being angry at me. I felt like it wasn’t worth explaining. I went home feeling dejected. For months I had my heart set on completing this race as my first 50K. It didn’t happen.

I probably took a few steps in the wrong direction as far as my recovery goes. As of this writing (day #60), I have seen my orthopedic doctor again. He has ordered an MRI. He is concerned that something is torn. I’m still a bit dejected, but I also realize that I don’t have much control over this situation. The only control I have is to not run. That is really hard when running is all I want to do.

Please enjoy these photos. I’ll be over here in a corner licking my wounds. *wink*

Early morning pre-race waiting
Early morning pre-race waiting
7 AM start about to happen
7 AM start about to happen

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Need a bike?
Need a bike?
Early morning haze
Early morning haze
The view from Hawk Watch
The view from Hawk Watch

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The rocks looked much bigger in person
The rocks looked much bigger in person

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I swear they were much bigger in person
I swear they were much bigger in person

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Near Splitrock Reservoir
Near Splitrock Reservoir
Dam at Splitrock Reservoir
Dam at Splitrock Reservoir
Splitrock Reservoir
Splitrock Reservoir
Atop the dam
Atop the dam
I love the humor of the race director who marked the trail with orange paint, including some horse droppings along the way
I love the humor of the race director who marked the trail with orange paint, including some horse droppings along the way
A case of trail runner's leg
A case of trail runner’s leg