I ran to our soccer game last night. The goal was to run there, play two hours of soccer, and run home. 13.4 miles + 45 miles of sprinting on fake grass.
The run in to town was glorious. Most night runs are glorious. I've also been working on running all the hills. "Trailrunner" magazine had a recent article about improving one's hill running, and I've been trying the advice. So, by keeping the heart rate down, small, fast strides, and running on the toes, I was able to run the hills.
During the second half of the first game, trouble reared its ugly head in the form of intense cramps in both calves. "OK. No problem. Just take a few salt tablets. Get the electrolytes back up." But, after each sprint to get to the ball, the cramps were bad enough to stop me in my tracks. I yelled, "Sub!" a lot.
The second game was not much better. In fact, is was not better. Ten minutes before the end, I sprained the always-getting-sprained left ankle (the one that took a beating at Leadville).
Needless to say, I'm very thankful to have gotten a ride home.
Soccer: cramps, sprains, hamstring injury, broken toenails, rug burns from the fake grass...
Running: starlit nights, peace like a river, second wind, third wind, runner's high...
In order to have a good 2009 racing season, I fear that I will soon have to make a choice between soccer & running.