Jun 28, 2016

Ulnooweg Summer Solstice Run

The week prior to the Ingonish Triathlon I was presenting at a conference for work, and in conjunction with the conference (The Atlantic Aboriginal Award Show & Business Conference) there was a 5k run at Millbrook First Nation called the “ Ulnooweg Summer Solstice Run.” The race organizer, Chris Googoo, has been a volunteer mentor for the last 2 years for the program I run (In.Business), so I decided I would register. However, being that the Ingonish Tri was only 5 days later, I planned to run at a 4 min/km pace – which was similar to the run workout I had planned for that day anyway. To be honest, being that it was the first year for this event, and the fact that it was on a Tuesday morning (a work day for most), I didn’t expect there to be very much competition. The race was at 830am, so I got up at 4am, left for Millbrook at 430am and eventually arrived at around 745am. I went through my normal warm-up routine for 5k (20 minutes plus some strides at race pace) – which felt fine. Being that I was sitting for over 3 hours while driving, it was even more important to get in a quality warm-up. 

The race started and there was one runner (Jarvis Googoo) who started off at around 3:40/km. I tried to hold back, but I couldn’t (those that know me will not be surprised by that). Being that I felt fine I figured I’d stick right behind him and see how things went. However, at about the 2k mark I started to get a shooting pain in my left hamstring. At that moment the pain was that bad that I actually considering stopping and pulling out of the race – which I’ve never done before in all my years of racing. This definitely would have been the smart thing to do, but I just couldn’t stop myself – even though the pain got progressively worse with each step. Usually if I’m at the front of the pack in a race I’ll share the lead and break the wind with the other runners(s) at the front, but I knew that in order to stick with the Jarvis, I would have to stay behind and let him set the pace. The pain did subside a bit, and with 500 meters to go I said to myself “well you’ve come this far, and perhaps ruined what would have been a great race at Challenge St. Andrews, so you may as well go for it!” Luckily Jarvis did not have much left to sprint to the finish, and I ended up crossing the line only second ahead of him. I knew that I had done some damage to my hamstring, so I immediately went to find some ice to control the swelling. 

I woke up the following morning in a lot of pain and actually had trouble walking. After training 15 plus hours per week all winter/spring, and with the start of tri season right around the corner, I was not happy with myself. However, with a few days off of running, and applying ice a few times per day, by Friday I was able to run 60 minutes easy with minimal pain. With only 2 days to go until the Ingonish Tri, Coach Jesse advised me to switch from the Olympic distance to the sprint because I’d only have to run 5k hard as opposed to 10k. 

Click here to view/return to the IngonishTriathlon race report

Click here to view race results from the Summer Solstice 5k

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