Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dirty Turkey Trail 15K - Recap

This is the latest I've ever done a recap, but the truth is my feelings here are a little mixed because I got hurt during the race and it's coloured my feelings. Not the races fault but I've had a hard time going back to look at it.

Anyway, this was the 11th of the 12 Muddy Monk trail races this year. It was 15K out in Mokena IL, so my husband and the kids stayed home and I drove out the two hours out there. Packet pickup was crazy easy as always, although I had a scary moment where I thought I locked my keys in the car. It turned out I had left them at the waiver table, where they were kept safe for me until I returned for them a few minutes later. Whew!

I wasn't sure how I'd do; I'd been down with the flu for two weeks, and while I was better - for a little while there even standing long enough to cook dinner or walk down the hall to the bathroom was tiring - I wasn't okay yet. If this wasn't part of a series (which would result in a series completion jacket if you finished all 12, although I didn't know that until shortly before the race) I would have skipped, despite being registered.

The race went off right around 10; it was predicted to be cold and drizzly but the temps felt okay and it wasn't raining...yet. The course was mostly single trail with a little bit of multi track at the start of the loop; we'd run the loop twice. The first and only water station came in at .7 miles; after that the course narrowed to mostly single track. At .91 miles, I wiped out - badly. The mud and leaves were so slick that my right leg just went out in front of me and there wasn't anything I could do to catch myself. I went down hard, taking the brunt of the impact on my right hip and right arm. My right side was coated in mud and I could feel that I'd whapped the side of my calf on some roots; I stood up, reassuring the people around me that they didn't need to stop for me. I tested myself out to see if I could continue and while I knew I'd have some gnarly bruises, I felt okay enough to continue.

In retrospect, that was a bad call. Between the wipe out my gait was off and with the illness I was not up to par. I continued on, but I was off. 1.86 miles in we found the creek crossing described in the course description - but unlike the creek crossings in previous races, this was one was at least ankle deep and 8-10 feet across with slick, steep muddy banks to climb on either side. And because the course was an out and back, we actually got to cross that creek 4 times. Hah!

Trying to use the stepping stones to cross. I would eventually say forget it. Wet feet...meh! Photo credit Muddy Monk.

Going back the other way the guy behind me wiped out as he tried to climb out. I offered to help despite him being a good imitation of a mud monster, but he was okay, and on we trekked.

Mud Monster! Poor guy. I later found out that he'd never run this far but his son talked him into it. This was not a kind intro to the 15K distance! Photo credit Muddy Monk.

I was feeling lousy when we hit the end of the first loop, but surprisingly, I didn't have to talk myself into going out for the second one - off I went. Company was sparse but present for the first half; after the third creek crossing people were few and far between even with as slow as I was going. My miles ranged from 12 to 16 depending, because there were patches you just couldn't run.

This was also the hilliest long run I've ever done. It felt like we were always going either up or down and while they weren't steep, I struggled. I don't know if it was the illness or the fall or just a lack of hill training, but I struggled. It's a good thing it was absolutely gorgeous out there!

In the end though, I did finish.

Photo credit Muddy Monk.

I then drove the 2 hours home. When I got out of the car, my knee gave out.

I was right, the bruises on my calf were awful, but surface only. For two days after the race my knee refused to do any weight-bearing activity. The wednesday after the race I tried to run again, but made it half a mile before my knee started complaining. Today is 1 week post Dirty Turkey; I ran a 5K turkey trot I'll recap in a bit, and my knee hurts again. The knee visually looks okay, it's not swollen or red or tender to the touch, so I have no idea what is going on. I am going to skip running for another week and see how it is; if it's still having issues, I'm off to the doctor. Sigh. I may end up walking the last race in the Muddy Monk series.


  1. I hope you feel better soon, I am about to come off of injury and it stinks!

    1. Thank you! Me too :( I have not envied you your journey!

  2. Oh geez, what a bummer to get hurt. Hope it's nothing serious.

  3. That sucks!!! Hope you feel better soon.

    OMG that creek crossing is insane. I never would have gone out for a second loop, haha. Nope. No way.

    1. It was totally nuts. It was fun! But nuts! Haha. I was laughing at myself going, yes this is totally the best way to get over a chest cold!

  4. Gah. I wonder what the heck you did. You'd think it would hurt a lot more if you pulled something, but why else would it give out? I hope it feels better soon.

    LOL, so the jacket was a surprise? I wonder if they were waiting to see how many complete 12 before decided to do them.

    This course sounds like a lot of fun. One of my favorite races from 2013 was a Muddy Monk course through the mud and water :)

    1. I have no idea! The knee did not hurt when I get up. I didn't even know I'd hurt it! I knew my shin was throbby because I whacked it good, but I didn't even know I'd done anything to my knee.

      Yes! I didn't know until a couple weeks before the DT15; they sent an email saying they were putting something together for people doing the series. Otherwise with the virus I'd had I totally would have skipped, I felt lousy, lol! Teach me to do a race while sick...not that that had anything to do with me falling, but still!

      It was gorgeous! There wasn't as much running involved as I had assumed since it was so hilly and muddy/slick, but it was gorgeous.