Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do….

Breaking up is hard to do….
You never see it coming, or maybe you do but you don’t acknowledge it for what it is-the beginning of the end. I was at Glacial 50 mile and had no reason to think that I would be unable to finish. I was actually really confident although my weekly mileage had dropped to around 15 miles a week for the past 2 -3 weeks. Big mistake I guess...and then I ran a 10k the weekend before and really strained myself good-had bad shin splints for like 3 days, tore up my hip flexors a bit too. 10ks hurt, I needed to get back to ultras…
The thought comes to mind, "You can’t fake a 50".
In all reality, I should have dropped down to the 50k. I was running this like a 50k, hitting the turnaround at like 4:44...pretty fast for me. My hip flexor on my right leg started talking at mile 21, and that should have been the writing on the wall to slow it down some. Not sure if that would made any difference or not, but at around mile 25 the IT band was joining in on the conversation, getting more and more irritated the longer I ran. I was down to a hobble at mile 28 for all the down hills, and then by mile 31 I was hurting no matter what. I kept thinking back to this race last year, where I severely sprained my ankle at mile 4.5 and then ran the rest of the race and REALLY did a number on both legs. My right ankle took almost 8 months to recover from, and it is still not 100%. I ended up with bruscittis (spelling?) on my left lower leg right behind the achilles tendon, which became so inflamed I couldn’t even walk on it...hours of PT afterwards, rehabbing that thing back to be able to run...hours of pool walking, soaking, icing, etc. So all this is going through my head while the other part of my brain is trying to talk me into going on, finishing no matter what...even if I have to f@#$ng crawl in...
Saw Brad shortly before the turnaround. “Come get me,” he says…with a knowing smile…I thought about that, and realize there is no way I am getting anyone. I was shocked to come up on him at mile 27 or so, as he tells me he is dropping. He is thoroughly bummed, and I could see the strained look that I am sure I was wearing later. He says this is the first 50 mile he is unable to finish…I thought a lot about that over the next few miles.
I knew I couldn’t make the cut off anymore by mile 37. I was averaging 22 min miles with 13 to go. I thought about Hellgate, and how much I wanted to do that race. I thought about running in general, and how much an IT band issue can screw that up...I knew how the whole IT band works, the more inflamed it gets the more damage you are doing. I called it. Glacial and I were breaking up… I came over the hill to the aid stations at mile 37 and Julie Treder was standing there, I did the motion of one slitting their own throat...she frowned, me too. I explained my situation, feeling guilty the whole time like I was cheating on a midterm… As I told the person checking in the runners that I was dropping, it was almost surreal...I was still undecided! Oh man my stubborness is unbelievable! I saw Marty and Jodie there, both looked beat down. I told Jodie all she had to do was average 20 min miles and she was home. She nodded, already knowing that she was going back out. Marty looked like he just wanted this thing to be done! Ha ha oh man we all know that feeling! So off they went, and I plopped down on the grass. I was angry with myself for not going on, going through all the ‘what ifs’...still contemplating going back out...even though I KNEW it would have done me a lot more harm. I was injured, plain and simple. You see, what bothers me the most is the not knowing...well how MUCH harm? Would I still have healed up in time for Hellgate? I don't know...and I never will. I don't even know if I will even get accepted INTO Hellgate. That's the love of this game, you just never know what is going to happen out there, or when, or sometimes even why. It is truly the great unknown out on the trails. I went for a run Thursday in the rain, doing a slow black loop to feel everything out at IT pain, hip flexor a little sore. Overall it felt great. Glacial, we will be seeing you again next year. I learned some valuable lessons at this race. “Training is SO key”…and “Don’t get comfortable, cause that’s when things get uncomfortable…”
Congrats to all the finishers out there this year, this is a hard course in its own right. That's what brings me back...tough love.

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