“Father, it’s been two months since my last blog post.” I think all beginner bloggers start a blog thinking they’re going to blog everyday…HA! Anyway, so what’s been going on since I signed up for that 50k Trail Race, you ask? Lots of books and lots of new trail running and ultramarathoning friends, that’s what! Yes, I joined another awesome Facebook running group, TAUR, Trail and UltraRunning Group, which boasts over 23,000 members! Who knew there was that much interest in trail and ultra running?!
Aside from conquering new distances and terrains, another fabulous idea was planted in my head that I too could claim the coveted BQ…which means you’re fast enough (“elite” enough) to participate in THE Boston Marathon. All I needed to do was read a book and do what it told me to do! LOL. Soon enough, Hansons Marathon Method was sitting on my doorstep, shipped expeditiously from amazon.com. Yes, I was warned by many well meaning runner friends…things like, “Be careful, that plan is very aggressive.”
Well, like I ever listen….I’m the type who needs to try something for herself before passing up an opportunity unless it seems supremely ridiculous. And even then, I might try it! From what I started reading, the Hanson brothers made philosophical sense to me! Give me a program and I can follow it to a tee! (a perk of being Marine Corps trained) Following their beginner program, I found myself super energized on my runs. In hindsight, I was just pushing myself way too hard too soon without realizing the effort. I went from 10-10:30min/mi to sub 9 and increasing mileage by about 100% and lest I forget, I started with Week 8 of an 18 week program because at the time, I was 10 weeks out until RACE DAY…made perfect sense to me! #genius
Needless to say, a few weeks after starting….and racking up the most speediest and prolific miles ever, I heard that dreaded “pop” and felt like someone shot a paint pellet at the back of my calf!
I wasn’t even running. I wish I could boast that I was recording my fastest 400 time but I was not. I was simply shuffling down my stairs so I could put the groceries away and clean my kitchen.
Laid up on the sofa, unable to walk without assistance, several quasi anxiety attacks came and went with thoughts like, “Will I be able to run again?” “Do I need surgery?” “Will I be able to run my first ultra?” “Am I too old to be doing this?” I know…how depressing! Luckily, when the injury occurred, I went into triage mode…hahaha….no but seriously, I RICE’d immediately and called my most awesome rehab doc. Well, I PMd him on Facebook, it was a Saturday morning and his office was closed. I stayed off my legs as much as I could until I could go in to see him first thing Monday.
I literally walked in like Quasimodo, dragging my left leg behind me, mentally voicing the words, “Don’t look at me, I’m hideous!” Oh wait, was that from Elephant Man? After the magical techniques of Airrosti Rehab and learning that I likely did NOT need surgery (phew), Dr. Bill actually gave me more confidence to carry on and keep running, but in due time, with time! I sighed a little sigh of relief, got taped up, and walked out 1000 times better than I had walked in, but still felt twinge-y and was a lazy-a$$ for the next several days. After my second visit two full weeks after injury, I was given the green light to go for a celebratory wog! Apparently, I was healing almost as quickly as the Wolverine! #ilovexmen
Many morals of this little story: Firstly, I learned to stop the negative self-talk that kept telling me I was a slow runner. With consistent training, I will get faster and I’m confident I will BQ! I’m not too worried about when…because as I age, I get a few more seconds! LOL Secondly, even though my mind wanted to fast-forward progress, the body needed a little time to catch up…aka “cultivating patience“. Lastly, you’ll never know how far you can push it until you do! So take a risk every now and again…it builds character!
NEXT: The Trail to Recovery: Running with Passion