Wednesday, February 25, 2015

If it's broke..fix it.

Sitting down the other night, on the upswing of an almost 3 month rest sentence from running, I realized out of the last 8 months..I have been injured 5 of those months.

With that realization, and the fact that I still managed to run well over 1,600 miles in 2014. I began to think..geez, what am I doing wrong?

Super quick re-cap. I fell injured after (even before) San Juan Solstice 50 mile run in June. I was pulled from the race when I didn't make the first cut off. A CT scan and some unhealthy denial later revealed 2 stress fractures in the heel.  Bam, 9 weeks- all summer- nada mile.

With a green light from the doc early September I was ramped up and ready to prove something to myself. The DNF in June was a bummer, and I was gearing up for my own 50 mile redemption in Park City in October. This gave me 4 weeks of training for a 50 miler, when I (Hindsight!) should have been rehabbing my heel and coming back insanely slowly and smartly. I ran the 50. I finished the 50. I kept going week after week with big runs on Saturday's. I was feeling so good, and so encapsulated with the freedom and satisfying depletion that is earned from the long run, that I failed to see that I was going down a similar road; not letting my body catch up with my mind and heart.  So on Dec. 6, I went out to Antelope Island with my running girls, and ran my last run. Afraid I'd miss out, always worried I'll miss out on a great long run;  I didn't pay attention, or more accurately I ignored my body screaming at me- and Bam..Tibial stress fracture.

Why am I getting all these stress fractures??!! (This one makes 5 in 3ish years)  This has been the center of my thoughts for months now. MRI's, Nuclear Bone scans, Dexa Scans, Hormone Testing, Bone turnover rate testing, SO MANY VIALS OF BLOOD...All to come full circle that I over train.
There's a bit more to it than that, as I've come to discover in stress fracture research, injured runner online support groups(yes there is such a thing) Books, articles from reputable sources...
But, I had cut back my running. I maybe grazed a 50 mile week or 2 in the fall, but I was mostly staying in the 40 mile range.

This is such a smack in the face because I really enjoy it, duh. I mean I have never met  a runner who doesn't enjoy running. So, yeah, it sucks. And, what do I do about it? I set some pretty Lofty goals for myself, obviously.

So, before all this happened again, with the tibia. I was signed up for The Buffalo 100 at Antelope Island- SUPPOSED to be my second go with this race, and I WAS hoping for a better run and finishing time. I had to withdraw. I was signed up for the Red Hot 55k. Had to withdraw.

SO now Here's the menu

Pocatello 60k June 6
Speedgoat 50k July 27
Wasatch 100 September 11.

All Pretty flippin' hard mountain races. And here it is almost March, and I'm slowly working up to a 3 mile road run. yikes.

POINT: It takes me some self indulgent babbling, but I usually get there. I'm terrified- and not of these races, although, I definitely should be. I'm terrified of breaking again, and ending up in a stupid pool or wallowing in my situation for months. I had an Ortho specialist tell me that I wasn't born to run. He told me to get a bike. They all told me to get a bike. I am going to get a bike. But, that's all part of this approach I pretty much have to adapt; run less to run more.
Biking, Weights, Swim and Run. Strengthen the legs and build the muscles without the impact. Become a stronger runner, without running?! What.The.Fuck.

It's a drastic change to my current way of thinking about endurance running, but something has to change. I won't have a chance of running these races well or at all if I  break again. Everyone is different. Maybe it is simply I do too much too quick without proper strength or training. Patience has never been a quality of mine, but I'm learning it.

Jack Daniels says that 60 mile weeks for a fast, experienced, strong runner isn't as stressful to their body as a 60 mile week is to a slow, less experienced, less strong runner. We are out there longer- stressing the body longer, stressing the mind longer, my bones longer. It's not necessarily about distance, but time. I don't know if I can run these crazy hard mountain races on less running and more cross training, but something isn't working for me, so here goes nothing..or everything...or..something


No one can really know Everything about you, but

I cannot live with someone who can't live without me.
Nadine Gordimer