Monday, December 28, 2015

When Injury Strikes

In the 7+ years of running and 4+ year of running 100 milers I've been relatively injury and pain free. Issues have been primarily focused on sore muscles post race and a few tweaks here and there. I didn't really think anything about it when my hamstring started giving me issues in the fall. Eh - it would go away, I could run through it, and it wasn't a big deal. But it didn't go away, and I could run through it but had to grin and bear it. It didn't initially seem like a big deal, but ended up taking more of a toll than a realized.

Nothing I did to fix it worked. I couldn't stretch enough - it was always tight. Rubbing the back of my leg was like rubbing concrete. I had my legs massaged and it left a massive bruise where there was scar tissue. Epsom salt, compression shorts, a thigh sleeve - I tried everything. I tried everything I could physically do.

What I didn't do is work on the mental side. I didn't accept that I had an injury that would not heal without rest. I didn't accept that I had an injury that wouldn't heal without strength training, patience, and discipline. I didn't accept that sometimes the will and mind are stronger than the body can bear.

The hamstring isn't 100% fixed. Better, but not fixed. While I'm still working on the physical side, I'm much improved on  the mental side - ready to work to get better. To not force the issue. To be patient and ready to go when my body is able.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tushar 92K

It didn't take a lot of arm twisting to get me to head to Southern Utah for a mountain run. My absolute favorite part of the country, I had been to the area many times but had never specifically been to the Tushar Mountains. Boy have I been missing out...

The drive up from Vegas to Beaver is around 3 hours. From Beaver, the road cuts off of the interstate, leaves the dry southern Utah landscape, and immediately starts to change as you take the windy road up to to the Eagle Point Ski Resort where the race starts/ends. We rented a condo which was a great options - two bedrooms and a loft and a couch in the living room.

The race is pretty much what you would expect of a tough mountain run at altitude. Technical, steep ups and downs, labored breathing in the thin air. What I wasn't expecting was the "sky series" type rules where the course sometimes veers off an established trail. Early in the 92K race (somewhere around mile 10 or 12?) I was plotting along on the trail and realized I hadn't seen a marker in a while. I didn't want to keep going if I had missed a turn and get further off course, but I also didn't want to turn around and lose all of the elevation I had been gaining. I finally backtracked until I ran into a group of runners. I told them I thought we had missed a turn somewhere. We all started looking around for markers. Finally someone saw one dangling from a tree that was not on the trail. This is when we realized the route was going straight up the mountain rather than following the switchbacks to the top. There were other parts of the course that were like this - going cross country instead of following the trail. It was a lot of fun, but made things a lot slower which meant I missed one of the cutoffs at an aid station. Instead of completing the entire 92K - I ended up taking the marathon route back to the state/finish and still managed to get some decent mileage.

This is a race I'd really like to tackle again with adequate mental and physical prep for thin air and long technical ups and downs.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Keys 100

The best recap of the Keys100 is through the GoPro captures my crew took on the course. Although it doesn't capture the heat, relentless sun, and high humidity of south Florida!