Hesitant to write this post as it will certainly reveal how deeply neurotic I am. But being honest helps me take perspective, and maybe someone out there will find comfort in my madness.
As you may know if you know me or have read any of this blog, I dropped out of Orcas 50k at the beginning of February with what I thought was piriformis syndrome. It was frustrating, it was humbling, it was smart. I thought I’d take a week off, and get right back into it in time to log a solid month of hard training for Gorge 100k, my first goal race of the year. Here’s how that week went:
Day 1- Sunday – I made this awesome set of workout cards to motivate myself to get in the right balance of core and strength work.
Day 2- Monday- hid in my classroom at lunch to avoid telling all my coworkers about dropping out, since I’d only just revealed my deep dark ultra running secret the week before. Discovered jump squats. I loved them, my leg did not.
Day 3-5 Tuesday – Friday- felt less terrible. Biked a little. It kind of hurt. Did my core workouts. Tried hot yoga- sweated a lot but didn’t really feel like I worked super hard.
Day 6- Saturday- went for a very short hike near Whistler, loved the sunshine but wanted to do something harder. Felt that longing for a lung busting heart racing workout. The irritability set in.
Day 7- Sunday- In Whistler, got in a decent day of skiing on meh snow but enjoyed the mountains. Then we were having beers and I should have been happy as can be but it was sunny and there were trails out there and all I wanted to do was lace up and go. Shit got dark. I went through all the negative what-ifs, until finally Justin was like, Jordan, stop. go for a walk outside. I recovered, temporarily.
Day 8- Monday- I was desperate for a workout. Went to hot yoga again, left really hot and zen but it just isn’t the same as running. Not sure what the term is for being cranky from lack of running (run-ger? Rungry? Runky?) but I had a bad case.
Day 9- Tuesday- Against better wisdom, hiked up Mailbox. Wore my hiking boots to keep me honest but basically ran down anyways. It felt sooooooo good. Even my butt didn’t really complain, for the first time in a few weeks. Until I got in the car, and the pain started again. Ugh. I called the PT. (But I was 2:47 up and down Mailbox, plus a 15-min break at the top- that’s a good time to work from, considering I wasn’t busting it up or down 🙂 )
Day 10- Wednesday- The first question I asked after the million lunges and leg lifts and other diagnostic silliness was “what are the chances I can run a 100k in six weeks?” The answer wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Hamstring injuries are harder to heal than piriformis, and they certainly don’t respond well to the trauma of long long runs. So no 100k. No 20-milers even. But, they did agree to let me run small amounts to keep sane, and build up from there as my leg allows. The first thing I did when I left was go to Seven Hills, pick up some new shoes, and go for a very short run. I was sore from my boot journey on Mailbox, but going through the motion was enough.
I don’t think I knew how integral running was to my self image until I had to not do it. I struggled more than I expected. I cried a few times because I couldn’t do the thing that makes me feel the most “me” – to use a cliche, I felt lost without running. It’s my stress relief, my escape, my access point to the beautiful landscapes we have out here, it’s a solid 30% of my happiness.
How will I survive the upcoming 6 weeks? 5 miles at a time. I’ll do my core workouts, my PT exercises, not hot yoga (PT says I’ll throw out my weak back), and bike commute as much as possible. And just in time for a umber of adventure, I’ll be strong and healthy and ready to fly again.