I suppose I should follow up on my last post, in which I said I was embarking on my first ultra-marathon and third marathon-or-longer within 90 days in order to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs club. Long story short: I had to stop after 16.5 miles due to injury. I don’t think it will require months of rehab because I caught it in time (IT band issues, which I held at bay and thought I’d conquered in December). But pulling out of the race was heartbreaking, because I’d never done that before, and I’d wanted into the Maniacs club for so long — years, in fact. If my friend Katie hadn’t been there to cry with me and then cheer me up/distract me, things would have been so much worse. Did I mention that the next day was my birthday? Yeah, bummer of a weekend. Last year I moved on my birthday and enraged an old arm tendon problem a couple days earlier, so maybe I need to avoid all physical activity at this time of year?
So I forced myself to take two weeks off from running. I slacked off completely, except for some rehab-related exercises. Today is the two-week point, so tomorrow I’ll let myself run a few miles. I have a feeling it won’t be pretty and the pace will be slow, because two weeks of being sedentary and eating crappy food has certainly not helped me.
But, unlike most times I’ve had to take time off from running, I didn’t really feel the endorphin withdrawal this time. I’d pushed myself too hard, and I needed a break. In reality, I really should not be posting as fast of race times as I have in the past year, for two reasons: I do not run enough, and I am too heavy. Regarding the first one, I don’t know how I’ve managed to beat four hours in the marathon on less than 40 miles a week. As for the second one, no, don’t tell me that I’m a fine weight; the scale and mirror do not lie, and I KNOW my legs/joints would be happier if they didn’t have as much weight bearing down on them. So, yeah, I need to work on the second one, and hopefully that will help me increase the mileage a little bit without injury.
So, that’s the update. I still haven’t downloaded that last 16.5-mile race failure from my GPS watch. I haven’t even charged my watch, so maybe I should do that before tomorrow’s no-expectations run. I’m still reading about running-related things, and I had a great time volunteering for hours at a recent trail race. So, mentally, I haven’t gone off the deep end the way I usually do when I can’t run.
Maybe this has been a good gauge of whether I’m relying on running to retain my sanity. In that case, I’ve succeeded. I didn’t do anything rash, I didn’t go on a rampage, and I didn’t feel a strong desire to veer into runners when I saw them out running while I was stuck in my car. (It’s true: runners do get these feelings when we’re injured, because we’re so sad and jealous of those who can run. But I have yet to ever hear of someone actually carrying out such a thing, because runners really are softies when it comes down to it.)
By the way, I had a couple photos to include with this, but they’re on my phone and I’ve spent entirely too much time trying to get them to my computer. I am officially too old to learn how to use a new computer.