Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recovery for a broken body and spirit

The last few months have been a struggle when it comes to anything running related - even this blog. Since May, I've been sidetracked with sciatica and high hamstring tendinopathy. I've run and raced through it, which has led to a few unsatisfactory finishes - as well as another DNF - and likely prolonged my recovery. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Smile? Grimace? @ Echo Valley 50mi in Chelan, WA.
Photo: Takao Suzuki
I was finally forced to take a couple weeks off of running entirely and filled my time with yoga, swimming, biking, stretching, rolling and lots and lots of physio. (There may also have been some alcohol and self pity.) While cross training is great and has helped maintain my sanity and girlish figure, I'd rather spend my time on the trails. 

Or would I?

Even before I got injured, running was not the source of pleasure that it once was for me. Where there used to be joy in my heart when I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, I was instead tormented by a nagging sense of resentment and frustration that I just couldn't shake, or explain. 

At first, I blamed these feelings on a bad week. Then, two bad weeks. Maybe a virus or low iron? Over training? I visited my family doctor and he ordered some blood work. My iron was low, but it's been lower in the past without consequence. I was both disappointed and relieved that there was no medical reason to explain why I was feeling so blah. 

It's not all bad. I've enjoyed catching up with friends too.
@ Cdn Mtn Running Championships with Catrin Jones.
Part of me thinks that if I'm not enjoying running any more, then I should just give it up. Life is short; hobbies should make us happy. I even "retired" from running for about 5 minutes after my most recent DNF on Day 2 of the TransRockies Kananaskis 3-day race, but I quickly came to my senses and have decided to give myself more time to find my way back to the sport that I've loved for so long. 

Kananaskis Day 1. What's with my posture? Yikes!
I now have the green light to start running again - slowly and with caution - and just over 5 weeks before my first 100-mile trail race, Cascade Crest. Obviously, the lead up has not exactly gone as I had hoped so I'm just going to have to make the most of it and, above all else, try to have fun and finish with a smile.

After that, who knows.

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