Just like starting over...
It feels like I'm back to square one. I've been spending the month not running and I feel the void in my life big time. It turns out the stress fracture was a lot worse than I thought, and the only cure is to just stop running. Of course loosing conditioning is a major concern, as well as the much much bigger issue... my bipolar. Without running I've really felt it creeping back into my life, like an adversary that gets the upper hand in this competition. I know I've been a bit short, and also I've been taking things way too personal in my life. On top of that I've been even more withdrawn from society.
Tonight I successfully completed a slow, but very much needed 3 miles. I did a small ramp up to this the night before last with a simple and easy 1 mile run. Got back from that and experienced zero pain, so I rested a night and decided to go for it. And I'm glad I did. The big gamble would be if I started to hurt within an hour of completion, or even during. It's been 3 hours and so far so good. The only noticeable issue is the cardiovascular loss, I can tell I've slipped. On the plus side my legs felt great and I'll take that.
From here on out I plan on more slow and short runs, not putting too much pressure on myself to pull off a 16/4 mile weekend spilt or 35-40 mile weeks. I know I'll get my mojo back, the important thing is to continue to take it easy with the runs. And another plus is I've signed up for 2 more marathons before the end off the year. 11/09 in Indianapolis for the Monumental Marathon, and then 12/08 in California for the California International Marathon. I'll be smart with my training and keep pushing towards the horizon because I'm still on a mission.
Mt. Hood Marathon
I've been away prepping and getting focused. On June 29th I ran the Mt. Hood marathon, and suffered a setback. Let me first say the organizers for the Mt. Hood marathon did a great job, and the scenery was amazing. My only complaint would be with some of the motorist rocketing by, the course occupied a popular highway and I understand the traffic challenges. I do not understand people and their lack of consideration for those running down the mountain, but I digress.
I went into this run with a knee issue that I refused to call an 'injury'. In doing so I felt gave me a psychological advantage over the pain and the situation. As in Monty Python, 'Just a flesh wound' sort of thing. I had my strategy in place once the gun went off and I stuck to it. I managed my strides and my pace, kept tabs on how I was landing to avoid 'hard strikes', and watched my breathing. I found my 'zone' as I adjusted my stride on the lesser inclines and in general felt great. My half-marathon pace was a 1:33:53, or a 7:10/mile pace, way beyond the 7:30 pace I wanted. I was holding this pace until mile 16, then all plans collapsed. And hey, this a full and not a half anyway.
As the shoulder of the road narrowed runners were forced into lines, and my left foot found a divot in a rumble strip. I produced a 'very hard' strike with a slight twist, and that was all she wrote. I immediately felt the pain in my knee escalate, but in my mind I simply said to push on. It was then I started my limp run style and saw my pace time go out the window. at mile 19 I watched the pace group that I needed to stay in front of to BQ pass me by, and that broke my heart. No matter how hard I tried I could not hang with that group. An aid station worker noticed my struggle and asked if I needed a ride back to the finish line, I respectfully thanked him and said 'I can get myself back.' And that's what I did, I refused to stop no matter what. And I did, be it a really awful time.
It's been a over a week since that run and I've been mentally dealing with the setback, trying to plan my next move, and desperately wanting to run again. In 2019 I've turned in some amazing miles and times, but on marathon day I simply fall apart. Will I stop and give up? That is a resounding 'Hell no'. I'm seeing my chances for a 2020 Boston fade fast, and again that's more heartbreak to deal with. I've heard this can be a long process, no one ever said it would be easy, and if they did I would know it was a lie. The third anniversary of my first marathon is in November, and one lesson running has me is to simply keep going. And that's what I will do.
Ryan (That's me)
Runner, writer, and a survivor. It's all about living the life you want and helping each other along the way.