Trail Running

Confusion, followed by anxiety and fear

It’s 4:14 am. I can’t sleep. I tried breathing from my toes up to the top of my head, but my mind just kept swirling and swirling. After a while, I gave in and decided to do “awake” things. Like most Wednesdays this winter, I had a scheduled workout for which the weather is not going to oblige. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be -1F or anything, just a bomb cyclone headed this way. Regardless, I thought I would program my workout into my phone. Last I looked on Monday, I had 3 miles easy followed by what I remember was 6 x 2 min fast / 2 min recover, then three miles easy, but opened my log to double check. Instead of my previously scheduled Wednesday workout, Thursday easy plus hills, Friday easy, Saturday long run and Sunday easy plus hills, you can imagine the shock and panic that arose when I opened the log to see this:

Wednesday rest

Thursday rest

Friday rest

Saturday 5 miles easy

Sunday 6 miles easy

Confusion followed by anxiety and fear arose from my solar plexus. “I must be looking at the wrong week,” I thought. But I wasn’t. Reality sunk in that I was staring at four consecutive rest days. The call was coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

I know I’m not the only one for whom injury and rest incites panic. I keep telling “A” that I’m really not his “type”, but he keeps texting me reminders of how we’re made for each other. Why does a few days off signal catastrophe? I know why, partially. Because life is unpredictable and beneath the facade of the predictable daily routine, as humans, we are acutely aware that anything, at any moment can be taken from us and that our lives can change in an instant. That and I don’t want my ass to get any fatter. But probably more so the first one…

I guess in writing that, I’ve just accidentally given myself some perspective. What’s a few days in the grand scheme of things? Maybe you’re curious why coach changed my workout and subsequent runs to rest days… I’ve been having IT band issues again, but this time out of nowhere and in the other leg! cool. cool. cool.

After last race season, I was having IT band issues in my right leg – I guess technically I was having them before, but they were exacerbated by my races. For six months IT plagued me. Then in mid-January I started a strength and mobility program with Ellen at The Chiro Lab /Height Fitness and it basically disappeared after a few weeks. My right glute had been permanently out to lunch – both weak and not firing. I’ve had no issues in the last month.

Look Mom, no IT Band pain

Then, out of nowhere, the left one decides to throw a tantrum. It doesn’t stem from the same underlying issue though. I had a minor procedure on my left leg that despite being cleared for activity, created a pulling sensation in my inner thigh that may have altered my gait enough to cause this issue. A few other factors probably contributed to the inward motion and BAM! Fucking IT band issues and Monday I couldn’t run downhill. So why was I shocked and dismayed to see a handful of rest days? Uh-doy! WTF did I expect? Rest follows injury. That’s how it works when you’re playing the long game. This has been an issue for a couple of weeks now and only today was I prescribed rest. He didn’t change my workout right away after leaving his feedback and so I was surprised when I saw it this morning.

Last year at this time, I was doing the Boulder Skyline Traverse about once a month if not more. That’s 20 miles with 6000 feet of vert. I haven’t run longer than a 14 miler or accumulated more than 5,000 feet of vert in an entire week all winter. Granted, I run more weekdays and I actually run all of my runs as opposed to power hiking, but I feel so behind. I have a 25 miler coming up in May and a trip to India for work in April which means I won’t be able to run for a solid 10 days. I’m spiraling… I’m spiralingggggggg

I suppose it’s too much to ask in the 4 o’clock hour that I could have a measured response to this? I’ll never be ready for this race (trust your legs, your heart and your coach), my ass is going to keep getting fatter (is it really though?), how am I going to stay sane (hint: running isn’t the only way to move your body. Ever heard of yoga?)

Okay. I’ve proven that I can reign myself in before the sun comes up. That’s enough accomplishment for today. It has to be.

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