It all started with a fantastic winter training season that began in December. I was consistent in logging my miles, I stretched after my long runs, and I did boring clam shells and leg lifts to strengthen my butt. Two days before the HAT 50K run, I felt a funny twinge in my shin on a short run. Not a terrible pain, but a new pain. I felt it on Friday when walking and even when resting. I felt it Saturday morning when I woke up. And I most certainly felt it when I started the event, running with the crew I'd trained with. If it's muscular, I thought to myself, after a couple miles it will warm up and I'll feel fine.
A few miles passed, then a few more, and the pain intensified from a twinge to a throb. The heat on the course was record high, adding extra discomfort. I began dreading the downhills, knowing that every step on my left foot would send a bolt of pain shooting up my leg. I kept quiet about it, though, not telling my running comrades what was going on for fear that would make it real. Over the next few hours, I shifted my body weight to the right leg as much as I could to give my throbbing shin a break. My training buddies were amazing and entertaining throughout the race, and the volunteers were unbelievably helpful and kind.
And thirty-and-a-half miles, four stream crossings, about 4,300 feet of wicked climbing, and six hours & fifty-three minutes later, I crossed the finish line. Somehow I shaved more than 30 minutes off my previous time on the course (which speaks more about the terrible conditions the last time I ran the HAT).
I celebrated, then iced and elevated, and woke up the next morning completely unable to put weight on my left foot.
Fast forward a couple weeks, and I'm in a place every active person dreads: I'm on the injured list. This is not the "ice and rest up," kind of injured. This is the multiple doctor visits, X-rays, MRIs, boot-wearing and physical therapy kind of injured. It's a place where I've seen many runners, but somehow imagined I'd never find myself.
I don't know how long the recovery will take on my torn tendon (apparently the tear I made is an uncommon injury). I don't know when I'll be able to run again.
I do know I'm bummed out and at a crossroads:
No one would think badly of me if I took a wholesale break from this healthy living thing. Who could blame me for "treating myself" a little bit? And certainly no one would look down on me for putting on a few pounds. In fact, many would expect it without all those miles.
But there's also an opportunity here: While I'm unable to run, I have hours and hours of time back on my calendar. There's an opportunity to fine tune my diet to make it even more nutritious, to get to work on my weak upper body neglected from the previously mentioned training time on my feet, to do more of those boring floor exercises to strengthen my butt and hips.
I'm pretty committed to the latter option, but time will tell. I know I'll come out on the other side more empathic to my clients with big, seemingly insurmountable challenges, and I'll come out knowing more about myself.
I look forward to updating you on my progress. And to answer the question of nearly every client who's heard about my injury, "No, we do NOT need to cancel our session." It's business as usual for Live Full!