Friday, January 22, 2010

Just Say "NO" to Trails

If you're one of my ultra-trail-running friends reading this, you can relate when at times, we feel like we just need a super-long, multi-hour, maybe even overnight, escape to the trails. We want it...heck, for sanity's sake, we NEED it. Running has become a drug...an addiction...and without it, we start going into withdrawal. We're cranky, moody, and no one really cares to be around us. This remind's me of the show "Intervention" that I watch from time to time. However, this addiction contains no poisons, isn't killing us, and gives us a high completely independent of any foreign substance. Am I addicted? Heck yea! Just try an 'intervention' with me and see how it goes. That's why I'm very careful when I go to a doctor or medical professional about something running-related. You think I'm that stupid to go to someone who would try to commit me and ship me off to some Palm Springs "Runners Rehab" clinic? Come on, now...we are inherently made to survive at all costs. Anyway...

My last physical therapy appointment was today. Call it a premonition or whatever, but I knew exactly how it would go and sure enough, it did...exactly to script. I'd go in, tell her how my short 13.5 went at the Run for Regis, speak honestly about how the adductor and iliopsoas felt, I'd do some exercises to identify current problem areas, then she'd whip out those Graston tools again so she could dig for some scar tissue that might be lingering from the first two treatments. I also knew this would be the last treatment. There really isn't anything left for her to do. I've got the exercises, the rubbery bands she gave me, and the problems areas have been "Grastonized" three times. (my new word...like it?!) Now the ball is in my court...completely. It is up to me to get stronger on my own, run only on predictable surfaces that I have control over, and to be smart and listen to my body. Only after I have strengthened everything and the adductor (the REAL problem child) has completely healed, can I return to the trails. So for now, I'm banishing myself from trails for the next month. My plan is to run a consistent base of 25-40 miles per week, road or groomed/flat trail only...I think they call that a "Towpath" in these here parts! The adductor MUST heal and any side-to-side left-leg motion just sets me back. If I can run in mid-late February on trails without any discomfort, I'm clear to run the Oil Creek course for 50K on February 27th. I planned this run months ago and good size group is now planning on it. That's my short-term goal...to be "back" by then. No screwing around with a "trail run here...a trail run there" anymore. I'm just saying "NO" to trails...for a short, itty-bitty time. (for any of you medical types out there, the real pain exists at the insertion point of the adductor, deep groin. Regular running on roads (ie: not on the camber and not running hard/fast) feels perfectly fine and I feel no discomfort whatsoever. As soon as I introduce any side-to-side motion which is all the time on the trails, it aggravates that insertion point.)

I also had a superb 8 mile run yesterday. I set the alarm a bit earlier for 3am and just after 4, I was on the roads. I wanted more than a 5 or 6 mile run which is normally all I have time for on normal working weekdays. Well, I picked a good day to get up at 3am. It was 22F, no breeze, and sky was filled with millions of stars. It was surreal. During that run, I came to reconcile with myself about 2010. Reality: I'm in no shape to even run a 50K right now. Could I run it? Yes. Should I if I ever want to feel 100% again? Heck, no. Reality: if I don't fix myself, MMT is out. I will not show up to a 100-mile race ill-prepared. I want to run it but I will not "do it just to do it." That's just not me. For now, I'm just going to stick to my script and get strong again. There is still time. If March appears and I'm still having issues, I'm out. I'm a deadline-kind-of-person and that's mine.

Happy Trails, everyone!

7 comments:

Inca Princess said...

For the millionth time, start working out with Sean at HPL. He'll get you strong and you won't have to worry about these nagging injuries. Just talk to Vince or Greg D. if you don't believe me.

Nick Billock said...

Inca, if I lived close enough and it was affordable, I probably would. Unlike the majority of you all, I don't live on the doorstep of the valley and I work in Canton. It just doesn't work for me. But thanks for mentioning him again.

knix05 said...

Be patient it will be better tomorrow !

Kim said...

Totally understand your deadline. I was in MMT in 08; work situation changed that year and knew I would not be able to train. Not training meant no brainer=no MMT.

Hang in there.

Inca Princess said...

O.K.,so you're willing to drive around the country for races but you won't drive across town to work with someone who will really help you?

Sean is affordable. I work for the government too. I also train Monday & Wednesday nights with one guy who lives in Canton, a guy who lives in Massillon and several people who drive down from Cleveland. They're regular folks - not competitive athletes at all.

No worries though, I won't mention it again - just trying to give you another option.

Hopeinator said...

It sounds like you have a solid plan of recovery. I know you'll attack those trails soon. Congrats on being released from PT. I say "congrats" because I know it was hard for you to behave and not run those trails more than 13.5 miles last week....So, good for you for being sensible...it WILL pay off when you have another belt buckle in your hand!

ultrarunner (Brian Philpot) said...

You will pull it together, you got this far in running ultra's!