So I didn't get to race TNF 50 last weekend. I was pretty bummed. BUT, I was happy to be letting my body heal! After UROC I had some lingering pain in my left knee, nothing serious, just an angry tendon. How did this happen? Well, most likely because I ran my little butt off at UROC already slightly under the weather. In fact, as I've reflected back on my 2013 year of racing I found a pretty clear pattern.
|Hanging out with Riley|
It all began with getting hit by a car in August 2012. Ugh. I was riding my bike and got hit by a car and fractured by left lessor trochanter in my hip. It was a total bummer, but I healed eventually. In fact, I healed pretty fast and was able to cross train within 6 weeks of the injury. I cross trained hard- I hit the pool and started swimming (READ: flailing) in the water. It was hard, but it kept me fit. In December I ran the 2012 TNF 50 miler and finished 2nd! I was more surprised than anyone- I thought the injury was going to set me back a long way. I was totally undertrained going into TNF, but it seemed to go alright for me. So begins the pattern.
Next up was Banderra 100k in January. Bad idea to race in January. It's really snowy and icy in Bend and not a fun time to be training for a running race. Much better time to be skiing! Anyway, I trained to the best of my ability, got really sick with the flu, attempted to race, and DNFed. My first ever. Ugh. It wasn't pretty, but it was a good learning lesson. What was I thinking starting a race with the flu? I actually coughed out a rib during the race from coughing so hard. Stupid.
Fast forward a few weeks and I was healed enough to cross train. I still had States in the back of my mind and was going to try to race Leona Divide or Ice Age 50 to earn a spot. I cross trained HARD on the elliptical and got myself into good shape. However, it was too late for racing one of the qualifiers. I wasn't healthy in time. I accepted the fact and moved on to other fun things, like pacing Zach at Bighorn and pacing Denise Bourassa at Western States.
|Pacing/Crewing for Zach at Bighorn|
|Hanging out in Croatia|
As I started to think about the past year, I finally saw the pattern: Get injured & take time off -> cross train really hard and get really fit -> enter a race undertrained, yet fit enough to push really hard -> put my body through an intense running effort -> end up injured or with some sort of niggle on the other side. I did this pattern at least 4 times this year! Not good! Fortunately I recognized it (finally!) and decided to put it to rest. So, in an attempt to 'reset' and get healthy the correct way I decided not to race TNF 50 this year. And it totally broke my soul. I hate missing races! Especially that one because I LOVE it. But I had to do this so I could run in the future.
Part of the reason I'm being so diligent about staying healthy and building back up a good base is that I got into Western States this year! What are the chances?! I was SO excited and terrified at the same time! I am not sure how I am going to get my body ready to race 100 miles, but I am very excited for the journey. And, if anything, I learned a lot this past year. I never was a fan of junk miles, but I've learned even more how important rest and quality over quantity are to longevity in the sport of ultra running.