You may recall from my rather dismal post last month that I was struggling with a painful back injury. I was also dealing with the emotional stress due to the timing as it forced me to withdraw from my first “A” race of the year. I had trained for 3+ months using the Hanson’s method and was set physically and mentally to take a shot at a new PR at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon.
A quick rewind for context. On May 14, I completed my final scheduled long run – a hilly route that measured just over 18 miles to take me to 60 miles for the week. I felt fatigued as that is a big weekly volume for me with my comfort zone typically around 40 per week. But, like every marathon runner in training, I was relieved to be done with the big miles and was looking forward to just practicing my pace and winding down through the taper period. Pic below was from that run, making my way back up a steady 3.5 mile climb.
The next day as I got ready for the commute I felt the slightest of twinges in my lower back. And, I mean slight, like nothing – didn’t even think about it. In fact I was more concerned with making sure I iced my legs later that night after my scheduled easy run. 2 hours later and I can barely sit down at my desk at the office. I have a few more details in my post as I came to terms with having to accept that I could not run my target race. But, the damage was done.
Fast forward and the Strava training log bubbles tell the story. Other than one 1.4 mile test run to see if there was any chance of attempting the marathon, I have not been able to run or ride. Not a very familiar position for me at all! This is by far the longest that I have been out with any kind of injury and I have no idea what this layoff has done to my overall fitness. But, it’s time to look ahead because, yes, this is actually a positive post today!!
Looking Forward to Looking Ahead
The good news. I am close to being ready…very close. I have resisted all temptation as the back has improved significantly over the last couple weeks. The weather in the Pacific Northwest has turned beautiful and the temptation of the trail has almost lured me. But, I held off. I’m bored, going crazy, and really driving Paula nuts…and I mean really. I even had to buy her a new handbag for putting up with me 🙂 Well, I didn’t have to, but I did. She also had to mow the lawn and do pretty much everything so it ended up being 2 handbags. And, that might well be the only time you’ll find a picture of a handbag on this site 🙂
I’m targeting a return next weekend if everything holds up over the next few days. I wont jump back in super hard – a couple weeks of easy runs and probably only 3x week with a couple bikes for good measure. I’m also planning to go back to my chiropractor and get another deep tissue massage treatment a couple weeks after I have returned. If all that goes well, then I will be focusing on developing my training plans for a busy Fall season. I’m not sure I can target the PR again in 2017 – there’s no way I can go through another Hanson’s session this year, so that may have to wait. But, I will be back for it in 2018.
It has taken 4 chiro sessions, 3 deep tissue massage treatments and (by the time I run again) almost 2 full months of rest. I’ve learned a lot. To say I learned the hard way would be a cliche but not true. Running is one of the toughest sports in terms of impact to our bodies. I had trained super hard to go after my marathon PR and suffered an unfortunate injury. It happens. And, I’m pretty sure it won’t the last injury I ever endure. I think what made this sting was that it was so close to race day…at the end of particularly grueling plan. The timing made it that much harder to accept.
Time to move on and look forward. I mentioned earlier that I have a busy race season in the Fall. The prime time lineup now includes:
- Sep 10 Craft Classic Seattle Half-Marathon
- Sep 23 North County Wine Run Half-Marathon
- Oct 22 Marine Corps Marathon
- Dec 03 Rock N Roll San Antonio Marathon
These all look like fabulous events. And, having never ran any of them they will all be a new experience. Also exciting is that I will be representing BibRave in all except Marine Corps. I will, however, be pacing Paula in her first ever marathon at MCM. I’ve also got some great product tests coming up and I’m looking forward to resuming normal blogging activities.
And, I wasn’t out just buying handbags. I replenished the rotation a little for when I do return 🙂
In terms of goals, I’m really not sure yet. I mentioned I will not follow Hanson’s again this year but after I’ve been back for a couple weeks, I’ll evaluate my overall fitness and see if I can figure out some race objectives. And, before we know it, we will be looking at the 2018 calendar. BTW, I will post separately my thoughts regarding the plan. This injury does not dampen my enthusiasm for the Hansons method and I will absolutely try it again. Most likely next year.
I’m very much looking forward to getting off the sidelines and back in action. Hopefully, I’ll be fully recovered and ready to continue chasing the dreams on the trails! Thank you all for the great support and positive messages…I really appreciate the kind thoughts and being part of the amazing running/blogging community.
- Have you ever had a significant injury layoff or are you on the sidelines right now?
- Any fun races in Fall/Winter lined up?
- What did you buy on your last major shopping trip?!!
‘Till next time,
Run safe, run strong, run happy!