After months of injuries, I am finally on the mend. Melissa has been much better, and had been running regularly for a month or so. I, on the other hand, have had several setbacks. As Melissa wrote in the Lake Colchuck recap, I felt my quad pop on the descent from Aasgard. I was able to make it down, obviously. The whole 7 miles and 4800′ of descent. But my leg was in a lot of pain the next several days.
It was diagnosed by my Physical Therapist (Courteney is amazing!) with a torn quadriceps. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and within a week I was able to run again. Though the time off definitely made me feel those runs. I was able to run four times for about 18 miles, whereupon I threw out my back. This was totally debilitating. I could barely walk for a week. Once again, Courteney diagnosed the problem and prescribed exercises that rapidly resolved the pain and immobility. But I lost another week.
And as opposed to the quad and hip injuries I’ve been fighting, the back was completely debilitating. I couldn’t go to the gym and work my upper body. I couldn’t ride my bike to work. I couldn’t even walk to the bus stop; I had to work from home several days, and even just take time off. It was intensely frustrating and incredibly painful.
But I am determined to recover rapidly. So as soon as I could run again, I started to. I discovered that my cardio conditioning was garbage very rapidly, and so I’ve been doing lots and lots of intervals to try to improve it as quickly as possibly. HIIT training is fantastic for rapidly supercharging CV fitness. But, my oh my does it suck.
So I’ve done 4.5 miles of walk/jog. And then a day where I just did 10 wind sprints of 161 meters (one tenth of a mile) on the treadmill. And then a day where I did 4.5 miles of hard run/walk where I was running at about a 7:30 pace for two minutes and then walking for two minutes.
Finally, yesterday, the big test. Melissa and I went to Carkeek Park and started running loops. We found a good 3.4 mile loop, with about 700′ of gain. I was able to do three loops in just under two and a half hours. Melissa did a fourth. But that was a huge confidence booster. Ten miles and 2100′ of gain.
The reason I’m working so hard to improve so fast is that we’ve decided, perhaps stupidly, to do a 19.5 mile, 3700′ trail race on October 28th. This is a shorter race that covers a lot of the same ground at the same time as the ultramarathon we were going to do. So we still have a highly ambitious, strenuous, and exciting thing to train for. But it’s less than two weeks away and my body is make of caramel and marshmallows at the moment. I’ve got a lot of fitness to gain in a short time.
And I have to avoid another injury. But I think I’m going to be lucky. And I know I’m going to work hard. And I can bike to work again! And my injuries are all about 85-90% healed I think. So here goes nothing.