Sometimes all you can do is laugh at your 20/20 hindsight, because there’s no use crying over spilled milk or kissing warty toads.
Call it karma or irony, but after declaring last weekend’s 20 miler my first ever successful running of the distance, I spent most of this week niggle-nursing. (That’s what you call it when you’re too stubborn/in denial to call it an injury, in case you didn’t know.)
Call it foreshadowing or instinct, but as Anna and I chattered on between random stories and hurdling fallen trees - two great indicators that my mind and body were both in above average states - I confessed that my recent increase in mileage had come at the expense of "the little things.” I’d swapped in an extra easy run in place of Thursday yoga, was always "too tired" to foam roll, and mismanaged my time before and after workouts not allowing for the strength and activation stuff I’d been shockingly pretty good at doing before.
And then call it optimism or denial, but now I’m not willing to acknowledge this "niggle" as an “injury” until someone physically writes it down on a script pad or puts me in some sort of reparative mechanism for it. Just another little setback, not a full derailment.
Honestly the most frustrating part is that the 20 did go so well. I felt like I paced myself well, navigated trails and conversation easily, stayed mentally strong, and didn’t end up curled in a ball afterwards begging someone to bring me fries and a milkshake while I refused to shower for fear of discovering hiding chafe marks. Winding up on the D/L after that feels like some reverse “darkest before the dawn” shit, and makes the jaded extremist in me want to just sign off from marathoning all together on account of the universe (/my body) not wanting me to do it.
But, and you probably saw this coming, Lauren snapped me back to reality with a cold dose of “Don’t run. Go get a massage, sit in the sauna, and do some Jasyoga. Quit freaking out.”
How you know you’ve slipped too far from saving into the runner alligator pit: Being told to essentially take a spa day pisses you off.
Fleshman calls it: Classic Last-Few-Weeks-of-Marathon-Training Injury
Sarah calls it: horseshit
puking crying: 4.5 - of - 5
I spent the whole work day Wednesday fidgeting between lacrosse-ball-jammed-in-your-leg-muscles positions, shoving an ice pack into the waistband of my pants, and getting up to pace around the office every 30 minutes. What turned out to be less than productive for work things was very productive in discovering that both my hamstrings were wildly knotted, my left hip flexor feels like a shoelace instead of a rubber band, and the lightest touch to my TFL sucks the wind immediately out of my lungs. Oh and my desk posture is absolutely horrendous and I cross my legs too much, favoring right-over-left. Coupled with my first 40 mile week it's no wonder my hip is pissed...
After all those sad realizations I grabbed my mat and laptop and queued up the Hip Reset and Flexible Runner Hamstrings videos from Jasyoga. When I'm looking for sport-specific functional yoga - either for recovery or activation - rather than sweaty workout yoga, Erin's videos are my go-to. While I love going to a studio for a vinyasa class every now and then, I always wind up super sore afterwards because I'm too proud to not twist and lunge and stretch full-steam, and too cheap to feel like I'm not getting my full money's worth when I go. Definitely not what I need right now.
Things feel much more normal today. I'm no longer walking like I have a peg leg and I don't groan getting up from a seated position! I'll go for a short little test run today (Friday) to see how it's holding up, and if that feels alright maybe give an abbreviated long run a shot this weekend. There's a lot of hay already in the barn and a few weeks left to get work in, no use blowtorching it hurrying back.
And even though this feels more like jumping down a full flight of stairs, there's some comfort knowing this was a scheduled step-back week anyhow.
No matter the sport, the best way to set yourself up for success is to have a plan. Putting some time into planning it all out will save you from bonehead moves on the big day. ...
Nick Troutman is a whitewater kayaker on the Picky Bars team, but more importantly he's a kickass dad showing his two kids what life on and off the river is all about. He and Tucker...