100 Mile Challenge: Miles 55.23 – 71.00, Injury and Back at It

With my tail between my legs, I am back. I got hurt on my last run at the beginning of October. I was pissed in my stupidity of how I got hurt and frustrated that I had finally gotten to the point of almost enjoying running and I got derailed. I lost sight of the fact that this was also suppose to be a writing exercise, even if I wasn’t running. I hope I am back on track, sort of, and back to writing.

Miles Run: 15.77
Time: 4 hours, 57 minutes, 58 seconds
Miles to Go: 29.0
Days to Go: 51
Average Miles Per Day Needed: 0.57

I felt great after running the 10K. I had actually enjoyed that run and was trying to figure out what was next. I think I said this before, but a couple of years ago I had set a goal to do a 5K in 30 minutes. So, I decided to aim for that.

It was a tall order…It meant shaving 6 minutes off my time, but I was encouraged by a couple of shorter runs where my pace would have me under 30 minutes if I could get my endurance up over 3 miles. And that is what I should have focused on. Instead, I decided to see if adjusting my stride would accomplish what I wanted.

Through all of this, I felt I was more shuffling than running. I am a tall guy so I thought maybe I should see if I could take longer strides to go faster. So I stretched out my stride and initially felt good, but after a while, my knee started hurting. I went back to my normal shuffle and the pain in my knee continued to get worse.

The next day it was no better and I knew I had messed something up. After two weeks with it not feeling even a little better, I feared I had done some permanent damage. Walking up the stairs without pain was difficult…running was out of the question.

So, I got angry and felt sorry for myself. It seems this is a normal cycle I’ve been in for the last 10-15 years. I get in shape, I get hurt and I end up back at square one. I guess that is just getting old.

Andrea encouraged me to at least walk. I wanted to, but the knee just hurt too much. So, I just sat around being annoyed and having a personal sized pity party.

Three weeks ago, Andrea set out to attempt her virtual Marine Corp marathon. A few miles in, she tripped on a tree root hidden under some leaves, fell and hurt her knee. She continued for a few miles, but had to abandon after 10. Two weeks ago, she set out on a second attempt with an achy knee, still, and a cold rain in the forecast. Eventually, the rain and the knee forced her to call me again to come get her after 20+ miles. This time, hope of being able to make another attempt was lost and after so many months of training for this, she was disappointed, to put it mildly.

As we drove home, I mentioned to her that she could dry off, change into warm clothes and a rain coat and she could walk the final 5+ miles. She was so upset and cold, I didn’t think she would be willing to try that. At this point, my knee had finally started feeling better, so I offered to walk with her.

And that’s what we did and I’ll remember it for a long, long time. It was raining to start and we splashed through the puddles and laughed. Eventually the rain stopped as we talked and walked and joked. It was a sharp contrast to the disappointment of just a few hours ago and finishing out the last few miles with her felt great (even if my knee didn’t)

Andrea’s push to finish, despite the pain and disappointment about how she had it planned, inspired me…made me feel like I could resume my push on this challenge. She was an inspiration. I may not be able to run the remaining miles — just walking two miles causes a not-insignificant amount of discomfort — but I can finish it. Even if it is just a mile or two at a time.

So, here I am, writing again and having walked almost 14 miles in the last couple of weeks. I am determined to continue on and maybe in another couple of weeks, I can get back to running and finish this strongly.

Andrea found this challenge online to run 100 miles between now and the end of the year. I have been wanting to run more consistently and have also been wanting to write more often, so I thought it was perfect. I figure I could run and document it here in my blog.

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