Monday, March 15, 2010

I don't like RICE!

This does not refer to the steamed or fried variety from the local Chinese take-out joint. No, in this case RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Of course the only reason one would need to rest or elevate or compress and ice something is because of an injury and that is the case here. I'm banged up. Again.

My left knee which has practically zero history in the injury department now has me on the bench. It happened Saturday while running the Salida Marathon around mile 12. In a nasty muddy patch I slipped sorta, my left leg turning strangely and "ping!" I felt that twinge in my knee. It sucks to feel something like that 12 miles into a 26 mile race. You just know you are going to have a long day ahead of you then.

But it isn't just the knee. It seems like the past two to three weeks I've been dealing with one nasty thing or another... injury or illness... take your choice. First there was the deep fissure or crack in the skin on my left heel. Nothing to sinister but it required attention and a lot of Neosporin.

After that I banged up my right ankle (good ankle) two weeks ago. That one could have put me down but it didn't. I iced it and wrapped it and starting running on it immediately. It wasn't ideal but by the end of that week the ankle was doing okay.

Of course the ankle was fine but for a 20 and 10 mile run that following weekend I was deep in the symptoms of both a nasty allergy attack and dealing with a cold at the same time. The cold went away and the pollen count dropped last week and I started feeling better.

So bring on the Salida Marathon. You know... I should have known better. I should have thought this one through a little bit better. This is not a good course for me and with the conditions of the course this year, even more so. I can sum up the course this way... eight miles uphill followed by four miles downhill which was mostly mud. Another four miles uphill again in the same mud as before. A quick two mile downhill on mostly dry Chaffee County dirt road but then six miles of uphill/downhill in snow, ice, slush and mud. A good part of those six miles are part of a very rugged and steep descent heading back into town. The last two miles... some downhill, some flat, mostly clear and gentle terrain but hell, by then the damage is or was done.

Garmin has a neat tool where you can follow me on the course during my run here:

I crossed the finish line about 30 minutes slower than I would have liked with my knee killing me. Overall, energy-wise, I felt great, just the pain in my left leg. I still had a bit of gas in the tank it was just unfortunate that I had a cracked axle.

This was supposed to be a major training weekend for me. 26 miles on Saturday, 23 miles on Sunday. It just didn't happen. I iced my knee Saturday night and took care of it and when I woke up Sunday morning it felt fine, I could walk on it jut fine and I could even bound up and down the stairs without any issues "GREAT," I thought... I only got banged up a little bit and it is all systems go. I confidently packed everything I'd need for my run and took off.

Forget it. I made it about a mile before the pain and discomfort radiating through my knee made me just stop. Part II of my big training weekend was not going to happen. I walked back to the house feeling quite defeated. Angry at myself for even running that race the day before knowing full well the course was crappy with the snow and everything. Mad at myself for getting hurt and having to puss out on a training run. Overall just greatly disappointed in myself, my training, my running talent (or lack of). Also I was and am fearful over the training time that this injury is going to cost me and the impact this will have next month, and in May, and in June, and ultimately in August?

Called my coach... received orders to stay off of it... push the ibuprofen, ice, yada, yada... the standard routine. He did say he'd rather me lose a week than a month. All I can think the whole time we are talking is that I completely blew the weekend. The plan for 50 miles in two days is a wash out. Angst.

In reflection again, it has really been one freaking thing after another these past few weeks. I am not an injury prone person, nor am I typically accident prone. I failed to mention that on two occasions the past couple of weeks, I have also managed to take a couple of decent sized chunks out of my scalp too. That doesn't impact my running of course, but it is still a pain to deal with.

So here I am just a month and two days out from my next race. My first 50 miler of the year and I'm having to take it easy. I guess it is a good thing that I haven't registered yet.

I've been injured worse in the past I know and at worst, even then I'd lose a week and a week isn't that long. Originally I was hoping that I would be able to do a light run tomorrow but I just don't see that happening. I hate missing training runs. It has been months since I have missed one and I hate to start doing that now.

Damage control as my coach said... right now it is all about damage control. RICE, don't run, ibuprofen... don't run... don't run... That is the thing about running injuries that sucks the most... the cure is typically to completely refrain from the cause... running.

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