Y’all. It’s actually happening. After over 60 days of bitching and moaning and aching and eating, I’m on my way back to reclaiming my ultra runner status!
A few weeks ago, a fellow BUTS member gave me the kick in the ass that I needed to stop moping around and finally schedule a PT session. The PT I went to, Rachel, is also an ultra runner and BUTS member and I will love her forever for getting me back on the road and trails. She checked my hips, spine, and pelvic alignment and went through various tests to try and figure out what had happened. Conclusion—I may have stepped funny at some point (during the STR 50K perhaps?) and misaligned my spine, which in turn causes the entire area to ache. Prognosis—good. She gave me the green light to get back running, as long as I don’t feel too much pain. Rx (ugh I hate that term now thanks to Crossfit)—abductor and adductor strength exercises multiple times a day, and resistance band exercises once a day. Rachel topped off the good news with a massage-esque technique she called skin rolling on my leg and surround areas that used metal instruments and lotion and hurt like a bitch but felt wonderful after. And yes, I’m aware that last sentence sounds incredibly questionable.
Next up was a visit to Coach Alex to get a new, recovery-focused training plan. We talked about how I need to strengthen my hips and glutes and core so that I can prevent further injuries and come back stronger than ever. By doing what, you ask? Cross training. The one thing that always eludes my schedule. He was also quick to shut down my plan of running a 12-hour race the first weekend of May. My reasoning—I would have 12 hours to casually run, stroll, and nap my way through as many miles as I could. His reasoning—I need to not be stupid and get better, not worse. Womp.
He came up with an 8-week plan that’s both exciting and depressing. On the one hand, RUNNING! On the other, seeing total weekly mileage that’s lower than a single one of my old weekday runs is sad. I want to run and every single mile excites me, but it’s hard to start from scratch. Women—we can’t ever be satisfied. I kid. Or not.
It’ll be slow going for a while. It’s humbling to run a single mile five minutes slower than my old pace and be huffing and puffing by the end. And it’s tots my fault—I didn’t do anything near what I could or should have cross training-wise. But when certain workouts hurt, I would just stop rather than try to find something that was groin-friendly. And with that, I watched my overall fitness slip away. I’m well aware that getting out of shape will make it take that much longer to get back to where I had been. But it’s all good. I’ll own up to it and suffer through the suck to get back to badass Tanya-status.
But in all seriousness, it feels like Christmas every time I lace up my shoes. I am fully convinced now that there’s no better runner’s high than the first few runs back after you’ve been out for a while.
If I ever complain about getting up early or being tired or sore after a run, punch me in the face.