Saturday, August 3, 2013

catch up

It's been almost 4 months since my last post . . . where has the time gone!?   Really, I had a mental collapse at Massanutten in May & have been so depressed over it, I haven't been able to write about it till now.  The race will probably haunt me forever.

my physical status:

I recovered from my shin splints back in April.  I don't think I had a stress fracture as it would've taken longer than the 3 weeks it took to recover from the injury.

With my night time "position" therapy my gut continues to feel better -- this has been the greatest news to me!  I still feel there's a restriction or temporary blockage somewhere down the line.  I don't expect I'll ever get the real medical reason or treatment for this malady.

Stubbed my 2nd (& longest) toe very hard late April & jammed the bones all the way back a couple joints into my foot.  Usually I just crush the toe, but this pain is at a joint 3 inches back into my foot.  Hurts the most when I step on a rock at the middle of my foot.  It's still continuing to improve.  Jamming toes & the fear of breaking my toes is the main reason I abandoned my Vibrams years ago.  Maybe if the trails around my house were less technical or I ran races mostly on non-technical trails, I would train in them.

My back is the main physical ailment at the moment.  Moved some heavy boxes (stupid) & totally messed it up in mid June.  I haven't recovered & currently cannot run as long as I'd like to.  Back pain was the main reason for my DNFs before my gut problems took over.  I thought I had gotten rid of the pains when I got rid of the wood stove a couple years back.  Wood may be cheap to use, but it's not worth it by a long shot.

I've attempted 3 races since my last post, but to shorten this today, I'm just going to post about one race right now:

May 18 - Massanutten - Land of the ROCKS - DNF

Back in the Spring, I had plans to visit my brother in Virginia and while I was there I would try running Massanutten again.  Losing 3 weeks of training with the shin splint injury, I would only have 3 weeks instead of 6 to prepare after Potowatomi.  I debated it, but decided to go ahead with the race, although I didn't think I had a chance to finish it.  I believe it was this thought that was the actual reason for my downfall -- not mentally into it!

Also, another reason I believe contributed to my downfall:  the crazy 4 am start -- because of the excitement, the only time I can get good sleep before a big race seems to be between 3 & 5 a.m. & this race won't let me get any of that sleep. 

Felt great at the start with no signs of my previous injury.  In fact, I felt great all day up to the halfway point under "unusual" conditions -- there were very thick clouds with the threat of rain & temps were near normal (rare) -- nothing like the hot & humid weather in past years & were super conditions for me.  By nightfall, I was a couple hours ahead of my previous attempt 2 years ago.  In that year I was battling cutoffs. When it gets dark though, it's tougher & on the 2nd half of this course it gets even rockier (I didn't think that could be possible!).

At about 4 a.m. around 73 miles on what was the rockiest section of trail that I've ever been on, I had a mental breakdown!  I had ROCKS on the brain.  I didn't want to take one more step on any rock.  Every step seemed to alternate up or down & required the utmost attention & it being 24 hrs into a physically & mentally demanding race, I just couldn't handle it any more. Unbelievably to me now, finishing was not a high priority then!  No disabling physical problems -- yes, I was tired, but not overly so and although my jammed toe foot hurt, it was still at a tolerable level.

After that mindless decision, I continued to battle & curse the rocks (25 to 30 minute pace) for the next 2 very long miles.  I even passed 6 runners (actually I believe 3 runners & 3 pacers).  I then ran into a gravel road & coasted downhill 2 more miles to the aid station & dropped.  The fellow who took my number said I would regret it, especially since I was still 2 hours ahead of cutoff -- and he was right.  By the time I caught a ride back, I was in a state of depression.  Enough said.


2 more reports to follow . . . 


Chris said...


Glad you gut is doing better. Sorry to hear about the back and toe problems. My back has bothered me for the last week, but I _think_ it'll be fine by next weekend and Howl at the Moon race.

Also, too bad about he DNF at MMT 100. That's a tough one. It'll make you stronger and more persistent in your next attempt.

ed said...

Thanks Chris!

I see you haven't missed a beat with your posts these past few months! Great to see you have a full schedule the rest of the year.

Hope you do well at Howl! Good day for some PRs to fall with this cool weather . . .