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 . . .