The last 6 weeks have been quite the challenge training wise for me. I felt like I was getting in decent shape in April and looking forward to racing, when I got nailed with a couple of fluke injuries.
A few weeks before planning to run Bear Mountain 50miler, I was out route planning and scouting out the course for the Kingston 5Peaks Trail Race. I was checking out a new section of rugged trail that featured a long uphill with a steep side slope. I felt a little twinge in my forefoot, but continued on thinking it was nothing. Things then got worse and had me question if I’d be able to race Bear Mountain. At one point I even questioned if it was a stress fracture.
Well, I dodged bullet #1 and after a few trips to our wonder physio, it was determined that the bones in my foot were just a little locked up and I’d put a lot of strain on the outside edge of my foot during that slanted climb. Things were looking good now and my foot had loosened up nicely. Whew!
Then, on the day before we were scheduled to leave for Bear Mountain, I was out again on the 5Peaks trails doing some final course planning. I had a good run, had finished and was thinking that everything was going to be fine and was looking forward to the race. That’s when I got nailed again.
I looked over at the barn that we use for the race and noticed a rooster in the yard. I didn’t think anything more of it, so continued planning and then started walking back to the car to leave. It was at that moment that I heard something running fast towards me. I turned around just in time to see the rooster lunging towards me. As I was twisting I stumbled on a rock, falling backwards and hard on my hip. The twisting and falling sent a sharp pain up my back. I knew I was in trouble.
The rooster was happy that he had protected the hen house (though I don’t think there were even any hens there) and strutted back towards the barn, while I hobbled to my feet trying to walk to the car as my back continued to seize up further.
Fortunately, I had a final physio appointment booked for that day and switched the focus from my foot to my back, though there wasn’t much that could be done on that day anyhow with my back so inflamed. I knew at that point that there was no way I’d be able to race a couple of days later.
I have a new appreciation for people with back injuries and what they go through. Later that day I was having an extremely hard time walking. I was taking baby steps. Even stepping up curbs required a great deal of concentration to make sure that my right leg wouldn’t give out from the pain. While in the car as a passenger, any turn or minor bump would send me through the roof. I would probably say that it was the most pain I’ve ever had to deal with…even more so than my broken leg.
The following day was no better, and this was another one of those few days where I thought that my running streak might potentially end and I’d have to take a day off from running. Fortunately after another physio appointment, my back had loosened up slightly and I was able to get around a little better. Still, the thought of running was almost laughable and made me feel sick to my stomach. Eventually, I got enough Vitamin I (ibuprofen) into me and gingerly set out for probably the slowest and most rigid 20 minute run I’d ever done. The streak is still alive.
Recovery has been slow, but after almost 4 weeks, my back is now at a decent, though not 100%, place again. I’m able to run up to 2 hours again slowly now. I have to be careful about going too long or too fast as the right side of my back gets pretty sore and weak if I try to do too much. This then affects my stride and causes me to favour my one side while other little nigglies pop up (ie. knee, ITB, achilles). I just need to be patient and continue with my rehab exercises for my back to get it stronger.
I’m not sure what the race season holds for me this summer/fall at this point, but I’m happy to at least be back running fairly pain-free again. Never take it for granted!
I had actually started writing this blog quite a while ago, but then stopped as I didn’t see the humor in it when I was still in a lot of pain. Now, I guess I can smirk at the whole rooster incident a little. I mean, I’ve had numerous wildlife encounters/sightings with bears, wolves and cougars, so I find it somewhat ironic to think it was a damn rooster that almost took me down.
I don’t eat meat and find the thought of Kentucky Fried Chicken to be quite repulsive, but have to admit I’ve been giving a thumbs up to Colonel Sanders whenever I pass a KFC these days.
Always an adventure!