Friday, January 31, 2014

This Is Not an Uwharrie Race Report

This is the part where I warn you that the following sentences will be boring and obnoxious. I've been awake these wee morning hours and feeling sorry for myself. And, I've finally hobbled out of bed for the sole purpose of sharing that self pity with you fine folks. Ignore me if you like.

I am on the roster to run the Uwharrie 20 miler this Saturday. But, I've had to accept that I am in no condition to run twenty hard trail miles — because shin splints! So, my sought-after place at the starting line will be wasted. (I am sorry, people who didn't get past the lottery this year!)

It's medial tibial stress syndrome to be specific. And, I further aggravated this condition to the point of suffering a dull pain on my upper calf and upper hamstring when I went for a test run nine days ago.

Basically, I think I strained the soleus on my left leg. And, I may have developed an overly tight hamstring situation when I ran on that strained soleus due to my body's attempt to compensate for the ruined lower leg.

I swear, I really do try to listen to my body. But, sometimes... Well, do you ever think that maybe your body isn't as assertive as it should be?

How embarrassing that this post is my first since writing about being injured in the early part of 2013. That humiliation is compounded by the fact that I know I've sustained this rookie injury by not following my own advice! In my ambition to "train well" during this past month leading up to Uwharrie, I took on some very intense hill workouts. And, in hindsight, I now know that those workouts were definitely not as moderate as they should have been.

Needless to say, I am enormously disappointed. Sure, I've been looking forward to Uwharrie ever since I first read about it three years ago. But, finally being officially registered for the 2014 edition of this legendary trail run has had me practically giddy. It was to be my first real race since November 2012. And, it was going to be awesome.

When I realized that my running abilities were seriously hindered two weeks ago, I babied that leg as much as I could in my desperation to heal it. I had a graston session, rolled and massaged the calf almost daily, applied Rock Tape, stretched, strengthened, and walked around ever so gingerly.

I maintained a fantasy that I could just rest for several days, execute an extreme taper of sorts; and be well enough to run the race on February first. I'd have lost a little speed. But, surely I could make a good long run out of it.

After all, I anticipated that my virgin Uwharrie experience would be more about the trail run itself rather than aspiring to a specific finish time. My goal was really to just run the race rather than race it. And, even after that failed test run ten days ago, I imagined myself showing up at the starting line, maybe slightly pained, but in no way at risk of serious injury.

I ran another short test run yesterday. And, I am sadly certain it would be drastically stupid of me to try running twenty miles on this stubborn soleus. Uwharrie is not happening for me this year (again).

When I've read blog posts or comments by elite runners who are facing injury prior to a race, they always seem to describe their predicament with a great deal of composure. I don't have that, not right now, anyway. I'm pissed and depressed. I don't blame anyone or anything but myself, of course. It's just sucky that I'm missing this race, and I'm not gonna keep that fact a secret from you.

It's also irritating that I have to recover from f'ing shin splints for the next few weeks! I still can't believe that crap!

I used to think that I wouldn't want or need a running mantra. I have one now: "Moderation, moderation, moderation..."

Thanks for reading! Thanks for letting me vent.

The next post will be about something interesting, I swear!


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