Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Healing 8/17 - 8/24

Saturday 8/17
AM: 8 miles down at sea level.  The knee was feeling good with a little tightness in my right quad.  Easily knocked out 6:30ish/mile pace.
PM: 4 miles +1,000 ft. on Sam Merrill Trail before my new knee taping technique fell off.  Felt good without any knee pain.

Sunday 8/18
AM: With a better tape job, ran up to Inspiration Point via Castle Canyon.  I felt a bit sluggish. 10mi +2,500 ft.
Ran to work and back. 8mi.

Monday 8/19
AM: Took it easy on the knee: Ran the long way to work and back home. 11mi.

Tuesday 8/20
AM: Ran with Chris up to Muir Peak via Castle Canyon. 12 mi +3,000 ft.
Ran to work and back.  8 mi.

Wednesday 8/21
AM: Ran lower Steep and Cheap loop.  My time from the top of lake to top of S and C was 23 minutes, which wasn't super fast, but not slow for my first time in almost a month. 6 mi + 1,500 ft.
Ran to work and climbed at the gym after work. 4 mi.

Thursday 8/22
I procrastinated all morning, got to the track late, and quit after 2 hard mile repeats and one easy mile. I often lack discipline on the track.

Friday 8/23
Finally got out into the mountains again for a proper long run.  I originally intended to tag Baldy, Dawson, and Pine via Bear Canyon, but when I got up to Baldy I saw that there was a fire on the base of Dawson Peak.  So I ran down the Ski Hut Trail and then up to the Notch and back to Baldy (2nd time).  I had a little bit of quad cramping about half way through, but other than that no real issues.I just took my time.  20mi +10,000 ft.

Saturday 8/24
I intended to run, but the task to put a camper shell on my truck turned out to be a whole fiasco, taking much longer than I had intended.  Oh well.

It felt good to put in a more solid week of running than I have in the past month.  I am feeling great, and I have since been able to run with out pain and no knee taping.  Discipline, patience, understanding.

Week Total: 94 mi. +18,000 ft.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It began, probably, before I could tell you, but with hours to think instead of running I have my own hypothesis.  At some point it went from a nag in my left knee to a real injury that I had to deal with, and that point happened a few weeks before I wanted to acknowledge it.  Easier said than done.  Its a process, coming to grips with an injury, a process akin to coming to grips with losing something that meant a lot to you.  All of the normal problems arise at different times: denial, depression, questioning, frustration, anger, denial again, self examination, hypothesizing, deciding running is stupid anyways, a little more denial, and ultimately acknowledging and accepting that I do indeed have an injury.  These are a list of words that were much easier to write than the process of understanding an injury was for me.  It took me weeks to finally admit that perhaps I should take a few consecutive days off from running. 

With the down time during recovery I was allowed time to really think, and I eventually came to the realization that sometime philosophy has a real tangible relation to ultra running.  In this instance I began to draw conclusions between some writings of Rousseau and my own dilemma.  For Rousseau and his arguments against the enlightenment one of the biggest violations to the natural state of the human being is the act of being dishonest with one's self due to the desire and admiration of qualities of those who where exemplified in his era.  In other words he claims that the comparison of other outside ideals with ourselves causes us to ignore our own natural state, and strive to be something we are not.  For Rousseau this untruth to one's self came out of comparison between people, but perhaps in ultra running it takes its form on the expectations we place upon ourselves.  We set goals, sign up for races, feel pressure to hit certain (somewhat arbitrary) weekly mileages.  We read blogs of other runners, push ourselves to train harder, and all at the cost of our own bodies.  Ideally, most of the time this pushes us to be better at what we try to do, but sometimes our bodies react differently, and when injuries occur we have our choices to make.  For me, I decided to tell myself that my knee pain was a minor problem, and would go away in a week, Big surprise: it did not heal because I continued to focus on my goal performance apart from the needs of my body.  We find that truth does not come until we refuse the desire to perform for others, and thus learn to run each step as ourselves, taking each step merely as a means to move our bodies forward.

All is not lost in the world of injuries though, I have been climbing more consistently and harder than I have in a while.  The dishes are done, and I have re-awakened an unyielding desire to be back in the mountains.  I am back running again after taking a couple of weeks off, and as Dr. Leo Marvin would say, it all about "Baby Steps". 

Mt Ashland Hill Climb: Watching not running

Spending time with the Fam.  Picking blackberries at the family ranch.