The good news is I think I’m finally out of the woods on a nagging IT issue that has plagued me for over a month. Knock on wood. The pain originally surfaced during the tail end of Bandera training, when I started incorporating fast running into my routine with characteristic immoderation. The thought of not racing Bandera, though smart, never entered my mind. The emotional and financial investment I had already made to that run was far more real than the dull leg ache that dogged me. I took a couple Ibuprofen before the race and didn’t think about my knee once throughout the day.
I’m still happy I ran Bandera, and I don’t think the IT issue affected my performance, but it clearly worsened and exacerbated the injury. When I started running again a couple days later, it was clear that something was wrong. As a result, I was basically forced to hang up the running shoes for close to four weeks. This was my first real injury of any significance in nearly 20 years of athletic competition which, I realize, is pretty lucky. Forced time off is a terrible mind game. I’m so happy to have this issue for the most part behind me.
The stubbornness of this particular injury means that I have unfortunately ruled myself out for the Moab Red Hot 55k next weekend. This, of course, is the bad news. I’m bummed to miss this gem of a race but, as with most dark clouds, mine has a silver lining. Instead of racing in Moab I’ll be traveling to Costa Rica at the end of March to race the Jungleman Marathon 60k. This new development has supplied ample stoke to extinguish any lingering self pity relating to my knee. My participation in the race came about thanks to my friend (and consummate badass) Ashley Arnold at TrailRunner. She put me in touch with a gentleman named Matt Nelson, the President and Founder of Endurance Trust, who in turn put me in contact with the RD. Needless to say, I was so happy to accept this opportunity.
The RD is a local legend by the name of Roman Urbina who has a long history making endurance athletes suffer. Roman also serves in the RD capacity for La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, which is widely regarded as the most difficult mountain bike race in the world. Being the latest brain child of Mr. Urbina, the Jungleman 60k course is sure to make for a painful but inspiring day in the tropics. I can’t wait.
At this point, Lake Sonoma is up in the air as well. Since it’s only two weeks removed from Jungleman, I may choose to skip it and run Leona Divide instead. I’ll be on an extended vacation at the time so this option would also allow me to do some course reconnaissance for Angeles Crest a few months later. I’ll probably make that decision in the next couple of days. Either way, I’m so happy and relieved to be running again! The excitement of future racing is greatly overshadowed by the satisfaction of getting out the door every morning. Fire it up.