6-weeks to a 100-mile finish (I do not recommend this training plan to anyone…)
All was going well until Feb, 2019 when during a run I caught a root/rock with the toe of my shoe. The result was an impact to my left knee on the very sharp edge of a rock.
Long story short…no permanent damage, but significate trauma to the point where the patella tendon mounts to the tibia. The result of this misstep kicked off a series of injuries. Being a bit stubborn, I ran two marathons (Wrightsville Beach and Cleveland) and a 24-hour race where I logged 101.250 miles while in quite a bit of pain and on a compromised gait. The result was my left knee became unstable, I developed sciatica pain in my right hip and my right insole was stressed to the point that I could not take a step without being in pain. With Leadville and redemption on the horizon, I tried to power through it.
By the second week of June…I could not stand running in pain anymore. I thought for sure my running career was over. I visited my DR, and a sports chiropractor. I took anti-inflammatories and stretched, but nothing worked. Desperate the only thing I could think of as my next step was a “hard reset.” I had one hope…to shut it down. Would taking the summer off reset my normal running gait and heal the trauma?
For 8 weeks I cross-trained in an effort to maintain some form of fitness. 5 days a week I pedaled a stationary bike, rode the elliptical and slowly worked in brisk paced walking. 3 weeks before the Morgantown Marathon I started running again and a funny thing happened.
My knee responded while the sciatic and insole pain stayed at bay. I had hope. With a bit of nervous anticipation, I toed the line in Morgantown prepared to put my body to the test. 26.2 miles later I crossed the finish line tired, physically wore out by the hills and challenged from an abnormally hot day, but I finished. I had hope.
Approximately 20 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes and 38 seconds later I crossed the finish line at the Cape Fear 24-Hour Endurance Run in Lillington, NC having completed my 6th 100-mile run. I finished 6th overall and 4th male.
During my summer running vacation, I thought I was done. At one point I felt like a part of myself disappeared, and a connection to the running community was gone. At times I felt lost.
What did I learn?
You’re always a runner. Being a runner is as much a state of mind as it is an action.
Our bodies need to heal.
Never lose faith in you… (I recommend this to everyone)