As you might now know! I was injured for about 3 months. Backtracking on how I got injured, it all started when I was running miles just for the joy of running and not having a plan. If I can take a wild guess on how many miles I was running per week, I would have to go with 80 miles up to 90 miles, this includes running 1/2 marathon and adding miles to get the 17 miles I needed for the day. Yeah, that was crazy!
Here is what broke me, I had a goal to race the Bandera 100k trail run in January. I had been running crazy miles during my training runs leading to Bandera. During the trail run, I was running pretty conservative in the beginning and I started pushing on the 2nd loop of the run. My fast pace was not enough to get into the finish line with daylight. I ran during the dark hours of the evening and I somehow managed to get lost for at least 1 hour and running 72 miles instead of 62 miles of the race. Ohh well! that is trail running and that is what happens when you run in the night. I didn’t get injured during that race so, I started training for my next big race, this was the qualifying race to run in Leadville 100. This race is held every April so I had a few months to train. I started pushing my training and I was feeling I was in the best shape of my life!
I am going to say I started feeling cocky and didn’t care about anything other than getting in the Leadville 100 race across the sky!
Feeling like you could take on anything will always get you in trouble, no matter what you do and in what context you feel this way.
I started running more miles, junk miles and hard effort miles without resting or stretching for that matter. I believe I did some small races to get the legs moving! Then it was time to represent Team Chocolate Milk at the annual Rock and Roll Half marathon in Dallas I had forgotten about this race, then I noticed this was happening the weekend before the Rattler 66k run in Austin TX which is the qualifying race for the Leadville 100. I was kind of scare and didn’t hesitate to race it! ( I still don’t know why I did this) so, I went into the race feeling strong. I started at 6:30 pace for the first 3 miles and kept it at 6:40 pace for most of it. I was done and my right foot was feeling a bit sore, but I went for more miles to end my run with 17 miles. My foot was hurting a bit! ( right foot second toe from the right ). I ran a few miles the week following that race and drove to the rattler 66k on Friday. The weather was feeling kind of yucky! it was muggy and a bit wet.
Race day I woke up, I did all my preparation in the morning and was not feeling that good until I got to the starting line where It felt a bit cooler and I was excited. I started prepping and I was ready, we lined up in the starting line and took off! I was in the front pack, there were about 6 of us and we were pushing the pace, I looked at my watc
h and I knew we were doing some fast miles. 6:10 – 6:-20 per mile is a bit too fast for the trail! so I backed off, we had some lead already from the rest of the runners. We went around for the first loop and on the second one. The wall of humidity and heat was dense, I couldn’t get my body to move after I stopped, it took a good 10 minutes to start back up. I started running again and humidity was getting to me, but still maintaining a good pace. I was about 4 miles from the finish line when I saw Marvin Sandoval, a guy from Leadville Colorado I was in front of him and he was on the chase. So, he was the one who kept me going, we shared a smile and we knew we were in for a race. I started moving again and went in for a faster pace. I finished sprinting and passed about 5 other runners in the last mile to finish 13th overall. It was one of my fastest run finishing in ~5:25 hrs.
I push myself to exhaustion, that was my race, that was my goal. Unfortunately, I did not get into the Leadville 100 race, but I know I did everything I could do to be in the top. My legs were wobbly, my feet were hurting and I was dehydrated.
The week following, I couldn’t run on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday I had to start running because I was going to pace a full marathon on Saturday. I was scheduled to pace the 3:30 marathon at the Irving Marathon. I said to myself, I can cancel because there was a change in weather. It was going to be in the 40’s and was going to rain. Then, I said to myself there are many runners who will depend on me to get them to the finish line.. So, I did stretches and started running with pain on both legs, feet and mentally I was trying to stay strong. I got to the Irving Marathon Starting line and there were 12 people following my lead. It was freezing cold and I couldn’t feel my legs or feet, I was freezing and worried I was going to have to drop out.
Thankfully my legs responded, we were having a good time and felt good for the first lap around the course. People were telling me they could go a bit faster so I asked the rest of the group if they were ok if I picked up the pace, so they said ok. At that time I had 10 people with me and we were still in good spirits, I was picking up the pa
ce and telling them to stay behind me so I could block the head on wind. We were at mile 20 when I looked at my watch and I noticed I pushed it too much I lost all of the people, so I slowed down my pace, I then Had a group of 4 people I was still too ahead of my time. I told the 4 people I was going to slow down for the others and told them to keep going, they had 45 minutes to finish in 3:30 hrs and they only had 3 miles left on a downhill. I went into a port-o-potty to make some time for the others to arrive and nothing. Finally, I decided to keep going as I was close to the time when I need to finish. I finish in 3:24 minutes, 4 of the people I was pushing finished with P.R.s 2 more arrived before 3:30 P.R.s – this was a good day for a P.R. despite the bad weather conditions. I was feeling pretty good about that and to the day it makes me smile to think I was not going to show up!
I went home that day totally defeated! My legs were throbbing, my feet were feeling like if I had a train ran over them. I went home and later that day, I noticed my right foot was causing me a lot of pain when I walked. The next day was the most painful wakeup I’ve had in years, both of my heels were so painful to walk on. I couldn’t step on them. I couldn’t touch them. One of my toes on my right foot was swollen, looked purple and couldn’t touch it even with a feather! crap! it’s broken.
The road to recovery
I couldn’t walk on them, I kept it quiet from my peeps as they didn’t need to know any of that. It was too personal, the only one who knew about this was my wife. I asked her if she could use the scrapping technique and she said to me she didn’t know about it but she will get certified to help me! So she did! Every night she would use the scrapping technique on my feet and legs. That seemed to do some relief to my feet. This was in early April, then in May, the Rick and James production decided to do the annual Ft. Worth to Dallas run. Obviously, I was not going to pass on it. so, I ran the 34 miles ( hard miles going up most of the time) I was injured and I managed to go for the fun run! Then, I said to myself. That was not bad so I kept on training with injuries and everything. There was one training run we did when I had to stop I said to the group, I’m stopping because I’m exhausted and I walked the rest of the way. I then did another practice run and I pulled a muscle in the calf area because I was compensating for some of the injuries in another part of my feet/leg.
This was what finally had me sit on the bench for a couple of months, one when I didn’t do anything and another when testing if I could start running.
My recovery w
as nothing more than resting and using the scrapping technique on my legs.
I can say I am fully recovered and starting back up, it feels awful to be on the very top of your game and now I’m on the bottom! Running at the same level I was before my injury will be a lengthy process, but I’m confident I can be there again.
Thanks to everyone for their great support!.