Sunday, February 23, 2014

a great adventure

Holy crap what a week! Training is ramping up quickly and I hit the 50-day landmark in my runstreak. During my travels, I have experienced a great deal of unique runner problems whose existence were previously unbenounced to me. Clearly, this is the less glamorous side of ultra running (as if there were any particularly glamorous side) so I feel responsibility to share my findings.

Exploring the bridges of King County. To the Arb!

1. Chafing...
You're shaking your head thinking, "Duh, every runner chafes..." Wrong. I thought I had experienced chafing too. Some casual thigh friction, a little armpit rubbing, even some smarts on the inside of my knees when they would occasionally collaborate thanks to some unfortunate form deficiency. The area gets a little red, irritated, and will sting in the shower no doubt. But this, this is a whole new monstrosity! Forming in areas I never knew could even chafe! My bloody, mutilated flesh looks like a scene straight out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre! I choose to establish permanent residence in baggy sweats not (only) because I am the physical embodiment of a fashion faux-pas, but rather out of the shear agony associated with less-forgiving fabrics. The most tragic part of this battle wound? No amount of anti-chafe serum can up against it! If you see me on the street with a hitch in my giddy up, don't be alarmed...that's just how I walk now.

2. Hip-Flexors...
Hello, so you do exist. Apparently, these little tendons work for a union because at any given point I am subject to a strike in the form of violent protest. "You want to run how many miles? That's not in our negotiated running contract. We regret to inform you that we are disinclined to acquiesce your request." That's is how I imagine hip-flexors would talk, provided they could. What follows is a series of spasms, some wobbling, followed by a complete stagnation of any forward movement. Cheers!

3. Bedtime...
My body now has me pinned under a strict bedtime that is non-negotiable. I thought my days of hitting the sack at 10:30pm were relatively early for someone in their mid-twenties. Pshhh. Eight year-olds stay up later than I do. Infants stay up later than I do! What began as a slight modification to 10pm, eventually became an exponentially steady decline well into single-digits of the 7pm-9pm variety (erring on the side of 8pm). Don't text me after 9pm, I'll probably be hours deep into my REM cycle. Ah to be young and reckless...

4. Social Life...
See above. Between my fashion (non)sense, the troubling verbal exchange I'm having between me and my hip-flexors, and my affinity for pillow time...my social scene suffers a wee bit.

5. Pain...
And finally, I've gained a new perspective on pain. I am well versed in pain, but this is somewhat uncharted territory for me. My legs feel great, until they don't anymore. Once I breach the threshold into latter part of my run, or like this weekend where I did back-to-back long runs, it seems I have a veritable out-of-leg experience that is simply other worldly. My legs are mine, then all of a sudden I feel like they've been replaced with robot legs sans shock absorption, coordination, or fluidity. It's like I'm trying to run on stilts, jarring me with every step. My joints ache, I feel elderly trying to get up and down out of chairs. In fact just this morning I considered renting the booth at Ihop for fear I would have to stay there permanently. Losing control of my faculties has been a rude awaking.

I hereby dub this run "Purple Rock Hill." Can you find it?

That being said, if these proceed to be my only hiccups I will consider myself lucky. I remain injury free (as you're reading this, you'll be hearing the faint sound of someone knocking on wood) and inspired. I managed to make it through a weekend of consecutive long runs, 14 on Saturday and 19 on Sunday, and remain in good spirits. I'm hopeful that I will be able to pry my ass off this couch for work in the morning. Next weekend will be another doozy. Until then, I bid thee adieu.


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