It’s been 14 weeks.
14 weeks ago I ran 100 miles.
I ran for 21 hours 8 minutes and 26 seconds.
14 weeks later, I can run for only 10 minutes.
Recovering from this 100 miler has proven to be even more difficult than actually running the darn thing. What still shocks me, is the fact that I felt very little pain throughout the 21 hours of running. Maybe I’m looking back with rose colored lenses. Maybe I actually was able to shift my focus from pain to something else. We’ll have to ask Andrew and Andrea about the true state of my body and mind in the last hours of the race.
Within hours of laying down to sleep after the race I could feel how much damage I had actually done to my body. I attempted to get up after a couple hours of the lightest sleep of my life to simply turn down the thermostat. Every step on my right side was so excruciating that I had to use furniture to brace myself and ended up crawling across the hotel floor. A normal short walk to the car from our hotel room took nearly 20 minutes and tears.
The 6 hour drive home left me even more cramped and exhausted. Sleep was brief, my legs were uncomfortable, my body was broken. When we did arrive home, Andrew helped me out of the car and I attempted to walk. Every slow step was increasingly unbearable and brought me to tears. Andrew picked me up as gently as possible and carried me into the house as I cried. He set me on the couch where I stayed for the next few days. A friend brought me crutches and I was able to get around a few days later with the crutches. I ended up using them for the next few weeks.
A couple days after the race Andrew took me to visit Jason, my chiropractor who decided an Xray would be a good idea. I couldn’t bear weight and was in a great amount of pain. At the time, the Xray didn’t show a stress fracture so he began treating me with Chiropractic adjustments weekly. Weeks went by and the pain was still there. Week after week had passed and the pain remained the same. After about 4 weeks of little improvement, Jason had told me that we were likely dealing with a stress fracture that couldn’t be seen by the Xray.
Eventually and slowly, the pain began to diminish and I could bear weight. Around the first of the new year I began strength training and a consistent yoga practice. Eventually I added in time on the elliptical and around 8 weeks I began testing my hip on short 5 minute runs. The first week was a success. The second week, I started to feel pain and my hip was sore for 3 days after. I skipped a whole week of running all together. A week later, Jason suggested I try a 10 minute run, and the following week I was able to try another 10 minute run.
After an entire month of consistent lifting and yoga I feel stronger than ever. Both have helped me to feel more confident in my body and in my mind. I’ve found the stress release in lifting and yoga that I’ve missed from running. The gift of my body’s ability to suffer through 100 miles has also given me the chance to rediscover my love for yoga and strength. This journey has helped me to remember that at the BEST time of my running “career” I was also consistently lifting and practicing yoga. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a single passion, but it’s vital to nurture our bodies in a variety of ways to keep the balance that our bodies and minds need. My journey through recovery hasn’t been fast, or easy, but I’ve rediscovered some old passions and I’m looking forward to growing more.