Injuries often arrive at the most inopportune time and linger far beyond a reasonable amount of time. If that’s not a quote somewhere it should be. We would all like to think that we will never deal with injuries, but that’s about as credible as believing that pulling out is a practical form of birth control. Shit happens, but at least an injury won’t cost you near as much as a child. Having suffered on and off for the past few months with some form of foot injury that’s about as stubborn as Rocky Balboa I finally finding myself relating to many people that I previously have not.
The injury in question is hard to nail down specifically. I have addressed muscular imbalances through exercises prescribed by a PT, I have diligently monitored my training and food intake, I have tweaked schedules and volume, but nothing seems to address the issue. I have finally elected to ‘rest’ until it heals, and by rest I mean do anything I can to maintain fitness(and sanity), without actually running. I may be lucky in the sense that I not only have an indoor bike, but a near endless mountain and a full weight room (plus playoff hockey on the tube). The amount of time off? I don’t know. I’m billing it to myself as an early season break, and considering I don’t have a race exceeding 1.5 hours for nearly 3 months its likely the best timing for such a break.
While dealing with this current injury I have attempted to determine why such an injury has occurred. I have evaluated numbers starting from the training I put in leading up to TNF50 through today and compared it to my training from an identical time period in 2013/2014, unfortunately I don’t see any obvious telling factors, aside from a slight jump in overall training time, vertical gain, and pace, all indicators that I am training harder, but likely due to increased capacity. Mileage is nearly identical on the running side, I have incorporated a significant amount of biking this year to deal with lingering injury, doubtful that this played any factor on the injury. Overall training time is up by nearly 70 hours, but considering the jump in elevation gain, as well as throwing in a couple races this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In addition I have also been logging my PT hours so this has provided a bit of a bump in overall gym time as well, but running time is up approximately 30 hrs from 2013/2014.
In all of these numbers I have looked for significant jumps, but it seems apparent that none exist. The source of this injury may date back to September when I ran in a pair of shoes missing tread, or potentially from post TNF50. Regardless of the source, I will admit that it has reached a point where I am nearly broken. I trained through it in preparation for LS50, but my lack of long runs due in part to this injury ultimately got the better of me.
Going forward from here its hard to say how long this will affect me in the long term. I have made a point to focus on recovery from injuries over the next 2-3 weeks. How this will affect my closer races is hard to say, but I know that racing 20+ miles for the final 6 races of the year will only be possible while entirely healthy.