Friday, October 16, 2009

Status Report

I've been going to Performance Health Studio for ART treatments with Dr. Greg Lehman the last few weeks. He says I have tendonosis in my hip, which after a period of rest and treatment, will be put to some rehab. There's some other stuff going on with my hamstring and glutes, so the whole thing is a bit of a mess. I won't be able to train full-on for awhile, but will soon be able to gradually add back in running and cross training while doing the exercises he prescribes.

I was thinking the other day that if I had have had the same pain in my knees at any point, it would have stopped me in my tracks. For some reason with hip pain I just kept training through it for so long, not taking it too seriously. Looking back, I point to my last five-hour long run before Rock and Ice as a very damaging run. It was on an icy trail, and by three hours in my already overworked hips were completely seizing up and screaming. From that point was R&I and then jumping back into training - doing long runs and adding speed work and never being completely healed. The downward spiral spit me out at the bottom at Haliburton this year, which was actually a bit of a relief.

I’m looking forward to being in a better place for 2010. This has come at a good time, when I'm mentally in need of refreshing anyway. The idea is to heal the damage to the area, and work on improving the functionality so I can hopefully avoid the same thing in the future. It’s actually pretty exciting to think of being in a better place so that I can run longer races eventually.

In the meantime, I can't complain. Well, I could, but I’m not going to. Well, I might. But I’m really going to try not to. I’m in a relatively good headspace about it. I have more energy and more time, not a bad short-term trade off.

Finally, good luck to everyone running the Sydenham Fall Trail Race this weekend! I can’t wait to soak up all your running energy! I hope you have a fun day, as I know we will.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rock and Ice Clippings

We have updated our writing website Montgomery and Spafford Adventure Writing with a new Media page. It contains various newspaper and magazine clippings, including a Rock and Ice Ultra section.

Also about Rock and Ice, upcoming in the December issue of More Magazine is a story I wrote about three women who raced the K-Rock Ski event last year - Barb Campbell, Bev Wilson, and Shawne Kokelj. It should hit the newsstands some time in November, and features photography by Patrick Kane of Up Here Magazine.

Read up, get inspired, and sign up for this incredible race for 2010 as a once in a lifetime winter vacation race experience. You'll have the time of your life!


Friday, October 2, 2009

The Wrong Why

For a long time I've been asking myself why my left hip and glutes are so incapable of keeping up with my training. Turns out I was asking the wrong question, one based on faulty assumptions. All the pain is in the left, but the problem is actually stemming from the right. My right side in that area has less range of motion and strength, so the left side has compensated heroically, but is now overwhelmed to the point of even recruiting adjacent muscles to help out in the lost cause.

This pain I have been having while running is one of the biggest reasons I'm currently taking some down time. I'm also tired and depleted, both mentally and physically. Since Rock and Ice I've been running on empty. Haliburton finally woke me up, and I realized I need to figure out my hip for real and get rested so that I can start enjoying the process again. The thought of not training was scary, but after making the wrong choice after Sulphur and starting again, I ended up in an even worse place. The whisper had become a yell; time to pay attention.

So, I've let it all go, and I'm not insisting on a timeline. I'm running a bit here and there when I feel like it, but mostly letting my body recharge and heal. I've started treatment and rehab for my hip, and already it's starting to improve. I'm finding out who I am without training, and surprisingly, as scary as that thought was to me, I'm just fine. There's a lot of peace in that for me - I'm the same shmuck with or without it!! I suspected as much, but it's good to confirm.

I used running to help discover who I authentically was. Before that, I had spent too many years trying to fit in and be like everyone else, only to realize that the key to happiness is being myself. Running helped me with that, and the discovery was actually more of a re-discovery. Today I have a lot more in common with the me I was at the age of 10 than the not-me I was trying to be at 20, or the struggling-me I didn't quite know how to be yet at 30.

It's healthy to be evolving away from my need of running and find a new relationship with it. One more balanced toward enjoyment of the process, not the end goal. Filling up more my spirit, less my ego. I know for sure that I won't run a 50 miler until I can be in that place with my running. I'm excited to have new adventures like that one open up for me when I fully get there.

Until then, it's kind of nice to have more energy to put into other areas of my life. We went to a fun wedding of a dear friend in Chicago recently, work is very busy, and I even gave our kitchen a badly-needed scouring! And I'm ridiculously excited about Derrick and I both seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time in a few weeks, together.