54 days to Leadville! The physical and mental ups and downs…
Sometimes I find myself comfortably settling into my own routine of working, sleeping, eating, running and spending quality time with Andrew. I love all of these things but there are only so many hours in the day and with an hour commute to work it eats up much of my time. So planning my day is crucial to fitting my training in for the week so everyone is happy. Living in such routine can become stale and the motivation I once felt for Leadville 100 can slowly start to unravel.
- That’s why getting away and visiting my super great friends in Kamloops, BC is the breath of fresh air I needed a couple weeks ago. It`s refreshing to run and hike somewhere different then the lush and fresh coastal rain forest of the North Shore and Squamish,BC. Kamloops is the desert of BC with hot dry temperatures, sage bush, cacti and smooth flowing single track. Sunshine, no rain as well as positive and fun company is just what I needed.
- Elle and Nick and there three cats greeted me with a cup of tea. They are the only people I know where we can drink a copious amount of tea anytime of day. We caught up on life, love and reminisced about the good old days. Elle and I met and became roommates in Thunder Bay during 2001 for a year before she left to the east coast while I choose to venture out west. A few years later Nick and Elle moved out to Kamloops, BC to start a new adventure together full of great friends and fantastic riding. Over the years I have driven up to run, skate ski, mountain bike, hike, eat and drink tea with them.
- Aside from a cold, we were able to run and hike through the hills of Kamloops. I left feeling rejuvenated and motivated about training again. Hanging around their active friends and the positive encouragement from them always leaves me feeling inspired and motivated to continue training again when I get home.
After I ran the Comfortably Numbcourse yesterday (which was 25km of gradual switch back, mostly soft terrain with some rocks and roots leading the way) doubt began to enter my mind abut leadville. Ok maybe sheer panic is a better word. It’s been a month since Sun Mountain 50km when I ran almost half the course with sharp shooting and grabbing pain down the side and front of my leg. At times it felt like my leg was cramping and I had tremendous weakness in my leg. I knew that this was coming from my back, a nerve root lesion affecting L4. Basically, lumber vertebra four is compressing the nerve because of many factors which I won’t go into detail now. Over the last month, things haven’t been that bad but I still can’t seem to run more then a few hours with pain down the front of the leg. I have been seeing Kelly a physio at Moveo for the last month and it has improved but I keep upping my time on my feet which doesn’t allow my back to completely heal. The only positive thing is I can hike or run up hill without causing sharp pain. The therapist in me thinks I should give it a rest for a week or two but the athlete in me keeps pushing through. It’s up to me and how well and consistent I am with my exercises.
This brings me back to the 25km trail race I ran yesterday. Things were feeling really good until I hit the two hour mark and the pain started. At least I only had 8 or 9km left but this left me thinking how on earth could I get through Leadville 100. The point is I can’t like this and I don’t like the word can’t but its true . I felt a bit defeated during the race but at some point I realized its not the end of the world.
Regardless I still enjoyed the run immensely, and highly recommend this point to point race. If I focused to much on the pain during the 25km race then I really began to fall apart mentally. So I shifted my mind to more inspiring thoughts. My mind thought of the Western state 100 race the other day and how inspiring it is to hear Ellie come from behind and win by 20 minutes or how Nicola and Gretel ran from the finish to the start and back again in this race, or how the last person Marla from Western States finished with three minutes to spare. Yes, I look at all the results even the ones at the end because that will be me out there fighting to finish and regardless how fast you are moving 30 hours is a long haul. All of these people, whether I know them or not inspire me to keep on running, stay positive and mostly to have fun out there.
Have fun out there