I've really been loving the push, the post race endorphins, the crazy sense of "did I really just do that?"
Until recently, I would never have considered myself an athlete. My friends are athletes, my family members are athletes. But since November, when I did my first adventure race, I've come to think...maybe I am one too?
Three weeks ago I did my first trail race. It was a 1/2 marathon with a nice sprinkling of 3500ft elevation for good measure. It was much, much harder than I anticipated. Waaaaaaaaay more difficult than the 10 mile road race the weekend before, and hella more mentally challenging than the Sea2Summit (which was 2h longer). I got crazy calf-cramp-of-doom followed by inhumane-hamstring-tetany-of-death which stuck with me steady for the last 2 miles. Yeah, I was 'running' as if I had a wooden leg, whimpering, and generally feeling miserable and frustrated. But dammed if I wasn't going to finish it...and then chug a large glass of orange squash concentrate by mistake at the finish line (who has bottles of concentrate and no water at a finish line???)
So I've been kettlebell-ing and running a little and cycling, feeling pretty pleased with my fitness and shiny new upper-body strength. Ok, maybe the odd twinge to my knee and feeling of fullness in the back of my leg. Then 3 days ago I squatted down in the emergency department and saw stars...um...why can I not squat? Oh, because my knee is blown up like a balloon. Awesome.
So ice, ibuprofen, ice, elevation...more ice...did I mention I bought this sweet gel sleeve that doesn't freeze solid and can cuff right around my knee?
No improvement. No acute injury...hell, I hadn't biked/run/kettled in a week.
Today I had a steroid / lidocaine injection into it just before heading into theater for the day. Ooooooooh maybe standing on it for 8h after wasn't super brilliant. And now I am here. Not allowed to run or squat, my knee hurts like a fecker and looks like it belongs to Rita McNeil.
So frustrating to finally feel like I'm getting into the shape I've always wanted to be in...with an adventure race coming up in 4 weeks, a 1/2 marathon in May, and a triathlon in June...GAHHHHH!
[Reaches for bag of peanut butter cups.]
[Recalls how tight work pants already are, puts aforementioned cups down.]
[Steps away from cups.]
(Photo credit: pic of the race trail taken by my good friend Stephen Bennett.)