my view of the fire driving home
so I started this post last week before all the fires broke out. what was happening around the county was pretty serious and it makes anything that has to with running or training pretty trivial. the poinesettia started less than a half mile from my office and by noon on wednesday we were evacuated. the fire was burning about 4-5 miles from home but thankfully, due to the incredible work of the firefighters , it never made it any closer. the work they do is amazing and I’m grateful they are out looking out for our safety.
my work campus with the first just behind. gnarly
now by the time i post this it will have been about 4 weeks since I had to stop running to let my shin heal/recover. it sucks but things could always be worse… way worse. after 2 weeks of no running my shin was progressing steadily but not ready to run. i started to get a bit worried that it may be something more that just a shin splint. so i took my doctor up on his offer and got an MRI last thursday on both shins. i was hoping they would find something that would maybe shed some light on why shin pain is something i’ve dealt with for years.
unfortunately that was not the case. my MRI’s came back perfect. I got the report friday morning and spoke to the radiologist who read my MRI. there was NO soft tissue tears or inflammation and NO stress reaction or stress fracture. he told me that there was nothing, based on the MRI, that should keep me from running. then why the hell does my shin hurt only when I run?
after i got that news i sent a barrage of text messages back and forth with maggie. at first i was thinking what the hell… I’ll go ahead and race pct 50 (the race was 5/10). then 30 minutes later I thought better of it. it’s not that i didn’t think I could do pct50 it’s that I hadn’t run in 2+ weeks and if I did run it would surely smash me and that would mean more time not running. I was thinking I’d rather ease back into running this week rather than destroy myself on the pct50 course.
So instead I just headed out to support maggie, which in all honesty, is just about as much fun as racing myself. I took my mountain bike out there and also brought some running gear. my plan was to ride around to the aid stations to crew for and support maggie. I did this by getting in a pretty killer ride. I rode from the start up kitchen creek road to see her at 3.5 miles and then kept climbing to the 6 mile aid station. then it was more awesome climbing on the car-less kitchen creek climb. I got to sunrise highway and then ripped the trails over to penny pines to see maggie at 22 & 27 miles.
while hanging out for a while at the aid station i found out the racers could have pacers. i asked maggie if she wanted me to pace her the bit of the course and she said yes. so i bolted down back to the truck the same way i went out and got on my running clothes. my plan was to run backwards on the course unitl I saw her. I was actually feeling pretty good running. i could feel my shin a bit but nowhere near the way I did 2.5 weeks earlier.
I ended up making it to the last aid station 6 mile from the finish. On the way i crossed paths with Mike on his way to the win. I’m super stoked for Mike. He was patient and raced smart all day and ended up crushing everybody. I hung out at the aid station with Ramon, Dave, and Sonja, had a beer while waiting for maggie. soon enough she was there and I ran the 6 miles back to the finish line with there. that last descent is so brutal. it was taking it’s toll on me and I could’t even imagine running it with 47 miles in your legs. maggie charged it and got the win and finished 5th overall.
It was a rad day for me too. 41 miles on the mountain bike and 12 miles of running and my shin felt good. It felt good the rest of the night but when I woke up sunday morning it was sore. Nothing crazy but more sore than it had been towards the end of the week before. damn.
on tuesday i had an appointment to go over the MRI results and figure out what I should next. my doctor got another radiologist (the guy he uses to read all of his college athlete’s MRI’s) to read my MRI just to make sure. He also didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. just to make sure Dr. D used the tuning fork all up and down my shin to rule out anything bone related. that testing also came up negative. next up was an ultrasound to look at the soft tissue which again didn’t show anything indicative of my shin pain. a bit frustrating. i left there with a plan for some more ART and to so see Steve Moxey (a PT recommended by Cam).
tuesday night i had a gnarly ART session with Asher. he really got into my shin and calf and it had me squirming, sweating, and clutching the table… but i left there feeling much better. each day after that it felt better and better. thursday i headed out for a 30 minute jog on the coast and my shin pain was almost nonexistent. stoked. after paddling with kurt on friday morning I did another 30 min jog around the hood and again the shin was all good. it was still a little achey but didn’t hurt with the impact like it had in the weeks prior.
friday morning i met with Steve. he practices “functional manual physical therapy”. he watched me run and immediately had some ideas. he could tell how twisted up my body was. since my crash i have not had any chiropractic work just your standard physical therapy. after more testing it was pretty obvious how locked up my left shoulder (side of broken clavicle and plate and all 5 broken ribs) and right hip which was causing a bunch of tension all down my right leg along with a nice little heel whip. all that was/is creating a lot of torque along my entire right side. he did a bunch of adjustments, stretches, and some graston like stuff on the back of my right hip that had me about ready to tap out.
he kept doing stuff then watching me jog, based on what he saw he would do more. after the final adjustments he had me jog down the street and i had ZERO pain in my shin. my mind was pretty blown but only time will tell. i left there feeling pretty good about my situation. he’s a good guy and I’m stoked Cam told me about him. hopefully he’s on the right track to helping get this sorted.
Saturday I rode long and sunday I ran. i did 6+ easy miles with Ruby and then another 6+ solo. I felt pretty good and kept the effort really mellow. I didn’t have any shin pain during the run but it was a little sore when i finished. after my run maggie dropped me off at the airport so i could head to san francisco for Cisco Live.
I walked around the city a bit sunday afternoon and then met with brad for dinner at Hopwater Distribution…. a killer spot. Later sunday night my shin was aching like crazy, but didn’t hurt to walk or anything. so weird. I woke up monday morning and it was still a but achy and more sore than the day before. I’m over it.
chasing brad up one of the many awesome climbs in marin county
TRT100 is just about 8 weeks away so it’s creeping up. At this point toeing the line isn’t looking to be possible as of today. I need to figure out what’s going on and forcing it and running through pain doesn’t sound fun to me… and fun is the number one reason I do all this stuff. not being able to race bums me out a little but what bums me out more is that I am supposed to run the western states training camp with maggie this weekend. i was actually looking forward to those 3 days of running more than TRT.
post ride breakfast in sausalito with brad, todd, and gordon.
In the meantime I am going to keep up what I have been doing. More ART, mobility work, riding, surfing, and paddling…. no running. I am also going to get a bone scan. I know the MRI didn’t show anything but maybe the missed something? At this point it just doesn’t seem like a soft tissue thing.
i gotta be honest… I am getting a bit over “trying” to run ultras. It’s just not working for me. I’ve been trying to train smart, i do all the little things to stay healthy, but my body just can’t seem to take it. Maybe I just need to refine my approach.. again. I’m not sure but I do know I really love toeing the line and letting it rip on race day.