"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out." -Mae Jemison, astronaut

Saturday, June 16, 2012

But My Knees are Still Good!

Week 2 post-Kep Ultra. I think I spent more than I earned this week, between physio, the sports doctor, and the GP (okay, the GP is free, but there's still the time and petrol). And next week is the ultrasound.... Ahhh, how cheap running is!

Me, hard at work starting the PTS short course racers last Sunday
My shoulder injury worsened on Monday. This was the shoulder I thought I "subluxed" (dislocated) when I fell whilst training at the end of April. After I decided to treat it like a rotator cuff tear and be really, really ginger with it, I was seeing improvement. But last weekend we staged a PTS trail race and I had to haul bins of gear and water. That seemed to be the catalyst in setting me back markedly. I couldn't move more than a few cm without sudden sharp pain by Monday. As always, it felt like the biceps. And that made sense with carrying being the thing that seemed to make it worse. But who tears their biceps falling?? I guess I'll find out on Tuesday, when we all stare at various shades of grey blobs on a screen and pretend to make sense of them.

My two toenails are still hanging on, but the jury is out as to whether much, if any parts of them, will stay.

And the right hamstring... (geez, does it end?!?). That was looking rather serious, with whispers of a tear, but then I started to get frustrated.... Not the toenails, the shoulder, the foot (yes, the foot still), AND the hammy! So I got focused. Plenty of heat, self-massage, and stretching, and I am so far seeing an amazing improvement. It's so easy to go for a run, but so hard to spend 10 minutes rolling. Therefore, using the adage of "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting" I decided I should treat this like I would treat it if I were approaching the finish line with someone breathing down my back. I'd put a little more effort in.

A moment to hone my own finish poses

This past week an email hit my inbox which somewhat surprised me. The president and national team manager for the Canadian ultra runners' association emailed me to tell me I'd be accepted to the national 24hr team to compete at the 9th IAU World 24hr Championship in Poland this September.

This is my third invitation to compete at an international event, after World Trails and Commonwealth 24hr last year. Somehow, I'd basically put it out of my head for this year. I had long ago decided with Rolf that we would go do an event together somewhere, where we could run for the joy of it, not for "sheep stations" (a win) as we say in Oz. We both love Europe and alpine settings, so the Transalpine Run was an easy choice. We signed up last December when entries opened. And I put the possibility of World 24 out of my mind.

September 2006
When I saw the email, I caught my breath. I have great respect for the fact that I was offered a position on the Canadian national team to compete internationally again. I don't take that for granted. Sometimes it's just a surreal feeling as I stand back and look at myself here in a position I never dreamed possible. I still remember wheezing along alone on the Rocky Mountain trails, carrying a stick against the cougars, everyone far ahead of me, hoping when we finished at the carpark later that the group wouldn't tell me I was just too slow and shouldn't come out any more.

This year, I'm running Transalps with Rolf. For the first time in five years, I am running in a race at "cappuccino pace." I might even carry a camera. I will still do things right - all the best and lightest gear, proper training, nutrition, and recovery. But I won't be spending 8 days on "red alert." What a treat! It's like a racer's version of ice cream!

Then, don't you worry...I'm scouting for a 50k record opportunity and have my sights on Coast to Kosciuszko in December, if I'm accepted.

P.S. Scott Jurek's book? A very engaging read so far - hard to put down. I'll post the competition in a week!

P.P.S. A fellow WA ultra runner, Grahak Cunningham, has arrived in New York City and starts the 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race tomorrow! This is his FOURTH time. He will spend over 40 days circling a block in the city to reach his goal. What a journey.

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