Since I’ve started practicing a more “80/20” approach to training, potential of injury has sunk so far into the back of my head. Giving myself a 5 day running week with the who less stress results of not running hard all the time has really kept me feeling physically healthy, far from burn out and sort of running with the notion that even if a little niggle does pop up, always having Monday and Friday off always lets rest and recovery fall right at the appropriate time.
Over the past few months the main goal has been to stay consistent with running, but most importantly, remain healthy in the wake of this atrocious flu season. With results from this past summer and fall, I was convinced that if I kept myself running the way I was, I’d be getting faster and a PR at Red Hot 55k (one week out) would be a given.
Here I’ve arrived at my taper and (knock on wood) the flu still hasn’t caught up with me, but this damn pinched nerve sure caught me by surprise. Aside from fighting the typical struggle that IS my left quad and hamstring along with that pesky PF, I thought I was golden and in the clear. Not really sure, even how to treat, deal with or figure this one out. I can run on it. And more than that, I can run uphill on it even better. Running seems to flare it up a bit, but not leave me in any more pain, post run, that I was before. If it’s a pinched nerve, am I risking anything pushing on? Last time I was dealing with the pinched nerve as a result of my degenerative disc disease I learned I have back in 2015, I was told, “don’t be immobile, keep exercising, work on strength and flexibility…” — what about running 33 miles through the unforgiving slick rock and off camber desert?
Some may say it’s the taper anxiety getting the best of me. Other may say, don’t screw the rest of my year (which I happen to have big plans for) by being stupid and running harder through something that can be more easily fixed if cared for early. For now, or at least for the next couple days, I’ll just keep easy running and cross training and come mid this week have to make some big decisions on the type of running that will happen on Saturday. I’ve ever begun considering a drop to the 33k, just from the standpoint of if the pounding becomes simply too much, it is that much sooner I get off of it.
In the meantime, I will continue with extra foam rolling, stretching, stim treatment and cannabis for pain/inflammation relief. Staying positive, remembering the year is long and there is so much ahead. I will see a starting line one way or another on Saturday. It’s just a matter of what state I show up in and what lessons there will be to be learned.