First, I want to thank everyone for your support of my fundraiser blitz in December benefiting Ironman for Kids. Every time someone joins me in giving I am encouraged more than words can express. You are all very, very special. I’m blessed to know you and look forward continuing through life’s journey with you.
The first day I noticed the tightness was on the second of back to back 20 milers, November 14th. I didn’t give it much thought since it went away quickly. Then on Black Friday I ended up doing an impromptu 50km training run. I noticed some tightness in my knee about mile 19, but it didn’t worsen over the next 12 miles. Again, it was fine on my next run. It was just 10 days later I ran the White Rock Marathon and 6 days after that the Texas Trails 50km (TT50K). There may have been some tightness on these runs, but it wasn’t pronounced enough for me to notice it at all. I thought I was done with this minor annoyance.
I took a full week off because of a sore spot that cropped up on the bottom of my right foot. Then, two weekends after the TT50K I began ramping up the mileage for a push to be ready for RR50. The day after Christmas I did 18 great miles with my brother. The following day is when things got interesting. I was going for another 18 miles. Everything went fine at first. I noticed a bit of tightness, but didn’t think much of it. Later I felt a little bit of pain for the first time and chose to walk some. I can handle pain and discomfort just fine, but up to this point in my running life, I’ve never run through pain. I decided this wasn’t going to be the day I started. I walked some. Then got cold, and ran back to the car without further pain. I ended up with just 13 miles.
I mostly maintained a positive outlook, but was bummed to get off to a poor start on the mileage push. For most of that next week, I considered taking the following weekend off entirely. I had originally planned back to back 20 milers. When Saturday came around and it was another perfect winter day in Texas for trail running, I couldn’t resist. As always I would listen to my body and stop if I needed to. I iced a lot that week and as usual didn’t feel any additional discomfort. Maybe I had this back under control?
It was New Year’s Day. And it was a great run… for the first 14 miles. I played leapfrog with a group of mountain bikers as they stopped frequently to rest. On one particular section it took them a while to catch me and I wondered if they had turned around. Finally they came along. I don’t think I was running much faster than my usual easy “run forever” trail pace. But they commended me on my pace. I replied that I was just having a great day. Everything was going very well. I made it back to the car at 13 miles and still no tightness.