March 3, 2013-USATF 50K National Championships
My mind is focused as I step to the line on the course I know so well. I have run this race ever year since 2008, won it a few times and hold the course record.
10 laps of 5K (3.1 miles), can I do it?
Will my body allow me the ability to do what I love?
I think so, but don't know.
I am nervous, the butterflies are in the pit of my stomach but so is the excitement, the thrill that I am finally at the point to try.
I had not run an Ultra since June of 2012 and just started running semi regularly again at the end of January 2013.
I am coming of a huge bout of injury:
5 stress fractures of my pelvis,
1 foot with a plantar issue
1 bike crash for good measure which at first appeared to be have fractured my left shoulder(turns out just was a wicked bruise)
There were days that were tough but I kept believing that I could run again and I worked hard cross-training, hours in the pool, mega blocks of walking/hiking on the treadmill, doing physical therapy, drills, weights, anything I could do that would not delay the healing but maintain some of my fitness and I waited and today was the big test.
Did I win, no, I didn't win the race, I got fourth overall (20 mins off the pace) and I ran slower that I ever had for 50k but each lap I won.
Each lap, I worried less about my injuries and I just ran, I hadn't run more than 15 miles in training leading up to the 50k so I knew that after 25k I was in uncharted waters but that was ok, I wanted to be there and I was blissfully enjoying the fatigue creeping in, and it was the good exhaustion that comes when you are working to your maximum potential.
I definitely have lots of work to do to keep improving and regain my fitness but I love the training and doing the work and I am so happy to have the opportunity to run again and I plan to keep pushing the bounds of what is possible and look forward to competing again soon.