While I was training for my half-marathon, i discovered that I had more than just some sore muscles - I had a problem with my piriformis muscle. It's pulled or strained or just plain ol' broken, or something, but it hurts. I saw my chiropractor for treatment for several weeks leading up to the race, and I believe that helped me get through the race.
I also believe that the race itself with all its hills and trails exacerbated the injury, because ever since then, it's been more painful than before the race.
I'm at the point now, a month after the fact, that I can walk without limping, so I am making progress. Running is still the thing that hurts it immediately, and though I can recover quickly after a run, I am constantly aware of the pain and it never leaves all the way. So I'm having to modify my training plan somewhat. For now I am eliminating running from my schedule, and that hurts. I didn't know that I considered myself a runner until I told myself I couldn't do it right now. I will miss my runs with my buddy Amy, and I will miss maintaining my fitness level that's easy to do with running. Cycling is good, but I feel like I have to do it for longer to get the same benefit I would get from a run in less than half the time.
My two crazy (and I love them!) sisters have decided that since we're training for one hundred and forty miles, we should plan on riding the full one-forty. I totally get that mindset - you don't want to train with a lesser distance in mind, because then it sets you up for failure. This way we can only succeed, really.
I do not doubt for one second that the three of us can
complete all 140 miles. I know Neva can - she's an experienced rider. I
know Louise can - she's been training so hard for this, and nothing is
going to hold her back from accomplishing her goals. And I know I can.
I've done a half-marathon this year, which taught me a little something
about endurance and going beyond what was comfortable. I recently took a
communication style class at work, and in the summary of my
personalized results, I found this little gem: "You probably pride
yourself on your ability to face challenges head-on. When you've set
your mind on a goal, you're not easily swayed by obstacles or
disapproval from others."
Yeah, I know we can do this.
I also secretly get
a kick out of people's reactions when I tell them what I'm (we're)
doing. It's cool. It's usually a flash of skepticism followed quickly by
one of respect.
Yeah, I want to do this.
If that were the only issue, I wouldn't let that stop me. I
would work through it, do it anyway, and know that I'd need the next two
to three weeks recovering. However, the weekend after the race, I have a
dance recital. And I know that sounds petty and small compared to what
we're doing, but it's also something I've been practicing (training)
for, and I also have a group of people depending on me for that. Right
now, I can physically do less for that than I can for our ride. Rather,
it's painful also, but in a more intense way.
So my bottom line is this - I plan on doing the full 140 also and am
training (mentally and physically) to that end. I am also doing the
necessary treatments for this muscle injury to get it as recovered as
possible so that I can be as ready as I can be. My caveat is that on the
actual day of the ride, I need to pay attention to that injury and not
overdo it to the point of stupidity. I can perform in my recital if the
pain stays the way it is now (although it won't necessarily be pretty),
but if it gets any worse than it is, I may not be able - physically - to
do the full 140. Unfortunately, I won't know until that day how it's
You wanna know what else bites? My two crazy, loveable sisters are both cancer survivors. You try telling them you may not be able to complete the full distance because of a tired and sore butt muscle! But since they love me too, they get it and are supportive of what I need to do - what any of us need to do. We will support each other, and if one has to drop out, that one will continue to cheer for and encourage the other two. And if two have to drop out, those two will continue cheering and encouraging.
It also helps knowing that we've got a great support crew of children/nieces/nephews/spouses/siblings there to cheer us on and help us. Since we're planning on going the distance, we will not have the advantage of all the support the official race organizers can offer along the route. Our family will become that support crew for us, besides just cheerleaders.
And when it's all done, however it goes down, we will all celebrate.
It's all relative.