1. Did I train right?
2. Can I handle this distance?
3. What is that twinge?
4. Am I injured?
Any way, you get the point. I am not sure if there is a name for this but whatever it is began again about a week ago with TNF's 50 Miler at Bear Mountain coming up on May 8th. I have only run 4 ultras to date including my first last year at Bear Mountain (50k). Based on that experience and what many more seasoned runners have told me, this is one of the toughest courses out there, with over 7000 feet of climbing and very technical terrain loaded with rocks and roots. With that ahead of me I felt like I really needed to train more than I have. Coming off the Umstead 100, my first just 5 weeks ago this time has been more about recovery. I have not run more than 12 miles in a single training run since (Under trained?). Tony Portera who successfully ran many back to back races like this last year has assured me its just the way it is. You need to recover and by the time you feel ready to ramp up again the taper has arrived so you are naturally limited in training time. Race.....Recover.....Taper?
This is very unnerving for someone like me who plans out training routines very specifically, but in this case I really had no choice. So I went with it until this past Saturday when I decided a short 8 miler was not enough and despite a nagging but tolerable pain in my leg (Am I injured?) I pushed this run hard, running around 7:15 pace for the middle 5. The plan Sunday was to run about 15 with Tony and David but when we hit the first couple of hills I knew something was wrong. As we got further into the run the tolerable became painful and I was done after 6 miles walking the hills. 4 days and 1 gym workout later there is some bruising around the back of my upper thigh just below my butt. Not good. I have had many injuries while training but never this close to a race. Not sure what to do other than rest and wait to see how I feel next week. I did schedule an appointment just to be sure at ISK. These are my doctors of choice. They have many great people there all with varying specialties and I have seen half of them at this point for my foot (surgery), knee (nothing), hip (PT) and ankle (PT). So we will see what they say.
Good lesson for me on this one. Follow the program and trust your training. One workout won't make you but I think it could screw it all up.