Starting Over, Grateful to Run 3 Miles Again, and 2016 Update!
With running the 2016 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run only 3 months away, I am extremely grateful I am able to run 3 miles straight again on the treadmill! For all my ultra running friends out there, you may have noticed I have been MIA for quite a while! Not because I was on some crazy/cool adventure anywhere or getting in some awesome secret training somewhere. Last October on a training run up on the trails in the canyons I was cruzin along headed down toward the river and all of the sudden my right knee felt very loose and wobbly! Needless to say that was not a good feeling and quite concerning! At the time my hamstrings and IT band were super tight, so I figured those were the main culprit. I spent the next couple of months trying to loosen those up, let them heal, etc but nothing was significantly helping my knee pain go away.
At the advice of a good friend and chiropractor, Gary Gade, I finally decided to go to my primary care doctor to look into an MRI. The MRI revealed a lateral meniscus tear in my right knee and several other "possible" issues! I was very bummed to received this news, but grateful to finally start getting to the bottom of the issue. A few weeks later I had a consult with a local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Jamieson, to discuss options. Of course, with the thought of having a consult with a surgeon I automatically assumed some kind of surgery was going to be the best option. However, I was very pleased that he was an athlete himself so he understood where I was coming from and we decided to give physical therapy a shot! Another good friend, fellow ultra runner, and physical therapist, Chris Perillo, gave me some excellent advice and explained many of the medical terms to me. As Chris only sees home health patients with joint replacements, he recommended I see Brett Dewitt at Lincoln Physical Therapy and Brett has been amazing! Working with Brett for only a couple weeks now, he has done amazing work to get my hamstring and IT Band on a fast track to recovery, and has also been able to make some headway on my meniscus tear! Brett is also an endurance bike athlete so he too understands where I am coming from and the frustration of not being able to participate in my sport.
As you can imagine, it has been very frustrating to have to sit on the sidelines and not be able to participate in one of my passions, running. Not being able to do any running for a few months definitely gave me a greater appreciation for when I am healthy and able to enjoy something I love. I am not 100% yet, but I am very excited that I have finally been able to turn the corner on this injury and finally see the progress on the path to healing and getting back to something I love. I have truly missed all of the camaraderie of my ultra buddies and am looking forward to seeing all of you again sometime soon out on the trails! A huge THANK YOU to all of my friends, family, and sponsors that have all helped me and supported me in this recovery process. With only 3 months until I toe the line at Western States 100, the thought of just starting over on my training is daunting, but I am extremely grateful that I am now feeling well enough that I can run 3 miles straight on the treadmill. This week I will try for 5 and go from there. To put it in perspective, on a normal training year I would be able to be running close to 50 miles at this time in the year building up to 100 at the end of June. I always remind myself this challenge I am facing is nothing compared to what many other people in the World have to face. I will be extremely honored and grateful for crossing that Western States finish line this year in any time under the 30 hour cut off.
As for my plans for 2016, I will be running/walking The Canyons 100k in the beginning of May and then Western States 100 at the end of June. As for the rest of the year, I do not have any other races currently on my calendar. I will just see how my body heals, hoping to return back to 100% at some point! I have also been busy traveling back and forth to Washington DC as part of my Master of Health Administration (MHA) program through George Washington University, so that continues to be a top priority for me to continue to do well in. My expected graduation is July 2017!! That will be an exciting day to graduate on the nation's capital mall and have my masters all wrapped up. I am also involved in an exciting new business venture of a new running product me and a buddy developed that we will reveal shortly. That's all for now! See you All soon!