December 5, 2016

7 months and counting

Good lord, I could have almost produced another human life in the amount of time that I have been injured!  Seven months and counting since that fateful day where I went for a totally normal run and thought, 'hmm, that's an odd pain in my groin'.  There has been a serious lack of blog posts since then as by and large I reserve my blog posts for race summaries and recaps and other than one 10k race and a 3km/ 800m hill climb (both in September, both for fun) there has been no racing in recent months.  But I guess I am due to post an update.

10k race in September with taped leg that didn't feel great afterwards.

So what's the injury?  Ah ha!  The million dollar question!  I don't know.  Yes, that's right - after seven months of weekly Dr and physio visits there is still no real definite answer to this.  At various times, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes in seemingly random rotation, I've had groin pain, adductor pain, inner quad pain and knee pain.  Am I incapacitated and in agony?  No.  Can I run without discomfort and normal volume?  No.  My longest run since BMO Vancouver marathon in May is about 22km.  I used to run more than that day in day out.  Maybe that's the problem, maybe I've just run out of miles in my legs?  I don't know and I kind of doubt it, but many days I believe that.  I've had some 80 - 100km weeks with only annoying discomfort but I've never had a stretch of pain free running and certainly never got anywhere close to my previous usual of 160kms or so per week.  It's like my body has just decided to quit running.  I've recently taken a week off and then tried 3 x 30 to 40 min jogs over the space of 5 days, I've still got niggling pains.

I don't want to make this a pity party and nor do I want to use Dave Mackey as a benchmark for everything, but let's just say - I've not had to have a leg amputated.  Yes, Dave has and if you don't know him and need some perspective on life, then read this.  We're cheering for you all the way Mr. Mackey! He's just going about life being himself but he doesn't need to do anything else to be hugely inspiring - both in past years and now.

Dave and I, American River 50, 2011?
Needless to say I have zero race plans for 2017.  I cannot plan when I cannot go for regular runs pain free.  If I can get to moderate volume and pain free I'll toe a line and happily run mid pack, but I'm not there yet.  Besides, ultra race plans can become tricky when you have zero qualifiers for an awful lot of races.  I've got an invite for a half marathon in February, I would like to run that but realise that it likely won't happen.  My oh my, and to think I used to run ultras.

Most of all this is a post to update but also give out some thank yous and hugs.  I have seen many medical professionals who have gone above and beyond to try fix me.  Dr. Jim Bovard does not give up and that is a very valuable quality in a sport medicine Dr because there are times that the athlete wants to give up.  He hasn't let me.  I've seen three highly qualified physios - Chris Napier, Marilou Lamy and Carolyn Bliss.  The sort of physios who see you in their own home on their day off or lend you their own personal core shorts to see if they can help.  More recently I have also seen Dr. Jean Gillies who examined me from head to foot and had to show me how to get out of her building when it was all locked up as the appointment had gone way beyond clinic hours.  It's back to more physio tomorrow to look at a slightly new angle.

More thank yous should go to my sponsors: Salomon, Clif Bar, Drymax Socks, Flora Health and Sundog Eyewear.  I would understand if any one of them dropped me as ultimately I was signed to represent them through running and racing, something I'm not doing an awful lot of right now, but they are still here with me and I truly appreciate that.

A huge thank you should also go to Michelle Ford.  Michelle is a friend and personal trainer who I have worked with since the start of this year (pre-injury).  She's challenged me with tough but fun workouts and modified things when needed to work around the various aches and pains.  I might not be running fit right now but I am decently strong thanks to Michelle.

The hugs should go to Abby Zoomer and Anne-Marie Madden.  AZ tolerated a very slow cyclist over the summer months and now the snow has started to fall, we've had some fun snowshoe hiking adventures at a less than brisk pace.  Dr. AMM is not only a very smart Doc but most importantly she is a very good friend who is there for advice, hiking and runs when I feel able to try that, despite having a very busy schedule of her own.  Thank you you two for being awesome!

My longest and most fun run since May with two superstars :)

I would say roll on 2017 but who knows what 2017 will bring.  But I will wish you all a super time over the holiday season and good luck in your races for next year (especially to my super Sharman Ultra Coaching clients who have made me very proud with some excellent results this year!).


As I coach online it's always fun to meet clients in person rather than on Skype.  With Steve in The Lakes, April 2016.




6 comments:

  1. I hope you find the solution. As someone who had/has a hamstring issue that has taken over 2 years to resolve (and is still there if slip or twist in any abnormal way) I sympathize wholeheartedly. Sometimes there isn't a 'normal' solution, but as an athlete I can see that must be infuriating. For a recreational runner its just literally a pain in the bum. It does make you appreciate the pain free runs and how lucky we are when fit and feel invincible. I hope it clears up soon and you get back to being the amazing runner and inspiration you are. Watching you win comrades is probably my favorite running viewing memory. ever.

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  2. Thanks Ian, hope your running is going well!

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  3. Ellies story has given me hope in my own running situation as well as inspiration to keep trying and don't give up. thank you

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  4. Ellie, sorry about your injury. Even if you aren't able to race, I hope you will come and help us celebrate the 25th Chuckanut 50. You have played a significant part in its history!

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    1. Doug! I am unsure on running Chuckanut or not at this stage but definitely contemplating coming down anyway - I will email you if I decide to do that as would be wonderful to see you. Happy New Year, Ellie

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