Photo credit: Takao Suzuki
It’s now four weeks on from Hamster Endurance Runs. The photo above, taken by Takao Suzuki about 15 seconds after I told the race director that my hamstring was done and I was stopping, pretty much sums up how I felt at that moment.
I have been in that spot enough times now to know that when I stop short of my goal, I’m going to feel crappy about it later. There were definitely a couple of weeks in the post race Slough of Despond. But my thinking has climbed out of that slump.
Leading up to Hamster, I had been wondering “Paul, maybe it’s time to stop chasing this.” I was tired from training, and the preceding six months of training had been tough. I arrived at the start line plenty fit but with a leg that was in rough shape, and I knew standing at the start line the odds didn’t lean in my favor. But I’m grateful I gave it a shot, because I came away without a buckle but with a lot of other compensations.
Chief amongst those compensations was a little clarity that I’m not yet done with the challenges that come with 100 miles. I’m just hoping I can be successful at making the changes I need to make to turn in the 100 mile performance I’d like to achieve.
Some of the other compensations amount to things I’ve learned from this year’s running. The big thing on that list is that I do just fine on endurance, and where I need to put in a lot of work is on overall strength, losing weight, and in general improving my resistance to injury.
Too much of the past 9 months has been spent injured, or rehabbing from injury. It’s time to confront that head on, because left alone it will only get worse as I get older.