Thursday, April 14, 2011

Race Recovery vs. Real Recovery

Following the Gator Trail 50k, I was a bit more sore than I would have liked. My quads were pretty trashed on Sunday, and when D and I forced ourselves to run on Monday...well, that 3-mile run was more painful than the race. My legs felt detached from the rest of my body. Thankfully, by Tuesday, I had a bit more spring in the step, even though I could still feel the quads. No other complaints in terms of soreness or tightness, so I really can't complain. A full week later, I'd say I was back to normal.

Recovery was going well, and I was starting to solidify my upcoming race plans. First up would be a true test of recovery with the Merrimack River Trail Race on April 9—a good 10-mile effort to see exactly where I was. From there, I had made plans for 7 Sisters on May 1, a good long run on May 8 (4 hours), and then my 50 mile debut at Pineland Farms on May 29. I was excited with this plan and was really excited to run my first 50. I had been secretly hoping/planning for Pineland for a couple months and had had it in the back of my mind throughout all my Gator Trail training. Mentally, I knew I was ready for 50 miles, and I believed I was physically. It was time.

On Sunday morning, April 3, I did an easy 5 miles and had to hold myself back from going to far or too fast. I was ready to open it up, and waiting until The Rivah felt like it was going to be tough. Then, that evening, everything changed.

Long story, short: I broke two ribs and punctured my lung. We were visiting friends, and I was playing with their three-year-old. We were goofing around, I picked him up and slipped on the hardwood floor. I landed hard on the right side of my back. (He landed on his head. He's fine.) I didn't immediately go to the hospital, but later that evening, when I couldn't get into bed, I knew that something was seriously wrong. In the ensuing 10 days, I've have 5 chest x-rays, 4 consultations with doctors and a couple dozens Percocets. None of that was in the plan.

I'm getting better with each passing day, but I can't run. In fact, today was the first day I could walk upright. The good news is that my lung is nearly healed, and I won't have any permanent damage. My ribs still need another 2 to 4 weeks to heal. I have no idea when I'll be able to run, much less resume training. Right now, it seems very far away.