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.


Laurel said...

Two words of advice to carry you through your injury from an accident prone runner...Stationary Bike

vja said...

"Stay positive Ryan! Just a minor blip on the large radar screen in the long run! As you probably know ribs take a long time. You'll know when they're ready" Peter Slovinsky

Sparkplug said...

You'll be back at it before you know it! And you'll no doubt be more determined than ever to run well. It will all come back quickly, I know it.