During yesterday’s 14 miler, it started as a tightness, then pain around 6 miles. It proceeded to deepen in pain, soreness and crampy feeling until my gait started to be effected around mile 8. My upper left leg was a mess. A lot went through my head; “what is this new pain?”, “will this going away?”, “what is causing this?” None of which I had immediate answers for except 2; no, this pain was getting worse.
“But I’m the coach”, said my brain. I’m part of a team helping this crew to the finish. “But you know your body.”, said experience. I needed to stop. I needed to stop running. Stop moving. Get ice.
I consulted the coaching team, all agreed I would stop and call Sherpa Fiancé and head home. This was the wise choice. It was also heart-breaking as the new coach on the team-wanting to be a role model.
Then came the realization that this was a form of role modeling. Sometimes you have to stop, and as Sherpa Fiancé channeling Phil Liggett says, “live to fight another day.” Experienced runners know when pushing through is just going to cause more hurt. I could have hammered our the last 2.4 miles but at what expense? Six months is a long training cycle and cutting short one 14 miler doesn’t mean that I won’t have the chops for 3-20’s. It means that on this day, on this run, I needed to stop. Two cups of coffee, a protein laden breakfast, an ice bath, compression, 3 Advil, and a nap later, things seemed a little better. A walk today and maybe a run tomorrow, we’ll see.
This PLB coach (thanks Jeff!) will be back in stride ASAP. And hopefully set an example of “it’s ok to say uncle” when the body needs it.