After taking two weeks off from running and then climbing back slowly for the two weeks following that break, it felt amazing to get out and run trails for four hours this morning. I met up with Michael at 6am and we took off down the path at TNP. Michael, a good 17 years younger than me, runs those hills like a champ. I try to run them but end up walking them instead. He is way faster than I am but is patient and waits for me at the top of the hills. A true gentleman.
I really wish I could be strong enough to run those hills. And then I wonder what kind of runner I could have been if I had started in my 20′s like some of these guys. It’s a real mental struggle for me when I am out running the trails with these guys who are younger and faster than I am.
We caught up with Mark, who is a couple years older than Michael, and he joined us for a second loop of TNP’s finest trails and hills. The two of them up ahead of me plugging up those hills like nothing is really amazing to see. There is one hill on the white trail – holy crap! – it is long and just goes up and up and up. It’s seriously painful.
Near the end of the second loop I told those guys to go on ahead of me, I was slowing down and didn’t want them to have to keep waiting for me. I was able to take the last two miles at my own pace (which included a bit more walking) and not feel bad for holding them up. Though they were waiting for me back at the cars which was nice.
Four hours at TNP is not easy stuff. I’d like to head back to Jacobsburg which is relatively flatter and stay out for 5 hours in preparation for this 50k in 5 weeks. I have no idea what to expect from this upcoming 50k. I have no idea of the terrain, elevation gain, trails … will it be an easy day or will I completely die? That remains to be seen.
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Preliminary result from the physiatrist visit on Thursday is that I have a herniated disc, a.k.a. slipped disc. So that is the explanation for the past 5 months of pain. I was handed a couple of prescriptions for some heavy duty meds and a course of physical therapy. The MRI is scheduled for Tuesday. So glad to have an answer and a solution. Hopefully by the end of next week some of this pain will begin to slowly subside. Running has been the only relief to my pain up until now. In fact, when I took those two weeks off the pain got infinitely worse. I can’t believe my chiropractor missed this.