TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Sugarloaf Peak

27 Days passed without running, without TRAILS.  And it was during this time that I discovered how mentally weak I was (more so than I realized).  And that made me sad.  And it made angry, and touchy, and I felt like I was plummeting downward, like any mental strength that I thought I had was a façade.  I felt my house of cards had collapsed. 

I worked at healing my foot because I thought this was my only saving grace.  But the foot got better, then it got worse.  Part of the day I could walk, the other I could not.  And then one day, I cried and cried and cried, and told myself that I had to buck up, that I needed to be strong whether or not I could hit the trails.  After that, I began to rebound.  I tried to smile more.  I kept negativity off my lips and tried to push it out of my mind.  I kept my self busy.  I ate better.  I kept my cups of coffee to one, and my glasses of wine to none.  During this time, while limping about the grocery store parking lot, I turned to the man in the wheelchair behind me.  His right leg was raised, and so I asked, “What did you do to your leg?”

He said, “Nothing.  I fell off my bike, landed on my face and cracked my skull in three places.  I was in a coma for six weeks.” 

Yikes.  What if he can never ride a bike again?  After chatting for several minutes, I realized that he would do fine without the bike.  Just like I would do fine without trails.  Either way, I just had to “be.”  “It is what it is,” as we always say in my home.  (My husband brought that saying into our home.  Another thing he has passed on is, “Embrace the suck!”)

HOWEVER, I do love the trails.  And I’m aiming to get back to them, even if just for a “test drive.”  Finally, I did that yesterday.  After I dropped the boys off at school, I drove an hour up the mountain for a short run to Sugarloaf Peak.  The mountains were cold, the skies full of voluminous clouds.  I fell no less than five times – that’s right, at least five times.  I tripped frequently.  And once as I ran through the trees I said out loud, “Please Mr. Tree, don’t poke me in the head.”  Then one of their branches promptly poked me in the head.  Smile with tongue outBy time my run was finished, my calves were bleeding and scratched up.  By the time my run was finished, I also summited Sugarloaf Peak which was pretty dang fun, that kind of hellish fun.  The climb to the peak was so steep, I fell back several feet more than once.  Some parts, I needed to scramble on all fours.  When I finally reached the summit, I saw the only two people I would see during the entire run.  I waved to them as they rested below on a rock that’s named Cocktail Rock. 

Old San Juan Trail:

Summiting:

In all, I ran a little less than eight miles.  Those last few miles were pretty dang miserable, and I needed to hike frequently.  As usual, the tranquil loneliness, the rocky terrain, the enormous skies made everything well worth it.  I love the trails. 

Running_Old_San_Juan_to_Sugar_Loaf_Peak_12-5-2013,_Elevation

8 comments:

  1. How did your foot feel during the run?

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    1. It didn't feel great. But it felt awful during the last couple miles. I'm still hoping for the best. Thanks for asking!

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  2. Glad you could get out there Lauren. Hope you can be back to full running soon.

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    1. Thanks Johann. It's so frustrating.

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  3. Lauren, I periodically read your blog and love it. I am a runner myself who experienced many an injury. If I am reading you correctly, you have plantar Fasciitis. If that is the case, there is a cure. I had the procedure done about a year ago because the flare ups were not going away. Unfortunately, age plays a huge role in the ligament issue. Extracaporial Shock Wave Theraphy (ESWT), it works...Period it works. Look it up on the internet. The process grows new tissue around the heal of the foot and completely gets rid of the pain. You described everything that I did, with no success.
    I finally researched enough and thought to myself, "what do I have to loose"? I was running 6 months following the no-invasive procedure. I would endorse this procedure for anyone that has heel pain. Here are the downfalls, not exersize for 3 months, cost is out of pocket, and it takes 6 months to heel.. No running until the doctor says OK. This is a one time procedure and can be used for any ligiment or tendon issue. Please check it out and if you have questions look around for the company that will do the procedure and they can recommend the physician in your area that endorses the medical procedure. I also had my elbows done from tennis elbow and have been pain free, fully working out for 2 years. I hope that this will help you as you manage through the process. May kind regards, S.Schupp

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    1. Thanks S. Schupp for the advice. I will definitely look into this. I hate, hate, hate the 3 months off. But then again, I refused surgery for my nueroma in the same foot (years ago), perhaps shock wave therapy can do something with that as well. I'm hoping I don't have to do something that's going to take me out for 3 months. But if I must, I must.

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    2. Lauren,

      Just read your blog today. I felt the same way and felt like my body let me down because I did everything by the book. It is hard to accept injury; however, I learned that it is not the end. If I know now how effective the treatement would be I would have done the Shock Wave Theraphy years ago. Wishing you the best. Let me say this, your photography is also very very good. I filled the 6 month void with that hobby and I am glad I did. Kind Regards, Sue Schupp.

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    3. Thanks Sue!!! Best to you for the new year. :)

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