Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I cried while running a Ragnar Relay

Nothing to do with this post, but wanted to share this great picture from yesterday.

Let's talk about how my running is going because for the last 4 and a half or so months you have come here and read about me whining about my right quad.    It seemed to get better and then worse and then better and then worse. Waa waa waa. 

 Suddenly I went to a Ragnar Relay in Colorado and TA DA it feels better.  I can spit out 23.49 miles with an average pace of 8:30 something. WHY?  I don't have any real clear cut answers, but I do have a little bit of a theory. Let's go through it point by point.

Part A    Old News
  • April 28 I run Peaks to Prairie.  9.4 miles downhill mostly at a record (for me) pace and felt amazing doing it.
  • Cue the soreness and a week of doing too much capped off with a 9 mile trail run that resulted in right quad (here after known as RQ) cramping and getting a pretty serious strain.
  • I spend the next 8 weeks taking it easy.  (Boring, frustrating, and not my style)
  • I volunteer to take the longest legs on the Colorado Ragnar (am I crazy?)
  • I have weeks and weeks of good and bad runs.
  • I try a fast workout..and RQ responds by feeling worse.
  • I take it easy and it starts to feels better but there is still a niggle in my RQ that comes up whenever I push too hard, sleep on my right side, or run more than a couple miles.  I hate it.
Part B  What I haven't mentioned yet
  • I buy a kettlebell and out of the blue decide to try some super deep squats with it.  I do 25 and decide I probably shouldn't over do it since it was bothering RQ.
  • I spend the next three days with a lot of DOMS in RQ and the left quad feels normal.  Ragnar is 5 days away.  Yikes!  Did I just make it worse.
  • Try to run 3 miles 3 days out from Ragnar, RQ is still very sore.  Remain outwardly calm and start freaking out.
  • Rest rest rest, roll, stretch, etc
  • Get ready for first leg of Ragnar.  Inwardly freaking out, what is my RQ going to do? The DOMS is gone, and it feels okay, but what did I do to it with those squats?!! Am I going to hate myself for taking on 22 miles in this relay?
Part C  That first relay leg
  • Start running a little cautiously.  It feels good.  Keep running, RQ still feels good.  It feels great sure I am running downhill but I am running 7:3ish pace and it feels amazing.
  • Run with my arms wide open with tears streaming down my face because I finally feel that joy again that comes with running like it is supposed to feel. 
  • I seriously had to fight the urge to sit down and cry it just felt so good. (tell me you know the feeling)
The rest of my runs felt good too and while I have dealt with some calf and hammy tightness post 23.49 miles on the Ragnar Relay my RQ feels good.   I am thinking maybe it had some scar tissue in it holding it down and maybe I broke it up with the deep knee squats.  Not 100% sure, but going off it how sore it was post squats and how awesome it felt to run once the soreness went away that is what I am sticking with.

And I may have broke a toe on my right foot.  Not bad enough to keep me from running, but bad enough that when I stubbed it today while running I thought I was going to have to call my husband to come and get me.  Once the throbbing died down a bit though I found I could run again.

Sorry for the ugly toe picture, this was Friday, the day after I hurt it while working out in my living room.  Klutzy move nothing more and I was rolling on the floor clutching at my foot cussing.

Is my RQ back to normal?  I don't think it is back to 100% yet but I did do an 8 mile run over the weekend and a 5 mile tough trail run this morning and no niggles.

My plan from here includes a 6 mile race and a half marathon in October.    No PR goals for either race, just to do them and feel good. 

Nothing to do with my quad, but I found this large piece of petrified wood in the hills yesterday and hauled it a very long way back to the truck. 
Now it resides in my yard. 
from today's run.  a stop for Cola to get a drink
What is the worst running injury you have had to deal with?  This is my worst so far by a long way.


  1. I definitely know that crying because it feels so good feeling! Your theory about scar tissue makes sense to me, but I'm a chemist not a physiologist. :)

  2. Not necessarily running but my back issues last year were definitely the worst I've ever had. It was so weird to not be able to do ANYTHING!

  3. My worst running injury was definitely my recurring ITBS. It's one that's not painful enough to make you actually feel like you need to rest, but rest is definitely necessary.

  4. I totally understand that feeling. I have had tears well up during an awesome run before. It just feels so good! Glad you are feeling better:) I have had issues with IT Band and PF.

  5. Hmmm...the one I have right now requires surgery but I think the worse one was postal tibialis tendonitis. That just hurt so bad every time I took a step. Luckily was able to get relief by resting.

    Maria @ The Good Life

  6. That first pic of your kids took my breath away! So beautiful!

  7. Uggh, sorry to hear about your toe. Ouch. So glad you are feeling better. Ah, I so get this feeling of joy that comes from running again after injury! The tears. happiness. Joy. Gratitude to just be out there doing what we love. Yes yes. My worst injury was my first injury in 2010 when I tripped over a rock in the forest and tore my hammy to pieces. But it was also one of the best things that happened to was the reason I started my blog and set bigger goals. Not just with running. Right now, it's nice not to have any big goals though so I get just doing something to feel good. :)

  8. I have cried many times while running for different reasons, but trust me, I know that feeling. My worst injury is not running related but running doesn't help it. I have a deteriorating disc in my back. At one point, I couldn't even stand straight but now I am running and training and having a great time. When if flares out, I usually have to stop for a few days, but with my chiropractor and sometimes meds, I am able to keep on going. I won't be able to forever, but not going to stop until I have to.

  9. Had a bone bruise when I first started running (because I was an over-exhuberant idiot who thought she could run 5 miles every day of the week after only running for about 1 month!). That put me in a boot for 4 months. And then I had plantar fasciitis from the foot being immobilized so long. Being stubborn, I refused to wear the recommended arch support, and told my doctor that if a weakened foot caused it, I'd rather strengthen my foot than continue to support weakness. Started doing my old ballet routine, and releve'd that bugger into submission. Not a single issue since with my feet!
    Glad to see you're almost back to 100% Now, stop breaking toes and you'll be great, haha!

  10. I broke my pelvis last year while training for a marathon and broke it again last weekend while training for a half. I should stop training - it seems to be bad luck!

  11. That first pic is amazing!!! I know that feeling of crying for good feelings!!! I hurt my back really badly training for a half after my first was born...I couldn't walk for three days because I couldn't move my legs!!! It was so great to move again without the pain!!

  12. I totally understand you crying with joy - to be able to run freely in beautiful places is the best!

  13. Other than the blue toe that matches the blue nail polish.... I am glad your are feeling so happy and positive about the running again. I have never heard that theory about scar tissue before, but I know you are a nurse so I believe you!

    Lovely pics of the kids and landscape, and so good to see Cola happy too!

  14. Yes. I totally get why you cried at Ragnar. Absolutely understandable after all you've gone through with the quad this year. I've been crying off and on this past week because this is the first time I've made it through training without an injury. It... Makes me so happy.

    I think your scar tissue theory is legit.

    That first photo of your kids is stunning. And all the other pics. Love seeing where you live :)

  15. Runner's knee. Been dealing with it for a year now. :(
    Hang in there!


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