Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Riddance to 2014 and Optimism for 2015

So for my ultra trail running and backpacking, 2014 was pretty much a bust.  The worst year I have had since beginning in 1999.  This was because of an injury which had deteriorated in throughout 2013 and led to many painful races in the early part of 2014 until Jemez 50 in May that was so painful, it convinced me that I needed to seek more medical help and eventually to stop running altogether at the end of June.

The good news is that by the end of July I had a firm diagnosis confirmed by MRI of Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy after years of thinking I had either sciatic pain or piriformis syndrome.  I had several months of relative rest hoping the problem would go away and finally on December 12th, I laid out some big bucks to have bilateral Plasma Rich Platelet injections done.  The healing was either non existent or so incremental to the point that I thought that I might never get better.  It was really a no brainer to have the PRP because even though I stood to lose a lot of money if it did not work, I could not go on without being able to run wondering that if only I had the injection, I might be back to where I was.

So where does that leave me now.  Well, after nearly 3 weeks, I am very encouraged.  Initially I had a period of regression immediately after the injection, but that is to be expected because of the injection itself and the healing is expected to begin two to three weeks later and can continue to improve for six months.  I really feel like I am now at the beginning of that period.  I can drive without discomfort, I can sit in hard seats, I can stretch with very minimal discomfort in the HHT area and am almost at the point now where I have almost no discomfort 24 hours a day.  That will be the first time that has happened in years!  So that is indeed encouraging.

What then can I expect from 2015?  I am not foolish enough to think I will be doing a 2:44 marathon again and I may not even be able to compete in ultras in the top ten, but I now have some expectations that I can again complete ultras.  And that means the world to me at this point!

So 2015 is now looking to include Jemez 50 Miler in Jemez Mountains New Mexico in May, San Juan Solstice 50 Miler in Lake City, Colorado in June, Beaverhead 100k which is on the Continental Divide Trail between Idaho and Montana in July, Multi-day hike on the Colorado Trail also in July and then the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in September for which I had to postpone my entry last year due to injury.  That's just the summer schedule and I haven't yet decided about next fall.

January will be continued total rest and rehabilitation.  February and March I will slowly begin training again.  April I will work in a 50K or two to build endurance.

It's an ambitious schedule but I am full of hope and optimism and have only in mind to complete these events and not compete in them.  I think too that if I can get fully recovered, then I can better manage the tendinopathy and then hopefully never again get in the condition that I was in this past year.  I think the biggest reason for this injury was weekly mileage in the 70 to 100 mile range without ever a break and so I just ran this injury into the ground until it finally forced me to stop.

So that's my hope.  I will check back next year hopefully with the full satisfaction that I had some great races!

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