I spent last week at home in Texas. Being home with my mom made for one happy girl but not a very happy Trailcat. One, trail running in flat Spring, TX is kind of hard to do and two, my IT band pain was in full force. Boooo.
I had done a lot of research before the trip to find some trails that were not too far of a drive from home. I came across Burroughs Park and the George Mitchell Nature Preserve. Luckily my stepsister, Nicole, and her pup, Bindi, were also interested in hitting some trails. Burroughs Park was an easy 10 mile drive and promised about 8 miles of trails. This was a great find. The park offers some fairly manicured dirt and crushed granite trails as well as some more primitive, albeit often sandy trails. My IT band managed to hang in there for about 1:15 but sand always adds a unique challenge as it requires a greater effort. Bindi was up for it though!
The next day we went to the George Mitchell Nature Preserve in The Woodlands, about 15 miles from home. There is a 2 mile loop that surrounds about 3 miles of bike trails. I had high hopes for the bike trails. I found them to be very sandy and it was hard to go very fast as they were so curvy. There were several spots where you could easily get off one trail and onto another which I thought would be fun UNTIL I got stuck in the same part of the park. I finally turned on my phone and I could see that I was basically going in circles and could not get my little blue dot on the map to head back to the main trails. I was only able to run for about 1 mile before my IT band stopped me in my tracks and I could barely even manage to walk without wincing in agony. At one point I felt like I was in the Blair Witch Project, passing the same trees over and over. I might have started to panic when I started thinking about the end of the movie with the guy in the corner of the room. Between that and being so frustrated and disappointed with myself – I was a sad little Trailcat. All I could think about is that I would not be able to train sufficiently for the 34 mile race in mid-September with this pain. (Insert frowny face here).
Later that day, my mom, who is a massage therapist, worked on my leg for about an hour. Mom, you did one helluva job! She is the best massage therapist I have ever been to BY FAR. But even so, the pain still lagged. So frustrating. So limiting. So painful. So be it.
I finished Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run on the flight home in which he discusses how he reconciled his vegan diet with his ultramarathons of 100+ miles. It was a good inspirational read. I have no idea how he pulled off some of the races he did, some of which he completed if not won with sprained ankles and a broken toe. His friend pointed out that “not all pain is significant.” I tried to remember this as Harley and I tried to run 16 miles yesterday at Kennesaw. My IT band was nagging me most of the way and I kept thinking that not all pain is significant. I almost fell over twice in the last mile and the pain was so bad I thought I would vomit. To me, that was significant. I cut my run short at 13 miles and my badass husband ran back to the car and picked up his hobbling wife later on Cheatham Hill Road. Congrats to Harley for a run well done!