"Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me,
What a long, strange trip it's been"
I have been off the radar for ~1 week. It's been a bit of a roller coaster for me. I'm truly enjoying my experience on this affiliation, but I also had to deal with going to Michael's wake. I have to say it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. On Tuesday I made the long drive to Jersey after work to pay my respects and say a final goodbye. The whole drive there I was OK, but once I walked into the room and saw his parents it was hard to hold it together. I stayed for a few hours and spoke with various members of my family. Then I had the long drive home as I had to work the next day.
With all this going on, I also had SI joint issues with my back that prevented me from running. It was weird to diagnose it. It started when I did my 3 mile running test. After the run I stretched out and then got in the car to drive. When I got out of the car, my hamstring was sore right up near my butt. I tried stretching it and working it out. It felt a little better, but it was still sore. I ran the 4 miler race with it and that didn't help. Not only did I feel the soreness, but my hip was tight too. A few days after the 4 miler I ran again. Still tight, but I was able to run. After that, I had to shut it down. I knew I had to ease up on it to help it heal. All along I was thinking hamstring, and then I turned the Wingman into my personal PT. I knew what tests I wanted to do, but I couldn't do them to myself. I guided him through them and realized I was having SI joint issues. By using the foam roller I was able to work it out and feel better after a few days but I knew I needed more time off.
I finally felt good enough to run this morning before work. I had a 12 miler on the schedule but I knew that was a longshot. I hadn't run in a week and my previous long run was ~2 weeks ago. I woke up early and got dressed to run. It was a bit nippy out so I was dressed in layers so I could peel them off as I went along. I fired up the iPod and a great song came on to set a good starting pace:
"Well the first days are the hardest days,
don't you worry anymore
When life looks like easy street
There is danger at your door"
And the opening lyrics were never truer. It was more like the first steps are the hardest steps, but once I got going it was OK. I didn't focus on what pace I was running, I just wanted to get some fitness back. I felt like a slug at first but then I was able to pick it up for a while. Around mile 6 the fatigue was setting in. I planned a 10 mile loop and if I had enough in the tank I would tack on 2 more miles. But alas, 2 more was not meant to be. I knew if I pushed it I would be in trouble. So I called it a day at 10 miles.
I still have 2 more weeks of long running to build it up so I am not worried. I would have preferred a few more longer runs, but this is the hand I am have to deal with. The real test was how my SI joint would hold up after my run today. I stretched out and stood for a while before I got in the car for work. The car ride and sitting all day at work flared it up a bit, but tonight it's feeling pretty good. I am optimistic for the next few weeks and plan on rockin' my half marathon next month. It's on the Rutgers campus and that's where Michael went to school. I know for that race Michael will be with me when I run so I need to bring my A game, no slacking off!!