Last September I posted my race report for my first 50 mile ultra distance running race, the Georgia Jewel, to suddenly vanish from the blogging world. I really am uncertain what happened, but I just suddenly felt the need to unplug from the blogging world and let myself disappear.
Last year I embraced distance running and found myself pushing my limits further. I found myself running 80-90 mile weeks to prepare for numerous ultra distance and timed races, finishing roughly six 50k races, a 50 mile race, two 12 hour races for 37 and 32 miles and a 24 hour race for 55 miles. Race wise things were looking good, but my personal life took a toll as I spent hours of every day running, striving to improve.
Besides the hours spent running, I found myself struggling with a new nagging injury. At the end of the Midsummer Nights Dream Ultra I ran a whopping 55 miles, exceding my previous distance maximum of 37 miles. My body was wrecked. As I packed up I attempted to lift a heavy table into my vehicle and felt a funny sensation in my back. At first I was able to ignore it and I could run with an ample amount of ibuprofin. At my final ultramarathon distance race of the year, The Tortoise and Hare 50k, I found myslef progressing an hour slower than last years race time. The entire race I felt a pain shoot down my leg, originating from my glutes. Usually a few ibuprofin quited this pain, but finaly my body had enough.
After that race I decided to take some time off, finishing the year with 1990 miles of running and a long list of accomplishments. But the distance and hours and finally injury took its toll in the end and I found myself finishing the year nursing an injury that seemed to never go away. On top of the fatigue and injury, I battled with my weight, often finding difficulty in dropping below 290 lbs. With little activity and little change in my ultra running training diet I found myself ballooning back up into the 310 lb range by the end of the year. As 2015 gave way to 2016 I celebrated an amazing year of athletic acomplishment mixed with anger and upset over the end of the years dissapointing conclusion.
In Part 2 I will continue with summerizing 2016 and some of the changes and challenges faced as I adapted to my ever changing and evolving understancding of myself as an athlete.