Saturday, April 9, 2011


As in, drenched.  Today was trail run day.  The plan was for me, Tim, dad, Wes, and Scott to run 13 miles on a pretty tame trail--the Deam Trail at Hoosier National Forest.  As Tim and I were on our way to meet the others, Wes called and said "Are you sure you want to run in this?"  I was like...what?  It was barely raining at that point.  He told me that a storm was coming in.  But my iPhone said not til noon, and it was just 9:45.  So I said "Yes, I want to run in this."

We met at Paynetown, or Pate Hollow, another, much less tame trail at Hoosier National Forest.  By this point it was raining hard.  There was some thunder and a bit of lightning.  Wes made it known that he didn't want to run in this.  Dad and I were busy looking at our iPhones to see if there was going to be a break soon in the weather.  We figured out that we had two choices:  run now in the rain, or run later in the heat and humidity.  Tim, dad, and I went for the former.  I needed to run as early as possible given my 22 tomorrow.  I couldn't wait til the afternoon.  We opted to run at Paynetown, which is a 6-mile loop trail.  That way we'd never be more than 3 miles from the car.  It meant a much harder run, but it was a trade off we had to make.  Wes and Scott refused to run in the storm, and tried to lay guilt trips on us.  They remarked how we had kids.  And we were going to go run in that?  What would our poor children do when they found out we'd all been killed by lightning, wind gusts, or hail?  Lightweights!

Wes and Scott left, announcing that they were going home, back to bed, and would run later.  And the three soldiers marched on.  I led on the way out.  It's been a long time since I've run Paynetown.  It's not an easy trail.  I used to have to psyche myself up just to run on it.  So I was gearing up for a tough run.  As we set out, it was raining hard.  There was thunder and a little lightning.  No wind to speak of (or hail, Wes).  The rain made the temperature perfect.  It was a little muddy, but not bad yet.  We climbed the first major hill and, as we crested, I thought to myself "That wasn't nearly as bad as I remember."  And hill after hill...I kept thinking that.  Last time I ran this trail I was running 75-80 miles/week consistently, but it always kicked my butt.  Now, it was manageable.  Nay, enjoyable.  Why?  Because I run TONS OF HILLS now.  I am strong.  I may not be at my fastest, but I'm by far at my strongest.

The rain turned to a downpour for about 5-10 minutes, but within 3 miles, it really wasn't bad at all.  It rained to some degree the whole time, but it made it nice and cool.  We finished the first loop and I felt great.  We stopped at the car to gel and Gatorade up, and Tm asked me "How is the abdominal pain?"  I had decided to leave the TENS in the car, as I didn't want it getting wet.  I hadn't mentioned the pain to that point because I hadn't had ANY.  At ALL.  So I told him this, and we headed out for loop two.  Well, as soon as we did, the abdominal pain began to surface on the right.  I notice that eating or drinking brings it on, so it was probably the gel and Gatorade.  Anyway--I got away with 6 pain free miles.  The most in months.

As the second loop went on, the pain did worsen.  It never got stabbing, but it was there and radiating around my back and into my sides.  For whatever reason, the cortisone just doesn't affect it like it should.  I think that reason is because something is literally pulling on my insides.  Dr. L mentioned that my floating rib is catching me there, and I think that may be part of the issue.  My pain is right where that rib is (also where he injected).  And if I hold it in place, the pain is much better.  If it is my rib, I want it OUT.  But I'm digressing.  I promised myself I wouldn't obsess about the abdominal pain until after my race.  There's simply not enough time to get rid of it at this point.  But I'm convinced that some sort of surgery will be involved.

I felt amazing during the second loop, despite the abdominal pain.  My legs were strong.  I could have pushed up the hills, but I didn't.  And, for the first time, I did not fall at Paynetown.  I've never not wiped out there.  And today, with all the rain, I stayed vertical.  Dad had one little slip, but that was all.  When we got back to the car, we had to turn around to add on to get an even 13, which meant climbing monster hill again.  My legs still felt great.  We finished, trash talked about Scott and Wes, how they were going to roast during their run, and how they OBVIOUSLY should have run with us, and we were done.

As we got in the car, I could feel my left hamstring.  It's just sort of nagging, but didn't bother me on the run.  I'll use Therbo on it.  Last long run tomorrow.  22 miles.  I think it may just be me and Tim.  Bill and Kathy aren't coming, Wes is a weak maybe, and dad hasn't decided.  The Millers will be out there, though, running what my dad has now named the "Hell Course" in Bedford.  We'll traverse some major climbs.  We'll endure some heat.  But where will we end up when we finish?  Taper Town!  Strong as ever.  I can't wait.

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