Sunday, September 25, 2011

Face Plant!

I felt tired and clumsy as I ran up the trail. Normally Hurricane Creek is my very favorite trail run. There are some steep pitches, but the scenery is inspiring (Obviously these were taken earlier in the year.)




You can run as far as you want on this trail but I almost always turn back at Slickrock, a cascading waterfall spilling over white rock into a gorge. I thought about going that far today but I knew it wasn't happening. My pace was sluggish and I kept tripping over rocks. Obviously I needed a rest day but at the same time, I hadn't run in a week. I had to run, I thought as I twisted my ankle, fortunately not severely.

Something just felt off, though I was quick to condemn it as laziness. My inner coach cracked the whip. So what if you backpacked 30 miles this week? That's not running! Pick up the pace!

Then as I was crossing Deadman Meadow, two miles from the trailhead, I caught my foot on a rock and did a full on face plant. It was the best place it could have happened, in the soft dirt instead of on a rocky section. I got up gingerly, uninjured, and slowly jogged to the trailhead.

What I had ignored was my body telling me that it was tired, a cumulative effect of the last four weeks of backpacking and interrupted sleep, both in the tent (Is that a bear?) at at home (The dog comes up the stairs. Pants. Runs back down the stairs. Runs back up the stairs. Pants. Runs...You get the picture). Tiredness/Overexercising=Face plants for me, because I am normally sure-footed.

It's a fine line and one I'm never sure about. Cut a run short because I'm wheezing up the Hill of Despair, or power through? Give up on a bike ride because my husband drives by (cringe. I did this) or stubbornly keep going? Take a nap in the hammock or go to the Gym of Awfulness? Oh and what about your vow to do yoga every day, Missy?

I envy people who have no such dilemmas. They seem to fall in two camps. The ones who pound it out, regardless. Oh, I ran fifty miles yesterday. Today, I'm going to ride my bike for 100 miles. Then, I might swim a few miles. I have typhoid fever, but that's no excuse! Or the others, the ones who say, I'm kind of tired today. I think I'll go for a walk.

There's no right or wrong here. To the freaks of nature, I say, run on! I'm trying to fit into the other camp.

5 comments:

  1. Ouch! Glad it was a soft landing.
    I can push myself only to a limit and I think that limit is kind of low. :-) I do envy people who have more drive than I do.

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  2. How amazingly fun to find your blog. I used to live in Joseph - 12 wonderful years. In fact, we come back at least once a year to visit those WC friends who became a part of our family. I now live in a remote section of Montana - an area so very like and yet so very unlike the Wallowa Valley.
    However, outside of your obvious love of everything Wallowa County offers - and mountains in general - I connected immediately with your love for hiking (something which has really blossomed for me here in Montana) and that drive to run. I can't say I'm a runner - I'm not. I took up jogging to stay in shape for hiking when there wasn't time to hike. In fact, I much prefer jogging the trails (I've been to Slickrock :-). I, too, have felt that drive to push myself. (but I don't think my drive is as strong as yours :-).
    I also TOTALLY understand the desire to fill these fall days with as much outdoor time as possible - a bank against the days when getting outside is harder and hiking the mountains not an option. I, too, am aching for every minute I can get - and, like you, we are enjoying a wonderful warm, sunny fall (maybe a payback for the spring that just wouldn't come). May it last a bit longer!
    I *will* visit your blog again. It will be like visiting home and someone who shares a similar passion.
    Enjoy those fragile fall days!

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  3. I hear you on the over-training thing. It's often hard to tell if I'm just being lazy or if I really do need rest.

    The worst part, in my experience, is over-training jacks up my resting heart rate and I feel anxious. Only thing that gets the anxiety to go away is a run....then things snowball from there until I end up with really crappy paces and heavy legs and realize which one it is.

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  4. I don't actually think those people who seem to be able to flawlessly push it suffer no consequences. Their consequences might not be a face plant, it might not even be physical, but there is a different sort of *violence* that can occur when we push and push and are never good/hard/fast/strong enough. It's a fine line but not of athleticism, I think, rather, a fine line of acceptance (societal, self, etc.)

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  5. I don't actually think those people who seem to be able to flawlessly push it suffer no consequences. Their consequences might not be a face plant, it might not even be physical, but there is a different sort of *violence* that can occur when we push and push and are never good/hard/fast/strong enough. It's a fine line but not of athleticism, I think, rather, a fine line of acceptance (societal, self, etc.)

    ReplyDelete

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