Sunday, March 1, 2009

December 2008

December 2008 is when I began feeling some definite weakening. As previously mentioned, I had planned to run the Memphis marathon on December 6, but had cut my training short to let a bruised kneecap heal. Since I was out of my regular training routine, I had no idea how the race would go. I was worried that my knee would become too irritated to finish, and a secondary concern was that I might create another injury by having a compromised gait. Suprisingly, however, the race felt great. I felt strong and fast, and my knee and legs didn't bother me at all. I finished in 3:37, which qualified me for the Boston marathon with 3 minutes to spare. It was one of the most fun race days in recent memory.

After the marathon, I went into recovery mode. I took it easy, rested, and did light bouts of exercise. The weekend before Christmas, some friends and I went to the Buffalo River to do some trail running. It would be the most I'd run since the marathon. My friends left me in the dust that day... I kept pace for the first several miles, but found myself lagging behind during the second half of the outing. I felt that my body just didn't want to go, like I was trying my hardest but barely moving. I reasoned that at that time, my body was still recovering from the marathon, and that I was just having an off day. I was just feeling a little physically down.

I continued to do more light running here and there through the Christmas break. I didn't do anything that resembled a hard workout that would have helped me to gauge my level of physical fitness, I just wanted to enjoy the recovery and stay active on my feet. However, towards the end of the month, while I was at my parents' house for the holidays, I began to notice that I felt muscle soreness. The level of soreness was not abnormal, it felt like I had done an excessively hard workout or run a long race. What was abnormal, however, is that I hadn't extended myself physically at all. I was resting and recovering, but I felt like I had just run a 50K. I had been doing some basic exercises at home such as crunches and pushups as a light strength workout, and I noticed that those exercises were more difficult than normal. I also noticed that my jaw hurt, and I wondered if I had a cavity or some dental issue. But there was no pattern with the jaw pain... sometimes it would be on one side, sometimes on the other, sometimes gone completely. Another oddity that I noticed during this time was a severe sense of cold in my hands. I had been out running multiple times where I lost all feeling in my fingers, to the point of extreme discomfort. It's certainly not uncommon to have temporarily cold fingers on a run, but these instances were abnormal by a long shot.

By the time I left my parents' house to come back to Fayetteville for New Year's, I was feeling like something might be a little bit off in my body. I hadn't put any further thought towards it, though, still assuming that my body was a little bit down and still recovering.

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