Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life Clues

This past weekend, I was taking a crossfit class when I told the instructor that I was a triathlete transitioning to ultra running, and he responded by saying that marathon racing destroyed his sister's heart. Yesterday, I opened the XTRI website to find a story about a 40 year-old triathlete who died suddenly after running the Pittsburgh marathon. Hmmm...is the Universe conspiring to scare me to quit on this ultra running thing? Or is it just the car phenomena, where when you buy a certain make of car, you suddenly begin to notice that specific make everywhere. Am I just looking for reasons not to run? I do believe that life gives you clues, and I've always been pretty good at picking up on the clues.

I now think the bloody piss incident was a wake-up call of sorts. I only took one week off post IMCA and I was back at it, training for the 50-miler which included crazy things like back-to-back 30+ mile runs totaling 8000+ feet of climbing. Post 50-miler, I gave myself one week off and I was back at it running crazy miles again for the Strava 100-Mile Run Challenge. I was running one afternoon and my friend Chris, who did the 50-miler as well, pulled up along side me in his car and shouted, "Kiet, you gotta give your body a break!" As I look back on my actions, I now think that I, unknowingly, was trying to make up for a disappointing triathlon season. The crazy subconscious things we do to ourselves. In my mind, the crazy and extreme miles would lead me to redemption. I was toying with the idea of racing a marathon, doing the North Face 50-mile Challenge, and yes, I was even contemplating the Leadville-100. But the bloody piss incident and the numerous life clues gave me a good slap in the face. Also, several people emailed me and the word "balance" came up a lot. There will not be a winter marathon, nor another 50-miler, and there will certainly not be a Leadville-100 for this body. What there will be is a lot of rest and recovery, which I began this past weekend with a nice trip down south where I did not swim, bike, or run. I get it now.

To update you, I did go for a run on Thanksgiving morning, and I only made it one mile before I had to turn around. I definitely injured something "down there". But I'm happy to report that each day feels better than the previous day so I'm going to just go with it. The doctor said to give it two weeks and this is the second week. With the extra time on my hands, I'm learning new forms of distractions. TRX is not a word, really?


Michelle Simmons said...

TRX is a word. A dirty word, but a word. ;)

So does your picture mean you're back swimming?

Anyway, I think these circumstances are where coaches are worth their weight in gold.

martin briars said...

never easy to give up what you love doing !
i haven't had any serious incidents in my "ultra" "career" but i have learned (through injury) that moderation and nothing to excess are key to a healthy body !

cycling, without racing or competing, is only beneficial...surely ?
swimming, for fun - without the stress of racing against the clock - can only be fun too.
all the best

Steve said...

Hey Kiet. I know we read some of the same people, and I also have had periods of my life where I looked at life's clues!! I wish you the best, and I love seeing you out and about supporting people.

I hope you have a good recovery, and wish you the best as you plan your next year!! :)

Libby said...

smiling in florida for this realization :) very proud of you :)