Last night I slept for nine hours. I almost got up early when I woke early and couldn’t get back to sleep. Then I looked at the clock. It was still 4:30. I told myself I needed to try to go back to sleep. I eventually got back to sleep … three more times. I really needed it.
Today is Wednesday, so I weighed myself. I haven’t had a Weigh-in Wednesday post for five weeks, but I still weigh myself. I weighed 121 pounds. While that’s a few pounds above my ideal racing weight, it was still a pleasant surprise. My weight has remained roughly the same for the last five weeks, despite a drastically reduced activity level.
I had one more piece of good news. I didn’t have a sore throat last night.
Let me back up. Six weeks ago, I had a groin injury. Since then, I’ve done very little running. The obvious exception was the Comrades Marathon. After doing that race while still injured, I was worried that I wouldn’t be fully healed in time for my race this weekend. As recently as Saturday, I still didn’t feel any better than I did before Comrades.
A week ago, I started to come down with a cold. At first it was just post-nasal drip and a sore throat. Then the post-nasal drip went away, but I had some congestion. It never got any worse than that, but it also never seemed to go away. Eventually, I only had symptoms at night. During the day, the sore throat and congestion would both go away. I kept thinking the cold was finally gone. The next morning, I’d be stuffed up and the sore throat would be back. This went on for a few more days. Finally, last night, the sore throat and congestion didn’t come back.
This cold was, at most, only annoying, but my race this weekend is in the mountains. At times, I’ll be above 9,000 feet, where the air is thin. Running at that elevation is tiring when you’re healthy. With a cold, it would be much more tiring.
To keep my eating under control, I usually keep track of everything I eat. A few weeks ago, I stopped doing that. Being injured, I couldn’t get as much exercise as usual. I was worried I’d gain weight, but I didn’t want to obsess about it. I needed to just take a break from worrying about what I ate. There would be time to lose weight after I got healthy.
For the most part, I was still eating healthy foods, and I wasn’t eating too much. The one notable exception was eating a bowl (or two) of ice cream in the evening. I started doing that to soothe my sore throat, and it became a nighttime ritual.
I managed to get through the last five weeks without any weight gain. I’m over my cold. I also feel like I’m real close to being recovered from my groin strain. The Bighorn Mountain 100 is two days away, and I got some extra sleep. Everything is coming together at just the right time.
Every other day, I’ve been doing exercises for physical therapy. In the long term, they’ll strengthen the injured muscles, as well as my hips, glutes and hamstrings. In the short term, they had me always feeling sore – especially in the hips. Today I’m going to skip my exercises. Today and tomorrow are rest days. I don’t want to have any sore muscles when I start the race.
A week ago, this race terrified me. Now I’m getting excited about it. It’s more difficult than any race I’ve finished. It’s 100 miles. Parts are at high elevation. It has long climbs and long descents. It’s mostly single track trail. It will be hot during the day. It will be freezing during the night. I’ll probably have to run through a thunderstorm in the dark. I’m ready to take on those challenges. I just want two things. I want to get to the starting line healthy, and I want to get to this finish line still healthy.