I was so close, but something just said ‘no.’
I took a long and renewing break from training and travelling over my New Zealand summer. I filled it with healthy eating, massage, physio treatment, good vitamin and mineral supplements, time with friends and family, yoga and pilates on the beach, swimming in the surf, walking in the mountains and fishing in the rivers.
As I packed my bag to head off for the summer racing in Europe and USA, I was confident I was ready. That after the three months of ‘rehab’ I was ready to put in some good weeks of training and be ready to go with my first race – TransVulcania.
But as I landed in Moab, USA for the Salomon Advance week. I felt something was just not quite right. Was it my mind or body that was not ready to leave my land just yet? Something was holding me back. Some pain crept in to my psoas muscle, not enough to stop me, but enough for me to be cautious for the week adventuring the Arches National Parks with the team. Soon the creeping pain became electric, sending shocks down into my inner thigh with every step. The SI joint was radiating heat. I turned to the bike and cross-country skis for a week exploring the East Coast of America in bitterly cold winds, but nevertheless fresh and recharging air. In Annecy, France, I swam and aqua jogged and went through some intensive stretch and manipulation sessions while working on an exciting new apparel project at the Salomon headquarters. I headed to La Palma and laughed out loud with the vibrant energy the island and I share. My new Saracen bike gave me ways to explore the familiar paths and find new exciting ones too. With some sessions of myofascial release, I was hoping for a miracle. But the pain would not budge.
I was frustrated, I was upset, I even cried. Not because I will miss a race, no, it is only a race. However, I admit, TransVulcania is an incredible race. One that in 2012 gave me much more than I could have looked for. A race where time stopped still while the energy of the mountains and of my body connected and moved as one. Could I even find that again in this race? Maybe not, but I’m sure I could find something else. I was upset because I want to be free in the mountains. It is not just about running. It is about being able to explore places where cars, planes and even bikes cannot go.
I have decided not to race TransVulcania. An obvious decision, but a hard one to make out loud and on paper. But what is important is that I am healthy. That I can explore without pain, without further damage. I will take pleasure in watching my friends and fellow trail runners challenge themselves in such a beautiful race. I will enjoy the islands beauty with my bike and in the ocean, hoping to gather up some energy from the land to move my injury on. To find new strength and direction for the long season ahead.
Good Luck to all who are racing. Look up and face the challenge!
[Editor’s Note: We’ve previewed the 2013 Transvulcania men’s field and will be doing the same for the ladies on Tuesday. We’ll also be covering the race live this weekend.]