The fact that I finished The Hardrock 100 has not completely sunk after a few days home. I wrote this post the day before the race, but I didn’t want to post it until after so it didn’t seem like I made excuses for myself if I didn’t finish. However, I must thank the Lord as the months leading up to this race couldn’t have made the outcome more uncertain. Stay tuned for my race report coming soon. I hope this helps convey how blessed I feel for completing this race I have been dreaming of for nearly 10 years.
I Could Barely Walk
On April 23rd, I went to Mt Tammany to do a workout that would include 8-10 hill repeats. Each loop at Mt Tammany is just over 3 1⁄2 miles with over 1200 feet of elevation gain. I had been struggling the days leading up to this workout with what I thought was some pyriformis pain, tightness in my adductors, and other little areas of discomfort. Unfortunately in less than 2 hours I knew my body was telling me to stop despite Hardrock 100 quickly approaching. It was frustrating, but the scary part happened when I got out of my truck and I could barely walk due to pain in my hip.
I realized I had never really backed off of training after the HighFive 100 last August. I continued logging many miles on the road despite knowing that I should have been spending more time on the trails which is easier on the body. Unfortunately I only took time off in December after some Adductor Tendonitis became extremely uncomfortable. Once again, rather than ease back into training, I fought through it and went back to running more than I should have within a week. However, the dumbest workout in 2021 occurred a couple of days before I couldn’t walk on April 21st when I ran 16×400 on the track, a useless workout given what I was training for.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
After an X-ray, which showed nothing structural, I had an MRI that showed so many issues that my physcian told me some significant time off would be the wisest decision. However Hardrock could be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wasn’t giving up that easy. I started getting massages regularly, active release treatments, and after a couple of weeks of doing nothing but resting, I start riding a peloton twice a day. In addition to strengthening exercises, I eventually began walking on my treadmill and began increasing the elevation to prepare me for Hardrock, which was still highly doubtful. I remained patient even when I felt better and slowly ramped up my mileage on the road but included more time on the trails.
Time To Decide
I didn’t want to take up someone’s spot at Hardrock if I hadn’t fully recovered. I decided if I could not run in the mountains while on a business trip to Kalispell, MT, I would drop from the race. Fortunately I felt amazing physically and spiritually during these runs and I was so grateful to God for helping me get through this, to be patient, and to heal.
If you’ve taken the time to read this far, I hope you’ll consider seeing someone if you have any type of injury. Dr. Derek Gearhart from Bucks Sports Chiropractic and Dr. Kieran Cody from Bucks County Orthopedic Specialists helped diagnose and convince me that I needed to take some rest and be patient before running again. Ultimately Dr. Johnny King-Marino and Geoffrey Prudhomme from Advanced Spine and Sports Chiropractic went above and beyond to help get to the point where I as strong and confident as I do tonight.
Being only hours away from lining up for The Hardrock 100 (July 16th at 6:00am EST), I am excited and very optimistic. I have no idea what will happen at one of the toughest 100 in the country. I know I will enter the pain cave and experience the many high and lows with any race of this difficulty.
Regardless of the outcome, I have learned so many lessons and grown in many different ways over the last couple of years leading up to this race. Since I first got into the lottery in 2019, I have lost my father, made many new friends, lost a few, had another daughter graduate high school, and many other major life events. As I run around in the San Juan Mountains for 100 miles over the next few days, I pray that I will continue to grow personally, gain greater understanding, and strengthen my faith.
(Images going clockwise the week before the race) Helping Adam prepare for the HighFive100 with Logan; Some rehab in the stream; Glad I drove my new truck to CO and had fun on the mountain passes; Checking out some of the HRH course with my friend Brian, the only other runner from PA; Handies Peak with Bailey, Fireball, and Logan;