Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trail running as a contact sport

Ah, to be slightly injured. Most endurance athletes develop nagging muscle pains or tendon issues that slowly build into an overuse injury. I actually haven't had one of those in a while. But minor blunt force trauma, that's something I know all to well. I'm appalled by all of the scars I've accumulated since I moved to California — both elbows, both knees, upper right leg, left forearm. A woman in her thirties with no involvement in contact sports should not be wracking up this many scars. I was out of commission for several weeks last year after a mountain bike crash ripped open my right elbow, but most of the rest are from running crashes, simple tripping and falling. Just so horribly clumsy. I know what I'm doing wrong but still make mistakes, and sometimes these falls happen for no apparent reason at all. It's funny, and yet, I'm getting to the point where I'm not laughing about it anymore. My clumsiness wasn't nearly as visible when I lived in the land of moss and snow; everything was slow and soft. Year-round dirt is apparently a hazard for someone like me.

Leg bruising. I couldn't include
the bruise on my hip in a photo
without venturing outside
of PG-rated territory.
The day after the Coyote Ridge 50K, I had to miss out on a fun bike ride with friends, and I somehow woke up even more sore the next day. My right leg is bruised but the main concentration of pain was in my right pinkie finger and wrist, and my right hip. The specific pain is in the part of my pelvis that juts out. There's a cut that maybe I ignored after Neosporin application number one, that got infected. There's a bruise, and below that, pain that feels like it's in the bone somehow. It's not severe pain, but noticeable. Beat and I have another long run planned on Saturday, so today I set out on a trail run to test out the pain threshold. The uphill section didn't feel that bad, so I continued for four miles, but the subsequent four miles downhill were grating. Ah, injuries. The hand is feeling better, so that's encouraging.

I've received some great feedback about Half Past Done this week, and I appreciate everyone who weighed in. I've been working on fleshing out the site with more content so new readers have a sense of what it's all about, and then I'll delve deeper into the structure. There are also a couple of writers who have expressed interest in contributing, which is exciting. Here's the articles up since I posted here last:

Enduring gear: A column about the unique origins and lasting usefulness of our favorite pieces of gear. 

A look at some of the gear Eric Larsen is taking to Antarctica.

Going for broke: A spotlight on Nolan's 14 and the three mountain runners who conquered this Colorado mountain challenge this year, the first "finishes" in a decade. Nolan's 14 could be described as Hardrock on steroids, certainly the toughest established 100-mile run in the Rockies.

Again, feedback and suggestions are appreciated. For "Jill Outside," I've been working on some year-in-review stuff. Then, later this month, Beat and I have cold and dark trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, scheduled for Christmas break that should generate some funny frosty face pictures. Just in case you were worried I'm slowly abandoning this site with whining about bruises and link-backs to my other blog. Thanks for reading.