When I moved back from Chile in March of 2014, I had some lingering pain and issues on my right side. I had been keeping-at-bay a batch of painful spots in my right lower back, under my right glute, my right hamstring, and my right foot in the form of plantar fasciitis...for 2 years-ish. When I finally finished running the Columbia Challenge race in Chile and flew home the day after, I really wasn't in too great of shape. I was tired, beat up feeling, and the pains on my right side were about as bad as they've ever been.
This was not the usual post-race ouchies, but a true, deep-down exhaustion and...well, it was like a dam of pain and nagging injuries had finally burst and I felt like a very old man: I couldn't get out of bed in the morning without stretching, I couldn't walk right most of the time, I could barely jog, and more than anything, I was in actual, conscious pain most of the time. In particular, the dreaded plantar fasciitis was remarkably painful.
It was stupid. Ain't nobody fucking paying me to do this shit!
So, I struggled through that summer, trying to "train," running crazy uphill miles on a treadmill in the garage while watching movies, running long out-and-back runs on flat farm roads in Michigan, and never really putting together any fitness because I was a mess physically. I did try to foam roll, do exercises, stretches, wear a toe-sock thing for the plantar etc. to try and rehab my body...but I was never willing to take the necessary time off from running to really have any of that stuff be very effective.
I'm so dumb, deep down inside, that when I stop to consider the magnitude of it, I feel as though I'm leaning over a cliff's edge, staring into a chasm with no rock bottom.
Wing-suiting through the inky depths of my stupidity.
(I shelved this post for a bit and now I'm now writing on it again, months later and drunk. Here we go...)
So all that summer 2014 training was for naught. I was physically fucked. Mentally mucked. Spiritually sucked. Etc.
...And then I moved to NYC. And I started bartending in the West Village 5 nights a week. Mixing $16 cocktails for billionaires (seriously). Stupid. It's only the daily, shitty-but-always-available tiny pleasures of our modern lives that keep us from rising up and killing off the people who have all of our money. It's like exfoliating your skin...you gotta keep the useless shit at the top scraped off! Or else!
Or else what? You look old, tired, and ashy. That's billionaires are doing to your skin right now. That's the point.
Greater sins never existed.
So, there I am bartending in the city and running a bit. But I really did sit myself down and say "You gotta relax with this running shit. You're not very good at it and you spend too much time thinking about it."
And I was right. AM right. I did just that from fall of 2014 until fall of 2015...I ran about 5 days a week, easy short jogs, and I mostly lifted weights at the remarkably cheap gym in Williamsburg. I stopped reading running blogs. I stopped "training" for a future race. I stopped reading ultrarunning websites. I didn't know who won WS100 or Hardrock or UTMB...I knew exactly how to make either a traditional daquiri or a Hemingway daquiri...I also knew the difference (blind taste test) between oysters sourced from Virginia vs. MA. And wine made from grapes grown on different sides of the same mountain range in France. Seriously.
So, yeah, it was good. I ran a 4:43 mile on the treadmill during this time. I set the treadmill to SPEED 22 and the pace calculator on it said "4:43/mile" and I ran until the distance calculator said "1.0 miles" and that was that. That was my running highlight of winter 2014/15. Letting a robot slap my feet.
Jesus! This is so much text. I've gotta stop now. I'll just publish what's here. Maybe a part two soon. I'd like to start writing on this again. It's good for me.
At any rate, just in case you were worried, I'm doing just dandy. Life is truly very very good right now and I could not be happier about it.
Thanks to all those blogs out there that don't stop and start with months of inactivity! I'm all of your Truest Believers! Please never let your well of sanity/insanity run dry!
P.S. I'm on Instagram now as pattythurber (I'll never topple a billionaire at this rate)
Trail near the house goes right to the ol' border con Meh-hee-coh!
Got in the paper again for running slowly. I thought Arizona had Olympians living here?