So, let's be real. I'm disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I am super relieved I was able to push through and get this thing done as there was a very real chance I would DNF. Finishing is always something to celebrate. The thing is, I thought for the first time I wouldn't be in it "just" to finish. My training was smart and I was SO EXCITED for what I thought would be a 100 mile PR, Run Rabbit Run being the easiest 100 I've done. I was FAR better trained for this race than the Bear or Hardrock, and yet this race hurt the most. You may argue that my training wasn't smart, saying I wouldn't have gotten injured right before taper if that were true, but I could not have trained any better for this race. When there was even a hint of an overuse injury creeping up, I rested. I took my time recovering after the two 50 milers I did for training, and while I did my 2 highest mileage weeks ever, they were very slow 74 and 73 mile weeks- I don't think this was unreasonable.
I definitely don't see the 6 months of training as a waste because I loved getting back on the trails! I'm not even burnt out on trails the way I was after Hardrock, even with an extra month of training. While the training isn't always easy and fun, I appreciate being able to put in the hard work. I met Dan and Kurt and spent many hours with them on the trails, I had my first podium finish in a 50 miler, and I got to spend a ton of time in Colorado this summer when the trails were closed in New Mexico! It's been a great year. I just wish my body had held up better so I could have had the race I know I have in me. I can't believe my first 100 is STILL my PR. I am super unsatisfied with that. I'm currently on a once-every-2-years streak for 100 milers, and with how long and slow recovery has been, that just might continue. I'm usually okay with a little taper, then a little break after a race, but this has been an incredibly slow and frustrating recovery process that I don't really want to repeat for awhile! We'll see though :)
The Injury/discomfort tally:
Extensor tendonitis in both ankles, especially the left one, which kept me from finishing training 3 weeks prior to race day.
Swollen, tender left knee that is still keeping me from running, 3+ weeks post race.
Degloved right little toe (10 days post-race, all the skin and the nail lifted right off). A month later I'm still losing layers of skin on both little toes repeatedly.
Callus/blister on bottom of left foot, which was responsible for the blister between my toes.
Similar blisters on right foot that weren't as severe.
Raspy, cracking voice for almost a week from breathing in dust/smoke.
Quads sore to the touch and with every downhill step.
Rash on legs for about a week from some plant.
Neck/shoulder pain, residual from San Juan Solstice.
10 days later the swelling has gone down but my knee and left ankle are still sore; I can finally walk normally on my blisters after a lot of work on them; neck is still sore but getting better, voice is back, rash is gone, and I'm anxious to get back exercising!