Exploring the Ozarks

Having an injury is no fun. Zero, zilch, nada! I’ve been dealing with an ankle/foot injury, going on 45 days now. I believe it came from a certain shoe, during a race back in November. Nevertheless, it was bad enough for me to go see a doctor (which I almost never do). I actually took 15 days completely off of it, activity wise. I’m roughly 6 weeks into a training block for my first 50 Miler. I’ve built an 18-week training program giving myself enough time to work up my miles and also adding in a few recovery weeks in there to “prevent” injury. Unfortunately, I have not reached my first recovery week before the injury and the time off. Ever since my injury I’ve had to reassess my training plan and go off of feel until this injury is at bay. In doing so, I’ve had very low miles since I started back. This last week was the first time I’ve felt 85% or healthier since the injury. I took full advantage of the health that I felt. Here is my recap.

With me going off of feel but yet still knowing I need X time and Y miles to get my fitness level where I need it in April, I took it very easy to start off the week. My first run of the week fell on a Tuesday, before work. Just a 30 min, keep it light, feel it out run. During and after the run I felt 0 pain, once the day came to an end, I could feel some slight discomfort. I believe the discomfort was coming from me being hypersensitive to my injury. I took Wednesday and Thursday off, really wanting to nurse any injury that my still be present. Friday morning I went out for a 2-hour run, controlled pace, road, and really looking for that time under tension while maintaining healthy habits. Seeing that I saw no pain present I decided to maintain the momentum and press on into Saturday.

West end of Lake Fayetteville Dam during 2-hour run

Saturday I was scheduled for a 3-hour run. Waking up and feeling 0 pain, needless to say, I was ecstatic! I felt as if I was truly turning a corner and the injury was behind me. “Not so fast”, I said to myself, “You still have to go out and stay healthy on this run.” Reminding myself of what this injury has caused and what I want to avoid. My 3-hour run was out in the Ozark Mountains, on forest gravel roads, with the OHT (Ozark Highland Trail) cutting through them frequently. With me wanting to stay off trails (to eliminate as many variables as possible) I’m sticking to road and gravel. Out in the Ozarks its absolutely beautiful. You might see some people out there, but what you will see is wildlife, rolling mountains, and amazing streams of water. Not taking a single second for granted, I absorbed all the sounds, all the views, all the blessings. Being the day after the run I feel less than 10% pain and feel confident in my ability to keep this injury at bay. Once again, while telling myself, “Not so fast, do not downplay this!”

White Rock Mnt Road from Combs

I managed to get 5.5 hours, 33 miles, and 2,900 feet of gain. Nowhere near where I need to be but understanding it’s the process.

Next week may or may not look similar to this week. I will be feeling it out and just making sure I don’t back track!

Here is my Strava link from my 3-hour run!


Run Arkansas!


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