Greetings from Chicago!!
I’ve gone a bit off the radar ever since I finished the Australia race. Truth be told, I put myself in a self-induced chocolate and champagne stupor for the past couple of weeks and have just recently emerged. I stuffed myself full of gluten, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated fats, and bubbly forms of alcohol. I ate spoonfuls of butter dipped in sugar (oh gross – I can’t believe I just disclosed that). I even had a cigarette or two. Yeah, me, I know, positively moronic…. I don’t know what it is, but I get this insane urge to rebel when I finish a big race sometimes. After weeks of being so strict with my sleeping, my diet, and my training, it is just so freeing to suddenly realize that I can do anything I want now! I’m like the geeky teenager who, after years of playing by the rules, decides to attend one of the ‘cool’ parties the weekend her parents are away and get hideously drunk for the first time on Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Not that that ever happened (sorry Mom).
Well, the party is over and I’m in the hangover stage. The post-race gluttony hangover is almost as bad as a Mike’s Hard hangover, but not quite (anyone with me here? Oh the 90s…). I’ve put on a sweet 4kgs since Australia and I’m no longer enjoying the taste of straight butter. It was fun while it lasted though. I feel completely out of whack and lazy, but my motivation to train like a madwoman is somewhat lacking. As much as I LOOOOOVE being completely hardcore with my training though, I think it is really important to indulge a bit and avoid the dreaded ‘running burnout’ after a race. I’ve been on a number of runs over the past couple of weeks – no more than 20 or 30 km – but the key is that they have been FUN runs. I’ve gone running when I’ve wanted to, for as long as I’ve wanted to, and as slowly or as quickly as I’ve wanted to. No watch, no backpack, no agenda. Phenomenal.
It was gently suggested to me by another ultrarunner and new fast friend that I show more of this side of me on my blog – perhaps to make me a bit more human?? We had chatted quite a bit over email and he had read my blog, but we didn’t get a chance to actually meet until last weekend. In his words, “Dude, no offense, but you are much cooler in person that I thought you’d be. From reading your blog, I was expecting a vegan hypochondriac.” HAHAH, okay, I guess I see his point. The no gluten thing, the cryotherapy thing… I do sound a bit, um, intense.
So here’s my attempt to let the air outta my blog tires and chill out a bit. I am intense about training – no denying that – but no one in her right mind can keep that up forever. I’m also partly writing this blog entry to convince myself that I’ll be okay if I don’t run for the next 12-16 weeks.
I think I have to say that again – gulp – I’ll be okay if I don’t run for the next 12-16 weeks.
This is not a choice, but rather a necessity. I’m currently blogging from Chicago, where I’ve flown to see an expert foot surgeon to get my toe fixed. My name is Stephanie Case, I’m 27, and I have arthritis. It has been an annoyance for the past couple of years and I’ve already had 4 steroid injections in the joint, which is pretty much the limit. I would never jump to surgery this quickly, but this guy I’m seeing comes VERY highly recommended and I’ve only got insurance in the US for another month or two… so under the knife I go!! I’m hoping this will sort out a lot of the chronic pain and resulting injuries I’ve had over the past couple of years and that once I recover I will be stronger than ever.
So for 12-16 weeks, I’m banned from running. I think I just broke out in hives even from typing those words. But maybe this will be good for me. Even vegan hypochrondriacs need a break from themselves, and this will be my forced period of rest.
Wish me luck and when I write my next blog, I’ll be on valium!!!