Following a frustrating month of February when I injured my groin (doing too much too fast), March looked like it was going to be another disappointing month. I didn’t have enough real training time and had to cancel my entry to run Old Goat 50 miler. This was a set back for me, mostly because I pride myself on running and training smart and avoiding stupid training mistakes.
Suffice it to say when March rolled around I looked down and felt like I was standing in a field of proverbial turds. Not able to run, I began the month only able to cross train - cycle, elliptical and the like. I was feeling down, broken, dejected.
It has been said that sometimes flowers grow from turds. Turd blossoms, as they are known in Texas, rise up from the most despicable conditions; conditions that make grown men cower, even cringe. How is this so? How does a beautiful flower grow from a pile of cow dung?
As the month progressed, I simply focused on hours instead of miles. Sure, I wasn’t running for several days on end, but I was getting my hours in. By the second week I was able to do some climbing and easy running. By the third week things started to fall into place. The groin injury moved from the left to the right side and now just lingers in the background. March results? 64 hours, 237 running miles, 60 elliptical miles and 30,000 feet of climbing.
What does all this have to do with turds and blossoms? First off, I think things happen for a reason. As runners, all of us should understand that our bodies are servants of the mind. When the mind makes demands, the body responds. When the mind demands too much, the body, like any servant, breaks down. Then the mind is taught a valuable lesson - to listen and to respect the body. From this messy process grows something quite stunning.