The Hapalua Chase happened on Sunday. I committed to run in January, when running was going well. In March, a whole bunch of things happened: I moved, but only after three homeless weeks, my rent increased greatly, the house needed a big paint job that took me 10 days, I refinished a the koa chair, sanding for hours... I'm not sure if it was the physical work or the stress, but really, what matters is the end result: a spiral back into pudenal nerve entrapment symptoms - aka: the incredible pain the butt. It's been a few years since I've been in this much pain - since I sold my bike the day after Honu 2012, and spent two months recovering, really. You only hear of men experiencing lifelong side effects from cycling. But it can, and did, happen to us girls, too. For me, it manifests as horrible throbbing in my hips, pelvis, and glutes. It's in full swing by noon and keeps me up most of every night. It's been a month of no sitting down, of 1-2 hours of sleep at a time, of driving on my hip, trying to inconspicuously stand up through work meetings, of working from home as much as I can, of sleeping on ice packs, and of lots of tears. And I'm lucky - the symptoms for men are much worse.
I can run without worsening it, but not with any speed. Everything feels weak. I went to the Hapalua expo, just in case I magically woke up feeling well on race morning. The Chase goes like this: ten Hawaii men and ten Hawaii women get a head start on the elite distance runners from Africa and Japan. We're handicapped based on our recent race times. I was supposed to go out first in a group of three, and thought if I wasn't in pain, I was in 1:27-1:28 shape. Whoever gets to the finish line first gets the prize money, regardless of start time. At the expo, this was life-sized:
No pressure. And yes, I was the only one who submitted a professional headcshot. Because the older I get, the more make up I require, you know.
I was there to represent the old folks. Race director Jim Barahal pointed out that I did exactly that - the old folks are too injured to make it to the starting line. I ran a mile Sunday morning to try out race pace. My achy glutes couldn't hold it for 3 minutes. I went back to bed.
Friends have asked what's next. This is my priority: Getting my health back through rest, healthy eating, and reducing stress any way I can.
Money and health are so similar - if you have them, you don't think about them. If you don't, they're all you think about. I'm there now, but I don't intend to stay in this hole for much longer.
Then, I'll find the next race. Last year, there were three marathons and a near-miss of my beloved sub-3. This year, I think I want a half PR. I've got 1:25 now. I want 1:22. But first, health!