Today was the first day in 11 months that I have exercised without any foreign objects in my body: metal plate. An 8km trail run with Lori-Ann, her first trail run (or any type of run) in years. And I must report that the run was a success. Dr. Kwee and the medical team at Peace Arch have done a crack job in extracting the hardware out of my shoulder. Every day it is feeling better and better. I can actually feel the mobility and range of motion coming back, and today's run through Kenna Cartwright was the first test. Granted, my bandage was oozing sweat mixed with dried blood, and my Chuckanut Footrace t-shirt was stained something fierce, but the best part is that I could have gone longer. Today was an easy pace on a tough group of trails that normally I bomb on my mountain bike. I feel like now is the time to start to challenge my own perceptions on distance and time spent running/ cycling. This may be difficult with children, but the day has lots of light right now, and I have a lot of time.
What I find most interesting is that on July 18th, I came out of the hospital, bandaged looking like a NFL fullback on my left side with a sling. It seemed horrible to be down during that time, but if I think back to ten months ago when every day was spent at home alone in a bed until my 8 ribs knit themselves back together and my physio exercises on my shoulder started to work, this was an easy recovery. Ten days later, I am nearly feeling 100% after going under the knife.
Right now I am reading Born to Run, a really fun read with a tonne of thought provoking insight into ultra and barefoot running. On Wednesday I was killing time in Save-On Foods, when some guy in a Badwater Ultramaraton shirt walked by me. Reading about Scott Jurek and his first go at Badwater came to my mind, and seeing some guy in South Surrey wearing this shirt, I walked by sort of stunned. The lore of Badwater, a 130 mile run (with the heat reaching upwards of 130 degrees) came to mind. I B-lined it from the magazine aisle to find this dude. Spotting him down a different aisle, I asked him about his shirt.
What happened next was a 20 minute conversation about barefoot and ultra running. Talking with Darin Bentley in Save-On Foods three days ago, I am really inspired to take up the ultra mantle. I did not realize how accomplished this man is, how modest he came across as I blurted out my goals, my marathon performance, and all the rookie mistakes someone makes when chatting about running. Bragging is something that I care less for, and in hindsight, I seemed to be getting caught up in talking about my mediocre performances, although it did not seem that way at the time. It seemed more like I wanted to say "Hey man, I want to get to the next level, where do I go from here?"
Ultra running seems like a tough challenge. One that will test my determination and mental strength. Perhaps this is why I run. I am looking for a new challenge. A run tomorrow? I think so.