Naturally. First run since my hamstring tightened up that I allow myself to get away from an easy bail out point. For the past week and a half I've been sticking close to home, never straying much more then half a mile away. And of course, things were feeling better and better with an almost normal run Tuesday. Still slower, but everything felt good. I felt like I was starting to turn the corner and would be able to enjoy so great trail runs on our trip as well as rides. I packed two pairs of running shoes, just knowing that I was would be able to run as much as I wanted. We didn't stop Wendsday as planned for an easy ride - the weather and trail conditions eliminated that option. Nick offered a run, but I demurred, saying I'd felt great Tuesday and really wanted to take the day off running. I would run at Frog Town Thursday.
Which I did. First mile, out on the road along the course felt great. No pain at al. So I decided instead of doing a small loop on a mix of singletrack and road, I would do a little exploring. The loop would have taken me back to camp pretty quickly and given me a nice bail out. Not so much with the exploring. Still feeling good, I turned onto the trail and headed further afield. It was fun and pretty easy running - a lot of quick directional changes but nothing super crazy or technical. I could feel the hamstring tightening up a little bit it wasn't bad - just like on most of my runs in the prior week. So I kept going. All the way out to the Virgin Dam trailhead. And that where the slight twinge became more noticeable. Beyond a twinge and into pain. Stride altering pain. I stopped and stretched for a little, hoping I was just stiff from the kamikaze drive out. We usually stop and do something - not this time. My stretching decreased the pain fro all of three minutes the first time and then the spasm came back with a vengeance and would not be relieved. I was three miles from the van no matter how I got back. I have never been so close to calling Nick and having him come get me. It was hurting that much. Even walking and lifting my leg over rocks was painful through the entire belly of the muscle.
But the real question was would it hurt to ride. After all, we were here not just for a 25 hour race, but also to get some fun trail riding and exploring done. It hasn't been hurting with rising at all, but that was before... Later in the afternoon, we headed out for a lap. I was fine for most of the climb up to Jem - the occasional twinge on some of the steeper hills. Like a cramp starting in the belly of the muscle but fading quickly. But as we came down the Jem Drop, as I brought my right foot up to make the first switchback, the muscle spasmed and cramped. Not a good place to have that happen! And as I'd been afraid off, every time I needed to use my right leg for a power move, it was either intractable pain or bobbling the obstacle. Neither a good choice in my mind!
So here we sit, the day before 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, and I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to race. And if I do, what will happen to both the vacation and my long term plans? Choices like this are never easy.