I have not run a single mile this week.
As you know, I ran the Parkway Classic 10-miler last Sunday. The next day, my wife and I were scheduled to start moving to our new home in Capitol Hill. About half-way through the first day of moving, I picked a heavy box up the wrong way and pulled something in my lower back. This not only made me of limited value in completing the rest of the move, it precluded me from getting any running done for the rest of the week. I've pretty much been laid up in bed taking ibuprofen and keeping ice on my back.
I was scheduled to run the American Odyssey Relay starting Friday. Running is generally an individual sport, so you usually don't have to worry about teammates having to rely on you for anything. This is not true in long distance relays like the American Odyssey. It's a 200 mile race from Gettysburg to DC, and you are one member of a team of 12 people. Each person does three separate legs of the race, and the race is divided into 3 12-leg groups, so that each runner cycles through a leg every few hours. Obviously, the burden becomes much greater on the other team members if one runner has to drop out for any reason.
That was probably the most frustrating thing about the whole back injury thing. I can handle being laid up for a few days (though, I'm generally wind up making the bad decision to try running too soon after an injury), but the last thing I want to do is let down people who are relying on me.
I, of course, informed the team captain as soon as I knew I wouldn't be able to run the race. I wanted to give him time to try to find another runner (though getting someone to run for two days on a weekend is a tough sell this late in the game). Even though I gave him the heads-up, I still considered it my responsibility to find a replacement. I was the runner leaving a gap, so it was my responsibility to fill it. I put the word out everywhere I could think of, and eventually got a hit through my wife's running club, the Capitol Hill Running Club. One of the guys who runs with her was both willing and able, and we were able to avert a minor catastrophe at the last moment.
I've have injuries that have affected my training quite a few times over the last couple of years. That's just been a combination of luck and getting older. Some of the injuries have been a result of over-training, but some of them have just come out of the blue (like when I T-boned a truck at 55 miles per hour on my motorcycle...I wasn't at fault, but the injuries didn't hurt any less because of that). As stated before, I've generally tried to get back to training too quickly and have wound up paying the price of additional time down. It's probably about time I start learning from that mistake, so this time I'm going to take it easy until I'm absolutely sure I'm good to go. Seems like it's probably the smart thing to do...and around 40 yrs old is probably the right time to start trying to do the smart thing for a change.