When I first asked my hip surgeon if I would ever run again he said, “Yes!” to which I of course was thrilled to hear. And then he followed with a “but it’s not like you’ll ever be able to run the Wasatch 100.”
Well turns out I won’t be able to run the Wasatch 100 because I’m running THE BEAR 100!!!
Running a hundred mile race had been a secret goal of mine. I picked up a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune within days of moving to Salt Lake City in 2001 and was drawn to a piece about the Wasatch 100. A one hundred mile footrace?!? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t even fathom the distance nor the kind of person who would do such a thing. I had never run more than a 5K.
Years later I met Karl Meltzer, of hundred mile fame, while working at Snowbird. I thought he was nuts, and I grilled him in the hows and whys of ultrarunning and then I started running.
I became obsessed with the ins and outs of ultrarunning more so as a spectator than a participant and started racing shorter events and pacing racers in hundreds. I survived my first 50K and then shortly after quit my job and moved to Colorado and interned with Trail Runner Magazine.
Shortly after, I stepped out of bed one morning and felt a sharp pain in my left hip. I had always had “bad hips” and figured this was just another tweak and it would go away, but it only got worse from there. I stopped running, saw a chiropractor and got some temporary relief, and then finally saw and MD where an x-ray showed a very obvious cam lesion – Femoral Acetabular Impingement Syndrome – FAI for short. I got an MRI that verified that fact and also showed a small labral tear. Doc prescribed rest, then a cortisone shot, and when that didn’t work some physical therapy and then when that didn’t work surgery and another surgery and then another surgery.
Four years and three hip surgeries later, I’m finally ready to give a hundred a shot! I did the Rut 50K just 9 months after my final surgery and the Antelope Canyon 55K last year, and the Red Hot 55K just a few weeks ago and have a 50-miler scheduled in the next month. I’m feeling fantastic and operating at 110% so it is now or never and I am scared to death!
One hundred miles is a long way, but I’m going to try.