Saturday, August 31, 2019

Back from the dead! Says the blog.

Enough, Jean let me and you down since mid June. 10 weeks without activity, that never happened to me before. Since March 2007, Jean took pride of visiting and making me talk to you about his running adventures, almost every week. 631 posts overall, such an amazing ride, I, this blog, decided to tell you what was going on and come back from this dead silence... And darn if you recognize my Master's style in these lines, I'm so used to it... ;-)

First, I don't blame Jean. He loves sharing about his running adventure, but, except for the obligation of his Running Day celebration at SVL in June, he hasn't been running at all since the epic mud fest of Ohlone, last May. 14 weeks, you can imagine he isn't happy about it. Actually he is rather mad as running was such a big part of his life. And mine.

What happened to Jean? Well, for those following me assiduously, you should remember a post from last November (Jean's 10th consecutive Silicon Valley Turkey Trot) in which we related one little slip on a wet cross walk. So ironic that we recently celebrated Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon 50 years ago. Yes, one little step can be a leap, forward for humanity in that case, or backward with an annoying injury for Jean. As a 3-week break in December, and another 2-week break in January didn't help, Jean decided to still run quite a loaded season in 2019, hoping the injury would fade away and heal by itself. After 11 races in which every left stride was painful (1 tough trail half marathon, 3 marathons and 7 challenging ultras), Jean was hoping that a 2-month break in the Grand Prix schedule would do and be enough time to heal.

While in France this June and July, he finally went to see 2 doctors and get an MRI. The diagnosis? At least it wasn't a stress fracture of his pelvis (that would have been bad to have raced for 5 months on it), but two findings: the MRI showed a fissured tendon in the left hamstring and the pain is coming from a bone edema at the attachment of the tendon on the pelvis.
Is it getting better? The first two months of complete rest actually didn't lead to any progress, even sitting was painful so Jean started working for hours, standing up. Agn├Ęs even got Jean to take some swimming lesson but that's really not Jean's cup of tea. After 2 months of rest, Jean finally got back to gyms (at his IBM office when in town, at the YMCA on weekend, or hotel gyms when on the road) for intense spinning or elliptical sessions. Like getting to 600 kCal for 1-hour bike workouts, or 800 kCal for elliptical ones, try that out, that get my Master sweaty!
Meanwhile, Jean got some help from these French doctors as well a some PT in Cupertino, and lot of exercises at home or in hotel rooms. 3.5 months have passed since Ohlone but the pain is still acute and forbid running. Jean is on his way to Mauritius this weekend, not sure he'll bring me on a run, I may enjoy the beach while he is working all week (yes, he has real and legit Digital Business Automation customers in Mauritius in case you wonder!).

So, some signs of healing but still no clear end in view, it has been a long and dark tunnel.

At least, I'm happy I took the initiative to break the silence. Maybe that will get Jean back to sharing a few thoughts about his experience. There are always nuggets of running wisdom to be found during injury healing time, but he also attended a few running events this Summer, albeit on the side line. Let me add that he is actually super happy he had no big races on his summer calendar this year, it would have been even worse if he had to not start a UTMB race for instance. Happy to be watching that majestic race this weekend, live!