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Week 2 of planning for my 200km ultramarathon did not go as planned. My knees started to hurt in a bad way and it hurt to walk. I woke up a lot of soreness and tightness. I was intending to run to work and back in four segments each day which totals up to 10km but I couldn’t continue the runs due to the persistent pain. Luckily I figured out what the problem was and have been moving forward.

I had knee pain below the knee cap one day and then it was beside the knee cap the next day. On day 3 of the pain I researched what muscles were in that area as I know that there are a lot of different muscles in the legs. They are an incredibly complex piece of body and there is more to them than the standard hamstring, quad and calf that we all group the leg muscles into.

I ended up identifying the hurting muscle as the satori muscle which runs from underneath the knee, to the inside of the leg beside the knee and up the quad to the hip. It is a very long muscle.

Then I googled satori muscle stretches and found out some specific stretches to target that muscle as the usual stretches don’t cut it. Basically it is a standing or lying quad stretch but then while the quad is stretching you pull the hell to the outside and then the inside. This puts rotational pressure on the knee but it really stretched that muscle for me and provided a lot of relief. I immediately noticed a difference and improvement in how I felt.

The Sunday long run was a brutal one.

It was filled with freezing rain, and I ran for 20-25km. I was soaking wet and tried salted potatoes on a run for the first time. It worked really well. Surprisingly the run went really well and completed it without issue except getting ambushed by a skunk but more on that in a minute.

My takeaway was this: take one step.

By going out today I took one step closer to being able to run around lake simcoe. My wife said that maybe I should consider not going because of the weather but I just dressed appropriately and went out. Had I stayed in I would have not gotten in the training. My alarm went off at 4:20 am, out of the house by 5, warm-up, stretch and was back by 7:30 am to spend the rest of the day with the family. Rest of the day was spent taking it easy and colouring with my wife and two sons.

The Skunk: I couldn’t see well because the clouds covered any moonlight and there were no lights on this part of the path. It was raining and my glasses had rain all over them. When I looked up after running up a short hill I saw this big skunk standing in the middle of the path mean muggin’ me with its tail straight in the air. I had just ran this part of the path only 10 minutes earlier before hitting the turn around point. I actually yelled a little and no it wasn’t a high pitched weak scream but more of an AH! The skunk slowly walked to the side but I was freaked out. Still with limited visibility I knew that backtracking would have made me run another 5k and there was no alternate routes.

So I decided to slowly walk on the other side of the path as I could no longer see the skunk. I thought home free until I ran into it again 15 feet ahead. Crap! This thing is running away from me and I’m running towards him. This may not work out so well. So I tread lightly again while making some loud yelling noises given that it was out of sight again hoping to scare it further away. I got away without getting sprayed however my adrenaline was now pumping. Any fatigue I had was gone. I was just hitting the low point of the run and now hit the high point. Weird how these things work out.

I experienced true misery at this point. Being back on time for my wife is a big deal to me. If I’m not back when I say I’ll be back then she worries about my safety and I don’t want that. Plus I have a reputation that I want her to have of me and that is one of reliability.

I was cold, wet and running low on energy. The winds were 50km per hour at gusts and had a pretty consistent 20km wind the whole time. I wanted to get in the full 25km but decided to turn back just short due to time constraints. I was also in uncharted territory physically because I didn’t know if I would hit a point when I wouldn’t be able to run anymore and would have to walk. Walking would have blown my timing out of the water and I would have definitely been late.

So it was at that point that I turned back around at a major landmark so that I knew how far I could run and map it later.

Turns out that the run I did was exactly 25km. I think the route I initially mapped out before was a different route as I see that the route I took had a lot of turns.

I’m proud that I hit that even number and not bad for a first run.

Next week is bananas as a fuel and I might try running 30 mins, walking 30 mins. My estimate is that it is 7-8km per hour which if kept up continuously would put me at 28 hours to complete a 200km run.

Thing I watched this week were:

The Iron Cowboy. This guy did 50 Ironmans in 50 states in 50 days. That’s 3.8 km (2.4 mile) swim, 180 km (112 mile) bike ride and a 42km (26 mile) run. EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 50 DAYS.

And the most amazing thing is that he did it with his 5 kids and wife in an RV while they followed him. This is an incredible interview about being a parent, setting an example, smashing through your own self imposed limits and relationships.

This podcast was great because it is a stark reminder that no matter how far we’ve come that we can throw everything away with a bad choice. It is about living life 100% honestly. My biggest takeaway was that kids just want happy parents. That’s it. Not money, toys or anything else. They want us present, focused and happy with each other. It’s that simple.