Pikes Peak Sports

Running, Cycling, Hiking and Climbing in the Pikes Peak Region

Like about 2,000 other people out there in crazyland, I hope to complete the Pikes Peak Ascent on August 16th.  If things go well, I also hope to do the Pikes Peak Marathon the next morning.  Nothing unique there - there are 159 of us signed up for both races.

I doubled once before - in 2011.  I always thought it was a silly idea.  Still do, in fact.  I'm not used to the idea of not racing when I'm not at my best.  You could say that one way to ensure you're not at your best for a marathon is to do a 13 mile race up 7,800' of mountain the day before.  On that weekend, I endured both the lows and highs one would expect from such a challenge.  My Ascent goals were dashed by that evil spirit also known as treeline, yet the Marathon, which I had already given up on, went better than any expectation I could have ever had for it.

Since just doubling obviously wasn't hard enough, I thought I would throw in a wrinkle this year.  I broke my fifth metatarsal back in October and am still on the long road to regaining my health and fitness.  By now, I'm sick of talking about it, but the fact remains that it happened.  A year ago at this time, I was running 70-mile weeks and not thinking twice about it.  Earlier this week, I went for my first 60-minute run since I broke my foot.  Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me this summer.  

There will be no PRs this year.  No overall or age group placing.  If things go well, I will finish both races with a smile and no further injury.  Heck, if I'm lucky I may end up 1st in the screw-in-his-foot division.

The story I will be sharing this summer is the one of my recovery.  Humility.  Self-reflection.  Perspective.  Maybe a little self-degradation peppered in there for good measure.  Regardless, I believe my journey is worth sharing.  I hope you will agree.

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Comment by Tim Bergsten on May 5, 2014 at 8:28am

Nice read to kick it all off, Sean. And it's awesome to see the comments from Tonia and Mr. and Mrs. Hitz. :) 

Comment by Tonia Smith on May 5, 2014 at 6:40am
Sean, coming back from a significant injury is challenging. I have no doubt you will get back into shape very quickly. It won't be easy, but you will do it. Looking forward to reading about your journey back. I think runners of all abilities can learn so much from one another.
Comment by CJ Hitz on May 4, 2014 at 10:32am

There might just be something to be said for fresh legs Sean

Comment by Sean O'Day on May 4, 2014 at 10:23am

Wow, Tonia.  Just wow.  I just want to thank you for your candor - your story is riveting to say the least.  

Perspective - a broken foot is just that, nothing more.  I can't help but wonder how I would handle the battle you are fighting.  Hopefully as well as you seem to be.  Congrats on your 25k yesterday; I look forward to hearing more from you.

Comment by Tonia Smith on May 4, 2014 at 9:51am
Sean, I just wrote a blog post on a similar topic. I am in the midst of chemo right now, and running is hard every single day. I empathize with the frustration you are expressing. Your foot will heal and you will come back strong and fast. Try not to get too frustrated. This is all temporary.
Comment by Shelley Hitz on May 4, 2014 at 9:19am

Wow...so sorry to hear about your broken foot!  But congrats on pushing through your recovery anyway.  I look forward to hearing how your training goes this summer.  I think you are the favorite for winning the "screw-in-his-foot-division" :)

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