I am heading to Steenbergen, Netherlands, for the IAU 24 Hour World Championships. I am packed, reviewed my itinerary, and am mentally getting my race strategy together. But I can't help but think about my leg injury. It has been the longest three weeks of my life. I have seen six doctors/chiropractors/massage therapists and don't forget my wife is a physical therapist AND everyone is baffled by my injury. I have diagnosed it as a "need a new right leg" injury; an MRI taken Monday showed there is fluid built up in my right hip. My issues are muscular at this point. I hope my trainer can deal with that on race day.
I haven't been able to run one step without discomfort for this three-week period. I can't put my finger on one single moment that may have caused it, but that's running for you. This injury has tested me and my family in so many ways. I believe God has a plan for me and I put my trust in him, even if it isn't the path I want to take :) My injury happened four weeks out from the race, so all my training had been completed, and I had the best 3+ months of training I've ever had going into a big race like this. If the Modesto Marathon was any indication, my speed is ahead of last year and I'm not running a 100k race less than two weeks prior to the race like I did for my 24 Hour National Championship victory this same time last year (158.5 miles). However, I wasn't injured going into that race either. Today, I leave for the airport after work. This race means so much to me, my team, and those around me. I was telling anyone who would listen, that this was going to be the toughest race of my life because I was planning to run to empty, and I still plan on doing that. I have worked too hard and made way too many sacrifices to not see this through. I know the many prayers that have been made, will be answered and all the support I receive here in Modesto will help the pain subside for one day and therefore help me run like I have never run before.
Modesto distance runner Jon Olsen is representing the United States this weekend in the 24-hour World Championships in Steenbergen, Holland. The event is Saturday and Sunday.