Friday, May 11, 2012

Ups, Downs, Injuries and Introspections

It's been a tumultuous season for me. I'm starting to think that spring is just a bad season for me. I tend to be injured every year around this time. Maybe that's my body's way of trying to say something like "woman you are getting old". Just kidding. I don't feel old. I feel good and just need to deal with these injuries as they arise, accept the downtime and stay positive.

Yesterday I went to Solon Wellness Center to see Dr. Keyes' associate as recommended by Coach Sean. Talk about pain! The doctor did some serious work on my left foot, which has been aggravated for almost three weeks now. Think foam roller x 10. Deeply pushing with fingers and thumbs along my foot tendons and ligaments and along the shin and calves. Ouch! There were quite a few people around so I didn't want to scream or cry but I was close a few times and settled for biting on my shirt. I guess this is called Active Release Therapy (ART) and the doctor says within 3-4 sessions I should be better.

What does this mean with all my races approaching - including tomorrow's duathlon? It means I will be testing the foot out this evening on a run. First attempted run in almost a week. Doc says to take some ibuprofen in advance. I plan to do this easily. No fast running to relieve this bottled up stress but slow and steady just to see if the foot will hold up tomorrow. The race is not too long. It's a 2.5 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run. I am most concerned about run #2. So I will decide this evening if I am participating in the race or spectating and cheering for my husband and friends that will be racing.

As for Cleveland, which was originally to be a full marathon and changed to the half marathon, I have to wait and see. I have a second Dr. appointment with ART scheduled for next Thursday with a test run that night or following day to see how the foot is coming along. Running 13 miles with an injury can be rough and just sounds like a sufferfest to me. I certainly don't feel ready to set a new PR to say the least. My husband is very supportive and says if I am able to run he will run it with me for fun as a training run. That actually sounds like it could be a fun little adventure if my foot behaves. Otherwise I have some options: 1) switch to 10K, which would be easier on the foot 2) run some and or walk the half and 3) spectate AGAIN this year as I did last year with the fracture.

I have done a lot of thinking this season about who I am as an athlete, what I want, where I am right now and where I want to be in the years to come. So maybe this setback was needed for me to dig deeply into myself and consider these things. Being type A, I have this natural tendency to be competitive with myself as well as others. Many athletes have this attribute. In some ways it is good because it is a driver for continuous improvement and accomplishment. In other ways it is destructive because we hold ourselves to such high standards, sometimes lose the joy of the sport or push ourselves too hard. And let's face it, there is almost always someone that is faster than we are or else better suited to some particular race.

Let me get to the point here. I am at my best when I am sprinting. Some people hate 5Ks. I love them. I also love distance but I am not as fast at long races and my body tends to decline after a certain point - generally anything over the half distance. So I am considering all of this for next season already. I set a goal this year to complete my first full ironman distance race. And I am not backing out of that goal. It may be difficult, painful and a pain in the ass to meet that goal but I will do it. And I will enjoy doing a couple of 70.3 races, olympic and sprint triathlons and other races too. Even if I am not as fast at the long course triathlons I will enjoy the experiences and it will make me tougher mentally and physically. The picture I shared here is an Asian symbol for strength and I absolutely love the quote. It very much describes the mindset that an endurance athlete or aspiring endurance athlete must have to be successful.


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  2. Thanks Matt! I totally agree it's awesome having a spouse who shares the same passion! It also makes training much more fun when we're able to do things like long runs and rides together!

    Sorry you guys won't be there tomorrow. Hubby is definitely racing and I am a big "M" for maybe at this point. If I do it it will definitely be for fun and placing would be a super duper bonus! :) Have fun at the wedding this weekend with H!