Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The case of the mystery injury...

Since my last post a lot has happened. 128 miles. Some amazing things, some scary.

I now know that I can bike hills in 30+ mph winds even if I have to literally lean off to one side of my road-bike to keep from being blown over .

I also know that in the same week I can run 11miles with numerous hill repeats like this one...

Only to get back into town 45 minutes later & realize I've got enough left in me/want to run the 11 miles home at close to race pace. Such a great day!

What I don't know is what caused the injury that had me caged for a solid week following a perfect training one. At no point during training did I feel myself tip-toeing injury, so when I woke up Monday feeling kind of sore I assumed it was the normal post long-run muscle fatigue and continued on with my usual light brick.

Overall, the brick went well despite noticing some tenderness in my left leg towards the end. By Tuesday morning I was in bad shape, unable to stand completely upright without sharp pain on the inside of my thigh wrapping up towards my hip.

After that morning I neglected the ambitious side of my brain & listened to reasoning side. This ultimately meant not training at all for 7 days. It was a long seven days.

Eventually my body started to recover, it was slow to start but relatively quick to finish. A visit to the Dr.'s office on day 8 gave me the peace of mind that nothing was structurally wrong and I was given the okay to begin running at my normal speed this week. Which I am doing, smiling all the while.

I still question what brought on this Mystery Injury and how it will effect my race season, but I do know that it was a God given chance to refocus. It's easy to get locked into training, race prep, tri & run talk, etc. And while none of those things are inherently wrong, when it becomes the primary focus, that's a problem. I've had two mottos that have really stood out to me this season. They will both be in permanent marker (sorry hippies, but I'll use it as it doesn't sweat off as easily) on my forearm race day. "Even trashed legs will follow a positive mind." & "In His Time".

Truthfully, I have really struggled emotionally, physically & mentally with being injured. This is a new trial for me as injury is something I try very hard to avoid. It has been a tactical 2 weeks trying to work my way back to speed and distance. I still have to be careful. I am now training pain free, but there is some remaining tension in my left hip that I can't quite explain. I am confident and at peace knowing that it will come back to me, In His Time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Feet & The Force

I'm still convinced I have borrowed someone else's legs and am every bit as convinced that I'd like to hang on to them forever. Deciding what was a reasonable recovery coming off of 2 x 26.2 was interesting, why? Well for one that was an epic amount of mileage for me & two my body was pretty much ready to roll the next day. How is this possible? I have no idea, but I'll take it!

With a recovery run, LSD run, a few short bricks & a rest day down for the week I opted for a shorter run in town this weekend. The ultra crew tried talking me into a night trail run of 20+ miles, but I just wasn't feeling it. Familiar level terrain, mileage I felt up to & the chance to wear my VFFs again (something I had been waiting to do all week as my blisters were healing) took precedence. It was the right choice.

The plan was to run 13.1 and I held to that. However, at mile 6 I looked down to see not only Darth Vador but that I was clocking paces between sub-to-mid 8s and I felt fantastic doing it. Weird, this can't be right. Can it? It took about a 1/4 of a mile for me to make the decision to haul my way into a new PR. This was the right choice. Despite several stop lights, plowing into a headwind a good majority of those last 7 miles & wanting to shoot myself the last mile I somehow managed to knock 6 minutes off of my previous 13.1 time which brings my current 13.1 record to 1:56. Heck Yeah! It's been three days, but I'm still jazzed about it. That is all.