Sunday, August 7, 2016

Injuries: Blessings in Disguise

            This summer of training has looked vastly different from the last 3 summers of training.  The past 3 years, I spent prepping for the half-iron distance and logging a lot of miles and hours.  This is the first summer since 2012 where my longest race is an Olympic distance.  Last summer got the best of me and I was feeling more than a little burned out.
            This summer I have also been battling a foot injury, and so my running has dropped from 6-7 days/week of running to only 2-3 days.  My weekly mileage has dropped from around 30 to quite often, single digit weeks.  My longest run of the week is only 4-5 miles, when it would otherwise be 7-9 miles.
            Mentally, in the beginning, it was tough to accept this.  I felt lazy, out of shape, and had a hard time adjusting and accepting so much recovery time.  Now, I feel like I have fully embraced it.  It’s still tough to accept such low mileage, but I love the extra time that I get chilling with my kids, or having extra days off to just hang out with the hubby or get things done around the house.  Being on the verge of the approaching high school volleyball season, I definitely need the time to just get stuff done at home.
            Physically, it was tough in the beginning in figuring out how much I could still handle without making things worse.  Some days my foot hurts when I walk, and then others I can make it through 3 miles without it really bothering me.  I’m learning that I’d rather risk doing less and ending up underprepared for a race, than to push it over the line and have a full blown injury that leaves me in a boot, unable to run at all.  With running so much less, I also feel like I am better recovered for my next workout as a result. 
            My run split from Graniteman this year versus last year was within seconds of one another.  Some days I feel “off” and slow, and other days I feel good when I do run.  With Nationals being only one week away, I know that my chances of making podium have greatly diminished.  That’s just the reality of what my training shows of where I’m at.  But I’m also okay with that, because I feel so much more balanced and happier this year, less dependent upon race results to show me my worth, and enjoying more downtime with the family.  I never would have scaled back my running without having been forced to, and so while I know I need to continue to be careful as I monitor my foot, I can also accept that the injury and setback has turned into a blessing for me.

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