Now that I am post injury and feeling excited again, I've been wanting to get back to blogging. The problem is, every time I think about something to blog about, I think "I should really catch up on this first" or "I should write that race report first".
Rather then trying to catch up in a bunch of individual posts, I've decided to do one mass catch up post. Then I can go back to blogging about whatever I want.
1. It has now 10 weeks since being diagnosed with a stress fracture.
2. The first 4 weeks, I spent in an aircast or on crutches.
3. I did my first triathlon of the season on crutches - just before being released from the aircast. I did the swim and bike. My husband did the run. I used crutches to get to the pool, and between the pool and the bike.
4. I started doing physiotherapy about 4 weeks in. My primary concern at that point was that my calf muscle had atrophied while in the aircast. In addition to working on the calf, we've also worked on hip strength, and core.
5. From 4-8 weeks, I was allowed to walk normally, but no running or other impact. As my daughter informed me, that also ruled out ballet jumps.
6. 2 weeks ago, I was cleared to run. I ran. 1 minute at a time to start, but building from there.
7. Nobody can tell me why I got the stress fracture, and I've come to accept that. The most likely answer seems to be a combination of things. I'm optimistic that a more balanced approach to training, which finally includes consistent core and body-weight strength work will help prevent a re-occurrence.
8. I am no longer an injured athlete. I am playing catch up now, as my run training is not where I would have liked to see it, but I am now healthy and working towards my goals again.
9. During the time period that I wasn't allowed to run, I logged countless hours pool running.
10. My longest pool run was 1 hour, 35 minutes. Technically, my program said 1.5 hours, but I wanted to prove to myself that not only could I mentally endure it, I could do it even longer then I had to.
11. Pool running is boring. But doable. Music helps. I was very thankful of my waterproof ipod.
12. I was cleared to run 2 weeks ago. This was 2 months after diagnosing the stress fracture, and 1 month prior to Calgary 70.3, a Half Ironman that will be my first full triathlon this season.
13. Since being cleared to run, I've been doing run walk intervals, the longest run intervals, so far, are up to 4 minutes. I did accidentally run for a solid 7 minutes when I zoned out and didn't notice my garmin vibrating.
14. I don't really like run/walk intervals. I feel like I never really get into my rhythm, but running is running, and I'll take it. I am getting used to it, but I feel like I'm always looking at my garmin to see when I switch to running or walking. I'd rather just run.
15. I've also been spending time on my elliptical trainer. I'm now happy that I never got around to selling it when we bought the treadmill. It's been a very useful tool in building back my run fitness.
15. To get me ready for Calgary 70.3, Angie has me doing some elliptical/run/elliptical workouts for my long runs. This week it was a total of 1 hour, 35, with only the middle 25 minutes being run/walk.
16. This is going to be a real test of trusting my training, trusting my body, and trusting my head. I've been known to train as much as 25km, for my long run, in preparation for a half marathon, simply because it assured me I could go the distance. This time, I'm going to have to trust that a very different type of training will get me ready.
15. Initially, my doctor only gave me permission to swim with a pull buoy, as long as I didn't push off the wall with my injured foot.
16. Since going back to swimming without the buoy, I've been very aware of my hips sinking. At first, I thought it was because I'd come to rely on the buoy. I've more recently concluded that I just got really used to being in the proper position, so the extra awareness is valuable.
17. I think I've gotten a little lazy on my kick.
18. My feel for the water has improved. I really think I'm continuing to become more aware of the water around me and the effect my body has on it and in it.
19. It was when I returned to a double foot push off that I really felt like I got my rhythm back in the water. While I realize there's no push off in open water, doing it in the pool gets me into the correct position and gives me a taste of speed which I can then strive to maintain.
20. Being injured hurt my bike training somewhat, although to a much lesser degree then running.
21. Initially, I did my biking on the trainer with very low torque and high cadence.
22. When I got back on my bike outdoors, I found myself spinning much higher then before. It's mostly good, as my cadence has always been lower then it should be. However, I have to remind myself to take a gear sometimes.
23. I struggled a lot initially with confidence on the downhills. This is where the indoor riding really hurt me.
24. Angie did a bike skills session with a few of us. It made an amazing difference. I discovered that I was mounting/dismounting incorrectly and had been since I started riding. She had the most horrified expression when she saw how I was doing it. We also worked a lot on cornering, and leaning rather then turning the handlebars.
25. Since then, I'm also feeling better about descending. I've realized that a big part of my difficulty was my lack of confidence in my ability to maneuver. I still need to work on it, but I'm staying off the brakes far more.
26. I'm starting to like hill repeats. It's hard work, but there's incredible satisfaction in getting to the top and defeating the hill. It's also an opportunity to work on descending.
27. A mere two weeks ago, I was convinced that I had slowed down on the bike. Today, I am confident that I am a stronger cyclist then I was a year ago. Despite the stress fracture. I have Angie, my coach, to thank for a lot of that. I can't wait to see how much improvement I can gain in an uninjured season.
Life and Training Status
28. Spud has recently finished kindergarten and Sweetpea has now completed preschool.
29. My training schedule is packed in the build up to Calgary 70.3. I have a 20 day stretch with no rest days. Having said that, I have 2 days a week which are "legs off" days, with only a swim. I actually kind of like not having rest days.
29. For the month of July, they are both in daycamps. Sweetpea is only in half days, but even so, it gives me between 2.5 and 3 hours a day to train.
30. I am sleeping better then I have in years. Probably better then I have since before my first pregnancy - 7 years ago. I think it's due to getting lots of activity in, without having to make much of that activity evening workouts.
31. Last weekend my husband and children were in a car accident. Thank goodness, it was a low speed collision. They are all fine , uninjured and healthy.
32. The car is not so healthy. It is not driveable at highway speeds. We live in a town, outside the city that my husband commutes to for work. Some of my kids daycamps, and many of our summer activities are also located outside of town. This has made me a taxi driver, in addition to everything else.
33. I have only had to outright cancel one of my planned races - a 10k that was supposed to take place mid-May, about a week after confirming the stress fracture.
34. I have done the swim/bike portion of three triathlons this season.
35. The first one was the Vulcan Sprint, where my husband did the run.
36. The second was at the Chinook triathlon festival, where they have an aquabike option, so I did the olympic distance for the swim/bike.
37. The most recent one, this past weekend was Great White North, a half Iron distance race. I did the swim/bike again, with my good friend Krissy doing the run portion.
38. Great White North was supposed to be my "A" race for this season. It's not anymore.
39. Calgary 70.3 is now my "A" race. I have 2 weeks left to prepare and I'm feeling confident.
40. Due to the recent flooding in Calgary, the swim is now in a different location, meaning the bike is completely different.
41. I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to compare my bike performance from last year to this year. Realistically though, wind can play such a huge role on the bike, that such comparisons are limited regardless.
42. I haven't yet decided what comes next. I need to finish the 70.3 before I'll be ready to decide.
43. One thing I do know is that I have my fire back. I've had some challenges, but I love the sport of triathlon.