Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The injured athlete...

Cabo Ironman complete on March 17, followed by Leadman on April .... I happily was preparing for a new chapter - incorporating mountain biking into my triathlon season and racing Xterra and half ironman races in the summer.  I went out on a few mountain rides and had a pretty pleasant time.  

Then, on April 28, I managed to break my thumb on a silly fall headed to Pemberton from Tom's Thumb.   Tyson and I were about 5 minutes into a 30+ mile day. So.... Off to the ER.  I knew immediately that it was broken. 

The ER experience was actually pretty pleasant.  We went to Thompson Peak and got right into a room.  My knee was scraped up pretty bad and hurt far worse than my thumb.  I asked the nurse to verify that my thumb was broken and that they would be putting me on a morphine drip prior to agreeing to let them clean my knee/leg.... I knew that was going to hurt. 

Sure enough, thumb snapped in half.  It was bad enough that they operated same day.... I lounged around in the hospital for about 4 hours waiting for the surgeon.  Home by 7:30 Sunday night and back to work Monday morning... 

I handled the whole thing pretty well.  

What I didn't handle very well was the sitting around for the next 6 weeks.   While I had clearance to run, I didn't have the drive.  This was in part due to the fact that I had just finished two of my A races for the year.... Maybe my body is telling me that I needed a break.  So, I took the break.  

I did run 3-4 times over that 6 week period, but that's about it.  I believe in an off season, and while May/June is not typically the off-season in AZ, I have to remember that I was training during everyone else's off season this winter.  This off season was a bit difficult, in that I am racing for ONE as an elite team member, and being off during everyone else's training season made me feel a big like I'm not fulfilling my duty to the team.   I carry this guilt pretty heavy, but I really didn't have a choice. 

I tried to eat right, get lots of sleep, keep the wine intake to a minimum, and focus on work and my family.  This is my main learning from my last bike injury: just be okay taking the time off.  Focus on being healthy.  Focus on things you don't normally have time for.  See your kids more.  Work a little earlier. Sleep a little later. Go out to dinner more.  Enjoy it, but stay healthy so you don't have to struggle when you are ready to come back. 

I agreed to race with Tyson for Deuces Wild half ironman in early June, then again for Xterra the next day.  I would do the run, and he would bike and swim.  We ended up recruiting Branden Turley to swim the half on Saturday.  I ran 5-6 miles a couple of times then 10 miles the week before just to make sure I remembered what it was like to hurt out there.  

I easily forget about the pain when I have had time off, and my first hard training or race back into it, I am quickly reminded of the hard truth that it's supposed to hurt.  I believe that the process of training is almost as much a mental one (read: don't wimp out when you feel like hell) as it is a physical one. The half marathon at Deuces Half was ridiculously painful.  I did already forget how hard racing is, and my time suffered.  The second day of racing in the Xterra was much better.  It was shorter, but higher intensity, and I had a much better relative run than on Saturday.  As my coach Nick reminded me: "Teri, you are always good at the back to back race." It's the mental place I get to on day one that gives day two a much better performance. 

I got the clearance a couple weeks ago to get back on the bike.  I rode three days in a row, and was so very excited to be out there.  I felt good... I love the bike.  

Now I am in a place where I have to figure out my racing schedule... I need to put races on the calendar so I can have a focus.  I has even nice to train for no reason, as I don't do that much, but it's time for a race schedule.  

Thanks again to our sponsors fix, e6, Destination Kona, Complete Body, and Endurance Rehab.  You guys keep us going! 

No comments:

Post a Comment