MT cruises to her first win and sets some goals.
9 CommentsWednesday, 21 August 2013 | Admin
I haven't updated my blog in awhile because I felt I hadn't much positive news to share. I don't like being negative and managed to remain positive (for the most part) over the last few months but as the weeks turned into months and I seemed no nearer to becoming injury-free, I didn't want to continually dwell on it and remind everyone around me about it.
Somehow, I had managed to develop, not one, but 2 stress fractures in my left foot at the beginning of May. Luckily, I had stopped running completely as soon as I felt the pain. It could have ended up being much worse than it was. In fact, it hasn't been that bad. With patience and rest, bones do heal and I feel fortunate that I did get a diagnosis and advice on how to proceed. I really empathize with anyone who is sick or injured and is unable to find out what's wrong. That has to be more frustrating than anything else. At least, once you find out what's wrong, you can take positive action rather than continually wondering if what you're doing is right or if you're damaging yourself further. I've also been very fortunate to have had the consistent support of Karen at The Maple Clinic who has kept me going with massage, needling and invaluable advice as I've worked to maintain the balance between getting fitter and allowing my body to heal.
I tried to look at the injury as an opportunity. I've continued to train as hard as I would if I hadn't been injured and I'm quite sure that my biking and swimming have benefited from the focus over the past few months. In the normal course of events, I, like almost everyone else, would be tempted to concentrate on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. I would have gone for a run any day rather than head to the pool or out on the bike, if I'd had my choice. Amazingly, this has changed over the past while. I can now truthfully say that I've begun to love cycling and, even, swimming and look forward to these sessions. Every cloud really does have a silver lining! Happily, my running doesn't seem to have suffered terribly much either. It doesn't feel quite as easy as it did 4 months ago but I'm running with a smile on my face (or maybe sometimes I'm just smiling inside), both happy and relieved to be feeling healthy and normal again.
I had lots of plans for this summer and a race calendar filled from May to September. I couldn't have imagined how differently it would pan out. I had hoped to travel to Canada at the beginning of August to compete in the World Duathlon Championships and to have raced at least 2 middle distance races by now. Instead, I've enjoyed a fantastic summer of training and holidays, home and abroad, and I feel that I still have my whole race season ahead of me over the next few weeks. I've been reminded that you can't take a healthy body for granted and assume that things will turn out as you plan. You just have to take training day by day and racing week by week and be flexible. Of course now that I'm back fully functioning again I'm back to the planning. Goals are necessary, after all, but I'm prepared to be flexible. If my foot feels good (which it does at the moment) I will train and race, if it doesn't I won't.
Almost as soon as I was given the go ahead to start running again I wanted to race. I entered the CITEC Loughrea Sprint Triathlon at the last minute and started the race comfortable in the knowledge that I would complete my first race this season but slightly apprehensive that I would have to walk part of the run. As with anyone else beginning to run again after an extended break, I had started back slowly alternating between jogging and walking. I wasn't sure I'd be able to run continuously for more than 5 minutes let alone 20 minutes plus. I was, therefore, extremely relieved and happy to manage to get through the whole run with only the slightest of discomfort in my foot (though the rest of my body, lungs and tummy in particular, objected painfully). It was a funny feeling to start the race in the knowledge that the run wouldn't be my strength but to do so with contented acceptance rather than disappointment. I was also really pleased to see my swimcyclerun team mates Derval and Rachel continue to race so well and running into second and third respectively. Fourth place wasn't a bad start to my season but much more importantly my foot survived the test.
Two weeks on and I am still building the running slowly. With very little race practice to date and down in Cork for a few days with my sister, I decided to do The Edge Sports Blackwater Sprint triathlon in Fermoy last Saturday. I can't say enough about the organisation of the race. It ran like clockwork, the marshaling was excellent and the course really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this race and will be back to do it again next year hopefully. First place was an extra bonus. It was lovely to run into Anne-Marie, a friend from secondary school, who was doing the Try-a-tri event and won it! Two Kilcormac girls on the podium in Fermoy!
Yesterday, I ran fast intervals for the first time in months and it felt great. It doesn't matter that I only did 3 reps rather than 10. It's just fantastic to feel normal again. Long may it last.
Thanks to Gordon Thomson/TI Media for the pictures.