It’s official. I’m skipping the Cowtown Ultra this weekend. I ran five miles this morning and felt good for just over four of them. I saw the doctor again today, and he confirmed what I feared – there’s no way I can do 30 miles on my calf and foot right now. I missed the Austin Marathon a couple of weeks ago, so that makes me 0 for 2 on big races in 2015. This year is not going as planned. So what do I do? Melt down because I’m 41 and falling apart? Give up on my race plans for 2015 because this is all a big sign that it won’t go well for me? Or forge ahead, being hopeful and patient with my body? I’ve considered all of those options, and, as much as I’m tempted to pick (a) or (b), I’m going with (c).
This being injured thing is new for me. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have gone fifteen years doing marathons, triathlons, swim meets and bike rides with very few physical issues. My last issue was a hip problem in 2013 that got resolved without my having to miss even one race. This one is slightly more inconvenient, but I found out that my doctor is working onsite at Coeur d’Alene this year. Not that I hope to need him, but if I do, he’ll be there. I’m putting that in the blessing column.
So much of training and racing is mental. I think injury is no different. I need to remain optimistic and do what I’m told to heal myself. So here are the things I intend to focus on for the next couple of weeks:
- I’m going to try out a new masters swim program. Swimming doesn’t hurt, and there’s no limit as to how much of it I can do. I even plan to meet my coach tomorrow at lunchtime for a swim. Since I’ve been swimming alone for a long time, the group and the time with my coach will be a treat.
- I’m going to get back on my bike. I’ve been doing spin classes, but I have yet to hit the road. I need to do that because I’m riding from Houston to Austin in just seven weeks. (Dave and I are doing the MS 150. If you’d like to support that effort with a donation, go here.) Weather permitting, I’ll get reacquainted with my bike on Sunday morning. And if it’s pretty next week, maybe I’ll come into work late one morning to get another road ride in.
- The doctor gave me three exercises to do for my calf. I need to do them at least once and preferably twice a day. They are simple exercises that I can do at home.
- I’m going to finalize my preparations for Coeur d’Alene. I need to firm up my house rental, buy my plane tickets, schedule a rental car, and book my bike transport. Taking those steps now will keep me excited and hopeful about my race.
My year isn’t going as planned, but there’s still plenty of time to heal up and prepare for Coeur d’Alene. That’s my “A” race. It’s the only one that really matters. I may not be able to run right now, but I can swim, bike, do my therapy, and get logistically ready for my big race. That’s not a bad place to be, is it?
Onward and upward.