Sunday, September 29, 2013

Life after the machine

Been a tough six months or so physically, which of course means a tough six months or so mentally. About 3wks after my last post I had my best, and last, long trail run (http://www.strava.com/activities/46457923). Something went awry in my right foot. Derailed the ramp up. There was some sporadic running/struggling during April while I was in denial about the implications of the injury, and then in May I finally shut it down completely, which of course meant missing my ultra debut at Bear Mountain. Needing the mental and physical release, I made my way back to the bike and started some time trial efforts. Sad as they were, improvement followed relatively quickly, until June.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling sorry for myself (well maybe a little). I've never had to struggle through injuries daisy-chained to each other. The hardest part was putting my deep seeded fear of being unable to come back due to age out of my head while I made the decision to cross every race and goal off the list for the balance of the year at least, and really until further notice. No timetable. No pressure. Since August I've been gradually improving. Still some weakness, occasional pain and or soreness in left hip/butt area and right foot, but as form improves I last longer before aching occurs and it does not persist the next day. I'm being fairly conservative in the rebuild as well as changing the routine to try and build a stronger base on which to build. My long runs are only every other week, and I'm adding in strength training to try and correct some of the imbalances. Too early to know when I'll be back, but today I did break 80min for a run and held a respectable pace for the trails (http://www.strava.com/activities/85750201). When you compare today to the beginning of August signs are encouraging (http://www.strava.com/activities/71828526), and at the time that one, though difficult, was encouraging on its own.

Outside of picking up my physical pieces, it's been work and family so it's not like I've been sitting around. Swimming was a big focus until school started, but with Alex having to be ready by 7:15am, I can't get to the ocean in the morning, and I don't get back from work in time to go after. So it's run or take a class, do the family thing, and eventually wrap my head around pool swimming again.

I do follow friends and their successes and/or failures. And I work a bit a lot, but unless you are really interested in Information Management and Analytics, that's all I've got for you there. 

It's odd not having any racing plans (I do have some long term goals) and I know I'll be a different athlete when I once again return to a starting line. I can pretty safely say it won't be a triathlon, which is yet another departure from my past. Have I seen my last podium/PR/whatever? Perhaps. But today Alexandra and I did a little run on one of my trails, her first foray. She liked it. She'd like to eventually build up to running the whole Middletown loop of the Land Trust trails (~5k). I told her anytime she wants to go I'll go. Pretty cool. (http://www.strava.com/activities/85767257)