Long Post – As Promised
Sorry it took me so long to get this posted. The week has been crazy, and with my little sister staying with me, it was hard to find the time to sit down and write.
I started this past week still high from last weekend’s recon ride in Wisconsin. This was not any sort of illegal high. I could lose my hard-earned license for that. This was the kind of high you get from spending time in the company of amazing people. Since I had managed to keep up with everybody on the ride and stayed motivated enough to throw in a 30 miler the next day, I was feeling pretty good about myself.
My training plan instructed me that this week was meant for recovery, so I was looking forward to fewer hours. I was also looking forward to giving my body a rest. You see, I’ve been having these small twinges of pain in my heels during and workouts for the past few weeks. I assumed that it was a little bit of tendonitis in my Achilles and that rest would be good for it. During my swim on Monday, the pain was much worse and was increasing. It actually worried me. It hurt every time I pushed off the wall, and eventually I made the executive decision that my 1 2/3 mile swim should be cut to 2/3. No use pushing it and risking further injury when the workout doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I took it easy Tuesday too because I was still having a lot of pain, even just standing and walking (which I do a lot of) at work. I went for a 7.5 mile run Wednesday and it felt OK, although it was a little painful. Thursday I did another 2/3 mile swim in the AM and then a 4.5 mile run in the PM with some pain, but it was manageable. I’ve been icing like a mad woman too. Friday after work, I decided to finally do a little more investigating. I typed “Achilles tendonitis” into Google and starting reading about. I read about the causes (lots of physical activity, increases in activity, hills) and figured I fit in that category. I also seemed to have some of the symptoms, but it didn’t quite fit. When I read the prognosis, though, my heart sank. Must stop immediately if worsens when exercise. Overworking the injured tendon may cause it to rupture. Months to years recovery time. This is not what I need right now. As my investigation continued, I kept seeing plantar fasciitis popping up as another cause for the pain. As I researched that, it seemed that I might have a new winner on the What the Heck is Making my Feet Hurt game show. After reading the symptoms, I realized there is a good chance that this is actually causing my pain. When I saw this picture, though, I knew I had a winner. The good news is that I think I’ve actually had the condition for a long time (think years). Every once in a while, I get pain in my heels that sort of feels like what I imagine bone spurs to feel like. Turns out this is classic plantar fasciitis. Huh. I always had assumed it was lack of support in my shoes. My current pain is also pretty typical for overuse– a little pain at the bottom of my heels and a lot of pain behind my ankle on the insides of my feet. More good news; it is rarely serious and usually goes away with icing, stretching, and antiinflammatories, although it may take a while. My translation: even if it hurts, I am not worsening it by working it. The bad news: it hurts like hell, even/especially when I’m not actually working out. I wear good shoes at work, but I cannot stay off my feet the whole day. Standing still aggravates it, and during rounds that is exactly what I have to do.
I’m feeling really defeated right now. By the end of last week, I was feeling like a rock star, like the title of Ironman was within my grasp. My workouts this week have been pretty slim, and even though it was supposed to be a recovery week, I’m feeling guilty about slacking off. With only 8 weeks to go, I cannot afford to miss that many hours of training. Since my last 4 weeks of training are basically recovery/taper, I’m starting to get anxious about the fact that my next 4 weeks mean everything in terms of my training. What if the pain gets much worse? What if I can’t do it? It’s not really something that I want to think about after investing all of this time and money, but I can’t say that it’s not in the back of my mind.
I’m also nervous about the half IM coming up in just two weeks. I’m nervous because I’ve never done that distance before. I am also nervous because it will take away a precious long ride on the bike. I’m starting to become very aware of the fact that my longest ride to date has been 72 miles. I’d like to get in a 90 miler next weekend. We’ll see how it goes.
OK… sorry for the pity party, but thanks for listening. I’m now moving on to a brighter note. Mr. SLS is a rock star. Unfortunately, the officials announced about 15 minutes before the start of the race that because of the heat, they were shortening the course. They shaved 3 miles off the bike and 3 miles off the run in an attempt to land fewer participants in the hospital this year (last year, they treated over 40 people in the medical tent). Thus, the Olympic distance race became a total of 6 miles shorter. The official times aren’t back yet, but he did fairly well in the swim (it’s not his strong leg), great in the bike, and he averaged around 7:30’s on the run!!! That guy is crazy. That’s like my normal 5K pace on a good day. I am so proud J I may have created a monster J He’s talking about signing up for the sprint distance race the day of my half IM.
More good news: I bought a new helmet. If you’ve seen the WIBA pictures, you may have noticed that my current helmet sits at the very top of my head, making my forehead look about a foot tall. It’s still functional, but it’s not the most comfortable. This weekend I hit a sale at the local bike shop and bought the most amazing helmet ever. It fits perfectly, is better ventilated, and looks totally hot on me! (well, as hot as a helmet can look anyway) I’m pretty sure that now my competition will all run away in fear when they see me on the bike.
The next 3 weeks will be my toughest training ever. More to come on that…
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