Thursday, September 26, 2013

Acceptance

I thought I'd chime in to announce that I have stuck to my word and remained disciplined in terms of taking time off and resting. I've heard from many readers who asked how I would structure the time off, how long I'd be off, and whether I was "really" going to rest/do nothing.
Enjoyed watching the America's Cup with my brother (a former AC sailor)
For the first week post-Ironman the answer is yes. I did not workout once. zero. nada. nothing. My body (and mind) were tired! I slept 10+ hours a night and even found myself taking a few naps (I don't nap well- and my life doesn't accommodate such activity even if I did). Once back in CA I needed to remind myself that time off was crucial. It was time. For reassurance I looked back at my TrainingPeaks account. It verified that I haven't taken any time off this entire year. The foot pain reared it's ugly head back in February but I fought on. I started gunning for IM South Africa at the end of last year and have been rolling strong ever since.  If I really want to give myself the best shot at a strong 2014 it was time to heal. It's time to rest.
It is all too typical in our sport for athletes to proclaim that they're taking a break when in actuality they're sneaking in test workouts.  In turn the body doesn't have a chance to heal. (I am certainly guilty as charged!)  No testing things out, flushing the legs, going for coffee rides, etc. This is an honest break and I'm adhering as strongly to this as I do my large training blocks. It's been a blast to catch up with friends! Then there's the fact that I don't have hunger pains 24/7. My grocery bills are a bit more reasonable, to say the least. See...perspective. Find the positive. Embrace it.
I've turned my focus to strength work. These sessions haven't been some fly by the wind/squeezed in (between s/b/r) workouts. Instead this is my priority. They've been fun, focused and fierce. It is nice to not rush them, but to instead embrace this opportunity. After 3 full weeks off I got back in the pool and started swimming. I've been swimming with a local age group team. Now that summer is over it's back to the 5am workouts. Yowswer that is a lot earlier than 6am! What a group of kids. I love getting thrashed, and it is nice to go into these workouts without the usual lactic acid the lives in my legs when I'm running and riding.

To anyone else out there dealing with a significant injury I challenge you to completely accept your circumstance, make the most of it and turn your focus elsewhere. If you watched the professional race at Vegas70.3 there was plenty of motivation for you. In case you don't know the story behind many of these athletes, let me share some reality with you. It is safe to say that 30-40% of the pro field there suffered a significant injury in the past 15 months. We're talking surgery - the whole 9 yards. Imagine being told you needed achilles tendon surgery when your livelihood is racing. Now imagine you just won a world title and are eager to defend. Well, Kienle did just that. Injury is not a death sentence. You CAN come back stronger. I WILL come back stronger. 
No, I'm not riding a bike right now. That's fine - I'll ride a fake bull instead.
The bone imagining (MRI and bone scan-another reason to be thankful I have a day job = insurance!) silenced my fear that 2x foot surgery was in my near future. Double foot surgery (to extract the sesamoid bone) would of been a tough pill to swallow. I was already getting an online application going for who wanted to come take care of me while I had an around the clock pity party. Alrighty then, what next? I've sought advice from experts that are referred to as the foot "doctor to the running stars." Right now I'm in a state of trial and error. It is comforting to know that the things I'm trying have helped other elite athletes suffering from similar injury. I've made a pretty significant change to my bike orthodics and can feel decreased pressure on the ball of my foot. Last week I started a series of alcohol injections. This will slowly kill the nerve and it's ability to fire off any pain sensors to the brain. There really aren't any negative side effects to this so I've opted in. Both doctors told me to run right after the first injection.  Molina and I talked and together decided I would wait. I'm resting, and no one will convince me to do otherwise. I believe I have plenty of running in my future, I can hold off for another few weeks.
This light switch has been turned off. When I'm really ready and able to return to training I will. While my head often drifts high into the clouds, dreaming of endless trail runs, my feet are firmly planted on the ground. This is my reality. This is my now. This is my challenge. I own it!
My favorite running trails aren't going anywhere!
and neither is my tenacity!

6 comments:

Tawnee Prazak, M.S., CSCS said...

"It is all too typical in our sport for athletes to proclaim that they're taking a break when in actuality they're sneaking in test workouts. In turn the body doesn't have a chance to heal. (I am certainly guilty as charged!)" - Amen, sister! I'm guilty and see this all the time too. Personally, I am taking a big fat offseason for real, as well...

You already sound much better. Happy for you.

Elvis Grbac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darin Armstrong said...

To: Caroline Gregory #Professional #Triathlete / #Attorney

From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

***Special #FollowFriday #Shoutout To: @ckgregory #Professional #Triathlete / #Attorney - http://carolinegregory.blogspot.com
Hello Caroline,
The above is what your #Twitter #FollowFriday #Shoutout will look like this Friday should you do a 'mutual' following with me on twitter. If you want changes made above, not a problem. ('Smart Individual Marketing/PR')

Just a quick email to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘Anytime’ for all #Ironman #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…(Over 41K folks at your access...) I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

All the very best for the rest of 2013 & beyond Caroline. Look forward to hearing from you...

(PS. Reminder: Caroline, should you follow back, I'll be mentioning you 'Including Your Website' in a 'Stand Alone' #FollowFriday #Shoutout this coming Friday....)

Darin
twitter.com/DarinArmstrong
#TeamLIVESTRONG

Rod Sores said...

Conforting words. I'm enduring some time off as well, due to a calf injury. It's not easy to step aside and take some time off. But it is necessary. This morning I just couldn't resist and went for a easy ride. It happens. All the best !

Lucy Grace Yaldezian said...

Resting when you need to shows respect for your body. Getting mind and body on the same page shows respect for your spirit.