Injury Update #2

It’s been two weeks since I crashed on my bike, and overall I physically feel much better most of the time. Emotionally… I have hopeful moments where I think maybe I’ll heal super fast and still be able to do the Ironman this year or at least I come up with some reasons why waiting until next year could be fun, and then later the same day I’ll be crying on the drive home from work because I realize there is no way I’ll get to do the race this year and I hate it. Additionally, my back and shoulder and rib cage hurt, so sometimes I get frustrated with the pain.

Honestly I think I could be ok with not doing the race this year, though Eric doesn’t believe me (probably rightly so). Here are the up-sides of doing the Ironman in 2015:

  • I’d join a team next year and have people to ride with and learn from – that sounds fun!
  • I don’t love the idea of being under-trained if I were to come back from the injury this year and attempt the race.
  • I could do the Madison Marathon in November this year (assuming I heal in the estimated 6 weeks and am cleared for running). Though I just checked the price and it’s $115 right now – oof. Maybe not…
  • I already know some rides and swims I want to do next year as training.
  • I can still spend the fall/winter trying out the classes at my gym. I wanted to do some strength training, but that might be out for a while. And I was just getting into the habit of doing some push-ups and planks each day…
  • I can still learn some winter sports as a break from triathlon training. Cross-country skiing! Snow-shoeing! Other snow things!

There are plenty of downsides too, obviously:

  • I’ll be traveling a lot for work starting in a few months (and working longer hours), so scheduling my workouts will get more challenging.
  • I was really looking forward to focusing on training for a fast marathon next year.
  • I’m frustrated to lose the work I’ve put in since the beginning of 2014, as I was swimming better than ever, getting stronger on the bike, and running really well.
  • I already paid the 2014 entry fee and don’t want to have to pay again (yes I know what a sunk cost is).
  • A DNS (did not start) is never fun.
  • #firstworldproblems

But the worst part right now is being in limbo. Will I do the race this year or not? I have until Thursday, July 24 to officially withdraw from the race and get a whopping $150 back from my $675 registration fee. Coincidentally, I have my follow-up x-rays and appointments with the trauma and orthopedics people that morning. Hopefully they’ll be able to give me a better recovery timeline and I can make a final decision.

So what have I been doing with my free time? Watching le Tour, wasting time on the internet (lots of shopping for non-workout clothes – I bought a down coat for winter!), and going to the gym to ride the stationary bike and/or use the elliptical for 20-30 minutes before my back and shoulder get cranky from holding my right arm in an awkward position. Plus, everything takes longer when you can’t use your dominant arm for much.

I have been in this position before, when I was registered to race the 2012 Boston Marathon but was suffering from some tendonitis and IT band syndrome and spent early 2012 pool running for hours each week before acknowledging that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the race. I survived and got to run in 2013, so I’ll make it through this as well. And in the grand scheme of things, it only matters to me whether I do an Ironman at all, let alone whether it’s 2014 or 2015 or 2030. Six weeks of waiting to be able to work out again isn’t so long. With some luck, I’ll be back to normal training in a few months and this will all be a blip in my past, another lesson in patience and determination.

Yeah, my brain is all over the place. If only I could go for a hard run to let off some steam…

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