I was in the pool last week when the sweetest yoga instructor told me he really enjoyed reading my blog. You see he's a first year triathlete and he said he found it helped him to know that even the pro's have tough days. A sense of guilt overcame me as I have been putting my blog on the back burner. A few days later my friend Judy reminded me of the fact that she reads my blog and is missing the updates. So I knew I had to take some action and let everyone know what's been going on with me.
You see when training and racing is going well it is motivating and inspiring but after IM CdA I went through a few weeks of feeling a little down. It's hard when you invest so much time into something and the result is not good.
I was hoping to get right back into training and had my eye set on IM Lake Placid. But Coach Paulo did not like that idea and he normally has a good sense of what's good for me and what's not. So I spent a week getting massage/ART and acupuncture to try get rid of the low back pain and after 2 weeks I got back into a hard training schedule with a 2 week build. The plan was for me to race Steelhead 70.3. Training was tough as the heat was intense. I think we had 90 plus degree's for a month straight in NJ.
While in my second week of training my body started to break down and I was getting some really sore achilles/calves. Now these muscles are ones that you really have to take care of as you need them for everything. But I chose to ignore the ever increasing pain until one day I went for a run, I got 3 miles out and then I had to walk home. My achilles just refused to be co- operate anymore.
TEN THINGS THAT CAN LEAD TO ACHILLES/CALF STRAIN ( ESPECIALLY if you are me) Now one or two of these may not cause any problems but try failing at all ten....TROUBLE!
1. Try avoid doing any fast running for 2 weeks after an Ironman. I did a 3 mile race with no warmup....I may have been fine if I did not do the next nine things!
2. Avoid heels as much as possible... 2 weeks post IM I went out and danced with heels on....yes occasionally I love to wear them. They always look SO good but hurt so bad! They really shorten the calf muscles...especially when you are dehydrated.
3. Try avoid wearing no shoes. The day after heel wearing I walked around all morning with no shoes on. NEVER a good idea as it now lengthens the muscle.
4. Don't run super fast intervals on a 100 degree day. Someone next to me was on a bike giving me splits which was making me push very hard....and of course that was while my achilles were already irritated.
5. Stretch, (controversial) but not too much....
6.Try avoid running too many days on the road.
7. Do not ignore the pain!
8. Do ice regularly!
9. Wear compression socks if you need to, but don't think because you can hardly walk they will help you get through a 1hr.30 run.
10. Listen to your body!!!!
All that resulted in me having to take 16 days off of running. Yep that is a long time when you are watching your races come and go...
Well I am happy to say while I am not officially out of the RED zone I am on my way to recovering. I am back jogging/running and hope to be at full speed soon. I am doing all the right stuff in order not to get injured again.
Sometimes we really take your body for granted and push them way too hard. I think endurance athletes get so used to a certain amount of discomfort...it's important to pay attention at all times to your aches and pains.
What I have come to realize over the years is that my training has highs and lows and if I can time the highs together with racing...good things happen! But things happen, obstacles arise that stand in your way. You need to be patient and deal with what's thrown at you. There are ALWAYS more races! What is important is your health and happiness!
So be smart, train hard but keep it REAl!