Getting Back on my Feet
Lots of things tend to get in the way of your goals sometimes. Since my last post, I've been dealing with summer classes, coaching, getting ready for grad school, and of course training for 70.3 Worlds. At the same time, a pesky little thing popped up causing me to adjust everything: an injury.
Let's be honest: injuries are honestly the worst.
When you come to the realization how much your injury, no matter the extent, impacts your daily life, it can become incredibly frustrating. Sometimes with smaller types of injury, there's a tendency for athletes to keep pushing through, adjusting your training plan slightly and giving it only a bit of time to heal. In reality, this small injury can erupt into a more serious injury if not addressed properly.
So what happened to me?
A couple of weeks after my 70.3 in Connecticut, I gradually resumed my training, assuming that my formerly super sore calf good to go. What I didn't do was listen to it when I got off my bike and went onto my short run. It seemed to ache, tighten, but then it quieted down. I went to work, and I could barely walk. My coach and I decided to take the run out of the equation for a bit, as I prepped for the Tour of the Hilltowns later than weekend. But the calf still seemed to really bother me.
After doing some research (and reaching out to a friend with more knowledge about biomechanics and anatomy), I assumed it was a mild calf strain. Sounds small, pesky, but man, it didn't feel great. (Granted, no injury feels good.) At the time, I wasn't able to see a doctor or a PT because of the cost (and I had yet to meet my insurance deductible). With a stroke of luck, I found a few guidelines and treatment protocols online for treating calf strains.
Here's my disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Just a soon-to-be graduate student with a basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology, who is saving extensively for worlds and couldn't see a doctor at the time.
I followed the protocol almost to the T, but what I didn't do was listen to how my body was doing (again). Since I'm not a PT nor do I have extensive knowledge on how muscle strains are supposed to heal, I rushed the process. To be honest, I really missed running, and I was low-key frustrated with the injury. Initially, it didn't seem to be a problem, but then I had aches and pains popping up all over my calf and foot, associated with different causes. When I realized that I couldn't walk up the stairs like I normally would without fearing further injury, that's when I put my ego aside, opened up my wallet, and decided to see a doctor and PT.
On the road to recovery
As luck would have it, my visit to the ER at Quabbin back in April (yes, it took that long for the hospital/insurance to bill me) allowed me to visit the doctor and PT without really digging too deep a hole into my savings. While I have a limited amount of time seeing the PT prior to starting grad school, I will have guidance of a medical professional for the next couple of weeks, who will help me get back on my feet and pedals, and move on towards worlds.
If you're dealing with an injury of some sort, remember that the path of performance isn't linear, nor is it perfect. In fact, perfect performance is non-existent. There will always be bumps, holes, and mountains along the way, but it's how we adapt as individuals to those challenges that improves our overall performance.
If you'd like to support my journey to IM 70.3 Worlds in Nice, donate and/or share my GoFundMe here.