I was scheduled to run Seneca7 with the Score This !!! team this past weekend, an event I was looking SO forward to… for everything Seneca7 is. Unfortunately a gastrocnemius strain put the kibosh on my participation. To say I was bummed was a gross understatement. I definitely shed tears. But…. I won’t compromise long term health and long term progress for short term rewards. I will never stroke my ego and lose those long term gains. Therefore when I develop an injury…. as frustrating as they are, especially when you are doing everything right (for once)…. I make good decisions.
I got myself over to Dr. Kenny Tsang, a sport certified chiropractor, ART practitioner who is also certified in Graston. He’s worked with many athletes on our team and he’s incredible. He knows athletes… he knows me, and I trust him completely. A few painful sessions later, I am re-educated on fascia, the importance of muscle fibers sliding over one another, rolling the ever living shit out of my body again, and was able to only miss a few days of running. No days missed of cycling, SUPing, weight training…. or even hiking.
And yes, I am SUPING! The water is cold but I have gear to take care of that!
The take home here though: when you take care of things before they become big things….. healing actually CAN happen!
I had an unplanned day off, like totally off. My work was complete… papers written…. so Luc and I took to the trails for two hours. We are preparing to begin hiking the 46 Peaks and we are getting ready! The beautiful thing about being a former Ironman athlete with a son who is a runner…. endurance isn’t an issue, nor is nutrition. I am the expert at fueling things that last forever. The cool thing about hiking though is…. I don’t need nearly the amount of fuel as I do for training. And I needn’t eat one single gel.
While our big challenge isn’t the fueling or the endurance, it’s the reading of trail maps, traversing inclines and descents, and that kind of thing that we need to learn. Two hours of rigorous hiking was awesome. Especially with Luc. The phone was off. Satellite GPS on. Just us and the woods. Throughout the next few weeks we are acquiring more gear, more difficult hikes, and we aim to do our first peak in June.
I have been advised to be flexible on dates of climbing, to be mindful of weather, which was good advice. I was also advised to not view this as an athletic endeavor, even though it is. What was meant… was there are no hard fast time rules to be had out there. There are lessons. There is no medal, or accolades… there are… as I said lessons. The lessons and experiences are different for everyone.
Our biggest priority is safety. If you know me I am a bit of a safety nut (I am a Peds ED nurse, I see bad things happen when safety isn’t followed). Through our next weeks of preparation we are honing our safety plan, sharpening our map reading skills, learning our GPS and satellite phone, and we’ve got our trauma kits too. Yeah, we are getting ready for anything. I love and hate that part of myself, but as an ED nurse….. you walk into any situation on earth and before you say hello you have identified every possible thing that could go wrong and how you would save it. I can weave a splint out of bark, dirt and secure it with a rock if I had to.
The unexpected day off …. was needed. My grad school semester is winding down, our nursing students are winding down their semesters…. and in just a few short weeks I will be on my own summer break. We have some adventures planned…. our Lake Placid training camp, SUP races, Ironman coaching, a ton of family coming to visit, beginning the 46 peaks…. and a cross country trip. If there was ever a year to step back from triathlon competition it was this one. A friend told me a few months ago that she thought we all should take a season away. I listened to her then….. but I 200% agree with her now. I haven’t done this in 15 years and already I feel my fire rekindling.
In the meantime though I still have work to do. Things are going better than I expected. My health has rebounded, I am feeling stronger than ever, my passion for all of the things I get to be able to do has grown. On this triathlon hiatus I have become a much more effective coach, I feel the deepest connection to our team than I have ever felt. Ceasing to burn the candle at both ends has benefitted me in ways I never realized it would. What they say about taking care of yourself…. is absolutely true when it comes to the rest of your life.
I no longer overextend. I allow myself time to reconnect and disconnect. I have slowed down, allowed people around me to help me. Life is so much richer when you don’t try to do everything at once.
This is really going to be one excellent summer. Fasten your seat belts. It’s about to get crazy.