The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride. I went through an emotional battle with myself and wondered why I had to be in so much pain all the time! It is one thing to have random bouts of pain, but to be in pain for almost 7 weeks is just hard physically and emotionally. It affects your sleep, your mood, and your attitude. It took a lot but I am getting back to being myself again, slowly.
Physical therapy, although expensive, had been a huge help in my healing. Those silly little exercises and stretches work and my therapist Kate (who is incredible!) does work on the injured areas and I leave there feeling like a new person! I slowly began working out again. I did some short road runs and road rides and although I felt a lot of tightness and had some terrible muscle spasms it was different this time around. The pain changed and I started to feel more optimistic.
I was not going to mess it up this time so I took it easy. Easy runs, easy rides, lots of stretching and physical therapy. This last week I ramped it up a little bit. I rode my mountain bike for the first time all year on Tuesday! My friends (the crankbangers) all showed up and we had a great ride! My groin and hamstring were a bit sore riding through the technical terrain but not bad. I was thrilled to get through the ride feeling good and not limping! The next day I joined Todd, Vickie, Justin and a few of their friends for a trail run at Case. It was really fun but my groin and hamstring were really tight! I was a bit nervous but decided to take a rest day after that.
I took my rest day and did lots of stretching and then on Friday Caryn and I went for our first open water swim of the year! It was awesome! We wore wetsuits and the water temperature was 57 degrees. I had two panick attacks that Caryn talked me through. I put on a bit of weight in the last 7 weeks and my wetsuit was tight. It constricted my breathing and I had a minor freakout. The second one happened when I opened my eyes under water for the first time ever and it brought me back to when I almost drowned a few years ago. I stopped and Caryn calmed me down. From that point forward we swam issue free and had a blast! We did 1.5 miles and were super excited to be outside swimming again!
Saturday Ryan and I joined Vickie, Darryl, Jen, and Dave on an insane road ride in Deerfield. Most of the 68 miles were on dirt roads, most which were in rough shape! It was the most fun I ever had on a road bike! The weather was great and so was the company! The farms, fields, and rivers were so beautiful to ride through and I was greatful to be completely pain free on the ride!
Sunday I “raced” the seven sisters 12 mile trail race. I was quite tight and achy in my hamstring and groin and was not too thrilled about the run. I wanted to cry and decided that I would walk to the top of the first hill and if I felt good, keep going until it hurt and then drop. I started way in the back and took almost 20 minutes to get up that hill. By the time I topped out I was feeling pretty loose and decided to keep going. I ran slow but steady and was so thankful for every moment I was pain free! Before I knew it I was at the turnaround and started to tear up because I was so happy to be trail running! I decided to pick up the pace and at mile 8 started to feel tight and sore so I walked for about 15 minutes. When I started to run again things felt fine and I was able to tear down the last descent! It is my favorite descent because it is super rocky and has a perfect grade to it! I crossed the finish line so happy to be relatively pain free!
I had my physical therapy today after work and felt good. My legs are sore from the weekend, but it is a good sore. I have a mild ache in my injured area but feel like I am healing well and I am looking forward to riding tomorrow night!
This injury has humbled me and taught me to be patient. I think it is time to turn down the training a bit. Everyday can’t be a fast day and rest days are important. Ignoring an injury is not good and trying to train through it is the wrong thing to do. I want to be able to have fun and to enjoy my life fully. I am thankful for every step I take without any pain and greatful for all the wonderful people in my life. Every day is a gift so enjoy it by doing whatever makes you happy!