The old body and mind had been screaming at me to to take a major vacation from triathlon for weeks and weeks (okay, months) before the injury was diagnosed, but I refused to listen. (shocker).
I felt I "needed" to finish the season I had set out to do. And I am sort of a stubborn pain in my own ass (and okay, also in other people's asses--like Alina's and Ange's, and Andy's, and Kurt's), and so I wouldn't stop training and racing despite my flagging enthusiasm and my nagging fatigue.
But my plan to finish the season was foiled, so I stopped fighting and committed to the vacation from triathlon I needed. It took a bit.... but I did.
It started with taking a full two weeks completely off. Okay, not completely. I swam in the ocean a few times. But other than that I took two weeks off from training. I'd like to say it was an awesome two weeks. It was--because I was in Maine and on the beach with Alina and our kids--but I WAS OFF. Oh MAMA I just do NOT do well when I am forced to rest. I felt like a caged animal. I felt heavy and lethargic. I felt like I had lost my center completely.
But I survived. (I'm not sure Alina did... sorry 'bout that, Bean!) I slept a lot. I ate a lot. I lounged a lot. I complained a lot.
The time off was a good thing in that it made me really really really really not want to take any more time off, which in turn made me think about all the things I wanted to do--at least the things I wanted to do that didn't involve me re-injuring my foot. Unfortunately, after two weeks, most everything still kinda hurt the foot except for swimming. And truthfully, even swimming hurt when I'd forget to only push of the wall with my right foot and not my left. That was discouraging and also super annoying. Isn't TWO WEEKS ENOUGH?
I know, I know.
Anyway, I decided to buck up, and make swimming my major focus since I couldn't do other cool stuff. Which, as I mentioned in my last post, necessitated the purchase of a few swim new suits:
No doubt I will get comments from my new Masters friends, which is, naturally, the point. Admit it, you've always wanted to wear a shiny, metallic yellow/lime suit. Admit it! And I'm 42--so I have reached that magical point that I can wear whatever the fuck I want. So can you. Even if you haven't reached that golden age of 42. I give you permission.
So, in my last post I described PROJECT SWIM GODDESS. The swim suits are a first step for sure.
That project is going well. I'm getting better at remembering to push off with only my right foot. I'm getting better at enduring the long Masters workouts, and I am finding my place among my new Masters compatriots. Today I even successfully remembered my lane mates' names: Randy, Nancy and Pat. Next to my lane there were Sue, Tim, and...... okay, two guys I have swum with but can't remember their names. But I am getting there! On Monday we had a practice that was 4300 yards of IM work. It was a mother f-cker. I was exhausted when I finished, and seriously wondered how I would make it through the day. But I also loved it. There is nothing better than really getting your ass kicked in the pool.
There are a few things to note about Project Swim Goddess:
- I am hungry ALL THE TIME. It's like IM training. Swimming just makes me want to eat everything in sight. This is not good. I will not be a goddess if the food consumption continues at this reckless rate.
- I have to get up at 5 a.m. to make the start of practice. This is really and truly difficult. I'm adjusting, though.
- My hair is even crispier than usual.
- Deep google marks are becoming a permanent facial attribute.
- So far I am feeling stronger, but I'm not actually faster.
- I suck beyond sucking at breaststroke and something must be done about this.
Although my injured paw is not really ready for it, I have also joined a few boot camp type classes. I was never under the naive assumption that these classes would be easy for me because I am an endurance athlete. I knew I would walk away so sore I could barely move. And I was right! My friend Tracy has convinced me to do this strength/agility type course put on by a group called CATZ. We did so many squats the first day that I HONESTLY had trouble sitting down for like a week following it.
My friend Rose convinced me to join her Fit Club class at the SweatShop, too. Great name, huh? The Sweat Shop! Anyway. Rose is an ultra endurance runner, and I knew if she described the class as an ass kicker it would be. And I was right. We did about a thousand push-ups the first class--and a thousand jumpy things and a thousand sit-up type things that were harder than sit-ups and I definitely barely survived. This is a picture of the woman leading the class:
If you click on her picture it links to her site. She is a definitely a bad ass!
And in final news on the vacation from triathlon front, I got myself a cyclocross bike!
Here she is:
Great color, huh? I got her used from a woman x-racer who used her as a pit bike. Well, I feel like I have rescued a good-looking puppy. No more PIT BIKE status for my new baby! She is the QUEEN--the one and only cross bike owned by Mary, cat. 4 DFL cyclocross racer!
She doesn't have the right pedals yet. Have to get those. And shoes. But I have been riding her on trails and at the the local high school fields, and I must say, I am in love. I am upright! I can control this bike! I can do a tight u-turn without feeling like I am going to tip over! The only downsides about riding her -- I am slow, and I am weak, and I'm chicken.
I have learned... riding in the grass is freaking hard! Once I hit a field I get tired in literally 2 seconds. But I'm getting better. Today I lasted 13 whole minutes going through wet, longish grass. Go me!
I'm planning on going to a few training series races at the end of September, and then a few "real" races before the season is out. I am mentally prepared to look like an ass. I am actually going to relish it. There is no meaning attached to this for me except to do something totally out of my comfort zone and survive it and have fun while doing so.
That's what I'm talking about.
I miss running so badly it hurts.
(a little melodramatic, but man, I miss it so much!)
But I am going to have fun until my foot can manage it again. I am.