Thursday, October 22, 2009

Want vs. Need

I have to confess something. I think if I admit it out loud, or in writing as the case may be, it will be my first step towards really healing. I have also been crabby with my husband because of my frustration. That needs to stop and this blog is my apology to him. He puts up with a lot :)

So, here it is: My heel hurts and I am injured.

There, I said it. I had a niggle in my heel in June. Ice and a bit of rest made it better but every so often it would come back. I would ice and stretch and it never hurt in races and was not getting worse so I thought it would be okay. I made it through my last race on September 5 and then did not run for 10 days. But, I made some errors in those 10 days. First, I jumped in the car after my race on September 5 and drove 3 hours home. I did not feel very special when I stepped out of the car in the garage. Everything was tight. The next weekend I did a 60k TTT and jumped in the car again to drive up to Madison to watch Hillary race IM Wisconsin. After that I drove home to Chicago and the next morning did an easy jog. The calves were tight, especially the right one. I stretched and did yoga over the next few days. I also was doing more standing than usual because swim practice started with the UIC team.

At the end of September I went in for a massage and my right calf was not well. BIG knots. Two painful massage sessions later I was bruised and the calf was starting to loosen up a bit. However, the pain in the heel was persisting. I took 7 more days off from running. But, I was still standing 2-4 hours a day because we started morning workouts. Improvement was slow but not as fast I would like it.

The past few days I have run into lyrics from a Rolling Stones song in two different places, if I hear it on the radio in the car I am going to have to believe it is divine intervention. The lyric is "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need."

Now, what do I WANT? I want to run for 90 minutes. I want to run hard. I want to feel the burn in my legs. However, what do I need? Rest and healing. Peroid, end of story. I was fillng out a year end review on Wednesday that asked me my goals for 2010 and so I wrote them down. They are ambitious and when I wrote them down I committed myself to working hard to achieve them. I had a moment of panic. The devil on my shoulder was saying, you need to run, you have to train hard right now but the angel on the other shoulder said "no, that is what you want, it is not what you need." Honestly, I am in a pretty good position right now. I don't have any triathlons coming up until March 2010. My season is over and it was a good one. I had fun and finished the year with some breakthroughs.

Patience is my goal for this fall. I need to slow down and allow myself to heal. I am still active...I can swim, I can bike and I am able to run on the treadmill 2 or 3 times a week without pain. The heel gets a little stiff the days I run but each time it is a little less stiff. I have been sleeping with the Strassburg Sock which is really helping. I am going to start water running. I have an appointment to see the podiatrist on Monday. I am hopeful that he can diagnose me and send me in the right direction with a plan. I will feel much more in control after that. I will have definite direction to getting this heel better. I know one thing; I have to strengthen my right leg. I wrote down all my past injuries on my year end review and every single one was on my right leg. EVERY injury since 1996. If I think back even further to my gymnastics days I always sprained my right ankle. It is quite astounding and at the same time totally predictable.

In UIC swimming team news we have our first meet of the season tomorrow night. And, right on schedule, several people are out sick. Luckily, in our sport you can lose all your duel meets and still win the conference championship. Our overall win-loss record does not have an affect on seeding, etc. So, we will swam as fast as we can with the healthy people we have available. Such is life. And, life is good.

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