It’s that time of year again. No major races, taking things a bit easy, looking back on the year that is wrapping up, and looking forward to the year that is upcoming.
I usually find myself looking forward to the next year as being full of possibilities in life, work, triathlon and all things in general. However, since this is a triathlon blog – I’ll focus on that! As I was saying – in November and December anything seems possible when I think about the September or October to come. Qualifying for Hawaii, winning my AG at a major race, 9 hours for an Ironman, 4:10 for a half – it all seems feasible. Plenty of time to buckle down and get the work done.
Life seems great and grand and I figure out how to get myself from here to there, but then in March or so an odd thing usually starts to happen – I start to realize that “there” is a lot farther from “here” than I thought it was a few months ago. Running sucks because it’s cold outside, cycling sucks because rarely the option to ride outside – and you have to ride so damn hard to get faster. And I find myself reevaluating my hopes as reality starts to set in.
Just a few days ago I found myself thinking the very thoughts I usually do – “What would be a solid time to work towards for a half as say Racine?” “What would would I have to go to think ‘Damn, I HAVE to do an Ironman’?”.
Wednesday – I was firmly smacked with a firm dose of reality when I had my foot reevaluated. The short of it is this:
Due toe the age of the injury, it’s unlikely to heal without intervention. Another side effect of the age is that it needs fairly major intervention to heal. This means most likely no running for 8 weeks after the surgery at minimum, with no activity for a TBD time (likely 2-4 weeks) post surgery. Additionally intelligence suggests that no more running until the surgery would be intelligent. Add in that it might not be until late December or early January until I can have surgery – we are talking 15-20 weeks without running. An added risk is that due to the age of the injury the bone may not want to heal – which would leave to getting the fragment removed. Which is another extended healing period + other concerns.
That does a pretty good job of slamming the door on any and all flowery thoughts doesn’t it? If your initial thoughts are somewhere along the lines of “He’s screwed.” Well you aren’t to far off of where my thought process has drifted to in recent days.
Fortunately my wife has a calmer head than I do and helped me to realize that there are a lot of ways for me to maintain and work towards improving my fitness even with this roadblock. She was quick to point out that there is no reason I can’t bike and swim like normal now – and even do things to maintain running fitness without aggravating my foot.
What that basically amounts to is that my off-season break is not happening now – I’m going to continue to train pretty solidly for as long as possible, get my foot fixed – and get back to things as soon as it’s safe to do so.
What does that mean for goals? Right now the only goal on my mind is to get my foot better so that I can run again, and stay as fit as possible in the mean time. Once that is accomplished there will be plenty of time for kicking as, taking names, and thinking flowery thoughts.
When it is all said and done, I think that I will be much more attentive to nagging pains in my body and never ASSume they are anything.
Final note: The X-ray above is my left foot mirrored so that it is orientated the same as my right foot which is the bottom one. I’ve highlighted the fracture for your viewing pleasure.