It has been a while since I have done a triathlon (over two months, but who’s counting?) – no matter how fast or not fast you may be, injuries are always hard to deal with, and when your career is on the line, things become that much harder.
In the week leading in to Mont- Tremblant 70.3, I had some tendonitis develop in the right post-tib tendon. However, it was one of those races where I didn’t notice a thing while I was running and thought maybe it would go away even if I continued to run. Clearly I have learned nothing in the 5 years of re-occurring injuries. Tendonitis developed into something bigger and badder, but after having seen multiple specialists so far, no one can tell me exactly what is going on, so all I can say is it hurt (a lot) to run.
It has been a challenging couple of months. Every time I tried to focus on getting ready for a new race, the time would draw near and I would realize that I would not be going to that race. Finally I just resorted to telling everyone who asked when my next race was that the answer was “Never, I am never racing again.” Obviously not true, but it was much easier to train without trying to put a timeline on things.
I have found myself questioning whether I am cut out to be a pro triathlete (as often happens when I am injured and unable to actually do what a pro triathlete should do)- the first 18months of this endeavour have not been entirely successful in my eyes, and there are only so many times you can convince yourself that “at least you learned something” at a race. I want to be competitive, fighting it out for the podium, running stride for stride with my competitors until the last miles of the race- that is what I would define as (the most important part of) being a successful pro. Of course, not everyone can walk on to the pro scene and immediately get admirable results, but I’ll be the first to admit that patience is not one of my strong suits. The goals I set at the beginning of the season have not been achieved, and given the current state of not-racing, are no longer achievable. This begs the question- Why? What went wrong? What could I have done differently? Were the goals even realistic to begin with? I think I have some answers to those questions, but they warrant a different blog post.
Despite the rampant self-doubts, I fortunately, am one of those people who just loves to train. All day, every day, from when the sun comes up until it goes down. Slight exaggeration, but you get the point. I don’t need a race on the calendar for motivation, in fact I kind of enjoy the fact that I don’t have to put in taper and recovery weeks around races. So I have continued to train, going back to a similar approach to what I was doing in the winter (obviously less the running, but time on the elliptigo!). There is a distant hope that I will get in another couple of races before the year is done. I have tried to maximize the use of my time while I am not gallivanting around North America to races. This involved two open water swim races, the second one in Lake Ontario being a true test of my mental fortitude as I battled the chop and waves. I got my ass kicked in a road race but loved every minute of it. Unable to race with Multisport Canada I volunteered in Toronto as well as with the Women’s Triathlon clinic this past weekend, and will be volunteering at the race this coming weekend. And I will be racing the swim-bike at Barrelman in 10 days- I have set some lofty goals for the race so it will be a true sufferfest, but I am looking forward to it. 🙂
I know it is tough to sponsor/support an athlete who is injured and unable to race, so to those who have stood by me, a truly heart-felt THANK YOU. You know I’ll be back out there as soon as I can.