So as seasons go, I have to say that even with a late start, this has been a huge success. My fitness level is back to where I want it, my results are showing up in races, and going into the week, I was feeling ultimately prepared for my upcoming race on Saturday. Then I went for a run on Tuesday.
Ever notice how you end up hurting yourself on the easy days? I had an easy 30 minute run on the schedule so I went out Tuesday morning early to get it done. 25 minutes in (really? Yeah....) I came up to an intersection where a car was being a little non-committal about stopping so I pulled up short, and felt a twinge. It wasn't big. In fact, it didn't feel like a whole lot, but I knew. I knew that I'd feel that later in the day and I knew it was hamstring related. I knew that the timing couldn't be worse and I knew that the next week would be...interesting. I made it home that day. I even had a bike workout later in the day and felt totally fine. Maybe it wouldn't be anything after all.
The next day as a 75 minute run with hard intervals built in. This did not go well. The warm-up was fine, but once I tried to pick up the pace, that was it. I could feel it big time in the back of my leg right behind my knee every time I pushed off.
So I shut it down for a couple of days. I swam, I biked, I iced, I took anti-inflammatories, did everything I was supposed to do. Saturday came. Time to test it. I was feeling better, so maybe it would be ok. The first 5 minutes felt good. I could tell that the muscle was a little sore, but it didn't feel hurt, just tight. I picked up the pace for the first interval....and it gave out. Thanks for playing, drive home safely. No, we won't be going into zone 3 today.
So here I am, 6 days before my goal race for the season, and I'm hurting. My leg hurts, but I think my head hurts more. I've worked hard to get to this week, and it's frustrating not to be 100% going into it. Now, with that said, let's have a little perspective here. It's my first season back after 7 years of no triathlons. It's not an ironman, it's an Oly and no matter what, I'll get through the day, and I'll still be faster than I was at Wildflower in May. Above all, nothing negates the work I've done all summer. I'm stronger, lighter and faster in every discipline than I was 90 days ago. I'm building up for NEXT season, and that was the plan from the beginning. Get my body race ready this year, and build up for the 2011 racing season.
But it still hurts. My pride wants to go out and put up a 2:20 at Pac grove and set a PR for that race- even faster than I went 10 years ago. I think I could have done it. Who knows, maybe I still can. mostly want to be ready to do my best, throw it all on the line and see what happens. Instead, I'll be cautious, see how it goes. But maybe, just maybe, it'll feel great. I'll rest and heal this week and everything will be amazing. I will get that PR. I will run 7 minute miles and I come across that line grinning like an idiot.
Hell- I'll do that anyway. No matter what happens Saturday, I'm back in the game, and that's what matters most. I'm extremely lucky to have been able to enjoy my sport again, and I know that this week will be a great one no matter what. Bring it on. I'm ready.