Starting Over Yet Again

For what feels like the millionth time in the last 6 months, I have begun training again. This time, though, it is for realz.

Why wasn’t it realzie before?
The biggest reason I didn’t stick to it before was that I wasn’t prepared emotionally, mentally or practically.

Emotional preparedness
One might ask why someone would need to be emotionally ready to train. As a seasoned triathlete, I know the time commitment, sacrifices, and physical pain that is endured to train. When one is fresh and innocent, she doesn’t know what is to come. She doesn’t know about blood blisters, injury, dehydration, and sore muscles. She doesn’t know the hunger that comes, especially to usĀ hangry people, while training. She doesn’t know that eating greasy food can upset a stomach of someone training, making it nearly impossible to enjoy french fries. But I know all of these. In order for me to train, I have needed to emotionally prepare myself for these things.

Physical Preparedness:
In the past year my muscles have deteriorated significantly and I’ve tried numerous times to get back to training, each time to be hit by sore muscles and injury. My nagging knee injury has persisted since the 2012 May marathons. My upper back-neck injuries have reared their ugly head every time I try to swim or bike. That’s 3 out of 3 disciplines.

Alas, the past few weeks I have been figuring out how to deal with these issues:
My knee injury is due to tight hip flexors and IT bands. My foam roller and I have been reacquainting ourselves twice daily.

My upper-back and neck problems are the biggest problem, though. When my neck is not doing well I get massive head-aches. When I lived in a city I would make an appointment immediately and head down to my chiropractor, who has been working with me for 7 years. Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury anymore. The closest chiropractor is 20 minutes away and I finally made an appointment with him. In the meantime I have been using a heat on my muscles at night with stretching. I also changed my yoga workouts and have found a series of DVDs that are gentle flow, which is really what I need, because it increases flexibility without being physically intense. The last thing I have been doing is rolling my back on tennis balls each night. My back feels a million times better! I also roll out my piriformis, which I can’t do on my own. Tennis balls are the shit. I’m going to find a golf ball and see if I can get into the glutes deeper.

This week, after swimming on Saturday, I have been feeling a headache coming on. On Saturday night I took an ibuprofen to get through a Christmas party, but have not taken one since! This is a break-through for me because I have tried to forego the ibuprofen before and it has ended terribly. This time, though, I am stretching like mad, heating up my wheat bag every night and stretching my neck and upper back, and rolling out my IT bands and back. Today there is almost no sign of a headache. It is fantastic! I feel like this is a big hurdle for me because it gives me emotional confidence that I can train and deal with the injuries and muscle issues that come up.

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2 Responses to Starting Over Yet Again

  1. I can so relate to your dilemma. I too am thinking about what my goals are for next year and find myself wondering if I want to go through the pain I experience. I have a torn meniscus that does not need any surgery at this point and want to keep it that way. I agree that time training is always a dilemma. That is why I try to limit how many races I do in a year. Good luck on your journey. You know you are experienced and ready to challenge yourself again.

    • I seem to be very prone to injury, especially with running because of the structure of my feet. I love training and racing/participating in triathlons. After this Ironman I’m not going to do any major racing and focus on shorter distances and do it for fitness and fun rather than the HUGE challenge of a long-distance race. Good luck with your training and deciding the direction to go. After years of doing triathlon I think it can be tough to focus goals on other things.

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