I wish that I could report that training has been going well and consistently for the past 7 weeks. However, I can't report on that yet. I had been training for 5 weeks relatively pain free, with the exceptions of some muscle spasms in my left leg. Then 2 weeks ago I hit another major set-back. My knee pain came back and worse than ever. It hurt to swim, bike and run. What does a triathlete do when that happens? Cry? YUP! Question life as they know it? YUP! Want to give up on the sport entirely? YUP! Eat a lot of sugar to feel better? YUP! Watch 10 episodes in a row of Friday Night Lights? YUP!
Successful pro athletes have to give up A LOT for the sport. They have to be inherently selfish to do well, because EVERYTHING they do matters to their performance. To be the best I strongly believe you don't just complete you training. You also have to eat the right foods, get the right amount of sleep, do your best to limit any "outside stresses", etc. It's not easy to do and requires tons of sacrifice. When training is going well and your performance is improving, it is a lot easier to cope with the sacrifices you are making. When you aren't doing well or you are injured, it isn't as easy. If you are like me you feel useless because you don't have anything to identify with if it's not your sport...the time you have spent neglecting friendships becomes evident as you scroll through Facebook to see photos of events you were left out of, because you have declined them every time in the past...you try to take control by coming up with injury prevention plans and strategies for distracting yourself from the situation...you look for a part-time job online to fill the time that you would have otherwise spent training. It's not a fun place to be!
Luckily, in these past few days I think that I have accepted the situation. I can't run right now. That's that. The swimming has come back a little bit. I have joined the Kim Lumsdon Swim and Triathlon Club and I LOVE IT! Kim has swum across Lake Ontario many times and is an inspirational lady and a great coach. I am VERY out of shape, but Kim has put me in the fast lane with some super star swimmers and said that I'll get faster. Here's hoping! The biking I can do at a very low power. Luckily I can use my altitude machine to stimulate riding at 12,500 feet and I can ride at really high cadences (like 120-130rpm!) so I can still get my heart rate up with very little load on the legs. I am also proud to say that I can do 3 complete chin-ups in a row (chin-ups are great for your core!). I am not optimistic yet and my 2015 season is definitely undecided for now, but at least I have accepted the "one day at a time" approach and am much less negative these days!