Injury is part of every athlete's journey and I am no exception. We all try hard to prevent it but sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.
While at the Kona Training Camp I began to get a bit of a nagging pain in my ankle when I ran. I told Matt immediately knowing that in the past, lack of communication was what caused my injuries to get worse. With the new running form that we had been working on, different muscles were being activated. Since it was a dull ache we decided that this was probably the root cause and we would proceed with caution, monitoring it closely.
Unfortunately, with four days left of camp, it began to hurt on an easy bike ride - time to shut it all down. I stopped running and biking and with the help of Mike Lord we figured it was a ankle bone bruise. Yes, I was demoralized - this year was supposed to be my year of no injury, I wanted to finish camp strong, was this my final sign that I'm not cut out for this sport?
Needless to say I returned to San Francisco a bit down on myself. Yes, I was proud of my work in Kona - I had never been pushed so hard in my life - mentally and physically. Everyday I questioned my ability as a triathlete and overcame fears I didn't even realize I had. The support from all the purplepatch pros, coaches, and support staff kept me alive and ready to go come the next workout. But all of this was overshadowed by the dark cloud of injury.
That being said, I had a three week period where I was quite literally dragging my feet. I was exhausted, unmotivated, and just not myself. Luckily Sarah Piampiano, my fellow teammate, saw my struggles and told me the same thing happens to her every year after Kona. She said it sucks but then, one day, my body will recover and I'll bounce back stronger than ever. It was SUCH a relief to hear such an amazing athlete say that to me and guess what? 2 weeks later I found myself smiling, rocking and rolling like never before!
But, my injury was still lingering with my Lake Havasu triathlon on the horizon. Knowing that I had my first half ironman in a little over a month Matt and I talked and I decided to race just the swim and bike to dust the cobwebs off. It ended up being a great idea as I had a few hiccups with my wetsuit (couldn't get it off swimming the day before - took 10 minutes and 3 people. LuckilyI brought my ROKA as a back up :) ), got lost on the swim (go figure), and it was my first time riding with power on the bike course.
It was a great race and I had a blast. The race plan was to go out and stay strong on the swim, and time trial the last 10 miles of the bike course. I realized I do not like to hold back - after two minutes on the bike course I was going all out: I couldn't contain myself! It's great to have this knowledge leading into the half ironman as pulling back will be more of a focus than pushing harder.
I am now happy to report I have started to run again and will most likely be happy and healthy (enough) to race Galveston! Shout out to Zach, who came to cheer for me, and all of the Foundry Performance and purplepatch staff who have helped me immensely on my road to recovery. Onward and Upward!