Thank you to all who have been following along and asking about my triathlon training. The last 10 weeks have gone by quickly and the TriRock Triathlon in Lake Geneva is this Saturday, September 14th! It’s been an incredible summer. I’m grateful to have been able to take the time for training, and have equal amount of fun family time.
I had two goals when I registered for this triathlon: to take the plunge back into triathlons after a six year absence, and to have the accountability to return to biking and swimming. (Yes, just like my clients, I too, need some accountability.)
To my surprise swimming in Geneva Lake over the weeks has been rewarding. I have had the opportunity to swim in the early mornings when the lake is calm, and a balmy 70+ degrees. While I have only managed a handful of swims (without a wetsuit) during weekend trips to Geneva Lake, I feel it’s been enough that I can navigate the water with confidence come race day – or so I hope.
Over the last 10 weeks I have rode over 700 miles on my road bike – goal achieved! Those miles were a wonderful combination of serene country roads and not-so-quiet, but equally beautiful, lakefront in Chicago. Now that I am reacquainted with my Trek, I feel like a triathlete again. I’ve forgotten how much I love riding. It’s been over four years since I have ridden with any regularity. Long rides on rural country roads (ideally with my husband) is my favorite way to spend a Sunday morning, although a feel-good solo run (long or short) comes in a very close second.
As some of you know, I’ve been dealing with a chronic hamstring injury (Tendinosis) that’s plagued me on and off for over a year. It has sidelined me from running since July, but I’m happy to report it’s healing and feeling incrementally better with each passing week. (If you are in need of a top-notch physical therapist, I highly recommend Paul Thomas at Accelerated Rehab, 1746 W Addison Street in Roscoe Village. He is one of the best PT’s in Chicago. Paul has been treating every ailment in my body since 2007.)
In lieu of outdoor runs, I have been spending time on the stairclimber (I know, it sounds like torture, and it kind-of is) but the intensity of the stairs is replicable to that of running. I’ve also traded in some running time for more intense strength training. I am loving how my body feels after a challenging workout – some of which I have been doing while leading AMC’s Fit & Fab training sessions. My goal is to increase my hip, leg, and core muscle strength to aid in my hamstring recovery and prevent future injury.
I would be lying to say I didn’t miss running. I do miss running, a lot! I miss the endorphin high after a quality run, especially along the lake front on a warm summer morning. But I am optimistic that I will be 100% again, and will continue to remind myself that these few months are just a sliver of time in the grand scheme of life.
Given my recovery I’ve recently contemplated if I should even participate in the triathlon on Saturday. An Olympic distance triathlon is a 1500 meter swim, 28 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile RUN, in that order. Unfortunately the fine print states registration is non-refundable ($165!), and deferred entry for next year is not permitted. Sigh. A big part of me is disappointed that I cannot race on Saturday. A “race”, in my terms, is to get from point A to point B as fast as you can. It will take ALL of my will power to complete a run/walk combo, and NOT to push through a fast pace run even if it is uncomfortable. (Yep, I’m that competitive.)
A friend suggested that I swim and bike the course, then pack up my gear when I hit the second transition. It was an ‘a-ha’ movement, “Of course, just remove the temptation to run”. It was a brilliant idea that never occurred to me – and probably for a reason – a DNF (did not finish) is not how I prefer to roll. I will walk 6.2 miles before I leave the race uncompleted. I was willing to walk/run 26.2 miles during Ironman, surely I can walk/run 6.2 miles. I’m committed. I’m far enough along in my recovery that a walk/run should be a reasonable request of my body.
As race day nears, I am making a pledge to myself and to all of you:
MY SPORTSMAN PLEDGE
I promise to do my best completing Saturday’s triathlon based on my current physical capabilities.
I promise not to let my watch dictate how I perform in my triathlon.
I promise to slow down, pause, or stop any forward locomotion if my pain threshold becomes too great and threatens to set back my recovery.
I promise not to improvise my long-term health for this one race.
I’m excited to share with you my internal thoughts and experiences this week as I start to pack for the main event, and provide a full race/triathlon report after completion! Thank you for all your concern and well wishes, I appreciate each and every one of my AMC family.