Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sabbatical over: What have I learned?

I've gone through a lot of introspection over the last few weeks focusing on what I am currently and what I aspire to be. I think this was a valuable exercise in that I learned some things about myself. Most weren't a surprise but taking a look at myself helped me focus for the near term. In summary what I've found:

My physical state:

My broken rib doesn't hurt all the time but it doesn't not hurt all the time either. Most of the time I feel the broken rib while lying in bed, trying to sleep. In theory it should be cured by now. I'm afraid though that this may be "cured" and the new normal. It is something that I'll just have to accept and move on. Yes, it sucks but there aren't any options other than let time do it's thing. Yes again, patience is not a strength of mine.

More bothersome is the clicking I have in my ribs. I won't bore you with the official "syndrome" name but it is more annoying than painful. It gets even more annoying, though, when they click on almost every breath. In and out. I'm told this may go away but then again it also may not. If it doesn't, most people that have it just get used to it.

Rest didn't cure my right knee so I broke down and saw a doctor about it. His diagnosis was ITB tendinitis, a common running injury. He also commented that my legs were very, very tight (especially my hammies) and that a flexibility program is necessary to prevent me from getting hurt. He set me up with physical therapy to help. I've also gotten some books (including TriPower) to set this up. This, along with weight loss, needs to be my top priority. Yes, I've heard that song before but now I need to dance the dance.

Rest did cure my left calf muscle pain. I believe that I hurt it by compensating for the rest of my aches and pains. I'm also getting new orthotics since my right one recently cracked. Coincidence? I don't know, but new ones won't hurt.

The doctore recommended to not start running until I am pain free during the day and then to ease into it. This means Disney 26.2 is in jeopardy. Not all that happy about it but this race isn't my "A+" race for 2010 ("A+" is Eagleman70.3).

My mental state (as it relates "to athletic" endeavors):

I tried to figure out why I put myself through this training and figured out the benefits do outweigh the draw backs. Of course, I like certain things about it more than others and dislike some less than others - if you know what I mean.

I may never come in first but I can still "win" if I define winning the right way. That means that every race doesn't need to be a PR and I can still "succeed" if I focus on stuff a little differently. I am, by nature, very goal oriented so I need to make sure my goals make sense given where I am physically and mentally.

There are a whole lot of other things that I'll get into in future blog posts such as why I like biking the most of of all the many triathlon disciplines (swimming, biking, running, eating, drinking, stretching, strengthening, etc), why I like training with training buddies rather than alone and the challenges with that since I'm slow, why I need to hate being slow less but enough to continue to strive for improvement, and, most of all, why the support of my family in this sometime crazy adventure makes the journey all that more enjoyable.

Game on.


Diane said...

Hi Joe, How do you feel about the following statement? The joy is in the journey, not the destination. At least, that is how I always see it. I think it's good to reevaluate - why am I really here? what are my goals? why am I doing this? what do I hope to accomplish?

You have accomplished a tremendous amount in a short amount of time Rockstar. You will probably disagree with me but I am looking at your PR list and its says alot to me about all the training that went into it. You have been a great inspiration to me and many others. Perhaps your body just needs some extended time off after all the hard work you've done.

I've decided not to train for a Half Marathon in January in part thanks to a statement from you. I think that I maybe pushing my body too quickly, too hard. Let's face it, for most of my life I never trained at all and now I'm trying to do half marathons, full marathons, triathlons, century rides, etc.. all the time. Something's gotta give and for me that means my back starts hurting.

I'm going to try to focus not just on the year 2010 or the next season, but also the very very long term. I want to be out there running and playing for many years to come so I'll try to ease into things a little slower.

Take care Joe and I'm STILL not giving up on the NYC Marathon. Maybe we can both cross the line in 2010 - maybe 2011?

Carolina John said...

When I used to play golf my entire game changed once I began to accept myself as a bogey golfer. Any round I was under 90 was a good day, like being under par was for "good" players. any pars i got were treated like most people treat birdies. Double bogey's meant i had to make up a stroke on the next hole. so while I would shoot 85 and be elated, my playing partner would shoot 76 and be pissed.

your mental approach sets your expectations and determines how much fun you will have. we do this crazy shizzle because it is fun and keeps us healthy. just keep that in mind.