I had foot surgery last September and was pretty uncertain what the future held for my triathlon career. I figured I would take it one day at a time. The surgery went well (other than the infection I got, which thankfully we cleared up quickly with antibiotics). When it was all said and done I was off running for about nine weeks. For someone who has been racing professionally for many years, nine weeks seems like an eternity, but at the same time it actually passed quickly. I focused on the things I could do - I got back in the pool when the incision was healed, I hiked, I spent a lot of time at Microscope World working. And before I knew it I was cleared to run again, just five minutes to start, but every single one of those five minutes made me smile.
|The bone that was sticking into my Achilles before surgery.|
The more I ran, the more I remembered how much I really love running. And the more I ran, the less I really wanted to swim and bike. Mostly because I wanted all those training hours to do other things in life. Surprisingly I still loved and went to masters - but only once or twice a week. I rode my bike to the coffee shop, had treats and rode home. I explored running trails all over California.
My competitive fire never went away and I decided if my foot continued to hold up, maybe I would have a bit more balance in my life outside of training and I would simply focusing on run training and chase some of my PRs.
These are my run PRs (all from triathlon):
5k = 17:54
10k = 38:00
1/2 Marathon = 1:24
Marathon = 3:05
It's incredibly humbling to take nine weeks off training and then start running again and realize just how slow you actually are. I figured no better way to get back to where I used to be than by jumping into some races. I ran the La Jolla 1/2 marathon at what felt like a snails pace. My parents were awesome and came out to cheer for me. It was fun, and that was all I really wanted to find out (other than just how much work I had to do) by racing. I wanted to make sure I still loved racing. And I did.
I raced a 10k on Memorial Day. I was still slow, but there was progress and again, I loved being out racing. Also, racing a 10k is so logistically easy compared to Ironman. I showed up, did a warmup, raced and then we went out for breakfast. It was fantastic.
|10k Strawberry High-Five|
Elliot agreed to train me again and I picked out a few races, with my primary goal being a fall marathon up in the Redwoods in northern California. I want to run under 2:55, and right now that still seems VERY far away from my current fitness level. But I like chasing goals and I'm excited to be back running with a foot that is allowing me to run some quality speed intervals and volume without pain.
For the first time in four years I'll actually be home this 4th of July holiday, rather than off racing in a foreign country. So I signed up for the Coronado 12k - mostly because I want to go see the parade after, but maybe also because it will be an automatic PR . . .