Broken – Ironman Training Week 23

Broken - Ironman Training Week 23

This Week In Numbers
Swim:  
7225 yards
Bike:
219.94 (Let’s just call it 220)
Run:
5.09 (Pathetic!)
Total Time:  15:52:25

I’m broken!  Body, mind and spirit.  I’m not in a very good place right now.  After a week of no running prior to Leadman, I thought I would nip this foot/ankle thing in the bud.  No such luck.  It hurt all during Leadman and was a painful, swollen mess after.  For someone who spends so much time, effort and money on keeping my body in tip top shape, I shouldn’t be having to write about this…….especially not RIGHT NOW!  There is less than 4 weeks until Ironman St. George and I’m sitting here with my foot in an ice bucket unable to run without pain at the first footfall.

I kind of love looking at the inside of my body 🙂

On Monday, my good friend LaRae pulled some strings with her podiatrist to get me an appointment.  I had to at least rule out the REALLY BAD stuff……….stress fractures.  Dr. Yates was incredible.  After 3 panels of x-rays, the diagnosis was inflammation of the joint.  I was sent home all wrapped up with this hybresis contraption to help deliver topical anti-inflammatories.  I was to take 2 Aleve twice a day and smooth on Lotion #7 (which I have no idea what it is…….and frankly don’t care).  He said if that didn’t take care of it, we could look at an injection of steriods to calm it down.  He felt like it just needed rest and I would be good to go.  Excellent!  I’m a REALLY good patient and will follow orders.  No running for 7 more days.  I was okay with that.  7 days is plenty of time to rub out even the worst nagging pains.

Coach M put me on a good swimming and biking schedule and I actually ended up riding what I believe is the highest mileage week I’ve ever completed.  I was having patience.  I was going to get this behind me so I could focus on finishing up my training and having a good taper to race day.

Thursday, Coach H called and said he was coming down for the weekend with Tony (another HT Athlete…….who I have a very “special” relationship with!).  It would be a fun weekend.  I love having my tri-buddies around 🙂  Heath thought it would be a GREAT idea for us all to race on Saturday at the SHAC Spring Triathlon and then go our separate ways for our independent workouts.  He cleared his plan with M and the next thing I knew I was standing at packet pick-up for a race I had not planned on.  🙂  That’s why I love Heath!  He’s a man without a plan who knows how to have a good time and go with the flow.  Tony, on the other hand, wasn’t all too excited when told the evening before the event that he would be racing!  Ha!  🙂

My workout for the weekend was suppose to be a 90 minute swim, a 4 hour bike ride and an hour and a half run (playing it by ear with my foot).  I was excited.  I needed that time out there pounding the pavement.  I’m running out of weekends to go long and this would be GREAT.  The race would take the place of the swim and then I would finish the rest of it out.

Mysterious Lotion #7

I hadn’t run even a step since Leadman.  Friday when I stepped out of bed I was so EXCITED because I didn’t feel ANYTHING in my ankle.  Not a thing!  Maybe, just maybe things were under control.  That afternoon I had the bright idea of jogging down our hallway, just to test things out (our hallway is not very long, mind you).  My test results:  FAIL!  My foot hurt on the first impact!  Bummed is not the appropriate word.  I couldn’t even take ONE STEP without the pain.  Come on!  After all that rest…..nothing…..not even a jog down my hallway without pain.  THIS IS RIDICULOUS!  Why the heck am I sitting around babying this thing when it doesn’t even help?!?!?!?  I ignored the pain that those few steps created in my once-again painful ankle.  We would see how the race went tomorrow…….Though I had a pretty good idea that my long workout weekend plans were in jeopardy……..

The race was fun!  It is always fun to race, especially when you get to do it with friends.  You can read my full race report here.  I ended up second overall and had a decent swim, a good bike and a lack luster, painful run.  I knew that at the end of the day there would be no long run for me.  I tried hard not to think that far ahead.  Heath, Tony and I headed out on the Veyo loop in our different directions.

The race actually took a lot out of me.  I was okay, but I was tired.  We weren’t able to get right out on the bike after the race because the awards ceremony took FOREVER!  It was Noon before we were riding.  The laziness following any race had settled into our bones and it was a bit tough to get going.  Once I was out there, I was good.  I just plodded along on the Veyo Loop with plans of extending a single loop into 70 miles and 4 hours.

It was nice to be on my own a bit.  I didn’t have any headphones.  It was just me and my own voice in my head.  I enjoyed the ride, albeit, I got pretty tired after being out for 3 1/2 hours.  I was very much ready to be done when 4 hours rolled around.  I pulled into the church parking lot we were staging from and Heath ran up finishing his 10 miler (after his bike).  I told him I was suppose to run for an hour and a half and he asked how my foot was feeling.  IT HURTS DAMN IT!  IT HURTS!  Okay……I didn’t say it quite like that, but that is what I was thinking.  I told him he had to run with me, regardless of how bad he wanted to be done with his workout :)……He “happily obliged”…….probably because he knew it would be over almost as soon as it would begin.

We set out on a short loop and he gave me pointers on how to manipulate my footfall to see if that would ease the pain.  Nope!  Still hurt.  Every step hurt.  I was tired.  We were running faster than I was comfortable.  I was broken.  I was suppose to be out for a good hour and a half and I found myself back in the parking lot after 2 miles.  PATHETIC!  My foot was swollen.  My body was tired.  My spirit was DEFEATED!  The meltdown had begun……..

My ice bucket

Sunday was Easter, my tri buddies were on their way home, there were large amounts of chocolate and treats in my house, my ankle was swollen and I was NOT a happy camper………so I ate lots of treats and texted Coach M:

“I’m FREAKING OUT!  I only did 15 hours last week.  Only ran 5 miles.  Don’t feel trashed like everyone else.  My ankle hurts and is swollen AGAIN!  I’m suppose to run a marathon in a few weeks.  Not only can’t I run but I haven’t done anything long!  I was actually starting to see IM come together for me and now it is in the toilet!  I will be lucky to even finish the race.”

I think we can all agree that I was in TOTAL MELTDOWN mode (I’m currently a bit better…….but not out of the woods yet).  Coach M replied:

“K big breath!  Let it out!”  This is a women who knows how to deal with athletes 🙂  “Remember the best thing to live by while ironman training is to always side on the side of recovery.  Get out of your head the hours that you think you need to do or the miles you think you need to be doing.  Trust us and trust your training it will all come together on race day.  You could literally stop today and not do really anything until race day and you would be fine.”

The conversation continued with me complaining incessantly about not being able to help myself……M showed entirely too much patience with me.

My current drug of choice

I LOVE MY COACHES!  I don’t know what I would do without them.  Coach H chatted with me the following day and I assured him that my meltdown was continuing.  He just reiterated what M said.  I started to come around a bit Monday evening.

I can’t say that I’m good to go.  This meltdown is not over.  I’m constantly struggling with feelings of doubt and confusion.  I don’t understand why this happened and I don’t know what else to do to make it better.  M reminded me to have patience……..I’m trying……..I really am.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not that “easy going”………I’m a bit Type A, shall we say.  I schedule.  I plan.  I demand 100% out of myself.  I’m okay if things aren’t perfect, but if I can make them perfect……I will!  I want to be the best at what I do.  I don’t want to be good.  I want to be GREAT!  Right now I’m feeling less than great.  I’m not even feeling mediocre.

I really started to see Ironman coming together.  I started to understand how to get through the race.  Things were falling into place.  It would be hard, but I knew that at the end of the day, I would not only cross the finish line, but I would do it well.  I would be the BEST ME I could be……..then the bottom fell out and here I sit popping Aleve, icing my foot, and NOT RUNNING!

Coach M is right.  I need to get out of my head.  It can be a dark place in there sometimes.  I don’t have the answers right now.  All I know is that I can PROMISE my coaches that I will do what I need to do and trust them on this one.  I will relinquish and let go of my preconceived notions.  I will work SO HARD on the two sports I have left right now.  I will be the BEST INJURED COLLEEN I can be.  I will trust that will be enough.

I don’t mean this post to be a pitty party for myself…….actually quite the opposite.  I mean for it to be a SHAPE UP kind of slap in the face.  That’s what I need…….I’ve got plenty of pitty going on……the last thing I need is more.  I’ve said it before…..I CAN DO HARD…..Well, this is my time to shine…….It’s time to step up.

Here’s to next week……


2 Comments to Broken – Ironman Training Week 23

  1. That is a tough situation, but you are handling it well. I know I’d be freaking out!!! I freak out over smaller things. That what coaches are for, to help us see a different picture. I’m surprised how well mine has done the same for me.

    In November I had a similar issue that no doctor (even after 3 different people x-raying me) could figure out. It was all concluded that I had inflammation. I pretty much didn’t run all through November. However, I was finally able to start running on treadmills (they are a lot softer). I tried to break up the runs so they weren’t too long, but I was getting in the overall mileage. I’m not your coach, but it may be worth a try.

    Good luck!!!!! You are really strong and everyone is looking up to you… even me (literally).

  2. Hey Colleen,

    You should try water running and the step climber. I’ve had some great races coming off of water running only. Yeah, your legs will get beat up on race day, but the fitness will be there.

    Personally, given how bad this sounds from your blog, I would NOT run on it for as long as you can, water run almost every day, get on the stairmaster, then try out some easy runs 10 days before the big day. Don’t bother with a huge run taper if you do that, you won’t have a big amount of fatigue you need to shake off. But also don’t go running like crazy in those final 10 days, just enough to get some feel for the pounding back. Start with 20minutes, then maybe 40 or 50min runs at the most…maybe even a couple double days if the foot is PERFECT. If not…keep water running and stair climbing.

    Another suggestion…try some of those Hoka One One’s. A lot of shoes nowadays are getting pretty minimal and have zero drop from heel to toe… Hoka’s might just give you a break.

    My two cents!!

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