SO much time has passed since my last blog, it’s hard to know where to start and what to tell!
I think I’ll base my blog around one important word I have learnt a lot about over the last 7 months that I have been MIA…..”ADAPTABILITY”
Last year, my first year racing as a “full time pro” was exciting, fun and amazing……I was welcomed into an incredible training squad coached by the amazing Siri Lindley and therefore based myself with her and the team in Santa Monica! It was a brilliant year, with some good races, some not so good, some awesome training miles logged, some great experiences had and lessons learnt, some great places travelled to and some awesome friends made all around the world. Being a newbie pro I wanted to do as much as I could, including maximal training and racing, and although I spaced time between races reasonably well to allow enough time for recovery between big races, I had intentions of racing non-stop throughout the year right the way into the 2013 season to fit in US races and races at home in NZ and Australia once the US season ended. My last race ended up being IM NYC….in August….Yes 7 whole months ago…..when I was managing a lower back injury, which blew out of control shortly after the race. I had planned to do the Cozumel 70.3 before returning home to race the Australia/NZ season, and at that point when I had a plan, the plan stuck. So off to Cozumel I went, and after a lot of travel to Cozumel my back wasn’t happy, however the plan was to race…and race I did, well tried! I somehow got through the swim, then managed to get a whole 6km’s into the ride, when the pain intensified in my back and started shooting down my leg along the sciatic nerve, with complete loss of strength/power and had me in tears, and after another stubborn 13kms on the bike, I was eventually side-lined on the roadside.
Feeling completely bummed about the DNF and in a lot of pain, I marked the end of the US season, but I had an exciting action packed NZ/Australia season right around the corner…..right? A few days later I was back in Australia, and my planned races were looming! I was seeing physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, getting scans, Xrays, the works, trying to get my back situation under control ASAP! However by this point I was beyond “managing the injury” and into the stage of having to take time….a lot of time off and undergo a lengthy rehab process to unwind all of the damage I had done.
Sitting here now, several months later, feeling older and wiser, I can see how important it is to be “Adaptable” with ourselves and within our sport. Day in and day out we are putting immense strain on our bodies with training and racing, and we need to be appreciative of what our body is doing and not take it for granted. Taking care of ourselves with adequate rest and recovery, supplementary training (stretch, strength, rolling….). Adapting sessions if necessary, taking added rest days where needed depending on injury/niggles/body fatigue, and importantly listening to our bodies and re-adjusting our “A plan” if needed.
Were there things I could’ve done earlier in the year to prevent this injury from happening? Yes! If I had of cancelled my trip to Cozumel and focussed on rehabbing my injury earlier could’ve I salvaged the rest of my season? Yes! But at that point I was excited and eager to be racing, and stupidly nothing was going to stop me……
So, on a more positive note, the injury finally settled around Christmas time with some much needed R+R, and I have started 2013 on a fresh page, with a more adaptable outlook!! I’ve just spent a brilliant 2 months in Noosa with my wonderful coach and training buddies. My plan wasn’t to race a full Ironman until mid year, however training has gone well and the injury has stayed away, so I have adapted my plan to race an Ironman sooner!! Bring on South Africa in 2 weeks!!!