Friday, January 14, 2011

Making the most of the situation

If it wasn't for the last leg injury, I really don't think I would have ever made the leap to triathlon, so for that I am grateful. I wondered what good might come out of this injury, and I can begin to answer that now.

The upper body is definitely getting stronger (abs included) from more intense focused workouts at the gym, not to mention the added crutch workout. I did three sets of parallel dips yesterday, shooting for three sets of 10, and got 17 on the last set.  Today I did three sets of timed (30s) bench dips and got 25+ on each.  All very cool!

With limited cross training options, I discovered that the rower is a lot of fun and a great overall workout too.  I struggled to do half an hour at first, the other day I did an hour, bumping my heart rate up a zone every 10 minutes until the last interval was in the upper 160s. Progress!

Jake flat-out asked me the other day if I would have done the rower had I not injured my leg.  No, I wouldn't have. He has suggested it before and I've blown it off. Now I love it!  Here's the view from the rower.  It's in the corner of the track so there's the added bonus of great people-watching. That's been fascinating, let me tell you...some strange stuff for sure!

Sometimes you need something to knock you off-kilter to open your mind to new possibilities.

The swim. Yes. Today I had a ladder swim, which is basically some parts at upper aerobic with intervals of easy, but it's essentially a 1350y continuous swim. I've never done more than a continuous 500 with the cast and no equipment, but today I did the full 1350 with nothing.  Nada.  No pull buoy, no zoomer.  Just two arms, a body, a leg, and my club foot (haha) dragging behind. But you know, it was smooth and my stroke stayed solid. I felt like I gained strength and confidence as I went, and I finished elated.  Coach Jim was in the next lane to celebrate with me!

If I can swim 1350 in this condition, I will NEVER again question my ability to swim a 1500 in a race.  Not having the runs and bikes competing for my energy and subconscious thought has allowed for development of my swim. I wanted a swim block to bring that element up a notch, and I believe that is happening.

Just the same, I am counting down the days (3-1/2) till the cast comes off and I get the aircast and can at least stand again. After two weeks in that, the slow return to running will begin. I'd be lying if I said there was no fear in that.  Will I love it again? Will I reclaim what speed I had? Will the endurance return? Will I stay healthy? Will I have enough time to run safely and respectably at Boston? Will I hold up for triathlon season? Time will tell.