I am writing this post today, feeling a little sad. I got all of my cries out on Saturday, so hopefully I don’t start tearing up while writing this post.
I had a fantastic training week last week and was looking forward to the weekend’s worth of training sessions. I was excited to be building up for the last week before my Half Ironman this Saturday! I knew if I could get through last week, I would be raring to go! Saturday was a beautiful, hot day here in Massachusetts with temperatures in the low 80’s. It was sunny with a slight breeze, and I was super excited to head outside for a long ride! I picked a route that goes through the town I grew up in, Sudbury, and it was like riding down memory lane (literally). I even stopped to take a photo of my bike with the historic Gristmill:
Let’s start with the happy stuff..
I felt strong during the entire ride, keeping a steady pace, without going at a high heart rate. I needed to ride at a Zone 1 HR (130-140 bpm) for most of my ride, which does mean a slower pace (unless I am on a flat or going downhill). This would also leave some energy for my brick run afterwards. Did creep into Zone 2 quite a bit though, thanks to the hills.. .it’s so hard to stay in Zone 1 with a change in terrain, nearly impossible. The amazing thing is, seeing how far I have come with my riding, even since last year. I pretty much gave up riding all last winter, 2012- 2013, to focus on Boston Marathon Training. At the time I did not have a coach and was just ‘winging’ it. This year, I rode my bike on my training ALL winter long, following specific training metrics. I must say, it’s made a WORLD of difference. I am noticing strength and speed improvements on the bike and it feels awesome. The fact that 67 miles can feel ‘like nothing’ is pretty darn awesome.
And the bad…
After my bike ride, I needed to start my brick run within 10 minutes of finishing. I threw on my sneakers and realized I left my garmin watch at home (damn it), so instead I grabbed my phone and turned on ‘map my run.’ I NEVER run with my phone, unless it’s a long run and I want to have it with me for safety. I probably should run with it all the time to be safe, but I don’t like having it on me. I figured I was only running for 25 minutes and I wouldn’t mind holding the phone in my hand. It was really hot out at this point in the day (around 2:00 PM) and I wanted shade. I found some trails near the parking lot and decided to run there instead of on the hot pavement. I have been running on trails lately, so I figured I wouldn’t have a problem with it. As I started to run, I could tell my legs were a little ‘wobbly’ and tired. I lost my footing a few times, but kept running at a recovery pace. About one mile in, I turned down a trail that looked less travelled on, since I love to explore. A few seconds later, I tripped over what I think was a root and I landed (i.e. slammed down) on my hands and knees. It was a hard fall and my iphone (which was in my right hand) made a huge thump on the ground…. and so did my right knee. I think having the phone in my hand messed up being able to control my fall and that’s why I landed so hard on my right side. My knee was cut up, but nothing crazy , and I figured it was just a bruise. It didn’t hurt too much when it happened and I continued to run for another 2 miles or so. I ran those last couple of miles with no real pain the in knee, thinking perhaps I dodged a big bullet with that fall. Once I stopped and got to my car, things felt a little stiff and I put an ice pack on my knee for the 20 minute car ride home (thank goodness I had one in my cooler). After returning home, the pain in my right knee got worse as the night went on. Not only did my right knee hurt, but it was swollen, stiff, and I couldn’t bend it without any pain.
That night (Saturday) I literally had a breakdown. I know there are far worse things in life, and it could have been must worse what happened to me, but at this very moment, in my eyes, my world was ending. I sat on the couch, ice pack on my knee, crying my eyes out to my husband, Todd. I trained all winter for THIS to happen. I was so angry. I alternated between crying and screaming, crying and screaming. I was so angry at myself for going down that trail, for holing my STUPID iphone when I should have just gone without it. Ugh I should not have gone down that trail… Todd tried as hard as he could to reassure me that it would be OK and that it’s going to hurt for a few days, but it’s probably fine… I didn’t want to believe him. I have my half ironman this weekend, this CAN’T be happening to me, I thought.
After crying my eyes out, I took an Epsom salt bath (I hear it’s good to alternate between heat and ice… I know there are different theories out there). I like to think the healing properties of the bath, coupled with the icing beforehand, helped to make things better. I woke up on Sunday fearing the worst, but actually I DID feel better. I could bend and straighten my knee without pain and the swelling was down. I applied Traumeel (homeopathic pain relief, like Arnica) on the knee several times, which helped ease the bruising. As the hours passed on Sunday, I continued to feel better. The crazy part of me even contemplated running, until Todd told me I was crazy. I was scheduled to run 30 minutes, bike 45 with sprints and run a 50 minute brick run… that wasn’t happening. As hard as it was to rest, I knew it would be the best thing for me if I wanted to race this Saturday. Missing one day of workouts will not affect my race, I kept telling myself. We took Oliver for a walk at the local pond and I actually felt great. The walk two miles at a slow pace (thanks to Oliver’s keen sense of smell) but I had no pain at all. Finally I was started to feel better about the situation.
Last night consisted of more ice and rest and by this morning, it is still continuing to improve. I swam at practice for 3,000 yds, no pain pushing off the wall. I went to acupuncture this morning to help with the swelling and blood pooling in the knee. Apparently ‘hard swelling’ on my knee cap is a sign of blood pooling, I forgot this little fact. After the acupuncture the swelling went down a bit, hooray! My knee still feels stiff, thanks to the swelling, but I like to think I have a handle on it. I am going to take it easy these next couple of days and just stick to swimming, in hopes that I can race pain free on Saturday! I have five days to get this under control and I am REALLY trying hard to be optimistic! If my only complaint is stiffness and bruising (but no pain) I like to think I’m OK. I will keep you posted as the week goes on! Please cross your fingers for me that I am ready on Saturday!
Here is a recap of last week’s workouts:
I completed every workout, as planned, except for Sunday.
Weeks until IMMT: 11
Days until Patriot Half Ironman: 5!
I cannot believe my first race is THIS weekend. All winter long, it seemed like race season would NEVER get here.
Hours Planned 14
Hours Actual ~12
Swim 3,000 yds at Masters (focus on distance)
TRX upper and lower body routine
Bike Tempo ride 1:35 (Z2 HR)
Run 35 min (Z1 HR)
Swim 2,900 yds (intervals) at Master’s practice
Bike 30 min recovery pace
Bike Tempo Ride (2 x 20 min low cadence @Z2 HR)
Run 50 minutes with 4 x hill repeats
Swim 3,000 yds (intervals) at Master’s practice
Run 20 min easy
Bike 3:40 (outside!) Zone 1 and Zone 2 HR
Run 25 min
OFF (thanks to my fall on Saturday)
I was supposed to run and bike
Walked Oliver for 2 miles
A little reminder for myself this week…
How was your training last week?
Have you ever been injured close to a race? If yes, how did you cope?