Friday, May 30, 2008

Back at it!

Woohoo! I ran this week after more than 4 weeks off. I went to see an osteopath who partially put my hip back in its place. The pain has moved from my abs to my sciatica, but at least, I can run and bike without pain!

The run itself was good and bad at the same time. The muscles were fine, but my cardio was not as good. At the same time, I thought my cardio would be much worse than it was. My mental was partially on, probably because I had had a very tiring day at work and I was really tired. I'm going for another run tomorrow, we'll see how this one goes... but I'm back at it!

I *may* be doing Emily's Run, but the Canada Day 10K is out of question now. I've lost too much fitness to be able to safely pull it off. Now that I have learned my lesson again, I'm going to take things slow and focus on getting back to running 3x/week consistently. If I'm in pain, I'll back off and go get treated before it turns into a full blown injury.

* * *

Despite being sidelined, I had a great weekend during the Ottawa Race Weekend. I volunteered at Race Kit pickup on Friday and had a great time. I cheered on my fellow Maniacs on Saturday night and Sunday and I have to admit that I had a blast! I had a lot of fun being on the lookout for my running friends, and to cheer as loud as I could when they ran by. I also cheered everyone else and a lot of them thanked me. I felt as if I was making a small difference in their race and it was a wonderful feeling. :-)

Joe immortalized this weekend by taking a few pictures of the official RM cheerleader. I'll be back next year!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

R.I.P. Spencer


Today was a sad day, the last one of your short life. I was deeply saddened by the news of your passing away. Yet, at the same time, I'm glad that the suffering is over. I'm glad you won't have to be in the hospital anymore, away from your school, friends and Scupper. I know you will be missed and I know you will live on in many people's hearts.

I've been choking up all day Spencer. Thinking about the unfairness of it all, thinking about this huge fight that you had to live. I've also been thinking about your legacy and how you touched my life even though we have never met. I kept thinking that you didn't want us to cry or pity you and I tried real hard not to cry but I couldn't help it. The world has lost someone who could have been a positive leader in this world. In 13 years, you have inspired so many people and I'm sure you've changed many lives. For that you will be remembered.

Your legacy to me is three-fold. First, you remind me not to take my life for granted and to not waste it. I'm lucky enough to have lived all those years, and I want to make the best out of whatever time I have left. I always get angry when people complain about growing old, because I think they're just lucky to have made it this far. I promise you never to complain about getting older. Secondly, you have given me the motivation I needed to donate blood. I have always been terrified to do that, but I will do it for you. It may require a lot of work on my part to be mentally prepared not to panic and make a fool out of myself, but I'll do it. I'll keep going and won't give up. Finally, you have made me realize how much I want to contribute to this world. I haven't accomplished that much in 30 years, but I'm going to do a lot of thinking about how I can help other people and try to touch their lives.

Rest in peace, Spencer. Your spirit will live on.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Letting go of the "could-have" and the "should-have"

Sigh... Today was the day that I * should have * completed my first Sprint Tri - the Sprint Tri for which I worked so hard through the winter and spring.

I volunteered at the race this morning, and I helped man a water station at the turn-around point of the run. I had a very good time working with 3 other people, the mom, dad and son of the same family. It was fun to help out my fellow Sprint Triathletes, but I had a few moments when I thought "it could be me turning this corner and running strong" or "I should have been racing today instead of volunteering".

I know it's not my last chance to complete a Sprint Tri, but I had visualized myself doing this race so often this winter that it was heartbreaking to think about those images today.

It is very hard to accept the reality and to let go of the sadness and frustration. Sometimes, I wonder if I take this too seriously. Most days, I don't think I do - I think I really like to do this because it pushes me outside of my comfort zone and it makes me a stronger person in all the other aspects of my life. Sometimes, I think I should just get a life! ;-) I know that for me, it's more than just a sport: it's my way of keeping sane in this crazy world. It's also my way of connecting with very interesting people, with whom I had nothing in common until we shared this love of the sport.

And this is why I'm so sad about this injury: I feel that a part of me has been put on hold. I hope I don't feel as sad next Saturday, but I know deep down that it will probably be even worse!

It's just a bump in the road... If I hang on tight, I'll make it through and get my sanity back. Right?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No 10K race either... :-(

This is discouraging. I've started having pain again after my last ART session. The physio mentionned that I had all the signs of a sports hernia and that I should go see a Sports Doc. I started laughing in her face: I can't see a regular doc even if I try real hard, how on Earth am I gonna see a sports doc? She told me about the Sports Medicine clinic at Carleton University. I called them this morning and I have an appointment on Tuesday! I can't believe it. I'll get this whole injury figured out, or I hope that the doc will at least reassure me that it's not a sports hernia.

With all that in mind, I haven't run all week. I tried to run on Sunday, but I was hurting after a few minutes so I stopped after about 1K. Then, I biked to work on Monday and I had terrible pain. Walking also hurts, although not as much as it hurt at first.

So... There won't be a MDS Nordion 10K for me this year. I'm heartbroken once more. This is so disapointing. I think the worst part is that the NCM weekend is the best weekend of the year - there are runners everywhere you go in the city and everyone seems healthy. It's the best! And now, I'll only be allowed to watch it from the spectator's point of view. It makes me really, really sad. I wish some miracle happened and I could run the 10K...

I've worked so hard for this - my Sprint Tri and that 10K race, and now I won't get to be part of any of it. This sucks big time.

Friday, May 09, 2008

No Early Bird Triathlon after all

I'm very disapointed, but it would be stupid of me to do the Early Bird Triathlon. Sometimes, when I stop and think about how I should be tapering now instead of resting to let my injury heal, it makes me mad, sad, depressed... It seems so unfair! But these things happen to all athletes and we all bounce back from injury stronger and with even more motivation than before. I'll be fine... but it still sucks.

I'm not sure what I'll do about the MDS Nordion 10K race. My heart wants me to do it, my brain doesn't. My injury doesn't hurt as badly and I'm going to ART session # 3 tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll get the abdominal muscle fixed and then I'll be able to slowly get back to training.

What I'm the most afraid of is to have lost that mental roughness that I had recently discovered deep inside of me. What if I become a wimp again? This would be terrible.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Injury Update

I injured myself seriously last Saturday... The pain was always there, so I decided not to exercise last week. All I did was go for a very short swim on Wednesday.

The physio said on Monday that I had hip tendonitis and she did ultrasound on my hip to relieve some of the inflammation. However, the pain didn't really go away and my lower abdominals started to hurt a lot more as the week progressed. By Thursday, the pain was so intense that I was starting to wonder if it really was just a running injury or if there was something else going on. On Friday, the pain was unbearable, so I called the health line. The nurse told me all the possible causes of my pain: muscle strain, twisted ovary cyst, hernia, appendicitis... I was terrified that I would have to get surgery. I had a ART appointment at 6:30 on Friday night, and I decided to ask if it could be any of those things or if it really was just a running injury. I was prepared to spend the night at the ER.

The chiro told me it was hip tendonitis AND adductor strain AND pyrimidal muscle strain [the muscle on top of the pubic bone]. Pain of the pyramidal muscle mimics sports hernia, and he asked that I keep an eye for symptoms of hernia, but I don't have any much to my relief. I had always thought ART on my hip flexors was the worst muscular pain possible... It turned out ART on the pyramidal muscle is 20 times more painful - the chiro brought me close to the point of passing out! ;-) ART on the adductors was also very painful, but when he worked on my hip flexors, I told him that I felt as if I was at the Spa because there was almost no pain.

The chiro said there was hope that I could do this month's races and to take it easy with the training... I haven't done any exercise since Friday. I went for a 40 minutes walk, and I hurt a lot when I got home. Nevertheless, the pain has diminished a lot since Friday. I have another ART session on Tuesday - we'll see if I can do some sort of exercise after I get a second treatment.

I'm pretty depressed about all this. I keep telling myself how stupid I was to keep on running when it started hurting. I knew I needed to take a break from the long runs, but I kept pushing because I was so excited about my training - it was going so well! For the first time in my life, my mental was so strong that I felt nothing was impossible. I was starting to dream big: a Half-Marathon in the Fall? Why not! An open-water Sprint Tri this Summer? Sure! Why not? Now, I'm injured and inactive. I'm afraid I'll never get back to the mental state I was in when I got injured. What if I have to build back to it once again? What if I never get back to being so confident in my capacity to swim, bike and/or run?

Another thing that I can't get out of my head is my frustration at all the time I spent in the pool and the possibility that I may not get the rewards of all this hard work. Most of the times I went swimming, I had to kick myself in the butt because I could always think of better things to do. Now, I'm thinking: did I do all this for nothing? Will I not get to the start line of that triathlon? Should I have done stuff with JF or other people instead of spending those evenings or weekend afternoons at the pool? I'm so angry at myself!

Anger is not good for the soul, and not good for the body. It's a poison and it's making me sick. I hope that by writing all of this down, I'll start to feel a little better about what happened. I hope I learn my lesson... Sigh...