After a full summer of triathlon racing, my body was in need of some time off after the lakeside olympic distance triathlon. The last month of training had been intense and I was probably clocking upwards of 20 hours per week. I had managed to stay injury free throughout the season, and decided it would be beneficial to run with the York XC team in the fall. Signs of overuse however were beginning to present themselves, like a small pain in the shin or a bit of burning in the knees.
These small pains seemed to carry over to XC running, and although the pain in my shin was persisting, I was told I could probably run through it. I decided to push the envelope by racing at the Western Invitational, an 8km XC race, less than a week after my last tri. I felt a bit of pain in my shin during the warm up, but decided to race anyway. Less then a mile into the race, I felt a sharp stab of pain, and suddenly discovered I couldn't put any weight on my foot. I had to stop racing, and watch my whole team run by before I got picked up by a passing golf cart. I was in agony the rest of the day, and nothing helped relieve the pain. Now almost three weeks later, I have been through intense swelling, stinging pain, and relentless discomfort (maybe exaggerated a bit, but it felt pretty bad). I spent a week and a half on crutches, and am only now starting to put weight back on my foot. Dealing with setbacks can be tough, and this was no exception.
Just having been through the thanksgiving season however, I have come to terms with my situation, and have shifted my focus towards the more positive aspects of my injury. During my time on crutches, I let my body rest, and only trained with easy pool sessions to help keep me somewhat active.
After about two weeks, I started my comeback plan. The first step in my recovery is to start a strengthening program to get my muscles stronger and better prepared to deal with the high physical demands of running. I introduced some basic exercises that did not put strain on my shin and I can already feel the progress. Step two of my recovery is introducing a periodized schedule. When I get back to regular training over the winter, it will be important to train smarter, and not overdue it to the point of injury. I will be working with the running and swimming coaches at York to help improve my swimming and running form for next season. I will also be enlisting the help of experienced triathlon coach Richard Pady, who will help me with the planning of my workouts and overall training. By implementing these steps, I hope to use my injury as a learning experience, and as a motivational factor to recover from my setback, and propel myself back up.