Last week was the 12 weeks to go until Ironman Chattanooga, and the official start of my "Race Prep" phase. Being one that loves fresh starts, I was looking forward to nailing all workouts from here on out, especially after an awesome big day I had last Sunday. What I got instead was a lot of false starts.
Monday morning I got my butt out of bed and was at the pool by 5:30am. This is a good start, I told myself. But then I started swimming. The great swim I had on Saturday seemed like a distant memory. There was no power in my stroke. I had no energy. My form was abysmal. I thought maybe I just needed to warm up, but I never got my stride (stride? stroke?). I bailed on the first interval and decided to just get in a light 1000 yd recovery swim. I'm glad I got something in, but it definitely felt like a "false start" to the week and the training plan. The "oops" was that I never made it back to the pool last week.
Tuesday I had a great run in that my hip felt good, but my right knee was a little less than thrilled. If it isn't one thing, it's another. Or, the more scientific/correct mindset is "wow that leg is weak, do you darn exercises or don't complain about continued injuries!".
Wednesday I got on the trainer to do my interval bike. No power once again. Felt 100% flat, and bailed after a few minutes. However, Thursday morning I woke up and nailed my bike. Not easy, but it isn't suppose to be. Got it done. We'll call Wednesday another false start.
By the time Friday rolled around, my training week was looking far from impressive. No worries though, lots planned for the weekend.
Saturday morning I started a long run, only to be stopped by knee pain a half mile in. That evening, I talked myself into trying just a short easy jog, to see if the pain got better or worse. I had planned on 20 minutes and ended up getting 4 miles in. The knee was a bit sore, but not bad and didn't get worse during the run. Glad I got that run in, but not the big bike and swim I had also planned. Did I mention I have a grant deadline coming up? Apparently that has to be a priority.
Sunday is the true "false start" of my week. I was planning on going out to Dekalb to do an 80 mile ride with "Biking with Beanzie". I rented a car and everything. The car was parked about 2 blocks away, so instead of walking my bike, I decided to ride to the car. All good, except the bag with my gear fell off my shoulder, got caught in the front tire, and over the handlebars I went. I have crashed on my bike before, but never the over the handlebars type. It sure shakes you up! Thank GOD I was wearing a helmet for that 2 block jaunt, as I hit my head. I sulked back home, high on the adrenaline and not realizing how sore I was. Then the shoulder pain started. Not too bad at rest, but forward flexion is crazy limited and hurts like hell. Rotator cuff? Muscle strain? I went to the doctor today (internist) who ordered xrays of my scapula (where the pain is located), which were not surprisingly, clear. I wasn't thinking a fracture, but good to rule out. The plan now is to see how things evolve in the next few days, and take it from there.
So I'm not sure where I'm at. Once again, the rest of my season is a big question mark. Part of me was relieved that this just might be the determining factor. I'd have more time for research stuff, be able to go see family and friends, just plain old enjoy summer and not in the 5 hr ride way. Even just the fact that I was feeling relief about ending my season made me think I should end my season.
Then tonight I decided to go for a run. I was going to just do a couple miles. But it felt good (as long as I only swung my good arm). Ten miles later, the Ironman dreams are rekindled. I still don't know if it will be possible. But I figure I'll go until I know it's not. I think this might just be another False Start.