I feel like the three years that I’ve spent training for a IM have had a bit of a little rain cloud over them. There are little things – just recently my dog chewed up the charger to my heart rate monitor, I went to put on my wetsuit and it ripped, ongoing issues finding gear and kit that actually fit me, blah blah blah.
But there have also been much bigger challenges as well – I’ve gotten sick at the worst possible times, had frustrating injuries, a really unexpected DNF out of the water at a half IRONMAN attempt, and though I’ve worked really hard I just haven’t gotten better as fast as I thought I would.
This torn ligament has put me firmly under the cloud. First, I tore it. Then it was re-injured when a lady stepped on it with all her weight, now it’s getting better (again!) but all the stuff I did to heal it has aggravated my achilles. I went to the doctor to get more x-rays and I have a heel spur. It’s possible that I’ve had it for a long time since I had been managing achilles pain for a while, but now it’s not just at the beginning of activity, it’s all the time. So all of my physical therapy activities are switching to managing that.
My doctor thinks I can avoid surgery (which is great since he says that would be five months with basically no training) and get it back under control with PT and icing and such and get back to running in 2-3 weeks. At this point I’ll be fine to do the shorter races on my schedule (I may have to walk the run, but I can definitely finish them) but while lord knows I’ve been aqua jogging my ass off, I’m ridiculously behind in my run training and once again in serious danger of not being able to complete the Ironman. Which blows. And I want to be clear that any successes are shared with Coach Steve and any failures are mine alone.
So I’ll have to decide whether or not to try this year (provided my doctor even thinks it’s a good idea) But then there’s the bigger question – do I turn this two year project into a four year project and try again in 2018. I’ve certainly come a very long way since not being able to swim 10 laps without feeling like I was dying, and falling down almost every time I stopped my bike. My last really long run was super promising and made me feel like I could definitely get it done this year – until I found out that I had torn a ligament doing it.
My friends and family and especially Julianne are incredibly supportive of me – and also remind me that I’m a good and worthy person whether or not I ever cross and IM finish line. I know that’s true, and it’s reassuring, but I also believe that I can cross the finish line and I really want to. I took on this challenge knowing that I wasn’t going to be good at it, I just didn’t know how right I was! So for right now I’m going to worry about getting my ankle healthy (the good news is that I have a super common injury so the path to getting better is clear) and focusing on the short distance triathlons I have coming up, and then I’ll make a decision about the IM next year.