May 07, 2007

My Left Foot II

Two words: Nagging injuries. We’ve all had them at some point during our triathlon training. I’ve noticed that some of my training partners don’t get then as severe as I do. Why is that? Do I have a lower threshold of pain? I don’t think so. Maybe, it’s just the way our individual bodies are constructed. In 2004, I was training for the NYC marathon, my first, when I came down with runner’s knee. The knee hurt so severely that it just shut me down one day when I was out on a training run. I was less than a mile from home and I just couldn’t run anymore on it. So, I walked home or hobbled home rather. Since then, the knees haven’t been the same. I never ran that marathon or any other, except the one in IM last year. However, my knee’s still bother me. To help alleviate the pain and in order to compete, I need to constantly stretch and see a physical therapist. I also have the fear that if I run too much in any given week, I’ll re-injure the knee and not be ready for my next event. I’m not supporting the family with my triathlon adventures but it’s what I like to do so it’s frustrating.

Now, I have a new injury to report, My Left Foot II. (I call it that because I want to avoid any confusion with the Daniel Day-Lewis movie, My Left Foot, a few years back.) Bad humor I know. I’ve already been told that by the family. But they just don’t get it. Nor do they appreciate my constant whining about My Left Foot II. You see, all I worry about now is whether the foot will be ready to go for July 22. The next 10 weeks are critical in my IM training. Plus I have a half-Ironman coming up on June 10, the Eagleman 70.3. I need to run now to be ready. So, as if it will help me, I hobble around the house, letting out little gasps of pain and a whine here and there. I didn’t think anyone was hearing me until this morning. As I was trying to make a doctor appointment and getting frustrated that my doctor of choice couldn’t see me this week; my wife let it be known that I should see any doctor so the rest of the family didn’t have to listen to me complain anymore. Ooh that hurt. But I faced it like an Ironman and understood where she was coming from. I do tend to do that. Whine that is.

With both races bearing down on me, I need to stay on track with training. I need to heal My Left Foot II. I need to take care of the knees. And I need to shut up. My good friend Pat once gave me a shirt that read “Just Shut Up and Train”. Good advice. All too often, as triathletes we get twisted up into the “Me Campaign”. It’s not about me. It’s about them. The family allows me to do this crazy stuff. And it takes a lot away from them. As triathlete warriors, we all need to be aware of that. (If you are already, I apologize, I didn’t mean you) But I sometimes forget. The other day, my daughter said, “You’re never here anymore.” Not altogether true but true enough for me to listen. Good advice. It was very good advice.

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