October = Off-tober

I started off my October saying that the month would be about all the good R words – recovery and rest, rejuvenation and re-energising, rehabilitation and re-starting.  I think on balance I have achieved what I set out to, although I had to take note of a very important R word along the way – resetting my course.

Coming out of September I knew that October would be about change and restoration. 

Change and Decisions

I started October with a few decisions about my training, and training tools. 

First, a tough decision. After three years of coaching, I decided it was time to move on from being under Terry Collins’ guidance.  I have benefitted tremendously from my time with Terry…  He spent many hours working with me so that I could run a continuous 10k – no mean feat for a person with some serious biomechanical issues who also hadn’t run for about 25 years.  He gave me the tools to qualify for the US Paratriathlon Nationals in 2012.  And he is a fantastic person, positive in outlook and generous with his time and friendship.  For these reasons, and more, I will always be thankful, and I will always think of Terry as the coach that helped me to transform from seasonal gym bunny to year-round triathlete.

Me and Coach T – July 2010

I also made a not so tough decision.  After two and a half years, the time had come to disconnect my Dailymile account. 

Sometimes you just have to quit doing things that are a time drag, that add to social pressures rather than enhance social experiences.  That is what Dailymile had become for me.  I started using Dailymile in 2010 as a way to log and keep track of my workouts.  But over time, Dailymile began to drain me of energy.  And its privacy features (extreme lack of I should say) started to concern me.  So I deleted my account.  I have Facebook, where my friends are always able to see what I am up to.  And I have Twitter, the original source of my fitness network and inspiration.  And I’ve decided to start doing a monthly wrap up on my blog, rather than relying on Dailymile to show me (and anyone else) my training updates. 

I feel much lighter in spirit for making the decision to hit delete – the same feeling I had when I axed Foursquare from my life.  I highly recommend a periodic reflection of the way we live our lives online – thinking about what we take personal value from, and adjusting one’s online usage accordingly.  The refocus is refreshing! (more good R words!)

October Training – The Numbers

88: Resting Heart Rate during the cold I caught on 21 October
60: Resting Heart Rate by 31 October when my cold had more or less abated
21: Number of training sessions done
15: Miles of cycle commuting
8: Miles run
6: Bootcamp sessions
4: Yoga classes attended
3: Times in the pool
2: Times in the pool that my shoulder felt crappy by the end
1: Shoulder Physiotherapy session
0: Days of intense peroneal tendon pain

The highlights:
– Reintroducing yoga to my training schedule, especially since the studio is right around the corner from my house.
– Getting back into Bootcamp, which amazingly I love – amazing since I used to hate strength and conditioning work, that is, until I discovered SITC.
– Taking a completely unstructured approach to training in October, which was completely re-energising.  I finished the month wanting to get back to a schedule.  The break was totally worth it.
– Having zero intense pain in my foot from tendonitis – even on the week that I ran 4 times.  No, the pain is not gone.  But I think it is finally manageable.
– Embracing the treadmill.  I am so happy that I learned how to run on one a year ago.  It completely changed my relationship with running, knowing that I can just go to the gym when the weather is horrid or when I want to do a specific type of set but can’t make it to the track.

Another R Word – Rehab

I also got to work on rehabilitating some of my injuries – my shoulder which was damaged in my May bike crash (when I fractured my ribs) and the peroneal tendonitis in my right foot which has been haunting me since 2009.

I’m pretty pleased with the progress in my right foot.  In September I switched to a new orthotics solution and new shoe prescription.  In the early part of the month I ran regularly to break in my new orthotics, with a low distance and high frequency approach.  This worked really well for me, and my foot seems to be adapting to the new solution well.  Sadly, I couldn’t keep up the mile-a-day run streak due to work becoming manically busy, but I am now confident that running is not making anything worse for my tendons.  This is a great step in the right direction, and gives me confidence to approach running from a more structured training approach in November.

I also went back to physiotherapy for my right shoulder.  I noticed throughout July, August and September that my crash in May caused a lot of compensation in my shoulder and that I lost a lot of power when swimming.  It seems that the impact from my topple aggravated some old issues I had which stem from hypermobility in my right shoulder and an old injury from getting knocked off my bicycle by a car in 1993.  Thanks to Ellis at Tatami Health who understands both sport AND hypermobility, I am back to doing regular PT, trying to realign my humerus in the shoulder socket, and working on re-activating the muscles which stabilise my shoulder. It has sucked to go from feeling strong and comfortable in the water to feeling slow and in pain by the end of a workout.  And it’s a complete ego blow to see my husband beat me in the pool – when I’m the swimmer in the family!  Pushing my ego aside, I know that part of the purpose of the off-season in triathlon is to address the problems and biomechanical issues that the body has.  I am pretty confident – if I can find patience and make sure to make the time for the dreary boredom of rehab – that I will emerge from this a stronger swimmer, back to my old self but with much happier shoulders.  Getting back to becoming the fastest in our family is also a key motivator for me!

What Next in November?

I’m looking forward to starting some structured training in November, to easing back into things, and to starting to think about my goals for 2013.  I’m finally feeling healed enough from hypothermia to think about racing again – only 6 weeks for my mind to forget the horribleness!

I’m also hoping to find the time to blog a bit more – work has been completely manic, but there are a lot of great things happening in my personal life. 

I’ll also be giving daily thanks for the things that make my life a blessing.  As many people know, Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday – not only because of the pumpkin pie and turkey, but because it forces a pause from the daily grind and gives space for some deliberate thinking about the things that are important.  Encouraged by friends who are doing the same on Facebook, I will be tweeting my daily thanks with the hashtag #givethanks.  I’ll blog my daily thanks at the end of the month.

And on that note, THANK YOU for reading and following me along on my journey to beat and redefine my limits.

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