"What if I can't run again?"
Always my nature, I tend to not sit in a fearful place for long. So I instead turned on Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and my husband and I rapped all the way to the surgical center. Just like we do on the way to races. Pumping myself up instead of letting that fear weigh on my heart.
"You only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime. Success is my only option, failures not."
It amazes me that at this point I am counting down days until my triathlon. Days! Two days to be exact. Just months ago I was counting
...days until I was off crutches
...days until I could dress myself
...days until I was walking
...days until I got to jog
I recall simply shutting my eyes and envisioning how it would feel to run again, to cross a finish line, and to move without pain. I am looking back at my journal entries, as well, just months ago I was only jogging 30 seconds at a time, in May I ran my first full mile with no stopping, in June I did a 5K race (a long throw from my 13.1 miles) and now I am up to 40 minutes with NO stopping and sometimes I run even after a bike ride! It feels phenomenal to see hard work pay off.
Often when you're in the middle of a huge life altering change (which for me was stopping a body that was in constant motion), all things that used to make up your time seem distant and pieces of yourself feel like they are slipping away. So, with encouragement from a sweet friend coupled with my own athletic brain, I decided to take life into my own hands and at about 3 months post-op I discussed the possibility of doing a triathlon with my physical therapist and surgeon. My rationale behind it was I was swimming, and biking anyways...so why not use that to keep me simmered down from running to much too soon and complete a race at the end of summer? Dr. Nowak gave me the enthusiastic green light and immediately my soul felt back on fire. A goal was in the future, and something to work towards was months away.
I have completed 5 triathlons in my life, with my last one being in 2011, three sprints and two Olympic distance so the fact that it has been three years since my last triathlon and 8.5 months post surgery will present a combined challenge for the event, but I am excited for the fun of it and victory of this personal accomplishment.
So much to be proud of and so much to look forward to! I am not even sure where to begin on the milestones achieved from the last time I wrote. I am really learning how it feels to be proud of your body instead of harsh and judgmental of its changes. It's challenging, but more often than not, I am proud of myself and happy with my choice to have surgery.
I know I have not been posting nearly as much, as I have been out and about training as much as my hip and schedule allows. Thanks to my coach Toby for the amazing workout plan that takes into consideration my hip recovery, but also is preparing me for the endurance of it. Right now my workouts are consisting of swim, bike, or run days and I even have a few brick workouts under my belt (err-under my hydration belt?). Brick workouts are designed to mimic what you will be doing on race day-so I have performed more bike/run bricks where you bike then immediately go right into your run. Boy, oh, boy do your legs feel like jello that first mile of running.
If you have had the surgery or are considering it, I really started to see a change in increased activity with lessening pain at about month 6, however, I followed my surgeons protocol like an A+ student. Make sure that you always listen to your body and learn the difference between pain and tightness!
I can't wait to get out there on Saturday. Truly seeing my hard work laid before me and what my mind and body is really made of! I know I will embrace each moment and enjoy the feeling of racing again reflecting on how far I have come with each mile. 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run, so there will be many miles for reflection.
I have crossed so many finish lines in less than a year and this will be one more hard earned milestone. See you at the finish line.
In movement, love, and laughter-