Monday, January 25, 2010

New Year

Last year was one of those extra special years that leaves one changed forever.  Learning lessons in having patience with oneself and life's circumstances does not come without some struggle.  Becoming a more empathetic person can be painful.  As I approach the one year mark after my bike crash, my bones are healed and I am riding my bike again with joy.  Still, I have frequent reminders--pain here or there, or thoughts of reflection--that tell me it's not over yet.  And I wonder what subconscious lessons I have drawn from these experiences.  Am I less trusting of myself and others?  Will my sense of fear of re-injury and pain hold me back from taking risks--risks that could, ultimately, lead me to something greater than I could imagine now?  How do I let go and become fully engaged, both physically and mentally, again?

Originally for 2010 I had signed up for Ironman St. George, excited to race on a course familiar to me after running the marathon there several times.  I signed up when I wasn't even back to work after my crash, before I had taken a single pedal stroke on my bike again.  After Ironman Arizona in November, I told myself to wait until January 1st to make any decisions.  As the new year approached, it became clearer and clearer that I did not want to do this race.  My knee injury that bothered me during the marathon at Ironman Arizona was not healing quickly and I did not want to spend another several months playing the "Does it hurt too much to run?" game.  I needed a break.

I feel fortunate that I was able to do so many events during the second half of 2009: Death Ride, Barb's Race, Folsom Olympic, 3 road races, Lotoja, and Ironman Arizona.  As I wrote before, the Triabetes events in Tempe were amazing and made the struggle getting there 100% worth it.  But I feel like I need and want to take a step back from the super endurance events (Ironman and double centuries!) and focus on healing my body and giving my mind a break.

As soon as I made the decision, I was so relieved and happy.  After 4 Ironman races in 3 years, I was really caught up in the energy and thrill of the sport; and doing the last two with Triabetes has been a gift.  But I have to say, not having that big pressure is exactly what I need right now.

"Taking a break" to me means taking the pressure off any one huge event.  I am still training, focusing mostly on cycling this year.  I will also continue to swim, because I have really been enjoying it and also because it really helps my upper back and left arm stay loose.  And there will be events that I will target; still, I am allowing myself to take things at a slower pace and to appreciate incremental steps of progress.


Becca said...

Great post, Anne. You have been amazing this past year.

Rachel said...

I've learned lately that taking steps forward sometimes means taking steps back. Although I'm not nearly athletic as you, I've had a setback in keeping fit and I'm having to hesitate pushing myself too far in recovery.

Good luck with another year of training, even without a big huge event for which to prepare.

Louiesa Owens said...

Great Post,

Thanks for sharing