The off-season of my discontent

I had high hopes for this off-season. I was coming off my best season yet, setting PRs in my 10K, half marathon, and full marathon races, and I was excited to work with a run coach to ride the wave and build upon that momentum.

However, it appears my body had different plans.

First came the broken ankle/ligament tear. Then came the inflamed intercostal muscles (ribcage muscles, in plain English–and by the way, I don’t even know how this injury came to be). And now, four months into the off-season that was supposed to take me to the next level when the real training season started in late May, I am fighting just to get back to where I was before my injuries.

But enough with the whining. I decided I should focus on the positives that came out of this. What, you say? There are positives? Why yes, there are.

  1. I discovered new ways to cross-train: when I was banned from running and the elliptical machine (and even swimming), I learned to love the activity I tended to avoid like the plague, which was the exercise bike. Now? It’s actually my cross-training activity of choice, imagine that!
  2. I learned to eat better: I was already a pretty healthy eater, but since I had to cut back a ton on my activities, I had to really watch my calorie intake if I had any prayer of not gaining 20 pounds.
  3. I learned to listen to my body: I pulled back when I felt pain or discomfort, I modified when I needed to, and most of all, I eased back into activity once I was given the all clear. Can’t stay injury-free forever, I guess, but we can do what we can to prevent it as much as possible.
  4. I became more patient: ok, maybe this one’s a work in progress, but I did take a few baby steps towards being more zen. Kinda. Sorta. Ok, not really. But I meant to–and doesn’t that count for something?

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