Since my last post, time has both crawled and moved so fast that I've caught myself several times forgetting to breath!
When I got hurt in June, people told me that I'd learn something from my injury and come back stronger than ever. While appreciating their good intentions, most of the time I found myself resisting the urge to roll my eyes while cracking a half-hearted smile. No one will argue with the fact that injuries are NOT ideal, and I was feeling especially lost given that I drew so much of my confidence from the consistent training I'd strung together.
|Rocking out with Spartan racing extraordinaire Faye Stenning|
As foreshadowed, some slightly deeper lessons eventually surfaced.
I learned that the passionate energy can be transferred - I poured myself into my Master's work and successfully defended my thesis, which kept my mind off my inability to do what I love. I also learned that balance takes discipline - at first I didn't know how to relax without the structure of training for a specific race, so I took the opportunity to visit friends and complete a once-in-a-lifetime academic course in Toronto.
I learned that some days I'm going to feel defeated, but that's normal. No one training session was going to make or break me - the accumulation of work over time is what matters. Our physiologist Trent Stellingwerf referred me to a study showing that, in simple terms, you don't need that many hard sessions to maintain VO2max (a marker of aerobic fitness), which was nice to remember on the grind days. ( see http://ylmsportscience.blogspot.fr/2015/06/high-intensity-interval-training-every.html)
|Jess Squared hits the pool in Vancouver|
I learned that people are kind. They say that you are only as good as your last race, and my last race wasn't very impressive, but I learned that we aren't defined by the length of time it takes to run a 5km. I was was humbled and flattered by the thoughts and support I received from friends new and old through messages, rides to appointments, company cross training, or just being an ear while I vented. Thank you!
|VO2 testing at PISE|
But you know what? I'm also stronger than I've ever been. I did fitness testing in December, and somehow my VO2max has never been higher, even without much running. I've clawed my way back into shape and my times during interval sessions are the same as they were this time last year. That means....maybe...just maybe.....it's all going to be ok!
I'm not in the clear yet - I've had a bunch of niggles during my comeback, reminding me that I'm anything but invincible and that I better stick to my physio exercise regime for goodness sake! Still, I'm moving forward and even have a race planned - a 3000m in New York on Feb 6th. Not a clue how it will go, but it sure beats sweating up a storm on the stationary bike or floundering in the pool, and for that I am grateful!
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Great that you're on the mend Jessica. I found I was mentally far stronger coming back to running after a knee injury. You're definitely right to keep training as much as you can while you're off, even if it's not running that you're doing, keeping your fitness level as high as possible really helps get back quickly. Good luck with the race!ReplyDelete
Alberto Lawrence @ Institute Of Sport
Thank you for posting this! I think a lot of people forget that it IS possible to come back from a serious injury, and get mentally bogged down in worrying that they'll never return to fitness. It just takes a lot of patience. Keeping yourself distracted is key, I found myself moping around at home too much after I hurt my back, so took up some (gentle) swimming, and brushed up on my french! Good luck with the coming year.ReplyDelete
Emmett Fletcher @ CK Physio