Back in the Saddle, It’s Time to Rebuild!
Finally. 6 weeks after my rib fracture and I *finally* am feeling good again. I think I can officially say that I am out of the recovery zone and into the rebuilding zone.
I’m feeling so good that on Saturday evening I managed about 55km on the bike after already having swum 2km in the morning - and my recent injury and discomfort did not even cross my mind!
Smiling by the sea on Saturday.
I’ve learned a lot in the last 6 weeks, being on the mend from this injury.
- that when you think that something isn’t right with your body, chances are it isn’t right - trust intuition.
- that if you make a decision to race when something isn’t right, it will take time to heal from that decision - maybe more time than if you hadn’t raced at all.
- that if you ride a bicycle it is inevitable that you will fall - so accept that and then move forward after you fall knowing it may happen again, and that you are okay with that risk.
- that when you are not burnt out from training sitting on the sidelines isn’t much fun.
- that recovery doesn’t have to mean inactivity - rather, it is about coming up with a sensible strategy to maintain activity without aggravating the injury.
- that recovery also can create opportunities to revisit training in general, to get stronger, use new tools, and to be prepared to come back stronger.
Sure, 6 weeks of recovery has not been free from frustration. But each time I felt frustrated or down, I tried to focus on something positive to take away, learn or do as a result of that silly random topple off my bike in Austin.
I’ve spent the last weeks on my bike trainer - to focus on cycling, to get into morning training habits, to re-set my routines, and to re-visit the training tools that I have at my disposal. Injury afforded me the chance to change up my training mid-season—for the better I think…
I also took the opportunity of injury to take a step back and revisit my approach to two persistent problems I have experienced - shoulder alignment, and ankle foot tendonitis.
For both my shoulder and tendonitis I sought out help and advice from a comprehensive sports physiotherapy team. I wanted a practice that was as committed to injury prevention as it was to assisting with injury repair, and a team that was interested in a total body approach, not just examining one problem in isolation. I went to Balance Physiotherapy as I have always been impressed with the full “body service” philosophy that Balance embraces, and in April had the opportunity to meet owner Jonathan to discuss his philosophy and approach to training, sport, and the body.
I started by seeing Keith and being taped up to help with shoulder alignment post injury. Then Keith set my basic shoulder physiotherapy (which I will always benefit from as my shoulder misalignment is a long term problem). And when I felt good enough I headed to balance to use the anti-gravity treadmill to get back running while managing the consequences of impact on both my ribs and shoulder as well as my persistent tendonitis.
Yes, I’ve not started two races I was really looking forward to - Blenheim and Paris. But the upside is that I now feel ready to come back stronger for the rest of the triathlon season.
I will be lining up FOR FUN NOT RACING at this weekend’s Thames Swim at Hampton Court. No time goals, I’m just going to remind myself how much I love endurance events and open water swimming. I’m also excited because a few of my friends including my running coach James will be doing the swim too - I love the social side of triathlon and racing. I am getting back to running hopefully stronger and in better condition than ever, thanks to fully integrating the tools at Balance into my training—in the aim of setting a new best at The London Triathlon in September. And I am getting nervous about my first foray into the middle distance at the Rev3 Old Orchard Beach Aquabike - 1.9km swim and 90km cycle.
I’m redefining and readying myself to beat my limitations… Onwards, upwards!