Monday, April 30, 2012

Just a quick meltdown and then I'll be fine

Welcome to what I thought would be a nice taper week, but it's turned into something quite different.
At least that has been the last 48 hours or so - bouncing between a possible meltdown and total confidence.  And, yes, it's less than a week until Wildflower, which definitely contributes to the wonky state of being.  I've hesitated to call this my priority race, but it really is just that.  While I've certainly invested tons of money in other experiences and events, I would say that this is the one that I'd like to go all out -  guts and glory and all that stuff.

Which is why I panicked on Friday morning after an achey-knee-run on Thursday and called my knee doctor so that I could get a cortisone shot before the race.  I've now reconsidered but have yet to cancel the appointment.
But it is also why, when I woke up yesterday morning and could barely walk, I almost had a major freak out. Instead, I peed (the reason that I got up in the first place), and then I looked up every single configuration of "cramp + recovery" or "calf + cramp+ swimming+ treatment" to see if I could find some kernel of enlightenment about my delicate condition.  Instead, I found a lot of crap on the interweb and discovered that I could possibly have a blood clot!  Doubtful, but good to think about these days. To me, the irony of all of this sudden drama is that I've had a healthy training cycle for the past however-many months.  Then this just bit me in the ass!

After a pretty perfect Saturday, Sunday was a day that could have been filled with anxiety and frustration as I sat around and obsessed over my sore calf.  While there moments of that, especially as my mind kept turning to the final Sunday ride that I canceled, I decided to enjoy the fact that I could fully rest (third rest day of the week - luxury!), have a low-key morning and hang out with some friends at dinner, eating Mexican food and drinking a margarita (or two?).  As the day progressed, I realized that the pain in my calf was very localized - it just hurt like a mother when I did certain exercises or movements, like going downstairs or after sitting for a while and then getting up to walk around.
Today has been more of the same - descending with trepidation the many staircases that I encounter at work, but  feeling great while standing, pacing in class and definitely strong enough to go for a four-mile run.  We'll see where this leaves me for the weekend, but I am fairly but please don't jinx me confident that Sunday's race will go well. "Going well" would be finishing at a certain time that I don't want to voice publicly.  However, I would also like to remind myself on Sunday that two years ago, I was still recovering from knee surgery and a 2-mile run was an awesome accomplishment.  Three years ago, I couldn't even run.  So, I would like to not lose sight of the fact that all of "this" (running, swimming, biking, and having fun!) is a gift that I don't want to take for granted.

And I will try to remind myself of that thought regularly between now and Sunday morning.


mindful mule said...

I think what you’re experiencing is what I’m going to call, just now making up, “peaking-out.” It’s similar to over-training except there’s a greater psychological and timing element to it. I just recently crashed into the peak-out wall as well. Everything hurts for no reason. No power left. No reserves. I saw my friend go through this about a month ago just before a century ride. The body and mind are working together and know when it’s time to stop training and just shut down. But this is a good thing. I liken it to a battery, which, in order to get the best recharge, must first be fully drained. Over the next few days, rest and eat and R.I.C.E. and hydrate and you’ll be totally fine. Have a great Wildflower!

Kristina said...

Mr. Mule,
I like your term (just like I like the term "alien calf"). You are so right that most of it is psychological, but it definitely connects to the physical as well. Thanks for the R.I.C.E recommendation. I'm also going to stay away from Google's myriad suggestions for all of my ailments!