Injury woes? Sign up for an Ironman!

So how do you recover from an injury? Say, something like… two torn calf muscles? I don’t think you’ll find this answer in too many medical textbooks, but my solution is to sign up for my first ever Ironman!

Well, there is a bit more too it than that – there always is. I started doing triathlons in 2008. An Olympic distance first, then another, then a few shorter races. I was hooked! I had no background in the sport at all, and it showed in my results. But damn, it was fun! In 2009 I took it to the next level and did a half ironman race. I worked through a training plan I found online and got a good result. I was trending up and things were looking good. I enrolled in another half ironman for early 2010. I started dabbling with my training plan – adding my own tweaks and twists – sessions that were going to bring me to another level again.

And then BOOM!

Warming down from one of my ‘jonty specials’ – a combination of Striding On and 1km running intervals – my right calf popped and I was out of action. It was my first injury. I was worried that I would miss a few weeks training. That was over six months ago and the right calf still isn’t right. Somewhere along the way, during one of the “Woopee! I think I’m recovered” periods, I blew out my left calf too.

Crikey, I can hear the violins starting up now… Well forget it. This isn’t a sob story. I’ve done plenty of exercise during the past six months and had lots of fun. The problem is, I keep striving for goals that are too soon and too difficult, and as a result I push myself too hard and stuff my calves up again. So I’ve cleared the calendar for 2010. The sub 1:30 half marathon goal is gone, the sub-5 hour half ironman goal is gone. And in March 2011 I’ll be stepping out on the Ironman New Zealand course, looking to achieve a far simpler goal – to become an Ironman! (nice ring to it that!)

So that gives me 42 weeks from today. 22 weeks to get back into a nice steady swim/bike/run routine and heal the injuries. And then 20 weeks to train. I figure that’ll be 42 weeks of “no intensity” running, which should heal the calves nicely, and provide a good solid base for my shorter, faster goals in 2011. What a dreamer!

And this coincides rather nicely with baby number 4 due in 18 weeks time. I’ll be on deck for the baby buildup, on deck for the first 4 weeks, and then “see ya” for the next 20 weeks! (I’m sure that’ll go down well!). But I do have spousal permission so we’ll find a way!

Happy days!

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