Surviving an Injury

It’s now two and a half weeks since I tore my right calf muscle. I still can’t run and the my target race (the Gold Coast Half Marathon) is less than three weeks away.

And, I’m worried!

I’m not worried that I will miss my sub 1:30 target time. That’s getting less likely by the day and is out of my hands to a certain extent – the injury needs to come right very soon for that to happen.

What I am worried about is that I’m going to do something stupid and aggravate the injury in the race!

When the injury happened I joked with my physio that my five week taper had just begun. But in my head I was expecting (optimistically hoping?) that I would be back running within a couple of weeks and wouldn’t have lost too much of the momentum that I’d built up in the last few months.

I was a bit disappointed that my surging form would have to peak. Prior to the injury, I’d run a 15km race in 60 minutes (4:01 min/km) and was starting to think about running at sub 4:00 min/km pace. This would mean a time of 1:24 or less! Lofty goals indeed! But, even after the injury, I was still optimistic that I would be able to take my current form into the race and turn it into the result I knew I was capable of at that point in time – about a 1:25.

Slowly, …as the days have passed, …and the race approaches, …and the injury continues, …an unpleasant reality is sinking in.

Carpe Diem

It’s hard to accept that things are just not going to work out. And that the moment is lost. And that you’ll just have to wait for another opportunity to crack your goals. It really reminds me why you have to “seize the day”. If the opportunity arises, and you are capable of taking it, you MUST take it! You might never get another chance!

Shortly I will have to accept that my 2011 target of sub 1:30 at the Gold Coast Half Marathon will not happen. And when I do, I need to REALLY accept it! I don’t want to turn up for the race, not fully recovered from the torn calf, push too hard (to ‘sneak’ under 1:30), and then really damage myself.

Common-sense says to just take it easy. But then common-sense, at the 5km race where I tore my calf 2km in, would have said to stop racing immediately, NOT to proceed and knock out a PB! So clearly, I don’t use a lot of common-sense around injuries when I race.

And, THIS is what worries me!

Withdrawal is off. I’m not going to pull out of the race because I’ve already paid for it. Two years ago I paid for the same race and had to pull out when we travelled overseas for the school holidays. I was gutted! I’m not going to pull out again!

My Race Survival Guide

Survival Guide

To survive this race, without injuring myself further, I need to:

  1. Accept. I need to accept that I am injured. – “Ummm OK, I’m injured. I accept it.”
  2. Release. I need to release the old goal and set a new goal for this race – “Run, walk, hobble. Just finish the bloody thing!”
  3. Refocus. I need to choose another race to achieve my sub 1:30 goal and refocus on that – “Let’s go with the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon in September. Three months should see me well over this injury.”

OK, that was cathartic. Now back to my therapeutic #AnHourADay of exercise!

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