For the past five and a half months, I have been slowly building back to fitness after my injury last summer. My training was going well as I had been gearing up for my first Iron distance race. I had really focused hard on keeping from getting sick as last year I seemed to catching Caroline’s cold every other month! I had a blood work up to see if I was lacking in any important minerals. Turns out, back in January, I was low in magnesium and zinc. Zinc is a immune booster and magnesium helps you sleep better at night…both of which seemed to improve after supplementing. Along with continued Vitamin D supplementation, I avoided catching the monthly colds from Caroline. This left me to continue to train without interruption, train harder, and really build into my fitness. Transitioning into long course training, I am learning what my body can handle. There were so many positives with this winter/spring build up, but sometimes things just don’t go as planned. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I pushed the envelope just a bit too far and suffered a set back because of it.
After four weeks off, I started running again! Half of my running the first couple of weeks remained in the pool, but each week my injury was dramatically improving. I now feel I back to 100%, but have to be patient to get back to 100% fitness.
Going forward, I am taking all the positives I have learned from my training the past few months. I am structuring in more recovery between my long training sessions. This way I can get the most out of my sessions and not push beyond the breaking point! It is so hard to know where that point lies and when it will strike, but really listening to my body will be key moving forward. When you are spending so much time swimming, biking and running; it’s hard to keep up with the strength training component. This is something that will be written in stone in my program as I truly feel it is a cornerstone to keeping your body balanced! I have adapted, The Body Shop Tune Up, as part of my strength and body balancing program along with using my Compex on a daily basis!
I have my first race back this next weekend at the Eagleman 70.3 and I am excited to get to the start line, although I may not be at 100% fitness, it will be awesome to race 100% healthy! Time will tell, but for now I will have a huge smile on my face getting back to that “good kind of pain” while running! I also have decided to push back my first Ironman race. I was toying with the idea of doing IM Frankfurt in July. However, after discussing this with Nate in great detail we decided on just getting in a mix of races this summer. I feel the long travel to the race and recovery from such a long race will take away the heart of the summer racing season close to home. I will be racing a mix of Olympic distance, ITU, 70.3 and my first IM will be in Chattanooga in September. I am excited to announce that I will be racing at the Pan American Games this July 11th in Toronto Canada. It will be my third appearance at the Pan American games.
Although I won’t qualify for Kona this year, racing an Ironman this fall will allow me to try to score those valuable KPR points that will carry over to next season.
Injuries are so tough, especially when they happen right before a planned “A” race that you have spent months preparing for day in and day out. Staying positive every day was a struggle for me. I am thankful for a reminder from a friend. She suffered from an injury earlier this year and I reminded her to focus on what she could do, not what she couldn’t do and she reminded me the same….everyone needs little helpful reminders at times!
Thanks to all my friends, family, sponsors and team of therapists who have helped me achieve my goals into my 11th year racing as a professional. I have had a great start to the season in March with two wins and looks forward to getting back onto the starting line soon. I wish everyone the best as of luck with racing and training as we begin to enter into the heart of triathlon season racing. I am excited about my new path this year and ready to tackle new goals.
6/14/15 Eagleman 70.3
6/28/15 Buffalo Springs 70.3 or Tri Rock Philadelphia
7/11/15 Pan American Games.
7/19/15 Racine 70.3 or NYC LTF
8/9/15 Ecuador 70.3 **
8/16/15 Timberman 70.3
9/26/15 Chattanooga IM
10/11/15 ITU Perto Rico **
10/24/15 Miami 70.3
11/15/15 IM AZ **
11/28/15 IM Cozumel **
Nate and I recently shot this video for Skechers at the Famous Clay Trail in Clermont FL!
This upcoming Sunday is the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I am gutted to say that I will not be at the starting line. 11 days ago, I was completing the culmination of a hard training block and in the middle of a long run I felt a pain on the right side of my lower back/glutes. As the pain seemed to intensify, I stopped and walked the final three miles before a friend was able to pick me up. Needless to say, it was an emotional, long, hot three mile walk. Since I started back up to running after my sacral insufficiency fracture last fall, my body had been feeling better than ever. In the recent months, I really stretched the body and was preparing for my first Iron distance event. When I felt the pain, my mind immediately thought back to my injury last year. Are my bones healed? Did I need more time to strengthen them? Lots of questions.
I fortunately was able to get an MRI in just two days, thanks to the help from Dr. Gideon Lewis. The MRI showed mild sacral edema and I was cleared to run in 10 days. The prognosis did not seem bad and I would be back at it in no time. I was cleared to swim and bike, but I was having significant pain walking. My gut was telling me that something was just not right. Five days after the injury, I was having some pain swimming, but the pain was different than last summer. This lead me to believe something else had to be going on. I was being treated for mild stress reaction in the bones, but according to the MRI I should not have any pain walking and would ready to return to running soon. The paper was telling me one thing, but my body was telling me something else.
This week I investigated my own body and searched for more answers. Several therapists looked over my MRI and decided this injury was not related to a bone issue, but soft tissue. Yesterday, I started treating the injury as strained muscle in my glut and I woke up this morning with the best it has ever felt! I feel like now that I know what the real issue of the injury entails, I can now properly treat it and move forward with training and then back to racing.
Going through an injury is emotionally exhaustive. Almost every bike ride I have been on the past week has included tears being shed. I was going 90 miles a minute with training and getting ready for final race preps and then I was suddenly halted in my tracks. I am not sure yet if my body will be ready for Ironman in mid May, but I will race when I know that I am ready to go. I can’t thank the team of great supporters around me who have helped me through this process and are there to get me back to it again. Thank you to my amazing sponsors who are ever so supportive. Thanks Nate for being there with me on those breakthrough training rides, but also being there on the rides I am shedding tears.
I wish everyone a great start to the season! I have had a great start, but a year always has a better ending with a few bumps along the way. I am constantly learning, constantly changing and evolving to be a better person and athlete.
This past winter I was introduced to an innovative technique and trainer David Petersen. This technique uses energy to help balance my body. The methodology uses six key acupressure points on the body to help balance the body. This technique allows the body to align properly and have equal tensegrity of the muscle fascia from head to toe! Just prior to the first treatment, Nate (my husband/coach/trainer), had been really working on my posture and reminding me to stand up tall! After having a baby and spending a year in a hunched position while nursing, I noticed I was having a hard time standing up straight…I could not even if I tried. After one treatment, I was absolutely floored with my improvement in posture. I no longer had to try and force my body into better alignment…it just naturally improved. Nate could not believe how much I had improved my posture! We measured my height and I grew 3/4 of an inch. I used to stand at 5’7.25’’ and now I was 5’8’’!!
Not only did I notice an improvement in my posture, but my ease of movement with walking, not being as sore waking up in the morning, and having more energy overall! This has translated well into my passion, job and career of triathlon.
In addition to working on acupressure points, part of the treatment is total body strength training. This strength training is very specific and important that is completed with correct form so that I am not strengthening compensation patterns. After several months of strength training and weekly “tune-ups” (acupressure treatments), I have noticed a decrease in injury, ability to train harder, and my body feeling better overall. I have much less areas of tightness and weakness and I feel I can trust my body to give me what I need to do on training and on race day. I don’t have to worry about my body breaking down during a training cycle. I can focus on working hard and resting because I am tired from a strenuous training load, not because I am injured.
Be sure to check out the Body Tuneup Shop and see how it can improve your training, sleeping and life!
Two months into the New Year and race season is about to begin! Tomorrow I officially kick off the 2015 season with the Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon. This is my fifth time competing in this particular race. It is a great way to start the season with a race so close to home. I love being able to race on a familiar course in the beautiful Lake Louisa State Park. My training has been slightly different as opposed to years past as I have been focusing on more volume in my training at a lower intensity to prepare for some upcoming longer distance races. I am excited to get out on the race course! I love racing and I feel it’s the best way to measure fitness! With the first race of the year, it’s great to see what you need to improve on going forward in the season.
The weekend after Clermont, I am racing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This will be my first 70.3 distance race. I am excited to race this new format and tackle this new challenge. I know that the venue will be hot and humid, so nutrition and hydration will be extremely important. The weather turned a little warmer in Clermont this past week, so I have had the opportunity to train in some similar race conditions. I planned this race as it is a close plane ride from Orlando and it will help me prepare for my next big challenge, a full Iron distance. I have chosen to race Ironman Texas as it is the National Championships. I feel that racing in Puerto Rico will be similar to racing in Texas in May, both will have similar climates. I feel this will help give me an idea for what I can expect to feel and need nutritionally.
The past couple of months in Clermont have been great. The weather has been up and down, but compared to most of the country stranded in feet of snow, we have been lucky! Caroline enjoys to stay very busy, so she keeps Mom and Dad on our toes! We enjoy taking her to the many local parks Clermont has to offer. A new splash pad is currently being built at a park down the street from us, so we are planning to spend a lot of time here once the weather begins to really heat up. Finding a balance between Ironman training, recovery and motherhood is not always easy, but I would not want it any other way. Even on my longer training days, I try to finish up by 3pm, so that Caroline and I can spend some time together before dinner and bedtime! It amazes me how much toddlers learn every day! Her energy and little personality bring such joy to us as parents!