I’m apparently too hip for my own good. But only on the right side.
I’m a triathlete. Fifth season just completed. Started off with some so-bad-they’re-good experiences (Hi, Eagleman 70.3! You and your no-wetsuit-swim and 97-degree-no-shade run SUCK!). There’s always a profound lesson learned with every curve ball. But then it got better. One PR (personal record) after another. NYC Triathlon: 13 minutes faster and #6 age group place. A whopping 21 minute PR at Timberman 70.3, and 3x Ironman World Champ Chrissie Wellington there at the finish to give my finishers’ medal. More races to come, including my first Ironman race in Lake Placid, July 2011. I was on a roll.
But something wasn’t right. Like my entire right side. Those mile-long climbs up the Vermont mountains didn’t help. Lots of trips to sports docs and physical therapists and an MRI later, I find out that there’s not a whole lotta cartilage left between my right femur and my hip socket, so all the supporting muscles around it: the psoas, the glute medius, the IT band, the hamstring had been screaming out, getting super inflamed, begging me to stop and figure it out. “Stop! We know you live in the coolest block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and that you collect vinyl and everything but you are TOO hip. Give it a rest, please!”
The first Doc says I probably don’t have multiple Ironman distance races in my future, I “might be able to do one for my bucket list.” Oh.
I’d like to prove him wrong. I’m going to do IM Lake Placid and I’m not sure I want that to be my only Ironman race.
So even though there’s no better way for me to blow off steam, and sort out problems, and manage stress than with a good long run or bike ride, I’ve had to put my Newtons away for a couple of months. I racked the Cervelo and the Scott and am keeping things in the pool. Maybe this is a good thing. Work on technique and get super prepared to rock that 2.4 mile Mirror Lake course at Placid. Apparently there are some amazing therapies that can extend race careers, even for slightly-long-in-the-tooth amateur athletes like me.
I’ve found myself depending on all my crisis management experience to deal with this recent development. Stay calm. Get the facts. Research. Analyze, don’t agonize. Be decisive. Deal with immediate issues and bad news first. Leverage the good stuff. Adjust short- and mid-term strategies. Over-prepare. Envision a few different scenarios for the long term and possibly roll with those.
I may be less hip than I used to be, but then again, I’m not training for the Hipster Olympics. Enjoy!