“So, what’s next?”
As you can imagine, that’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately. And at first, I was even asking myself that a lot. I was so excited and still running on the high of the achieving the Long Trail [women’s supported] FKT that I was ready to take on the world.
And then, I couldn’t sleep for another week after finishing the Long Trail. (Let me tell you: stress hormones are a real thing and I think that I have seen a *very small* sliver of what PTSD is like and I am forever sympathetic to people who endure that on a real level. It is no joke.) And so I realized that “next” could be awhile.
Swimming felt so good right away, and biking felt nice too. It was about two weeks later that I started doing some very brief run/walk combos every other day or so. And then I headed off to coach Women’s camp. Hillary and I both acknowledged that camp wasn’t necessarily the recovery we’d schedule after seeing how I was doing, but in many ways it helped to be around other women and be surrounded by their inspiration as, quite honestly, even jogging a mile still felt uncomfortable.
From early on Hillary let me know we were in no rush to get back to racing – if this was the end of my season that would be okay. And that was super reassuring, not only coming from my coach, but knowing Smash is my #1 sponsor it was nice to know their support was there as well.
Initially I had some thoughts….maybe return to Savageman in September….or Patriot’s half, that’s a fun local event. But for now, it looks like maybe I’ll run a 5k at the end of the month….maybe 🙂
I realized that this was an instance where thinking about “what now” rather than “what’s next” was crucial. I can’t get to “what’s next” until I am ready physically and mentally. And while my mental state is pretty close, I think….my physical state? Not so much. It’s going to take awhile for me to get the yards needed in the pool so I’m competitive again. It’s going to take awhile to build my endurance on the bike. And just this week is when it has stopped feeling like someone is hitting me with a hammer in the knees when I run. So there’s plenty of work to be done there.
It’s not going to take forever, and I know that. There are definitely things I can spend some time on while I have it too. I’ve set up a yoga mat in my living room and I am spending 30 minutes a day on active stretching and rolling. Making sure my laundry and food situation is in a good place to pick up structured training again. And maybe, just maybe….relaxing?! We’ll see about that.
And, in the meantime we have a lot of TeamHPB and TeamSFQ-ers taking on IM Wisconsin this weekend. It is one of my favorites and I always miss Madison this time of year, so I will be glued to the coverage on Sunday, that’s for sure! Have fun everyone out there and race hard for me!