Here we go again.

My big, fat, bruised ankle

So, when this whole foot injury thing first happened, I was upset, but I got over it fairly quickly.  I pulled myself together and regrouped within a few days.  Okay, I told myself.  This might knock me down, but I will be able to rest for 4 weeks and still have 5 weeks to go until Ironman Lake Placid.  It will be okay.  I can do this.

Four weeks have now passed.  I went for my first run this past Wednesday and while I could tell there was aerobic fatigue, I was definitely still capable.  Even when I told myself to run slow and ease into it, I was still running 8:20s.  There’s hope!

Sunday came my first long run.  I was feeling pretty eager.  In tough negotiations I had convinced my coach to give me permission to up my run from an hour to 1:30.  Success!  That will be 10 miles.  If I can do 10 miles relatively easily, I can build back up to a decent marathon in 5 weeks.  All this enthusiasm lasted until roughly mile 7 of the run, when I rolled my ankle off a curb, falling badly in the process.  I instantly jumped back up and assessed.  It’s okay.  I can keep running.  But something just wasn’t right.  I stopped and pulled down my sock.  Already it was the size of a golf ball and bruised.  This cannot be happening is all I kept thinking.  I was 3 miles from the car.  With no phone.  At a hobbles pace, that’s a lot of time to talk yourself into a dark place.  And so, my second rest stage begins.  Five weeks before IM Lake Placid and 4 weeks since I last ran.

You know those times when you’re so sad that all you can do is laugh at how ridiculous the situation is?  That is where I am.

I looked at my training peaks today.  It said to do an hour swim and a 45 min run, but only if my ankle felt okay.  Well, clearly, the run wasn’t happening….but here’s the strange thing.  For the first time, I felt like giving up entirely.  Clearly, this race just wasn’t in the stars for me.  So, what’s the point?  Why would I waste my time doing something I’m not great at (swimming) when nothing else was going according to plan.  Ryan and I were getting ready to go to the pool.  The temperature was a little brisk for mid June.  I didn’t want to get into the water.  I sat there and decided that that was it.  I was throwing in the towel.  I had been defeated.  I’ll do another race, another time, but I’m not breaking my ass anymore for this damned IMLP that clearly just isn’t in the stars for me.  I sat on the pool deck, watching Ryan swim, got a little weepy and moped.  It was a solid 10 minutes that I sat there.  The feeling of giving up, though, was so foreign to me.  I sat there and thought about how terrible it is that there are people that give up on a regular basis.  How terrible it must be to live your life like that?  To convince yourself that you’ve been defeated. Everyday.  There are people that that is their norm.  Not this girl.  At least not today.  In the pool I went.

Sure, it isn’t going to be my best race ever, but quitting is an insidious thing.  Once you start it, it just gets easier and easier to allow yourself to do in the future.  Whatever I have on the start line of IMLP will be the culmination of the best efforts I will have had in the next 5 weeks.  Whatever my body allows me to do, I will do.  It’s all I can ask of it.

….had to just share this.  Thanks, Doria 🙂


6 thoughts on “Here we go again.

  1. You’re not great at swimming?? Didn’t you win your age group at the Jim McDonnell lake swim? Lisa, I know you’re not where you want to be because your leg isn’t cooperating right now, but you are an *awesome* athlete, and even if IMLP isn’t the race you were expecting it to be, I have a feeling it’ll still be damn good. I’m sorry you’re having injury issues right now, but you’re an inspiration to me and I know you’ll still manage to kick some serious ass come July. 🙂

    1. thanks, sarah. you’re right. i should hopefully be able to turn out something respectable. it’s still just disappointed that it won’t be what i was hoping for. Alas, there is always Quebec in 2013 🙂

  2. Brian

    Lisa – there’s quitting, and then there’s quitting. You are not a quitter by any stretch of any definition of the term. But you are young and head strong and impatient with your body’s healing. Try and take the long view . . . there are many many more miles in front of you, and IMLP is just one race. You don’t want to get into a chronic injury situation – something that can easily happen with ankle injuries. I had chronic left ankle pain for 2 years after a bad strain (and repeated ankle roll incidents), and it was only my left hip surgery last summer (that forced me off the left ankle) that I’ve finally recovered completely. Here’s a neat little blog entry that I think is very apropos:
    Good luck Lisa!!!!!

    1. thanks for the words and the link, brian. i appreciate it. I will definitely do the right thing by my ankle (have a doc appt tomorrow am), but not swimming when i was perfectly capable simply because i was sulking about my ankle definitely WOULD have been quitting in my book. keeping my fingers crossed!

  3. Ditto on Brian’s comment. Knowing you and your tenacity, you’re definitely not a quitter. I’m actually shocked by your comment about not wanting to train the swim (the comment about it being something you’re not good at, withstanding, I think this can be argued). If it is your weakest link, why not focus on training it? In theory, you would have the largest gains time-wise in relation to your time spent training on any of the three disciplines! Personally, training my weakness, the run, challenges me, but it’s where I have seen improvement over the past few years. If you’re able to get faster in the swim, imagine how much time you could take off your longer races! Just looking at your result at Bumpass, if you knocked off 20 seconds per 100, you’d be on or just off the overall podium. I’d be willing to bet it would be easier for you to knock 20 secs per 100m off your swim than it would be to go from a 21 min 5k to a 19min 5k. Train your weakness; think of it as the greatest ROI on your training time.

    For ideas on drills, check out When I swim alone, I usually pick a few drills to incorporate in my warmup before getting into intervals. Another useful tool for me has been a tempo trainer, it’s a metronome you can wear under your cap to help with stroke rate and pacing. Goswim has some drills on using these as well!

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