Two years ago, on 02/10/10, I had that surgery to repair my burst Achilles tendon. This past week, on 02/22/12, I went to see the surgeon, Dr. Dave Mathews, because I had some questions about some related aches and pains, because I take every step worrying it will pop again, and because for some reason, I couldn’t just get a sports medicine appointment without seeing him instead.
He checked out my legs. He compared the ankles. He lamented that the one he fixed was still a bit thick. I told him I didn’t worry about having an ankle and a cankle, but I just want to be sure that the aches and swelling, especially after my runs, aren’t an indication that something is about to give. Right before the surgery, I had swelling and the sports med guys said it was my bursa, and to just take it easy. Well, so much for that.
This weekend I did a practice 10k for next week’s Hawaii Pacific Health’s Women’s 10k event. Two years ago I signed up for it and missed it and the finishers T-shirt. This year’s T-shirt is gorgeous! I want it! This was the second time I did the route, and I did really well. I pushed myself some. I was passed by five other women, but I can’t let that get to me. I’m sure they were all younger than me. I’m sure they have no idea what it is like to be me competing with myself and I. My pace and my time were a lot better than the first time I did it. Do I think I could do better? Maybe, maybe not. Am I going to worry about it? Nope.
Where was I? This past weekend I thought how I’m about at that point in fitness where I was before the accident. I feel like the swimming, running, and riding are starting to pay off. I’m recovering from the holiday deluge of snacks and goodies, I have more energy, and I’ve lost my life-time membership with the clean-plate club. Yay me.
I just hope I can keep it together. Dr. Mathews said go for it. He even suggested that I could do stop-and-go activities, but, I’m not that confident yet. But it does look like the events I have planned for 2012 can be achieved. I may come in DFL in the ANA Lanikai Triathlon in April, but I will have tried, and I will have a tri bib number to hang on my big key ring that is slowly accumulating event bibs.
My self talk goes like this: Although I sure would like to win my age group in this and that, I am up against women who have run their entire lives without ever being as seriously injured as I was. So I have to let it go. I like to train alone, so I have to anticipate the frenzy of group events. When I was in the Na Wahine Festival last September, I didn’t like how this one particular woman pretty much clawed at me the whole time I was swimming. I hammered her on the bike. I smiled at her as I went by. I even said, “You, go girl!”
All this working out pays off in other ways as well. When I’m through, my mind is clear. Something about all that effort, about all that oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanging, refreshes my mind, my thoughts, and my soul. I come up with better ideas for projects at work. I think about things that might be interesting to my kids. My husband, who got me into running, now has a partner who shares with him the pursuit of fitness and the joy that should bring us. Sometimes it’s hard, but the payoffs are worth it.
Oh, and another thing. Whether I’m in the pool or out for a run, I detach myself from the other swimmers and runners. I cannot worry about the guy or girl in the next lane as they swim faster or slower than me. I have to focus on my own effort. I’m asthmatic, I need to control my breathing and that means not letting the effort get out of hand. As for being on my bike, all bets are off. I can’t help myself. If someone’s in front of me they won’t be for long.
Oh, Man. I wish I kept all my bibs on a key ring. You are doing great, Paula! Such an inspiration for all of us! ❤