It’s been so long since I’ve been here that I’m not even sure where I should start but I think the most important / shitty / frustrating thing that has happened recently is this…
Picking up a nasty little stress fracture in my 2nd metatarsal. Not the end of the world, at all, and it will be healed before I know it but damn if it isn’t frustrating!!
I mentioned in my last post that I hurt my foot, which I now know to be the stress fracture. I took a couple of weeks off from running (thankfully!) and then I caught a rotten cold which absolutely wiped me out for almost 2 weeks. So, that was a month of limited training and next to no running (possibly a blessing in disguise!). I then planned a trip home for easter that was to involve about 30 hours of training, (I had a schedule and everything! Yep I wish I was kidding! Haha!) to get myself back on track and get some valuable time in the saddle out on the open roads. But first, even though I was certain it was ok, just bruised, I wanted get my foot checked to be sure. Well… after explaining to the nurse what had happened, how much I was training and what for etc etc I was shipped off to the x-ray room, still absolutely convinced my foot was just bruised. The next thing I know the nurse calls me in and sticks my x-ray up pointing at what looked suspiciously like a hairline fracture. Damn. ‘Right, you have a stress fracture so we need to get you in a cast’ … I was like ‘erm… but I need to be able to swim at least?? Please could I have something removable?’ To which she responded sharply ‘Listen, you have a stress fracture, your triathlon idea is finished! Not happening!’ Well, at this point I burst into tears! She didn’t even ask when my race was, she made it sound like I would never bloody run again! (Whatever happened to proper bedside manner?! The big meanie! Ha!)
Anyway, after a pretty traumatic day, I attended the fracture clinic and thankfully saw a brilliant Dr who actually listened to me and completely understood where I was coming from and how even though I am fully committed to resting and recovering properly, there was just no way I was going to sit and rot for 6 weeks! He also said that he wasn’t even 100% sure I had a stress fracture (I have a feeling though that the quality of the monitors / scanned in x-ray made it harder to see, as on the original x-ray as I definitely saw it, even with my untrained eye) but, as there was no visible ossification, if I did have one, then it obviously hadn’t had a chance to heal so he erred on the side of caution and I am now armed with a removable boot and some crutches for at least 10 days before I can start to put a little weight on it.
The awesome news is that I can swim and do some spinning on the bike! Whoop!
The whole thing has made me stop and think though and there are a few things that I will be doing differently to (hopefully) ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
1) Sleep. I already go to bed pretty early but when I am getting up at 5:00 or 6:00am most mornings then going to bed at 11:00pm only gives me 6 to 7 hours sleep (5 to 6 if you subtract however long it takes me to drift off!). This is just not enough time for sufficient recovery and it has been negatively affecting everything. In fact, I would definitely attribute some of the stress fracture to not getting enough sleep. Not to mention that I have been carrying around some wicked eye bags and seeing as I have never suffered with dark circles under my eyes I know I must not be getting enough shut eye. Anyway, I know this will make me pretty unpopular with a certain someone but I really need 8 hours (at least!) of sleep to ensure that I’m recovered and full of beans so I am aiming for more consistency by keeping my alarm set for 5:00am throughout the week, this will mean I can get the main bulk of my workouts done before uni / work and (here’s the kicker) I’m also aiming to be in bed by 8:45pm and asleep by 9:00pm. Will let you know how this one works out!
After an awesome swim this morning I even just enjoyed a lovely little 30 minute ‘nana nap’ which I almost never do… I woke up COVERED in dog hairs but it was worth it to be so snuggly!
2) Nutrition. On the whole I eat really well, cooking all my meals from scratch using quality ingredients and wholeheartedly believing in being good 80% of the time with 20% left open to interpretation ;). However, I must admit, my diet can sometimes include a lot of treats and the problem with someone like me, (someone who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘moderation’), is that this can lead to a less than stellar diet with the balance tipping ever so slightly the wrong way. (I mean… what says you’re a few kilos too heavy more than a bloody stress fracture?! Ha!) So along with the planned slight reduction in energy expenditure this month (damn you foot!) I am re-focusing on food and plan to really scale back on naughty treats (I’m not cutting them out completely because this approach just doesn’t work for me and let’s face it, life is just too short!). My goal is to eat like the athlete I would love to be, this might sound a bit silly as I know that I’m no pro but I do know that diet can make a huge difference in performance so in my eyes, I’m doing myself and all the training I’ve been doing, a massive disservice by eating badly. I am also going to attempt to go meat free. This is partially a wise budgetary move because I refuse to support absolutely abhorrent farming practices by buying non organic meat and at the moment organic just isn’t an option money wise, so it’s out. It’s also partially an ethical choice, which I’m not going to really go into too much detail on as I feel a little hypocritical in that I still plan on eating fish but, diet really is a personal thing and we just have to do what suits us best from both a health and ethical standpoint.
3) Strength and Conditioning. Oh boy has the strength side of things been neglected!! Me and my bro threw together a little weights circuit whilst I was home and it killed me!! KILLED ME! I used to (and still do!) love this stuff and I need to find a way of slotting it in, even if it’s just once a week. With regards to the conditioning, I do stretch but I could definitely stretch and foam roll more thoroughly. I have also just recently started seeing a sports therapist once a fortnight for sports massage and If I can keep making this work, budget wise, then I definitely will!
So, that’s where I’m up to! I really feel like the countdown is on now, with regards to my races, especially considering that I will be out of action for the next few weeks and also after the previous shoddy month. The 3rd of May will mark T minus 3 months till London, with Challenge Weymouth being just 6 weeks after that and I still have a LOT of work to do, (specifically building my run back up, probably from scratch!) so excited though!!
Promise I will try and keep the updates more regular! Definitely struggling to find the balance at the moment (as usual!) but I will get there in the end! ;)
Hope everyones training, racing and just life in general is going well!!
Lots of love,