Normally this time of year, I'm in full on planning / race registering mode for next season. But, given my current state of affairs in regards to my knees, none of that is actually happening and it's really beginning to wear on me. I'm tired of hurting. I'm tired of not being able to do what I love to do. It's been a real struggle for me mentally. To go from performing at a high level to barely being able to run 4km without hurting really really sucks. It's very upsetting. I was moaning away about it all last night, once again on the verge of tears. I know I'm driving G a bit crazy because he just turned to me and said "You need to change your mindset". I love him to bits but when it comes to this sort of thing, sympathy isn't one of his strong points. This is where he and I differ. He's a factual, just get on with it kinda guy and I'm an emotional, wallow in my self pity for a bit kind of gal. Eventually I will kick myself in the ass and get out of this funk but right now I think it's probably a bit necessary.
Another thing he said to me last night was that I needed to set new goals. I thought about that a lot this morning in the pool. He's right. I can't think about races I want to run next year or times I want to beat. To be honest, those things are not even remotely on my radar. I just want to be able to run and move PAIN FREE. Plain and simple. That doesn't seem like a lot to ask, right? I can't even do my regular strength training workout because of my left knee. So no only am I not able to run, I'm not able to really push myself in the gym which is what I generally do in my off season. It's killing me. When I think about the mountain of things that are functionally wrong with me and how long it may take to fix them, I feel so overwhelmed it's discouraging. I'm not the most patient person so being faced with a potentially long rehab process sucks.
As usual, G really hit the nail on the head. I need to set new goal and, like any goal, I have to put in the work and the work has to be done regularly. I guess it's just like training for a marathon really. You don't just go out and run 26.2 miles. You have to put in the work and train for it. You can't rush it and you can't think about all the things you're up against. It may not be as exciting as chasing a finish line but unfortunately it's my new reality.
I do know that things could be much worse and I'm grateful that they're not. It's not like I'm not able to do anything. I can still swim. Kicking bothers me sometimes so I have to wear a patella strap on my left knee. I can still ride my bike, for the most part. I am on my road bike these days so I can take the load off my quads. There are days where maybe I've done too much so even riding isn't comfortable. Those are days where I either take it easy or not do anything at all. I can do pilates. I still go to the gym, I'm just not doing leg heavy work. I'm focusing more on balance & core work as well as doing my phsyio exercises.
I have to look at this as a rebuilding phase. Yes, I'm losing speed and endurance. But all those things come back eventually. I can't worry about any of that now. None of those things really matter if I'm not running efficiently and pain free. I have to concentrate on building a better, stronger, healthier me. In a way that's kind of exciting. If I can get my body to do all the things that it wasn't doing before, I can only imagine what it will be capable of when it's firing on all cylinders.
Look out world....it may take me a while, but I'm going to be back with a vengeance.