On Friday night I drove home from my middle school track meet in tears. I was ready to be done. I just had dinner with Stewart and told him I was getting my money back from ironman and calling the season done After a long day at work with sports fest and then a long track meet, I was hurting so bad I could barely sit through dinner. I just wanted to go home and lay on the heating pad and sleep. In fact since March 21, that has been my main goal. Get to bed, lay on heat and try to sleep. Hence the word try to sleep. I was in so much pain at night, I would wake up every 30 minutes it seems. Let's just say I have not been a real fun person to be around. I can not imagine how people out there live with chronic pain. I know there are plenty out there that have more pain than I and it is everyday and I can not imagine it. The pain that I felt pretty much clouded everything I did. From being a good mom, wife, athlete, employee, etc. It was also so frustrating because I wanted to do more and physically couldn't or was just too worn out. Stewart has picked up major slack on household duties for me these past few weeks. Doing my job has just been awful. The other day one of the coaches, yelled run! I had to yell back, I can't. I need to be able to be physical at work. My job is not one that is fun to do when you are hurting. I am always up, moving, motivating kids, etc. It's hard when in the back of your mind you just want to lie down.
I can almost remember the good ole days of no pain. It was March 21, I had been running great. Feeling on top of the world. Hitting every work out. I just had an awesome bike where I was so pleased with my paces and was ready and thinking my season was going to be great if I kept this up. Maybe even feeling a little cocky. Karma anyone? Then everything fell apart. A groin injury from this bike ride which then led to IT band issues, butt, hip, lower back and then laughingly shoulder issues has made the last 6 weeks hell. And for fun I got to run a marathon in the middle of this in cold windy rain. Looking back on this race I thought I was mentally weak because I felt like I just gave up. Now I think it maybe was one of the most mentally strong moments I have had in a while. I have lots of mental strength to move forward and forge ahead. This is something that has been an asset my whole life and one that served me well in my first marriage. Pick yourself up after every blow and just keep marching. I am proud to say it is something that I have tried to instill in my kids because I believe it is a very strong character trait to have and one that will serve you well in life. It has also served me well in training and racing. I may not have the time to train ideally or the physical strength of a superb athlete but I do have my mind. But lately I could really feel my mentality waning. There is nothing I do not like more than a quitter and I was about to become one. My overall daily satisfaction was at all time low. I felt it was just too much , had reached the end and I was going to allow myself to quit.
So after the marathon I really did nothing for 10 days but swim and bike easy. Hence the incredibly painful shoulder issue on the side with my metal plate. After 10 days I ran for the first time. I was really nervous about this run because I knew it was not going to be pretty. My legs still were somewhat tired. I still am in awe of how much recovery I needed after that marathon. I guess when you run 18 miles on legs that are done, they get tore up pretty bad. As I predicted the run was a joke! Slow, painful and all those issues were back times ten. I really just wanted to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the street. I have been known to do. Ok, maybe more than once especially in ironman training. I also have ran a whole hour run on the trails in tears. Not out of physical pain but out of mental exhaustion. So I am no stronger to some bad training days. This time I went straight to Marty our PT as school and we examined everything. I am so lucky to have the resources I have at work and those guys went to town.
So back to being ready to throw in the towel... Friday night I went to bed and prayed for a sign, a sign I should continue or quit. Saturday I woke up and had a great - ok good but in my mind it was great 65 mile bike and a pretty decent run. Today I ran 40 minutes and it was the hardest 40 I have ran in awhile. I CANNOT BELIEVE I RAN A MARATHON 15 days ago. It was so much work to get the leg to do the running motion and do it correctly. I never concentrated so much on a run. I had sweat pouring down my head and I was slow but I was running and almost running normal! Plus I Was so happy to be back on the trails. They are my happy place and something I had abandoned too much during marathon training. Although the leg was tight and not right I had no pain and none after. I swam and had minimal pain after the swim. Was this my sign?? Saying don't give up yet, you got this. I really think it was. I think it was the answer I needed. Yes, you are not perfect but you are improving. It will be work but you can do this. We can beat this injury and I am sure the others that may come. It is going to be some work to get to the finish line but once again I feel ready to put it in. PT, yoga, strength exercise, etc but I need to get through this season. I am still in awe that I made it through 2 days of training and felt ok. I am hoping this was not a fluke because I really do feel it was my sign that said we are going forward, not backward Leslie Crais. Put on your big girl pants and get moving! Now about that race I have in two weeks, that is another story. I am not sure what will happen but hey I have two weeks and in just 24 hours I feel like I made leaps and bounds.
The day was great, It was filled with church, kids activities, soccer games, hanging out on the patio with family and the whole time I kept thinking to myself - nothing hurts... you don't hurt. I am calling this weekend a victory!!