Ready to "tri" again

Friday, June 21, 2019

On Thursday afternoon, I was back at Function360 for my check up.  I am only going every three weeks now which is great because it means I am nearly done with my recovery.  It is also sad though because I love seeing the team (especially Hugo, the office dog).  My osteopath, Emma, is pleased with my progress, even though I still have some tenderness to the touch on the medial side of my left Achilles.  The swelling has gone done quite a bit and I no longer have any pain in my right Achilles (while my right posterior tibial tendon is a different story).  Twice I week, I complete my rehab regime and I am religious about stretching and foam rolling after exercise. 

Emma, from Function360, working her magic
At these visits, Emma will examine my lower legs, looking for symmetry, swelling, tenderness, strength, and tight muscles.  Depending on what she finds, she might massage my calves, stretch my hips, dry needle my tendons or all of the above.  This week was just stretching and massage.  She also assigned two new exercises to me which will help with my posterior tibial tendon (in fact, I am doing them as I type this).

To infinity and beyond!
My dedication to the rehab program seems to be paying off as I am now able to run for 10 minutes with a 1 minute walking break three times per session which gets me up to a 5K.  I hope to be up to steady state running in the next few weeks.  It is a bit nerve-racking to start up again.  What if the Achilles pain comes back?  What if four months of rehab hasn't made me any stronger or faster?  Will I ever run another marathon.  When I told her about my concerns, Emma said I shouldn't be comparing myself to anyone else.  She believes things are looking good so far and that I should keep the faith.

Cap from 2011 London Triathlon. New cycling shoes #gifted from Decathlon.
As my prognosis is looking good and I do better with a deadline in my diary, I have signed up for the London Triathlon super sprint distance (400m swim, 10K bike, 2.5K run. (#gifted entry).  London Triathlon might have been my first UK back in 2011.  I did the sprint course (700m swim, 20K bike, 5K run) and for a brief moment was tempted to do it again to try for a PB.  But then I remembered I am supposed to be sensible in my recovery and stuck with the super sprint.  It will still be a PB and the cross-training will help my cardiovascular fitness levels improve before I start training for the 20km trail runs in Malawi with Orbis Challenge.  I have a lot of work to do this summer.

Why is it so hard to look cool in a wet suit? #gifted from Decathlon
My training strategy is primarily to add swimming in twice a week (once in a pool and once in open water).  For the passed few years, I teach indoor cycling once or twice a week, riding about 10-12 miles per class.  I might do a few short outdoor bike sessions on my own to learn about my threshold and where I can ride to just below it for about 20 minutes.  I will use parkrun to develop my running strategy. Our local course is two laps which means I can use the first lap to tire myself out (simulating excursion on swim and bike) then push myself on second lap.

This week's playlist
Because I am a competitive person, I am going to study previous London Triathlon results in case there is a chance I can place in my age group.  That would be a Christmas miracle but really give my confidence a boost.  I am dying to get back out there and continue to develop my speed with track sessions but fear getting thrown back to square one. 

Have you ever come back from injury by completing a triathlon?  Or taking up one of the disciplines as a substitute for running?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks to London Triathlon for the gifted entry.  Full review of my race experience will be up in August.

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