Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I might be injured but that doesn't mean that life is dull. (Life is never dull with kids around). This little push bike is built for a three year old to learn how to ride, but that doesn't stop Maia from using it as a stunt bike for her after dinner shenanigans.

This one's for you Linsey!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Recovery for the soul. Build a tower of cups for a toddler.

Well, I have finally figured out how I can lead the Times Colonist 10k. Yes, I have won the race 6 times, but as the women's leader, I am still usually buried about 20th overall, behind the first elite men. This year I am participating in the TC10k as an honorary Ambassador and I will be the lead bike.

I have had a persistent calf injury since January, and this one has been a doozy. I have been fortunate in my career and had very few major injuries. I had one when I was 22 which required surgery from which I successfully recovered. One in my last year at Dalhousie, which put me out for the entire summer season, but gave me a chance to rest after four intense years of university running--I moved to the west coast, lived on Salt Spring ran a sailing school. My next major injury wasn't until 1999, when I was 32. During the rest I got pregnant and gave birth to Maia. Becoming a mother was joyfully life changing: the best thing that ever happened. It also put me out of competition for a total of 2years, after which I was determined to take care of myself and stay injury free for the remainder of my career. I had to make a transition to balancing motherhood and high performance ever since Maia was born, and in 2005 when Ross came along and I was 38 years old, I have know that my elite competing days are coming to an end. And that is why I was so surprised that I let myself get injured this January.

So, why did this injury happen? I don't actually know why, none of us ever really know exactly when or how we get injured through over training: in my case it was combination of getting busy and cutting down on yoga and stretching, doing too much running and not enough cycling, and swimming. Getting older? Not being mindful? The back country ski weekend in Lake Louise? Eating too much chocolate? Who knows.

I haven't been able to run. I love running so this has been a bit of a drag. My sister sent me a research article on how scientists have now proven that runner's high is real. Don't I know it! With two kids, there is nothing like a run in the woods to make me feel all right! My swimming is going OK now, but I don't get the same euphoria from following a black line in the bottom of the pool.

One thing that I do know, and I have been working on this for my whole career, is that while I have been a runner for most of my life, a runner is not who I am. I am the person that showed up at practice ready, I am the person who executed races to the best of my ability, I am the person that found joy in every step along the way. While I identified as a runner when I was younger, now I understand that running is something that I do. When it is taken away from me, either through injury or time constraints (both kids are sick!), I am not a lesser person. I can still be me inside, still be happy and feel peace. I would like to be running right now, I would like to have runner's high every day and feel my legs moving effortlessly, but I am not, and in this moment there is something else to do and to pay attention to.

I'll be back and running again soon, but in the meantime I sense the end of a great story and a new one that will begin soon. And I have that TC10k race to lead!