It won't take me long to recap 2011. I started off training through aches. About a week before I ran the Ice-Breaker 8km in 29:31, those aches started to turn to pain. A few days after the 8km, that pain became unbearable and I began to cross train. Cross training continued for about 2.5 months before we realized it was not going anywhere. I also learned that your feet go numb on the elliptical after about 80 minutes. Getting hooked on Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory also happened during these 2.5 months.
After cross training, I turned to time off for 4 weeks. No running, no cross training, though I did go for a few hikes and explored some new trails that I had never had the time to explore before. Nothing like hiking up in the bushes in the middle of nowhere and having no idea where you are and not seeing another sole for ages. Bears? Cougars? I hope not. I did not see any, but I am sure they must have been around somewhere. Maybe not cougars, but bears for sure.
After 3.5 months off (now mid May), I began to trial running again. Starting with 15' runs. At first it felt so good to be out running again, pain minimal though MUCH better than before. Those 15' turned into 30' runs and all of a sudden I realized how out of shape I was. I realized this was going to be a long battle back.
Eventually, things became easier. It is hard to be patient. I wanted to be back to where I was NOW rather than later. But it doesn't work that way. I had lots of encouragement from coach Matt and also from Marilyn and although it sucks that she was injured, it was kind of nice to have her going through a comeback from a similar injury at the same time. I don't know about her, but she helped keep me sane.
I hit my first real race and test in October at the Goodlife Fitness 8km. It hurt. It hurt A LOT. But I got through it in 30:05 which was decent considering what I had been through earlier in the year.
My second test came at the BC XC Championships. Ahh Aldergrove, those hills.... so lovely. A very tough field where I missed Team BC but feel as though I ran better and faster than in 2010. I also raced with no pain and was thrilled.
From there I turned on some xc training with the idea to compete at the Canadian National XC Champs at the end of November. A few weeks prior to the race, some of my injury symptoms began to creep up again (screw you injury). I ran nationals splish splashing through mud. I can't complain about how the conditions affected me because everyone ran in the same conditions. We were all affected, just some handled it better than others I suppose. While I didn't place as high as I hoped, it was still a fun experience and I was just grateful to be back racing.
Nationals was my last race of the year, turning back to training for December. The aches still come and go, but never go very far away. I keep my eye on them and tell them to eff off often.
I would like to take time to say thank you to Matt for all your knowledge and my wonderful training plans. Thanks for sticking by me while I was injured and probably pretty whiny about being injured. It's amazing that we have known each other since I used to kick your butt when we were kids. Oh those were the days. ;) Thanks for helping me find those days again!
Thank you to Marilyn, also for all your wisdom and encouragement. Thank you for keeping me positive and hopefully 2012 will rock for both of us. I appreciate all your help.
Thank you to Saucony for hanging in there with me for 2011. I became injured nearly one month into the 2011 season, which left me sidelined from races for 8.5 months. I am equally thrilled to say that they have agreed to continue to support me for 2012. I hope to make the company proud as I strive to put 2011 behind me.
Thanks to Joe and Abe at Island Optimal Health and Performance. I have sure given you guys a lot of work over the last year. Thanks for your assistance in my rehab and for keeping me as healthy as possible. PS Go Canucks Go!
Lastly, thank you to my support team in Nanaimo and surrounding areas. This includes numerous people, some of which I have known for ages and some whom I have only recently met. The running community is amazing and I am glad to know so many great and supportive people.
One more thing before I go, eff you 2011. I am glad you are gone and welcome 2012 with open arms!