|Stainless steel plate + 10 screws in my left clavicle. Plus two broken ribs (one displaced). Fun times!|
There's no simpler way to say this other than to admit this racing season has been tough. Injuries have plagued me throughout the year and I'm writing this now at the end of the year with a fully bionic collarbone (after my natural one shattered into 5 pieces) and two broken ribs suffered thanks to a mountain biking crash two weeks ago.
Whats frustrating is that many of the injuries have just been accidental. Indeed, I severely bruised my ribs in March after my dog, chasing tail, pulled me hard into the car door which effectively kept me out of the pool for over a month and put the kibosh on any early year competitiveness in triathlon. Then there was the unfortunate fall off a mountain bike over the summer where I bruised my hand badly enough (couldn't put any weight on bike handlebars) that my big goal half ironman in September (Savageman) didn't happen. And then finally, there was the big accident two weeks ago where I enthusiastically jumped a ramp at Fountainhead not knowing how f-ing steep it was and landed on my side with several broken bones. So my long awaited debut into cyclocross, due the next day, never happened.
There's also been some stupid decision-making on my part that has led to injury. The most telling is my decision to salvage my season after the Savageman debacle by focusing on the Marine Corps Marathon and trying to run a Boston qualifying time. I knew I had it in me to run fast, but I simply did not train long distance until a month before MCM and then tried to cram a 3 month advanced training program into 4 weeks. So of course my legs revolted and the day of the marathon I couldn't even walk without pain and ended up not even starting.
So all this happened in the same season.. Sucks doesn't it? Well it depends... it depends how you frame things and how you calibrate success and failure. Yeah, I messed up some of my racing goals and made some unwise training (rather over-training) decisions, but look where I was last year... Last year, I was about 40 pounds heavier, had been sitting on my butt for the past 3 years, had just had knee surgery, and was coming out of a bad long-term relationship.
Then everything started to change for the better. I resolved to get fit and go out and enjoy athletic adventures. yeah, I rocked Mountains of Misery 200K; and yeah, I rocked the Garrett County Diabolical Double; and yeah, I finished a mountain half marathon (call it a hike) one day and then raced my mountain bike 100K the next; and did a whole bunch of fantastic training with a whole bunch of fantastic people; and I met someone special who loves doing the same kind of stuff... how cool is that?!
So I think not that this season has been one to forget, rather one to cherish. Racing has ups and downs. I'm sure next year will be way better than this one in terms of staying healthy. But I will always cherish this year as a key turning point in bringing me back to enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle.