Better, Stronger, Faster, Smarter (BSFS) was my comeback mantra last year after my horrible bike wreck.  The Better, Stronger and Faster part….Piece of Cake.  Oh, its the “smarter” tail I slapped on the end that is tricky.  I haven’t always known when its time to back off the training.

 Here’s some background:

2007:  Trained through serious foot pain for my first ever running race- a 10K and ruptured my plantar fascia.  This resulted in no running nearly a full year.
2008: Trained through and raced my 2nd tri ever on foot pain again resulting in a metatarsal stress fracture and a lovely walking boot cast in the hot Richmond summer.  I had to aqua bike to participate in tri.
2009:  Raced a sprint triathlon on a grade 3 (yes, grade three) quad tear that I got in a camping accident one week earlier.  The usual treatment for a grade 3 quad tear is crutches, not triathlon.  It hurt more than anything, but I was determined not to “give up.”  That little event cost me 8 weeks off from my IMFL training, a lot of stress and a permanent dent in my leg.
2011:  Did a 10 mile run after mild plantar fasciitis and a short 30 minute “trial” run that went well.  I did this long run because I had around 11-13 miles (I forget exactly) on my training plan.  I didn’t want to fall behind on my plan or disappoint my coach.  This was a really bad, season shattering mistake.  I missed the following races I had registered for: Bear Creek, Richmond Half Marathon, Miami Half Marathon and the Shamrock Marathon.  I also became extremely sad and didn’t have running as a “vice” during times of extreme stress.

Flash forward to this week:

After seeing a doctor, I realized I cannot give myself another “shouldn’t have” story.  Strained hip abductor, strained hamstring and inflammation but its a acute stages.  It should heal much faster if I rest it.  Right now, its really no big deal.

If I typed this after the weekend, would this sound smart?

“Went on the hilliest bike ride I have ever done and the longest distance I have done in a year on a the road bike I haven’t ridden in ages with muscles that were already confirmed by a doctor to be strained.  I did so because it was the 1 year anniversary of Ironman CDA and I wanted an adventure.  I did so because I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun with my friends.  I did so because I didn’t want to look like a total wuss backing out.  I did so because the training ride was critical to ironman Wisconsin.”

Now, IF I typed that do you think the remaining blog post would be a happy one?  Nope.  I’d likely have an actual injury requiring weeks of rest instead of just days.   I value my health and ability too train far too much to take such a serious risk so early in my IMWI training.  I have the luxury right now of being able to rest with out losing too much fitness in my opinion.

Knowing when to back off with out anyone coercing me into it is serious progress because as you can see, I’ve made bad decisions in the past.  Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely upset to be missing out on this epic ride, but I’m certain I’m making the right call to preserve my ability to train and race healthy and at my peak at Ironman Wisconsin.

And yes, I’m getting the saddle issue taken care of on Monday.  Here’s to listening to the body and making “smart” choices.   Its all about the “big picture” with triathlon and I’m finally learning this lesson.