My triathlete husband and I have had multiple conversations lately about the state of his triathlete season and ergo, mine. Right now it is in a total state of flux due to his plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. He is able to partially train; only allowed to swim and bike. NO RUNNING whatsoever at this point per his coach and physical therapist. I even worked out with him for the first time ever yesterday, taking over an hour fast walk around our neighborhood and I have to say, for me, it was quite enjoyable. We had a great chat, enjoyed the crisp air and blue sky, and marveled at the size of some of the houses along the water. It felt good…
But, part of the chat was about his season and how he’s actually feeling. Yes, triathletes do share emotions. And, this is what mine had to say…
When you’re injured and can’t race to your full potential, it becomes a situation where you have to make a tough decision. After having done so many races over the years, at some point recently – well, actually it was when I hit the run at Oceanside in March – I decided I couldn’t race half-assed anymore. That’s not how I do anything in my life. I wanted to race the race rather than just race TO race.
For me, I decided I had to take some time to recover and address the medical issues I was having and get my head wrapped around not actually being competitive at this point. I couldn’t just keep pushing onward without resolution – it will do nothing to keep my mental game in check for the sport. After all these years of doing triathlons and at this level of experience, racing is so much more a mental game and if I can’t be in that game, then it’s really time to take a step back.
Besides, the risk of pushing on is that the injury doesn’t heal, it becomes chronic, you get discouraged, and you walk away from the sport. I’m so not ready to do that yet. Doing triathlons still brings me such unbelievable joy and satisfaction. So, as hard as it is to take the time off, I’ve made the decision that it’s better to pass on the t-shirt, the medal, and the pizza rather than to put myself into a hole. I’m willing to start slow with some short distance races and go from there, when I’m able to run again.
So, I’m going to use this time not only to heal, but to work to improve the mechanics of my swim, bike, and run. I want to do what I can to keep in the game, but not do harm. I might as well make the best of the situation, right? I believe that so much of a triathlete’s identity is tied up in who they are as an athlete and that forces you to be truthful with yourself and know when it’s best for you not to race. That time has come for me…
While I’m really sorry that my trihubby is stuck with this injury, I’m so pleased that he’s being smart about getting it resolved. I see him limp and shuffle around the house and it makes this triwife very sad..
HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE A DECISION WHEN IT’S TIME TO STEP AWAY?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.