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From Mom to Machine – Learning to Overcome

When you’re a mom, mid-night wake up calls are inevitable. I wouldn’t list it as my favourite past time, but they are part of the drill. They hamper recovery, test your patience and have you swearing repeated oaths to throw away all the lego!
Monday night had me swearing for different reasons though, while wandering down the stairs with Lincoln I realised I had a shin splint from hell! Curse them bloody downhills!

So, week 3: …Despondent.
How am I suppose to train properly when my body keeps telling me to get knotted! Injuries are seriously demotivating.

Monday was a rest day after my 15km road run on the Sunday, so I chilled, while noting some pain in my shin when I walked. I rested, and waited. I wanted to see whether my leg was a twinge or something more serious. So I iced, used Traumeel (I’m thinking of buying shares in the company) and cursed a lot.

The expletives got worse Tuesday mid-night when I wandered down the stairs to the blatant realisation that my leg was getting worse. Dammit all to hell. I had done a gentle session in the pool Tuesday morning and kept it short, only half an hour. Clearly I had done something wrong.

Using all the customary grace I apply in all aspects of my life, I threw myself into an hour swimming session on Wednesday so I could mope in silence. With a rare moment of resourcefulness I contacted my physio before my session to find out the do’s and don’t of a shin splint injury. A self diagnosed injury and an hour of ‘internet treatment options’ left me discomposed and needing the guidance of a professional. So armed with the facts, I hit the pool with no fins and a pool bouy to encourage leg resting. No kicking left me feeling rather lazy but I am told my upper body is working harder. I’m not so sure about that though, I’m convinced I’m just going slower. But treatment is treatment and I am determined to kick this thing, so if laziness is required, so be it. The good news is that I swam the half iron man distance (2000m) with relative ease, without the use of my legs.

With my physio session lined up for Thursday eve and the go ahead from her that cycling was ok, Shaun and I headed out for a 50km bike ride. I’m loving being on the bike again! Even in the rain. Pushing it up the hills and cruising the flats is exhilarating. I’m not sure my legs agree with me yet but they’ll get there… I hope.

Friday was gym day. But no legs! They are protesting. Shaun doesn’t believe in climbing hills slowly on your bike so every hill is a killer. My legs have been murdered on every bike ride with him. But arms are ready to go. Time to get these swimming muscles strong.

Saturday was rest. Every muscle in my body needed it after this week. Despite my shin splint this was probably my hardest week in a long time. About time too. I need to start upping my mileage. (mild panic attack #1)

Sunday was exciting! I saw the day in with a 1 hour ride on a Watt bike at gym – with a friend. Thank goodness for friends or I would have been dizzy with boredom! The wind was howling outside and despite the craziness of training for this race, I have maintained my scruples about foul weather training – it’s for the birds.

Sunday afternoon had us travelling to Big Bay for what was to be our very first open water swim. (mild panic attack #2)

After decanting yourself into your wetsuit, with heart rate at about 180 beats per minute (that’s almost my limit), you head for the frigid water with the greatest of hopes that all the sharks in the vicinity have already had their lunch. It was absolutely terrifying!! I think the only reason I climbed in the water was because my wetsuit was blocking off sufficient blood supply to the brain as to render me mentally incapacitated. But so be it, I was in, and it did a lot to quell my nerves and make the bile retreat back to my stomach. Thankfully, being with Shaun, my fearless cousin and 2 of her mates, made my transition to ‘seal’ fairly simple. We did a pleasant 1200m swim without so much as a “hello” from a nearby shark! I cannot share my elation with you as we made our way out of that water.

I am not naïve enough to think it will be plain sailing the next time, but I do hope it will be a little easier than this first time was.

Thoughts on conclusion of week 3:
This whole exercise so far seems to have been one in learning to overcome things. Bending and moulding with the process. The road is not the straight one I envisaged when I signed up. Only 3 weeks in but already I am seeing why this journey is a gruelling one. One step at a time. Each corner as it comes.


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