Tuesday, July 24, 2007


It seems as if my whole triathlon season has been one of making decision after decision after decision--something I'm not good at doing quickly. What I think is a done deal, ends up being a dilemma. And this Steelhead thing is starting to get ugly too.

I am frustrated about this--I have spent my entire year working around this race, making sure I am ready, rebuilding my base in all three sports, dealing with all the difficulties, but still thinking the day would come and things would be wonderful. And it was, pretty much. I know I had my doubts a month or so ago, but then things started turning around. I got a renewed faith in myself and my abilities.

That was before the ankle thing. As much as I want to be tough, strong, and carefree about this thing, I have way too much experience dealing with ankle sprains and other injuries to be naive enough to think it will go away just because I want it to. Or because I have a race I want to do. Or thinking my training will get me by.

Aargh! Last week, in the heat of the moment, I'm sure, I e-mailed the race director for Steelhead and asked about a deferral. Today, I got a positive response. And now I am torn again as to what to do.

Do I think I can run 13.1 miles with an ankle that still has an ankle bone twice the size as the other one? Doubtful. Do I think I can run through the sand and uneven ground for transitions, etc.? I don't see how. And yet I still have hope I can pull this off. I want to! I have been waiting for this for so long. (Trying not to get sappy and teary eyed here) All I can do is sigh. I don't understnd. I don't see why it always seems to happen to me.

I am trying not to rationalize this too much--if I do the race, will I ruin the rest of my year (I do have a few more tris and a half marathon I want to do or am already signed up for)? If I don't do the race, will I regret it? Should I just do the swim and bike? My swim is good, my bike is okay, but I have lost 3 weeks of my running base, at a time when I should have been building to my peak before the race, so that is lost right now. While I have done a few 20 min. runs with the ankle support, it is really my knee that concerns me more. The ellipitical has worked okay for 30 min. workouts, but my feet go numb any longer, so I hesitate to try to build on my run base using that as an alternative for longer time.

My gut feeling is to not do this, but is that being too wimpy? If I do the race, and I get two miles from the finish and reach the cutoff, then what? I'd be pushing the cutoff at my best, so what chance is there I can still pull this off? And if I work my butt off on the bike, will I still have enough in me to walk most of the run? And walking isn't much different than running--its still time on the feet, just longer if I walk.

I could go on, but you see what my dilemma is.



WADDLER26.2 said...

As hard as ir would be to miss it, I would be afraid to do any permanet damage yo your ankle. I wish you the best with your decision.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Vickie - I don't recall exactly WHEN this race is, but I feel your pain (okay, not your ankle pain..but your indecision). You may not be able to run 13.1, but could you walk it and make the cutoff? Or maybe you really should take another year and let 2008 be YOUR YEAR!!. Either way, best wishes, lots of love, and manhy of us are proud of you!!!

Flo said...

Vicki, if it's 3 weeks since you sprained your ankle and it's still swollen, that's not good. I know how hard these decisions are (been there, done that) but I'm thinking you should follow your gut. There is always next year and you've got other races this year. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Shelley said...

If your ankle is really that bad, then you should not do this race. However..remember me..the lady who did Steelhead with a bad ankle a few weeks before IMH..still finished, slow, but still finished Steelhead walking...you could still really do this..i'll be there to cheer you on, that's for sure. good luck with your decision and let me know what you decide on..:-)

Cindy Jo said...

Personally, I would skip the race or at least the run portion. Your body is trying to tell you something, so you should honor that. I've raced with a sprained ankle and I made it a bigger long-term problem as a result.

There are TONS of races to do and you already got a deferral! Just make the decision - the agonizing over it only prolongs the healing process (I'm speaking from my own experiences). Take the time to work on swimming, core strength, etc. instead and you'll be stronger overall when you can run again. If you're in this for the long-term than you need to approach it that way.

Fe-lady said...

Hard to think of the bigger picture...and that is next season, and the one after that, and the one after that...one of the most difficult things I had to so regarding triathlon is taking a WHOLE YEAR OFF so my body and mind could heal, revamp, and come out feeling fresh and ready to roll the next.
Sounds like you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you aren't going into this 1/2 IM totally whole and healthy with a big amount of training under your belt. I have been consistent with 9 hour weeks and no injuries. Would I attempt a 1/2 IM right now? Hell, no. Just my opinion.
Just remember , we ain't OLD yet and we have many more tri seasons to come! (Find a shorter race...) :-0 Thinking of you and hope I didn't come across as being too blunt.

Phoenix said...

Go with your gut, Vickie. An ankle is nothing to mess with it.

Remember - you're in this to race for your lifetime, not for a go for broke one season of crazy races so you can brag about it to your buds. Like Fe-Lady said, think of the long term, honor your body, and look forward to future races.

Tom said...

Vickie - I fully agree with Phoenix. Take care of yourself.

See Zanne Run said...

i think these decisions are so tough. i'm like you - would wonder if i was being "wimpy" for opting out of something i had planned to do ... but my gut instinct is to tell you to go with yours ... sounds like your ankle needs more time.