Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Time out!

I spent a chunk of my weekend writing out a list of all the bookings I need to cancel. I'm only going to get a tiny fraction of my money back, which won't even come close to covering the cost of the physio and sports doctor appointments and the MRI, even after private health cover claims. And, to think—it all could've been so easily avoided.

'But, wait,' you say. 'Wasn't it an accident?'

Yes, to an extent. I stepped on a rock and rolled my ankle, which involved an element of chance. It also involved a failure to concentrate on the trail or maybe a foolish decision to run faster than I could manage on the trail. But, more significantly, I must accept the actions I took—or failed to take—in the days and weeks leading up to that 'accident' made me more susceptible to injury. So why wasn't I getting regular massages, trigger pointing my muscles, training my proprioception, resting and recovering, and eating the right foods?

I've wracked my brain and all I can come up with is that I subconsciously sabotaged my race plans.

I discussed this theory with a close and thoughtful friend. He found it highly improbable that I'd deliberately injured myself, especially when I couldn't have predicted when or where I'd sprain my ankle. He makes a fair point, and I'm inclined to agree. But I also can see only one plausible reason for my failure to look after my running body: I didn't prioritise it. I needed a break and didn't accept that. I wasn't committed to the races I'd lined up this year. I failed to admit that, and it cost me a lot of money.

It sounds mightily silly when you think about the adventurous plans I'd laid for April and May, but less so when you consider what a massive year 2014 was for me: a 100 km personal record, a solid 48-hour despite illness, a huge distance personal record with 624 km at the Adelaide 6-day race, and finally—finally!—finishing the Alpine Challenge 100 mile race.

Now I need to accept this: if I'm going to achieve the challenges I've set out for the end of 2015 and early 2016, I'm going to need to be strong and fresh.

So even though it's tempting to punish myself for being so stupid, I'm opting not to. Instead, I've rewarded myself with a swim and gym membership at the Valley Pool, a new guitar stand so my guitar is always within arm's reach, some new novels, and some quality time with my friends. I'm eating well and sleeping more. I'm looking after my body and my mind.

And I'm not in any rush to get back to running. My heart said no and I ignored it long enough that my body had to speak up in a most painful way. So I'm listening, now—I'm not returning to this sport that I love until my heart tells me it's time (and my physio seconds the opinion).