Disclaimer: If you are a coach, I suggest skipping right over this post. Side effects of this blog post on coaches may include: increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as grinding of the teeth and/or clenching of the fists. Continue at your own risk.
I have a plan; I always have a plan for everything. It's what I do for a career, and it's what I'm good at. Me and limbo? While we occasionally take each other out for coffee, planning (and then execution - they're buds) is my right hand man.
I got "the call" last Friday from The Man. Surgery is a go, and it's scheduled for 5/3/12. That 5 minute phone call sent me straight into planning mode - figuring how many days until surgery, how many miles I can put on my leg before it explodes, how many hours my butt can endure the saddle for, what dosage of Ibuprofen will kill me, etc.
Had surgery not been necessary at this time, my plan would have included a LOT of nothing. Lots of rest, spinning, and swimming. Definitely not any running, because I knew that I would need to heal everything in order to get back to the roads healthy. However, since I'm staring down the barrel of surgery, I've decided to flirt with this injury, knowing there's an end in sight, and lots of forced healing once I have the surgery. A finish line if you will.
The plan goes something like this: I'm going to use the month of April as a complete build/large volume training month. I want to go into that O.R knowing that I don't want to look at my bike or my running shoes for at least a week. I want to be tired, and in great shape. Similar to how we feel after a big race, when we just want to sit on the couch and drool on ourselves for 5 days.
Execution of my hair-brained plan takes a little more thought; it's pushing my leg to the brink, without putting even my pinky toe over the edge. I want to maximize my fitness. I do not want to create any more injuries in this process, and I certainly don't want my leg to completely explode. I may be dumb, but I'm certainly not stupid. Enter strategery.
To kick off the month of hair-brained strategery, I latched onto the last 12 miles of this girl's 16 miles Boston prep run. It had been far too long since we've run long together, and we were overdue. I wanted to go the whole 16, she told me "no". At this point, I'd rather keep my friends then run an extra 4 miles. Besides. the leg had only been field tested up to 10 miles thus far, so 16 would have been abandoning the "I'm dumb, but not stupid" plan.
It was an AWESOME run; most of my body felt spicy, and wanted to go go go! However, that space between my right knee and right ankle wasn't onboard with the "go go go" plan. It was more along the lines of the "I've been beat into submission, so I'll play your game for the next couple hours" plan. We ran at a clip that was faster than I've been running solo lately (a running partner, along with gossipy girl talk will do it!), and the leg held on. We came up with a plan (shocking, right?) around mile 10. We were going to run mile 10-11 at the pace we'd been holding, and then drop the hammer from 11-12. Of course, "drop the hammer" is all relative when you're trying to survive another month on a busted leg. So we stuck to a "marathon pace" mile. And it was awesome. I kept looking at my wrist boyfriend, who was again telling me everything I wanted to hear. God I love him. The pace for that last mile had a low 8 in it, and as we got closer to 12, the smile on my face got wider and wider. It felt incredible to be moving; although the dying animal noises coming out of my mouth might lead you to believe otherwise. When I crossed the imaginary finish line, I felt so satisfied. I don't know when a 12 mile run has ever felt so redeeming as it did today.
As I sit here packed in ice and wrapped in compression socks, I couldn't feel more content. Day 1 of "the hair-brained strategery I'm dumb but not stupid plan" was executed to perfection. I'm excited for the next 4.5 weeks, and to see what I'm capable of.
*to any coaches who read this post, let me know when I can say "I told you so". Sorry for the Zone 3 heart rate and eye twitch that occurred while reading this.*