Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Knee Pain and Life Lately

Actually really loving the pre-dawn commutes :)
Oh hey, yes, I'm still alive. Alive and crazy and hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Since school started life has been insanity. Waking up at 5 to ride to school in the dark for 6:15am XC practice (I'm assistant coaching the freshmen boys XC team at THHS), teaching until 4pm, plus afternoon XC on Tues/Thurs, and soon to be leading HS mtb fun rides on Wednesday and Fridays... yeah, by the skin of my teeth. I am SUPPOSED to be doing my own training on top of all this, but that hasn't been going so well and to be honest I haven't done a single workout in 3 weeks.

When the coaching gig came up I said yes because one of my personal goals this year is to be more involved in the school/get to know the staff and kids better than I did at Laguna. My coach told me to be careful not to let my huge aerobic engine trick me into running more than my joints/non-running body could handle. But of course I thought 5.5 miles on my first run back was just a baby run, that running 5 times a week on week 1 was easing into it, and that when I felt pain it was just weakness leaving the body, blah blah...

And two weeks in my knees suddenly hurt so badly I could barely walk last Monday during 7th period. I was close to tears from pain, frustration and fear that I was blowing the most important training weeks on my year.

Fast forward to today and looking  back on this setback I feel a strange calm/appreciation for my broken body.
Trying to heal my knees with a butt load of stretching.
For one I never really appreciated my knees before. I know people who have suffered torn ACLs and chronic knee pain and broken bones... and I always knew in my mind to appreciate my normally functioning body, but being down with pain so severe you can't walk is equal parts terrifying and eye opening. As the pain slowly fades and I am lucky enough to start getting pain free commutes to school I am so so so grateful for every pain free pedal stroke. I am also full of retroactive gratitude for so many years of racing with relatively few injuries. And for some reason the gratitude for my hopefully soon to be healthy body and past is bigger than the stress about not training, so that's kinda great (maybe my mind is too overwhelmed from working so much that I can't hold both emotions at once, haha)

And secondly being injured means I can focus all my time on teaching and coaching, which I'm actually enjoying quite a lot. It's honestly been overwhelming to think about training after work, and the cumulative fatigue of teaching and coaching hit me hard at the Grizzly, so I'm secretly a little grateful that I haven't had to think about how to squeeze in the workouts for the past 2 weeks. The down time has been full of school work and sleep, and it's fueling the fire in me to race hard again as well.
I am the happiest girl when I get to ride with no pain :)

 It's been strange to me that I have lost all interest in racking up Strava data, that I'm not itching to run out the door the second school gets out, and that last weekend I didn't touch a bike on Sunday, but hey, I guess there is a time for everything and the time of excessive ride-till-you-die Larissa is taking a hiatus. I hope everyone is healthy and happy and enjoying all those miles and feet of elevation for me :) Thanks guys!
I will leave you with this picture of God smiling on the Santa Ana mountains from tonight :)


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