I love racing and training for triathlon. I love it so much that sometimes I forget that I’m 53 and not 23. And, while that’s not a bad thing, the reality is that I AM 53 and whether I like it or not, my body doesn’t recover easily or quickly, especially when I keep asking it to swim, bike and run (+ yoga and weights) for 12-15 hours per week. For me, dealing with various aches, pains and injuries is a constant concern. And as races get closer, it can be sort of stressful.
At the moment, I have piriformis syndrome, some compressed discs, SI joint dysfunction, and a hip labral tear….just par for the course in a triathlete’s life (and anyone over 50!). Luckily, I have a small army of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists and others who are part of my “team.” And, of course my team nutritionist (smile) makes sure that I’m eating plenty of enriched and whole grains (like pasta, whole wheat bread, and tortillas), brightly colored fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, dairy products, and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc). My “team” makes it possible for me to keep training around and through my injuries.
Lately, I’ve been spending about 25% of my training hours in physical therapy, at the chiropractor’s office, and using a variety of recovery modalities (hot tub, massage, foam rolling, KT tape) so I can continue to train for Nationals and Worlds. Sometimes, it can be a bit discouraging.
Most of the time, however, I think about how INCREDIBLE it is that I’m doing ANY of this and that I have people helping me do it! After all, how many people can even CONSIDER biking 100 miles per week, running about 15, and swimming 6-7? Not many. So, I focus on what I CAN do every day, not what I can’t.
When running hurts, I bike, walk, and swim more. When biking causes problems, I bike more easily, swim more, and do more yoga. At all times, I smile and appreciate all of it. I choose to do what I can and what I love….and for me, that’s way more than enough.