With Ironman Lake Placid officially on, training has ramped up, and I am putting in lots of volume. The weekends are 4-6 hour brick sessions, long runs and swims as one would expect. A few weeks back I was wrapping up a 4 hour ride and 30 minute run brick in the woods when I rolled my ankle. Twice. I rolled it, fell to the ground, got up took a few steps and rolled it again. Yes, once more I wound up on the ground.
After a number of artfully used expletives, I was able to stand and eventually hobble the few miles home. It was fun, and I am pretty sure I was passed by a elderly couple with canes. Whatever, but it is not a great time for this.
I had no Ace bandages but I did have compression socks so that would have to do until I could get to the store (two days later). The ankle did swell nicely, and I applied ice and elevated it etc, but a sprain is a sprain. The next day I attempted to squeeze it into a bike shoe, but no luck.
Come Monday, I went to CVS and picked up a brace, Ace bandage, Advil and some instant ice packs. The combination of these items let me do an easy ride on the trainer. So the week went with gradually harder rides on the trainer and eventually outside. It has been two weeks now and still no running, but it feels like that is close.
At first I felt like this was a huge setback. Not being able to train like I want to and losing run fitness pissed me off. The more I looked at it though, I could see I was able to focus on my weakness the bike. Being forced to ride everyday has brought me a new level of bike attention that I hope pays off come race day.
For those of you wondering why I didn’t go to the doctor to have it looked at I’ll sum it up like this. One way or another the doctor would not tell me what I want to hear. They are going to tell you to rest or stay off your feet. Worst case, if I broke something it would be put in a boot or cast and that would ruin the race prep. So I saw no upside to the doctor visit. If I can ride with minimal pain, I will ride. Once I can run I will run.
At the end of the day, the attitude you bring to setbacks defines how you handle adversity. When things go wrong, good. It opens the chance to focus on your weaknesses. Taking things away can actually give you more. My running will bounce back, but my cycling will be stronger. Even though they seem like setbacks, when you look at it the right way they turn into opportunities.