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Acceptance (March 2013)

April 1, 2013

After achieving my 5k goal a couple of months ago, I’ve been enjoying my fitness and preparing for the spring season of racing.  If done properly, a 5k race is really, really painful, so I was looking forward to focusing on longer races that aren’t quite as agonizing (it’s amazing what a difference a few heartbeats per minute can make).  I had one more 5k on my schedule before I moved on to longer events, but that was more a party race (Skirt Chaser 5k) than a serious race, so I cruised through with a somewhat reasonable effort.  I still managed a 20:07 despite the few hills thrown in, so that pleasantly confirmed my sub 20 abilities.

A couple of weeks later I raced in the Run for Ryan House, which is a hilly 10k.  I’ve wanted to run this race for the past few years, but have always had some sort of injury, so it was a victory just making it to the starting line this year.  The race also offered a half marathon and a 5k, which helped dilute the 10k field.  Dilution is important if I plan on climbing onto any steps of the podium, and fortunately it worked as I had hoped.  Despite the hilly course, I still managed a 41:36, only 32 seconds from my 10k personal best.  But best of all, because of the field dilution, I was able to get a good showing on the results page (http://results.active.com/events/run-for-ryan-house-at-dc-ranch–2).

What’s next on my list?  Setting a new 10k PR?  Going for the sub 1:30 half marathon?  Improving my Olympic distance triathlon time?  Any of those would be great pursuits, but there’s one variable that I’d almost forgotten about because it’s been so long since I’ve experienced it.  Yes, the dreaded injury.  It happened a couple of weeks ago while running, a sharp pain in my knee reduced me to walking/limping.  Then all the injury memories started to come back.  I’m not exactly sure how many official steps there are before finally accepting an injury, but I think this is a reasonable summary.  1) Denial – I’ll just walk it off for a minute and it will be fine.  2) Focus – No problem, I’ll just ice it for a few days and it will be fine.  3) Annoyance – Okay, I’ll just swim and bike for now, and it will be fine soon enough.  4) Justification – Well, maybe racing isn’t that good for me anyway.  5) Acceptance – It’s been two weeks and it still hurts, I need to see a doctor.

There are certainly advantages that come with the acceptance phase.  I can do any kind of activity I want without worrying about an upcoming race, so the flexibility is really nice.  It’s a beautiful time of year here in the desert, so I’ve enjoyed a few more mountain biking adventures amidst the spring wildflowers.

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There are much better wildflower shots out there, but I didn’t want to hamper my fun by stopping every quarter mile to take pictures and properly document the wildflower season.  That’s great for a photo adventure, but I decided to enjoy rolling along uninterrupted on my mountain bike instead.  However, there are times that I just have to stop regardless of how well I’m rolling along.

IMAG0144

If you zoom in on the picture, you can see the obstacle in the middle of the trail.  I guess if I were a really skilled rider, I could have hopped the bike right over this rattlesnake, but I really didn’t want a second injury to treat.  And I didn’t want to figure out whether my five steps of injury acceptance apply to snake bikes either.

I’m not sure where this acceptance phase will take me, or how long it will last, but I’m sure I’ll be writing about it in my next post.

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