Sunday, April 18, 2010

Putting the pieces together

Triathlon is like a puzzle to me. There are so many pieces, some sort of fit together if you force them, but if the fit isn't right and you push too hard, you're going to bend the piece. And, you're definitely never going to finish the puzzle with a bent up piece in the wrong place. But, when they do fit together you're able move on to the next piece, the next challenge. I don't exactly know what the equivalent to finishing the puzzle is..... maybe Olympic gold? But then again, we've seen those gold medalists back at it right away, still wanting more, excitedly looking for the next piece to the puzzle.

I guess you can say I have a bent puzzle piece right now. I had the niggly knee issue before the crash (first crease in the puzzle piece). Then the crash itself (good solid bend in the piece). Then the two months that followed the crash where I tried to keep moving (basically this puzzle piece was put through the paper shredder!). Don't worry, I'm laughing with you here.

I came down to Scottsdale last week to meet with Nate Koch at Endurance Rehab and have a fresh take on my situation. Nate started with a full assessment, then immediately sent me off for an MRI, and let's just say the time between then and now hasn't been at all what I had expected. I had two ideas in my mind of how things might pan out when I came down here: 1) Two days working with Nate and then I'm back home with a new approach. 2) Two days with Nate then a couple weeks in Tucson, training with Sam. On Friday night I had to create a new option: 3)Two days working with Nate, followed by an entire month working with Nate everyday. It turns out my little irritation in the knee is the symptom of a bigger issue in my hip. For the time being, I'm taking a break from biking and running, focusing on rehab (and not the celebrity type :)

It's been an interesting weekend for me, a bit of a scramble to say the least. Because I was booked to return home on Saturday morning I had some last-minute changes to make. The biggest challenge was finding a month-long rental on short notice, but thankfully the "snowbirds" are leaving town and I was able to get a vacation rental for a great rate.

It's a bizarre feeling being here alone, unable to train. I'm not exactly on vacation, but yet staying at a resort. The only suit I brought is my training suit and I don't really have much desire to put that on and lounge by the pool. Don't worry, I am NOT complaining. I realize I am in Arizona for a month. I'm just saying the circumstances make it a little bizarre.

I have no doubt that I made the right decision coming down here, but the next month will be an interesting challenge. We need to repair that puzzle piece!

I did get to do something touristy on Friday. To stop myself from losing my mind as I waited for the MRI results, I went to the Desert Botanical Gardens. I'm obsessed with all things floral and this trip happened to coincide with the beautiful spring desert flowers blooming. If you remember my Saguaro cactus blog from Tucson last year, I was crazy intrigued by these incredible plants so to have witnessed them in all shapes and sizes with closed-up flower buds was enough to distract me from the test result anticipation (remember, the flowers open only at night and they are pollinated by BATS!). Plus it was an incredibly hot day, so I was one happy camper to stroll through the desert.

Remember they grow only 1 inch per year!

I totally felt for this guy. Sometimes I just want to tuck up in a ball too!


Tyler Duncan said...

good to here you've got a solid recovery plan! Have fun down there, I know it will be hard with that pool in your back yard ;)

Facundo said...

I am in the same boat right now. Knee pain caused by hip issues (misalignment/rotation).

Just take it one "piece" at the time and eventually you will finish the puzzle... Unfortunately patience is a virtue and I need some work on that as well =)

Kerry said...

good luck lauren.. hope you recover fast! Thanks for the bday wishes too.. having a birthday away from home really makes you miss home!! can't wait to come visit. not sure when tho :P