Friday, January 23, 2009

An injury can force us to reassess our goals

Yesterday, I received my February issue of the Inside Lane. As all ways, I read Steve’s comments before browsing through the remainder of the newsletter.

Steve had emailed me a while back that my article for the January newsletter was going to be postponed until the February newsletter.

I had forgotten all about it until I flipped to the article of the month page and started reading which brings me to my point for this article.

In that article I talked about setting goals for the coming year and I laid out my goals and race plans. What I didn’t factor in was injuries, but then who really factors in down time from injuries into their training plans.

It was the first weekend in January and I had just finished running an 18 mile. After cleaning up, I was in the kitchen putting away the dishes from the dishwasher. Being lazy, I just twisted and reached over to put away a dish. In doing so, I felt a sharp pain in my right knee.

It hurt for a few minutes but then the pain went away so I didn’t think any more about it. However, over the next week it became more and more sore. It was also started swelling down my shin.

This was not what I needed if I expected to run a marathon this spring. For about a week and half I pushed through the pain until I reached a point where enough was enough. Pushing my self any further was not going to help my knee heal. And, if I continued to run through the pain, then I would be trying to run through it for 26 miles. Certainly, this was not the best way for me to produce my best effort.

So I set down at my desk and took a deep breath. From there, I canceled my spring marathon plans and slashed the number of miles that I was running. Recovery was now the immediate and foremost goal in my mind.

Over the next week, I began to revamp my goals for the year. Looking for the best way, I decided to set some short term goals and some longer term goals. My first goal was very simple. I just wanted to run more a mile. Once I am able to run without pain, I would slowly build back my weekly mileage. As I felt stronger, I would then to add in some simple strength building workouts to my schedule.

Being one that I cannot stay away from races very long, I decided the Shamrock 4 miler in March would be a nice goal race for me. I could use the race to really test out my knee and adjust my goals for the remainder of the year.

Point being, goals are just that goals. While it gives us something to work towards, they can be changed and adjusted when life events come into play.

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