While I've learned plenty from Rose Grant about overcoming setbacks with grace and sense of purpose, I'm now doing my best to take a page from Erin Huck's latest comeback book on just accepting whatever the universe has in store. (It worked well for her since she just defended her Short Track national championship title)!
So here's the story.
Last Tuesday evening I arrived in Boulder, CO after a long 36 hours of travel home from MTB Nationals in Snowshoe, WV. I hadn't seen much sun or fresh air and I was eager to get outside before the sun set. So my sister and I set out for Mt Sanitas, an iconic hike in the foothills west of Boulder. On the way back down the trail, I slipped on a steep section and nailed a protruding rock right into the soft tissue of my low right back. It was bad. My back went into immediate spasms and I was barely able to shuffle back down to the bottom. I couldn't even get out of bed on my own that evening. Walking can be dangerous, apparently.
Luckily I was able to get a next-day appointment at the CU Center for Sports Medicine. Over the next three days, x-rays, an MRI, and a couple of sports medicine evaluations confirmed that what felt like something was horribly wrong (some excruciating pain with certain movements) was likely just caused by muscle spasms and the resulting affect on my pelvic alignment. It was a huge relief to know the injury wasn't more severe, but it put some temporary brakes on my training camp as I was quite limited in my movements for a couple of weeks.
I also stayed with my sister who helped me laugh at the absurdity of my walking injury. It's a good dose of humility; I guess the universe is just reminding me to watch my step and to never take a healthy, functioning body for granted. At least I feel more prepared for recovering from this injury and it seems relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Also, I'm really grateful for all the people I was able to call and reach out to in the scary days after my injury. So thank you Ann Trombley, Nate Koch, and Eric Marcotte! It really meant the world to have some voices of reason within reach.
So despite having to make adjustments my normal training routine, the total time I've spent on the bike and working on mobility and rehab is significantly more than the norm. When I first got back on the bike, I was riding twice a day for 1-1.5 hours, plus going into physical therapy each day for treatments that included manual therapy, dry needling, and mobility exercises. In addition, I was on a yoga mat up to three times a day working on mobility and doing some very light strength work and stretching.
I really missed out on some of my favorite Boulder climbs, but I had a very good excuse for cruising the bike paths in town. Plus, I rode my bike to Fort Morgan one day and it was probably the quietest possible ride in an otherwise very busy Front Range. While the mountains have such a clear allure, I still appreciate the plains and their quiet roads and small towns.
I can now tolerate more time and some intensity on the bike. But I haven't backed off from mobility work and extra care with my post-ride stretching routine. It's a full schedule but I'm motivated and recognize this change in circumstance as an opportunity. So unfortunately, I won't be lining up with my teammates at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup this weekend. I made the decision to travel back home to Prescott where I have just a couple of short weeks before I leave for the last races of the season.
While everything on my Strava account lately has been set to 'private,' I've just made everything public again. I wanted to add some more context behind my rides before sharing. The pathway back to normalcy and what I consider training rides wasn't very clear cut. It can be tough to know what to share, so if I feel stressed about it, I usually opt for just not worrying about it.
And the MVP's of the last couple weeks are these two (and my sister!)