Since many of you know that I had planned to end my season racing in the Noosa Triathlon this past weekend, I wanted to quickly write to explain why I didn't start the race.
It was a very difficult decision for me and one that was made only about 36 hours before I was meant to race. My training had been going really well and the improvement over the last few weeks was incredible. There were very visible reasons for me to be excited about a final hit out for 2008. However, it was not meant to be.
About two weeks ago, mid long run, my knee started to bother me. I've had some pain in it when traveling and keeping it bent for long periods of time, but I had thought nothing of it. But, for whatever reason, it finally decided to express it's true face on that day. I took immediate action to rehab it, hence the dry needling, and we got some good immediate response. Five days later I was able to run for 45 minutes without any discomfort at all. But, one run, one extra little push, and I was back to square one, only this time my knee decided not to respond to treatment. I tried to continue training, modifying things like kicking in the pool with a whole lot of time with a buoy between my legs, but the damage had been done.
Ultimately, it is not a huge issue and requires a bit of rest, a week or so, and then some rehab to address the areas of weakness that resulted in the aggrevation when my training volume increased so rapidly. The downfall was the timing of the inflammation. Two days before the race I found that I could not run more than 4 minutes without a decent amount of discomfort. Rather than risking doing serious damage, on top of the logical "never race injured" advice from my brother, I decided to withdraw from the race.
It was incredibly hard to watch the event, but I made a promise to myself to come back to Noosa next year, fit and ready to tackle it. I still have the itch to race, a pretty big one actually, which I think is pretty incredible after almost a year straight with no time off. I'm eager to get to work on my real transformation over the next few months. Mentally, I have never been more ready to train and to face the daily challenges, so all this hiccup has shown me is that my body is still a step or two behind. But, in my opinion, it is much harder to help someone become mentally ready for the day in and day out hardships than it is to build up their body to be able to withstand increased training.
So, my short "off season" will involve a few days of complete rest, then some time locating the exact issues that lead to the discomfort in my knee and finally a complete rehab and strengthening program so that when I start in to full training again, in two or three weeks time, my body is more ready to handle the stress.
2008 has been a great year for me. I started the year at #276 in the world and am now ranked in the top 120. I earned 6 top 10 finishes, over various distances including 1 1/2 IM, but more importantly I regained my confidence in racing.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what 2009 will bring!!