I know it's not a substancial amount of time to devote to cross-training for the purpose of healing, but I've been aqua-running for a week now. Not that I expected to be all healed up, but since I had planned on attempting to run the Carlsbad 5000 this weekend despite an Achilles issue, I thought I might test it out today on the track.
What did I expect? Well, as I walked with John to the track, my mind was telling me, "This is insane." Insane as in, "the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect a different result." I knew my leg wasn't any better because it still hurt even to walk, but I guess I had to know if I could handle the race pace, or I had to prove to myself that it wasn't worth it to race injured.
What did I discover? I taped my achilles with kinesiology tape for support and warmed up slowly on the soft 9th lane of the track. It felt ... stable ... ish, but was clearly sore. I figured I would do some smooth 400's and see how it felt at a quicker pace. Well, I didn't get 50 meters down the track before I pulled up in fierce pain. Frustrated, I limped over to the stadium steps and forced myself up 10 times. Then I did ab work. Later will come the hour long aqua-run in the evening.
The verdict: I will not be competing in the Carlsbad 5000 again this year. I will still attend and watch from the sidelines again this year. It's ok. I have bigger fish to fry in July so my main job right now is to heal. And I will get to watch John and others race and I can cheer them on. It will still be a great day. I say that, but to be honest, in my heart I am frustrated.
The plan: Run in the water, bike the hills, lift weights, and swim for a minimum of 6 weeks without attempting a step of running on dry land. Please, someone tell me this will help. This is such a huge sacrifice of precious training time and I have to know that I will come out the other end prepared to run again.
So once again I will let CB 5000 go, but I take away an excellent lesson. All the months of hard training for an event are not worth it if you ruin yourself before you get to the line. It's better to get to the line healthy and able, so the training needs to be modified in such a manner that this can happen each and every time.