Admittedly, blogging hasn’t been much of a priority lately- we’ve had a lot going on and having a travel blog is pretty dull when you aren’t traveling much. Aside from our ski weekend at Christmas, we’ve stuck close to home, largely due to the hip injury I’d been trying to ignore. Unfortunately, by mid-January, the issue became debilitating, and I committed to a serious plan for rest and healing. I spent the rest of the smoggy winter sitting squarely on my butt hopeful that I’d heal, but to no avail. Physically I was miserable and mentally I was really deflated. In short, this winter was rough.
Sometime mid-February,I got a labral tear diagnosis. In a last ditch attempt to avoid surgery, I received a cortisone injection and doctor’s permission to take on whatever training I feel like I could handle without too much pain. Finally.
Despite our complete lack of sport specific preparation, this spring we were lucky enough to find ourselves in St. George with a group of accomplished triathletes (so many Ironmen/women!) and awesome coaches at pre-season camp run by GPP Endurance. With my injury in mind, I planned to drive support, soak up the sun and the company of some really awesome athletes, and perhaps get in the pool for a bit. Ben was hoping to kick off the season with a bang.
I didn’t expect to do much besides hang out in the support van all weekend, but as it turned out, I got two good rides on Friday and Saturday. As the awkward stiffness of the shot wore off, I started to feel better than I’ve felt in months and with trepidation, made a careful attempt at the first day’s hill circuit. With the red rock all around and the sun shining on my face, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so happy to be out pedaling slowly away from the longest winter on record. My hip didn’t have a lot of power in it, but at least I was moving.
Ben and I often ride alone, or simply together,so it was a blast to be on the road with dozens of other talented riders cheering each other along and to enjoy such comprehensive support. The folks over at High Knees Cycling went way above and beyond, attending to our bikes and generously doling out their expertise. I loved watching Ben work so hard hang onto his cycling group and push himself harder than he has for years.
By Sunday, I felt the need for some rest, and more importantly, I was determined to do what I came to camp to do- help! I spent the day in the support van, driving around the course with Lizz, delivering fuel for the weekend’s longest ride, letting my day fill with sunshine, conversation, canyon vistas, and inspiring athletes.
Monday morning, after an awesome swim session we set out on a trail run. After my initial miserable attempts at a run earlier in the week, I planned to cut my hip some slack and take a gentle hike, but as I went, I quickly realized that I was jogging largely without the abiding pain that had been haunting me for so long. Slowly ambling down the sandy red trail with the cool breeze in my face and red rock towers rising above me, might be the most myself I’ve felt all year.
From a non-injured perspective, Ben spent four days making quick work of kicking his season into gear. Already, he’s in better shape than he would normally be by mid summer and is now contemplating an Ironman attempt at the end of the year. It was hugely motivating to be training with such a seasoned bunch of athletes and such a great coaching staff. We can’t say enough good things about the camp, the training, or the awesome people we met.Photo credit