Sunday, July 17, 2011

crash recovery update, week 2

Raise your hand if you went running today. Or this week. Or in the last two weeks. Heck, raise your hand if you biked outside or went swimming in the last two weeks. Now take a moment to appreciate your good health.

I am jealous.

I have done NONE of the aforementioned activities in the last two weeks and this second week has been testing. The first week after the crash went by quickly in a haze of "I'm alive!" euphoria, painkillers, jetlag, and the last-minute panic of getting myself to go back to a "normal" job for the first time in a few years.

Curious George band-aids!

Week #2 became a mental struggle towards the end, as I've never had my capacity to train for triathlon be so limited, but the worst is over soon. Of course I understand that it could've been much worse and know other pro triathletes who *have* had it worse ("it's part of the job description," an old teammate told me), but I've been pretty much injury-free since meeting Brett Sutton in fall of 2008. (I'm talking free from serious injuries that completely sideline you and that you can't train through.) I know people hear stories about Brett breaking his athletes, but when I met him, I actually had shin pain so bad that I was running in the pool my first few weeks in the Philippines. He totally changed my running form (I had been trying that stupid forefoot running technique) and I haven't been hurt since.

Even in the 7 or 8 triathlon years before teamTBB, I can't remember a time when I couldn't at least train in one of the 3 sports when I was nursing an injury. That's how most people get into tris anyway, right? I personally came into it from having a running injury during college track, but I was able to bike without pain and joined the cycling team. Then there was that time in college I bruised my sternum at a party and had some other overuse injury running, but I could still bike. Or that other time I injured my hip flexor from trying out Powercranks, couldn't run or bike, but at least I could still swim!

Hello Kitty band-aids!

The caveat this time is that I've got open wounds stitched up and can't swim until they are completely healed. Oh sure I could, but I'm not about to get some nasty infection and prolong my recovery! The chin is all healed and I'm waiting on the elbow. I took the elbow stitches out myself (I'm an Asian girl MacGyver y'know) and have been cleared to swim starting Wednesday! I really can't wait to swim! Who'd ever thought I'd say that???

It is really frustrating to not have my normal steady flow of endorphins from training 25-30 hours per week. Right now my main limiter is the knee that was all banged up. The bruising and swelling is all gone but range of motion is limited, especially with weight bearing. So no running yet and no hard biking. I meant to post up this picture from a few days post-crash when I was using Mom's magic Chinese trick for getting rid of bruises with hard-boiled eggs. You peel it right away and put it in a thin handkerchief, rub the bruise until the egg gets smooshed, and then throw the egg away. You can't eat the egg unless you want all the evil spirits that the egg absorbed from the bruise to go back inside your body!

nasty bruises!

Obviously this worked because 2 weeks post-crash, I am completely bruise-free. I didn't take any new pictures because it's really not that exciting! My skin tone looks normal now!

I've been able to spin on White Tiger in the living room (we are also still waiting for new aerobar parts) and did my first little water run today. I've been able to do long walks ok but intensity-wise, everything is pretty low. The hilarious part of going to the pool today was that I was trying to decide which pool to run in, the warmer therapy pool or the colder competition pool. I asked the lifeguards how shallow each pool was, so I could make sure my elbow was out of the water. There was one lady who was doing water aerobics and she chimes in "if you are feeling apprehensive, you can put on a water belt!" hahaha! She thought I couldn't swim or something!

I'm really glad for the distraction of starting my new job, getting to know my new coworkers and the flow of things, and shaking the dust off my brain. Otherwise I'd just be sitting around sulking! Clearly the new job was just meant to be. I put in a request to register for IM Louisville at the end of August, but as Coach Beck said, we are just going to take it day by day. I don't want to rush the healing process and start racing again before my body is ready.


  1. Just wanted to let you know that I like this new blog - you seem to post a lot more, which is great! Hope Louisville works out for you!

  2. Love the new blog Wongstar! Congrats on the new job! Super impressed with your swim time @ IM Korea. I struggle horribly on my swim & would love to know how you were able to cut so much time off. Incredibly inspiring! Drill work? How many days a wk should I be in the pool prepping for an IM & how long? Any swimming advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope you get to race L'ville this yr

  3. my hip is doing something dumb when I run and it hurts after ten minutes to put weight on (WTF, PT thinks it is just tight).... and this week I strained/knotted my forearm tendon (medial, half way between my elbow and wrist) doing tricep dips... and then rode 4hours with crazy climbing... now no riding cause I can't pull on my hoods... dude falling apart at 25 SUCKS!!!!

  4. thanks chicas!!! @Lisa..."uncensored + uncut" = more blogging! @Denise...I'll do a special swim post soon. I'm not sure about L'Ville at this point, don't want to rush my recovery and go in if my body, mind, and heart aren't ready. are way too young to be falling apart. Get well soon!