Ok, so I am terrible at keeping my commitment to write regular blog posts. Here it is, 10 months since my last post. In all honesty I have started a few times to write something and never finished it, but I have also had periods of time where I felt like a fraud, as if my recovery journey was not valid. Well, you know what? Every recovery is real and 100% badass!
As I write this, I am sitting in appartment in Melbourne preparing myself for the Melbourne Marathon festival tomorrow where I will running in the half marathon. This is my first big race in nearly 2 years! And I may be freaking out just a little. But I am so excited and grateful that my body has allowed me to get back to this point.
Tomorrow will be another step forward, whatever the result. The months of training, re-building fitness, strength and endurance, and learning to fuel my body to perform. It’s been a long process. I’ve had to relearn everything I had been taught, the years of dieting, suppressing hunger signals and notions that thinner is better. Sometimes it has felt like 1 step forward, 3 steps back and there have definitely been times when I have wanted to go back to the old ways and the messages all around us tell me I am wrong. But I know better, and experience now tells me that to stay healthy and perform well my body needs food and rest, important aspects of a training program that I overlooked in the past.
I wanted to take this moment to look back on the last few months and appreciate the progress I have made. When I set myself the goal to run this half marathon back in January I expected to be back in PB form. And I may have been if things had gone perfectly, however life isn’t perfect and this recovery process isn’t linear. In April, an injury scare almost paralysed me and I barely ran a step in 6 weeks. I was so frightened of being injured again. It took several visits to my physio, an MRI scan, 2 different doctors, an exercise physiologist and my coach for me to believe that I didn’t have another stress fracture. In the end, I had to make the choice to accept the pain was there but that it was ok and commit to the rehab plan set by my physio. It wasn’t the experience I would have chosen but it was an important one.
The last few months I have made great progress, not just in training but also in my mindset. I have fostered a new belief and commitment to my goals, and a dedication to my training and keeping myself healthy. I have been truly amazed by some of the milestones I have hit recently, like a 100km+ training week, consistently training over 90km/week, a 30km long run and a sub 4min/km. And through all this my body has stayed healthy, I have cycled normally for nearly 18 months and I am stronger every week.
Even though I am not aiming for a PB tomorrow, as hard as it is to accept, I am still excited to see what I can do and to enjoy doing something I love. I really want to celebrate my body for all it is and all it does for me. I know that my amazing family and friends back home will be cheering me on and willing me across that finish line. It will be the start of another big chapter.