Amanda, if things go OK this week then we can get back on track. Kevin
My coach doesn’t say much, he doesn’t need to. Those few words blinking through my email last Sunday afternoon made me so happy. Eight weeks of careful rehab, physiotherapy, rest, and slowly building my mileage back up were worth it. Patience is the best cure for an injury, and I had nailed it.
What better way to celebrate that news than with a trail run up Makara Peak?
I ran easy up the hill, and stopped at the peak to chat to the mountain bikers before choosing Zac’s Track for my descent. I took it slowly since the track was a bit overgrown, and was loving picking my way down through the loose rocks and rutted clay, splashing through the small streams left from last night’s rain.
Fifty minutes in to the run, and just five metres from the end of the trail my left ankle rolled on a small stone and went POP! ‘That’s new’ I thought, and came to a stop. ‘Drat!’ I said, and with a furrowed brow walked to the end of the trail, down the road, and back to my car at Karori park. Ah well, you win some you lose some.
That’s not actually what happened. As soon as I went over and felt a pop I could tell it was bad, bitch ankle had killed my vibe. I screamed ‘You FUCKER!’ in a throaty voice usually reserved for yelling at a wayward Huntaway that’s driving sheep the wrong way, and pulled up waiting for the pain to subside.
I limped down that hill sadly and slowly, reciting a rosary of unholy things and thinking about the track season that I would miss yet again. You absolute fucker.
I already had a physio appointment about my pelvic injury so didn’t even need to call about my ankle, planned that one well. After being poked and prodded on that fat foot it was decided that the lack of pain and the floundering motion that my ankle exhibited pointed to me having completely lost the ATFL ligament.
Running is a lot like snakes and ladders, sometimes you have huge wins and make big gains and it’s great! You’re always reaching for your goal, but inevitably you’re going to land on a snake once and a while and have a setback. Running is unlike snakes and ladders in that you can’t easily cheat and wipe the board clear if you’re having a bad game.
My friend Steve, who has been running and coaching for years said to me this week;
‘Keep your eyes on the donut and not on the hole’
In other words think about all of the things that you have, and not the things you don’t. It can seem unfair that just when you get over one challenge, another one comes up.
If anyone can handle it though, it’s me. If anyone can take that in their stride, work through it, and still want to keep running, keep reaching for their goal, it’s me.
If anyone can stay quiet when the group chat is blowing up about a race next weekend and not *leave conversation*, it’s maybe me…
If anyone can not own a bike for 16 years then drop $1,100 on a bike that’s far too flash for what they need just because it’s shiny, that’s also me. Add in brand new kit, some shoes, all of those pumps and holders and lever-what-evers you need, my new years resolution to save more money has gone wherever the hell that ligament went. I have somehow absorbed them both into nothingness.
Nobody really needs ligaments in their ankle or lots of savings in their bank account.
Meet me new bike! That I may or may not ride. I am posting a photo here so people know that I own it and when they see me not riding it they can buy it from me. Store that knowledge for later please.
Prior to this my cycling experience has mostly involved wineries. I have been for three bike rides with this bike so far. My bicycle tutor has been very patient but is using a lot of language that I am unfamiliar with and need to decipher.
‘Transfer your weight’ – Said as I hit a high curb at speed, I think I felt deep down what the issue was here.
‘Put it in an easier gear’ – The n00b has come to a complete stop trying to ride up a hill. But which button is the easy button? Does the big gear make it harder or easier? ‘USE LOGIC AMANDA!’
I’m not even going to talk about the M.C. Escher experience that was tyre changing, ‘Pull it back towards you then push it down.’ Which way is down?
Cycling is alright, like anything it’s a bit hard to begin with but I am sure once I get past the wind, the feeling of wearing a large padded taco on my taco, the lack of friends to ride with, and coming 1,797th on Strava segments I am sure it will become enjoyable.
If it doesn’t you might score a cheap bike.