August 26, 2016
Renee Makimaa - A SOAS Brand Ambassador's take on training through injury.
I am an endurance junky. I love racing the 70.3 distance. Although training for it can sometimes be a challenge. I work full time and have two young daughters, so every minute of my day is put to use. Up for the first workout before the sun comes up and back for the second workout after work. I never considered racing a 140.6. I didn’t know how I could possibly find more time to train. Well, this was the year. After coming home from the NYC Marathon last year, I decided to sign up for Ironman Florida. During my training for New York, I struggled with Achilles issues. It took me a while to feel good again after that race. In January, I raced HITS Naples 70.3. I struggled through the run. My left shin gave me terrible trouble. A few weeks later, I knew I was in trouble when my gate changed in an effort to avoid the pain. So I spent the next two months swimming and biking and doing therapy on my leg in hopes to be back on the road soon.
After taking the directed time off from running, I slowly started back on the road. Three weeks into it, I had another crippling run. Beyond frustrated, I went for an MRI which confirmed a Tibia stress fracture. Into the boot I went for the next 7 weeks.
As I often do when I am struggling, I thought of my amazing SOAS teammates. These are some of the strongest women I know. They inspire me every day with their amazing accomplishments. A group of women who have become my family. We share our journeys with each other. The training, the racing, the struggles, the injuries, the magical moments of exceeding our goals. We support each other in sport and in life. We share our triumphs and our struggles, from work stress, to being a single parent, to difficulties starting a family, to divorce, to devastating life threatening diagnosis. And we are reminded that it is the struggles that pull us closer together and make us stronger as a team and an individual. It is in these moments that I find gratitude.
I am now 11 weeks out from Ironman Florida. I have spent a lot of time focused on my swim and my bike, but have much room for improvement. I worry about how I will hold up on the run. But I am listening to my coach. I believe in him. Knowing that whatever race day has in store for me, I know I will have done everything I possibly could have to be prepared.
I chose this. I am enjoying the journey; because it is not just about race day, but all of the moments that bring you to the start line. And those are the moments that I will take with me on race day.
So when the alarm goes off at 4am for my first workout, the question I ask myself is, “How bad do you want it?”…and the answer is my feet hitting the floor.
- Renee Makimaa