One key to successfully completing the Ironman triathlon was getting to the starting line unhurt. While there were times during training when I was babying an injury, I did get to the starting line unhurt.
It has been a different story since the Ironman. Recovering from the Ironman took a few weeks. No need to repeat that story. Once I was ready to train again my coach and I decided that in 2016 I would concentrate on the Boulder Half Ironman (70.3) and set a goal of reducing my time by an hour.
To get faster I began high-intensity training. Almost immediately I hurt my knee.
I have no idea how. I woke up one night with my knee hurting so much I was sure I somehow tore it. It was a Friday night and I made an appointment to see a doctor on Tuesday. But by Sunday the pain was decreasing so I cancelled the appointment. It would be two weeks before I could run without pain.
Once well I began track workouts to speed up my run. Two weeks of track workouts and right in the middle of a set of hard runs I pulled a groin muscle. It was nasty and left no doubt I needed to stop running—NOW!
It is coming up on six weeks since I pulled that groin and I am still trying to recover. It has been aggressively treated and is getting better but very slowly. Now I can do a slow four-mile run. I can do some endurance rides but my power is rapidly declining. My swim still sucks but that has nothing to do with my groin muscle.
I still think completing a Half Ironman an hour faster next summer is doable. But injuries will ruin a plan (ask Payton). I am going to have to re-assess how much training my old body can absorb and not break. And look at what else I need to do to keep my body healthy. It remains essential that I get to the starting line unhurt.