Letter to My Injured Self

To the injured, broken hearted and lost Hayley,

I know that right now, it feels like your whole world is crumbling. You would give anything for the magic plan that is going to get and keep you healthy. You want to get back to running, swimming and biking and you want to get back fast. Girl, I wish I could give that you.Track Workout for Triathletes

Here comes the part that you don’t want to hear: you need this time, this hurt, this confusion, you need to feel alone in this, at least for a bit. Your current pain is going to bring you to the realization that you are so much more than your sport. You need to let go. Wave your white flag, surrender to this plan not because you are done but because you know that this is part of the long road. Don’t worry, sport isn’t going anywhere. You are young and smart and incredibly strong. When you want something, you let very little stand in your way. So, when the time is right, you are going to come back.

You know those long runs at the tail end of a tough training week where all you can do is focus on putting one foot in front of the other? The runs that hurt and don’t look like anything special on paper but make you so much stronger both mentally and physically? This is exactly like that. You are going to get through this, it may take 3 months or 3 years but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you are going to gain so much from this time.

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I know that right now you are scared, people know you as “the athlete”. You believe that they love you more because you swim, bike and run fairly well. Hayley, you gotta get over that. Believe it or not, even after being injured for 3 years, the good ones still love you. They don’t care if you are winning races or binge watching “The Bachelor”. If you are happy, they are happy. You will come to realize that your sport does not make you more appealing to anyone. Your character does that.

I know that you are anxious. Anxious because you care way too much about looking like an athlete. You love when people comment about how fit, how strong, or how fast you look. You put so much into maintaining that image and it is absolutely terrifying that this is going to go away. Hayley, know this: the good people don’t care what you look like and the ones that do don’t have a place in your life. Be kind to yourself. If you want to read more about identity, go here.

I challenge you to lean on your faith. It is so hard for you to give up control and trust in a plan that is not your own. You think that relying on your work ethic and perfectionism brings you peace and success. Unfortunately, this mindset also brings you a lot of hurt and shame when you don’t live up to the high expectations you put on yourself. Put your trust in Him. He has a plan for your life that is so much greater than you could ever imagine. Instead of feeling shame when you fall, you will be able to see the doors that open up because of that fall.

Hayley, so much good is going to come into your life because of these tough couple years. I encourage you to say “yes!” when you would have said “no”. From trying a new sport (cycling), to moving to a new state, even taking a job that you never saw yourself doing. Go for it! Saying “yes” when you would have said “no” is going to bring you joy, community, happiness, opportunities and best of all: these “yes” moments are going to show you that life is so much more than sport, and you have so much more to offer beyond being an athlete.honeybadger

I have to warn you, there are going to be people who doubt you. People will tell you that “maybe running isn’t for you” or “have you thought about trying (whatever else) instead?”.  Girl friend, If your heart is longing to run, you are going to run again. Choose to listen to the people who encourage you, that believe in you more than you believe in yourself, the ones that can see beyond this situation. These people are plentiful, they are your biggest fans and they will be cheering you on with every step. These people are the ones that prove that you aren’t alone in this.

Hayley, don’t forget that time passes quickly. Even in your darkest moments, you are just around the corner from light. Every time you get knocked down, you will stand back up. Before you know it, this season will be a thing of the past. Slowly but surely, you will regain fitness, speed and endurance. You will appreciate every opportunity to move and before you know it, you will be toeing the line once again.

Chin up,

Hayley

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Training Recap 10/31 – 11/6

I am excited to be posting a weekly training recap again! Like I mentioned last week, I am currently dealing with a tibial stress fracture and haven’t been able to run for 11 weeks. I am feeling 75% better but practicing patience and waiting until I am 100% to run again. I am SO thankful that I am able to swim and bike in the meantime. 

Here is my training from this past week:

Monday

AM: Masters swim 1 hour 15 minutes 

PM: Easy bike 1 hour 5 minutes

Tuesday

AM: Elliptical 1 hour + 45 minutes strength

Wednesday

AM: Masters swim 1 hour 15 minutes

PM: Bike with 2 x 10 – 30 seconds fast/30 easy (by feel) 1 hour 45 minutes total

Thursday

AM: Elliptical 1 hour + 40 minutes strength

PM: Straight swim 20 minutes

Friday

AM: Masters swim 1 hour

PM: Easy bike 1 hour 10 minutes

Saturday

Long bike 4 hours, 72 miles (longest ride since February!) + core 15 minutes 

Sunday

Rest (: 

Totals –

  • Swim: 3 hours 50 minutes 
  • Elliptical: 2 hours
  • Strength: 1 hour 40 minutes 
  • Bike: 8 hours

15 hours 30 minutes total training 

I was very happy with my training this week. I did have a bit of a scare with my injury situation. In the end it was all good and left me feeling thankful for what I am able to do, even if it isn’t what I would be doing in a perfect non-injured world. I am a little anxious to see how this next week of training goes. The time change will make it difficult to get on my bike during the week as those rides happen after work and I won’t ride in the dark. ALSO this coming week last year looked like this: 

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Can it already be that time of year?! 

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

 

 

Training Recap 12/7 – 12/13 + that hip thing

First things first, how in the world is it the middle of December already?! Time is a flyin’. 

Flying so quickly that I have missed my training recaps for the past couple weeks. 

Buuuut there is another reason for that too…

My hip. It starting bothering me again a little over a month ago and unfortunately has kept me from running for about that long too. I am really considering renaming this blog “Hayley’s Hip Issues”. Ok, not really but it has been a reoccurring theme for the past 2 years now of my life. I wish I could be positive about it but it is SO frustrating. The two times I have really felt like I was recovered and getting in the swing of running again, my hips start hurting. It is not even pain that I can tolerate and run through, it is a sharp pain that in the past two years has stuck around for months. So yeah, I am worried and upset and super duper frustrated. 

I want to be able to run for the rest of my life because I simply love running. When it comes to running it is not even about competing or going fast. It is just something I see myself doing for the rest of my life so It kills me to not be able to. It worries me to know that the last time I felt this sorta pain, I didn’t run for over 6 months. It hurts that this huge part of my life is extremely inconsistent. 

So that’s where I am at right now with running. Believe me, I am very grateful that I can still swim, bike and even walk but… I wish I could run. 

On a happier note, I still had a pretty great week of swimming and biking so let’s get to that: 

Monday: Swim 90 minutes, Base ride 2 hours, hip exercises 15 minutes

Tuesday: Bike efforts 90 minutes, Swim 20 minutes, Strength 1 hour

Wednesday: Bike efforts 90 minutes, Swim 1 hour 15 minutes, hip exercises 15 minutes

Thursday: Easy spin 30 minutes (was supposed to do longer but the indoor trainer was not cooperating), Swim 1 hour

Friday: Bike with efforts 3 hours, Strength 1 hour

Saturday: Swim 1 hour 20 minutes, Bike 90 minutes, hip exercises 15 minutes

Sunday: Elliptical/Stair master 1 hour, hip + core 20 minutes 

Totals

  • Swim: 5 hours 25 minutes
  • Bike: 10 hours
  • Run: zero but 1 hour of elliptical/stair master
  • Strength: 3 hours 5 minutes

19 hours and 30 minutes total 

That’s all I have for you guys today! 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

 

 

Training Summary 4.13 – 4.19 + a note to the injured (find your inner honey badger)

This week I had a conversation with a good friend who I ran with at Pepperdine about an injury she is dealing with. After my injury filled heartbreaking 2014 I wanted to give her the best advice I could. It made me think back to those long 12 or so months and consider what would I have done differently.

If I could go back in time I would have:

  • Committed the same amount of energy I previously used swimming, biking and running to getting better. 
  • Found some way to make going to a sports psychologist work. I started seeing one in the summer but eventually stopped going because of the expense. Ultimately the mental side of the injury was the hardest part and I wish I would have worked through that more. 
  • Seen multiple physical therapists until I found one that was just as committed as I was to getting me back to my sport. 

For some reason I felt like I should do my best to distract myself from running and sport during my injury. Not at first… but after 6 months I convinced myself I needed a break from it all. What I didn’t realize is that sport is what makes me deeply happy. All the “distractions” were actually counterproductive and could never provide me with the same feeling of satisfaction as sport. 

Injuries, especially prolonged ones, can seem like the end. It is easy to say “maybe this is a sign that I am not supposed to be doing this” but just like life, our bodies go through ups and downs especially when you are pushing their limits almost daily. The resilient always come out on top. 

So my best advice to the injured: stay focused on the long-term goal even if it seems impossible right now. Do everything in your power to get better, just as you would do everything in your power to be the best in your sport.  

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Find your inner honey badger.  

 

 

 


 On to my training recap from this past week… 

Monday: 1 hour 10 minute easy spin. Mondays and Thursdays are usually my days for some much-needed recovery.

Tuesday: AM– 3 hour mountain bike ride. PM– 35 minute run + core. 

Wednesday: 2 hour 10 minute bike with intervals + 45 minutes strength 

Thursday: AM– 1 hour easy spin PM35 minute run + core 

Friday: 1 hour 30 minute ride 

Saturday: Pre-race ride 1 hour 30 minutes

Sunday: Race day! This weekend was a circuit race. A 4 mile out and back course. I did two races, the 3/4 and the 1/2/3 race.

My first race (3/4) was 5 circuits for 20 miles.  It was fairly uneventful. I ended up 6th after getting boxed in and not being able to go for the final sprint with the top girls. 

The second race (1/2/3) was 6 circuits for 24 miles. My job was to help out our 1/2 team so I had the task of chasing any of the breaks in the first half of the race. The hope in this tactic is to get with the break but not take pulls instead acting like an anchor to bring the break back to the pack. I was successful at my job which meant I was exhausted by the end. I finished with the pack and got lots of thanks from the team for a job well done. 

With my warm up Sunday ended up being about 3 hours of riding. I headed to the gym in the afternoon for a solid hour of strength. 

Totals: 

16 hours of riding, 1 hour of running and 2 hours of strength. 

That is a wrap for today. Happy Monday, honey badgers!

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley 


What is your best advice for someone dealing with an injury?

How was your week of training?