Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pre-Race Jitters: The Phantom Injury

Just as certain as I am that I will have butterflies and nausea the morning of a race, I can count on having a phantom injury the week before.   These weird, nagging pains that come and go out of nowhere when I am focused on racing fast in a few days.   Let me tell you my latest.

Friday afternoon I was training my final client of the day.  Towards the end of the session I thought to myself, "There must be something in the top of my shoe, my foot hurts."  As soon as I got home I kicked off my shoe and there was nothing there except a dull, painful ache on the top of my foot.  As the night went on the pain progressed and I began limping around the house.

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  I had planned to get up and run a few easy miles but I could hardly walk!  I finally put on some sneakers and managed to train my one client of the day by keeping most of my weight on my left foot.  Tried to rest for the remainder of the day, iced it and took some Advil.

Sunday things were a little better and I was able to ride and swim.  And !poof! by Monday the pain had magically disappeared.  Can someone please explain to me what that was?  No?  Well, here is my explanation.

The mind is a very powerful thing.  Not only do I pay more attention to every little ache and pain the week leading up the race but it might in fact be a higher power telling me to SLOW DOWN.   I took it easy this weekend, which is not my usual MO, but exactly what I should be doing before a big race.  So, over the years I have learned to accept my phantom injuries, give into them and back off from my usual crazy workouts.   It seems to be working so far!

Ever had a phantom injury?  What do you think is the cause?
-Coach A www.sparkmultisport.com

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