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Wise Choices - Geek Turned Athlete

Wise Choices

I would have started off this week with an exciting 5K recap sharing with you all that I had qualified for second seeding for Bloomsday, but things don’t always go as planned.

After my 1st masters swim class on Saturday, I was SOOOOO excited about this next season. Yes, it turns out my stroke needs A LOT of work, but I am willing to work on it. I started thinking about how much potential I have, and all I have to do is work hard to nurture it. I left the pool feeling refreshed and motivated…


A couple hours later the hubs asked me to ride next to him on my bike while he ran his 14 miles to keep him company. On my first ride outside on my VERY new tri bike, riding VERY slowly, I crashed. It all happened so fast, but I do remember screaming asking Steve if the bike was okay. He told me he didn’t care about the bike, and that he wanted to know if I was okay. Everything pretty much hurt and I was bleeding pretty badly from my left palm and left knee. I told him to go ahead once I stood up, and I would catch up to him once I collected myself. This was not a hardcore crash, but I still felt battered!

We finished out the run/ride, and I didn’t feel any pain except for the superficial wounds until 6pm. My left ankle started throbbing. My head ached. My wrist started hurting. My neck and shoulders started to feel like I had whiplash. I put myself to bed very early, and the chills and fever started. After lying in bed for an hour awake because of the pain, I popped some Aleve and hoped for the best. I started getting paranoid about possibly fracturing my ankle and began googling to see if a fever and fracturing a bone was related. It turns out they are. The good news for me, is that when I awoke in the morning, I still felt like crap but the pain in my ankle had gone down a little. I was still limping though, and after failed attempt at jogging around my living room I knew I had to say no to the 5K.

Yes, a few would say, “You could have walked it,” but really, why?? The only reason I was doing that race was to qualify to start one corral up from where I am scheduled to start right now at Bloomsday. Would the chance of me moving up corrals outweigh the possible further injury of my ankle that could of even kept me from racing that VERY race in 2 weeks or even worse, hindering the rest of my season? The answer to that was a resounding NO.

I have found that the older I get, the less stubborn I have become about my racing or training. I used to be hell bent on completing a workout/race when I was injured or sick, but I’ve come to learn that it just isn’t worth it. If I can heal with rest or light activity in less time than if I just plowed through my workouts, I will do it. This isn’t a free pass to completely slack off, but I feel like I’m getting better at determining the difference between real pain/sickness and normal muscle soreness/fatigue. And you know what all of this is a sign of? Maturity. At least I would like to think so. πŸ˜‰

Races don’t define me. Running doesn’t define me as a person. Hardwork and determination do. Those traits just happen to be in the form of running, swimming, cycling, etc. A few days off isn’t going to kill me. I’m not going to lie, and tell you I was happy about missing that race yesterday. I felt so left out because my running group was running it. I had picked up my uniform the day before. I was excited, but the truth is: s$%t happens. Life goes on!!


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Here is to healing quickly and listening to my body!! We will see how my ankle feels Tuesday for my group run and teaching spin this morning. πŸ˜‰

Have you ever had to choose between possibly injuring yourself more or sucking up your pride and resting?

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 18, 2011, 7:05 am

    What a great post!

    It really does show maturity and wisdom that you’re listening to your body πŸ™‚
    I crashed when I first got toe clips and I am always nervous using my aero bars. It definitely gets easier though so keep practicing when you feel better.

    I hope you heal quickly and congrats on making the right decision for your body! πŸ™‚

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 18, 2011, 7:11 am

    Oh man, what a nasty fall. That’s too bad that you weren’t able to race the 5K, but it’s great that you know your body well enough to realize when it’s ok to run and when it isn’t

  • Erica April 18, 2011, 7:13 am

    oh my gosh! Accidents do happen WAY too fast. I’m glad you’re OK- but I’m sure that all was totally scary. Glad you’re resting and just taking it easy. Occasionally, I let my head get the best of me when I feel the desire to workout…but I try to listen to my body as much as possible. Hang in there- looks like you have a cute puppy nurse πŸ˜‰
    Erica recently posted..E- New Belgium Brewing Company Beer Bread &amp Steak Sandwich

  • Hats @ See How She Runs April 18, 2011, 7:15 am

    I think you definitely did the right thing. There’s no point risking further, more serious injury. There will always be other races , but you only have one body.
    Hats @ See How She Runs recently posted..I am awesome and I look like a Goddess

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 18, 2011, 7:20 am

    I am TERRIBLE at resting. I’m not stupid enough to run though an injury though!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Week In Review- 4-11-11-4-17-11

  • chloe@ 321delish April 18, 2011, 7:29 am

    Smart move πŸ™‚ Its a hard to face unexpected turns in our training plans…what makes us good athletes is our dedication, determination and ability to push ourselves. But what makes us GREAT athletes is the ability to roll with the punches and use our heads to balance our our hearts!

    LOVE the frozen veggie wrap πŸ™‚ Hope you feel better soon!
    chloe@ 321delish recently posted..Easiest Dinner Ever!

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 12:34 pm

      ha! Thank you. That was the work of my husband!

  • Jess April 18, 2011, 7:48 am

    VERY wise choice indeed. I am SO glad you weren’t more seriously injuried, it sounds like it was very scary and painful. Ouch! But you’re right – it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and excitement of it all and to ingore your body cues. I’m glad you listened in this case -and shared your story with us. Great reminder.

  • genesis April 18, 2011, 8:06 am

    oh man, im sorry πŸ™ i was thinking of you while i was in spokane yesterday and wondering how your race went. so sorry.

    but youre right…running doesnt define you, its your determination. keep icing and youll be right back out there.

  • Charisa April 18, 2011, 8:32 am

    Hope you heal up quick!!!
    Charisa recently posted..PossAbilities Triathlon Race Report

  • Lisa April 18, 2011, 9:12 am

    OH NO! Did you go to the doctor? Are you okay? I’m glad you listened to your body and DIDN’T race. It’s not worth it. Your health is!

    The one time I crashed on my bike I was like “Is my bike ok?” and I asked Michael if his bike was ok. He said the same thing as your hubby–that it didn’t matter, that *I* mattered. Duh. But I didn’t think about it.

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 12:39 pm

      I’m actually feeling much better today. No doctor. I think it was just muscle damage and not bone damage. I hobbled around with an ankle brace on yesterday to make sure that I didn’t injure it further. Despite some bruising, the icing and ibuprofen has been keeping the swelling down. Spin went alright this morning with only really minor pain in the arch and slight pain if I stepped the wrong way walking from the car to the gym. It is healing pretty well. I’m pretty sure it would be a lot worse if I would have run that race Sunday.

      • Lisa April 18, 2011, 12:40 pm

        I’m so glad you are feeling better! Sometimes all we need is rest and ice and we’re good as new.

  • lindsay April 18, 2011, 9:17 am

    oh no! you poor thing. I’ve done that before. Sore is right! Hopefully in a week you’l be good as new. I love how you were worried about the bike. haha.
    lindsay recently posted..High Dosage of β€œD”

  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes April 18, 2011, 10:24 am

    When I was younger I fractured (unknown to me at the time) my ankle and although it was killing me I kept running just because I was silly and stubborn. I know it took me a lot longer than it should have to heal from that injury rather than if I had just called off the run at the time. I totally agree that we make better decisions concerning training as we age!

    On a side note, I’ve decided to start training in the pool. I’m a decent swimmer but I’ve never done it as part of my training. Any tips or pointers you might have for a newbie to the pool? πŸ™‚
    Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes recently posted..Cupcake Marathon 2011

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 12:40 pm

      Read a book called Total Immersion. Go to They have lots of tips on that site too!

  • Katy April 18, 2011, 10:53 am

    Oh honey — so not the way to break in that bike!

    I’m glad that you took some time off to get better. So scary.

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 12:41 pm

      haha. I know! My husband said, “Well, at least you got it over with. You know it would have eventually happened.” I was like, “Yeah.”

  • Andrea April 18, 2011, 11:24 am

    Sorry about your ankle. Your pup looks very concerned for you. πŸ™‚

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 12:44 pm

      I think he was just upset that he couldn’t chew on the frozen vegetables wrapped around my foot! haha

  • Sarah April 18, 2011, 11:39 am

    LOL! Kai’s face in that last photo is just hilarious.

    So sorry to hear about your ankle! I saw on twitter that you didn’t do your 5k, but I’m glad you feel good about your decision. Hope you heal up soon!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 18, 2011, 11:41 am

    I hope you feel better soon! You’re right. It is good to rest up rather than injure!
    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me recently posted..A Walk and a Hike

  • Stephanie April 18, 2011, 1:11 pm

    I definitely would have asked about the bike before I figured out if I was okay.

    And now I’m dying to know – did the bike make it through unscathed? I hope so – she’s a beauty!!

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

      The bike is perfectly fine! I was there to catch its fall! haha

  • Karen April 18, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Dang girl, I hate that for you. Your new bike and everything… on the bright side you had a bag of peas in the freezer for your foot πŸ˜‰ Seriously, hope you are feeling better!
    Karen recently posted..Out for a Sunday Ride

  • Beth April 18, 2011, 5:28 pm

    I hope you heal quickly! It was definitely smart to stay off the anklle until it feels completely better!
    Beth recently posted..Knee Update

  • Toronto Girl West April 18, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Oh Nicole . . . I had no idea the fall was that bad! πŸ™

    And yes . . . I’m still nursing that fracture so other than pool work everything has been very limited for me lately. It’s not fun (not to mention I REALLY miss my high heels πŸ˜› ) but I have to keep on reminding myself that it would be foolish to end up hurt even worse!

    PS: Did you start work today?
    Toronto Girl West recently posted..Wet Noses and Marathon Monday

    • Nicole April 18, 2011, 8:51 pm

      I start tomorrow. πŸ˜‰ So nervous!! I went shopping today though so at least I will look cute. πŸ˜‰

      I’m sorry you still aren’t feeling good! You can only do what you can. Proud of you for at least sticking with the pool!

  • Jena April 20, 2011, 10:34 am

    Well Crap, that’s no good. Hopefully you are feeling better, and your ankle is pain free very soon. I also use veggies to ice. Usually 4-5 bags.. :/

    I think it was a very wise decision to just skip the 5k. Risking further injury is just not smart, especially with tri season just beginning!
    Jena recently posted..Where I come from it’s cornbread &amp chicken…

  • Nicole April 20, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Nicole, I am so glad you decided to skip the 5k. You need to listen to your body. How did you actually crash? So sorry, I’m glad your feeling better. Please rest so you can Rock your Tri.
    Love Kai, he was looking out for you!! πŸ™‚

  • Anne P April 20, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Oh nooo! So sorry to hear you got hurt, but good call on not pushing it with the 5k.


  • Marcie April 21, 2011, 11:34 am

    Always hard to know to push through the pain or stop in order to risk further damage and be down longer. I think the only one who would have said “you could have walked it” was that little competitive devil thats sits on our shouslders and beats us up….


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