It has taken me way too many years to understand the recovery is where we get faster. This year with 2 different instances of cracked/bruised ribs and chest contusions has taught me that pushing the redline always comes at a price especially with my most recent trail running injury. This is year is slightly different since I am self-coached and need to re-evaluate on a daily basis the balance of stress and recovery I have placed on my body.
The other important part of this post is the story. About 2 years ago I was racing in a local cross race with my friend Amy Dombroski. She was using gift certificates from her massage therapist, Ed Westhead as prizes for the race. I remember an amazing race where I fought really hard with a then Chloe Forsman and even made Amy look over her shoulder in one switchback:) Chloe really brought out all the fight that I had that day and I finished with some great memories and a great effort under my belt...besides some new friends:) As we know, Amy was hit and killed by a truck while training in Belgium last September and many of us in the cross world and her world will remember her forever. I was actually hit by a car about 6 days before Amy was when commuting to work and the news of her death was so unsettling to me based upon my recent experience that I can soundly say it changed the way I looked at racing, life, and everything important to me. I still believe in a way she is with us, looking over our shoulder on training rides and races...telling us to go harder and dig deeper and making us remember why we do the things that we do.
Ed was touched by Amy like so many of us were and I think when I emailed him about a month ago asking if I could use the gift certificate, it brought back some memories of an amazing girl and racer with a huge heart. Since then Ed has been working with me through massage on ways to reduce injury and improve recovery. I have noticed my ITB is no longer as painful or tight as it normally is this time of year and that my running form has improved since am not carrying all the stiffness and soreness around from my regular training load. Before I write more all I can say is thank you Amy and thank you Ed. Both amazing people that I am so happy I have gotten to know.