Mar 03 2013
A long time ago, on my “About” page, I wrote:
I’ll only call myself recovered if/when, that effort yields racing times comparable to my pre-injury performance.
And, on my “Things I think I’ve Learned” page, I wrote:
Accept that, despite your very best efforts, there is a chance the goal may not be achievable.
Prior to rupturing my Achilles, I was certain that my fastest times were still ahead of me. Being fairly new to this (very technical) sport, I knew that improvements in my form were still capable of outpacing any age related reductions in my physiological performance.
To be honest, after struggling through two post ATR seasons on the ice, I was starting to question that premise. I was starting to lose confidence that I’d ever be able to get back to my pre injury times.
Warming up at the North American Championships
Mar 3, 2013: 555 days post surgery. This was my 3rd consecutive day of racing at the North American Championships. I had a great 1000m race, finishing in 1:22.11. This time was 0.07s slower than my all time (pre-injury) personal best; which I considered to be “in the noise”. I also started from what I consider to be the significantly more difficult outer lane. Most importantly (at least to me) that was faster than 1:22.59, which is the 2012/2013 qualifying time standard for the US Masters MAT1 team for the 1K in my age group.
A few weeks later, I had almost an identical result in the 500m. Day 1 of the International Masters Sprint Games (our World Championships), I did the 500m in 41.44s, missing my pre injury personal best time by only 0.08s.
Day 2 of that meet was the last day of racing for the 2012/2013 season. I dropped my 500m time to 41.29s. A new, all time, personal best. The first PB for me in over 2 years. The first since my injury.
It took 18+ months: but I was finally back.
This picture was taken during the 1st corner of my (new!) personal best 500m race