Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tough Decision


Well this is a lot less fun to write then a post-race victory report!
I started feeling some pain in my right hip on a run last Thursday, but didn't think much of it. I did the usual ice, roller, massage to keep it under control. I trained for the rest of the week with the pain not going away, but not getting any worse. I arrived in Edmonton and took a few days off running with the hopes that it would settle down. My dad arranged a precautionary MRI, just to confirm that it wasn't a stress fracture. The MRI was completely unnotable. No fracture, not even any inflammation or irritation visible in the muscles or tendons. I was relieved that it was nothing serious, but confused as to why "nothing" could be so painful! Certain that I'd be okay to race, I spent the next few days getting treatment and resting. I had an ultrasound the day before the race to see if there was any tear in the muscle that was not visible in the MRI, and they found a tiny 0.5 cm strain. Again, nothing major, but enough to cause some pain. I decided that I would wait until race morning to see how it felt, but I think I knew in the back of my mind all along that running would not be a smart idea.

I had a whole city excited about my recent success and looking forward to watching me race at home, and I let them down. My friends came down with T-shirts and signs, and I let them down too. I've been so touched by how understanding everyone has been. It really is about the big picture at this point, and I need to be healthy for London in August. This feels like a big deal today and I'm so sad, but hopefully I can look back in a few weeks and be happy with my decision. It's a small bump in what has been a pretty awesome road so far.

Thanks for understanding everyone, and thank you to everyone who worked so hard to try to get me ready in time. I'm in very good hands!

See you on the start line in London, healthy and ready to go.

Paula

17 comments:

Franck said...

Good decision Paula !

You have to be healthy to race against Emmie in London ;-) .

Hope you the best.

Franck

(France supporter of Emmie & Paula)

Philip Faster said...

Enjoy the camp-train hard win easy! Didn't get the autograph for my daughters! "peace officer"

Racing Raisins said...

Pain is temporary... Giving up is permanent.

You inspire me a lot! Keep on updating your blog... I follow every post you make! Haha! Hoping to meet you someday. :)

Raizel from the Philippines

Drew said...

Hey Paula,

All of Edmonton supports you and your decision! Keep healthy and crank it out in London. We all look forward to seeing your successes in the future!

Kind Regards,
(Local Edmonton resident)

Richard said...

Paula, As someone who made an injury worse by trying to train through it, I can say with certainty that you made the right decision. Your family, friends, and fans (like me) back your decision. We want to see you race at your peak. I hope that you recovery quickly. --Richard (random age grouper from the States)

JLW-PT said...

I would think your friends would be proud - not let down. You've made a very smart and wise decision. As a physical therapist, the stories I could tell of patients racing when one should have rested and entire seasons lost. I can't wait to see you kick some serious butt in London (this year and next year)!!
Jen (Canadian living in Florida)

Triangelica said...

What an awesome anecdote..!
And what a good thinking, you must be with your 100% performance in London..! I'll be awaiting you on tv!
Take care

Nicole said...

You have let no one down by making this very hard decision.

Looking forward to seeing you race in London and Beijing

Joel said...

I've made choices that felt awful, but deep down inside I knew that they were the right things to do. This is obviously one of those for you. Remember, that you made the correct choice. I know that your friends/family/fans would have loved to have seen you race, but I can't think that anybody is upset.

I've waited since last year to do my first multisport race this year. My knee had other plans. It got me down for a bit, but now I'm just looking forward to next year! There's more chances for me, and more Edmontons for you!

“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body” Publilius Syrus

Heather and Andrew said...

Definitely the right choice. Get healthy and back to kicking butt and taking names on the WCS.

We look forward to seeing you strong and healthy again on the start line in London.

spindoc said...

So hard to make this kind of decision! It's harder than giving in and racing I think. We all just want you to get better and be able to race the rest of the season.

Great job Paula!

Carl Karcher said...

Dear Paula: I am a great admirer of your immense talent but am particularly impressed with your modesty and humbleness. The pressure to want to please others can sometimes feel overwhelming. You did the right thing in foregoing this competition - after all, the other gals need a chance to win once in a while! Looking forward to seeing you capture the gold in London. Kindest regards, Carl.

Gaurav Rai said...

Hi Paula,

I Just saw you race on BTV, it was a replay. I thought you did so well especially when Jenkins had such a lead. You are a champion. Your decision to not race is the best decision...Wish you all the very best.
Gaurav

Bettini said...

Goodness you are fun to watch! I hate to hear about an injury that set you back, but take it from an athlete that had that femoral neck stress fracture you possibly feared... listen to your body. It speaks for a reason.

Continue your quest! I want to continue to enjoy watching you and using your success as inspiration for years to come.

Ishty said...

You didnt let anyone down sweetie.. Listen to your body and rest.. You will be your fantastic self in London.. Cant wait to see you there..:)

Karrn Bales said...

Hi Paula,
Thank you for sharing your very inspirational story. We are writing an article for 220 Triathlon magazine, and it is about triathletes and hip injuries. We would love to share your perspective. Can you send me an email, and I'll send you a list of interview questions (or arrange a skype interview)? I apologize for contacting you via this forum (I promise we are not stalkers!), but we haven't been able to reach you through other means.
Thank you!
Dr. Karrn Bales, sports medicine (with Dr. James Bales, orthopedic surgeon and pro triathlete)
kebales@gmail.com

laura Vaughn said...

paula,
i remember training in swimming with you when i was 12 and you were 11.... you always swam an extra 500 after i quit and swam with the cousins instead! I hope that nothing has changed for you because nothing has changed for us. we all respect and love you so much--for all of your hard work, dedication, and commitment. i hope every day that you achieve all that you deserve.
GO TEAM PAULA!
love cousin laura.