Getting an injury is an athlete’s worst nightmare. The physical pain is unbearable but the emotional distress is what hurts more. Avalanches of unanswerable questions are mass-produced in your mind: How long will it take to recover? Will I cancel my training schedule and upcoming races? What if I'm never able to run again? I got an injury following a mishap in my 10km race in the Venloop and you're right in imagining that the experience was dreadful.
It always helps to have someone to hold you up when you feel the world crumbling down. Fortunately, my husband and coach Martijn and the rest of my team were there for me every step of my recovery journey.
Every Monday morning I met my mental coach Herman Wegerijf. His advice? Take one step at a time! My Physiotherapist and masseuse, Rebecca Max, has been a great friend for many years. She knows exactly how I feel when am injured. She examined my injury and instructed that I would not run for a week. One Whole Week! She also suggested alternative training such as swimming and cycling.
The last two weeks I was training the Zevenheuvelen Youth Team. It was a wonderful experience. It helped keep my mind off the injury, got me stronger. My back was recovering and I couldn't be happier. After what seemed like eternity, last week, I took back to the track. I was finally feeling confident and decided to have a race booked on 10th April. The training last week was going well and I had no doubt about the race.
The 5 km in Korschenbroich City Lauf race was finally here. I kept recalling what Martijn Venhuizen, my coach and husband, had discussed with me. We had agreed that starting my race slow would have been a grave mistake. I am not a slow starter. We were about 30 runners at the start line. I was on the front-line; no watch around my wrist. After the start the group quickly separated into packs. I battled to stick with the group that I knew I could keep the pace. My focus was to keep going until the end. I kept moving until the finish line. I clocked 17 minutes and 40 seconds; much faster than I had run last year. Although I finished 20th, I was happy with my race. From here it can only get better!