I have been fortunate enough to have raced injury free sine the early 90's. in 2012 I started to develop bilateral heel/ Achilles pain. I managed it the best I could for almost 2 years but after walking down stairs sideways for the last 2 years and running in constant pain for the 2014, 2015 season I knew that I needed to address the issue. Not only were my results suffering but to be blatantly honest, it wasn't any fun to compete in constant pain.
I had haglunds deformity in both heels pretty bad and consequently calcification in both Achilles. They needed to reshape both of my heels and debride both tendons. I sat out the 2016 season in order to address this issue. I want to be honest and say that it was not fun to sit on the sidelines, but it was the right thing to do. I am still struggling with what I want to do next. I am a competitor at heart, but also feel like I have had a good run for over 20 years and am not fully sure if I want to commit what I feel i need to to achieve the results I used to do.
2017 is still a mystery as to what i will be able to do but I am also enjoying trying to find new challenges. I am confident things happen for a reason so if finding a new outlet is what I am to do for 2017, i will use that experience as I have all the others I have had to apply to situations I will no doubt have to council other athletes through.
So while I would like to do IMFL at the end of the year, i am considering mainly shorter races and some mountain bike races.