Friday, July 11, 2014
I'm doing a 5K tomorrow. I haven't run in a month. My foot feels better, but there are still times it aches. Tomorrow's run is a test.
Last Wednesday evening, I had a bad session in the pool. It wasn't terrible. When I was talking myself down off the "I'm going to throw myself into this pit of despair" ledge, I recognized I did several laps without the snorkel, and I am getting better at it. But I had a few moments of thinking this isn't worth it, and I should just give up and go back to being the really fat woman who rides her bike everywhere.
One of my problems is that swimming seems to bother my ankles. Seriously. I got runners' knee from riding my bike and sore ankles from swimming. Did my body not get the memo about swimming and riding being non-impact sports that are good for my joints?
Wednesday was one of those day that nothing felt right. I kept getting water in my snorkel. I couldn't focus. I couldn't seem to get a rhythm.
Thursday, my legs (calves & hamstrings) were sore. I wish I could use html, so that I could write "sore" in red. Sore like they haven't been in a long time. I wore compression sleeves on my calves all day yesterday. If it wasn't 100°F, I would have been wearing compression tights.
And then I remembered: I rode a longer (ca. 30 mile) route home Tuesday evening. I haven't been riding long distances because I'm spending more time on other sports to prepare for my next triathlon. This particular thirty mile route includes one category 5 climb. It's barely a ripple to some cyclists, but to this pudgy, middle-aged cyclist, it's a hill. From there, the route continues an imperceptible climb of about 160' over the next seven miles. I never felt like I was climbing, but I wasn't coasting, either.
My Garmin recorded the temperature as the mid-90's, but two signs I passed in the last third of the ride reported the temperature as 99° and 101°, respectively. The humidity was around 20%, so as long as I was moving I didn't feel hot. And I never lacked for water to drink.
The reason I've written all this is it occurred to me this morning that my legs are probably really sore because of the heat and long-ish ride with a hill. I stretched afterwards, and I made myself a banana-cherry flaxseed soy protein smoothie (with tart cherry juice, even!). I ate some Honey Stinger chews and a Hammer gel packet during the ride. I don't think I got enough electrolytes to help my muscles heal fast enough to do the swim the next day. (I used to rely on Gatorade. But I won't combine a solid glucose source (chews & gels) with Gatorade, because it's too much glucose all at once. That dehydrates, because the body needs water to get the glucose out of the gut and into the blood.)
I'm trying to get up and walk around frequently today. I want to keep my legs lose.
And here's the crazy part: I'm planning to ride my bike to the 5K staging area tomorrow. It's about ten miles. My hope is that the ride will loosen my legs up. Riding in the car causes them to tighten up. I'll be there early enough that this won't be a brick workout. And I don't really care about the outcome of this run. It's a color run, so I'm hoping to have fun. I want to test my foot a little, but if I have to walk the entire way, so be it. And it will give me the opportunity to ride in the heat, which I really enjoy. This time, though, I will intersperse chews with Gatorade. And lots and lots of water!
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I recently noticed that the club's pool schedule has changed for the summer. The lap pool is available at 4:30 p.m. every day, so I can swim after work.
Swimming with a snorkel is helping. I end each session in the pool with a lap or two of swimming without the snorkel. I feel like I'm "getting" it, but with a catch: it is a LOT easier to breathe on the right side. I'm resisting the temptation to swim breathing only on the right side because I know it will create more problems in the long run. But it is tempting! (If any reader is thinking of chiming in that I should breathe every third stroke, thereby automatically switching sides, don't. I am not fit enough to do that. I was breathing every stroke because I needed the air. I'm pleased that my fitness has improved enough that I can breathe every other stroke. I'll get there, but for now, I can only breathe every third stroke for about a minute before I need to shorten the time between breaths.)
Oddly, the increased time in the pool seems to be bothering my left ankle. It's the one that's been gimpy of late, along with my self-diagnosed possible case of emerging plantar fasciitis. I hope continuing to swim strengthens the connective tissue, and that this is just a bump in the road. But, truth be told, I'm getting a little weary of bumps in the road.
I'm doing a 5K this Saturday. That will be about a month without running. I'm going to try running, just to see how the foot & ankle feel. My doctor's appointment is the following Friday; if my foot goes back to being an achy lump of fire, at least I'll be able to tell the doctor that a month was not a long enough break. After the 5K, we're driving to Boise to watch the Twilight Criterium. I'm hopeful that I can still walk after the 5K (and then sitting in a car for hours).
It's warmed up here. It was around 100°F yesterday and it will be 100°F again today. I drove home last night so that I could swim. I'm looking forward to tonight's ride. Yeah, it's hot, but as long as I'm moving I don't really feel the heat. I may take a 20- or 30-mile route home. I packed some energy chews, just in case. Yeah, it's a little nuts, but I haven't ridden since last Wednesday. I miss the bike!
Tomorrow will be an exciting stage in the Tour de France. The riders will be crossing the cobbled sections that are used in the Paris-Roubaix race. They're referred to as "The Hell of the North." Fabian Cancellara has a bike specially made for the cobbles, and I'm really looking forward to watching him ride. I'm going to come in late tomorrow because I simply have to watch this stage. Ah, the Tour: the one thing that gets avid cyclists off their bikes and onto their couches, during the middle of the summer.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Over the last month or so, I've been working on my diet. I've slacked off on obsessively logging foods. I'm paying a lot of attention to the quality of what I eat. I'm trying to avoid deep-fried things as much as possible. This new direction stems from reading a couple of Matt Fitzgerald's books.
Last weekend, The Hubs and I ate pizza for dinner Saturday night, and then he wanted to eat dinner at a restaurant on Sunday night. (The man worked more than 140 hours in that two-week pay period. He deserves a little pampering.) I had a sloppy, greasy cheeseburger and tater tots.
Today, a bunch of my co-workers brought in stuff for an impromptu 4th of July celebration. I ate two massive cookies, two large servings of potato salad and baked beans, several chocolate-covered strawberries, and a burger. I would really like to puke right now.
I feel like crap. I'm putting the bulk of the blame on the cookies. I suspect that is simply too much sugar, too fast. I have a strong family history of Type II diabetes, and I find that if I ingest a lot of sugar quickly I get woozy and headachy. I'm planning to go swimming this evening. I really hope I feel better before then!
This experience is a nice reminder. Eating well not only pays dividends in the long run, sometimes eating stuff I should avoid comes with immediate consequences.
Tonight, I will have a ridiculously large salad with some blue cheese and rice. Simple, clean, healthy. And I will feel better!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
As late as 4:50, I was debating whether I should ride home or drive. Despite the weariness, and the random pains in my legs and my achy back, I decided to ride.
Within a couple of minutes, I was debating taking the route home on the south side of the Columbia River. It's 15 miles; the normal route I take home is 10. I decided to go for it.
So glad I did. Days like this remind me that I am a roadie at heart: I was having a *bleh* day, and getting on my bike made it all better.
I love you, my little red rocket.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
"Give it your all today!"
Shut up. You too, Fitbit. If I only walked 4763 steps yesterday, I had a damned good reason.
My back hurts. My foot hurts. I'm weary, and no amount of caffiene will break through this fog. Random stuff is hurting. WAAAAAAAH!
I plan to ride home tonight, in the hopes that will improve my mood. Forcing myself to sit out the runs is making me crabby. I really need to get in to see my chiropractor - which I should have doen BEFORE the triathlon ten days ago - because my back is getting achier and stiffer. And some point, I won't be able to get out of bed. And I don't know how well I'll be able to swim Thursday morning if my back is all knotted up.
Maybe it's the weather: it's back down into the 60's and cloudy, and it rained quite a bit last night. This morning, I caught myself thinking, "My foot doesn't feel that bad ...." No no no no no! No running.
Take the break, Kim. Enjoy the down time. Don't be an idiot.
And maybe have another cup of coffee.
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