This is an update on what has been going on lately, probably extremely boring to the casual reader but I know some have been following my progress to race day so this is mostly for them and for other brave souls who can endure..
It's been a bit since I have blogged. In short, I have been consumed with getting ready for my event and overcoming some problems I have had with my ankle. Fortunately for me, I caught this issue early so I am not too set back by it. I believe I have a very early onset of achilles tendonitis, mostly characterized by weakness in my left ankle and soreness in the achilles area. This is not a surprise since I have tight hamstrings, glutes and calves.
I used to visit a chiropractor but got away from it. I knew my hips are out of alignment and from all of the sitting on my job and at home, my muscles stiffen up and also pull things out of alignment. All of this put together causes one side to take a pounding and the other side to compensate...all of which is bad news.
-The GOOD news....
I have FINALLY got it through my head that stretching is important. I would only stretch as a casual pre-cursor to a long run or ride. More often, it is a response to fix a problem, not prevent one. *sigh* .. you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him THINK....
Unsure if it was because of my macho midlife mindset or if I am simply dumb. Maybe I relegate stretching to the ladies in tights doing a Pilates class, then again, maybe it is some of the conflicting info about the benefits of stretching or the lack of benefit with no measurable performance gains etc....
The end result is that I am wiser not to mention my sense of male invincibility is fading everyday.
The treatments coupled with an aggressive stretching program is working well and today, I am about to put all of that to the test I am headed out shortly for my first real "brick" workout (tri-speak for a bike-run workout to train for the bike-run transition). It is a fairly low mileage ride but I am keeping everything low key, just consistent.
Better to go into the event fully rested, fresh, and healed where you have room to push yourself than to let anxiety drive the training and be beat up on race day.
Going to be doing a 30 mile ride followed by a 2 mile run.
Another thing that has been wearing on me is the sheer amount of money I am dumping into all of this. Granted, starting anything up is always the most costly and once I have these things, they are mine and hopefully will not need replacing for some time to come. I am hitting spending fatigue and I am not one for running out and grabbing every trinket that promises results, I am just talking about what I feel are necessary items. I am not far from being done with getting stuff.
I am going to be buying another set of tires in a few weeks and putting them on in a few weeks so I will have fresh racing rubber. While it will not guarantee that I wont get a flat, it will go a long way to making sure that it is only a freak accident and not because I was too cheap to put quality tires on. It would make my head explode if after all of the money I have spent in support of my dream to crash and burn on the bike course because of something unrelated to conditioning. Yes I know how to change a flat but I don't want to lose time and mental energy dealing with a crisis. I will need it to finish. I have had EXCELLENT success with my Continental Gatorskin tires on these ugly Michigan roads and the $70 I will spend to get new ones will be worth the peace of mind. Our roads are pretty crappy up here and riding them can be likened to having a Zumba class in a minefield. These tires have earned my trust.
Oh the things I wont put myself through to get a medal.
I am reminded of a quote from Napoleon-
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon" 15 July 1815.
To the captain of HMS Bellerophon.
HMS Bellerophon carried Napoleon from the Ile d'Aix to Plymouth
before he was transferred to the HMS Northumberland and taken into exile on St Helena.
It is in undertakings such as this that I am put into the iron forge and refined. I am forced to evaluate and re-evaluate everything about me, what makes me tick, why I do things and more importantly- wont do things. Then to come up with a way to pull out the stops to make it happen. Gaining the wisdom to be smarter, not train harder, to quit forcing square pegs into round holes. I push myself because when it is all over, I come out stronger and more capable.
A life unchallenged is not worth living.