So, How ya Doin', Foot?
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!