Monday, January 7, 2013

Starts and Stops

Seems like once I get going on one front, another comes crashing on backwards.

The only worthy analogy for my geekdom would be the game of Risk, whereby you attempt to conquer the world. The problem, of course, is that at some point your defense in one area becomes weak as you try to conquer another part of the globe.

So, without further adieu, we'll break this one down into separate components on the training front: Swim, Bike, and Run:

Swim: Hey, there's this thing called improvement!
Well, whaddya know: this seems to be working. Big time. One of the Sustainable Athlete coaches, Kelsey Abbott, has been doing some work with me on improving my swim. Not just from a time perspective, but also from an injury one: we're trying to eliminate the possibility of that left shoulder becoming inflamed again.

The main change to my stroke is in hip drive; as in, the entire stroke is originating from the hip itself. No more stroke counts per length, or distance per stroke exercises. Instead, the entire focus is on streamlining and hip drive. By working with that hip drive, it quiets my shoulder down a lot, and also creates less lag time in the water. Before, I would stall a little bit as my left hand entered the water. That's getting eliminated.

I knew things were starting to work a bit better when, after contracting what I'm calling The Airborne Zombie Virus Vaccination Flu, I was able to hop back in the water on consecutive days and lock in on 1:32/100meters for sets. Now, yes, I know that's still painfully slow. But it's a vast improvement over my previous mess.

The next key, for me, is trying to find some people to follow around who are better than I am. I find it far easier to push when in a group dynamic than when alone in the pool; it's tough to try and find an extra gear when, with that previous slow-as-hell pace, you're the fastest person in the water by a mile.

Bike: Still nothing.
On the horizon is a new member of the Heisler household. Just a matter of finishing up the procuring of said bike. More to come on this in the following weeks. And hopefully soon, as Friday Night Fights is about to kick off...

Run: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
Hey, this is a family space.

I've been cooking along at a pretty good pace, well, ever since the end of triathlon season. I've had some pretty good runs, some PRs at the 5K/10K distance, and been looking forward to crushing some dreams on the run this year.

Well, hold the phone. Someone else has some plans.

Went out yesterday to preview the Mid-winter Classic 10-mile course. It's a pretty hilly course, but the weather was as great as it could possibly have been.

Now, let's keep in mind a couple of things as I headed out for this 10-mile run:

  • My last "long" run was 8 miles on December 23rd.
  • I started getting sick with the Airborne Zombie Virus Vaccination Flu on Christmas Eve.
  • I went to the clinic on Boxing Day with the AZVVF, an ear infection, and a sinus infection.
  • I didn't start running until this past Tuesday, when I went out for all of 20 minutes, and followed that up with a 30 minute run on Saturday.
Translation: nobody has ever accused me of being all that smart.

Went out at a pretty comfortable pace, felt pretty good. Tried to toss a couple of intervals in, and my lungs laughed at me. OK, not a problem. I know it's a little ambitious to expect things to be all there with how little running I'd done. But I figure the body will hold up...

...and I thought wrong.

My right knee decided that screaming out in pain at about 9 miles was going to be a great idea. At first, I chalked it up to my tights being more like a screen-door at this point, and the patella capture device that they have on them moving all around. But as I sit here today with my knee still pretty well pissed off, I'm starting to think it's a little more substantial than that.

The pain's on the lateral side, basically in the space below the patella itself, and outward towards the tibia/fibula region. It's basically where ITB pain would be, except moved down 3-4 centimeters, if that makes sense.

We'll see how today's off-day will go. And then pick up tomorrow to see how things feel.

Really, I need to keep reminding myself that the goal is to kick some ass come race season and to go into Rev3 Cedar Point healthy. There's going to be setbacks, and the better I do getting things settled now the better off I will be come race season. Just need to settle, and remember: it's only January. If we're in the middle of April and things are like this...then we can get worried. But now's not the time for panic.

Beyond that, we've got lots of trips! Off to Colorado for the Rev3 Team Summit towards the end of the month, and then we're going back to Colorado a week and a half later to do a footwear vendor training. Just a traveling fool these days!

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