Makin’ Waves

May 9, 2008

Yesterday was a workout disaster to put it lightly. I sat in a boardroom all day with a good sized collection of my superiors discussing the program I run and assessing how well I do it and what changes should be made. I don’t think I relaxed AT ALL until nearly 3 hours in the meeting when the conclusion was voiced that my program has not only met, but far exceeded everyone’s original objectives. After that I started breathing a little easier.

Then I went to the pool. Which sucked. My entire body ached and hurt for no good reason that I could identify. After 700 yards I threw my goggles onto the deck and got out in frustration. It later occurred to me that sitting in a room with no windows at a big table discussing my professional future all day might have resulted in some residual tension. So I did not beat myself up about my swim. Instead I went home and took it out on my IT band with my foam roller.

GB gave me some harder truth last night about me carrying around all sort of stress without talking it over with anyone. I have about 4 or 5 burly stressors on my plate and as a result of bottling it all up, I have become quite unpleasant to live with. So I let a lot of it go last night and had myself a good cry. Which doesn’t seem to be over this morning but that’s okay.

AND THEN….I went to masters swim this morning. Well rested (because that is the one advantage the injured have over the rest) and fired up. I knew the second my fingertips hit the water that today would be great, and it was.

I am usually (okay, always) very quiet at swimming. I am not there to yammer on about this and that and the party you went to last night or the pair of socks you’re knitting. I’m there to swim and that’s what I do. So there are a number of people at masters that have probably never ever heard my voice. Until today.

The coach was asking us for our goal times for a 50. People were calling out numbers and all of a sudden turretts-style, I just loudly yelled out a number. A number that was several seconds lower than the numbers people were calling out in the 2 lanes above me. There was a little awkward silence and a comment about me clearly being in the wrong lane if I could swim that fast. I just smiled because I was feeling awkward and didn’t know what else to do.

Then we did the 50 and I nailed that time I had called out. The coach made a huge deal about it because I think it was the fastest time anyone did for that 50. Then people decided it was open season on me and started mocking my new Splish suit saying things about me being a “pool shark” (which the ass of my suit claims I am). Much like middle school, I reassured myself that the mocking was just jealousy. Although I am having second thoughts about my suit since I realized that I am the only human being over 5 years old with an animal on their swimsuit. Oh well.

After that I went on to kick some more ass in a series of 100s that I was swimming over 5 seconds under my normal pace. The coach moved me up, not one, but TWO lanes to the VERY TOP!! People were shifty. People were unsettled. And there I was with a big grin and a stupid shark on my suit having the best day ever. And I was swimming right on the toes of those girls in that top lane. They were not pleased. I bet they all go out and order Splish suits today. HA! So I have found the upside to being injured…!


A New Approach

May 7, 2008

So my first approach to an apparent injury was to whine and cry.  I have now moved on (for the most part).  I saw a woman yesterday who does great rehab work using a combination of Somatics and Pilates.  She is a complete body genius and did not disappoint.  It is not the first time I have called her in a panic and she has squeezed me in at the last minute and I would venture to guess it may not be the last. 

Her assessment of the situation is that my IT band is tight and irritated and sticking to my quad and hamstring (which I believe is pretty common in runner-types).  This is pulling my knee cap off track thus causing pain.  So the good news?  Well, there are two pieces: 1) it is very treatable and 2) I have my first runner-type injury so I think that makes me officially a runner…right?  (just say yes, it will make me feel better).

She wailed on my IT band pretty hard until I cried like a baby and then she wailed on it a little more saying “I’m sorry, but this will make it heal quicker”.  Then she had me roll it out on a foam roller so I could make myself cry, which I did.  So now I have lots of rehab work to do which is great.  I can spend all my non-training time working this thing out and learning how to HTFU in different ways.  And I’m not kidding, last night I started crying just THINKING about rolling it out again.  I’m going to have to start visualizing my races while I do this stuff so I can keep my eye on the prize.

This all comes at a very high stress time in both my personal and work life.  Coincidence?  Perhaps not.  I think I will add some early morning quiet time to my schedule and try to see this training down-time as a little bit of a gift.  Maybe I will plant a vegetable garden after all…


May 5, 2008

I’m not gonna lie.  (Well, not about this anyway).  I’m struggling.  After 4 months of virtually pain-free and illness-free training, I have hit a bump in the road.  And I’m a little pissed off about it.  I have a pain in my knee that resembles ITBS.  I’m walking a little gimpily, running not at all, and my knee is NOT begging me to be pushing circles on a bike.  So i guess it’s a good thing my new Splish suit arrived this weekend and I invested in much-needed new goggles.

Yesterday I was ridiculous.  I would sit there icing it and reading about what it COULD be or what it SEEMED like on the internet while intermittently bursting into tears.  My coach suggested I see an ART therapist which I thought meant an art therapist – like the kind who paint and draw.  So I sat around the house contemplating the potential benefits of art therapy for my leg until I realized that ART was an acronym not a way of emphasizing the word art.  It didn’t help that the email contained only two sentences: “Go see an ART therapist.  Trust me.”.  And just so you know how much I apparently trust my coach, I was all ready to go out and purchase a set of watercolor paints in order to take my training to the next level.  It’s sick, really…

Anyway, I called an A.R.T. therapist – can you believe she doesn’t work on Sundays???  WTF??!?!  Doesn’t she know this is an ATHLETIC EMERGENCY!!!??  I NEED HER ART!!  We also had dinner at our friends’ house last night.  One of them is a chiropractor and pointed out that my fibula on the painful leg is considerably further forward than on my other leg.  Of course I could just see the joyous fire in her eyes when she said “oh yeah, I could just pop that right back into place”.  I backed away slowly saying “no thanks, I’ll try watercolors first…”.  Call me crazy, but I’d rather paint my emotions any day than have someone moving my bones around in ways that just feel….WRONG.  I hate being adjusted.  If I started a religion, the basic premise would be loving peace, triathlon for all, and NO chiropractic adjustments.  To be fair, I’ve seen it work wonders for some people, but I am just not a fan of it for MY body, thanks.

Hopefully today either the art therapist or the A.R.T. therapist will call me back and I can get to work on fixing this problem.  I have a big training week ahead and I am just not in the mood to miss out on any of the good stuff.

Staying Healthy

May 2, 2008

I have been hard at work getting/staying healthy and resting my knee so that I can continue with an uninterrupted season.  It’s ridiculous how hard it is giving up a couple of hours of workouts in a week.  I go into complete guilt mode.  It makes me laugh when I think about how in past years I used to frivolously exchange and skip workouts on a whim.  These days missing a workout makes me crazy.  I have a new appreciation for Marit and her 6 week and 3 day hiatus from the physical aspect of triathlon.  Anyway, my knee is not entirely loving life but it seem to be coping and has appreciated a rest from running.  I also seem to  be getting my fire back after my little meltdown on the track this week.

Yesterday I rode the computrainer course for a race I’m doing in June.  I started my warmup with it in 3D mode and had to get the guy to change it because I was a) getting motion sick and b) very frustrated that I would have to watch that girl’s ass the entire ride and would never be able to catch her because she was supposedly me…!

Anyway, my coach had suggested that I go after an average of xxx watts.  I laughed to myself when I read that.  After a few days of lighter training and no running, I knew I would never settle for wattage like that.  She had instructed me to can my legs GO ALL OUT and that was exactly what I was going to do.  So I busted my ass for 40kms or so on a VERY hilly course and brought home xxx + 9 watts.  I was pleased.  And still am.  Originally – before knee pain – the plan was for me to do a t-run off the bike.  I was SOOOO tempted to do so because I was feeling good, but I remembered my insistence that Marit take care of herself during her recovery and took my own advice.  So no t-run, and another day for my knee to recover.  Of course my legs are not entirely sure what hit them this morning, but that’s a good feeling.

Getting off the bike after a course like that and running 10k will be another story, but at least now I have an idea of what I’m in for prior to the race.  And now I’m even more pleased that I live in a hilly area.  Tonight I have a swim and then GB’s sister and brother-in-law are coming for the weekend.  The weather is not promising to be especially nice, but I think the good company will make up for that.