Sunday, February 23, 2014
So, settled back in VA after my Tucson cycling adventure, the daily grind continues. Sometimes I feel like my daily schedule is overwhelming. I can, at times, barely keep above water. 5:30am swim, 8am work, 6pm 2nd workout, eat, unpack, repack, sleep, repeat. Sometimes cramming 2 workouts in before 8am... But, this is my life and my choice and so I somehow keep pace (barely). Every now and then I get a little sign to slow down (i.e. hip stress reaction, and I'll get to the second thing in just a minute….hint hint). Whether I choose to recognize the sign is another story but I feel like I'm getting better or at least have come a long way. I'd kill for the chance to train and race professionally, truly having every and all opportunities to do this right but I've got bills, a husband, student loans etc and quite frankly I'm not competitive enough to make a living doing this triathlon thing for now maybe ever. The important thing for me is to balance, the best way I can, budget time, resources etc to make it work!
Training on the bike and swimming has been going well. After gaining some fitness in Tucson, we've upped game on intensity and wattage on the bike. I'm enjoying the challenge of holding higher watts, heart rates on the bike. I've been swimming with the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins National team (aka high schoolers) on saturdays that are sure kicking my arse for a smooth 2 hours plus a 30min circuit set at the end with parachutes, cords, pull-ups, pushups, lunges, brick squats etc. OUCH. These kids rock!
Working on my position on the SHIV, thanks to Dave Luscan at DL multisport. The challenge for smaller riders is getting low enough in the front for an aggressive position. Taking advantage of the retul system, we've narrowed down where I'm comfortable, tweaking the front end a bit. Waiting on a set of new extensions and bringing in the elbow pads in on my Shimano missile pro aerobar will make all the difference. Thanks Dave!
Now on to this week. I've been using a tool to measure HRV (heart rate variability). Some of you may be familiar with this so I won't go in to a whole explanation…..but it's a tool to measure objectively fatigue i.e.. you are given a number based on a 1min snapshot of your heart rate first thing in the morning. Essentially a low number means you need more rest, maybe dehydrated, fatigued from previous workout etc. High number means you are pretty fresh and expect to rip it in your workout. Coach may want you to be at low number and train then rest and watch the numbers rise, just depends on the plan.
Anyways….noticed a whole week of LOW numbers i.e. 40s-50s and we weren't quite sure what to make of it. Looked to back off a couple of days and see if a rebound would happen. Started to get a little flank pain on the right and initially thought it was a pulled muscle. Wednesday after swim pretty painful but not unbearable. Ended up getting pretty intense in the O.R. thursday (at work) to the point I turned green with sweats and chills. My boss sent me down to the ER (how embarrassing). Luckily they took really great care of me. Diagnosis: Multiple kidney stones. SERIOUSLY? 2014 seems to be the year of ailments and I swear I don't make this stuff up. Some IV toradol (NSAIDS) and a liter of fluids and I was back in action.
Key take home points:
1. Drink a lot (of water)- I'm terrible at this but getting better
2. I'm working and training my butt off- this is hard
3. My shiv is awesome, but not quite ready, luckily I love my road bike
4. Swimming with high schoolers is fun and humbling- locker room conversations are interesting
5. I don't want another kidney stone ever
6. Oh yeah, and I did my first 10min run!!! yay
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Tucson, AZ has to be one of my favorite places on this planet. There is just something that takes over me out west. I feel like I"m meant to be out there. The beauty of the land is overwhelming. The friends, experiences and sense of being alive makes my heart smile. I know at some point I'll end up out west whether it be Cali, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana. The mountains are calling my name!!
The Cycling House is an amazing concept. Read about it here. www.Thecyclinghouse.com. Essentially, all logistics of rides are dialed in, accommodations and food are amazing. The experience is well worth it for a week of challenging training. The staff are well traveled, friendly and really create a family like atmosphere. I was so excited to see everyone again this second trip and make more great memories ie epic battles up Mt Lemmon, time trials around gates pass and hammer fests up Madera Canyon.
My favorite part of the trip minus the climbing (love to climb!) were the Tucson sunsets. The most inspiring view, Ukulele playing in the background, a cold beverage and mountains you can't take your eyes off. There are few times in normal every day life you stop and enjoy the little things.
With a sense of accomplishment I leave Tucson....until next time. Plotting our next adventure...