It's been a while since I was able to spend some time on the blog. Firstly, a crash in a local cycling race just after the Cobourg Duathlon made things very tough to sit around at a computer due to the pinching sensation in my neck and shoulder area. All I wanted to do was lie down and keep as much pressure off the area for as long as possible. I started with all sorts of physical therapy as soon as the accident happened so, thankfully, things are now starting to get back to a more tolerable state.
In the first couple of weeks, I did absolutely nothing athletically and just tried to catch up on other aspects of my life, as long as it did not require any lifting. In the third week, I was on work assignment in California so I had some extra time to attempt to get back into the swing of things. I tried to run early in the week but the pounding of the activity was forcing the nerve to pinch again so I just stuck to the recumbent bike in the gym for the first few days.
At the end of the week, our group had the opportunity to travel to South Lake Tahoe. Being surrounded by such amazing landscapes, I could not help but force myself to get in at least one awesome run at 7,500 feet. I warmed up on the bike in the hotel gym and then coated my neck and shoulder with deep heat before heading up to some serious trails that snaked through the mountain side at the Heavenly Ski Resort.
It was quite an incredible experience to run at this altitude on these extreme trails. By the time I returned to the hotel, I was ready to cancel my flight home to relocate to the mountains, immediately. Although, I am sure my family would not be too understanding of this decision...
The next day, my body was asking for a break so I just went for a long walk along the scenic lake before the town woke up. This was the perfect break I needed to get my focus back before allowing the bad habits to take over.
The week of August 27th, I was back in Mississauga but on vacation to look after my son as our daycare provider enjoyed some much deserved time off. Getting back on the scale, I started the week off much heavier than before the crash. My new goal was to get back to race weight as soon as possible so I would be ready to run when things allowed for that movement.
Seeing a few emails flying around regarding the weekly track workout, I decided being around a group setting would be a nice, motivating boost. On the Tuesday, I did a solid brick session with the FMCT Falcons at the track where we set up our trainers on the side of the track and then did laps around the circuit in various intervals. From this effort I could tell cycling was still out of the picture for me (I could not look up while seated on the bike) but at least the running was coming along.
When running, my neck and spine are straight so the pressure is released from the joint, therefore, I am not in as much discomfort. During the brick, I watched the others around me and fed off their efforts, driving my intervals beyond expectations. It was a key moment in my desire to push myself to get better, faster.
Since then, I have been working a lot harder to shed the pounds, get back the mileage in my legs and now to start ramping up the speed. Last week, I got up to 80km of running in 6 days and started to feel a bit more like my old self so I am currently planning my fall running schedule.
As my kids are getting a little older, and becoming more involved in their own pursuits, I have to get creative in putting things together to avoid timing conflicts. As I look at the available runs coming up, I am not feeling ready for a fall marathon or even a half marathon, at this point in time.
One thing I did promise myself earlier this year was to start taking more risks on the races I pick to run. I always get so wrapped up in trying to better a previous PB that I end up settling for easy and fast courses. As I looked over the list of things to come, I think I will tackle some trail runs and cross country events to push myself a little more. I need to get comfortable with the feeling of exhaustion again as I seem to be taking things too easy in recent duathlons, which will not cut it at Worlds in 2013.
A few years ago, when I was really testing my limits in weekly club Time Trails, I knew how to deal with the hurt. In races, the pain did not scare me and I pushed my limits through the entire race. I know easing through duathlons has been an issue to me and know for a fact that my running and cycling are much stronger individually compared to a few years ago. Problem is, this is not translating in the duathlon and it shows in my result times in recent events.
So, if I want to hit my long term goals (which are almost upon me), it is time to toughen up!