Monday, February 25, 2008

I just might pull this off...

Day one of the attitude readjustment seems to have gone well, despite work being intensely lame today. Seriously, it shouldn't take 5 hours to repair a mail server...but this isn't an IT blog, so enough about that.

I made it through day one without soda, which taxed me a bit. It really hurt at about 3:00 when I finally got sore from last night's reconditioning exercise. I was 50/50 about going to the pool tonight, given last week's abysmal performance (not to mention the four days it took for it to stop hurting when I breathed), but I wound up there. I took the night's workout and figured I'd do some, see how I felt maybe pull back at race distance, or 1500 yards. For reference, tonight's workout was 3450 yards. We have one hour to do it.

Anyway, I got in the pool and immediately just felt good. I started swimming and I knew a couple of lengths in that I was going to go for it. I wound up finishing 3200 yards. I didn't lose feeling in my left side. It doesn't hurt to breathe. My core is a bit sore, between last night and this session, but that's to be expected.

The road to recovery begins. Next up, apart from some hotel ab work, is Iron Mountain. I'll talk more about that later on.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Inactivity, Insanity, Irritability

This past week, I hit the wall. Hard. How hard? Hard enough to leave a Ryan-shaped, splayed out impression cracked into the mortar. I could say "you should see the other guy," but frankly the wall, despite my mass and near-terminal velocity, steadfastly withstood my assault. I didn't take it very well, either, and while I've picked myself up and begun the process of cleaning away the rubble, I have to say sorry to Veva, who got stuck at the aid station with me on Saturday. It was a bad morning.

That covers irritability, on to inactivity and insanity.

As you know, I've been hurt. Still am, actually. Starting with the bruised ribs that I keep trying to train through and graduating into a case of plantar fasciitis. For the last couple of weeks all I've really been able to do is modified duty, holding back on swims and not running. It makes me crazy, having to watch the team training while I stand still. Add to that a severely sub-stellar week at the office and off the reservation I go, down into a deep dark hole. It doesn't take much brain power to see that this is an untenable situation.

So I stopped, took a good long look at my season and realized that I am in serious danger of wasting my trip to Kona. This simply will not do. I'm still hurt, only time and rest can fix that, but with only about 6 weeks to race day, time is in short supply. If I can't follow the program, I have to make my own. So tonight I started my own rehab program. Two hours of spinning, balance, and body work, to be followed by Aleve and sleep. On top of that, I'm going to try and cut booze and soda until race day, which is going to hurt, probably more than my ribs and foot together, but I've got to hit a race weight and be in the best shape possible, given the deadlines and physical constraints.

I need to get my head in the game, and the only thing I can do is to attack the problem straight on and push through it, maybe around it, but definitely, unequivocally, past it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today's Sermon

Tonight, another reading from "The Book of Stupid Things Ryan Has Done," 2008 edition. Chapters 45-49.

It's official, I am a moron. I was trying to get better, to let my bruised ribs heal and the heels stop throbbing every time I run. I went to the doctor and got myself checked out, got my pills. When the doctor told me not to work out for a couple of weeks, I told him that wasn't going to happen. He warned me. He did. None of this comes back on you, doc. You warned me.

He told me that every time I moved the bad spot, I was basically re-injuring it.

To be fair to myself, I tried to take it easy. I did. I took a few days off from training and when I came back, I held back. I ran flat pacing at track instead of doing the interval workouts. I got into lanes away from other swimmers and took it easy.

Then this week happened. I figured I was feeling better and hopped into the pool. i managed 2200 yards or so, but when the session ended, I couldn't pull myself out of the pool. I had to dig my right arm into the ladder handle holes in the concrete and haul myself out one handed like a rock climber. It took until Tuesday morning before I could move my left arm without seeing stars.

I don't know why, but I decided that running would be easier, so Tuesday I tried to set up a run with the team. I was the only one who showed, so I bagged it and went to the gym. I did a mini-brick, alternating between stationary bike and treadmill for about 90 minutes. It felt okay, but I was still really sore on Wednesday.

I took Wednesday off to go to a fundraiser. Beer, pizza and no exercise. Good for the body, good for the mind.

Tonight, we had track at the boardwalk. We were supposed to do sand intervals, but out of deference to my ribs, I figured I'd run on the boardwalk only. I did 2 miles easy, no big deal, so for mile three, I decided to try and hit my time trial pace. I ran flat out for a mile and made it in 7:35, missed by 20 seconds. It really hurt. I had to hold myself up against the seawall with my good arm for a minute or two.

No fool, me, I figured I'd done something stupid, so I started walking back. I covered half a mile, feeling every step and for some reason decided to try again at the half mile point. Now, my time trial was 7:20 and that means a half mile should be about 3:40. I made it in 3:21. And nearly passed out.

This concludes the reading. I think that maybe Coach G should institute a new mentor job: What Not To Do Mentor. I'd be good at that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

So it's Valentine's Day...

...and I went to track practice. Like the song says, this single life, it sure is fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Booth Babes, Cracked Ribs, Sleep Deprivation and Climbing the Walls

So you can tell by the title that this is going to cover some varied terrain. First things where they belong, this is my training blog, so I guess I should catch you up on that a bit.

I mentioned it in my last post, but I have messed up ribs. I bruised/cracked/broke one or two of them in Tahoe a couple of weeks ago. Not hucking myself around in thigh deep powder, no, but screwing around at slow speed on a cat track. I'm not going to say more, it's too painful, too embarrassing, too bloody stupid. So, the doctor said it isn't broken. He poked me and I didn't scream. He gave me a big Motrins. Works for me, when I take them.

So I had to skip training this past weekend to go to NADA in San Francisco. That's the National Auto Dealer Association trade show, for those of you who don't know. We spent days in end in the west hall of the Moscone Center, which was, as it turned out, the red headed stepchild of the show. I don't know, we got a good reception for our stuff, both from the company we were showing with, and the people we brought by to see it. Now we'll see what we can do with it.

This brings me back to the title. One of my favorite aspects of the convention was booth babes. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not because they're hot and wearing skimpy clothes. If that's all I need, then I can go down to PB or the Gaslamp on any given evening. What I love about booth babes is that they are both the most obvious manifestation of fluff marketing and the most effective traffic generation tool I've seen. I saw more pudgy, middle-aged and old white guys standing in line to have their pictures taken with scantily clad blondes than I had expected at a show where you can buy oil additives, frame aligners, websites and dealerships. I'm not sure any of them knew what the girls were selling, but hey, they were in the booth.

I just have to wonder at what point the girls start to wonder why they signed on for "stand still, look pretty, hand out brochures and get groped."

So we finally got back late last night, and here we come full circle. I couldn't work the show without the Motrin, so I was looped half the time and hurting the rest. Even so, I had run gear with me to try and get in a few miles in place of the team workout. I never made it, between beer and long days and pain, but I was climbing the walls not being able to train.

So tonight I went for a short, relatively easy run. I made it three miles without too much nastiness and I'm not in screaming agony now, so that's good. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. Gonna try swimming tomorrow. That didn't go so well last time, but hey, maybe I'll get lucky.

More later.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lessons Learned

Tonight, a reading from "The Book of Stupid Things Ryan Has Done," 2008 edition. Chapter 37, "Swimming on Screwed Up Ribs."

Don't do it. It's a bad idea. I woke up this morning with a little twinge in my side where I took a snowboard binding under my lower left rib. I had full range of motion, no visible bruising. Two Aleve and a Power Bar, on with the day.

So tonight I figure I can go to swim. I knocked out a little over 2000 yards. Sounds like a lot, but there was a lot more to go. Thing is, I lost all power on my left side and now deep breaths hurt.

So basically, I'm an idiot. Oh, well, at least Tahoe was epic this last weekend. Three feet of fresh powder and my first ever successful deep-pow tree runs. Thank you triathlon for making my legs strong.

I may have more to say later, but I won't get many workouts in this week. I have to go out of town again, but for work. More reasons not to train. I'll have to find ways to get something in. I hear there's good running in San Francisco.