Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Tough Week: Injuries, Travel, Work, ...And A Bear!

On my way to a running trail in MI.

Last week got away from me a bit.  In addition to saying goodbye to the awesome dudes at Einstein Cycles in Traverse City (best bike shop in the north!), the final days in Michigan involved a lot of work and some great trail runs and rides complete with all kinds of wildlife sightings, including, um, a BEAR on a trail run!  Terrifying!  Bears like ducks.  They are crunchy and good with ketchup.  Fortunately, this bear had already eaten a nice dinner and was content to let me leave un-devoured!  I apologize for not snapping a picture.

I finished the Michigan trip and headed for Kentucky.  The horse show was a six day show so I had to drive 600 miles, set up the camper and go straight into work.  The days following were pretty relentless.  Training-wise, this was meant to be a serious recovery week but thanks to a grueling workload, at the end of it I feel worse than I did at the start.

I think there was a bit of an overreach in Michigan and certainly in the transition between the two shows.  I am hoping that I did not do lasting damage.  My body has felt terrible, painful, and weak and when I jarred my injured shoulder last night, it all kind of caught up to me.  The pain was pretty intense but the frustration to have what is amounting to a fairly serious shoulder problem was worse.  I stood on that ladder and cried my eyes out.  I wanted to take five both in life terms and in work terms, but I had a schedule to keep so it was "cry if you must, but keep twisting!"  It is something of a metaphor for life and might be a new personal philosophy.

"Cry if you must but keep going!"

Let me tell you, it did not stop me from composing a totally pitiful email to DW this morning before I slept.  Why I do that I will never know.  My life outlook after the busiest night of the week is always pretty bleak and after a particularly hard week like this, I become Chicken Little.  Perhaps this blog should be called Cries Like A Chicken!  Anyhow, I managed to put together about seven hours of sleep and guess what?  The sky is not falling!

Still, I think the pain and fatigue this week was a big, fat warning shot off the port bow.  I overreached and without backing off, could be looking at overtraining.  It is one of the challenges I face with a job that is essentially zone 1-2 work all night, interrupted recovery, and a serious travel schedule.  I spend a lot of time balanced on a knife's edge, and the tiniest thing can push me off.  The load I put into my body from work is not productive or constructive, but it draws from the same pool of energy that my training does.  I try to balance the week so that my busiest nights working are my lightest days training and vice versa, but that means there is never truly a rest day and all it takes is a slight miscalculation to screw it all up.  The solution, rest... even when the compulsive brain is totally convinced you are sliding all the way back to the beginning due to a few down days.  (Yeah, gotta ignore that little Richard Simmons cricket on my shoulder!  "Go, go, go!  Feel the bur... squish!)

In brighter news, I had a conversation with the Blugrass Tri Chick.  This is a great lady who patiently chatted with an over-caffeinated Duck (with a bad case of the babbles) during my drive to KY.  We made plans to do a ride while I am in town and I am really looking forward to it.  She also referred me to a great chiropractor/ART guy who's personal background in triathlon.  He is having to dig through a months worth of baggage on this shoulder and hip... poor bastard!  Still, there is a glimmer of progress in just a couple of visits (that I managed to forget about as I stand there twisting and sobbing.)  He is going to be instrumental in getting me to those races.  I am thinking that the warm up race on the 19th might be out since I have not been able to swim (except once) in a month, but I am hoping to still stay on track for the three key races in September and October.

Another very successful moment happened during my one (ONE!  One and ONLY) workout so far this week.  I had power based intervals that I wanted to do on the trainer.  I also had a saddle that was REALLY ruffling my tail feathers.  I scheduled a saddle fitting at Swim Bike Run of Kentucky and booked some trainer time as well.  I tried several ISM saddles and while my tail feathers seemed to like the Time Trial model the best, it put me in a position that would have required a longer stem on the bike.  I ended up taking a test saddle (the breakaway model) and will be making a decision in a few days.    So far, so good.  It seems to relieve pressure without placing undue strain on my shoulders.
Undevoured Duck at SBRKY!

After looking at the above picture, I did book an appointment for my sorely neglected head.  Snips, foils, and all kinds of good stuff happening Monday.  The best part?  I will be doing the salon thing with my long time bestie of nearly two decades!!  This will be a welcome, frilly, girly break from the intensity of the last couple of months.


  1. Your doing better than most people ever could. Your hearts a lot bigger then it used to be.

  2. Awesome! So glad you were able to get to Dr. Mike! Hope he fixes you all up.

    Looking forward to our ride next week!