Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Operation: One Week!

I asked Coach Brain what it was going to take for me to be able to go back into normal work.  He said you have to be healthy and not falling apart for ONE WEEK.  That kicked off "Operation One Week" immediately.  I handled several group rides and some faster solo workouts just fine but the one day I tried to run, my hip shut the party down almost immediately.  At the end of the week, I got clearance to do more volume with occasional bursts of intensity as dictated by the local Strava segments.
I liked the look of this but...

... since I always like to see how I stack up against the boys,
I like this one even better!!!

Still, the running is still something of an elephant in the living room.  Even though I am happy with the idea of a big period of bike focus as a way to push past the this fitness plateau, I am concerned that there are weakness or dysfunctional movement patterns that will either get worse as a result of this or at the least flare up in spite of it.

Recently, a post came up in my twitter feed that included a video of legendary running coach Alberto Salazar's strength program for his elite runners.  What struck me was how the program focused on movement that were dynamic through the planes of motion and in most cases were proprioceptively enriched.  And how much fun it looked like it would be!!  I posted the comment to Facebook that if the two personal trainer friends of mine did not see my chronically injured self embracing a routine that looked a lot like that, they had permission to kick my chronically injured butt!

I brought the video to Brain's attention and he agreed that I would benefit from such a program, especially if it could be incorporated into my normal daily activities, so he wrote this one for me.

"Saw the video. I've got the routine.
1. horse poop flinging.  Grab shovel fill 25% fling left refill fling right.  Repeat.  Change stalls.  Now fling over the stalls but make sure the adjoining stalls are occupied.
Drill 2. Zig zag drill.  Escape angry people zig zagging over to the tack area.
Drill 3. Grab saddles squat then heave saddles over head
Drill 4. Zig zag drill from angry saddle owners
Drill 5.  Find cow.  Tip over.  repeat
Drill 6.  Hop drill  find small something to hop over sideways.  A passed out midget might work.

That should get you going for the first few weeks."

Little did he know how often the horse show grooms' partying leads to ideal opportunities for Drill 6.

In other news, the group riding has been proving much more enjoyable than I initially expected.  I've been solo for so long, I had forgotten how much fun and how challenging it can be.  I am finding myself routinely pushed out of my comfort zone with things like cornering, bunny hopping (at 20+ mph over a sharp edge on a bridge!!! These people are MAD!!), and riding in the rain.  I was so proud of myself when the group ride cancelled one day due to a storm, three die-hards and one duck rolled anyhow.  We averaged 19.4 in the pouring rain and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time.  Still, I had to step up or get dropped.  I couldn't coddle myself through every corner like I had been doing since the crashes last year.  It was also my first rain ride since the wet weather crash in June of 2012.  Guess what?  I lived and I hung on.  I had grit everywhere from eating a rooster tail for 20 miles!!  It was awesome!

The ride leaders making decisions.  So happy I decided to get wet.

In all, "Operation One Week" hasn't earned me a proper schedule but it has reminded me HOW MUCH FUN it can be to ride.  I have had some wonderful rides on the road bike (Little C) both solo and in a group, and some awesome hammerfests on the TT bike (Big C).  I am enjoying having both these days as they widen the spectrum of my experiences tremendously.  It also earned me clearance to spend a lot more time on the bike and I get to walk one of those hills multiple times a day in preparation for running.  After all, in Brain's words "Grasshopper must walk before she can run."  (Yes, he called me grasshopper.  Grasshoppers are much more agile than ducks so clearly he has been mislead.)

The local terrain has thrown a few surprises my way.  The road bike has proven that it is more than up to the task of navigating these little bumps whether they are in the middle of the road or on the back of a beast.
Little C hanging with the locals!
More than one type of hump on this ride!

And Big C has been totally content letting me able about on Little C, provided that I understand my job when I do take the big horse out of the barn!!

Big C lounging about and waiting for his turn.
Don't bring the big horse out of the barn unless you intend to live up to it...
By that I mean "hammer like a fool!"

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