Swim, Bike, Pain?

After I put my calf through misery at the Desert Duathlon a few weeks ago, I decided to take a week off of running and see if I could get whatever it was to go away. I tried running last Tuesday and at about the 37 minute mark of an hour run - the pain came back. Of course I choose an out and back run and had to hobble all the way back. Which brings me to my next point....I am currently helping three athletes with some running programs and I sometimes think I am a better coach than I am athlete. If I had an athlete coming off of a calf injury, would I send them on an hour run on the pavement? No, as Will Ferrell would say, "That's just dumb..."  So since I am self-coached - I'm going to try to start looking at myself and my training from a coaches point of view.

It's amazing what goes through your head when you've got four miles to go on a run with a bum leg. I happened to be down at the beach, so there was no rescue wagon (Amy knows about these when I'm on the bike), only rolling hills and a constant reminder every other step that I made a bad decision. I just started getting really bummed about training. I started thinking about how much time I devote both mentally and physically along with how expensive the sport is and I couldn't even finish an hour run. And...running is my strength, it's my background - I need to be on top of my game with the run if I want to compete...I finally made it back to the car and hit traffic thanks to the fact I finished my run about 20 minutes too late. It's at that point that I realized I'm a little too hard on myself. I've always been. When I ran 3:47 for the 1500 meters, which is equivalent to a 4:04 mile - I ran it on three different occasions and each time I was unsatisfied. My training showed me I was in sub 4 minute mile shape, but I couldn't quite get there-so I eventually gave up on it. I guess where I am going with this is -don't give up on what you want to accomplish. Overcome the adversity and realize that all of the good things in life don't come easy. So that's how I looked at my injury ---instead of giving up at that point, I decided what could I do about it? I turned to Brad at the B Project for some answers...

Now Brad was someone that both Michael Hansen and David Kloz highly recommended for me to go see. I kind of ignored them at the time (months ago when this first flared up) and figured I could just "foam roll it out"....not so much. So after my Tuesday run incident I set up an appointment to go see him that Friday. I rolled up, saw another fellow BSK runner doing some strength work and the first thing he said to me was, "Did Michael tell you that I am not very nice?"...great. "Uhhh, no.." He put me on the table and put me through some serious agony. I drenched the table with sweat and almost screamed a few times. This wasn't just some deep tissue massage, he went on to explain to me that he was detaching the nerve from the muscle (or something along those lines) which is what was causing all of the problems in my IT Band. Holy hell...He was great though, he explained to me what was going on and gave me some exercises to do afterwards. I limped out of there and the next day I had bruises all up and down my leg - but it felt better!

It was nice to have a week without a race and I put in a great 13 hours of training with only one hour of running in it. This meant a lot of swimming and biking. On Saturday I had my first 2000 yard swim day and my 100's have come down from 2:00 to 1:40's - which is still very slow, but a big improvement since I've coached myself in my swim technique. A few hours later I attempted to climb the back section of Vail (North side) which was unexplored territory for me (and others...I only saw motorcycle and horse tracks). I have always noticed this trail so I took it back towards the mountain and ran into some people on their horses and asked if I was going to climb it. I said, "Yea, I'm going to try..." They said I was crazy and wished me good luck. Great, what kind of climb was this? It was the kind of climb that shot my heart rate from 90 to 185 in about 400 meters. It was straight up and very technical/sandy. As miserable as it was, it was a great workout that had some hike-a-bike sections and very steep climbs -which is great training for Xterra. It's about a mile and a half climb and I had to stop about every 400 meters or so to gain my composure. I started wondering if The Caveman would be able to climb the whole thing, the first time, flawlessly. Probably...

Great beer lineup from the weekend
 The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. On Sunday I did a 35 mile bike ride, topped with a quick 20 minute run to test the calf. Since this was the first weekend we had in awhile without a race I decided to make it a "beer weekend." Since I stopped home brewing, we don't have as much beer around the house as we used to - so it was nice to relax, have a few beers, work on our yard and plant 2 orange trees and an avocado in our backyard. Can't wait for them to bear fruit!

The "In the Dirt Triathlon" was cancelled for this weekend which I am really bummed about because I wanted to get another triathlon under my belt before Xterra West Championships next month, but I'll have to make due. It sucks that my second triathlon is going to be an important one! Oh well, either way it will be a learning experience and I'll be able to get a good idea of what Xterra is all about. So since the race is cancelled this weekend, I might jump in on Kenda Cup #2 in Bonelli Park since I had so much fun a few weeks ago. Get those mountain bike skills dialed in!

Thanks for reading everyone-


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