IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Packing for Solvang

Well, I just finished packing my bags for my trip to Solvang for a Vision Quest Cycling Camp. This is the first (of I hope, many) cycling camp I've ever gone to. I've been fielding a lot of questions about the camp, but I really have no idea what we're going to do. Just 2 days ago, I got a sheet that approximated the mileage of the rides. Until I received that sheet, I thought we might be riding 100+ miles every day! I'm thankful that this is not the case. Oh, and guess who will be there...GORDO!

Solvang, CA is really hilly. I went last year with BC and met CL up there to do the Solvang Century ride. It's a HUGE ride...I think there were 5000 participants. It's very different in CA, much more bike friendly than here in the midwest. These people were telling me they get to ride outside EVERY DAY of the year. Can you imagine that?

You might have noticed the "badge" here on my blog to the right, listing my participation in the Solvang Camp. Click on that link if you want to find out what's going on with me and the rest of the campers. I've never had the opportunity to be a part of this sort of web portal, but it was put into place for the campers to communicate, upload the power files from our daily rides, etc. and download photos and videos. It's a really cool site! Hopefully it will give you a little taste of what attending a cycling camp is like. I've charged up my camera (it wasn't working for a while, which is why you haven't seen any pictures on my blog lately) and I'm hoping to get some good pictures to put here.

I'm nervous about going with the bum hamstring. In fact, I considered bailing on the trip all together. The last thing I want to do is ruin all the progress I've been making while straining up some stupid hill. I'm taking all the precautions I can and will be following specific instructions from my physical therapist. My rides not be the best they can in the hills right now, but getting out on open roads beats the CompuTrainer any day! I'm looking foward to the fresh air, sunshine and camaraderie of the other campers.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Slow Progress

Well, this week will be week number 5 of physical therapy. I went in to one of my sessions last week feeling a bit depressed about the lack of progress I feel I've made. While I think my physical therapist is excellent - extremely knowledgeable, I have just felt that my body is not responding to the work we've been doing. However, we went back to one of the exercises we did on my very first day I could not do without pain. Interestingly enough, I could do the exercise very well and with no pain at all. Does this mean I'm healed? Absolutely not! However, it does give me the encouragement and the positive feedback I need to continue with the regular therapy.

The hard part now is deciding if I should do some of my upcoming races. No, I don't have anything for a while, but this process is taking a lot longer than I had hoped. So even if I decide to continue to race, my early season races are not going to be stellar. And I'll still need to back off at the first hint of pain, which is pretty tough to do in a race situation. I know I'm doing the right thing by taking time off the run and doing everything easy, but it's not as fun when you can go out and challenge yourself and give that 100% effort. All I can hope is that when I can recover, I will be stronger.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Never Say Never!

As I was swimming this morning, I realized that today was Super Bowl Sunday. I have very little interest in today's game because I don't really care for either of the teams, even though I know I will watch it. I started to think about the Super Bowl two years ago.

See, two years ago, on Super Bowl Sunday, I ran a marathon with the Saint and BC. It was the Pacific Shoreline Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA. It was the Saint's first marathon. The weather conditions were quite perfect for a marathon that day. The first 8-9 miles of this race was up and down along the ocean. Though I expected it to be a beautiful thing to see and something that would take my mind off the running for close to the first half of the race, it really didn't happen quite like that.

It was foggy that morning. I'm told it's foggy every morning! So, though we were running along the ocean, we couldn't really see it. However, you could smell it! It smelled like dead fish! Not at all what I was expecting!! They hyped up this race as being awesome to run along the, I could have done without it. I do have to say, though, it was a great race. I had strict instructions for that race to stay in Zone 3...I did, and still had a really good race time.

Unfortunately, BC had to take off soon after the race. The Saint and I were able to go back to the hotel room, take a short nap and get dressed to walk down to a local bar to watch the Super Bowl. I remember people looking at us and asking, "Ah, how was the marathon?" Apparently, we were limping enough for people to be able to tell! The best part was that the bar we went to was really open and the fresh air was just flowing in during the whole game. Not like I'll ever be able to watch a Super Bowl outside in warm weather in Chicago!

It made me think that it has been almost a year since I did a marathon (not including IMFL). Then I started to think how I wished I could train for and run a marathon right now. A few years ago, I never thought I'd say I "miss" the marathon. Never say never...

Friday, February 01, 2008


First, I want to thank all of you for your concern. I've been bombarded with emails the last week or two with questions about the hamstring. I appreciate the outpouring of suppor!!

Unfortunately, it is not good news. The hamstring is torn. I've been making it worse and worse with each run I've done probably over the last 18+ months. It's not going to require surgery or anything, but it is going to seriously set back my run training for this year. I'm still not sure it's totally sunk in with me. When Dr. Nicola was telling me how long I was to take off from running, in my mind, I had my fingers in my ears and was saying "La la la la la la la" as if not hearing him would mean that I could still run. He kept talking, explaining to me how and where it's torn, how the bone is swollen, but everything was just a blur. I wasn't listening. I couldn't wait to get out of there. This is not the news I wanted to hear. I'm not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn't this. I mean, if it was torn, wouldn't it hurt like hell?

I went back to physical therapy and handed her the new slip that Dr. Nicola scribbled all over. I asked her to tell me what it meant. She took the slip out of my hand and the expression on her face said it all. I asked, "It's bad, isn't it?" She nodded slowly. Then she said we had to back down from the exercises we had been doing as they were too aggressive.

We started doing some exercises and I asked why, if it was torn, why it didn't hurt more. She then pushed on a part of the hamstring and I about jumped off the table. Holy crap, what are you doing???!? She then did the same thing to my right leg...and it was barely more than a firm push onto the muscle. Apparently, it hurts more than I thought.

If there's anything I can tell you, it's that you should NOT run through pain!! So much easier to say it than do it, but I'm paying for it now. If I would've taken care of this when it first started, I'd be a lot better off. I have a long, uphill battle in front of me.