Monday, September 12, 2011

Because I haven't written about training in a while...

When I last checked in here, I was injured and lacking motivation. It's hard to definitively say that my situation has improved, but it is definitely different. With the exception of Warrior Dash, which was a total cluster on the part of the race planners(people died), I hadn't done any kind of race until yesterday. I'll tell you a little about that in a second.

Basically, after Wyco, I decided to rest and heal my body. I attempted to do this by taking on a yoga challenge. I succeeded in doing yoga every day for 30 straight days. It helped to calm my mind during a very uncertain time in my life. I was finishing up nursing school(yay!) and preparing to enter the real world, though this "real world" thing still hasn't technically happened as I'm still searching for employment as a nurse. If nothing else, I definitely increased my flexibility in a bunch of very very good ways, and strengthened the crap out of my core and hips. These are good things for anyone, especially somebody who wishes to consider themselves an athlete.

I also moved in with one of my best friends, one of the small group of people who can always keep me motivated and dreaming big. We devised a plan to keep us in shape and gnarly during our time living together. A weekly workout, consisting of any number of manly all-around exercises. Big tractor tires? Heavy ropes? Crossfit? Hill sprints? Ridiculous made-up exercises involving full-body complex movements? Hell yes.

So this is what I've been doing for the past few weeks, and though I don't necessarily notice a difference in my own appearance, others have claimed they see a difference. I am noticing an overall improvement in strength however.

So....the bad. I fucked up my back moving a keg at work. It's been a few weeks and it's not quite back to normal. I am still having random ankle/achilles/shin pain, so I'm not quite ready to dive back into running, which is kinda sad because I finally have all the free time in the world, and all I really want to do is just tear up some trails for a few hours every day.

I told myself I'd focus more on cycling while I was resting my running gears, but that never happened. I've MAYBE ridden 5 times in the last 2 months. I'm riding 180 miles this weekend. Could be interesting.

Anyways, blah blah blah...did a small triathlon yesterday. It was a charming grassroots effort for a group called SWAT(Supporting Weatherby's Adopted Troops) that sends care packages to their friends and family who are deployed overseas. It was also a solemn occasion commemorating one of their soldiers killed in action recently, Jeremy Katzenberger. He left behind a wife and a newborn. His father was on-hand before the race to thank us all for coming. He was also at the finish line handing out participation ribbons and thanking us individually "for racing and for honoring his son". There was not a single thing I disliked about this race. Weatherby Lake and the surrounding neighborhood is absolutely beautiful and the type of place I would love to retire to. The race cost $35 to enter and was delightfully bare bones compared to an Ironman event. As we arrived we were informed to "park where you can" and that transition was "find a good tree near the swim exit over here". There were no bibs, only body marking. The race director gave a quick explanation of the course before hopping in the water to race the long course with the rest of us.

As for how I did...not bad. I hadn't swam in months, so I went ahead and wore the wetsuit to give myself a little help. Arms got tired quickly and I was slow, but I never struggled. Good to know my stroke is still pretty solid. The water was refreshingly cool and clear. This event was not timed, so we relied on our own devices to keep track. I finished 1200 yards in around 20 minutes. I hopped on the bike and rode a very hilly 11 mile course in 38 minutes and change. I then hit the 3.1 mile run course, also very hilly and getting pretty hot by this point in the day, and finished the race after a ~25 minute 5k. Total time was just around 90 minutes. I felt good the whole day with a few aches here and there, but definitely felt like things were getting back to normal in my body and in my mind. It was a good day, and as I told a fellow racer who had tipped me off about this hidden treasure of a race, "I'd rather spend the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 doing something that makes me feel alive and appreciate what I have rather than sitting on my ass and getting bombarded by overly sentimental retrospectives from all the major news networks." She agreed.

Anyways...figured I'd check in and let my 5 readers know I'm still alive and still trying to kill the bear, just in different ways lately.

Congratulations to my high school friend Jeff Schmidt and KC friend Dustin Johnson for succeeding at their respective Ironman races. I'm so proud to know such inspiring and inspired people.