Base Building (Again)

Every athlete has been here at least once. When your coming back from an injury and need to get your fitness level back up,  If your like me, your here more often then you want to be due to injuries, life getting in the way, or a motley of other reasons. Traditionally I find a plan online, tweak it to how I want it, then follow about half of it.

Normally goes something like this:

  • Plan- OK so you have a run coming up so we need to make sure to get X amount of miles in of running in
  • Me- But I want to ride my bike
  • Plan- Fine, but you need to make sure you run too
  • Me – Of course, I’m not stupid
  • Running shoes- I miss you come visit me
  • Bike- No she’s mine
  • Me – Crap the event is this week and I haven’t ran in a month
  • Knee – Mwaahahaha – that will teach you
  • Plan- *shaking head* no it wont

Or-

  • Plan- OK, so we are doing XYZ this week.
  • Me – but wait there’s more- lets add ABC too
  • Plan- But don’t you remember what happened the last time you did that
  • Me- Of course, I’m not stupid
  • Hip- Bwahahahahaha – that will teach you
  • Plan- *shaking head* No it wont

And then the base building cycle starts again after the injury is gone. The easy part normally is coming up with a plan. Hard part is following it.

Now coming up with the plan is hard, and following it is even harder. And as hard as it was to listen to my body before, that’s now the easiest part. Mainly because if I don’t; either I’m in so much pain I can’t function, a limb or two is dead and I can’t function, or I just can’t function.

After a year of very little activity I am trying to get back to some sort of normalcy. The first few plans were unrealistic or frustrating when I couldn’t follow them. So I present to you my new “training plan”: 2-3 work outs a week, time based on how the body is behaving. And a work out can be one of the following; swim, bike, run, yoga, walk, hike.

 

 

 

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What will 2016 Bring? Answers I hope!

2015 was a less than ideal year. January 2nd I found out the reasons I had been having so much trouble finishing work outs and recovering was because I have brain lesions most likely from Multiple Sclerosis. Fast forward a year and I am still going through testing, after 3 days in the hospital getting blood tests and a spinal tap done my neurologist wants me to go to another neurologist for a second opinion. I spent 2015 grieving for my loss of fitness, which anyone that knows me knows that is my world. What started during the fall of losing feeling/use of a limb 60 miles in to a bike or a few miles into a run; turned into having to rest during a 1 mile walk. The first time I went to my doctor about it I was told to just take it easy I was over training, which if I didn’t know my body so well I probably would have believed.

I think I am finally past the grieving process. I’m hoping that writing this will help. I’m done denying that whether it is MS or something else there is something going on. Telling people I wasn’t doing any events because I felt like being lazy was easier than to admit that that something is wrong with me. But that lie is getting harder to tell. I want to do races- nothing makes me want to run more than not being able to, and I miss my bike. Swimming has been the best option for me since it keeps my body temperature regulated, but a lot of the time only 2 limbs work at at time (I just don’t know which 2 it will be until a few laps in) I plan on adapting what I can and working within my current limits. Which will be ever changing.

The 2 times I have gotten out snow shoeing  this year have been great. Until an hour or so later when the electric currents and muscle spasms start, followed shortly by numbness and difficulty walking,holding things with my right arm etc. And as scary as exercises is right now because I don’t know what will happen during or after, it is also comforting to be moving again.

Some of the discussions boards I have gone to I keep hearing others in situations like mine that people want their diagnosis because they feel like once they have it they will have permission to be sick. Which I think is why I haven’t wanted to be open about what is going on, it felt like with out knowing what was going on fully I had to keep on going like everything was good. Even when it wasn’t. Then for me it became more of I need a diagnosis in order to move on. I would love to say I don’t need a diagnosis but that would be a lie. But  I think I’m finally (or close) to the point where I know the diagnosis wont change anything other then allow me to get the treatment to stop the progression of “it”.

Every year I try to have a word to live by that year. Last year it was “Strength” because I felt so week, mentally and physically. This year it is going to be “Patience”, and boy do I need it.

I’ll keep you updated.

Looking on the Bright Side of things

This coming Sunday I will get my first ever DNS (Did not start). It is breaking my heart that I can’t do a race that I paid and started training for. It’s not the end of the world, but it feels like it’s the end of me racing right now. It’s not but it feels that way. And I don’t know when I will be racing again. Due to some health issues I can’t do what I want to. I can’t run or bike or just go play outside. Well I can play outside I just can’t do anything strenuous, which everything I like to do outside is. So instead of focusing what I can’t do right now I am trying to focus on what I did last year and what I accomplished and will again (once the doctor says I can play again).

Last year was different than past years for many reasons. My goals were much bigger. They scared me!!!

I did 2 olympic distance triathlons, I’ve done many sprints in the past but I panic in the swim so going to the longer distance swim was absolutely terrifying. You know what? I did the longer swims, and I didn’t have panic attacks. Why? Because I trained better. Go figure right.

I did a 100 mile bike ride. With a bunch of friends, one of which was my MOM, which makes it even cooler. This wasn’t even a main event that I trained for. I considered it a TRAINING RIDE! What ride 100 miles for training? Yep! Know why? A month later I then road my bike from Mammoth Mtn to Big Bear. 347 miles in 5 days! With a killer climb on the last day. Thought I was going to die, contemplated throwing my bike off the side of the mountain at one point (ok maybe a few points).

I even started liking running. Yes you read that right. I was enjoying it. After driving one of the vans for Ragnar SoCal I decided I was never driving again. So I started running more so the next time I could be one of the runners. And I loved it! Ragnar Napa was a blast! I even agreed to do a full marathon this year (the DNS this weekend, but we move on).

So as a whole 2014 was an AMAZING year. And you know what? So will 2015! Sure I’m not racing this weekend, but I still get to go cheer my friends on (and hang out at the beach). Sure I’m not able to run Ragnar SoCal next month, but I can be the driver again and still have a great weekend. And soon my doctor will say I can go fullout again, and I will. Then I can make even more goals that scare me. Like doing my first marathon, and a half Ironman, and who knows what else.

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Day 5 Peak to Peak – Lucern Dry Lake

Orange County Triathlon 51.50

June 1, 2014 was my first tri in 2 years and my first ever Olympic distance tri. The sensation to throw up and hide in a cave was slightly less then my desire to finish with out dying. I’ll give a recap of how the race went at the end but thought of some do’s and don’ts for triathlons and training for the average athlete.

Do- Have fun!!! When training for your tri (or any race) make sure that it doesn’t become another chore, job, task to do, etc. once it no longer becomes fun what’s the point.

Don’t- Think that if you take an extra rest day your full training is blown. Listen to your body! This will help you train better and avoid injury. Now while I adore my Physical Therapist I would rather have conversations with her over a glass of wine with friends instead of face down on the PT table.

Do- During the race pretend every spectator that is cheering came out just to cheer your on. when I first started racing I didn’t understand why people cheered and yelled for someone that they didn’t know and was in last place. Now I do- everyone needs some encouraging and they really do think your doing good. When watching other people race now I tend to be more impressed with the people struggling at the end. Don’t get me wrong I am in awe of the people that leave me in the dust, but it takes a different kind of strength to sign up for something that you haven’t done or may or may not finish. Or you know you will be last in. Been there done that. That last place finish in the Frantic Frog triathlon the first year I did it made me stronger and more prepared for any race I have done than any amount of training could do. I was last and they didn’t tar and feather me. There was just more people cheering me on then the first place finishers. Mainly because anyone that had a podium finish was waiting for me to get back so they could start awards, be hey they waited.

Don’t- Call people liars when they tell you your doing good or did good. No matter how you think you did they are telling you the truth.

Do- Practice in open water for the swim. It’s amazing how hard it is to go straight with out the line at the bottom of the pool guiding you.

Don’t- let your fears get the best of you. The best way to over come a fear is to look it in the face. I have never been a fan of swimming even in a pool until recent years…. It wasn’t until my 10th triathlon where I didn’t have a panic attack or cry during the swim.

Do- Cheer on racers other racers. You never know who needs a little encouragement.

Don’t- Get mad when a racer that passes you tells you your doing good. (See don’t call people liars)

Now a recap of the OC Tri-

Swim- Couldn’t have asked for a better swim other than to be able to swim in a straight line… Amazing how hard that is when your face is actually in the water and there is no black line to follow. I had a 3 min head start on my friend Jody cause of how the wave starts were and we figured she would be out of the water about 5 mins before I was… But I actually made it out first (she had a faster swim time just not as much faster than we expected) … I was out 5 mins faster than my ideal goal and 10 mins faster than what I really thought my swim time would be based on past open water swim speeds
 
Bike- was great for the first 16 miles then my lower back/hips locked up (that’s when Jody passed me) … The down hills were so much fun though and I was able to make up for my slow uphill… People would pass me up hill- then I’d pass them down – then they passed me on the up- then I would pass them on the down again… I had zero people pass me going down hill so at least I was fast somewhere 🙂
 
Run- lower back/hips loosened up when I got off my bike … First couple miles were a good pace for me … Then we hit a hill called “the wall” that was Flippin’ ridicules long and steep… That’s were I lost it mentally and just kind of gave up… My 4th mile was 22mins… Regrouped my self about 1.5 miles from the finish when I realized if I pushed it I could still come in under my goal of 1.5 hours for the run … and did the run in 1:29:50… Impact from the down hill run made my back start spazzing so I just curled up in a ball at the finish line and one of the lifeguards that was doing first aid at the finish brought me ice to lay on.

 

My overall time was 3:49:51 which earned me 450 out of 465 racers, and the right to say I’m officially a 51.50 athlete. Although some may argue I always have been 🙂

“Why be great a…

“Why be great at one sport when you can be mediocre at three”- Unknown