Monday, January 26, 2009

Ups and Downs

Well, I had some ups and downs this week- literally. I did my last Computrainer class and improved my wattage from 184 the first week to 204 at week 6. It is nice to be getting back in shape. It was pretty cold here in Orlando last week, we had a couple of nights of hard frost. So, somehow I found that enough reason not to ride to work. I know- we are spoiled.

I went for a ride Sunday and it was a great day, warm, beautiful. Just one other riding companion and we took a nice route north of town. About 40 miles into the ride I was pulling and stood up to go up a slight rise. As my left foot came down the pedal came off my bike and I was on the ground in a hurry. My hip and shoulder took most of the impact and I was grateful I had on sleeves on my jersey after seeing what was left of the cloth. My helmet did a perfect job, and I would hate to see my head if I had not had one on. I have a good lump above my eye, but a new helmet is a small price to pay for having an intact noggin.

It was kind of a freak thing for the pedal to come off. I have not had the pedals off that bike for a very long time so I am not sure what happened, except that they loosened up over time. I am sure I am going to figure out the lessons to learn from this, I would hope that if I needed some time off I could have found a different way ;-) I am still grateful though that it was not worse, that the bike is fine, and I will be back on the saddle again soon. Everyone keep the rubber side down!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

you must listen to your body- it speaks volumes

My 200k last weekend was awesome, a beautiful warm day, a reunion with riding buddies, help from friends, just an excellent ride. We went up the coast for 66 miles with a great tailwind. The turn around made it a little harder but I was with a terrific group that made it a quick fun trip. Just so we had a story, a bridge was locked so traffic was backed up as we were to go back to Jupiter Island and we had a detour but got back with time and safely.

I didn't ride on Sunday, but commuted to work on Monday and had a nice blow the legs out ride. I felt pretty good but still took an inventory of little aches and soreness. I had a sore spot that came up from my right ankle up the side of my shin. I really need to replace my cleats! I also noticed that the instep of my right foot was itching again.

I had that problem for almost a year and could not figure it out. I tried athlete's foot products, but it was an internal problem, there was no rash or anything on the sole of my foot. I asked doctors, massage therapists, everyone about it and got no answers. I finally went to a chiropractor when I was in CT who said- "oh, of course, that makes perfect sense. You have problems with your pelvis being twisted and tight hips, that goes right down the sciatic nerve and it ends right there in your foot". So- who knew? I worked with him and a massage therapist and it went away.

Now I take it as an indicator. Kind of like I get a very specific back ache when I am running a fever. It may be a very low grade fever, but if I have the back ache, I know even without taking my temperature. So, I made sure to work on stretching out my low back and hips this week and the itch in my foot went away in a day or so.

I think it is so easy to not listen to your body, to ignore little things, hope they go away, or mask them with a pain killer or sleep medication or something. However, if you are really tuned in to what is going on you can address things before they develop into something worse. Listening- such a useful skill to develop whether it is with your spouse, child, boss, body, or conscience. It is all within you, just tune in to it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

lunch stops, perfection, and gratitude

Over New Years I was able to ride 45 miles New Years day, 40 miles on Saturday by myself, and 85 miles on Sunday- which was perfection in every way.

We had a group of 6 start 5 miles from my house so I rode to the start for an 8 am push off. It was one of the days that make me want to fall to my knees with gratitude for living in Florida this time of year. I had just arm and knee warmers to the start (because it was in the low 60's after all ;-)) and those came off by the lunch stop when it was getting into the upper 70's. There was little wind and we rode double paceline for almost the entire day. We explored new roads, got that extra special bonus of getting to a gate across the road and just went around it to rejoin the new roads we were exploring. It was a minor diversion and we got to go through when cars can't. I love that.

We got to Yalaha Bakery and stopped for a real lunch stop- mine included a breakfast sandwich and a chocolate eclair (one of the very best items there) and a goody to take home for my partner. It was delicious and then we continued on around the lake to Mt. Dora where there was a quick stop for coffee and ice cream and then back home. Just absolutely perfect- a group that was well matched in speed, was willing to go on an adventure, and not so wrapped up in the get-there-itis that they were unwilling to stop and enjoy a sit down meal. I of course was so tired when we got back to the meeting point that I wished I had a car there. I did not however, so I trundled my way home for 5 more miles and then took a nap!

Due to tired legs and upcoming plans, I did NOT ride to work on Monday. Those were the original plans but after the weekend, discretion became the better part of valor. I had my Computrainer class on Tuesday evening, only a couple more left, and the first brevet of the season is next Saturday. So, jumping from 85 to 124 miles- that is in the training plan right? It is all good, I am looking forward to the 200k, if only to see how the Brooks leather saddle I have been riding treats me over the day. Fingers crossed for North winds as we will do an out and back up the east coast of FL. Would be a headwind going out but tons of fun coming back! Will keep you posted.