Weekend Recap: Good Bike & The Foot Rebellion

Part 1: The Bike

I just got back from my longest ride this year, and it was surprisingly good all things considered. Those things to consider being that my (wimpy) run yesterday nearly killed me, that I probably had more wine than I really needed last night (Garth is finally back from Beijing, so sue me), that some killer headwinds attacked my face all around Mercer Island and Lake Washington, and that I was dressed for the forecast (50 degrees and sunny) and it ended up being misty and overcast.

However, the first 30 miles of the ride was more uncomfortable than I’d like to encounter again anytime soon, as trying to ride in aero and keep a flexed lower back while you have to pee is painful. Very very painful. I should have ridden out of my way to stop, but I was too stubborn and wanted to find a stop along my route. Yes, sometimes triathletes pee themselves, but no way was I going to during a cold winter ride. No. Freaking. Way. The only thing worse than having to pee would have been frozen pee. Okay, enough about pee.

I’m starting to feel like I can actually ride my bike again, which is good considering that the 112 miles on the bike at Ironman is likely to be more than half my day. I still get anxious about 30 minutes in on every ride; I question my ability to get up the next hill, withstand the wind, and continue to spin for 2+ more hours. But I’m already tired! How will I survive? But once I get through it feel strong and I’m able to last longer each time before fatigue affects my speed. I’m working hard on my cadence, but currently when I get it up I get tired quicker and ride slower. Tired + Slower = NOT a good solution. My legs are happier – while on the bike – with a lower cadence, but knowing that I’m going to have to be fresh(ish) to run off the bike for quite some time I’m dedicated to mastering this, even if it’s part of why I’m anxious and doubting my ability right now.

Part 2: The Great Foot Rebellion of 2012

And yes, you read that right. My super wimpy run yesterday nearly killed me. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday on the couch trying not to think about how injured I feel. Am I truly injured? Who knows. But every time I move I feel like something new is hurting a lot. Current problems include:

  • When I run, as my left foot pushes off the ground my side sort of collapses to absorb the force. I’m guessing that’s why my hamstring is tweaked (overcompensation). I’ve been going to PT and I finally can feel a difference in the looseness of my SI joint and the strength of my mid-back, but it’s not 100% better yet.
  • See tweaked hamstring above.
  • I’m sure it’s all related. The human body is crazy like that. The latest near-tear-inducer is that my left foot hurts, a lot. It didn’t until my run yesterday, and while I was running it just felt a little tender and sore. But by the end of the run my achilles had some shooting pain, and as I waited for a crossing signal and rolled it out every bone in my foot and ankle cracked and popped (seriously, all of them) and they’ve been majorly pissed ever since. Today I ran my brick in compression socks which helped a ton; my achilles no longer totally wants me dead, and my foot was willing to compromise and bear the weight of running slowly without hurting. But I’m afraid to take my socks off for fear that something else will hurt. Think I can get away with leaving these socks on forever?
  • I’m still trying to attack my training with the paces I should be running at, but because my body isn’t 100% I’m only barely hitting (or narrowly missing) the goal paces set. This hurts my confidence, my ego, and my psyche, and has me anxious and totally questioning everything. I’m a total straight up nutcase about stretching, recovery nutrition, hydration, icing, foam rolling, and the like. So if I’m doing something wrong right now I don’t know what else I can do to make it right, because there aren’t any more hours in the day to fit anything else in.

I’m frustrated that I hurt. I want to be pain free. I want to race well this weekend, and was considering a half marathon rather than a 10k prior to this Great Foot Rebellion of 2012. I want to be pain-free so badly that I sat in a bathtub of ice shaking for 20 minutes. See? I’m not kidding.

I can acknowledge that I can be sort of an injury hypochondriac. But then I remind myself that I ran my first marathon with 2 stress fractures, and proceeded to walk around Europe for 2 weeks before I realized that the “sort of painful foot” was something that required 3 months in a boot. Then I ran my second 22 miler leading up to Boston and flew through it with a “tight arch and some stabby pain” come to find out I had a massive neuroma, PF bad enough that 3 cortisone shots didn’t do much, and 2 stress reactions. Which reminds me that when something is uncomfortable enough to slow down that things probably are really not right.

Here’s to hoping that my ice bath + more icing later + some celebrex = a pain-free Monday morning.

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