Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So *that's* what it is like to be near the front of a race!

This weekend was SOMA half ironman. I had signed up to do the race with some people through TNS training. When we signed up...they didn't know me...i didn't know them, but since the sign up and Malibu and this weekend i've gotten to know my happy little team and I was pretty excited to be doing the relay with them.

And then i was off the bike for literally 3 weeks...

And then i was poked and prodded with needles and beaten up with a foam roller...

i didn't know what to expect from my ability to spin the cranks and move those wheels. The original plan for this race was to see HOW much faster on a flat course and no swim or run I could go than Vineman. I wanted to break 3 hours since I was close to the 3 hour mark at vineman.

There was much about the weekend that was fun insanity and much about the weekend that was just unfun...predominately around the fact I almost got myself stranded in Tempe by no fault of my own as well as the fact my happy little relay had to break up due to our swimmer crashing her beautiful new bike on Saturday and making friends with the ground at 30mph. Bike crashes make me inhearantly sick to my stomach and my heart went out to her. But then to find out that due to how her handle bars crunched into her top tube on top ...she totaled her bike: double sick to my stomach.

So this was Saturday: me potentially stuck in Tempe longer than I anticipated, my relay's swimmer sporting some nice road rash, a (right) decision not to race, a totaled less than 100 mile bike and a friend wondering if a whopper of a migraine was about to strike before his race on Sunday. It wasn't boding well for well...any of us.

Saturday afternoon was packet pickup and our swimmer inquired if there was a way to do the relay without the swim...to then have the directors say: hey...ask this INSANELY fast guy to swim for you. oooookkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaaay

Race morning:
Still no ride home
Meet Mr. wicked fast swimmer...he's 10 shades of excited just to swim.

The relay's are in the second wave and he ends up swimming somewhere around 27/28 minutes and is within the top 10 out of the water.

My thought: well this is kinda cool that i'm now near the FRONT of the race...but also weird and a little concerned that i'm going to get passed like i'm standing still for the rest of the day. But really nice to be near the front because there was no one out there to jocky around and worry about staying back or passing or whathaveyou. Lap 1...not as many guys passed me as I thought...Lap 2 a few more zipping past and Lap 3...now we are in the thick of everyone on the course.

I didn't like the course really because there were a lot of random U-turns on the course. I ended up hammering it a little too hard in the beginning and suffered a bit the last 5 miles. But i was pleased with my effort.

And then i saw my time...

and had to laugh...

original goal: go sub 3hours (which i totally let go of with the lack of training the past month)

Time: 3:00:29

Not quite sub 3 but sooo close!Not bad for a girl who hadn't been riding her bike!

Funnily afterwards a random girl at the relay rack decided to ask me how I did. I'll admit my little brain wasn't working 100%, but something that definately bothers me about some triathletes (and i've seen it much more so here in s.cali) is that someone's reason for asking your time is to see if they bested you. I remember blankly staring at this girl thinking: WHO ARE YOU? AND WHY DO YOU CARE???? Fortunately Brian came to my rescue and said: don't mind her...she can barely talk after races. And gave my general update. But really...why was this person asking? So weird to me.

in the end...I fortunately found a ride home on Sunday...but the process of finding one was a clusterf...and i was not a happy camper.

Sometimes I think that if i have a patch of crappiness that patch will be it for awhile and i will soon spring out of it. The weekend was fun to see friends but definitely shadowed a bit by some of the not so fun things. unfortunately...i came home to difficult and distressing topics to which I am reminded: i really am bone tired and I wish i could figure out a respite.

life does not stop

Monday, October 19, 2009

to be clear...

There have been a lot of learnings going on in this corner of the woods recently. Mainly revolving around...WHAT is going on in my hip. It spasms...it does crazy stuff...it's weird...net result...i get frusterated.

So...am in injured? Not really but i'm not 100% healthy either...ok...i'm not 100% of where I WANT to be to start something like IM training. If I were training for a half? Oh...i'd say I was totally FINE. But IM training...that's a different monster that i am sure would prey upon any imbalance that is latent in my body.

When I fell in June my acupuncturist discovered that i'm internally rotatated on my right side. In Aug I saw another guy about this and i'm rotated about 4 mm past where I should be. The best way to describe it...I have lower crossed syndrome. And in reality...i probably also have upper crossed syndrome too. For the life of me, i can't figure out how a person could have one and NOT have the other. But that's not the point.

So my conclusions to my anterior-ly rotated hip....

this didn't start in June (it was just discovered)...

and it didn't start in Nov 2007 when I fell....

nor back when I had runner's knee

Or piriformis pain

or IT band issues

But aside from the injuries caused by falling...this rotation probably CAUSED the other ones and aggressively aggravated the ones that were induced by falling and hence were so hard to overcome.

And the reality...this probably only was actually OBSERVED because i am an endurance athlete. Maybe there is something to be said for being a couch potato?

Here is my slightly wackadoodle theory (although I think i'm right)...the fact that my hip has too much of a tilt to the forward is most likely related to the fact I have played the violin since I was five....

and have TMJ...

and have back issues...

but first to understand how my wacky jaw is related to my HIP... you have to believe in fascia

and then you have to believe that the fascia are all connected together in interesting patterns and an dysfunction in a shoulder can influence the opposite hip

And once that understanding is embraced then it starts to make sense that all of the gnarly issues in my fascia from TMJ and years of playing the violin might actually be the root cause of inducing the anterior tilt in my hip. How you say? By tightening some of the back muscles, my QL got too short, which probably weakened my glutes, my hip flexors got tight (aided by cycling and running i'm sure) and it leaves me with an imbalanced weird situation.

So how does one FIX this?

Me and my foam roller are friends...ok...we are much MORE than friends.

My acupuncturist continues to work on releasing many muscles and balance them out

i stretch

i strengthen the glutes

i strengthen the core....the guy working to balance me out has me pretty convinced i'm going to have abs of steel at the end of this. I'm starting to see the separation between my obliques and rectus abdominis muscles (ie those six pack muscles) on the sides of my stomach and oh yea and the separation between the ab muscles is starting at the top. Hopefully i'm not just imagining this. ;-)

But much of this (the foam roller and acupuncture)...leaves me a little worse for wear as well as doing the things that continue to shorten the wrong muscles, like cycling and running, makes it tough to strengthen and release the right ones.

So...i took some time off over the past 2 weeks. I have barely been on my bike in the past 3 weeks...running has been minimal. But hey i think i grew gills and i'm a fish now. Never mind the fact that i'm getting defined deltoids because me and the pull bouy and paddles are becoming fast friends. Hmmm...good thing i always thought deltoids were the coolest muscle group anyway. (and probably one of the most attractive on a guy...yes I do have a thing for guys with defined delts. ) But i think this means that i need to say 'bye-bye' to cap sleeved shirts that button on the arm. I have one shirt that is like that and now it is tight in the arms and too lose in the waist. I think pretty soon i won't be able to button the sleeves. Sigh...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Its a good kind of pain, i think?

Nagging injuries, well...suck. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooo tired of my hip injury that I have just up and decided, i'm over it. It doesn't matter that I can feel the spasm. Nope...i'm just over it. Ok...maybe i'm not over it physically...but i'm sooooooooooo over it mentally that mentally chose to deal with it as little as i can get away with.

That being said i have been 'prehabing' my hips for ironman next year. I had a lot of acupuncture after falling in May prior to Vineman which got me through vineman with the promise that post vineman i would focus on 'fixing it'. I"m in 'fixing it' mode, but the problem: it would get worse, it would get better nothing really was happening. i was secretly frustrated.

If I did X it was irritated...but only sometimes. I'd do Y on one day and nothing would be bad and then i would do Y again and i would have a massive trigger point. I wasn't getting any worse but i know i'm only at 90% and heavy loads of training would surly expose this and quickly.

For a few weeks i have been doing the strength hip thing with a person who is working to balance all of my muscles in my body prior to ironman training. I didn't have a full opinion of what he has been doing with me I was basically pondering the questions: was it working? Was this worth it?

While i didn't feel like i was making much progress, I had decided to just give it a shot and see what would happen and then last week I sent him an email: oh by the way whatever you did to me...i have a big 'ol unhappy trigger point in the psoas. not in pain...but definitely irritated.

So this week his response: that shouldn't have happen if it is psaos originated.

Me in my head:ok buddy then what do you suggest. most people won't suggest anything so here i am with the bitter knowledge that we might be treating something that isn't the right thing.

Him: Let's try something else...let's see if something ELSE is what the problem is. Maybe it is a quad strain?

And miracle of miracle...we found it. I get a referred trigger point that is typical of psoas pain and what i had when i fell the first time, but this time...i have a different irritated/strained muscle. Lots of poking and prodding of the muscle and it now...HURTS.

But i'm encouraged. Finding the root cause means we can fix it. Before it just seemed like guess work and i wondered if i was every going to get 100% better.

i'm in for some acupuncture tomorrow and i'm sure she will electrocute me in the process...literally. Not a fun thing when someone hooks electrodes up to needles that are IN your body...but it stopped the other spasm before.

in the meantime...ice and heat and oh what was that? Oh yea rest a little bit? that's a hard one.