Friday, May 11, 2012

Sick and broken, but mending both

Yeah, I caught another stinkin' cold. Pretty sure I should have either put on a hoodie (I had 2 of them with me) or at least stayed out of the shade after the Mudpuppy Chase 10k last Sunday, but hindsight doesn't stop the sniffles. Fortunately, after a stuffed up Monday and absolutely miserable head-throbbing Tuesday and Wednesday, the massive quantities of goo in my cranium thickened up yesterday and I'm actually feeling a bit better today. Between copious amounts of tea with honey and lemon, regular dosings of echinacea and an absolutely staggering consumption of water, I hope to have this thing licked by tomorrow! I figure one really good sleep ought to do it.

It's been a pretty chill week of training, partly due to my gooeyness, and partly due to having flat-out shattered my legs on Sunday. I'd forgotten how sore a short race could make you! It wasn't the same as the pain from any of the 20+km races I've done, but my hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves (and for some reason my left bicep - figure that one out!) were all hurting through Monday and Tuesday. I used The Stick on everything because I couldn't quite muster the courage to hit the foam roller, but the tightness in my calves is being a bit stubborn. It's been all easy running this week, anyway - can't push the intensity when I'm recovering and can hardly breathe!

Dolph on the trainer

I did hit one session that made me really happy, though - because of the stupid running injury I sustained back in January and doing Paris to Ancaster last month, I'd spent most of this year riding my cyclocross bike instead of my tri bike (which has given me some chafing issues in the past, not allowing me to put in the day-in-day-out work on the trainer that sustained me through the injury). I'd put maybe 100km on Dolph (my 2009 Cervelo P1) this year out of 1,600+ kilometers of cycling since January 1st. I'd even rode the CX bike for the indoor tri back in February! While it's all still good training and one bike isn't that much different than another, the Woodstock Triathlon is less than 3 weeks away and I had no idea about my ability to ride in aero!

I hopped on Dolph on the trainer on Wednesday night after a short, easy 5.5km run under sketchy skies while a cold wind blew - I'd been considering going for a 30k hill ride on the 'cross bike, but with being sick and it threatening rain I figured indoor was a safer bet. I clipped in, started to spin, and my Cateye V2c cycle computer showed...nothing. I figured the sensor had just moved a bit, so without leaving the saddle, I tried to push it toward the rear wheel a bit. With the wheel still spinning. I'm smart like that.

Needless to say, the sensor ended up getting clipped by a spoke (it was apparently pretty loose), and the whole speed/cadence unit hit the floor as the mount gave way. I immediately commenced screaming obscenities, jumped off the bike and surveyed the damage: the sensor seemed fine, but a tiny chunk of the circular plastic piece on the right side of the mount had broken off. Would I be able to get just the mount replaced, or would I have to buy the whole (quite expensive) thing again? Could I fix it? Let's try fixing it!

Taking a photo of the actual damage was the furthest thing from my mind

Off to the kitchen with poor Tanker wondering what the hell all the fuss was about, I searched for salvation in a tiny tube. Tank finally managed to locate the Krazy Glue in the bottom of the fridge, and I ran back downstairs to see if I could reverse my own stupidity. With a bit of luck and only minimal glue on one index finger (seriously, the piece that snapped off was only about 3mm x 2mm, and needed glue in 2 places), I managed to bung it all back together. I'll check it again before I venture outside, but it seems to be holding just fine - phew! To my pleasant surprise, it also appears that replacement parts are available, so I'm not totally screwed even if the repair proves non-durable.

Drama now complete, I managed to get the sensor positioned properly to pick up the magnets, then hopped on the bike. Down into aero, I actually felt pretty good - I went through a 15min warmup, spinning different gears at different cadences, and the familiar old chafing was notable for its absence. I'd moved my saddle back just a tad the last time I'd been on the trainer, and it seemed to have done the trick! I moved on to the meat of the workout: 3 x 10min intervals with 5min recoveries, which I know is a bit weeny, but I'm sick damnit! Through the first interval, the back of my shoulders started to get a bit sore from holding the aero tuck, so I sat up through the recovery. I had none of the discomfort I usually get when going back down into the aerobars, and cranked out the second interval quite happily, sitting up for the second recovery just to check a message on my phone. Back down for the third intervals, and still no pain or chafing! I can't remember the last time I felt that comfortable and connected on my tri bike. An added benefit; I'd been feeling a little crampy and nauseous, and the aero tuck was close enough to the fetal position that it actually seemed to feel better than sitting up.

Also helping: the new aerobar pads Tanker got me for Christmas

The best part? Not only was I comfortable, I was putting out excellent power! While not pushing to my maximum due to the gooeyness, I still pulled out the best 3 x 10min average speed for tempo intervals I've managed this year (no records exist prior to January, when I developed my power calculation spreadsheet based on the known resistance curve of my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine)! I felt quite strong down in the aerobars, which I believe I can attribute to my biggest cycling volume spring yet, plus coming up on the third anniversary of owning my tri bike. Years' worth of adaptation is paying off!

Having joyfully discovered that Dolph and I get along better than ever, I decided that last night I had better try a brief run last night in my tri loafers (the Zoot Ultra Speeds in which I'll be racing almost exclusively for this tri season) since I hadn't run in them since last summer. The run went great, the shoes felt wonderful, my legs are starting to come back, and I even got in a decent 2,300m swim afterward. Not bad for a sick girl!

Now all I really need to do is change out the rear tire on Dolph so I can ride him outside a few times (his current rear is dangerously worn, but I have a replacement on hand) and get the danged lakes to warm up so I can get in an open water swim! I'm starting to get really stoked for tri season now - bring on Woodstock!

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