Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Hug of Doom

Last Monday I bent down to hug my daughter good night. She's been doing this thing, lately, where she grabs onto me and won't let go until I pry her off (it's good to be the king). This time I felt...something in my shoulder. Not a pop, not a pull. Just something. I figured she'd somehow tweaked my rotator cuff injury a bit, which would have been a shame because it had just become pain-free.

The next morning I was a bit sore. By the afternoon I had to leave work a little early because it had gotten really sore. For the next few days I left work a little early so I could rest my very sore shoulder. Shifting my 5-speed car was not fun. I had to take three Ibuprofen an hour before bedtime to lessen the pain so I could get more than three hours of sleep a night. By the time the weekend rolls around, I decided to totally rest my shoulder so I laid in bed and watched the first season of "Kung Fu" and did very little else.

Things are a little better, but still not great, by Sunday night. Better enough to move my shoulder around a little so I could stretch it a tiny bit. That's when I felt a little pop and knew right away that that made my shoulder feel better. Suddenly I could move my shoulder a bit more, though it was still sore. Near as I can tell, my daughter dislocated my shoulder by grabbing me in a certain way on that Monday night. Not so unreasonable when you consider that I had previously dislocated that same shoulder back in college, so it would be prone to such things (that time in college was also a slight dislocation that hurt a lot).

Needless to say, training for this Sunday's triathlon has been right out since the injury. No swimming, running, or cycling. It turns out you use your shoulder in nearly every kind of movement and if I was going to make it to the triathlon, I had to rest that shoulder. Now that things are looking up, though, I need to get the cobwebs out. First up is an easy loop around Griffith Park on the bike tomorrow. Thursday will see me do my first 2-mile lunchtime run (more on that in another post). Friday, if at all possible, will be an extremely easy day in the pool so I can see what my range of motion is and figure out how to swim if it's still limited.

I've asked my daughter to go easy on me in the future.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thanks, Lance

Work on a hit movie...check
Pull someone from a burning car...check
Visit New York City...check
Ride with Lance Armstrong...check

You know that list of things you've done where you can look back and say, "Yeah, I did that." I guess they're calling them "bucket lists" these days. I can add riding with Lance Armstrong to mine. Perhaps you heard about Lance's ride around Griffith Park last week? Since Griffith Park is only a couple of miles from work, of course I had to go.

It started early last week when Lance tweeted that he was going to be doing a ride while he was in Los Angeles. Cool! Like a good geek I brought my bike to work, along with riding clothes, the next day. Then on Wednesday he set Thursday at 7:30 as the start time.

I got to my work's parking lot by 7 and rode to Griffith Park. There were already a couple of hundred people waiting when I arrived. So we waited. Finally, a few minutes past 7:30, Lance shows up. Five minutes later and we're off (I'm about 17 seconds in, white jersey and blue shorts).

By the time I get onto the road, Lance is already hauling ass quite a ways down the road...and there's still a heck of a hill to go! I do what I can but I don't even see him on that first lap. Starting the second lap I notice a bunch of cyclists on the side of the road. Looks like the idea is that we've been dropped by Lance, now we can get lapped by him, too. I pull off and wait. When I see them coming I hop on and pedal like crazy (but I don't see a lot of people from the roadside getting on their bikes--I guess they're just taking pictures?). I can tell they're getting close by the activity on the side of the road. Pretty soon there is Lance and the guy he's talking to right next to me. I'm pedaling like mad and they're just cruising. I didn't dare look back but if I had I would have seen a grand tour-size peloton swallow me up. I sure didn't feel the drafting helping me but I know it did because I was (almost) keeping up. Until we started hitting that hill, at which point I made a right turn, then a U-turn and headed back to work.

I got dropped then lapped by Lance Armstrong! Cool!

A side-effect of all this is that a friend replied to one of my tweets about going, saying that her hubby rides Griffith Park at lunch. Griffith Park at lunch, why didn't I think of that before!? So yesterday I took my bike into work and did Griffith Park at lunch. Two Trash Truck Hill loops and I was set. Since I can't ride to/from work during the school year (I'm my son's chauffeur), riding Griffith Park on Mondays and Wednesdays will be great. Hey, I'm 675 miles from hitting 3,000 miles for the year so I need the mileage. Another plus is that still I get my hill workouts but I don't have to get up at 5am to do it.

So now I have some more workouts on the schedule and it wouldn't have happened without Lance and his ride. Kooky.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dramamine & Me vs. The Ocean

It's a week before the Malibu Triathlon and I needed to get in an ocean swim before the race. Mostly for practice but...well, it's hard to explain but I just really felt I needed to.

I got up early and headed out to beach (it's about 50 minutes from my house). I got there a bit early so I drove the bike course. Looks like fun! Back to the beach and I get into my wetsuit. Oh, I forgot to mention that I took two "Less Drowsy" Dramamine while on the drive. I had used these for a couple of boat tours on last year's vacation and they seemed to do the trick. I didn't feel like doing cartwheels but I wasn't feeding fishes, either.

It's time to get into the water and I now know what to expect: spending some time getting used to the cold, followed by un-freaking out about he scale of the ocean, then just putting my head down and swimming. After my prep the swim was coming along nicely. Then the nausea came at about the same place it did in my Oxnard race. *Sigh*

I think this was really why I needed to do the swim. My last ocean swim was 400 yards and this was going to be twice the distance. I had to be sure that the Dramamine worked. It didn't. At least I didn't have to push myself through a whole race this time. I simply stopped, gave it a few more tries, and then swam into shore before things got bad.

The bottom line is that I am going to DNS the Malibu Triathlon. I am just not able to handle ocean swims so it is going to be lakes, pools, and rivers from now on. On the plus side, my future in this sport is clearer. For instance, I don't have to worry about racing at Kona to make my life complete.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fire, Fire, Go Away

You know the Station Fire in Southern California that you've been hearing about so much in the news? It's a mile or two down the road from me. Can you guess what the largest fire in Southern California history does to the air? Can you guess what that air does to one's training? I have the Malibu Triathlon in less than two weeks and I haven't worked out in ten days. That can't be good.

What is good is that the fires nearby are pretty much out (the rest of it is still raging a bit farther away, though). I am hoping that means the air is going to clear up a bit. The plan now is to swim tomorrow (Thursday), ride my bike to work Friday, ride and bike Saturday, maybe ocean swim and ride in Malibu on Sunday, bike and run Monday, swim Tuesday, easy bike ride Wednesday morning, then rest until the tri. It's not ideal but it's making the best of a bad situation.