Time for a little personal update on my training and racing situation for 2012. I had the knee setback that screwed my running mojo for February and most of March. ALthough I never got an official diagnosis I got a lot of experts to look at it and all signs lead us to believe it's a tear/erosion of the articular cartilage. Unfortunately you can't really repair that, once cartilage is torn or injured it doesn't "grow back." So it's an issue I'll have to monitor forever, but I'm ok with that, I know several people well who have similar knee issues that the manage well enough to allow them to do endurance sports.
In my case with a little rest and a lot of proteolytic enzymes, I am now back to my third week of actual running. The enzymes have been key in helping to speed the recovery process by decreasing inflammation and swelling, reduce pain, improving function and "healing" in the affected area, minimizing scar tissue, etc. I thank my PT for turning me on to these gems. But looking at the research, proteolytic enzymes aren't a secret exclusive to us. Looking at sports history, the German Olympic Team first used them at the LA Games with their athletes seeing HUGE benefits, even down to less bruising. Come to think of it -- I used to bruise easily, and now I don't at all! Hm.
Anyways, so I'm back to running (and obviously still lots of biking and swimming) with my sights focused on two races at this point. One that I'll actually race, one that I'll just try to make the cutoffs and survive till the finish. The latter is the first race on the calendar and one that's had me worked up this week especially! It's a 45-mile mountain bike race with ~8,500 ft vertical elevation gain called Conquer The Mountain (formerly known as The Traverse). I told my mom I wouldn't sign up until I experienced the route, so we set out to ride it Wednesday. Holy shit. The hardest, most humbling ride ever. At 22 miles/3:40 ride time into it we'd accumulated in 6,000 ft vertical and were toasted. Add to that a later-than-expected-start, as well as a mechanical that set us back 30 minutes*, and we had to (read: I wanted to) take a detour for a quicker route back home--not the race course--so I could get back to the gym to teach my class in time. We still rode 4:46 all together, but half the race route remains unknown to me, including a gnarly decent.
|At when point when I was forced to hike up a steep hill. Decided to take a pic to document the insanity!
|The profile. Yummy.
I won't lie, after that ride I felt defeated and as if I had no business signing up for the race, feeling that it was over my head at this point in my MTB'ing. But the more I thought about it, the more I said to myself, "F that attitude." By Wednesday night I craved riding the whole route again, and by Thursday I was ready to challenge myself to still sign up for the race. Lucho was a big help in making me remember that getting in over our heads is exactly what it's all about; why we do this shit. How will you know what you can do unless you try??
So I signed up today... and I still have another 20-something miles of the race course I've yet to experience. I'll face that on Sunday. But even if I couldn't ride it, I'm still willing to put myself out there and do this thing!
|Love it out in the mountains even when I'm suffering :)
Next up as the big "A" race of the year is Vineman 70.3. If my running stays on track I think I'll be able to get myself to a level of being competitive in my AG in time. It will be tough with the setbacks I've had this year, but I'm focused and determined. I told John that he should expect me to be a little more antisocial in the coming months and even more of a grandma. Heck, after the MTB ride Wednesday I was lying on the couch that night zoned out when he came home and asked if I had been crying. I said, "hell no, that's just the freakin fatigue from the day's 'work' taking a toll on my face." Hahaha! Thankfully he gets it and is so supportive. He's got a lot going on too with his race car team, etc., so we know how to put in hard work even if it is "just for fun."
After Vineman? Who knows... another 70.3 and open marathon would be the ideal goals. Since I'm getting a late start on the season I plan on racing later into the year than normal.
That's it for now! The tough training will continue.... and I can't wait!
PS - If you haven't check out my new website, be sure to do so: www.coachtawnee.com. The gallery page was just recently updated too! Feedback/comments are welcome!