Sunday, April 29, 2012

From Rabdo to Appendicitis...whats next?

Well I thought having Rabdo was going to be a short lived set back...and it was. I was riding easy and looking forward to Iron Hill next week. Wednesday I starting getting some side cramps, thought maybe it was the junk in my bloodstream exiting and leaving my body, so though I was in pain I just went with it.

Friday came and it was much worse; to the point where standing was painful. I decided to call my wife at work and she was concerned and said to leave work and get my mother in law to take mr back to the ER to see what was going on.

We arrived at 4:00 and went through the whole onslaught of questions as usual. So, I had 2 IV's in me and the doctor saying it sounds like either a burst appendix or a kidney issue-neither of which are a good thing. So around 7:30, after a few CT scans the doctor came back with the news of an immediate appendectomy...OH JOY! So off to the OR I went for surgery. Remember your mom telling you about having clean undies on, cause you will never know what happens? Well I was goin commando! I have never had surgery before, so this was all new to me. I was worried, of course. It was an hour procedure, so I was out around 10:30pm and I remember nothing, absolutely nothing. When you are out, you are out. So I awoke with this immense pain from my boughs and thought they had taken the wrong organ out or something. I couldnt stand, it hurt to urinate, talk, cough...anything. Of course the first thing out of my mouth was-how long before I can get back on the bike. They found it funny, somehow it wasnt meant to be funny on my end.

I was in the hospital until 6pm yesterday and was told that I can do nothing...absolutely nothing for at least 7 days. That is a lifetime for anyone who rides and especially in the middle of training. Worst news I could hear. So, this next week is going to be extremely difficult both not being able to ride and doing nothing around the house to help. The pain in myside is down from yesterday, but wow, you dont realize what muscles you use just to walk and sit until those muscle arent available any more, at least for a while.

Saturday did have an up note though. Alex made the travel team. I really am upset that I wasnt able to be there to see it, but he is also playing with the 9-10's as well, so that makes it even more of an accomplishment. Great job son!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recovery Stinks! Alex is Movin and Groovin

Well, I have been told that Rabdo is a serious issue and I have been taking it very easy. I have tried to sneak a few easy road rides in here and there, it was my easy week anyway, so I got lucky in a weird sort of way. Kind of like a Rube Goldberg machine. I could have had a nicer recovery week without "having" to recover.

I have elected to do active recovery in leu of static. Even getting on the trainer just to keep the legs limber. I am not one to easily sit and do nothing.

The classic Ted Williams swing baby!
On a different note. Today Alex had his Pitch Hit and Run competition for baseball. Now Alex, who is a lot like me (poor kid) is blessed with being able to pick up a sport and run with it. He has never played baseball; although I myself dabbled in the 4 base arts for 20 years, he is showing true talent.

Today he won the hitting portion of the contest which allows him to qualify for the regionals in his 7-8 age group. He was 2nd in the run and 2nd in the pitching portion. He was also approached by the travel team coach and was asked if he would like to play for them. In typical Alex fashion with a soft "ok". Me? I was whoopin it up! I played travel league ball and this was awesome right son? "What is travel team?" This where you hear the cartoon sound when they shake their heads really fast eyeeyeeyee.

Nolan Ryan protégé
So we wait to find out what happens. Alex has also been chosen as opening day pitcher. Hopefully he can throw his 47mph heater where it needs to be.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Trip to the ER

Well, since Bakers, I have had bouts of dizziness and feeling really weak. The weak part is normal after a long day in the saddle, but the dizziness and fainting episodes are not. So my wife, who is a nurse demanded I go to the Docs who proceeded to have me go to the ER. Well 5 hours, I cat scan and MRI later, I was told I had a concussion and a case of...ready for this term?

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidney and often causes kidney damage. 

The thought of pieces of muscle running hand and hand with my whites ans reds doesnt sound pleasent. Lucky for me, mine was mild. It releases an agent (Creatine phosphokinase (CK) is an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle.) into the bloodstream which causes those symptoms. I thought I had a little Calvin Klein in me! This occurs in athletes in endurance events and the only cure is rest (hmmm...) and plenty of fluids. So, all is well and lookin to get back to ridin' hard. All told, I would have finished the race exactly the way I did; only if by stretcher would I have not. Oh, and new xrays came back negative on rib fractures, so just a chest wall muscle sprain. Over and out!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bakers Dozen and a Solid 3rd Spot aka Old Guys Rock!

Outfit #1
Bakers is always an adventure. Could be warm, could be cold, could be windy and cold, could be windy wet and cold...etc. This year was about as close to perfect as possible. 75° temps, dry, albeit maybe too dry, but dry none the less. I always wonder if I should camp out or just drive down in the am. So far drive down is winning. The whole family-1 is part of the crew. So 5:45 we get up get stuff packed and go.

This year, I teamed up with fellow SSer Blake Bricker. I met Blake a few years back at some of the local racers, but just left it at that. Last year we talked a bit more and decided that we would do Bakers as a male duo, only because we are males and cannot ride in the female duo-stupid rules. We could have done the geezer group, but whats the fun in that? 2 44 year old men givin it to the youngins-so against the youngins we go. Blake is always right there in the top, so it was a great match up; plus we are both old, but he has better hair than me-I hate him for that!

Outfit #2-Yes that is a geared bike!
So, Blake went out first and pulled in some great times. We decided before hand to do double laps at 16.6 miles for 2 laps-instead of the usual one on and one off deal. I went out and pulled in some fast times as well, only my 3rd lap was a bit more exciting. I still dont know what happened, but I am typing this out with a man girdle around my mid section due to my high speed impact with mother earth. It hurts like !@$#. Doc says ribs may be cracked but hard to tell from the xrays. Might be? So he is being cautious and making me wear the girdle. Anyway, we continued on through out the day meandering between 3rd and 4th. Still feeling pretty good at this point, but my 7th lap was dismal; felt faint and ill, somehow still managed a good lap time. I sat down, had 4 slices of pizza, 2 sodas and was back to normal. I rode the Superfly HT for my 8th lap to help get back to SS state.

Lap 16... almost home
At this point it was time for some night riding. The dry conditions made for some pretty insane and somewhat dangerous conditions, especially if there was someone ahead of you kicking up dirt. Like opening your eyes underwater at the waste treatment plant-dont ask. We had 19 laps at this point, I knew we good for top 5, so I didnt go out for the 20th-main reason was that the scoring booth had not been working for a while and it was hard to tell what was going on. It is at this time-the final hour or so that strategies start playing out. You have to be in by 9:59:59 to do a final lap, if not you are done. Results were emailed today and we ended up in 3rd by 6 minutes...whew. I ended up with a 32/17 setup for the SS's and 42 x 11/21 Dura Ace cassette for the geared bike.

Blake was super fun to race with-though we only saw each other briefly. He is a great competitor and a new found friend as well. Hopefully we will get to team up for some other events. Sandie is Blakes SS partner in crime and ended up in 4th place in the female solo cat. Both are just super fun to hang with. 

All in all, it was blast. The course as always is very technical and fast. It always beats me up, but I love it. Training has been a huge plus this year and really could see a difference in my endurance side. I ended up with 72 miles and almost 6 hours of dusty, dry and wonderful miles, Looking forward to next year already. Thanks again Blake! Eh, he's to smart to read this crap.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Someone else gets to ride Pinky

Yes, it is true. My friend and Adventures for the Cure teammate Jon Houghton will be riding my beloved Pinky on the morrow at Bakers on his 3 man team. He found a crack in his Kona tonight and now must face his demons-being comfortable with his masculinity! I will get some photos for sure if our laps allow. Go get em' Manly Man!

One Fine Day at Little G

Thursday was one of those days that just happens. You get up, knowing you have an all day race on saturday and going out and lettin' loose. I started out just figuring on doing a nice 20 miler on the SS and when I pulled up to the parking lot, my whole game plan had changed. I was going to hammer, not full on, but I was going to just go. I have been riding a 32/17 set up as of late, which is not the smartest choice for someone trying to save their 44 year old knees from the inevitable crushing affects of riding the rigid beast, but it has been working... at least for now. I also have seen something a little weird as well. At first I thought my hr strap is on the fritz, but 3 rides have confirmed my max hr is 207, not 200. Anyway, here is the screenshot from that ride. I think my new favorite color is yellow, yeah...I like it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nice Bakers Dozen Pre Ride

Today we headed down to Leesburg to get some mileage in for the race this weekend. We ended up doing 4 laps and 32 miles. The course is way fast and technical. I averaged 12.3 mph and lap times were 38 minutes for 8.1 miles. This course has a few sections that will challenge your upper body strength for sure. Lots of roots and pock marked earth. The race is held on a farm, so much of the trail are cow paths which doesnt make for smooth terrain. There isnt a lot of climbing, but what climbs there is are technical, rocky and tight. I have yet to decide whether or not to ride a geared thing or gear down to a 32/16 for the ss. I rode the superfly ss toady with the Niner carbon fork and boy did the course beat the crap out of me. I may decide to ride the Ferrous, which was the bike I primarily road at last years race. I still have the double bouncy thing a ma bob that may get a shot as well. Only my body can let me know for sure.

It has also been a great week on the mtb. 136 miles out of 187 thus far. Thus far, pretty funny. 50 PR's, KOM's and other accolades on Strava. It is also the first week in probably a year that I rode the mountain bike that much.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hill new secret weapon?

Now I know getting older can make you a little loopy at times; ok alot. I know that riding the SS requires a different set of muscles than if you are spinning on the geared bike, so why do those of us who choose the monocog pain machine train as if we are ridin' the ole' clanker? Now, clearly I have no idea what I am talking about, but I feel if you are reading this, maybe, just maybe you think I do. It is no secret that you are grinding and sawing away out of the saddle, so this requires a completely different focal point in your training regimen. Now, you certainly cant neglect other areas of training, especially the endurance aspect and toss in a few threshold tempo rides, but I really think that we get caught up in how others train for sitting and spinning, while we should focus more on standing and mashing.

I have been doing quite a bit of hill repeats this year; actually, I am doing hill repeats for the first time this year. They have been ranging from 1 mile 4% grinders, to shorter 1/4 mile 8-12%, 50 rpm quad killers. I have been doing these twice a week for the last month. What I have found is-no duh, right-is not only has my climbing improved, but I am doing it with more power and more with more economy. On the mountain bike, I feel as if I have this extra kick when I really need it. Not only that, but I am maintaining that power through the climb, not just to the top. My HR has yet to get into the 190's, in fact 186 has been the norm. Here are a few to try if you dare to push yourself beyond the pain cave.

Option (1) On a 1 mile slope of 4% on the road bike in gearing that allows for cadence between 70-80-I use a 53/17. 2(3x2) with 5 minutes in between sets. You want shorter rest times in between reps to give your muscles just enough time NOT to recover fully.

Option (2) On a 1/4 mile slope of 8-12%, again on the road bike, but cadence should be 50-60. Again, I will use a 53/21 or 53/19. 5x1, i minute on 1 minute off. These hurt, but I guarantee that these will make you a stronger, more efficient climber. If it doesnt, you should probably just grab a bag of chips and find a nice comfy spot on the couch and pick lint out of your belly.