Reality Checks In
On the outside, it may seem easy for me to juggle my lifestyle, career, and family. This past week has been concrete evidence of otherwise. It never gets easy. The drama started last week after I was skipping around Montana for work. After finally getting back home on Saturday, I gave up trying to find the missing piece of my old bike trainer and I headed out and picked up a new Cycle Ops Fluid 2 trainer. It was sweet. It was beautiful. It was even more beautiful after I set it up. So there I was, ready to take my first ride, beaming with anticipation. As I approached my bike, I knocked over a pair of shoes next to my treadmill and out came the infamous missing trainer part. Hello irony.
So, back in the box the new trainer went. I am glad to have become learned in the art of new trainer setups. Back up went the old trainer and I cranked out my frustration during a 2 hour ride. Haven’t not been on the bike since racing the weekend before, it took quite a while to get my legs loose. Even after 2 hours, something didnt quite feel right. In fact, I was getting some pain in my left hip that I’ve never had before. I decided to take it easy and put out an IF of .72.
The next day, I found myself hobbling more than I liked. I chalked it up to time off the bike and hopped back on for a three hour ride. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get comfortable in the saddle. I felt like my legs were cramped, and that my heel was below my toes at the bottom of my stroke. In the middle of the ride, I decided to raise my saddle by about 1cm. That did seem to help, but the damage was done. I finished up for an IF .64.
This week, the onslaught at work continues full force. While I’m not traveling as much (only two cities to be in!), the charts are piling up and I’m going through meetings like Hammer bars. As always, Ive had to adjust the training schedule to fit around work and life. This is pretty much how I feel this week:
Yes, training can be a pain. Yes, the hours are crazy. Yet, despite all the trouble of this lifestyle, I attribute my sanity to all the running, swimming, and biking. On Monday, full of stress, I pounded out an angry 2700 yard swim straight. On Tuesday, put in a 5 mile run with 4 miles of fartlek on the track. Had to take Wed off to travel for a conference. Today, I finally got back on the bike. Again, just couldn’t get comfortable. In addition, it seemed so hard to reach my appropriate wattage. After cranking out the intervals, I couldn’t take it anymore. With my legs still feeling cramped, and my heel still feeling low, I raised my seat by another 1.5cm.
HUZZAH! Suddenly, everything from my back to my legs felt released. Moreover, before raising my seat, I was struggling to crank out 145 watts. After the small raise, in the same gear and resistance, I was easily churning out 165-170 watts. For all the newbies out there, let this be evidence of the importance of bike position. You can spend thousands of dollars on fancy wheels and the lightest bike, but nothing is going to matter if your position sucks. Work it.
Fortunately, the weekend ahead looks relatively uncluttered except for training. Tomorrow, I have a 14 mile run. After celebrating TGIF with a rocking, one day late, Cinco de Mayo party, the schedule has a monster 4.5 hour ride on Saturday and then a followed by a 2-3 hour ride on Sunday. Nirvana, here I come.