Weekend Group Ride

This weekend, as part of my role as a Coeur Sports ambassador, I led a beginner friendly ride of an old triathlon course here in Maryland.  While the ride was welcome to riders of all paces, my big goal was to make sure that slower riders felt like they belonged.

I know what it’s like to be afraid of group rides, worried that I won’t be able to keep up.  So I made a point to note to everyone that this ride was open to all paces.  I would be riding in the back, and if someone wanted to take a break mid-ride, that was fine by me.  This was all about getting out there and riding.

I had a small group of people show up, but I couldn’t have been happier with the participants.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to each other, and I heard more than once that people were so glad that the ride was zero pressure.  Sure, I had people say “Oh, I will be slow, don’t worry if you have to leave me behind.”  And you know what?  They were WRONG.  They weren’t slow.  In fact, I was expecting to have an easy ride and came into the morning with slightly dead legs.  This was not the easy ride that my legs wanted.

I’m absolutely guilty of underestimating myself and my abilities.  I don’t think I’m “good enough” for a lot of group rides.  But like some of the folks who came out for my ride, I need to take a hard look at what I can do and not psych myself out because I don’t think I’m good enough.

I had so much fun getting this group out and riding, and I plan to do at least one more ride later this summer.  Most of these people were complete strangers who showed up to ride and I think we all had an awesome time.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

If you’ve been thinking about putting together a group ride, do it!  You never know who might be looking for a group to ride with.  Put out a Facebook invite, tell people in your tri club, ask people to spread the word.  I’m so glad I did.

Labral Tear Recovery – 4 Month Update

Just over four months ago, I was diagnosed with a labral tear.  Of course, I’ve been dealing with it since November, so it certainly feels like forever.  But it’s been a while since I discussed my recovery, and since I spent a ton of time searching the internet for information about labral tear recovery, I thought it was time to do an update.

So to quickly recap, I started having pain when I ran back in November.  I saw a doctor in January and was diagnosed with a labral tear at the end of the month.  I started PT in early February.  Of course, because the MRI of my hip also discovered the cyst on my ovary, that became priority one, and I lost much of March in terms of hip rehab, since I was recovering from abdominal surgery.

Thus, even though I’m four months into labral tear recovery, in many ways, I’m also really only at month two of solid rehab work.

Physical therapy isn’t a quick fix, especially not for something like this.  After all, I’m working to build the muscles in my leg, hip, and torso to better support the joint and do the work that the torn cartilage is supposed to be doing.  You don’t see results in the gym after just two weeks, so it makes sense that PT would be similar.

But I can confidently say that I am seeing results.  I’m not to the point of being 100% pain free, but I don’t have pain when I run (though I’m absolutely easing back in incredibly slowly), and that’s awesome.  Previously, I was having pain immediately when I started to run.  Walking would be fine, but swinging my foot forward for that first run step was painful.  Now I have some stiffness, but nothing like before.  Some days are better than others – some days my left leg just aches, and after cheering at Chattanooga, I was significantly more sore than I anticipated.

Physical Therapy is easily a 4-6 month process, and even though I’m four months in, I’m counting April 1 as my beginning, since I lost some of the progress I made in January when I had to take off much of March.  But even looking at it 4 months in, I’m really happy with where I’m at.   This reaffirms my decision to go with physical therapy rather than straight to surgery or experimental procedures.

Of course, I’m lucky that my insurance covers a good amount of physical therapy (after my copay, of course), but I’m sure they’d rather fund this than a second surgery for the year.

So for now, I’m just continuing with PT and making sure to do my daily exercises.  I’m sure I’m going to come out of this stronger and better balanced than before, and I’m hoping all this work will help prevent any additional injuries in the future.

Weekly Workout Recap

callmegundu / Pixabay

I am so excited to finally be able to do a weekly workout recap again!  I’m finally back into normal training without injury or travel (sorta) or anything else to get in my way.  Here’s to recommitting.  And being tired all the time.  And hungry.  So hungry.

Last week, I had to do a bit of finagling with my schedule to get almost everything in, but thankfully, I have a coach who understands that life sometimes gets in the way.

Monday (Memorial Day) – 90 minutes on the trainer.  It was such a bummer that all my county lap pools were closed because it would have been a perfect day for swimming.

Tuesday – Walk/Run intervals.  I’m still very slowly easing in to running with a solid warmup and cool down and a few 30 second bursts of running.  I’m terrified every time, but I’m still pain free.

Wednesday – 60 minutes on the trainer.  My coach does structured workouts that I can download into Zwift and I LOVE it.  I love how Zwift guides you through the workouts.  It’s so much easier than trying to keep my eye on my watch.  I’m using it with a dumb trainer, so I still have to do the adjustments, but the screen alerts are awesome guidance.

Thursday – At PT today, my therapist spent a ton of time on my TFL, to the point where walking was hard afterwards and it was sore til… well, til yesterday.  Needless to say, I did not run this day.  I did walk a mile to and from PT though, so it wasn’t a total waste.

Friday – Pool time!  I switch back and forth between a meter pool and a yard pool, which makes some of my drills seem so much harder.  You don’t think about the difference being that big until you’re doing longer sets.

Saturday – More pool time, plus another walk/run set.  Picked up the pool time I missed on Monday.

Sunday – I so wanted to be outside.  But it poured.  So much that at one point during the day, I was outside cleaning crap out of a drain so my basement didn’t flood.  So I spent another 90 minutes on the trainer.  Which I love, so that’s okay too.

Look at that!  A full week of workouts.  (Well, sorta.)  I’m so happy to be back to full training, even if I’m just easing in to the running.  I do miss my couch, but I finally feel like I’m normal me again.

May Mileage Update

Well, I actually have some run miles to report this month!  Admittedly, I’m not doing much running, less than three minutes of running for a 45 minute workout, but I’m still counting it as a run, because it’s training towards Rev3 Williamsburg.  I’m going to have to up those numbers though, since I didn’t even run a full 10k this month total.

May Totals
Swim – 5.4 miles
Bike – 146 miles
Run – 5 miles

With two separate weekends out of town, those numbers aren’t so bad.  I formally started training again this month, so I’m actually dragging myself to the pool on a regular basis.  I don’t mind swimming.  I end up enjoying the workouts.  I just dislike going to the pool.  It feels like such a process.  I think it’s because I’m spoiled, being able to do all of my other workouts at home.  Tragically, I don’t have a lap pool in my yard (nor is there actually room for a lap pool in my yard).

Recovery is still going well.  I’m doing weekly PT sessions, plus daily PT exercises at home.  I’m really lucky that my insurance covers my PT sessions.  The copay is a small price to pay for the benefits I’m getting (even when those benefits involve sticking needles into my hip).

I’m also stepping up my at home strength work in addition to my PT exercises.  I know that strength training and regular stretching is key to preventing injury, and yet I’m often terrible about doing it.  I’m sure I sound like a broken record, as this is not a new issue for me.

Here’s to a month of solid training leading up to my first triathlon of the year.  Yay!

Year To Date
Swim – 19.2 miles
Bike – 796 miles
Run – 9 miles

Cheering Recap – 70.3 Chattanooga

I am behind on my updates.  Two weeks ago, I went to Tennessee to cheer on my friends (and strangers) at 70.3 Chattanooga.  On some level, I was sad to not be racing, but I’m clearly still not back into shape thanks to this hip injury, so it was clear that I didn’t have any business being on the course.  I think that helped prevent any sadness in not being able to race.

But don’t get me wrong.  Cheering is hard work!

Since I was just tagging along and playing sherpa, I let the others kind of dictate the weekend – which was awesome.  It was nice to not have to make any decisions and just go with the flow.  I joined some of my awesome Coeur teammates for an open water swim practice, which was so much fun.  It was great to hang out with so many lovely ladies (and their families) and it was super convenient to be able to get in an OWS as well.  I hadn’t been in open water yet this season, and now I’ve managed to check off that box.

Race morning, I let our racers decide what time we would get to the race site.  So we were in bright and early (which is my preference as a racer for sure).  I met up with a bunch of teammates who were racing, made sure everyone had everything they needed, and then made the first trip back to the car with the bike pump and some other things.

Headed over to race start and found some more of our team members.  I was wearing a giant shark mask (mostly as a hat, because it was hot inside that thing).  It made me easy to find, which is good, since everyone I was looking for was wearing wetsuits and swim caps.  I collected items from some of the racers and then cheered everyone as they entered the water.  I stuck around to see the last swimmers get in, and everyone looked so great!  I was so proud of everyone.

Sherpa Shark enjoyed the view from the school bus after swim start.

I missed a lot of people getting out of the water because that swim was fast!  A number of my friends were out of the water before the last swimmers were in!  I hopped a bus back to transition and headed over to swim finish to watch the rest of the swimmers get out of the water.  It was awesome to see so many grinning faces as people made it out of the water.  I know that some team members were worried if they would all make it out of the swim in time, and everyone made it with plenty of time to spare.  It was such a great feeling.

I then headed back to the car to drop off the shark head and a few other things I had collected along the way, then stopped to grab coffee and a quick breakfast.  I started getting text messages that one of our racers seemed to have stopped.  Finally, I got a text from someone with information.  Even though Ruth didn’t finish the race, I’m so proud of all she accomplished, and her spirit is awesome and you should read her recap of what happened.  I tracked her down and offered a hug and was super impressed by her determination to try again.

Now things were getting busy.  I spent much of the day going between bike finish and the race finish line and then between the finish and mile 12.6, trying to see as many people as possible.  It was exhausting, but it was also awesome to cheer people along the way, both friends and strangers.  It was a hot day, and I was so impressed with everyone (and also kind of glad I wasn’t racing).

As friends finished the race, I slowly collected people and we headed up the run course to cheer people on where the race split and people on their first loop went one way and people on their second headed to the finish.  It was a tough spot to be at when the race time limit was reached and people were no longer allowed to head to their second loop.  Some seemed to know that it was going to happen, others were clearly devastated.  It’s so hard to put in all that effort and not just miss the cutoff.

I was so, so proud of all of my teammates who were out there, pushing through different situations, each doing their best in difficult conditions.  Everyone made smart choices, and sometimes that meant not finishing the race, but being able to race another day.

Being out and cheering was so, so much fun.  Definitely highly recommended, and I’m certainly going to make a point to be at more races in the future.  Just because I can’t race doesn’t mean I can’t exhaust myself on race day just the same!

(Seriously.  I was so, so sore the next day.  So sore.)

Just a few of my Coeur teammates at Chattanooga. We are terrible at all getting into a pic!