Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tour de Valley...

So yesterday Lance and I - no, not THAT Lance, but my buddy Andrew who's nickname is Lance and at the time he got it, it had nothing to do with THAT Lance but now that he's riding we could easily make that mistake - went for a wee bike ride. Originally the plan was to ride from Walnut Grove - no, not THAT Walnut Grove, but the Walnut Grove in Langley - to Cultus Lake. Oh how I was looking forward to going to Cultus Lake... Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

We still did a great tour of the Valley though in that we were in Langley, Fort Langley (such a cute place), Aldergrove and Abbotsford. The first part of the trip was awesome as we were following along some goregous little country roads. There was one big arse climb that we did where I was gasping and desperately trying to be the mountain goat and where our Lance was being the mountain goat. Good thing was that it was awsome recovery training for me because as soon as I finally made it to the top I sucked in some air and then had to motor to catch up with him.

There were some areas that had a bit too much traffic for my comfort level, but I think I'm just spoiled from all the country roads I ride in Alberta. It was great just being out there, riding with a friend, and daydreaming about jumping into the lake. Oh, did I mention it was great heat training too? We've been over 30 celsius, that'd be 86 F for my Southern friends, here since I arrived.

There was only one problem with our plan...we didn't factor in my neck/upper back starting to give me grief. Well, we did acknowledge that it might occur, but I was hoping for the best. Unfortunately by the time we got to the airport I asked Lance to stop for a bit. I could feel things get really tight and it didn't matter if I was in aero or sitting up. Being so close to the race I didn't want to bugger with my neck and back, but I really wanted to keep riding. After much thought and a few f-bombs into the wind, of which there was none, I decided it'd be best if we turned back. So our 140 km bike ride turned into a 90 km bike ride.

As soon as I made the decision and got back onto my bike I knew it was the correct one because I had some serious sharp pains going on. I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to get angry because I wanted to cry.

I mean seriously, what was the big deal. So I had to cut the ride short? I rode for two hours on Saturday. So with just those two rides I got in 150 km. Why is it the mind likes to play these games with us? There are days when I give it my best shot and decide, I can't do this and I don't think twice about it. And then there are days when I NEED to stop and I feel all guilty. What an utter waste of emotional energy.

Where does the guilt come from? My coach isn't going to be bothered. My folks will understand. My friends in triathlon have been there. My friends not in triathlon just think it's cool I would have done 90 km in the first place. So why feel bad about the whole thing I ask you?!

I have thought about that, because I think it's silly I felt bad, and have come up with one conclusion. We feel bad because we are designed to feel bad and if we didn't feel bad then maybe we'd miss more workouts for reasons not as good as a bad pain and then were would we be??

Today the neck is still not great, but I'm continuing with my workouts. There are only 41 days left till Ironman Canada so I want to keep going the best I can. If I have severe pain, I will stop the workout because to continue on wouldn't be an intelliget thing to do. I'm not out to place in this event, just to finish it with a smile and to honour my friend.

This morning I headed to Dad's gym to go for a swim and a run. On the docket was a 3500 m swim broken up into intervals of sprints and easy swims of various distances. Towards the end of the swim I was thinking 'Holy hannah make it end!', but I really loved the variety of the swim. My arms were like noodles at the end of it too, which is a good sign. Oh and let's not forget that I could turn my head now so could breath without the aid of gills of which I do not possess!

I think I was too focused on my swim to notice anything fun in the pool. This pool is usually good for that. Either it's people swimming at you because there are no lane ropes, or you have an onslaught of pool noodles that are being wielded by persons of the non swimming variety that you have to weave in and out of. Today was pretty mellow to the point that I had the entire pool to myself for a good 20 minutes.

Once out of the pool I headed to the dreadmill. I had some intervals to do so figured I'd just hop on there. My legs were fatigued from yesterday so the difference between my intervals was not a great deal. There were times when I wanted to stop, but kept reminding myself that I could do this. And I did. Mission accomplished. It's always such a proud moment when you battle the urge to stop. Perhaps thats another reason I felt bad about turning around yesterday. Who knows.

After my workout I headed to the mall to have tea with Dad and his buds from the gym. They are such a sweet lot. Only two of them were still there by the time I got there (mental note start earlier if you are doing a swim and a run), but we still had a chance to chit chat. I then headed back to the shiatsu place.

This time it was a gal working on me. I explained briefly what was going on and she started her work. The first point she hit was in my neck and I swear her finger went in the one side of my neck and was poking out the other. I then started a 'Just breath' mantra.

I don't know what exactly shiatsu does, but I swear I got half unconscious from it. Or maybe that's just a defense mechanism so I don't feel so much pain? Or maybe they use some sort of Vulcan death grip that puts you to sleep rather than kills you?! Either way there were times I felt like I was waking up.

Again my face was being smoooshed into the little head holder thingy. Underneath that they have a little basket where you can place your wallet, keys etc. They neatly cover it with a little towel so no one can see what's in there. Or at least I thought it was so no one could see in there. After today's visit I think it's so that when they do the Vulan grip and you pass out your drool doesn't get all over your stuff. That's right drool. Don't make like you don't know what I'm talking about. It's just like when you were in school and you fell asleep and woke up with drool all over your cheek.

I can't really tell if the neck/upper back thing is getting better. I still struggle to look down and am getting headaches. I was hesitating taking meds for it, but am slowly reconsidering this fact. Perhaps a hit of Robaxecet will help things 'let go'. If I do decide to take that there will be more drool. I don't do well with meds that say 'May cause drowsiness'. I will have to plan for being knocked out a good 12 hours straight....so we'll have to think on this more.

I think I'll go try ice on it now, see if that helps. On the positive side, I still have the ability to look left and right. Phew!

Peace out my gorgeous friends!


  1. boy i hope u get that neck thing sorted out...happy vibes!!

  2. Way to go for bouncing back after the tears. Good for you -- you let out the frustration and then moved on. Good girl! :) :)

    SO happy to hear you could turn your neck for swimming. :)

  3. I hope your neck gets better!! It sounds like you are having a nice time out in BC regardless!

  4. Dr. S. told me not to take my pain meds sparingly if I'm hurting. He says pain impedes healing. My advice, as is his, is to take it if you feel it. Hope it feels better soon.

  5. I'm always the same way - I feel like I have to make up for something cut short or missed along the way. It's not you're consistently doing that and are going to miss the marks for ironman. It's just smart to stay healthy at this point, NOW is NOT the time to push through the pain. Ironman day is a different story - you only get out of that if medical carries you away. Otherwise, forge on!

  6. A lot of wise realizations in this one. Especiallyh the one about the drool-I was queen of drooling all over my backpack in high school :).

    Anyway, you seem to have found a good balance between pushing yourself but letting up when you know that continuing on will do more damage. You are a wise athlete!

  7. Take care Susi, hope your neck heals.