Thursday, February 11, 2010

Random Training Devices and Medieval Torture Devices (Foam Rollers and Bike Trainers)

After tweaking my IT band, I decided to take 10 days off from running. R.I.C.E.--the panacea for running injuries, right? Apparently, not for IT bands. I had my first, maiden voyage run yesterday after my 10-day hiatus. Travis was raring to go, deprived after getting used to his 16 miles a week (he's on a training plan too). I was worried we'd have to run the entire 4 miles at his breakneck 6:50 pace but, thankfully, he slowed to a more comfortable 8:30 after the first mile. Silly, Travis! Unfortunately, my IT band starting acting up after the first mile, as if I had given it no rest at all! That's it, IT band! No more rest for you! If you're going to hurt just as much with rest as without, I'm just going to keep running! I have upped the foam roller to 3x/day, however. Let the torture begin.

Last week was sort of a wash for me. I think I had a low-grade bug. Sore throat, headache, major fatigue. I slept, and slept.....and slept. Saturday's ride was cancelled due to rain. Rain, in San Diego? I guess it happens sometimes. I was sentenced to the trainer. Aside from the foam roller, 3 hours on the trainer is another form of medieval torture. My roadie friend asked if I wanted a rope or a gun afterwards. Ha ha. Why don't roadies ever ride the trainer? I guess, in San Diego, since they ride almost every day, they skip the one day out of the year it rains because they know they will back on the road the next day. Not us, triathletes, though. We are regimented (fist shaking in the air). We adhere to our training plans, dammit, rain or shine! So I duked it out on the trainer, watching Ironman Hawaii, The Spirit of the Marathon, rocking out to my iPod, and calling friends and family. Luckily, they didn't hang up on me when receiving my call and initially hearing nothing but heavy breathing. I had wistfully hoped for 4 hours but just couldn't do it anymore after 3. Funny, but when I had to ride the trainer for an hour last night, it was SO much easier. Good mental training.

Tuesday, I finally showed up for a swim practice at UCSD. I thought I would suck after a week off (oops) but I rocked it. I had only an hour to squeeze it all in. I desperately wanted to finish the workout. I'm not fast. What to do, what to do. Aha! Skip all the rest in between each set! Using this strategy, I was able to complete the 3200 yard workout. Is this cheating?

Today, I dragged myself onto the bike path for a simple workout. I wasn't in the mood but that's not a good enough excuse. I have an Ironman around the corner and it's enough to scare me into the mood! I forgot arm warmers and in the freezing 62-degree weather, I shivered as I sprinted to warm up (I just had to say that to piss everyone in the rest of the country off). The chilly weather made me eager for the hills. As I came to the west end of the path, dozens of wild rabbits grazed in the yellow light of the setting sun. They darted and scurried for cover as I zipped past. One scrambled across the path, right in front of Torch's front wheel. I screeched, sure that Torch was about to make roadkill out of the adoreable little bunny. Wide-eyed, Thumper somehow managed to escape near death. Phew! Close call.

On the return home, a bike commuter sprinted past me. Really? Something rose inside of my chest. I began to see red. I pedaled faster. Since when do I get competitive on the bike? I started to chase him down. I evaluated my prey. Did he have what it took? Sure, he could sprint past me but did he have the endurance to hold me off? After he passed me, he began to slow. Typical of riders harboring the ill-fated Y chromosome. I crept closer, closing the gap up each roller, up each hill. Soon, I was breathing down his neck. I didn't feel like passing him yet. I wasn't done evaluating. I caught my breath. His road bike was in decent shape but the musculature of his calves indicated he was more of a commuter than a roadie (harsh, I know). He smiled at me as we waited for the light to turn, and I immediately softened, smiling back. He let me proceed when the light changed to green, and it was all the encouragment I needed. I took off. I sprinted the next 4 miles as hard as I could, ignoring that they were all on a slight uphill grade. He was behind me, but only just. I was breathing hard, above lactate threshold, and it felt gooood. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Unknown Cyclist for pushing me on a dreary bike workout! At the next light, he struck up a conversation. We chatted the remaining mile left, and he waved me on, commenting that the rest of his ride would be much slower. Such a compliment for a girl like me, used to getting passed by everyone and their granny on crusiers.


Bob said...

"I forgot arm warmers and in the freezing 62-degree weather"

Funny, you are, to those of us still digging out of the blizzard of '10. :-)

Good workout, good luck with the ITB!

XTB-XAVI said...

Rachel...we are already 2 with so painful and bothering me so much not being able to run and train to prepare my HIM Singapore in 36 days!!

Keep up the good still have time to well recover!

Cheers from Hong Kong,

"XTB" Xavi.

Jen said...

I hope you start feeling better soon. Your blog is such an inspiration for this newly bitten girl by the Tri-bug.

BTW: Be sure to check out my cool blog giveaway!

Wes said...

I sawry? were you poking fun at me with that Y chromosome thingee? LOL... 3 hours on the trainer is equal to 6 hours on the road. Sez so right there in the manual!

and serzly... you're gonna hurt yourself over doing the swim like that :-) haha! but you are indeed, a competitor!

Steph said...

Oh I am right with you on that IT band crap. They do not respond to rest. Only torture. I went through the same hope of time off healing it, but no, Evil Foam Roller and i spend some quality time every day and I think it's getting better. I hope yours recovers soon!

freezing 62 degrees. Silly.

Christi said...

I just visited your wonderful city this week for work and of course there is some rain and chillier weather. However, today on my way out it warms up. You are lucky! I came home to 40 degree weather.