Friday, January 29, 2010

Inching Closer

This photo may not look too exciting to most. But to me... it's awesome! I'm able to reach the tops now, and if I really cheat by dropping my shoulder I can reach the hoods. Putting my hand on the handle bar gains me a step closer to riding again. Although I can't support much weight, being able to reach the bar allows me to square up my shoulders which makes my spinning form on the trainer much, much better. Which in turn keeps my hips from rocking, which in turn keeps my bahonkus from getting irritated. Amazing how interconnected the body is sometimes.

I'm also doing some things with my arm completely unconsiously. I noticed myself using it to steer the truck yesterday. Two weeks ago, this would not have been possible. Now, it's a thoughtless action -the way it should be.

All this is to say... the arm is getting a lot better. the long-awaiting breakthrough period has arrived. Just like training... sometimes the body requires weeks and weeks of seemingly wasted effort, but the gains often come in one sudden, giant dose. Encouraging, comforting, and exciting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Levi Leipheimer on a Mountain Bike

Via Roger Bartles...

Dude's got skills! Those trails remind me of Huntsville, but with real hills! Ho-hum this makes me want to GO!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Going Nowhere

I tried to pick up where I left off with training. It isn't working. My hope was after a short period of focused intensity, my fitness would return quickly to its previous level. Nope. The heart, the lungs, the legs aren't bouncing back with vigor I hoped for. Instead... I'm running myself into the ground trying to do intensity intervals that are clearly above my capability. This is leaving me tired and mostly washed out. None of this is good.

I feel stuck. Pedaling like mad while not going anywhere will do that! The 'textbook' approach rebuilds fitness from scratch -starting with base miles. Long rides that aren't very intense to build the aerobic engine. I *should* be doing multi-hour steady rides. Ever attempt a 3-hour trainer ride? Yah, me neither. My mental capacity for boredom tops out at about an hour-and-a-half. Three hours on singletrack is fun. Three hours on the road is bearable. Barely. Three hours on a trainer would have me spilling top secret information to make it stop!

Is there any productive training I can do right now? I'm getting the feeling I'm just training for the sake of training. I'd gladly ride outside just for fun, but the trainer? Uh-uh. For the next couple of days I think I'll stick to couch intervals. Uggh.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Accessories

My new fashion accessory! Stylish, non? This is a splint that I'm now wearing around the house in the evenings. Simple design. String around the wrist gets tighened to a mount on the shoulder. The shoulder mount is just like the string peg on a guitar. Similarly one can really crank up the tension, and hold it for super long periods. Seems effective.

No complaints and only minimal pain. The pain's no worse than a strained muscle or hyper-extended joint. Which, is exactly what I'm doing with the splint. My therapists have been super, and the treatments are working. Elbows are long injuries.

My house brand tire -Vittoria Open Corsa- while great on the road absolutely shred on the trainer. Most winters I only minimally ride the trainer. It hasn't been a big deal.

This year of course is different. Given the months of trainer time ahead... no reason to waste perfectly good road tires in my living room. I mounted up a Continental Hometrainer tire. All I have to say is... mounting a tire with 1-1/2 hands is not fun. Bring the patience and utilize the feet and toes.

Pics of this process would have been comedy gold!

Focusing on eating correctly again... some veggie wraps make a nice meal. Simply take some spring mix pre-pack salad, shoestring carrots, and some grape tomatoes. Put on a tortilla with a bit of cream cheese. The real secret is to take a bit of lemon juice on the veggies. Really brings out the flavor. Wrap. Eat. Yum.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Strengthening Begins

Doc cleared me to begin strengthening on Wednesday. At my PT session on Friday, my therapist started me out doing bicep and tricep curls. I'm starting out with a laughable 2-lbs! Now I've seen 2-lb barbells at the store before. And wondered, 2lbs? Why bother? Now... 12 reps at 2-lbs is a full workout. I can't get do more than about 3 reps with a 3-pounder. Oh.. how I've fallen. I'll progress to 3-lb then 5-lb and so on.

My range of motion has improved, but just a little. I now have a splint to place constant tension on my elbow in flexion (pulling up). Looks kinda like some perverse torture device. But if it works, I'm all good with it...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Essential Tool for The Tender

My butt isn't as durable as it once was. TMI? Nah. I rarely use an embrocation. But for now... it's required. The bike when affixed to the trainer is hard on the rear. It simply doesn't move with you...

Tonight was 2X 20min at 85% of my "new" threshold power. The first interval was hard. Way hard. The second seemed to blow by quickly. An encouraging sign.

Monday, January 4, 2010


A grim evening. First comes the test results. Tonight I face reality in the face. I step on the scale and execute a performance test. Eight weeks off the bike and riding the couch does aweful things to the legs! Having to do the whole thing on one-hand isn't optimal. But still... I've lost a lot of fitness and gained a lot of weight.

Today begins the road back. Goals for this year are difficult to choose. I tend toward choosing goals based on pre-injury abilities. But know I cannot. An expectation adjustment looms. Those are never fun.

If the test data wasn't grim enough... about 9PM my neighbor knocked on my door. She asked to borrow a shovel. Huh? Turned out her daughter's doggy got run over by a car. Awww man. Cute little pup, too. Indeed I did have a shovel, and held a light as the neighbor dug Sweetie's final home. And then I cried. Sux.