three things thursday

1. A month or so ago, I put a compact crank on my bike.  It also had shorter crank arms.  The first day I had the new crankset, I went out for a spin and pretty immediately felt stabbing pain in my right adductor.  I thought it was my fit, and when I bumped into Darrin a few minutes later, he did a side-of-the-road adjustment for me.
But I was still having problems, so I went into Bonzai for a complete re-fit.  And then another one.  And then stopped by during a ride for another one.  And I'm still having the exact same problem.  Stabbing pain and tightness in my adductor.  When I go see my PT, he loosens it up, and it feels like a million bucks until I get on the bike, and then BAM, pain and tightness.  It's actually quite amusing, because I'll try to swing my leg over the bike seat to get off, and it's so tight that I can't get my leg clear of the seat and end up just kicking myself in the wheel until I lay the bike down on the ground and step over it.  Fabulous.

Last week I had two back-to-back long days on the bike, and it finally pushed me over the edge.  My adductor got tight enough to start pulling on my psoas and hip flexor, and that in turn pulled my back out of alignment which made everything flare up almost as badly as it was, in one of life's great ironies, this time last year.  I attacked it with icing and stretching and rolling and realigning, but it's been VERY slow to calm down.  The one piece of good news is that it doesn't bother me while running.  However, I'm concerned about the long-term implications, so after a sleepless night of conversation with myself and an email with my coach, I'm switching back to the old crankset.  Just to try things out, but if it's better, there's my answer.  I completely am on board with the pedagogy of why I should switch to shorter cranks and my Ironman elevation profile says that a compact is a pretty good idea, but above all things, I need to be pain-free. And sadly, I am not a millionaire and cannot continue to buy crankset on top of crankset until I find the "perfect" one. If my old works pain-free, I will swap out the rear cassette and try to find a way to survive until my money tree sprouts.

2. As poor as my running has been lately, my swimming has been fine.  I PR'd a couple of small and inconsequential distances in the pool this week, which in turn made me even angrier about how crappy my running is going right now, because as much as I love swimming, I don't really care about the numbers or being much better at it than I am right now.  Life, in general, is rude.
3. I do not have a goal time or pace for the race on Saturday.  I don't even have a super-secret-I-won't-tell-the-Internet goal time.  I've thought it through, and I have a rough grasp on how I'm going to execute, but I haven't estimated or totaled anything up to see what the final result will be.  I know that the trendy thing right now is to be REAL BRAVE!!!! and not wear a watch, but when I've done that in the past, it's actually screwed me because I convince myself that I've slowed down so much that I shouldn't bother to keep running when in fact I was doing just fine.  That said, I'm thinking about not wearing a watch (no one said I was smart).  If there was ever a time to experiment with race execution, this is it, and I'd like to be able to pull something productive from the day, even if it's not a PR.  I honestly can't decide and will probably just flip a coin Saturday morning in the parking lot after driving everyone crazy about it for two days.  If you're racing on Saturday, and I know many of you are, feel free to hang around at the finish line and make sure they don't tear it down until I pull through.  I'll be wearing this:
Although I'll probably be slightly less pleased with life in general when I roll in, and any "abs" I was rocking last summer seem to be hibernating for the winter under a cozy layer of beer.

Even though I'm not chasing any dreams this weekend, many of you are, so I'll leave you with something that my best friend recently told me.  You are enough.  It doesn't matter how much or who or what you think about yourself.  You are enough, and you always will be.
Go get it, my bitches, I'm cheering your names.