Thursday, March 15, 2012

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.  

23 comments:

  1. 1) What is your road bike crank? Is there any way to get that length plus more teeth on your rear cassette to make your legs/back/body happy?

    2) Better than drowning. I hear those 3 foot deep pools are quite dangerous.

    3a) Race execution! Whatever you decided that might be, GET IT!!!

    3b) It is appropriate to tag me under "bitches" Thanks.

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  2. I'm confused - compact cranks come in different lengths (it's the chain-ring configuration that makes it compact), so I know it's $$, but you can get a compact crank length that is the same length of your previous crank arm. I agree with Beth about the cassette - it you don't go compact, at least get the max you can out of your cassette. I've ridden both, and a compact makes a huge difference on a hilly course because you can use more of your gears. My $.02!

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  3. YOU ARE BRAAAAAVE!!!!! And, thanks. That's really good advice. I might be offended though to not be included in the bitches group :)

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    1. I'm not a bitch either. Only time I've ever been excluded from that group.

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  4. "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."

    I recommend my Army 10 Miler report, when I "experimented," as food for thought. Never regretted it.

    http://wellimtryingtorun.blogspot.com/2011/10/race-report-army-10-miler-october-9.html

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  5. I hope you're able to resolve the issues on the bike - not cool!

    Congrats on the swimming success. Too bad you can just pick and choose where you improve, eh?

    Good luck this weekend!

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  6. pony!! if you decide for sure that your 165s aren't cool, i might be interested in purchasing from you :) will that help the money tree?

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  7. Girl I feel you about swimming versus running and such. UGH. I really hope you will be able to run. That photo of your face pushed up against the wall has me laughing a lot. You are too funny.

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  8. I think not wearing a watch is a great idea. It will let you race stress free :) Good luck this weekend

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  9. Im thinking of the compact for Mooseman, hope it works out for you with new crank. I will look for you at the finish!

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  10. F trends. Do whatever you want to do.

    Good luck!

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  11. Why don't you wear a watch that doesn't keep pace? You know, kick it old school!

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  12. Nice post :) I actually haven't really thought about goals for this weekend's half. I'm kind of afraid to hope because I've been doing Crossfit and my body doesn't exactly want to run 13.1 miles this weekend but a vague goal of under 2 hours exists. We shall see. Either way, I'm going to have fun and...will feel glad I did!

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  13. Hmmmmmmmmm a layer of beer.......

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  14. I walked out of the house before MCM this year without my Garmin. How in the world I did that...I have no idea...but it really did force me to run based on feel. I am not sure if I will ever do that again though - on purpose. Good luck on Saturday and I look forward to seeing you out there!

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  15. Thanks, dude. I believe in you.

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  16. Is it bad that I've been riding my bike for about 5 years and have absolutely no clue what a compact crank is? Because I don't.

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  17. I'm totally loving that sports bra you're wearing! I will keep a look out for you while spectating tomorrow (I'll be holding the sweet You Run Better than Metro sign!)

    Also....you are jacked...I would like your guns! I should probably start lifting again....that is all.

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    1. And by tomorrow I obviously meant Saturday....oops!

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  18. The no-watch thing + your recent realization that if you don't PR, it doesn't mean you just stop and walk, might be the perfect combination! Seriously. Take Saturday as the first race in a new mindset - and let that drive you. It may not be your fastest half, but maybe it will be your best.

    It's RACE TIME! WHOOOOO! :)

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  19. Good luck tomorrow! How about wearing a watch but putting black tape over the screen. Then, don't allow yourself to even think about looking at it until mile 8 or so???

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  20. Have a great race! It is spring, shouldn't that money tree be sprouting any time now?

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