Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm (almost) Back!

I know, slacking on the posts. A week goes by. Last time I was sulking. Now I'm celebrating. What's that saying, "Time heals all?" Ta da! Highlights of last week:

Monday was a great coaching session with my new client Gerry. Awesome dude. Was able to fix the timing (from windmill to front quadrant) which is one of the hardest things to undo. And this guy probably has some habits; he's 60+.

Tuesday Evan kicked my a$$ in a San Diego Personal Training session at Coastal. I owe him some swim lessons! Good stuff with squats, balance drills, core stuff...and starting to engage my shoulder rehab with a little movement. I think this really helped me in shoulder activation, and wow'ing myself with the fact that, yeah, I can move my arm! I'm (almost) Back!

Wednesday was Alicia's "It's not goodbye, it's see you later" party. She is a friend from the Moment team and we are sad to lose another girl member of our team, but happy for her new adventure in Denver. We all met at PL Sports Pub and Grill (I walked the 3 blocks from my house) and had a blast. 'Twas fun to watch the girls beat a certain guy at the punching bag game. hehe.Thursday (my one-day weekend) was a blast. I coached two more clients at the high school pool in Coronado on a gorgeous morning. I can't believe they pay me to float alongside them in an outdoor pool basking in the sun. Okay, I guess I can, since Brian has now been given the Rachel Certification of Perfect Stroke Technique. Now he has no excuse for middle-o-pack swims. And Shelby has shown significant time decreases in her timed sets. Ah, the joys of coaching. Watching someone improve because of something I have pointed out and corrected gives me so much satisfaction in why I do it. Also found out about the BEST WEBSITE FOR SWIM TECHNIQUE...Mr. Smooth. Check it out. The rest of Thursday was spent chillin with Noko and Ian, where I had a delicious lunch and some popsicles from the ice cream truck we rushed out front to greet! Yum, Sponge Bob ice cream with gum ball eyes. :) Thursday evening was the Big Moon Swim at La Jolla Shores. A warm wetsuitless full moon swim with a bunch of crazy triathletes. Super sad my under water camera is broken (from the crash) because it was yet again, a great evening. Did I mention I swam with one arm?Friday was a great morning cove swim with Banister. He was nice enough (on his Ironman recovery week. 11:34 at Vineman) to stick with me...as we were catching others. I'm (almost) Back! I was labeled the fastest one-armed swimmer ever by my friend Peter. I beg to differ. One word: Paralympics. Watch the 100m Fly from the last games...a dude with NO arms wins. Dolphin kicking his way to a gold medal, way way way faster than I can ever imagine. Hits the touch pad at the end with his head. Amazing.

Saturday I awoke for what was to be my first true test. As if I haven't been testing myself enough in the water. Elaine and Lynne were going to ride SDBC, so I figured hey, why not join my teammates?

First ride back in three weeks. The same ride that I crashed on. Intense group riding. Why not?

Why not just jump back into it, and face the fear? Yet, I went into it not fearful. But focused. Intent on getting what needed to get done, done. And that was completing the ride. Three weeks ago I crashed a mile before the end. I needed to survive SDBC. And I'll spoil it...I did!

I had shared my thoughts about this ride being the first back with a couple of people. Most everyone responded that I should ease back into it. "What you need is a short, flat, easy ride. What you need is Fiesta Island. Don't rush. Listen to your body" F that. I was listening. I knew what I needed. And what I needed was drastic changes from this whole "resting" thing. I was stir crazy. I was watching my friends attacking their workouts and all I could do was swim one armed. I had to walk past both my bikes every day and miss them. Feel bad about neglecting them. Promise that I'd get back on them soon. So Saturday it was. (disclaimer: I did get doctor clearance to do "this" -cycling- based on pain tolerance. The only thing that can make it worse: crashing again. So okay, I can deal with that.)

I won't get into the dirty details, but I made it. I was attacking the ride, yet being patient. Listening to my body, and liking what I was hearing. "You're going to be okay. wow, you are riding you bike, wow you are getting out of the saddle, wow you are cornering. wow your legs are sore, wow your hamstring is tight, wow evan really did kick your a$$ in that leg session." I think I thought about my legs and lungs long before I thought of my shoulder. Taking my arm off my bars to signal a turn was the first time that I "felt" my shoulder. By the end, I really couldn't believe it. The wind in my helmet, the sound of free wheels buzzing in my ears and the smile on my face. The entire ride. Overwhelming happiness. Sweet, the ride is over. 45 miles. 2:20 saddle time. And I'm (almost) Back! (wow, that was a little cheesey even for me...but it's hard to describe doing something you love after not having done it in a while; yes I realize three weeks isn't that long. but it wasn't voluntary)

Saturday evening requires it's own post: so just a small one-word addition. I saw No Doubt in concert: SPECTACULAR.

Sunday I slept in a little and was planning to test out the tri bike for a short ride. Bethany somehow convinces me to ride with her teammates and Chris for an easy 2 hour out and back ride. One big 40 mile loop, 2 plus hours later, I'm home, hungry and beat. Wow, I did it again. This isn't a fluke. I'm (almost) Back!

For the grand finale. A one mile, TWO armed swim. With Banister and Jake. Who didn't take it easy on me, who didn't slow up. I had to push to keep up. Right arm was just swimming through the motions, and the left arm was working hard...as was the kick. (Think my legs had enough this weekend?!) My stroke is not at all normal, nor is it balanced. I am awkward and uneven. But I'm (almost) Back!

This morning I got back on Petunia (Guru) and did a couple hill repeats with the Moment ride. Good times, fun sprints and no (minimal) pain. I missed my tri bike, but it also gave me an appreciation for the road bike. No wonder triathletes get a bad wrap for having poor handling skills...it's not them, it's the bikes! Holy touchy! It's much easier to transition onto the road bike, than it is to get back on the tri bike. Reminder for next winter/spring when I'm getting into road racing...don't forget about your tri bike! You have an ironman to train for!

So when will I be back? Hopefully soon. I want to feel the water normally again. I want to be equally strong again. I want, I need, I know: Time heals all.

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