First, my dog skidded a bit as she ran in front of me. A half second later, my feet were no longer beneath me and my ass was on a collision course with the sidewalk. I had just enough time to partly break my fall with my left hand. My first thought: ‘Damn, I didn’t see that patch of ice.’ My second thought: ‘Do a quick damage assessment. Everything OK? Slightly sore butt, no problem. Wrist is also sore but I’m able to move it.’ My dog looked at me like I’m a pathetic biped. I got up and we kept running. The plan was to do our hour-long Saturday run, followed by a half-hour interval workout on the rollers.
So far this winter, I’ve been lucky. The sidewalks haven’t been that icy, and I’ve had plenty of mornings when I woke up to a fresh layer of snow. I love to be the first one to lay down a fresh trail in the snow on my runs with Lexi the Airedale. I wrongly assumed that I didn’t have to worry too much about ice patches if I had a decent layer of fresh powder. That certainly was my operating assumption Saturday.
My second fall happened about 30 minutes into the run when I slipped on an off-camber section of sidewalk, which bodyslammed me on my right hip. It wasn’t too painful, and I got up right away and continued running. But about five minutes later, I went down again – hard. My legs slipped out from underneath me so fast that I didn’t have a chance to break my fall with my hands. My left elbow was called in to do that.
I sat on the sidewalk for a moment feeling a bit woozy. I might have hit the back of my head on the pavement, but I had a thick fleece headband that apparently cushioned the blow. My lower back, shoulder and neck seemed to be suffering early symptoms of whiplash. The fall really shook me up, and I decided to walk the last mile home. About a block from my house, my dog went down on her left side crossing my neighbor’s off-camber driveway.
When I got home, I had the perfect reason to skip the roller workout. My body was sore and achy, as if I spent the last hour playing tackle football without pads on a frozen field. But I figured if I didn’t ride Saturday, I would probably also skip Sunday because the soreness would probably be worse the next day. I also thought I had a great opportunity to practice riding when I’m banged up; getting back on my bike after a crash and finishing a race. I did the roller workout and it felt great. Luckily, the pain and soreness could only be felt when I’m in an upright position. I felt fine when bent over on the bike. But damn, I wasn’t able to do the weight-lifting session I had planned for the weekend! What a shame!
Posted: January 29th, 2012 | Author: wafflesandsteel | Filed under: rollers, running | No Comments »
Following the success of my embrocation experiments on the road, I decided to try out the stuff on one of my roller workouts in the morning chill on my balcony. I squirted out a blob and rubbed it into my legs, and the wonderful warm feeling kicked in right away. I was riding bare legged when I usually have to wear tights. It felt great.
But 10 minutes into the workout, I discovered a problem. When I’m riding on the roads, I don’t really smell the embrocation all that much because the wind whips it off my body. But when I’m riding in place on the rollers, the scent rises up from my legs and goes straight up into my nose. For the first few minutes of the workout, the sinus-clearing sensation was enjoyable. But after 10 minutes, I began feeling like I was riding in a cloud of embrocation. I got lightheaded and a bit dizzy. I couldn’t focus on my workout. All I was doing was thinking about how overwhelming the smell was. I felt like I had rolls of wintergreen Lifesavers jammed up each nostril.
Note to self: Get unscented embrocation for the rollers.
It turned out to be the roller workout from hell. Apart from the embrocation overdose, there were a few other annoying things. As usual, I was on a tight schedule. I had just enough time to do a one-hour workout before showering, shoveling some oatmeal down my gullet, checking e-mails, cycling to school with my little daughter and then hopping the shuttle bus to work.
When I got on the rollers and started pedaling, I noticed my Trek bike computer wasn’t working. I got off the bike and jiggled the sensor on the fork, but that didn’t work. I didn’t have time to mess with it, and there was no way I was going to spend an hour on the rollers without feedback. So I had to do a bike change and go back into the apartment to get my trusty steel Colossi.
I got on the bike again and tried to zone out while pedaling and listening to my iPod. Then I started to wonder, “Hmmm, since when has ‘Kissing the Lipless’ become an eight-minute song?” For some reason, my iPod was continuously repeating songs. The Shins were stuck in some kind of weird loop. I had to stop again and try to debug the iPod. I tried an Arcade Fire song and it started repeating, too. Resetting the device didn’t work, and I couldn’t waste time fussing with it. I went to a Podcast of a “Shout Out Louds” concert, downloaded from All Songs Considered, and that took care of the problem.
Once I passed the 10-minute warm-up mark, I tried to pick up the tempo and do intervals of three minutes hard followed by two minutes of recovery. But for some reason, my legs had no power. I was struggling to spin at a pathetic 30 kph, when I can usually easily ramp it up to 36-40 kph. I tried to shift up to my big ring, but my 8-year-old geriatric Dura Ace front derailleur just couldn’t complete the task. It usually works fine on the road but falls short on the rollers. I’d greatly appreciate an explanation from all the mechanical engineers out there.
That’s when I decided that some workouts just aren’t meant to be and this was one of them. All the delays had eaten into my hectic morning timetable. To complete all the other essential tasks, I had to cut the ride short to 30 minutes.
As always, with lessons learned, I’ll try again tomorrow.
Posted: November 19th, 2009 | Author: wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Dura Ace, embrocation, front derailleur, rollers, Shout Out Louds, The Shins | No Comments »
Usually at this time of day, I’d be 30 km into my weekend morning ride, well warmed up and hammering along. But I’ve decided to stay off the bike this weekend so that I can completely get over this insidious viral infection from hell.
It’s always difficult to determine when to stage a comeback after an illness. Sometimes hopping back on the bike seems to speed up recovery. It blows the bugs out of my system. There are times when you’ve got a cold and your body feels all stuffed up. The physical exertion seems to loosen up things.
Of course, the risk is that your body really needs rest, and the exercise just wears it down more and prolongs recovery. I think that’s what happened in my most recent case. Four days ago, I was feeling somewhat OK in the afternoon and decided to do an easy 30-minute session on the rollers in the evening. Once I got going, I felt terrific. I easily got into 40-43 kph territory and was able to hold it there without much strain. I finished the workout thinking that this bug was just a nagging injury that would let me continue working out.
But the next morning, I felt awful and ended up seeing the doctor. The next day (Friday) was just as bad, and I felt like I was dragging all day. Yesterday, I put my kit on and rode around the neighborhood for 5 km, then headed home because I wasn’t feeling great.
My plan is to stage the official comeback on Monday with a 30-minute session on the rollers at steady pace. I’m starting to feel normal again. The past two days, I’ve been able to wake up at 5:30 a.m. without my body craving a few hours more in the sack.
The biggest upside for my readers is that I’ll stop obsessing publicly about my health! Many thanks to everyone for putting up with this!
Posted: October 31st, 2009 | Author: wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Comebacks, rollers, viral infection | No Comments »