Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again

As a result of my brief self-imposed post-Ironman moratorium on heavy workouts, the dreadful - says a recovering Floridian - winter, and the involuntary recovery from my surgery, it's been months since I've hit the track. This morning, accompanied by my fellow Timberman trainee and the emerging light of daybreak we ran intervals at the SUNY Farmingdale track.

Despite not having done one of these workouts in awhile, waking up at the crack of dawn - putting some homemade beef jerky in the dehydrator - and lacing up my racing flats for a near-vomit-inducing workout, was just as invigorating as I remembered it being. By no means was our workout the most challenging but the 30s x 30s interval did fill me with a bit of nostalgia. This workout was one of the first intervals workouts that I completed when I started training for real.  Today, though I was quite a ways from the ocean it seemed as if I could almost smell the salty sea air, just as I did that first time on Miami's Brickell Key.

This morning's session left me feeling energized and ready to take on the day; throughout my work day I was focused and my mind was as sharp as its been in quite some time.

I'm so glad to be back and am looking forward to sinking my teeth (umm...legs) into triathlon season.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fall Back, Spring Ahead

It feels like forever but it's been only two months since my snowboarding SNAFU and just more than that since my surgery.  By all accounts my shoulder is healing well and the Doc is pleased with my progress.  My x-rays point to proper healing of the bone and the only physical reminder I’m left with is a clean red scar which fades a bit more each day.

A few weeks ago I was given clearance to ease into activity and to say I’ve missed it is an understatement.  Not being able to exercise (or do pretty much any normal activity) was agonizing.  I’m still likely at least a few weeks away from swimming but I’ve begun running with mild-regularity and I’m spinning a couple of times a week.  Hopefully when I see the Doc next week I’ll be given the green light to ride a real bike soon (and I just got my script for physical therapy).  When I’m running, or riding (in place), my shoulder hardly feels different but there's no doubt I experience mild soreness afterwards.  I’ve been diligent about post-workout icing and am also cautious (maybe to the point of nervous) during my activities.

A few months ago I laid out my plans for this year’s triathlon season and it’s with regret that I know I have to scratch some of the schedule I envisioned and reassess my aspirations.  Timberman will continue to be my “A” race and the good Doc has been confident from day one that there’s no good reason I won’t be able to race in New Hampshire. 

Based on the fitness gains I had made in the early part of my training and racing I had set lofty goals for this season and its races.  I know that my injury and (semi)recovery was short in the grand scheme of things but it was much more of a setback than I had expected.  My fitness loss (albeit I admit some of it is mental) is noticeable and I’ve begun working hard to get back in shape; it’s amazing what weeks of inactivity, pain killers, and beer will do to a triathlete.

During the first few workouts after I turned the post-op corner I felt like I was simply going through the motions, but lately I am starting to feel the fire again.  I’ve been increasing my intensity and as a result my energy level is rising as well.  I know that as I keep training my broken collarbone will continue to fade in the rearview mirror and I’ll focus my gaze on the obstacles in front of me, rather than behind.  I can’t wait to start therapy next week and experience the soreness associated with rebuilding muscle and recovering my previous range of motion.

Though my first few runs were less than confidence inspiring (and hard to swallow) I know that I have nowhere to go but up.  As the lingering winter begins to fade, spring is finally upon us (sort of). I look forward to joining the bloom and blossom of the flora and coming to life in the emerging season.