Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Enough, already!

This is me feeling sorry for myself:

I am sick to death of my hip injury. It's been 7 months now and there is no overall sign of improvement. I did seven weeks of physio and a month of anti-inflammatory meds to no avail. I have tried doing little or no activity and that just makes me stiff and I've tried light to moderate training and sometimes that's OK and sometimes I can't walk afterward. Now I've done two weeks of ART. It seems to be improving my range of motion but the pain is still always there and I am limited in my daily activities because of it. I find it hard to get dressed, go up stairs, get in and out of my car, and, worst of all, paint my toenails!

Everyone has told me that this will be a long process but I had at least hoped to see gradual improvement over time. Instead it seems I am just stuck where I am, spending heaps of money on rehab and getting nowhere. Back in March, when I finally realized how bad my situation was, I never imagined that my planned sprint triathlon in Banff in September would be threatened by this. When I registered for it, I thought I'd be in great shape after a season of training for Great White North (which of course did not happen). I have been doing some biking, which is sometimes OK, and I will get back in the pool this week. But running is still out of the question and I feel like I'm starting at square one (or negative one) with my fitness. It won't be the race I had hoped for.

All in all, I am feeling pretty ripped off. Poor, poor me.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watching Great White North

Today was the Great White North half iron triathlon. This great local race was my first and, thus far, only half iron. As you know if you've been following my blog, I had planned to do it this year until my hip flexor injury changed that. Because I couldn't race it this year, I decided to volunteer and then hang around and watch my friends race.

Last night, my daughter, Chloe, and I went to the volunteer dinner. The food was OK but we met the people who would be working at our aide station and they were friendly and nice. We also both won door prizes, which was a little bit exciting. This morning, we reported to the first aide station on the bike course, about 10K from the lake where the swim takes place. It was really fun! The athletes are still fairly close together at that point so it all happens pretty quickly. I managed to see some of my friends go by but missed a few, too, in the pandemonium. After our shift, we drove over to transition so we could settle in to watch people come and go.

It was interesting to watch the race, having done it last year, and see where the pack is compared to where I was last year and where I might have been this year. Oh boy! Do I have work to do! With an 8 hour finishing time, I knew I was nearly last but I had no idea just how far behind the pack I was. Many, many people finish at the 5:30 and six hour marks! There are still plenty of people out there after that but it really starts to peter out at 6:30 and 7 hours. Amazing! What I really need to do is work on my bike time. I still don't really get why I'm so slow on the bike. My dad, who is 72 years old and a bit overweight and rides a 40 pound recumbent bike, can do 90K in under 3:30! So why does it take me 4:00 on my road bike? I rode 1300K in training prior to GWN last year including time trials, high intensity spinning, and long endurance rides. Perhaps I am still weak. Maybe I really need to do more strength training. Losing weight couldn't hurt either (although there were some chunky racers pulling in some pretty good times). I'm sure I can cut a few minutes off my swim time and improve my run time just with another year of training but my bike time is my main mission for this next training year.

The hip flexor is not much better at this point. It comes and goes but right now it's fairly troublesome. I am going to go get some ART and exercise therapy and see if that gets me somewhere. I want to be healed in time to commit to serious training for next season. This season, I still have the Banff sprint tri in September. Swim training will have to wait a couple more weeks until the tattoo is healed and running will have to be minimal. But I can still focus on the bike. Generally I have to try not to embarrass myself in Banff!

Watching GWN was a good learning experience for me. I feel a little overwhelmed but I am also very motivated to do what I can now and commit to another solid training season in the coming months. I still have big plans and my revenge on GWN is one of them!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Adventures in Vancouver

This past weekend, I drove out to Vancouver with my sister to see her daughter, my niece, who is a triathlete. It was a very impromptu trip for me; I decided to go with my sister so I could be there when Stephanie (niece) saw her new bike. But I have to back up a bit here. Stephanie had been looking for a good used road bike for a while and I had been helping her. Both of us had been searching kijiji, pinkbike, and craigslist for several months and then I happened to find one here in Edmonton. We decided to go for it and then worry later about how to get it to her. After it waited in my garage for a few weeks, my sister decided to go out to see Stephanie and planned to take the bike with her. I couldn't resist going along!

Even though Stephanie is only half my age, she and I get along like friends. She is so fun and happy and so enthusiastic, especially about triathlon. It's great to spend time with her. I took my bike along, too, so we could ride together there. On Monday morning, we went for a wet but wonderful ride from downtown, along the seawall in Stanley Park, continuing up the north side of False Creek to the science center. The clouds were very low and it was raining but it was warm and just so pleasant to be riding such a beautiful route in my most favorite city. Just before we got back on the Skytrain to head home, we saw a hot dog vendor outside the station and decided to "refuel." It was the most delicious hot dog ever! While eating, we had a nice conversation with a homeless man about bikes and how much he loves his and depends on it and the time he rode over ice and fell and broke his hip. After eating, we headed toward the station. Stephanie looked at her bike and said, "I don't think I've ever loved a thing so much!" I am so glad she's happy with it!

Much later that day, Stephanie and I went out for gelato. While standing on the sidewalk licking our cones, she just casually mentioned that her favorite tattoo place was open until midnight and that maybe we could go down there since we were already halfway there. She knew I had been talking about getting a tattoo for some time. I agreed to go and take a look at books and maybe get some ideas or advice. Well, I ended up finding exactly what I wanted in one of the books and they just happened to have one last opening to do my little tattoo so at 11:45 pm I finally did it! It's a little lime green daisy with five petals and three leaves coming off the stem. I love daisies and it's just a cute tattoo but it has some symbolism, too. The daisy represents simplicity and lifelong growth. The five petals represent the five members of my family. The three leaves bring in some of the threes that I had been thinking about (and wrote about in a previous blog entry) - three kids, triathlon, and three (almost) degrees. It is totally the right one for me and I am so happy with it.

I flew home on Tuesday and waited a couple hours at the airport for my daughter to arrive from her month-long trip to India. It was so nice to see her and to be home again with my little family. My heart is wherever they are but I would love it if someday we could live in Vancouver.