This morning was my longest swim since October 3. I swam 3400 at Westminster and felt like an out of shape oaf. Our main set was 5x <200 on 2:30, 2 x 100 on 1:15>. I only made 1 of the 200's. Man. The fitness will come back, I am not as worried about that. But my back certainly was aching by the end. I'm not able to tell if it's the flipturns or the pushing off the wall that does it, but something sets it off.
Yesterday I did an indoor trainer ride for 1 hour - dismounted to the same pain. With seemingly no improvement whatsoever, my frustration is mounting.
Without being able to train right now, it is difficult to plan my season, short-term included. Dede Griesbauer and I have been trying to plan a training trip in Feb, but without knowing what I'll be doing (if anything) all of that is at a standstill. She has been so patient, and will likely have to go at it alone someplace warm, escaping the frigid Boston cold. Likewise, Paolina Allan and I were trying to put something together for the end of Feb/early March when her boyfriend, (Nineteen Wetsuits) Steve Fleck, was planning a business trip to AZ. We were going to tag along with him... well, ok, I was going to tag along with them. :)
I'm not able to plan any of this and it makes me crazy to keep others in limbo.
Not knowing my own course is its own frustration, but when I am affecting others...
Tomorrow I am seeing a highly touted sports med doctor, Ken Mautner, who specializes in spinal related rehabilitation. I'm looking forward to this appointment to get his take on everything.
I was talking to JZ today about the appointment and she cautioned me not to expect all the answers tomorrow, but it'll be good to get more information. This launched into a discussion about physical pain and being able to define 'pain' in tangible terms. How does an elite athlete quantify pain? What is the difference between pain and really bad discomfort - and, simply being a wuss? I'm not sure I have the skills (or knowledge?) required to differentiate.
JZ is away from Boulder right now and made a comment to me about another high-profile pro female she recently rode with for a few hours. Apparently she was just a total bitch to JZ. That crap just pisses me off. First, with how good JoJo has been to me I get really protective and angry at anyone being unkind to her, but also, that bullshit is just so unnecessary. I realize at their level the stakes are much higher - but give me a break! Throw it down during a race, piss on your turf to mark your territory then - but on training rides?? C'Mon. Get over yourself.
This just makes my blood boil.... maybe because I feel it is just so senseless. This person must seriously lack perspective.
I've been doing a bit of volunteering in the oncology ward at a local Atlanta hospital. Perhaps in the next blog I'll write about some of my experiences there. While it is heartbreaking, there has been something so 'authentic' about it. Everything is REAL. People have real moments. Maybe it's true that cancer patients and family members of cancer patients are able to have connections in such visceral capacities that others cannot. Every moment matters to them, they want to live it out the best they can. I haven't done much, I mostly stand back and just observe, feeling humbled and small ... I've been uncharacteristically quiet in the last few months ... much more contemplative, but increasingly so when in this ward. Perhaps it is good for me -- just to stand back, open my eyes, and open my heart. I feel my reserve of patience and forgiveness gently refilling.
It is amazing to me, the older I get the more I realize I have to learn...