Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting back into shape...

Let me start this posting by commenting on how much it sucks to get out of shape.  The problem is that I remember where I was, and in starting to workout again, I think its an easy thing to just start with those workouts.  You'd think that my muscles screaming at me would be an indicator to back off, but that would make sense. 

In any case, from an injury standpoint, things are going well.  My foot is on the mend and I am able to run again.  In fact, I started some very light running about 2 weeks ago, about 7 weeks post surgery.  Since then I've been able to build up to 3-4 mile runs with some walking mixed in because I'm fat and out of shape.  Having said that, despite some disappointment at the fitness I'm in (as compared to the fitness I want to be in or was in) I'm doing pretty well.

I am out of shape.  No way around that.  I took a few months off and am paying the price.  Fortunately for me, swim fitness will come back quick.  I've been in the water a grand total of 5 times and can already feel things coming back.  My wind isn't there yet, but my stroke feels reasonable.  I just need to keep on keepin' on and I'll be back to myself.
Unfortunately my swim partner Scott has recently been told that he is an under-achiever in the water.  In fact, he has been for the last several years.  This of course means that I have been an under-achiever as well.  His sets are considerably faster than when I left the pool, this makes me sad.

Overall I am in better shape on the bike than anywhere else.  I was able to start riding about 2-3 weeks post surgery.  Just easy stuff, but everything helps.
The hip/glute/piriformis/sciatic injury is starting to get under control.  Over the last few months it has become clear that this is entirely a bike fit issue. 
Years ago my first professional bike fit put my seat height at 79.5cm.  That was when I first started to see some of these issues.  I made some modifications myself, and ultimately started having real major issues that appeared to be my hamstring.

After some major time away and rehab, I came back to the sport with a new bike fit.  My PT had me at roughly 74cm on the bike seat.  That is a MAJOR difference.  And it worked, the injury was fine and did not resurface.  It did lead to other issues such as a lack of power and cramping quads.  So I went for a retul fit and they promptly raised my seat back up.

Now, keep in mind, 'back in the day', I did not really track all my coordinates.  Fortunately my PT did track some of this so I know what range I need to be in.  I'd also add that I thought I had a torn hamstring which I rehabbed, so moving my seat back up made sense at the time.

In any case, today I am slowly working my way back down to a point where the seat height is not causing me issues.  I am currently sitting at 78cm and will probably move down another 5mm.  I may adjust the seats placement over the bottom bracket as well, i'm not 100% sure. 

The good news is that the changes appear to be working.  I did some really hard riding in the last week and a half and have not suffered any real consequences.  I've also added running, and no issues so far. 

The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule.  I had not planned to run until next week when I originally had the surgery.  As I was not in pain, I started running 2 weeks ago.  I'm running every other day at the moment 3-4miles per run. 

The bad news is that I am really out of shape.  I'm taking walk breaks and feel like death.  That's all I have to say about that.

My weight is up.  That's what happens when you're used to burning 4,000-5,000 calories per day, eat accorndingly, and then stop working out.  I accept responsibility for my poor eating habits.  I put on 15lbs total.  I'm already down about 3 from the last few weeks.  Once I can really start hitting it, the weight should drop off pretty quickly.  I don't have to show much restraint when I'm burning high numbers.

I've actually been having some pretty significant issues.  As I look back over time, I've been ina little bit of denial about it too.  It seems like the last year and a half or so I've been having bouts as a regular occurance.  On the bright side I can control them with prednisone.  On the bad side, they keep returning. 

I spoke with doc, and I'm on a lengthy dose of prednison now that is ramping down in the next week.  It sucks, I hate it, and it kills my sleep.  But I need to get the cycle of inflammation down.  Hopefully a longer cycle of pred will knock this down and put it in remission for a while.

In any case, assuming things continue to progress well, I might do some real races this year.  I'm still keeping my eye on Pigman, so we'll see if that happens. 

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