02 May 2009

Bumps in the Road, err trail...

At this point in the year, I've usually got a few thousand miles in the legs, some pretty established fitness, and the desire to race every weekend. It hasn't quite worked out the same way this year. Taking over a shop in the middle of 'cross season started this little detour; its' not easy to work 60 hours a week AND train. The focus that's required to throw a leg over the bike on a trainer after working all day just wasn't something I had. So, I finished out 'cross season a race early, and pretty unhappy with how it went. After some time to think about it, I finally made sense of the fact that I went from Cat 4 to 2 in one season and had a lot to learn. I made my peace with it.

With that, I tried to take some time away from the bike, some trail running inspired by Tim at the store kept me entertained for a little while. On some of the cold days it was nice to feel the burn of the cold air running through the trails. Its not nearly as fun as time on the mtb, but it still was a good way to get out. I managed to hit up some frozen singletrack every now and again too, which kept that appetite fed.

So, the time off ended, and it was time to saddle up again. I managed to start getting out on the road for some great road rides, both solo and with a few friends. Went for my first ride in Jeff Memorial Forest, explored more new territory, but basically fired up my riding. The weather kept me inside some of the time, and that is when it all went downhill.

Mary and I had just received our new road shoes for the year, and like any gear junkie, mounted them up as soon as I could. Pearl white Gaerne's; gorgeous shoes, that actually fit my skinny little witch feet. They were the answer to the years of me wearing shoes that didn't fit. I didn't take one thing into consideration with them. The soles were thinner than my previous shoes. This is a good thing; but I didn't adjust my saddle for it. One trainer ride, and I'm in pain.

Fast forward to Long Run Park Circuit Race. First race of the season, raining and temps in the 40's. Perfect weather for 'cross, but we weren't there for that, unfortunately. About halfway in, my achilles decides to completely lock up. Yeah, my ankle won't bend. So, I limp my way back to the Jeep, and begin to wonder about what this means. From that point on, I've been nursing it and on and off the bike. A few weeks ago, I managed to get out to yet another rainy circuit race, but this time I could throw down, chase attacks, make attacks. My achilles held! Little by little, I started getting some more miles in. So, a few months prior, I registered for an event known as the Cohutta 100.

100 mile Mountain bike race, 12k feet of climbing, 35 miles of singletrack, 65 miles of fireroads. Sounds fun, right? It was a super tough day that I'll post about later. That was last weekend.

This weekend was supposed to be a fun trip to the Fat & Skinny Tire Festival near my hometown. It starts with a mtb race on one of my favourite trails, and then a crit the next day. Well, the mtb race lasted one of three laps for me. Guess why? My stinking achilles. I need to name it so that it just sounds like I'm complaining about some person, rather than my aching body. So, no finish on the mtb today, and no crit for tomorrow.

So, some peaks and valleys in the year, but I'm choosing to just keep a level head. Train when I can train, but ride for the love of it. Ride to heal me, ride to see new things, ride to discover myself and what I can do, but ride to enjoy the contours of the land and all that it brings.

My racing may be limited for now, but like any venture, ups and downs abound. Just check out the profile of Cohutta 100 as you wait for my race report.


nickleonard said...

i'm sure you've already googled some info on your achilles. im' not a doctor but i thaught i read something a while back on how to tape your foot ankle to help support the achelles tendon.

looks like these guys are recomending saddle height/rest/tape/stretching


time off sucks, but if you can come back and be 100% later in the season, its better than going all year at 75%. heal up before cross season atleast. good luck with your recovery

Hawkeye said...

Hey Nick,
Yeah its been a little bit of a research project to get myself back going. I'm just riding when I can, and I will be back for cross season for sure.

Thanks for the good wishes.