Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Most of you know that in December I fell “just the wrong way” in a Cyclocross race and ended up with a shiny new hip! I had that surgery three months ago today, and while it seems like yesterday it also seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. There are a few things that I still cannot do at present – many yoga poses and long distance running – but those of you who know me also know that I did not spend too much time working on either of those pursuits before I got hurt!
When this first happened I thought that my convalescence would open up lots of free time in which to write a book, blog regularly and catch up on correspondence with long-lost friends. I soon learned that there were still only 24 hours in each day and seven days in each week. Being “disabled” meant that everything I did took longer, and what time I had left over was overtaken by the things that I needed to do to get myself back to “normal.” Two-a-days for in-home physical therapy were the norm. And then there was the exhaustion associated with recovering from the surgery and the ensuing PT. Nap time was a must the first three weeks or so.
Before I collapsed into the recliner, though, I still needed to get my work done. Fortunately I can coach my athletes from where I am located, be it in the hospital (yes, I did this) or on the beach (no, I have not done this lately). My athletes were an understanding lot and most of them got to do whatever they wanted over Christmas – what a lucky bunch! Work got done, writing was put on the to do list.
Of larger importance to me was to do the things that would get me better the fastest so that I could get back to doing the things that I normally did. All that PT was one. Another was to get onto the Computrainer, and do what my body loves to do – pedal my bike. With a lot of help from Phil I was doing so 2.5 weeks after the surgery. The first few days were not pretty, but I grew stronger and soon would quip that I could ride a lot better than I could walk. Eventually, I could even reach the handlebars and shift my bike, and the more I rode the stronger my hip became. My coach Mark Fasczewski has been pushing me since week four, and I am now back to doing Level 4 intervals. Wow, my old Level 4! Some of these recent intervals have been almost respectable, but even when they are not I attack them anyway, knowing now what it is like to just sit in a recliner and wonder if I would have the strength to get up and push my walker into the kitchen.
When this accident happened I was in some of the best shape of my life. (Yes, you can work long and hard and get better as you get older. Hire a good coach and work at it!) I was, of course, dismayed when I was given word that my hip was fractured. However, I also know that cycling, like life, is not without risks. At least I did this while racing and not tripping in a parking lot! I quickly resolved to put all my energy toward healing. I’ve since worked harder than I ever did on my cycling, with some personally pleasing results. I’ve worked hard mastering again the everyday tasks at home, in what Phil calls “being independent.” I learned about all the things we take for granted while we are all temporarily able-bodied.
I would not, however, be even close to where I am today without my family’s constant help and support. Phil was the go to person for everything that happened in our home and for everything that I needed. I was able to accelerate my rehab because Phil would drive me to PT, assist me with in-home therapies and, of course, get me onto my bike. Meals got made, laundry got done, the house was pretty clean, all while I was busy getting better. Just when he needed a break, MK made the trip from Colorado to spend a week taking care of her mom. Melissa Skyped whenever possible from Vietnam and Thailand, regaling us with stories about world travels. My sister Alison dove into my dad’s care-taking when he fell and broke his pelvis. Friends came over with food and smiles and even a Kindle! I was left to focus on recovery.
While there are things that I will put into the back of my mind when I stop to think about the goings-on of the past three months these are the things that I will always strive to remember. Thank you friends and family for giving me your precious time. This blog post is for you.
Friday, January 6, 2012
It has been a while since I have posted to my blog and I have a really good excuse for not getting to it sooner. Sure, training for Master World Cyclocross Championships is a good excuse, as is breaking my hip in a Cyclocross race on December 17. But, no, that is not the real excuse. Instead, after my last blog post I became involved with, then obsessed with, USA Cycling’s Power Based Training Certification Exam for coaches. The good news is that I passed this exam and I am now Power Based Training Certified. (CPBT)
I have been training with a power meter since 2004, and I have been coaching individuals with power since 2004 as well. Training and racing with a power meter is more than just a title of a book for me, it is what I do! But every once in a while I would download and then start to take the CPBT Exam and I would find out that, yes, it is long and hard and I would need to totally focus on it for quite some time. The exam would get put away and that would be it for a while.
This fall, though, I knew that my time had come. I had so much experience in the field that I wanted that “piece of paper” to back up this experience. The latest version was downloaded in early October and it was off to the races. Well, almost. It was slow going, all the way through. Not only did I want to give the correct answers, but I wanted to back up these answers with a complete understanding of the field. Days turned into weeks.
When I had completed all the multiple choice and essay questions the last part of the exam featured in-depth coaching of three different racers. While this “coaching” should seem like a piece of cake to a cycling coach I treated these athletes as if they were my own. The problem was that they could not just talk to me and tell me how they were feeling after “this” workout or “that” training week. I had to “assume” that these racers were feeling great, no matter what I gave them to do. Of course I had to make sure they did not become overtrained on what I was giving them, but on the other hand I needed to push these hypothetical racers hard enough for some overcompensation to occur as well. And then there was rest…
Did I learn during this exam? Absolutely! Of particular interest was the additional ways I found on the Training Peaks software to rip into an athlete’s power file to examine even more closely what he or she did during the ride, race or multiple intervals. This is fun stuff for a geek like me, and gives me even more ways to assist my athletes. In general, immersing myself even more fully for those two months into this topic opened my power-based mind even more. I would even wake up from dreams about coaching my own athletes as well as the mythical athletes in the exam. Yeah, I can get that way…
Anyway, after two months, I sent off a stack of paper an inch thick to USA Cycling and then started to wait. While recuperating from my hip replacement surgery I found out that I had passed. Yippee! Now I need to get the rest of my paperwork in so that I can renew my license for the year, but I wanted to share this with everyone. Yes, I have a title that says I can do what I had already been doing. But I really think that it will make me even better at what I had already been doing. Happy 2012!