Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again...

It's been 5 months since I first felt a twinge of pain in my glute while racing Rev3 Costa Rica.  After 3 months of being on the injured reserve and two months of easing back into training/racing, I feel that I can finally call myself 'healthy'.  Good thing too, as I'll be on the start line of the full distance Rev3 Cedar Point in three short weeks.  If the rehab process was an exercise in patience and planning, trying to fit a full season of long course training into 5 weeks is next to impossible!  I feel like every day is a gamble between getting in the work and staying in one piece.  This Richmond sculpture pretty much sums it up:
Luckily, I'm the guy in the middle!
After a successful trial race at Giant Eagle 5150, I have been working hard on putting in the volume necessary to race well for 8+ hours.  Up until recently, sitting on a bike (even with an ISM Saddle!) for more than 4 hours was impossible without pain.  In the past three weeks, I've logged 8 rides with 4 or more hours of saddle time.  Add in the long runs off the bike and you have a recipe for either: A) improved fitness or B) re-injury.  Luckily, I've been able to stay with option 'A' by focusing on easier days and off days in between the long ones.  Matt at the Sport Factory always seems to be an angel (devil?) on my shoulder reminding me to recover.  It's difficult to sit around, be lazy, and do things like update my blog when I know I haven't done what I need to be at peak form.  However, it's a better alternative to being injured again and sitting out more of the season.  Back in April, I was told that I may not race again this year, so I'm ahead of the curve.  Taking care of my fueling with First Endurance and basically living in a Recovery Pump has allowed me to absorb the work and get to the point where I'm optimistic of my chances for a solid showing.

Realistically, I believe I can be under 8:30 at Cedar Point.  My swim is solid as always, and if I get to wear the BlueSeventy Helix like years past, I can be 46-48 min depending on currents, etc.  For the bike, my original wattage numbers from the beginning of the year have been slightly adjusted downward for the sake of playing it safe, but under normal conditions I should be under 4:40 for the course.  IF (and that's a big 'if' anytime you're racing this distance) everything goes smoothly, I can come off the bike running 6:45 pace for the marathon.  Just like training, the race will be an exercise in patience and control.  In some ways, coming back from injury is a perfect way to prepare to race long!  

Tomorrow is my last bike predictive brick workout and if all goes well I'll post the results here.  Nutrition, power, pace, etc.  If not, well, I'll lick my wounds in silence.  Stay tuned...

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