Friday, June 11, 2010

Pre-Eagleman Thoughts

My first triathlon of the year, the Eagleman 70.3 Triathlon, is coming up this weekend. Actually, it’s my first triathlon since spring 2006. And shockingly, I’m actually less prepared than for my first half-ironman in 2005. For that race, at least I’d been doing regular biking (a 10-mile commute to work) and running, even though I hadn’t done any of the specific training I should have been doing. This time work commitments, allergy issues, and an injured foot mean that I haven’t been doing any where near the base level of training that I need to do. The ironic thing is that now I coach triathletes so I spend more time telling people to swim, bike and run then I spend swimming, biking and running.

I believe that my longest ride this year has been about 1:30 and my longest run was the half marathon that I did in March. Currently, I can only run about 20 minutes without my injured foot hurting unless I’m on a track - but I don’t think they’ll let me do the half-marathon by running 50+ laps at the high school track. I have been swimming most weeks, although usually only once a week. I did get in a good open-water swim Wednesday. We were knocked all over the place by the waves and current and my 8-year old wetsuit has decided it won’t zip up anymore but the swim was fun.

Thankfully, I was always doing this race for fun as a training event. A large number of the athletes I coach are racing and a large group from my tri-club will be at the race. My goal is to enjoy the day, have a positive experience in the swim, encourage my athletes and use the race to build my endurance for events that I have scheduled later in the year. I have a back-up plan of carrying sandals on the run and changing shoes if I have to walk and a back-up back-up plan of stopping if I think I’m going to hurt myself further by continuing. And a double back-up back-up plan if we get the thunderstorms that are threatening.

Hopefully after this, I’ll be over all of the obstacles - and have a new orthotic - and really able to focus on my training for the rest of this season. It’s been frustrating to have the goals I have for this season and not be able to train the way that I want. One of the nice things is that I have been able to use the Compex Sport Elite on a regular basis. I’ve been using the Endurance, Resistance, and Active Recovery programs and I’m looking forward to seeing how this supports me as I ramp up my training.

I’m going to bring my Compex with me to the race and plan to use the Active Recovery mode after the drive on Friday, the Massage mode after my pre-race workout and activities on Saturday, and the Recovery Plus mode after the race on Sunday. I’m also looking forward to sharing the unit with other members of the club at the race so that they can learn how great it is. Maybe I’ll even do better at the race than I expect thanks to my Compex training!

p.s. Written while running the Endurance program on my Traps!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Good Night’s Sleep - Thanks to Compex!

I believe I just had one of the silliest injuries ever - I hurt myself sitting. Our home phone/internet went down last week and when it came back, our wireless router was fried. As a result I’ve had to work with the laptop plugged into the ethernet cable while I’m waiting for the new router to arrive. The problem is that the ethernet cable is in my old office which is now our guest room and the only seating in that room is the old futon that we are using as a guest bed. Of course, the reason that we no longer sleep on that futon ourselves is because it is so uncomfortable now. (I admit it - we don’t want our guests to be too comfortable and stay too long!) As a result, after one day of sitting on the futon, I had re-tweaked my lower back/right piriformis and completely tightened both psoas/hip flexors. I had to work late to meet a deadline and didn’t realize this until I got up at midnight to go to bed and found that I was in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep.

After laying in bed for 2 hours, trying every possible position to get comfortable and lessen the pain, I got up and decided to try the Compex Sport Elite on my glutes and see if it relieved the pain in my piriformis enough so that I could fall asleep. 24 minutes later, I felt so much better that I was able to get back in bed, get comfortable, and fall asleep for 4 hours (had to get up and get to work).

The next day, I was still sore and tight to the point of limping so I spent a lot of time stretching. By bedtime, I was sore but able to lay down without the pain keeping me awake. However, by about 2 in the morning I had stiffened to the point where the pain came back and woke me up. This time, I didn’t even hesitate. I got right out of bed and went right to my Compex. This time I set 1 of the small pads right on the most painful spot on my lower back/glute with 3 others in a triangle around that one. Then I set two of the larger pads, one at just below and one at just above where I could feel the tightness of my psoas. I laid down as comfortably as I could and turned on the Active Recovery program and set the intensity as high as I could manage. 24 minutes later, I was back in bed with no pain at all on my right side. My back didn’t hurt at all and my right hip flexor was completely relaxed. In fact, my only question was whether to stay up long enough to do the same on the left hip flexor (the left side of my back doesn’t hurt) or go straight back to sleep. In the end, I just fell back to sleep and was able to stay asleep until the cats woke me for food (who needs an alarm when you have cats?).

I’ve been avoiding sitting on that futon - we just moved an old desk chair into the guest room - but I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to get a good night’s sleep thanks to Compex. I’m still stretching as much as I can but if I’m sore again tonight, I know that I’m going to go straight to my Compex!

p.s. Written while running the Endurance program on my quads!!