Sunday, 8 March 2009

Get off that bike!

Last Sunday was the first day of Spring. It was also my first long ride on the road bike for... quite a while. Long enough for me not to remember when I was last well enough to attempt anything more than an hour on the bike. In fact I made it pretty clear that I wanted to go for 90 mins, but group dynamics and the first glorious day of spring made resistance futile: I was in for the whole ride. 

The first half went smoothly, I felt strong, climbed well, felt stable in my hips and rode smoothly and off the front. However 1.15 into it the pain started.... and it was there to stay. My back was cut in half, my leg was no longer my own and it felt heavy on  the pedal. I had no choice but to continue, but I fell behind and slowly dragged my weary behind back to the car. 

The waffles that followed helped a bit. They sweetened the pain and dissappointment of knowing that I am not ready, as well as the physical pain. I took some pain killers and resigned to a bit of discomfort for the next couple of days. It was not as bad as I feared and by Monday I was quite strong and able to train again - some walking, some cross trainer and a lot of swimming. 

Swimming seems to help, so does aqua jogging - went back to it this week and it definitely took stiffness away after a long day. The cross trainer helps too - no impact, but some movement that brings much needed nutrients to my poor disc. 

My goal has revealed itself and it is a sprint distance race in early May. I need to remind myself that all I need to do is train enough to swim 750 meters (a lot less than my current swim milage), cycle 20 kms (less than 45 mins on the bike) and run/walk 5kms. The last is the least predictable and it will depend on the day whether I walk or run, or do a combination of the two.
But I need the goal to keep me training and for the first time I need the goal to keep my training times DOWN! Never thought I'd ever do this in my life... but need to remember, this time round: less is more! 


  1. Great honesty and very inspiring. I am on the same road yet a few months behind. Isnt it Irony when the athlete turns to invalid? Two herniated discs will leave me sidelined for Lake Placid and the thousands of miles of beautiful preparation. in the meantime, I will keep an eye on your updates and the trajectory of your recovery. This is one of the scariest pain filled experiences ever and I am psyched to hear you will be racing again soon. Cheers

  2. Shadrach it's good to know I can give you some hope. It has been the same for me, when any athlete I know says they had this experience and came out the other side it fills me with hope. I know people who have been through this and have since raced multiple IM's and I am hoping to be going that way. Lake Placid is not going anywhere :)It will be there when you are strong and ready to tackle it. Best of luck with your recovery!