Monday, February 21, 2011

Louis - Learning to let go

People get caught up with things and get upset about it. I am no different. Since last year I found myself getting caught up with my races. I was angry, I was upset, I was confused, and I question why... a lot. It all started at the California Half Ironman. After the swim my back started to hurt so I did not have a good race. I wanted to write about it and my coach told me to just let it go. Then came Ironman Arizona with that wind on the bike. I finished, but I did not reach the goal that I like. Fast forward to January 2011 at Carlsbad Half Marathon, instead of finishing at 1:54 I crawl to the finish at 2:07.

In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter if I PR or not. But being me, I want to know what happen. I want things to be black and white. If there is an issue with my body, I want to resolve it so I can move on to try the same race next year or to move on to other races. But things are not always black and white. When I found an answer to a question, another question will appear. Next thing I know, I was checking weather to wear the prefect cloth, writing pace note on my arm, and not drink as much prior the race so I don’t have to pee while I race. I got so caught up to what if this happen and what if that happen, that’s all I think about. Before, during, and after the race… especially after the race.

Then I realized, all these questioning suck up all the fun I could of have, the very reason why I am doing all these events in the first place. I do something because I enjoy it, not because I want to question it. I didn’t do it to prove to the world that I can finish an Ironman in under a certain hour. I do it just because I can. I realized that sometime you just don’t get an answer, no matter how hard you think, or how hard you try. So what if I am not having a good day or I am just being confused sheep on course, I am just going to live the moment and enjoy the race (or whatever I am doing). I don’t have to PR every race, but I need to enjoy every race. As long as I give it all I got at every race, things will happen naturally (yes I omit the fact that I need to train too). Actually, I don’t know why I get upset with these silly thoughts to being with. I have a good job, I have my Louis’s humor, I am very active, and I have a lot of good friends. I should be graceful instead of worrying about all these silly things that got to my head.

I just need to enjoy the moment... like this monkey

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Road Bumps - Kevin

My Right Foot

Road bumps are made to slow one down for the better. For me, being injured is more than a road bump. There is no doubt that injuries make me nervous, make me pant and gasp for air, wondering how to deal with the problem(s). First it was my left knee. Now it is my right foot. Unlike my left knee, however, my right foot was much more discomforting.

One Thing To Another.
Two weekends ago, I was back to happiness after being sidelined during the Palos Verde training run with the Coyotes for my knee pain. At the time, being sidelined was saddening. But with the pain being a pinch, I know that I can get back to it... eventually. I rested up and I did make a decent comeback. The following weekend, I ran Temescal - Will Rogers with the gang and then the infamous Octopus the following day.

The Octopus was fun, but it was a killer but insanely beautiful. The run consists of eight total climbs spreading from Westridge all the way to Temescal loop. On the way back, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets ever on Will Rogers backbone. It was amazing. On one portion early on on the trails, I landed awkwardly on my right foot. I felt slight discomfort on the outskirt of my right foot. Somehow, it tighten up my right calf a tad bit.

The next day, I went out for an easy run with the Chinatown Firecracker gang (Charles, DJ, Lawson). I got them to sign up for the Chinatown Firecracker run, hoping to have them experience what I had in the past and also to promote fitness to these video games addicts. Overall, I felt OK throughout this run.

Following the easy run on Monday was the Tuesday training run. On the final rep of that workout, I felt some discomfort on my foot as I know I needed to push hard. Walking was not very comfortable, but not that bad... so I thought.

Trying to be smart, I've decided to skip that week's Thursday morning run and rest up then head back out for Leona Divide Preview Run.

Leona Divide Preview.
On Saturday morning, quite a few participants went out to LD Preview Run. It was a gorgeous day but I don't feel very well physically but more so mentally. My body felt very much mis-aligned, out of place, not very smooth. But hey, this will be good for WS training. It was a tough start mainly because I wasn't really running my own pace and I felt like I'm behind with my training. So I tried to push myself a bit and tried to focus. I got pretty tired right from the get go. I felt ridiculous. After about 7 miles or so, trying to keep up with June, Jimmy ran up to me and asked me how I was feeling. I told him about my rough start and that I'd be focusing on my form and take it easy. He told me that that would be great mental training for WS as I've agreed.

After another half a mile, I got to the off camber single track. The first segment was fun but ok. The second segment, however, was upsetting my foot as it requires one to hug the hill on the right. This makes my right foot / ankle compressed for a good period of time. It was not very comfortable at first, but by the end of it, I had to walk it off. It was devastating in some way. I contemplated for a moment but ultimately, I've decided that it was not worthy to go on with the 20+ miles of running. It's days like this that makes me think how is nearly impossible to do WS. Makes me wonder if I'll be ready in only four and a half months. It makes me nervous.

I wasn't sure whether Jimmy knew about my ankle problem. I woke up early and in time for the training the following morning, only to decide that I shouldn't be heading out, but I should be staying off my feet instead. I texted Jimmy telling him that I can't make it, that I felt confused whether I was being smart or being weak. It was comforting to hear from him. He told me that I will be ready for WS as long as I can maintain good health which is the ultimate truth without a doubt.

Love From Switzerland.
I also received a message from Swiss Princess, a WS veteran / buckle holder, a woman with strength and advocated that "I shouldn't stop believing", Gabi. The message though delivered in FB, came all the way from Switzerland. She basically told me about her experience with her injury which was probably more severe than mine. Yet, she was able to get back up and trained for WS in 3 months and finished in 28 hours. How amazing is that? She lifted me back up from the ground and gave me hope. Am I still sad and worried? I'm not going to lie, I still do feel a little bit of it. Do I feel hopeful and positive regarding on reaching my ultimate goal? More than ever. It's supports like this that makes me feel so fucking fortunate to know of the Coyotes. So, "Danke sehr, Gabi!"

The Diagnose.

Yesterday, I want to Dr. Clarence Shields of Kerlan Jobe to check up on my legs. I told him about my problem and training routine. He guestimated that I am training for a 100 miles and suggested that I should progress and diagnose with an MRI to make sure that I'm not suffering from any stress fracture. Better safe than sorry, I need to focus on healing and try to do whatever I can to prepare for WS. That requires getting back my health to 100%.

This morning, I went in for an MRI. I won't know the result until February 8th, when I bring the MRI images to Dr. Shields. Until then I will stay off of running and try to be motivated and do my best with cross training and most importantly, be patient with my body. After all, I will have to rely on it to conquer the big monsters. As for my other races, I may have to go really easy and not going for PR. So Chinatown PR, I'll have to save you for next year.

DateMilesDurationElev. Gain (ft)Note
01/103.200:40:00~800run out my soreness
01/115.7800:44:09~200Speed work - felt pain before warm up
01/137.1601:13:35~1171Coyote Westridge
01/157.1302:05:36~1165Westridge - then left knee pain
01/162.5500:27:33~279PV - Trailavolution
Weekly Total25.825:10:533615Need to heal knee
01/204.9401:13:44~892Coyote - Sullivan Ridge (Mostly hiked)
01/2215.6603:28:06~3112Temescal - Trailavolution
01/2320.0005:08:12~5175Coyote Octopus - Caused Foot Pain
Weekly Total40.609:50:029179Need to heal foot (go easy)
01/243.9200:52:0828Run with Firecracker Gang
01/256.5501:08:25750Temescal - Hill Work
01/2911.75(12.2*)02:34:43(02:33:31*)2909(1999*)Leona Divide Preview Run - killed right food when hugging hill
Weekly Total21.2204:35:163687Need to heal foot (no running)
*Google My Tracks as oppose to Garmin 310XT

"Lately, I've been living in my head. The rest of me is dead. I'm dying for truth.."