Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bring on the 2012 Season

Well... my "off season" held great promise as I went into it... my goals were simple...
  1. Improve my flexibility
  2. Improve my strength
  3. Improve my power output on the bike
  4. Keep my weight under control
With those in mind... I embarked on a Winter Cycling Performance Plan... A heart rate based cycling program designed for triathletes and cyclists to improve their Critical Power over a 16 week period...
Developed by Jorge Martinez of E3 Training Solutions, a plan to get you ready for spring! It was awesome and grueling at the same time... but I embraced the training and having completed 8 weeks of it I saw a 10% increase in my power... it was an awesome feeling!!

I started working on my strength training and even took up Yoga.... and some of my Christmas presents were yoga related items... I was stoked to have my own mat and not have to use the dirty sock smelling ones at the YMCA.... I had done a couple of sessions and was really getting into it as it appeared to help dramatically with my hamstrings...

Then January 5th... BAM... following a what I would call a great yoga session... I woke up with a kink in my neck... assuming it was just a function of sleeping funny I shook it off... spent most of the day on Friday uncomfortable.... assuming it would go away in a day or two... even did a long run on Saturday morning as part of my Half Marathon training plan... Saturday night I did not sleep well... Sunday was awful and I spent most of it on the couch... Sunday night I did not sleep at all... Monday morning I went to see the Doc... got the standard Naproxen, Flexeril combination and sent on my way. But even the meds did nothing to alleviate the pain and discomfort! I went back in because I had not slept in almost 5 days and was a wreck... they gave me Valium... did nothing... so back in to the Doc... they took xrays and saw reduced disc space in the C5/6 and C6/7 area as well as a nasty hook osteophyte (bone spur). So... I was sent in for an MRI and given a consult for a Neurosurgeon... he confirmed what the xrays showed as well as herniation of the 2 discs in that area. So it ordered a 3 shot series of Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections done in 2 week intervals...

Fast forward... the symptoms changed over time.... from intense pain to now a constantly numb right thumb and a shooting sensation down my arm that makes my right thumb and index finger go to sleep... I am seeing a Physical Therapist twice a week and off any kind of meds.... I have lost grip strength in my right hand and general arm weakness.... so I have another MRI next week and follow up with the Neurosurgeon the week after... more to follow on that front...

So.... let's get to the 2012 season... my goals have changed for this year...
  1. Stay healthy and uninjured
  2. Have fun and enjoy races vice trying to win them all
  3. Encourage family to do events
  4. Improve flexibility
  5. Complete Ironman Augusta 70.3 in September
My schedule looks like this...

2/12 Mercedes Half Marathon in Bham, AL (CANX due to neck injury)
3/17 Blue Streak Cycling Time Trial (10K)
3/25 Powerman Alabama Duathlon (5K/20K/2.5K)
4/6 HAP 15K Run
4/22 LJCC Super Sprint (150y/6mi/2mi )
4/28 Bo Bikes Bama- Bessemer to Tuscaloosa (50mi)
5/12 Transporter Sprint (300y/12mi/3mi)
5/19 Peachtree International Olympic (1.5K/40K/10K)
6/9 Buster Britton Memorial Sprint (400y/13mi/5K)
8/11 Mountain Lakes Sprint (600y/16.2mi/3mi)
9/30 ESI Ironman 70.3 Augusta (1.2mi/56mi/13.1mi

I was fortunate to have been able to renew a couple of my 2011 sponsorship deals... Fluid, Zym and Honey Stinger... also I joined a new team for the season... Team MMS... a local multisport team that I am proud to be a part of... a great group of people with the same passion I have for all things multisport!

With the love and support of my family I can hopefully get the neck situation under control and allow me to do these events... stay tuned for updates!!!

Attitude Trumps Pain!