Hammer Knee

Last Saturday was a bit of a troublesome day. My training plan had me doing an hour run which I did with the kids at Elk Lake. The run was fine until the last few minutes. My knee started to ache a bit, and I pushed through, which at the time seemed like it might be a bad idea. Me being a noobie runner I didn’t listen and kept going.

In ththe afternoon I decided to replace the wood on the sandbox. I dug out the old wood, cut the new pieces, and started hammering some nails in to keep them in place. Then disaster. I know from riding to always look where you want to go. While I was using the hammer I was getting a little close to my left pointer finger. As the hammer was coming down I glanced at my finger thinking I wanted to not hit it. Sure enough I whacked it really hard. Instant pain, blood, and bruising.


That night I was a bit of a mess. My knee was aching and my finger was throbbing and numb. I started feeling a bit angry . All this work put into training for the BC Bike Race and the last thing I wanted was to be taken out by a training injury or a finger issue.

By tu stay my knee was still sore, so I tried getting in to see my physiotherapist. The online booking showed nothing until June 1 and I got a little worried. An hour later I tried calling, and it turned out there was a fresh opening the next day!

The knee issue turned out to be an IT band issue. Stretching, foam roller work, and taking it a little easier to let it heal are my priorities right now.

The finger was very sore for the first few days. The Sunday following the hammer incident I had a short ride and I could barely have my left hand on the bars because all the vibrations were hurting to badly. By now the feeling has mostly returned to the finger, though it is till a bit tender.


Overall I consider myself lucky. This could have been much worse, and it certainly reminded me to take it easy. Less than two months to go until the race!

Recovery Weeks

Training for BC Bike Race is going well. There is also a lot of planning happening in the house to figure out where I am going to be and when, plus what ferries Sue and the kids will need to take to follow the travelling circus.

This week is a rest and recovery week. It struck me when I read what the week entails, that I’ve come a long way. My recovery week

  • 15 minute core workout on Tues
  • 1.5 hour easy ride on Weds
  • 45 min run on Thurs
  • 1.5 hour ride on Sat
  • MEC 100KM ride on Sunday

This is a light week for me, but is still way more excercise than I would have done in a couple weeks time last year!

Tattoo Cassette

This year is going to be a big year for me. The BC Bike Race is the biggest check mark on the bucket list, but a close second is getting a tattoo. Since my early 20s I’ve been thinking about getting something, but what to get changed considerably. In February a friend and I actually went into a shop, talked to an artist and booked an appointment.

During the consult I had an idea of what I wanted, and the artist liked the idea. When I arrived for the appointment, he presented a different take on what I had suggested, and I instantly loved it. Above is the end result and I couldn’t be more happy with it.

Why the bike cassette? Cycling, specifically mountain biking, has changed my life. In high school I was not interested in sports and was over weight. In university I got into mountain biking and over the years started to get pretty good at it. It was the first sport I was involved in where I was pretty good. Soon mountain biking became part of my identity. I identified as a mountain biker, many of my friends were mountain bikers, and the rest of my friends and co-workers knew me as a mountain biker.

In recent years I’ve started doing more road biking, and have enjoyed that immensely as well.

This tattoo represents the sport that I love, the sport that has changed my life, and the sport that I hope to continue for a many more years.

Coaching Effects

One of my goals for the BC Bike Race is to not die. That is a bit dramatic, but I really just don’t want to suffer all day every day. One of my struggles with training is knowing when and how much to do. I know I’m going to have to train several days in a row, but when do I start that, how many days, how long for each ride? Lots of questions.

To help me answer answer these questions I have enlisted the services of b78 coaching. I’ve been placed with a coach who does a lot of cyclocross and mountain biking, and who has done the BC Bike Race twice before, as well as competed in other multi day stage races. For me this is the perfect fit.

They use a service called Training Peaks that allows them to map out my weeks of activities, and I enter them in the system as I do them. Harmon Connect also has hooks into Training Peaks so that as long as I use my Garmin, the workouts get entered automatically into Training Peaks. Very handy.

I’ve only been on the program a couple weeks, but so far so good. I’m finding that having a coach layout my workouts helps me stay motivated and accountable, which are both very good things. I am quickly realizing how much effort and time I’m going to need to put into this though. My upcoming week has a run on Sunday, a spin class on a Monday and Wednesday, a 2 hour easy spin on Thursday, then a 3 hour or longer ride on Saturday. Also sprinkled in there are some core workouts which are killer, but essential for proper pedalling technique.

My coach mentioned the other day that there are only 4 months to go until the race. That is a bit scary to think about, and makes me nervous. Since I signed up, I’ve tried to make each ride count. Do an extra loop, learn to love hills, ride to the trails instead of drive, etc. In spin class I’ve tried to put in extra effort with higher cadence than called for, pushing right until the rest, putting in as much effort as I can. The net result is that I feel great while riding these days. I’m feeling very strong and fit. I’m nervous about the race, but still looking forward to it.

There are some side effects of the training that I have noticed so far. 

The first, which is no big surprise, is increased food consumption. I am hungry throughout the day and all it takes to make my tummy grumble is seeing someone else eating something, or hearing someone talk about food.

The next side effect is the amount of time needed to prep for and clean up after riding. After I get back from a ride I typically need to eat and shower; sometimes I will have a nap. I still have to clean the bike though and get it prepped for the next ride. 

Bike upkeep is an expensive proposition too. I had to replace the drivetrain on my mountain bike this year. Thinks break or get tweaked and need replacing. Batteries need replacing, fenders need to be purchased and installed, lights are needed, etc.

The final side effect is increased laundry. Again, not a surprise, just something I hadn’t counted on. I have a few sets of riding gear, but when I am riding 4 times a week, I generate a lot of laundry. It also means I need to consider wants I wear for each workout, so that the kit I want to wear for long rides is clean and dry for me.

So far this has been quite an adventure getting ready for this race. I am loving how much riding is m doing, but this does mean less family time, which I am missing. Only a few more months to go until life returns to normal 🙂

Race Vacation

This past summer we were on a road trip when I did something I had been dreaming about for a very long time. I signed up for the BC Bike Race! I first became interested in the concept of this race when I heard about them putting on their first race.

Every year when the race began I would read the writeups on Pinkbike and get even more stoked. Their coverage is pretty amazing with lots of photos to really drive home how awesome the event is.

Signing up was a nerve wracking experience. There were some credit card issues, but more importantly this has been a dream of mine for over 10 years and taking that step to realize the dream was very intimidating. My heart was racing, and it almost felt like I was already at the start line.

After the signup, the vacation continued, but in my mind I started developing a training plan. From that point on I convinced myself that I loved hills and would hit as many as I could. I’d push myself harder and ride longer than I normally would. Spin classes started and I would put all my effort into those.

Yesterday I met with a coach and started talking about setting up a training plan.

Today I am feeling pretty good about where I am, but still nervous about where I need to get to. There is still lots of time to prepare though, and I am grateful for that.

Great Lists

This past weekend was pretty darn amazing. I’m not sure what triggered it, or caused it, but Sunday night laying in bed I couldn’t help but be amazed.

Friday night I went out to Moon Under Water for a birthday celebreation.

Saturday was a long ride at the dump and I felt great!

Image-1.jpg

Saturday afternoon did some chores around the house in the afternoon, then we went downtown and watched the IEOA Lighted Truck Parade.

IMG_8744.JPG

 

IMG_8741.JPG

Sunday I knocked off a few chores around the house, including putting up all the Christmas lights up outside and decorating the front tree. Then Sunday night we walked down and saw the Esquimalt light up parade.

Weekends shouldn’t  be about making lists and getting things done, but it did feel good to get it all done. And I still managed to have some fun in there too!

Part Ego

Last week we had a guest coming, and the downstairs toilet was having issues with running. I took the offending flapper piece to Home Depot, but they didn’t carry the part. In fact it was a design that the guy working there had never seen before.

 

In an effor to get the toilet up and running again I bought one of those internal replacement kits. With about an hour of work and a few choice words due to all the corroded and rotten parts being hard to take apart, I’m proud to say that I fixed the toilet! I’ve noted here before that I am not a handy sort of guy, and that I do want to learn some of this stuff, so small victories like this are good for my ego.

Excited Grade

Today was the first day back at school. Both kids were excited and nervous at the same time. Amy started grade 3 and Elliot grade 5, making him one of the big kids in the school. 


Breezy Exception

Tonight was a spectacular night for a ride. I started from home and headed downtown to follow the waterfront. It was pretty breezy along Dallas Rd, but the day was still warm enough that I never got a chill. Once I turned away from the wind though it warmed up considerably. Originally I was going to do an out and back totalling two hours. I always enjoy a loop more, so while I was going through Oak Bay and Uplands I started thinking about how to make it a loop.  I ended up on Blenkinsop, hit an entrance onto the Lochside Trail, then headed towards home.

I quickly realized that I was still going to be short on time, so I turned out of town towards Thetis, then came back home along the new section of E&N trail.

The longer I live here, the more I love this place. The cycling infrastructure is great, and it seems more often I am running into people I know. Tonight was no exception.

img_7771.jpg