Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Karen writes: Things change

In encouraging Kate to do the Orca half Ironman I admit to having what could be construed as selfish reasons, but truth be told she didn't need much encouragement anyway...the discussion went along the lines of "why dont you..." and "yep I've signed up".  The fact is that she was depressing me by doing more training, without a planned event, than I am doing with Ironman just around the corner. An important reason for me celebrating her signing up is that endurance training is lonely without someone to share goals, challenges, screw-ups and successes with. Now that Kate is safely committed I also have a good excuse to inveigle her into some long rides and swims which will inevitably make my own training journey easier. Of course its especially convenient that her event is to be held in my home area so she needs lots of training time on the actual course to ensure the best outcome!

While it would be insane for me to think about doing this event myself I will probably still be a bit jealous on the day watching her race. This will be a fitting punishment for me doing Taupo Ironman 4 weeks earlier without her. The girls and I will most likely cheer Kate through the swim at Maraetai Beach, transition, onto the bike, then a while later we will head over to Kawakawa bay where the bike leg finishes and the run is held.  I am envisaging a picnic on that beautiful beach, and 6 opportunities during the 3 lap out and back run to yell encouragement and brandish tempting items like ice-cold watermelon and drinks. I thought about putting a sausage on a BBQ except those fragrant fumes could be construed as cruel and unusual punishment and possibly result in a justifiable lynching by the other runners.

So Kate is back into formal training.  As to my training, Monday evening the plan said spin and strength work.  I went home after work, the weather was nice so I got on my bike and rode off towards Clevedon. There was a gentle breeze, the heat of the day had gone, everything looked fresh and beautiful after light rain in the morning, the traffic was quiet and I was reminded that cycling isn't always about being hot and anxious and working miserably hard for hours on end.

Then my neck started hurting, but if I didn't turn my head I could ignore it. Fortunately I didn't have to make too many right hand turns which would have meant I had to look behind me. I turned back at the Log cabin and rode to Pine harbour for spin class still feeling positive. Spin was about speed intervals, so many seconds going fast or on higher resistance, so many seconds rest, repeat repeat repeat. After spin, I cycled home. Not sure if that counts as a brick session given both parts were bike related and a brick usually involves two different disciplines, but it was a satisfying 2 1/4 hours of pedaling and with the interval stuff in the middle I felt like I was actually working.

Unfortunately my neck got progressively more painful, I had an uncomfortable night and today I am holding myself rigid, aware of a spasm of some sort down the right side if I move.  These are the sorts of things that happen out of the blue and you have to decide if it is something worth worrying about or something to adapt to as best you can. I had no obvious moment when an injury occurred and when I put pressure on the offending area I can turn my head ok, so I am choosing the option of keeping going, in a modified fashion. I have moved my day off to today, I might put swimming off till the end of the week and just see how I feel over the next couple of days using antiflam and hotpacks for relief.  Training can continue at a low level, and as the next important milestone for me is the SRAM Tour de Ranges 110km cycle on the 18th there is plenty of time to be right for that. Sadly I wasn't able to talk Kate into that one.

It just goes to show that things change in a moment. Just as Kate had no idea she was going to sign up for another event which has put a whole cascade of changes into her life over the next couple of months, I had no idea that I would end up with a sore neck which requires immediate alteration of all of my carefully crafted training plans. I look back over the blog and my training diaries from other years and I see lots of these moments, good moments like unexpectedly deciding on a new challenge, or bad moments like an injury.  These moments and their consequences always seem terribly important at the time, strangely I had forgotten pretty much all of them until I actually read about them again.