Longing for heat

This week, Calgary decided to invite winter over for a visit. It seems all of a sudden we had a blizzard and we are now in full on winter mode. To not sound un-Canadian, I’m not going to complain about this weather, and instead reminisce about this summer. Anyone who knows me knows that I crave the sunshine. This results in some fabulous tan lines that people laugh at out loud and don’t even wait for me to get out of earshot before they make a mockery of my neapolitan style skin. Not that I blame them, even Hillary says she would love me more if I was evenly tanned! 

So, instead of hating winter, I thought I’d post some pics of myself enjoying summer with some friends. This summer, I was very blessed to enjoy many races where I have friends and family present. For someone who travels to race as much as I do, having friends at a race is quite special. Of all the things that make you feel at home while racing, having someone to hug at the finish line is by far the most satisfying. It is very lonely crossing the finish line and having no one to talk to, celebrate with or feel disappointed with. Here are some pics of me enjoying the post race high with some friends.

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Heading to Georgia in the morning

Tomorrow morning at 7am I am getting on a plane and flying to Augusta Georgia. I’m excited to travel again. I have never been to the southern USA and I haven’t traveled to a race in over 2 years. It should be an exciting, fun time. The weather there is highs in the low 30’s with humidity that elevates the temp about 5*C. My biggest concern for race day is actually my health. I have been fighting off the flu for the past week and it has left me very short of energy. Not only that, but I haven’t been able to sleep that well and just am feeling off all the time. But, that has until Sunday to turn around and I’m telling myself that I’ll sweat out all the crud in my body once I’m in Georgia.

There is also a huge mental game that I have to play now to stay positive. Last night I tanked my final run workout. This can leave an athlete feeling depressed, but I’m trying to stay positive. My schedule has now changed to include more rest leading into Sunday and I’ll have to focus more on visualization and staying positive. Wish me luck.

Next time we talk, I’ll be in Georgia!

G-force

Looks good.

Today I had another physio appointment and I feel great. I’m slowly making progress in my ability to fire the small, deep muscles and my imbalances are getting less severe. My leg is getting much better and I haven’t had any pain in about 2 weeks. There is pain in my leg, but it is in the locations where the cast presses on the leg for hours each day. Learning to distinguish between the stress fracture pain and pain from other factors like the cast and lack of movement has been crucial for me in determining recovery. Friday I’m scheduled to get the cast off, so I’m excited. Saturday morning I’ll start cycling even if the cast doesn’t come off. Cycling easy should put less stress on the tibia than walking in a cast, so I’m confident it’ll be fine.

I stumbled across this video the other day and now I really want to see it. The cinematography and viewpoint of the movie looks unique and in depth. Check it out. If anyone has seen it leave some feedback and let me know how it is.

A Ride With George Hincapie

G-Force

Just activate!

Yesterday I started the next step on my recovery back, Physio. I went down to Tower Physio in downtown Calgary. I was seeing Dr David Holmes about my leg and trying to get rid of any imbalances I have. He is one of the most amazing people I have met and I came out of the appointment knowing that this year I’ll be running faster than ever. He doesn’t rely solely on traditional techniques, but really  listens to you and tries to apply brand new research and technology. What we were working on yesterday was neural firing in key muscles. I have some imbalances and problems activating some muscles in my hip and leg, so I’m working on activating only those muscles. It’s tough and involves sitting on the toilet (with the seat down) to do one exercise, but I think it’s fantastic. I’ll update you on this later as things improve.

Have a great weekend,

G-Force

I can’t catch a break!

Happy New Years everyone. It has been a very rough start to 2010 for me. To be honest I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff lately and needed some time to sort through it. Just as everything was starting to pick up and my fitness was coming around I get smacked in the face with another injury. I have a stress fracture in my right tibia.

This week I was supposed to start back into intervals for running and cycling, but instead I’m stuck in an air cast, on crutches and hobbling around. I can’t bike, run, walk or even push off the walls while swimming for a couple weeks. That means it’s open water flip turns while swimming and water running for me for the next little while.

So, how did this happen? Well, about 2 weeks ago I was at track practice doing some bounding and plyometrics after my run. On one of the last bounding sessions it felt like my tibia (the larger weight bearing bone in your lower leg) felt like it was going to snap in half. After I finished core and the rest of my exercises it was ok to run home on (although it still hurt). Two days later when I could still feel things I hopped on a treadmill to see how the pain would be in a very controlled environment. The pain continued to increase for 10 mins until I could not walk properly. Increasing pain with a stress fracture is a major symptom. I called the dr and told him I was positive I had a stress fracture because it now hurt all the time. Because of the holidays it took forever to get into a dr and to get the xray and bone scan done. I asked to see the bone scan pictures and knew it was a stress fracture by the picture. Arghh, that was not a good day.

Stress fractures typically occur after constant stress on a bone (eg. repetitive running motion on hard pavement). My analysis of the situation was that a dr screwed me over. My bones have always been incredibly strong and I have had no issues until 9 months ago when a dr told me to go off calcium supplement. I don’t digest dairy very well and therefore don’t eat a lot of it. The result, minimal calcium intake right when running mileage was increasing. My body has handled much more running than I was doing, so this is why I think this occurred right now, combined with the fact that I’m 20lbs heavier than when I was last running 2 years ago.

Right now I have all sorts of emotions going through my mind: anger, frustration, confusion, doubt, motivation, sadness. This is not what I needed after being out for 19months. I have to really rely on my faith right now and trust that God has a reason for what is going on.

I will get through this, I will race this summer and I will be faster than I ever have been before.

G-Force

A huge boost

After a weekend of light training, working and hanging out with friends I decided to step things up a little on Sunday. I started out doing a 2 hour bike on the trainer. My initial plan was to do it outside, but there was still ice on the ground when I started, so that quickly made my decision for me. About an hour and a half after the bike Josh Riker-Fox came over and we went for a run. We were only planning on going 75mins, but the weather was beautiful, the pace was perfect and we ended up getting into a really good conversation. Anyways, the next thing we knew, we were back at my place after a 96min run. Of course I was a little tired Sunday night, but I think as a whole the day was really good. Of course the recovery was aided by a PowerBar Protein Plus smoothie and a quick batch of banana pancakes.

Grant