Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not Where I Planned to Be, But Dealing With It

With collegiate road nationals around the corner, it’s safe to say this guy is not where he wanted to be.  Obviously, a lack of training, or just riding my bike for that matter, has played the key role in my current lack of fitness.  A lot of it has to do with time, and some limitations as of late, but with it all starting to come around, I hope May can turn it all around for me.

            Looking back, it all started last summer when I continuously got flat after flat until I was no longer motivated to ride.  It really sucks trying to fix a flat on a ride with a CO2 cartridge or hand pump.  This started carrying over into the fall where at one point, I had flatted 8 times in just 6 rides (those 6 rides were few and far between).  Then every time was another trip to the shop to get more tube.

            Then school started getting busy, and I’ve been in 5th gear since.  As a senior in mechanical engineering, the classes got hard and the projects piled in, specifically my capstone.  Fortunately, I learned how to manage my time quite quickly and was able to set aside a few hours a week to ride, getting base miles in less than 4 hours per week.  The weather this winter also really got in the way.  With 2 early season races cancelled because of weather, I was unable to acquire some much needed race-into-shape training. 

            Once the weather did get nice, I decided to take my bike outside.  When I got about 3 miles into my ride, I shifted and ripped the rear derailleur off, pulling the bolt that held my dropout to my frame out of my frame.  That’s a frame ruined.  So, I spent the next three weeks on a loner bike that was way different in geometry than my Evo, which I speculate began my knee issue from racing without my regular fit.

            Spring break rolled around, and I had scheduled surgery to get my wisdom teeth removed the Monday of spring break.  Let’s just say I ate a lot of pudding.  I did basically nothing then tried to race again at the end of that week.  Not yet fully recovered, I was in a lot of pain, feeling my pulse in my jaw and thought I could taste blood. 
6 lb shake with the fam.  You can notice how swollen my jaws were from the Navy race.

Also, my knee was still screwed up, so bad that it became physically impossible to pedal.  That’s when I decided to see Rob at Dynamic and get myself worked out.  I got dry needled, and it was….an experience.  After he was done, my hands were tingling because of how hard I was squeezing them. 

            The next week at Morgantown Road Race, it felt so much better.  We had two more needling sessions still, because of a few lingering issues.  I am still currently having some pain, but nothing like before the first session.  I also am keeping on my foam roller and electric stimulation to try to work out the knots in my thigh causing the inflammation in my knee. Also helping is my new, sweet looking Evo that Pathfinder and Cannondale hooked me up with.
Matte Black EVO!!

            Still during all this time, #seniorstatus began to be for real.  This semester was my capstone semester and it took a toll on me.  I had two all-nighters and several nights with limited sleep.  Amazingly, with my thirst for beverages, I haven’t been able to go out and consume one of my favorite past times.  However, this did cause a drop in my weight, losing about 5 lbs. in about 6 weeks.  I’m finally done with my capstone project, but it now becomes catch up time the week before finals to get 3 other projects done and turned in as well as study for finals, move out of my apartment, and prepare for #collnats.  There is now just becoming a point where I have to stay on track and set aside all distractions in order to stay on track with my goals for this year and in the future.

            Wish me luck as I embark on I’m not sure what with the mind set of what did I get in to?  Nonetheless, with all these issues passed me, hopefully this May I can turn it all around.  Knee rehabilitation and just riding my bike more (lower intensity until that gets worked out).  I can also look forward to riding all summer in Florida and racing next fall when I will be on a leave of absence from school.  Maybe this time next year will be a different story.