Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rehab Update: Attitude Management

I've had the distinct pleasure of being able to start running again in a real way recently, and this is a good thing.  But since November 26, workouts have been, to mangle a cheater's quote, all about the bike.  I was back on the stationary bike within two weeks post fracture, and back on the real bike at about seven weeks.  Since then, bike power numbers have not just recovered, but improved noticeably, mostly because I've done little else but ride.  I'm hitting historical tempo level wattage in Zone 2, and threshold wattage with a tempo HR.  With swim continuing to be solid, it was easy to even imagine that my tri ability as a whole was getting better. . .

. . .until I started running.  Despite feeling as if my bike and swim fitness is pretty advanced, run fitness just isn't.  When running, I've gotten to the point that I'm moving pretty smoothly, but speed just isn't there.  What feels like a 7 minute mile is more like 7 miles per hour.  The recovery from a 45 minute to 1 hour "easy" run feels like what it should have been after a 10K.  And most vexing of all, probably 50% of the apparent wattage improvement on the bike appears to have gotten lost in sore running legs.

Somehow, I find this surprising, when by any rational standard, it shouldn't be.

I'm impatient to be further along than I am.  The hazard of this, clearly, is running myself into injury.  I find myself reeling in my unreasonable expectations, talking myself down from unreasonable disappointment, and trying to put it all in perspective.

So here goes:

--An athletic year in the life of a 45 year-old following a hip fracture is most reasonably devoted to rehab, not PRs.  But perceived improvement, particularly in something so reproducible and constant as bike power, has tempted me to think otherwise.  There I go again. . .

--And where am I relative to expectations? A couple months ago, I wasn't even going to bring my running shoes to 70.3 St. George.  And now, there's a decent chance I'll do the whole 13.1.  Perspective is the key to happiness.  Expectations are its enemy.

--First and foremost, triathlon--meaning all three disciplines--is an event unto itself, and all disciplines are interrelated.  It's a bit delusional to think that I'd improved AS A TRIATHETE merely by upping bike power, when I couldn't even run.  Even though bike numbers have taken it in the shorts of late, collective multisport fitness has come along dramatically by merely being able to run.

--Oh yeah, and am I remembering to have fun, and appreciate what I have, instead of dwelling on what isn't?

An answer, in the form of tonight's runset:


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