Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pain

Mark and Dave both in pain. I've been working on two things since 2005 - 1) improving my cycling which used to be dreadul and now it is arguably my second best sport but still needs work 2) sustaining said speed for a 1/2 IM distance which I am doing very well. I think my next Ironman will be just about 2.1 x my 1/2 speed. I have always had endurance and I could swim a 1:00 Ironman just rolling out of bed, dead drunk from the night before. This comes from tri-daily beatings during my college swimming and water polo days. Fond memories of the daily 5am practice which (after a mile warm up) started with sets like 40 x 200 on 2:15 hold 2:05 or better or we start over; yeah...we were the master of over training and garbage yardage but a great prep for Ironman and dealing with pain for long periods of time. In Racine I wasn't hurting too badly during the race (much like a 40 x 200 set). After Racine my back and neck have been killing me, long after they should have. Even to the point of doing the stiff back squat to tie my shoes. Like 46% of all Americans, I have an extra lumbar vertebra which means that I get a sore back fairly regularly but usually not lasting longer than a good nights sleep because of my fitness level- if not my body weight. Another word about pain tolerance, I have been hit by a Chevy Tahoe, pulled a nail out of my quad, and crushed my front teeth; all with the, "Wow, how about that?" attitude. (Side Note: I can talk blood, guts, and gore until the cows come home...let's just not talk about broken teeth & dental issues.) Once I'm moving, my back is almost fine (gets tight as I stand longer) but starting out in the morning...the pain I've lived with (and trained with recently) would bring a hardened Navy SEAL to tears.

Lorrie has applied her elbow "smackdown" and all of her nominal weight to the evil and debilitating muscle knot the size of a fat Milwaukee bratwurst. She got me with "The Stick", a rolling pin, a foam roller, golf ball, ice, heat, Biofreeze, Bengay, a bag of peas, and her foot. (Gosh my wife is great!) I was able to tough it out last week and run, bike (and ski) every day- mostly thanks to Lorrie putting a beating on me nightly. You know I'm in pain when my voice gets scratchy. Everyone noticed that my voice was scratchy; but I just smiled thru it. I have a trick to removing pain but I'll make you e-mail me if you want to know how I do it- some trade secrets must remain secrets.

Last night I visited my embassador of muscles Dan McKenzie. Dan is the Chicago Wolves Hockey Team physical therapist and deep tissue massage guy. Dan is like no other and best in the Chicago area...I drive 90 minutes each way to see Dan. So a typical drive to and from Dan is 3 hrs + in the car and the treatment time (90 minutes normally). Dan was working on my back and when he hit the muscle knot I felt it in my shoulder, neck and lower leg - not good. "Hey Bob, you might have noticed that your back is pretty tight." No shit Dan? "I suppose I'll get this outta here. No extra charge for the pain" What a guy huh? Dan hit the muscle knot and my ability to breath immedately left me. What was once involuntarty was now a forced voluntary effort. Gee, thanks.
Fast forward to this morning. I was significantly better (no pain for the first time in two weeks). I'll elect to do a double workout tonight versus a morning workout and evening workout to be safer.

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