Sunday, March 4, 2018

8 Days Without Training Makes 1 Weak

Warning, the blog post you are about to read has been rated PG-13 by the Blogging Association of America (BAA). It has been deemed that some information may be considered inappropriate and possibly awkward for young readers, sensitive readers, or readers that have at least 8 functioning brain cells. The subject matter has been deemed as highly sensitive in nature, not very exciting and on par with Vogon Poetry. The reader is advised to proceed with the utmost caution.

Let it be known that this will be the only opportunity I am granting on this particular topic in person or in print. I'm not one who normally hands out personal or private information but for some reason I'm feeling the need to tell this story in this medium at this time. Should you see me in public and ask, I'll likely make a distracting joke and not really dive into the topic nor answer the question. Sorry.

Here's the thing, after all the recent attention I've given on being consistent and then on feeling S.H.I.T.ty, if one were to look closely at my training log, I dropped off the face of the exercising Earth. Here's what I mean. If you look at the first 3-weeks of February, things look pretty darn good.

The biking fell off a little bit at the end, but that was in the middle of a biking-based recovery week and some other life stuff happened (more on this in a moment). That was also linked to my drop in indoor exercise motivation.

Here is the last 2 weeks, including today's exercise, in all of it's lack of glory.

What you see here is the excellent bike ride I did with the Boy and the Outlaw on the 20th. And you see a couple of runs. And then there's this great big gap in training. That's the first time I went that long without training in more than 2 years, which includes a stretch of time when I had a fractured bone in my foot. I went back in my training log and discovered that the last time I took 8 full days off of training was in 2016 after my final race of the season. I took a 10-day off-season and promptly got busy doing the next rounds of doings. 

This week wasn't considered a planned off season. I had some work done, umm, down there. Now, let me promise you that I'm not going to dive into too many details or specifics about what they actually did to my crotchal region. All the major parts are intact and I won't be receiving a sympathy call from Lance Armstrong any time soon. After the follow-up visit (tbd), it's highly likely that this will be the last time I pay a man to put his hands on my groin. The reason I won't be broaching the subject again is that I've found that most people really aren't that interested in anything my crotch has to offer. Every time that I've brought up my crotch in conversation or tried to provide a visual, the patrons cringed. Here's a re-enactment. 

The procedure took place on the first Friday of down week. It was quick and I'd like to tell you painless, but I'm not one to lie. Perhaps I'll embellish a bit for comedic reasons but that's not the same thing. I did not cry. I did almost bite my lip off and was congratulated on the record amounts of perspiration left on the examination table. So I got that going for me.

I asked the Doc about the recovery. He says that I'm to be on light duty for at least a week. Then after 7 days, give 'er a try. He speculated that biking might be the most challenging of the disciplines due to pressure points. I suspected that running would be worse due to the impact forces and jarring on the body. He said that I might have a point and to make sure I run slowly. We both had a good laugh at that one, as if not running slowly were an option. I asked him about swimming. He paused and we both had our second good laugh in as many minutes knowing that I have no intention on getting in the water.

The recovery period was tough. Not because of the procedure but because of the gluttony and sloth. Whereas the average American bloke relishes in the concept of being forced to not exercise, it's not something at which I excel. I could feel my muscles atrophy, which is significant since I don't have much to start with. On the bright side, my hunger was boosted meaning that I managed to pack on all of the pounds I took off in the previous 7 weeks. Score one for the Banter! Oh, wait. Never mind.

Day 8 arrives. It was a chilly but pleasant morning. The type of day that I wouldn't have hesitated to run outside.  I decided to head out to the treadmill. I had no idea how my body was going to react to the first day back and I didn't want to be miles away should it take a turn for the worse. I hopped on the dreadmill and pushed the 'slow' button (easily recognizable due to it's overuse while the faster ones are seemingly untouched). It was clear that after the first mile, my legs were happy to be back. My crotch was still a bit sensitive. My lungs were on fire. O.M.G! It was as if someone reached inside my chest and squeezed all of the life juices directly out of my alveoli. This would be considered pretty good had I been attempting to make wine. But for a slow run?

I eventually got to 45 minutes and all of my cells, crotch-related and the other ones, were for once in agreement that I'd had enough. I came in and got cleaned up. I was afraid to wash my nether regions in fear of the pain. I shuddered to think about what I'd become.

Now, a smart man would have called it a day. The Banter? (I think the question answers itself.) I decided to put on some lycra and head back out to the workout room for a bike ride. I just had to know if I was more correct than the doctor about which discipline would be worse for wear. Since the run was slow, I decided to attempt to be fair to the competition and make the bike slow too. Normally I finish a weekend workout in 90 minutes with a normalized power around 230 watts (out of about 270). This day I went for 60 minutes with an NP of 183 watts. On a normal crotch day, this would be considered a recovery ride. And, since I'm recovering...

You'll be pleased to know that I was indeed, from my anecdotal n=1 pseudoscientific experiment, more correct than the doc. The areas of concern were not in contact with the bike saddle. The legs felt pretty good. The lungs weren't leaking any ethanol. I have to go back for a follow up visit in late April. I can't wait to tell him. (Ya know, because I'm trying to boost his knowledge base.)

Based on my running experiment, I decided to take one more day off. I have expectations to re-start normal training on Monday. It'll be more of the same. Run slowly, not necessarily by choice. Bike in the garage, begrudgingly by choice. Play with my crotch. Repeat. I'm happy to put this experience behind and am pleased that I can again get jiggy with it it happened early in the season. I'm so motivated that I may even get back in the water. (<--You're supposed to laugh at that.)

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