Monday, April 26, 2010

And on Sunday...

I hit the road!  Solo, but this time it worked out.  I saw quite a few cyclists, unlike last weekend, but they all happened to be going the opposite direction.  It was a pretty quiet ride overall.  Some wind, lots of sun, and the road just disappearing underneath my wheels as I kicked over my comfortable cadence, climbed the hills, and enjoyed the descents.

Always a fan of matching... I picked up some Swiftwick ankle socks at the Rock N' Road sale on Saturday:

I managed to clean up my road bike all by my lonesome (after it got pretty grimy/dirty in the rain the previous week).  The chain was pretty dirty (worse than the mountain bike!), but I got it cleaned up and ready to ride, and set out before 11 for a pretty chill, but long, ride.

First little climb.  I couldn't make up my mind on which *way* to ride the route.  I called Justin just down the road from home telling him I was going to ride our normal direction (clockwise) so that I had a place to stop on the way back and wouldn't run out of fluids.  It was here (just a few miles later) that I changed my mind.  Again.  I was going to ride it opposite and hope for the best.

First stop.  I was about an hour in and managed to finish off my first bottle, so filled it up fresh with cold water.

Was hoping this would carry me through about another 2 or so hours in the heat.

Hard to see in the picture, but my impending climb was up next to the freeway.  A nice climb with 6-9% grades.  I was looking forward to the following descent, but wound up with a good headwind the entire way down, so it was somewhat slower than expected.

Cruisin' somewhere, working up a sweat

Don't tell anyone, but I stopped briefly to snap a shot of my next descent.  Love this one so much.  No traffic.

Just made it back to civilization as I ran out of liquids and got a little bit of water to tide me over until I got home.  Last week I'd done a similar route, only the other direction, and minus one extra descent/climb.  I was getting shaky on the way home.  I had felt pretty hungry earlier on this ride, but had a Lara Bar and finished off most of my calories, so opted to spend my remaining $1.13 on a Pepsi so I'd be feeling good when I got home.

Drained most of it as quickly as possible, then hit the road to do a nice warm down on my final stretch home.  Killer cross wind coming off the hills, as always!

I was feeling decent heading back home on the bike path, and traffic in the business park area of town was really low.  I rounded a little bend and saw a little dog, without a collar, chilling in the middle of the path.  I kind of got nervous since I wasn't sure if it'd respond by trying to my bite my tires/ankles, or run off into the bushes.  It did neither, actually.

Instead it ran this far in front of me for about almost a mile before peeling off.  I rode behind it for awhile before I took out my phone/camera to snap the shot.  Trust me, with the crazy crosswind and unpredictable dog, I did think it was a pretty stupid move on my part to be getting the picture anyway, but hey.

Weirdest thing I've seen on my bike in awhile: I'm riding in a fairly rural neighborhood area, windy 2-lane road, no shoulder, I see a female walking on the side of the road, going the same direction as me, wearing a very fancy/flowy green dress and nice white half arm gloves.  No joke.  I have no idea where she was coming from or going to.

In other randomness...

This guy has basically taken up residence on our patio.  I see him everyday.

It was 6 months early, but we opened it anyway.  Soo tasty.

Up next?  More open road, of course...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

3 Weeks Later

Well, as of yesterday at noon it'd been 3 weeks since Justin's accident.  It had been awhile without much news or change, but we saw both the spine and ortho/knee doctor this past week.  Justin said the spine guy stopped counting fractures in his neck at 5 or 6 and he's in the brace for at least another 2 weeks, and slowly weening himself off after that.

His knee wound is healing up okay, and he was able to take his first shower in 3 weeks last night!  He's in the leg brace full time still as well, but he's able to do a few passive knee bends to help get some mobility back.  Nothing active, and no weight bearing.  Good news, but everything is basically status quo.

I got out a few times last week to get in some time on the bike.  Rode in the rain two days.  Making myself tough out there, I guess.

It drizzled on me most of the ride, but the sun did come out during my warm down.  Good thing too because my feet were starting to get chilly in the late evening!

Got the bike all "ride ready" for today with some help from Justin!

I got a pretty late start today after hitting up Rock N' Road Anaheim Hills to check out their tent sale and drool (and pick up some necessities) and after sitting in some traffic and getting prepped to ride it was after 3 before I got on the bike!

Pretty good ride, but got kind of sad and lonely riding solo.

Looking out over the park as I climbed up to the big hill in the pic above

Enjoying the day

Up at "top o the world" (Stanley Peak) looking out toward Palomar?  Lots of snow dusting up there!  Might head out tomorrow?  Maybe flat... I do love that climb, though.


Was pretty quiet out there today.

As I was getting dressed post-ride a Monster/Specialized van pulled into the lot.  No idea who it was!

Looking forward to another sunny day, and hopefully making time to first clean my bike, and third run some errands!  Who's up for fro-yo?  Just kidding...

Monday, April 19, 2010

No 2010 Sea Otter Classic for me!

Yes, Justin and I wanted to be there duking it out on the race course, but he is still in full-on recuperation mode:

Big thanks to Ken at Sock Guy for the Test Dummy socks.  Those are awesome!  He'll be sporting them hopefully on a recumbent in the next few weeks.

Friday I got my work from home situation up and running, so I got to put in a few hours after leaving the real office and still play nurse to Justin.

It's working out well so far.  Got in some quality time this morning before the real office beckoned!

Since Justin isn't riding, and I'm not back up to my normal hours I've been trying to feed us pretty well.  We had kind of an odd assortment of food in the house... fresh pork tenderloin, organic spring mix, left over bbq'd squash and zucchini, fresh limes, quinoa, and left over sliced chicken breast.


I cooked the quinoa and set it off to the side to cool.  I was trying to duplicate a quinoa salad I'd had at a restaurant on Easter, but didn't have cilantro or cucumber, so just went for a dash of salt and some lime juice along with the leftover yellow squash and zucch.  I sauteed some garlic and sweet onion, then added in the spring mix and chicken.  The pork we actually saved for leftovers.


For those of you wondering...he beat Call of Duty only a few hours after I left for my ride, so he's moved on to another roll playing game courtesy of Jefe.  Thanks again, man!

Saturday I did eventually make my way out of the house to get in a ride.

I spent a little bit of time Saturday morning setting up my bike to have an extra cage.  I didn't really want to carry a pack, but knew I'd be out for maybe 3 hours.  Temps were pretty warm, but not hot, most of the day, and I went through most of my fluids, so was happy to have carried 3 bottles all day.  My pockets were loaded down, but it worked out!

Getting ready to start the big descent

I neglected to check the course instructions before heading out to ride, so I actually didn't have to ride through this creek at all.  That's ok; it was fun (and not nearly as deep as I expected it to be)

Sunday I got up kind of lazy, unsure if I wanted to hit road or dirt.  I'd done a decent drive on Saturday getting up to Idyllwild, and Justin suggested I hit the road.  I wasn't super into the idea, but I do like the route I'd picked out.

I'd just gotten my first shipment of First Endurance EFS drink and liquid shot, so naturally decided to give them a try!  I roughly knew how many kj's I'd burn through, and took two full bottles of mix, 2 shots, a package of bloks, 3 fruit leathers, and a Lara Bar.  I didn't grab anything before leaving, and had had breakfast about 2.5 hours before I hit the road.  I busted into my bloks and ate half a few miles from home.  I had a liquid shot at about 45 minutes in, finished the bloks at 1:30 in, and had my second liquid shot at 2:15 in to the ride.  I should've stopped to refill my bottles, but ran out a few miles from home (after limping through the last one), but my energy level and power output/RPE all seemed great.  I was definitely getting shakey and in need of food within sight of home, but the fuel kept me going no problem.  I was stoked on the flavors (Fruit Punch drink - very mellow; I actually don't mind sugary tasting drinks, but this was slightly more "refreshing".  The Liquid Shot is vanilla and tastes sort of like liquid cake frosting, in a good way) and can't wait to try out the drink during intervals this week to see how it goes for hard efforts.

The flowers were out in bloom!

I hadn't gone back here yet...sort of made me feel a little ill as I rode down the street where Justin crashed just over 2 weeks ago.

After a short jaunt I made it up to the teets... Very very little traffic up here.  I think I went about an hour, maybe more, and saw 3-4 cars.

Cruising over to Couser

Was visualizing riding with Justin up the climb.  It got really warm, no moving air, and I knew just the spot he'd keep pushing and I'd hold back, trying to get in my workout as "prescribed"

I hit the rollers on the way back over to the highway, and as I crossed over the bridge I saw what I thought was a rope spanning the bike lane and out into the lane of traffic.  Luckily vehicle traffic was low, because as I was just about riding over it I realized it was a snake, and as I passed I realized IT WASN'T DEAD.  Oops.

I flew down the big descent and as I pulled up to the first stoplight I'd seen in hours I realized I had company. He cruised with me a little, and eventually pulled around.  A gap opened up and I closed it down with an effort.  He was chasing the rabbit, I think.

I felt like I should've worn my Discovery jersey.

Finished up the ride solo, and only had one near collision... a woman was walking her dog up the last descent on a windy narrow 2-lane road.  Had there been a car near me, I would've been totaled!

After the ride my fro-yo fail from Saturday actually turned out quite nice, and then we stopped by Trader Joe's for some steel cut oats and eggs.  Justin insisted on cookies, carne asada, cheese, and tortillas (they were gluten free at least).  I cooked up some tasty tacos, if I may say so.

It's nice to get back into the swing of training, but missing the big events lately has been tough on us both.

Congrats to all who raced at Sea Otter.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sesamoiditis and Dirt

I'm writing a blog about my sesamoiditis injury since I haven't found much in the way of sesamoiditis and cycling.  To date I've heard from one other person that is a cyclist and had it.

It doesn't appear to be a big cycling injury, and seems fairly rare for cyclists to have.  As such, I have no idea what caused this for me, but am stepping up and claiming it as my first over-use injury.

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the sesamoid bones (a bone embedded within a tendon and found in locations where a tendon passes over a joint - such as the hand, knee, and FOOT).  It occurs on the bottom of the foot, behind the large toe.  Sesamoids (as I've seen on my xrays) are about the size of jelly beans, or for those of us that are exercise-oriented, Sport Beans.  Apparently sesamoiditis is caused by either the sudden bending upwards of the big toe, high heels (ahaha), or a stumble.  It seems to be somewhat common in young people engaging in physical activity like running or dancing.  Indeed, most of the metartsal pad information I found was on running or dancing sites/forums.  Sesamoiditis is essentially just a general description for any irritation of the sesamoid bones.  Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved and can eventually get irritated or fractured.

The onset is really gradual (as I found).  The pain starts off as a mild ache and increases slowly as the aggravating activity (or, IMO, just any activity what-so-ever, including walking) is continued.  As noted here sesamoiditis can be caused by increased activity, and this can put more pressure on the balls of your feet.  Speedwork, hill work, or increased mileage can all contribute, especially if you have a bony foot (not enough fat to protect the fragile sesamoids).  This is more in tune with running than cycling, as obviously cycling is a much more low-impact activity overall.

When I saw a second doctor about my sesamoiditis (the first was a general practioner who suggested padding my inflamed sesamoids - which I did, and it got worse - and custom insoles - which I didn't do, and should have - and the second a podiatrist, where I did get custom insoles for both my cycling and my every day shoes) he asked how much time I could take off the bike to let it heal.  I said 4 days.  He gave me a "look".  "Maybe 5."  I took 2 days off, did a ride, then took 9 days off.  By the time I did my next ride I had metatarsal pads, which definitely helped, but didn't solve the problem, and my foot was hurting pretty bad about an hour in to the ride, and really bad 1.5+ hours in.

It may not look like much, but I assure you, this was a few days ago, and it has off/on felt much worse than it has looked!

I got my custom orthotics back this past Monday, and have been wearing them pretty much full time (whenever I have shoes on) and have done two rides with cycling shoes this week.  My foot is generally pain free in every day shoes walking around, which is a nice bonus.  The blood blister/bruising that I have from this whole ordeal does not seem to be dissipating.  Riding earlier this week in my cycling shoes with orthotics also caused pain just over an hour in, but not as bad as last weekend, so I guess that is a plus.

Here are the stock Specialized S-Works mountain bike shoe insoles:

I noticed that they do include a metatarsal button:

So while there is a small area cut out for similar issues, it isn't quite like the custom bit I've got now.

I'm actually almost surprised that the left insole doesn't have a button cut out as well.  I would imagine it's possible for this to also occur with my left foot.  

For comparison, here is the weight difference - 

Guess I should consider not riding with the custom insole in the left foot.  It'd save a few grams!  That's for you, Keith B!

Well, enough about sesamoids for now...

I'm back on the training wagon at last, and it feels sort of good.  My legs are sore today, but I can still walk up the stairs at work to my desk without the burning "OMG someone kill me now my legs are barely functioning" feeling I had for the last 3 months.  I'm not worried; it'll come back soon.

Was just packing up for my training ride off-road yesterday and realized that my bike was still in race-mode from Fontana.  That doesn't mean anything other than A) it was in pretty good shape still, and B) I didn't have a power tap on it.  

Wanted: training partner that is low maintenance and similar to my speed on climbs, yet challenges me on descents.  Doesn't mind waiting for me or occasionally listening to me whine.  Must be a detail-oriented bike mechanic and carry more stuff than I do for rides (e.g. one more tube, one more C02, multi-tool, etc.).  I make bottles and can cover nutritionals.  Call me.

Anyway, so Justin came out to the garage to try to assist me in changing out my rear wheel (which I realized meant I had to change cassette's on the hub, which we then realized meant I had to change brake calipers to fit the 160mm rear brake instead of 140mm).

Yeah, I'm removing my XX cassette!

Now I'm working on the brake caliper

Justin still helped a little, but it felt kind of cool to wrench on my own bike.  I just hope no one gets any kind of ideas that this will be a regular activity going forward.  I'm like Cole Trickle... or rather, I want to be.  I want to get in the car and drive.  I don't need to know what I'm talking about!

Nah, actually I think it's a great opportunity to learn to do my own wrenching.  I'm long over-due.  Unfortunately I don't have time to learn that much since I picked up some extra slack lately.

I did finally get to the trailhead, though.

Solid riding.  No snakes today (I guess not too surprising as there wasn't much available sun).

For those of you concerned...we've been eating well lately!  "Splurged" on quinoa twice this week.

Yes.  I like grilled bell peppers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting back, but not on the wagon just yet...

Saturday I was 29 and single.

But, not solo

Zippy came out to ride with me a bit.  Sadly my foot was acting up about an hour or so in, so I turned around early and took it slow on the way back down.  It was a good ride, though.  I only felt like puking, but never did.  

This guy wouldn't get off the trail.  I was worried about a back of the leg strike as I hurried by.  

Anyone lose something today?

Justin is making progress...he beat "Need for Speed Carbon".

Not sure what tomorrow holds... two appointments with specialists in San Diego.  Hopefully everything is shaping up okay and he's on the right path forward.

In addition to Stephanie making us a big care package of paleo-friendly food for the weekend, she also went out and won her first off-road tri!!  Animal!  WTG to go, Steph!  Makin' us proud.