Rebooting the Machine

My new coach is a firm believer in the benefits of recovery and rest. One of the first things he asked was the last time I took a full week off the bike (it hadn’t been long because of my layoff after Colorado).

We officially began our ‘training’ together on the first of October, where the first order of business was resting my weary bones for at least two weeks. I liken this to rebooting the computer after leaving it on for awhile. Over time, everything seems to run slower; some programs make mistakes, and generally do not work as intended. After the reboot, I should be refreshed, and most most importantly, hungry to begin the long training for France. The coach will certainly push me, as he should, but it is refreshing to know that I’ll have breaks in between.

The Tragically Hip

The timing for a rest period could not be better. Before and after Six Gap, my hip was hurting. It took a few days for flexibility to return, and even then it was only limited. Some days have felt like I have made great strides, while others have felt like setbacks.

The plan was to see the doctor two days after Six Gap. The first appointment was scheduled incorrectly, and my doctor called in sick for the next two. That filled his schedule, and the earliest opening is next Thursday. At this point, I suspect this is a hip flexor strain, or something similar in the same neighborhood. Whatever the injury, it will most likely be fine. After nearly two weeks of rest, it has recovered significantly. My estimate is that I’m at 60% now, and should be closer to 100% in the next week or two. The first two weeks of rest are being extended one more week, interrupted by a long walk tomorrow (more on that later).

The last time I have taken this much time off the bike was November of last year. Even then I was spending a lot of time in the gym, doing cardio, strength training, and a little bit of running. This is probably the first time in nearly two years that I have done nothing whatsoever for this long. As nice as the couch is, it can be a little boring. I’ve consumed a lot of movies, TV shows, and even worked on the weekends. I can stand another week of this, but any longer and I’ll be ditching the couch out the window.

A week from Saturday will be my grand return to Tour de Leaves, the first organized ‘cookie’ ride I ever attended. It couldn’t come a moment sooner.

10 responses to “Rebooting the Machine

  • Tracy Wilkins

    Rest is good, although like you, I would be going stir crazy.

    Every time I’ve had to deal with an injury, I usually find some way to stay active while it heals, even if that just means slow walks around the neighborhood! May not help the healing process, but it sure helps me.

  • Andrew Baloga (@heresandrew)

    France? I almost assumed you were doing the PBP, but that won’t be run for a couple more years…of course, you can never be too prepared, right?

  • Janet Cardenas

    Ever ponder a pool swim?

  • Dave

    Out of curiosity, and wrt. your current fatigue and injury state, what kind of ride time and climbing volume did you put in this year? Was it a bunch more than the last few years? Do you expect to have to make a substantial increase to get ready for HR?

    • aaronwest

      Good question. This was easily my biggest climbing year. According to Strava, I have ridden almost 5,000 miles and climbed about 300,000 feet this year. Last year I probably had more miles, but most of those were flat.

      I expect to keep the volume high preparing for HR next year, but I believe my coach is also going to have me doing a lot of base and speed work. This is all new to me, so I’m not exactly certain what’s ahead.

  • Gerry Patterson

    A break is great in all sorts of ways, I’m sure. I’ve just experienced one myself, and apart from feeling like I’ve gained 50 pounds, my motivation is pretty high. Take care of that hip; you don’t want it interfering in our team performance 😉

    • aaronwest

      Thanks, Gerry. The hip is a lot better now. Hopefully it was just a small blip on the way to the Alps. A break is good for all of us. I’m sure all of those pounds will drop once you start training again.

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