Monday, November 16, 2015

The Setback

For me, setbacks are one of the fundamental truths about training.  Whenever I’m training for a big event, I can always be sure to have at least one minor setback.  In an odd way these setbacks can be a positive thing since they only harden my resolve to complete the event.  That’s why I wasn’t overly concerned on October 4th when I had a horrible run.  

I had just finished serving as an on-bike Marshall for the medio route of Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo the day before.  It’s a tough ride but I felt very strong and kept things nice and easy.  It was also my last ride before I spent the next 3-weeks finalizing my preparation for the Ragnar Relay.

On Sunday, I set out on a 7.5 mile run.  At 2 miles I wasn’t feeling it.  I check my Garmin and discovered I was running way to fast.  I tried to slow down but at 2.75 miles I cracked and simply starting walking.  When I tried to get started again I realized it wasn't going to be my day and simply walked home.

It was on the walk home that I came up with the blog title, The Setback Hypothesis.  My plan was to discuss how I always have one setback before a big event.  However, as it would turn out, this wasn’t just the minor setback of having a bad run.

Not my preferred training regimen!
By Monday morning, I knew I was sick.  This was not good since Ragnar was less than 3-weeks away.  On Thursday, with my symptoms getting continually worse, I managed to get in to see the doctor where I discovered it was just a really bad cold.  After a regimen of 4 different OTC medicines I started to feel better but not great.  As least I thought I was recovering.

I really didn’t have the strength to train during this period but I somehow managed to have good runs at the Ragnar Relay.  I think it was the power of my Ragnar teammates that kept me motivated.  We also laughed a lot when we weren’t running and you know the old saying about laughter and medicine.

After Ragnar, I planned on taking a week off.  This stretched to 2-weeks as I still wasn’t feeling very strong.  Another 2-weeks go by and I was not getting any better.  I still had the occasional fever and body aches from time to time but mostly I was dealing with a bad cough.  

This wasn’t the nagging cough that sometimes lingers after a cold. This was a deep, in your chest, rib-cracking, mucus spewing cough.  (Sorry for the graphicness of that last sentence but I am still pretty upset I was sick for so long.  I should know better than to write mad.)  Another trip to the doctor confirmed I actually had a sinus infection.  Now, I’m on real antibiotics and feel like I’m on the road to recovery.

There is perhaps a silver lining to this whole ordeal.  I was undecided about when to end my off-season and start training for 2016, which I am hoping will be a strong year.  Well, I can tell you that the 2016 training plan starts now.  That is after I fully recover of course.   

Proper recovery time and smart training will be critical if I don’t want a relapse.  Otherwise, I may find myself writing a blog a month from now called, Setback - The Sequel, and that’s not a story I want to tell.


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