One year ago, I was doing heavy squats on a very early morning and my lower back gave out and went into such bad spasms that I didn’t get out of bed for five days. I still remember it very vividly, and if I ever forget about it (which I won’t), I have this blog here to remind me of it. I have worked with quite a few people going through back issues and thought I had a very good understanding of exactly what they were feeling. Until you have experienced this pain yourself, you cannot fathom it. In hindsight, I’m glad I went through this. It gave me a much better understanding of what many of my clients with back issues go through, and some better ideas on how to work with them. It also taught me that no matter how fit we think we may be, there are always some vulnerable spots to work on. This injury affected me to the point that I give it a bit of thought every single day. I constantly think about my posture, and if what I’m presently doing may create further issues with my lower back and SI joint. I have not slept on my stomach since I had this back spasm occurrence last year. After 39.5 years of sleeping on my stomach, that’s certainly a tough habit to break. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m comfortable sleeping on my side. I have worked hard on my core strength and found new torturous exercises with Swiss balls, medicine balls, bosu balls, and kettle balls. The one area where I have been lazy is working on my flexibility. I have made some efforts, yet considering the focus I put into all other areas, I would rate my effort towards flexibility as lame. So I have said it before and I’m announcing it again because I feel more obligated to get it done when I write about it that I will give a serious effort to improve my posterior flexibility in 2008.
Yesterday morning, I did one of my favorite new sessions. I put on my 28 layers of clothing and headed out on my MTB early with a headlamp on. I ride the Monroe trails down into Trumbull, hit some of the single track in Trumbull, then ride back home at a higher cadence with a bit of tempo mixed in. I did go down hard though while riding over some steel sheets that were placed over a huge hole where they are repairing a small bridge. The steel was frosted over and my wheels slid right out from under me similar to how I went down on my ride to VT in September. In fact, this right hip has literally taken a beating! I’m fine though and was just a bit more cautious for the remaining part of the ride. It seems to hurt a lot more when you fall at 40 then when you fall at 20.
This past week in CT was incredible! January, and I was able to ride outside one day in shorts! On one of my rides, I ran into Steve Badger, a friend and talented cyclist, who was out for a ride. He said he’s been logging some decent mileage and that “it’s go time now!” How true in that now is the time to lay that foundation for the year. Greg Welch once commented in an interview that the year he won Hawaii in October, it was because of the training he id between January and March. Training should be mostly in the B zone or aerobic and with lots of focus on technique, but in my opinion, there’s no such thing as junk miles during this pre-season phase.
Many of my clients have been on my Cleanse two week nutrition plan, including myself and Lisa. I have everyone do this at the beginning of the year to rid themselves of some bad nutritional habits they may have or may have picked up through the holiday season, and to establish new ones. The Cleanse is certainly not easy, but man it works – and it really makes you aware of what you are putting in your body, and what makes you feel healthy. I am down about 9 lbs and I just feel so much better. I am excited about pizza and beer though next Saturday night, after the Plunge. Usually I catch a lot of bitching from my clients while they are on The Cleanse. The typical “I’m starving, or this is too hard, or I feel weak, blah, blah, blah.” This year, it hasn’t been that bad?! Either it’s getting easier for most or they have learned that I’m not very sympathetic during The Cleanse.
I go this Tuesday to meet a new general practitioner and get a physical. I was seeing my pediatrician as my gp until he retired about 10 years ago. I haven’t had a doctor since, which is stupid, so I finally researched and found someone. I haven’t had a physical since I was maybe 18, so this could be interesting.