Tag: recovery

Post-Surgery Discipline, and A Deathride Planning Update

Discipline, my sensei once told me, was not necessarily about when (or how hard) to practice, but when not to. Those words of wisdom do ring true, even more so today as I backslide to 60, yet heeding them is sometimes a challenge.

Wax on, wax off can also be interpreted to mean “practice on,” “practice off,” or “ride bike,” “don’t ride bike,” and even “lift that,” “don’t lift that.”

BECAUSE, three (3) weeks + since the “big ‘blation” (TURP by aquablation) I haven’t been able to lift much (no more than 10 pounds for the first 10 days) nor get any serious cardio (no strenuous activities, including sex, for 3 weeks). Strenuous sex? Really? Ah, the old days…

NO bike riding either, inside or out, until cleared by the doctor (that happens today, hopefully).

SO I’ve truly put into practice Mr. Arioto’s words of all of those years ago. For the first 7-10 days or so it wasn’t that hard. Now though, 3 1/2 weeks out, it’s getting harder. As I told Mrs. California Alps Cycling yesterday, I’m getting fatter and my fitness is getting worse. My CTL is dropping like a rock and my scale indicates those rocks are hiding somewhere within my expanding self.

I’M trying to eat less, and I did a good job of that as well for those first couple of weeks, and I’ve been walking, which can be agonizingly slow for a fervent rider, and make’s my bum right knee unhappy, but it has helped, and it’s especially enjoyable due to some good tunes and the snowy scenery.

ADMITTEDLY, I’m not real good at this type of discipline. Thankfully I won’t have to practice it much longer and I’m so ready to get back on the bike.

Dealing with the recovery (esp. since I had some complications) hasn’t been pleasant. I’m on the mend now, though, and feeling good. The plumbing is getting back to normal and that not-so-fun part is aways behind me. I’m thankful, too, for good health insurance, good robotics 😉 , good doctors and good drugs.

Let this horse out of the gate!

Deathride Planning

BASKING in the glory of this year’s successful ride, monkey now off our (the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce) back, has been wonderful. We gave ourselves some time to celebrate. Short-lived that time was, though, as we’ve already begun planning for the 2023 ride.

THAT “big schnozzola photo,” by the way, was taken during this year’s ride – I’m just below Raymond Meadow Creek on Hwy. 4 (Ebbett’s Pass).

WE’VE got to finalize our expo. location and are trying to find one other than Turtle Rock Park. We received a lot of feedback from riders after this year’s ride that hanging out there for the expo wasn’t the best experience. From vendors to volunteers we all agree and so we’re brainstorming ideas and doing a bit of outreach. If we have to go back to “TRP” again we’ll do our best to make it look less like a burnt-moonscape. Things are looking better post-Tamarack Fire. Greening up, more dead trees removed and snow on the ground.

Spring could be glorious with the grasses and flowers!

WE’RE hoping to work out a deal with a local cycling club to take on our warehouse and aid station logistic coordinating responsibilities. We’ve had volunteers take on this role in the past (and they’ve all done an outstanding job), yet we realize that to kick things up a notch we need to find professionals to fill this role, and pay accordingly. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to work out a partnership soon with this great group. Stay tuned!

PERMITS are another behind the scenes process that must be handled. Every year, we and other ride organizers, need to gain the necessary permits from various agencies (e.g., Alpine Co.; Caltrans; CHP; USFS, etc.) and that process too, has started. The great feedback we received this year from these agencies, and the support they’ve (and the riders) voiced for this years course, especially how safe it was, means we’ll be DOING THE SAME CLIMBS IN 2023. Monitor x2, Ebbett’s x2 and Pacific Grade x2. I’ll be riding it in 2023 and am looking forward to getting back to some serious training. I think we’ll have a few other CAC riders out on the course next year too.

VOLUNTEERS are a huge part of the Deathride and 2023 is no different. We’ve got the usual amazing folks already raising their hands, and at the suggestion of one of our captains, are going to expand the roles of the group captains to be more involved in the planning stages of the ride. Another “up our game” plan.

RIDE or course director is another “T” that must be crossed and admittedly that search has been a bit “interesting.” Our beloved Curtis Fong, while agreeing to continue to be our mentor and advisor, wouldn’t let us brow beat him into the role, and another gentleman we had hoped to hire declined due to his crazy, busy schedule. So, the search goes on. We’ve got some other very talented people to talk to, though, and we’ve talked to some local project management talent as well so we’re confident the right person or persons will come along.

WE are aware of some merchandise delays from this year’s Deathride, including jerseys, and are actively working with the merchant to resolve the problem. We’ve been short-staffed, but our new office manager started yesterday. It will, however, take her some time to get up to speed. In the meantime feel free to reach out to me. My contact info. is on our “About Us” page.

WE’VE got lots of balls in the air right now, as you can see. Par for the course this time of year. It’s an exciting, scary and nervewracking time, and IT’S WONDERFUL!

IT’S going to be another great ride! Registration open’s New Year’s Eve! Mark those calendars, k?

HAVE a happy, happy, Thanksgiving!

TWO of our local feathered friends, Wavy Beard on the left and Stumpy on the right, suggest that perhaps you enjoy beef, pork or a vegan/vegetarian option.

AS we told them though, while the suggestion is understood we’ll be eating turkey. Just not you!

Coming Back to Life in Markleeville – It’s Been a Wild Ride

THE trip back to Chalet Schwartz, aka California Alps Cycling headquarters, was a sobering and somber experience. So much of our forest was now blackened.

AFTER almost ten (10) days of being evacuated (from Friday, July 16th, through Sunday, July 26th) it was great to get back home. It was a surreal experience for sure; Markleeville and Marklee Village were oases in the middle of a charred forest.

WE were lucky…Our generator system did its job and kept my beer and other libations cold, our food fresh and our frozen grub, frozen. The Alpine Co. Sheriff’s Office, as well as other law enforcement, kept our home, and town, secure from both two-legged and four-legged creatures.

Firefighters

THOSE firefighters, though…What a group of individuals! They fought for our town, for our people, for our businesses and for our homes. When the fire blew up, almost overnight, they didn’t give up. They battled and battled. For days. What they did can really never be repaid. As I’ve told those that I have seen since – whatever you need, whenever you need it, we’re your huckleberries.

DOUGLAS County, Nevada, also came through in a big, big way. They opened their facility (the Senior Center in Gardnerville) and most importantly, they opened their hearts. Donations poured in, offers of places to stay for people and animals were proffered, and the kindness and compassion were palpable. To them we also owe a huge debt of gratitude.

WHILE we had power (thanks to Liberty Utilities hooking up a big-ass generator) we did not have internet. Too bad Frontier isn’t like Liberty, whose crews were on sight almost immediately, and even today they were at it. This time, dropping poles by helicopter. Frontier, on the other hand. Haven’t seen ONE truck. Not one. Not to be too cynical but I’m betting we’ll see a bill.

OKAY, enough negativity. Karma…

My Mental State

ADMITTEDLY, I’ve had a very hard time this past week. I tried to work on Monday but it was almost impossible without decent internet; my cell phone just didn’t have enough of a signal to act as a hotspot.

TO the rescue came our friends Mike and Eileen. They offered us their home in South Lake Tahoe for the week. And we are also oh so grateful for our dear friends Chris and Shyanne, who offered us their home in Spanish Springs last weekend as a little getaway. My wife and I, and our two (2) cats, took advantage and headed north for a couple days, leaving Mom and her cat, Baxter, in the hotel in Minden.

BUT last Tuesday morning I found myself packing up. Again. My wife and I made the trek to South Lake. I thought it was the right thing to do (it was work-wise) but my psyche said otherwise. I found myself in tears Tuesday night, asking myself what the hell I was doing. I came to the realization that I needed to be home and so Wednesday, after a decent workday, I did go home.

BACK to South Lake I went Thursday but I couldn’t focus. I didn’t care. I had no spark; I was just flat. Was this PTSD?

IT wasn’t just the fire I now knew. It was the loss of the Deathride, the possible prostate cancer diagnosis (thankfully I found out the Saturday after we evacuated that it WASN’T cancer), the pandemic (and so no 2020 Deathride) and the almost constant fear of another fire. All of that combined with almost ten (10) days of worrying about our home took a serious toll on my mental health. I understood that I needed some help and I’ve since begun that process.

HERE I am a few days later and I’m certainly feeling more like myself. The anxiety is still there although it’s not as pervasive as it was. Getting back to a somewhat normal routine, including a ride yesterday and another today, has truly helped. Being home, getting some things put away, doing some household chores and putting it in some sort perspective has made a difference.

OUR local businesses, including the Cutthroat, have been closed, but today the Cutthroat was open. There’s a sign of recovery!

An Animal Oasis and a New Beginning

OTHER signs abound, too. Black-eyed Susan’s and their cheery blooms. A flock of mergansers on the East Carson. Two velvet-antlered bucks just across the road yesterday morning. Allen’s hummingbirds putting on a daily show just off the deck. And the bears. While they can be a bit of a nuisance (ask my neighbor whose freezer and garbage can they overturned yesterday), in a strange way their renewed presence is reassuring.

AND Tuesday is the first of many meetings that we Markleevillians will have as we begin the healing and rebuilding process. As a community.

THAT will be an oh so awesome start…

A More Holistic Approach to Fitness? WHOOP May Be Your Answer

AS you know I’m a bit of a data junky and between Trainingpeaks (TP) and Garmin (Fenix watch) I’m getting some pretty good information. But I’ve found that I just don’t have the time to jump into the TP data and with the Fenix, IMHO, the feedback is lacking.

AND so it was that I found myself getting a WHOOP strap earlier this month. I’d heard of, and seen (on Strava), some of my fellow athletes, including pros, using this unobtrusive little band and so when I got the special-offer email I thought I’d give it a try.

Inspector Gadget

YUP, it does feel a little bit like that with the Fenix on the left wrist and the WHOOP on the right but after thirteen (13) days I’ve gotten used to the set up.

THE WHOOP strap is minimalistic – a strap with a clasp.

What It Does (and Doesn’t)

DO, that is.

  • It doesn’t have a watch face.
  • It doesn’t track your steps.
  • It doesn’t track your pulse ox.
  • It does track your sleep (better than the Fenix does) and gives you specific feedback.
  • It does track your recovery and gives you specific feedback there as well.
  • It focuses on what it calls strain and what level of strain (load) you are under currently, and more importantly what kind of strain you can or should undertake that day.

SAYS WHOOP — “By balancing your daily recovery, strain and sleep, you will train optimally and unlock the secrets to your body’s true potential.”

I’M finding that to be true.

The overview panel provides a quick glance at recovery, strain and sleep.

The strain dashboard assesses your current strain and suggests the level of strain needed for optimal training.

The recovery dashboard gives you feedback on your current recovery and readiness for strain.

The sleep dashboard interprets and reports on your sleep performance.

Sleep is Key

AT least I’m learning that it is for me and WHOOP is driving me to focus and prepare for sleep like I do for workouts and training.

MY goal is to be able to sleep like my cat, Ditty. That’s her in the image at the top of this post.

All Together Now

  • The Fenix gives me the ability to capture my workouts and such while at the same time assures me that my resting heart rate and pulse ox are good. I find this especially reassuring when I’m not feeling 100%, especially in light of Covid-19 and the fact that those two data points are often key indicators of something being amiss.
  • Trainingpeaks lets me dive deeply into the specifics of my rides while at the same time mirrors nicely with WHOOP when it comes to things such as Acute Training Load (ATL), Chronic Training Load (CTL) and Form.
  • The WHOOP strap, and associated app fills the what-should-I-do-about-it?-gap and so far this is what I like most about it.

IN the end, what I’m seeing is that the COMBINATION of these three (3) pieces of technology, with their amalgamation of data and interpretations thereof, is giving me that global view, if you will, that I didn’t have before.

WHAT about you? What do you do to keep yourself honest and focused? Please share!