Saturday, April 11, 2009

bon anniversaire II

April 11. Two years to the day since my accident.

How time flies when you’re having fun.

Year 1 was about hospital, doctors, nurses, surgeries (seven of them I think plus multiple minor procedures), drugs (and associated hallucinations), pain, basic recovery, the physical and mental highs and lows, never really knowing how long it would take to get better and just coping with crap. It was also a year of unbelievable support from family, friends and work colleagues.

Year 2 was about getting some normality back to my life (you know, silly things like being able to walk, being able to walk without pain, getting back to doing some work). Naturally, a large part of normality for me was starting to ride the bike again, which I’ve been doing bit by bit since mid-June 2008 when I first turned a crank over on the indoor trainer. And regaining some semblance of fitness as well as losing some weight. Again the support of so many good people shone through and that is good to think of when you have a less than good day.

So what does Year 3 have in store?

Well I have a few ideas, but mostly it’s about evolution and continuing to rebuild this body.

Today I celebrated by doing a quality endurance ride out to Kurnell with a buddy and one of my coaching clients, Jayson Austin. I’ll be writing about Jayson more later – he is attempting to set a new world record for the Masters age group hour record. That happens a couple of weeks from now. Our ride was good. 80km, and for me a workout intensity (IF) of 0.84 (for the main section of ride) and 175 TSS. 12 months ago I could barely walk.

Coming up are a few exciting things:

At the end of April I travel to Murwillumbah in northern NSW to race the National Paracycling Championships. There is a Time Trial and a Road Race. It will be my first attempt at a paracycling event, so there is much to learn in terms of how it all operates. I suppose it’s just another bike race. Done plenty of those!

Then two weeks after that I hop on a plane and travel to Darwin at the top end of Australia for the Oceania Paracycling Championships, which are being held in conjunction with the Arafura Games. Again that involves a Time Trial and a Road Race. It will be interesting to see Darwin again. I lived there for two years in the mid-1990s.

At some stage over the next four weeks I expect to receive a new leg. Well two new legs actually. My current one no longer fits as well as it should and so it’s time for a new one. So it will be bye bye to Schooner II and in with the new. I was thinking, in Cervelo bike naming convention, perhaps I should call this new leg the PC III.

I went in to see George at the ALC to be fitted just over a week ago. So I will get a new general purpose leg. But the best bit is I will also be getting a dedicated cycling leg. That will be uber cool! No more screwing on/off a leg attachment. Yay! The funds raised at my benefit night last November are really helping to make this all possible.

I am also in the process of putting together a time trial bike and am at the bits gathering stage.

Beyond that, I have a few things marked in the calendar but I have my eyes set on getting to the 2010 National Paracycling Track Championships and being in excellent shape and form. Who knows, maybe I’ll even have a crack at the paracycling hour record.

In terms of general progress, well the last update was summarised in this post.

That chronology went up to 25 September 2008, when I performed a Maximal Aerobic Power test at which I attained a MAP of 355 watts. So summarising since then:

28 November 2008: My benefit night and photos.

16 December 2008: 16km TT test – 287 watts
19 December 2008: MAP Test – 385 watts
Both written up as part of my Swiss Watch post.

26 January 2009: Australian Day Race

14 February 2009: Coaching the Bicisport Team Pursuit squad

1 March 2009: First Road TT at Calga

13-15 March 2009: State Masters Track Championships

5 April 2009: Calga TT Part II

Here’s my Performance Manager Chart since I began turning a crank 10 months ago. Click this link for an explanation of what it means (basically the dark blue line going up means I am training more and gaining fitness, and when it goes down I'm training less - not necessarily losing fitness, as that depends for how long the line keeps dropping). Click on the picture to see a larger version.

It shows how my training has steadily ramped up but I have had a few unscheduled interruptions. Early on I had some trouble with my leg not coping so well and needing a week and a half break. After that coach & I were able to continue to ramp up my training for six months, with just one interruption when some unexpected family business required my attention.

Then another problem with my leg happened just as I was approaching a Chronic Training Load (CTL) of 70 TSS/day. It’s frustrating but having had a similar experience already, I knew that it just needed some time to recover. This time it didn’t take as long and I was back on the bike leading into the track championships, which went quite well. However I picked up a cold/flu bug while competing and that knocked me off the horse for a week afterwards. I have since been working my way back from that.

Every day I get on the bike, it’s something new. You learn to adapt. I doubt that need will change from here on.

Bring on Year 3.


Anthony Robinson said...

Absolutely amazing. I just continually look back in awe. Words struggle to grasp the motivation I get from reading your blog.

All the best with year 3 :)

Judith said...

Wow that is a brief but good summary. Here is me with fractured collarbone and ribs and feeling miserable and look at you and how much you have acheived and done with major injuries.....I am in of family and friends can be overwhelming and the best thing ever...good luck...I am so jealous of your charts I seriously want a Power Meter and am seriously thinking about it but when you have a road bike and a TT bike, what is the best set up...I think it might still be a pipe dream..I had my Polar one fixed for the windtrainer but I broke a cable last week.....Keep your dream is excellent reading...