Sunday, 10 February 2013

gorilla wrestling

they say training is like fighting a gorilla, you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired. What if you're not entirely sure when the gorilla is tired so you keep jumping on it's corpse for good measure? Pretty sure i have been doing something analgous recently. As i write this i have just achieved something which, until now has been almost impossible for me. No, i haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh without swearing, i have spent a Sunday without riding for more than an hour.

Training, and recovery is a difficult balance. both in the chronic and the acute sense. If you stop as soon as you get tired, you'll never amount to much. But, if at some point you don't stop when you're tired. You'll work yourself into the ground. After the racing in Vietnam i was tired, and sick. I took a week away from the bike and reapportioned my time to working on my phd and drinking beer. Then got I back on it, and into an altitude tent, and attempted to eat "paleo" (or at least paleo for athletes) , my head was ready to start riding for another couple of months ( i had a bigger break planned in March) but my body wasn't.

At first i blamed the silly diet (when did cavemen ever amount to much on the bike anyway?) so i stopped that. then i blamed the tent (which i think was a factor) and stopped that. i got a few more weeks training in, took a rest week and felt great in training again my w/kg for 5 min were pretty good, even trainingpeaks agreed. but the 6x5 min set cleaned me out for the rest of the week. I raced Saturday and Sunday and couldn't get out of my own way. my blood sugar control was abysmal and my performance atrocious. Monday saw a doctor's visit and some bloodwork. lots o labs later it looks like i am anemic and have s couple of other metrics off. Oddly i am not lacking Iron and the doc thinks i may have picked up something in Vietnam.

Whatever the issue is the solution is rest, at least for a while. It's funny, it is harder for me to sit in a cafe than to go out and smash it for 5 hours each day. I suppose i never wanted it to be said that i didn't try hard enough but that trying can come i different forms and that is what i am only just realizing. i need to try to rest, to try to recover. It sounds pathetic but training becomes so much a part of your being that it's like someone telling you not to brush your teeth, the rest of the day just doesn't feel the same.

On the plus side i have been out in Tucson working on my project with the pascua yaqui people. We have had an unprecedented turnout and great response. The life changing potential of what we are doing here is really only just becoming apparent. not only is this about diabetes management, health and wellbeing but it is also about pride and community. the participants are of all ages and sizes, to have them sharing their experiences and going through  journey of better health and personal growth together will help to bring them together as a community. to once again experience pride in being yaqui and to stand up against the prejudice which wills them to fail at every turn. Both as Diabetics and as Native Americans they are tarred, and people, invested in comfortable stereotypes which allow them to justify the poverty on the reservation will them to fail. 

Fortunately we have found a great group of supporters who are willing to overcome prejudice and help the participants in my scheme to prove in a very public manner what they can achieve if given a little respect and the right resources. So as i start riding less, and my participants start riding more we can both get out of bad habits, whatever they may be, and be better because of it. And thankfully, the energy and happiness i get from watching the growth of this project, to see more and maybe lend a hand point your web browser here and follow @pascuayaquibike