This year I decided to spend my January days in Tucson, Arizona. The desert valley is a mecca for all types of endurance athletes: Kona triathletes, professional cyclists and really fast old guys looking for that early season edge or that perma tan...I'm never sure. The rapid shift from indoor basement training or sub-zero neoprene booty gravel rides to Playmobil toy box settings of endless blue skies and forgiving temperatures (it averaged a daytime high of 75'F this week) makes the challenge not to find motivation for pedaling but for rest. Why would I want to go home when it is still so nice out? Too often the Tucson training camp breeds fast legs in February and a dull pedal stroke come July, or worse, an early season overuse injury. But I'm Ben Chaddock, I'm invincible right? YA! I AM! Well, 2 two hour rides on the 1st and 2nd of January and I flared up some acute bursitis in my knee. I couldn't even walk without pain = MASSIVE PANIC!
A few days of worry, ice packs and light stretching didn't do much. But a session with a local PT Tom O'Donnell @ (Ft. Lowell Physical Therapy) put me back in the right. I had just tightened up over my three week break from the bike (the longest break I've had in 3 years) and with some massage along the posterior section of my IT Band (where the IT band runs alongside the hamstring) I was back at 100% in less than 24 hours. Thank you Tom!
Of course those days of uncertainty absolutely crushed me. What a wake up call. Yes I have taken every element of my preparations for 2012 up many notches from diet, mental state and off-bike preparations; and then fall victim to a knee bursitis flare up so quickly threw it in my face just how important I must pay attention to every single small detail of my training if I am going to make the most of my opportunity with Team Exergy in 2012.
So whether it is the smallest or biggest of daily, weekly or monthly targets... "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." Muhammad Ali
Scorpion in the Desert