“Can’t Do” mentality

April 12, 2010

I have been trying to get myself motivated to train – and through this effort discovered something about my attitude.  Simply put – it ain’t good.

Since my diagnosis about a year ago, and especially following my surgery, I have had a “can’t-do” mentality.  I can’t go for a hike, I can’t kick the ball around with my kids, I can’t ride at the bmx track, I can’t play softball, I can’t ride up that hill out of the saddle, I can’t walk to the store, etc.     

My hips have hurt me on and off since I was a teenager, but I never believed I couldn’t do something.  I just worked around it and went on as best I could.  I didn’t worry; I didn’t question too much (or at all really); I just thought about being outdoors and about having fun.   I got on my bike and felt like this: 

 Now I find that I worry and ‘what-if’ and question and doubt.  I don’t want to do this anymore.  I want my ‘can-do’ attitude back. 

A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” – Albert Einstein


Swimming vs. Biking Quotes

February 4, 2010

Swimming quotes suck.  I hate to say it so bluntly, but it’s true.  How do I know this?  Well, I went looking for some motivational quotes to put in this post.  Why?  Because I have made the decision to add lap swimming into my PT/training program.  I need to work on my aerobic fitness – and I am not anywhere close to being able to put down a long ride on this hip.  So, my PT and I agree that swimming would be a good option for cardio.  (I am going to try this program and have added swimming to my training plan.) 

Problem is, I am not that great a swimmer in terms of lap swimming and therefore don’t enjoy it much.  Thus the search for motivation and the subsequent realization that there aren’t a lot of sexy swimming quotes out there.  Case in point – below are some of the “motivational” quotes I found about swimming:

The water is your friend.  You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.  ~Aleksandr Popov

I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.  ~Michael Phelps

People ask me ‘what was going through your mind in the race?’ and I don’t know. I try and …let my body do what it knows.  ~Ian Thorpe

In training everyone focuses on 90% physical and 10% mental, but in the races its 90% mental because there’s very little that separates us physically at the elite level. ~Elka Graham

If you should rear a duck in the heart of the Sahara, no doubt it would swim if you brought it to the Nile.  ~Mark Twain

Frankly, these are all rather, well, blah – for lack of a better word.  Nothing in there inspires me to happily swap my cycling shoes for my swimsuit.  On the other hand, check out the results of a quick search for quotes about cycling (or by cyclists):

But to say that the race is the metaphor for the life is to miss the point. The race is everything. It obliterates whatever isn’t racing. Life is the metaphor for the race. ~Donald Antrim

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community. ~Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

There was a second supremely sweet moment of victory. As I made my way through the finish area, I passed the Cofidis team. Assorted members of the organization stood around, the men who I felt had left me for dead in a hospital room. “That was for you,” I said as I moved past them. ~Lance Armstrong

Cycle tracks abound in Utopia. ~H.G. Wells

I won! I won! I don’t have to go to school anymore. ~Eddy Merckx

 I mean, come on.  There is just no comparison here.  

PT Week 2

January 11, 2010

Week 1 of PT went well.  I can get through all of the exercises with only the hip adduction still giving me some trouble.  I can do it – but I have to use very low weight.  I am up to 15 comfortable minutes on the stationary bike.  I have to still use low resistance (level 2) but I can spin at 80 rpm or so – which is a good sign I think.  I am going to up it to 20 minutes starting tomorrow with the first 10 minutes set at level 3 and see how that feels.  

I went to PT this morning, and have several new exercises added on to the old ones.  The first is added to the gym routine – the multi-hip machine.  All four movements with 3 sets of 10 reps.  The movements include (1) standing knee lift – knee is under the padded bar and you push up (see below), (2) standing leg abduction – padded bar is against the outside of  leg and you push out, (3) Standing Hip/glut extension – padded bar underneath your raised knee and you push down and back, and (3) standing leg adduction – bar is against the inside of your leg and you push down. 

I have a problem with #1, the Standing Knee lift.  Here is a picture of the movement on the machine.  This one makes my hip click.  The click occurs when the leg is coming back down from the lift.  It doesn’t hurt – but I am thinking that weighted movements that make the hip click are a no-g0 for life.  I am going to be emailing my doctor this week to see what he says.  For now, I am not going to be doing this one.  My PT agrees with this.

The second addition is to my “everyday at home” routine.  It is a change to the stand on one leg exercise.  I now  have to stand on one leg and point the other toe to each of  7 “clock positions” one at a time:  12,11,10,9,8,7,6.  I have to make sure to stand straight and not slouch and not go too fast.   

In terms of my training plan for the ride in June, I was hoping to be up to 30 minutes on the stationary bike by now.  I think I could be doing this – I get through the 15 minutes pretty easily, but have been told not to push it.  The next milestone was to be riding 10 miles on the stationary bike on flat course by Feb 1.   I am going to change this to 5 miles at slight incline instead (say level 5).   Mostly because I don’t think there is any way I can sit on a stationary bike for that long and not die of boredom.   Hopefully, I’ll be allowed on a real bike by the end of the month, and I can up the distance then.

PT begins

January 7, 2010

It has been about 12 weeks since I had my hip surgery (PAO on right hip, 10/12/09).  I finally went to my first PT appointment on Monday (the 4th).  I was not sure what to expect – I am NOT a fan of being stood over while I suffer.    I was happy to discover that she was both casual and thorough.  She had knowledge of the procedure I had done, seemed exicted to work with me, and was took limitations listed in my PT script (of which there are many) seriously.   These limitations are:

  • No squats
  • No lunges
  • No forward leg lifts
  • No running (oh, darn)
  • No jumping (repeatedly)
  • Leg press is ok, but low weight/high rep only

Her assesment was that my range of motion is very good; therefore I will not need to come in several times a week to work with her on that aspect of recovery.  I will need to work on strength and endurance.  She set up a program for the first week that we will build upon over the next few months.  I will go back to see her once a week for the month of January, and then we will see.  The program includes a set of excercises I will do everyday at home and then a 2-3 day a week program for the gym:

At home everyday:

  1. Bridging – 10 times holding for 10 seconds
  2. Isometric Hip Adduction (with pillow or soccer ball as resistance)- 10 times holding for 10 seconds
  3. Standing Bilateral Heel Rise (stand on my toes) – 3 sets of 15 reps (progress to doing on one foot at a time)
  4. Clam Shells (laying on your side with bent knees and raising the knee to the side) – 3 sets of 15
  5. One Foot Balance – Hold for 30 seconds, three sets, both legs.  Once I can do 30 seconds, do this with my eyes closed (suprised how much harder this made it!)

Gym Routine (2-3 times per week):

  1. Stationary Bike: 10-30 minutes (I am currently doing 15 minutes)
  2. Pool: forward walk, backward walk, side stepping, total time of 15 minutes.  Can do on different days then the bike until endurance builds up
  3. Leg press: < 70 degree hip angle, 50 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen
  4. Seated Hip Adbuction: 30 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen
  5. Seated Hip Adduction: 20 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen  

My biggest difficulties are very tight hamstring on the operated leg, very weak on any sort of hip adduction (pushing  inward) on the operated leg, and my core is pretty much shot.    So far, I can get through the excercises without too much pain afterwards.  However, I do stiffen up after I sit for a while now.  I suppose that is normal.  Looking forward to upping the bike to 30 minutes, but that is probably a few weeks off. 

I am not going to try to project my progress through to June right now.  I don’t want to get my hopes up, or on the other hand, discourage myself too much right now.  I am going to just take it one week at a time.

Week 1 Update

December 27, 2009

So, week 1 was a total bust in terms of training.  But it was Christmas, so I think I can be forgiven for not going to the pool and drinking too much wine.  My operated hip has also been very sore – mostly the muscles in the area.  They are weak from not being used for 2 months – it is going to take some time to get them back up to where they used to be.  It is weird to be sore on only one side of my rear.  But no more excuses from here on out –  not even for New Years or my birthday.  I don’t have enough time between now and June to give myself any more “free” weeks.

This week I start working out at the pool (not just the hot tub) and start my healthy eating plan (no sugar, no beer, no white flour carbs, no potatoes, no fun…).   

By next week – I plan on commuting to work on my bike again.  I have really missed it.  It is a short ride – 4 miles.  All downhill there, mostly uphill on the way back.  It is a great way to start the day – a long fast ride with a great view of Bellingham Bay.  Of course, the ride home could be a challenge this soon.   I usually have a ton of weight on the back of my commuter bike – laptop, books, cloths etc, so it is a hard climb on the way home.   I might have to cheat at first – take the bus up the hill on the way home and then coast 1 mile back down to my house.   That will be a bit depressing, but might be neccesary.  I guess I’d rather take the cheat then not be able to ride in at all.

My commuter bike is great and was a present from my husband when we moved to Bellingham.  It is a Giant TranSend with some upgrades: multi-speed internal gear rear hub (8 speed) with a generator front hub to run the front and rear lights when you are pedaling.   The lights are super bright, even the rear one.  I know this  because when I first started commuting – this 60 year old guy complimented me on it as he smoked past me.  I tried to catch him – but 8 speeds will only get you so far.   Below is a picture of the Giant.  (my backup commute “bike” is in the background).   Hopefully both bikes will get out of the garage this week.

23 weeks

December 20, 2009

There are 23 weeks between now and the end of May.  I have until then to increase my comfortable biking distance from 1 mile to 71 miles.   (yikes!)  I am going to need to have a bunch of little goals to meet along the way or I’ll procrastinate, or worse give up.  So, I have listed a set of milestones to meet between over the next 23 weeks.  I may have to change these once  I start PT on January 4th.  But, I’m going to try to stay positive for now.

I am not going to go crazy – I have to set something reasonable.  I am starting pretty much from ground zero right now.  I walked 10 blocks around town yesterday shopping and today I hurt pretty bad.  I am a big discouraged.  My husband pointed out that 2 months ago I couldn’t pick my leg up off the bed and put it on the floor without help.  So relative to that, I guess I am a champion.  But, still. 10 blocks at a snails pace with no bags and I’m wiped and reaching for the Motrin.

Enough of that, on to the plan.  Staying positive and all that rot.

The plan is to get myself comfortable riding 60 miles by June 1.

  • Jan 1:  30 minutes slow spinning on stationary bike
  • Feb 1:  10 miles on stationary bike at decent pace, flat course
  • Mar 1:  10 – 15 miles on stationary bike, rolling course and some climbing.  Start riding my bike to work again (only 4 miles but is a good climb home)
  • Apr 1:  20 miles on the road
  • May 1: 30 miles on the road
  • Jun 1:  60 miles on the road

We’ll see on Jan 4 what my PT says about that.  I hope he doesn’t totally shoot me down.

…all life began in the seas

December 19, 2009

First I’lll swim, then I’ll walk, then I’ll ride.   Then maybe I’ll ride fast.

It has been just over two months since my hip surgery; a periacetabular osteotomy on my right hip. I have the go ahead to start PT in early January.  Until then, I am going to start working on some pool exercises I found on the “Riding and Ramblings” blog (in my links list).  I have six months to reach my goal – ride the 71-mile Seattle livestrong challenge ride in less than 4 hours.  As of now, I have no actual plan.  I am going to need a plan.

But before the swimming and the planning, I have to shop.  For a swimsuit.  One of my most hated activities (in fact, of my top 10 list of hated activities, 5 of them are related to shopping).  Nothing meets all my criteria – covers what really needs to be covered, keeps covering when I actually swim in it, will not squeeze any part of me into submission, and does not have flowers on it.  Oh yeah, and will not break when several children are holding on to it for dear life.   And maybe won’t deprive said children of their first year of college tuition.

Any suggestions?