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-   -   Tales From The Dark Side - Sara's Aspirations (http://www.bikeforums.net/masters-racing-all-disciplines/833521-tales-dark-side-saras-aspirations.html)

chasm54 08-21-12 01:47 AM

Sara, knowing you from what you post here, there's a clear danger you will do too much too soon. When your doctor said "TAKE IT EASY" I promise you he did not mean "see if you can exceed 500 watts".

On this subject I know what I'm talking about. Less than two years ago I too had laparoscopic surgery - appendix rather than gall bladder - and like you I felt fine afterwards and was back on the bike in a week. That turned out to be a mistake, I had post-operative pain for four months, intermittently, sometimes quite severe. I'm pretty confident that my over-enthusiasm ended up prolonging my recovery.

Next season is a long way away, you have time to recover properly and build. Take it easy and, for a while, use the powertap to keep your effort levels down to a sensible level, not to set any PRs.

And welcome back, btw.

AzTallRider 08-21-12 07:40 AM

Glad you're back, Sara.

sarals 08-21-12 08:51 AM

Everyone, thank you!

Chasm....yes, you know me. I'm trying (hard) to keep things in check.

I'm down to 133 pounds (muscle is dissolving), but I still have quite a bit of swelling on my right side where the "punctures" were. I still have some fluid buildup.

I'm going to join the group ride this morning, but I'll be off the back (by design) very early on. I have another week of "EASY" before I start ramping back up.

How quickly it goes away.

It is good to be back, though....

Allegheny Jet 08-21-12 09:49 AM

Welcome back Sara. Take it easy,... please!

sarals 08-21-12 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet (Post 14633336)
Welcome back Sara. Take it easy,... please!


AJ, I will...promise!

ericm979 08-21-12 11:31 AM

It'll come back faster than you think. You still have your base fitness. You're slow now because your body's been traumatized by the stone and the surgery.

tony2v 08-21-12 11:34 AM

I wondered where heck you went.
Welcome back and take it slow and easy.
Enjoy the PT, fortunately I have a wireless ANT+ version. I hate fricking wires!!! ;)

Cleave 08-21-12 04:53 PM

Sara, 32 miles on your first ride after a hospital stay that included surgery?!?!?! :eek:

You don't lose cardiovascular fitness that quickly. Your body just needs to recover. Obviously your enthusiasm does not need any recovery.

Take care. :)

sarals 08-22-12 08:57 AM

My enthusiasm HAS taken a hit, Cleave. I'm a little down right now.

I am going to spin class this morning. I am anxious to see how I fare.

I'm down to 132 pounds. I can feel it, too - as well as see it.

Next week I can start to rebuild with earnest. If earnest is still around....

chasm54 08-22-12 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarals (Post 14633037)

Chasm....yes, you know me. I'm trying (hard) to keep things in check...



I'm going to join the group ride this morning, but I'll be off the back (by design) very early on. I have another week of "EASY" before I start ramping back up.

.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarals (Post 14637656)

I am going to spin class this morning. I am anxious to see how I fare.

So, let me see if I have this right. 24 hours ago you were trying really hard to keep things in check, and were going to take it easy for another week before trying anything strenuous. Today you have decided to go to a spin class and are anxious to see how you do.

All makes perfect sense, Sara.

Racer Ex 08-22-12 09:21 AM

There's bound to be some hangover from surgery. Ease back into things and you'll do fine.

shovelhd 08-22-12 10:34 AM

sarals: EASY

sarals 08-22-12 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chasm54 (Post 14637754)
So, let me see if I have this right. 24 hours ago you were trying really hard to keep things in check, and were going to take it easy for another week before trying anything strenuous. Today you have decided to go to a spin class and are anxious to see how you do.

All makes perfect sense, Sara.

I am keeping things in check. If I wasn't I'd be going on a hammer ride with the ladies group tonight.

I did go to spin class, and I went easy while there. I needed to find a benchmark, and I needed to see what I had lost. Spin class is not all that strenuous to begin with, and today's class would have been, if I had not been through this, very easy. I didn't approach it as if it was an exercise class at all, it was more of a "finding what has happened". I listened carefully to my body, took it easy, kept the cadence down, didn't "go for it" on efforts, and I found out some things. The most profound is recovery - it takes me a long time time to recover from any effort that causes my muscles to produce lactic acid. The second is that my heartrate is down to normal values, but my lungs can't keep up. That's okay, I didn't try to shove myself to LTR or take really long deep breaths. I just wanted to see where I sit right now, and perhaps try to stop the bleeding.

To me, taking it easy is exactly what I just did. Sitting on my tuckus and watching TV is not. I do so appreciate the concerns. I know every one of you has been through something like this in your lives, so I also appreciate that what you say is advice - and I do listen, believe me when I say that. Compared to what I want to do, I am going slowly.

sarals 08-22-12 12:03 PM

I am also taking this down time to tidy up my bicycles. I've gotten the wiring mess on my Look sorted out. I wanted to put the Easton wheels on my Giant CFR Team, but the 9 speed cassette won't fit on the hub. So, I decided to put the (heavy) Fulcrum 7 wheels on the Giant instead. The Eastons? I don't know yet.

My Felt TT bike needs attention, too. I really need to get fit to it, but that will have to wait.

My house needs some "ladies touch" attention, too, but I am not allowed to lift anything for at least two more weeks. I might do some spruce up painting here and there, though. No furniture moving!!

sarals 08-22-12 12:21 PM

I can feel all the heads shaking out there... ;)

AzTallRider 08-22-12 12:37 PM

Not mine. You need to worry about aggravating the trauma, of course, but other than that, the sooner you get back into it, the less you will lose. Just take care of the trauma.

Allegheny Jet 08-22-12 01:51 PM

Sara, I had ankle fusion surgery 2 1/2 years ago. I was totally off the bike for 30 day then began some limited rides on the trainer. As I healed the work load increased to include rollers and more time on the saddle. Three months after the surgery I did my first race of the season and rode as well as the rest of the Cat 4's. The following Thursday my doctor gave me the OK begin easy riding.

You are not going to lose much in a few weeks. Maybe you lose some top end but that can be reclaimed. You have a good base that will not go away quickly.

sarals 08-23-12 07:51 PM

AJ and AzT - you're right!

I had an extended conversation with my GP doc on Tuesday when I did my surgical follow up. He was much more concerned about lifting and doing exercises that would stress my lower abdomen than anything else. He, like the surgeon who performed the procedure, felt riding the bike was just fine, because it supports the body weight. Even when I'm OTS, I'm still not stressing the tummy muscles in a way that could cause them harm. "Go ride" he said. "Don't run, though" he added. "And, no lifting over 25 pounds".

Okay.

This afternoon, I took the Look out for 20 miles. Just a "regular ride" - with some Sara twists! My average power on the PT was 97 watts. On the two little climbs I did I'd average 230 watts, with some peaks around 280. I didn't sprint, so I don't know about that. I suspect if I did an FTP test right now it would be around 130 to 135. Pretty weak. And, that's what I've found. As AJ said, and shovel, I have lost top end, and top end sustain. I can't "pop", there just is no dig right now. Also, as I noticed yesterday in spin, I recovery slowly, but better than I did yesterday. My legs feel almost spindly, like there's no substance to them. They tire quickly, but I have to say I'm motoring pretty well when they do that! Oddly, my average speed is very close to what it was before I got sick, but my max speeds (on the flats) is lower, and I can't go that fast for very long. (By the way, the PT dropped data for about 6 miles - the computer was working, but the upload had a big gap..hmmm?).

I'm stoked! I think I'm going to get back fairly quickly. I hate being morose, and I apologize for getting that way, but you guys, you were right. It's not that bad. Having good core fitness and a good base means a lot!

I'm still going to go easy for another few days, then I'll start to ramp it up. The body feels fine. Most of the swelling is gone (but my tummy has all sorts of lovely shades of "bruise" on it), my respiration is normal, and my heart rate is getting back to where it should be.

Whew....

:thumb:

shovelhd 08-23-12 08:16 PM

97 watts. Perfect. Keep it up.

sarals 08-23-12 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shovelhd (Post 14645204)
97 watts. Perfect. Keep it up.

It's a good thing I use 60 watt bulbs around the house. I couldn't light anything else... ;)

shovelhd 08-24-12 05:48 AM

Like AZT says, it's a progression. You have to start yours all over again. That sucks, but you're not dead. That would suck more. So go back to Start, collect your $200, and wait for your next turn. Your progression will go faster than the first time because you have a strong base. You have probably lost a lot less than you think. Your muscles are just bound up and need to be freed. I bet you'll be in a much better place in 60 days.

It's not common for racers to carry race fitness year round. Your body needs a break, so you'll have to go through a base and build cycle before racing season starts. For those of us in the Northeast that don't race cross, that's November through March. You get used to losing race fitness and the grind of building it back up. If you do it right, it's motivating.

Hang in there, sarals.

Hermes 08-24-12 08:48 AM

Sara, What does your coach say? My family doc who is an avid cyclist and my coaches, advocate rest and taking it easy when sick or recovering from a procedure will result in the fastest return to form. Your body has a lot of work to do in repairing and healing from the surgery. Adding muscle breakdown due to cycling or anything else adds to the repair workload. And since you are run down from the hospitalization, you may be more prone to getting a bug. So extra hand washing is advisable and watch going to gyms and spin classes where you are exposed to germs from other people. When I go to the gym, Equinox has dispensers of hand sanitizer at several locations and I use them a few times when working out.

It takes general anesthetic weeks to leave your system plus laying around for several days with an IV has to cause some enzyme changes, muscle loss and general fatigue that your body was not used to.

Forget about the power meter unless you are using it to go easy and forget about FTP i.e. do not worry about it. Your FTP is higher than you think but if you push too hard and do not heal, you only prolong your recovery and THEN your FTP will really drop. Once you are back to normal, top end will come back fast.

sarals 08-24-12 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shovelhd (Post 14646245)
Like AZT says, it's a progression. You have to start yours all over again. That sucks, but you're not dead. That would suck more. So go back to Start, collect your $200, and wait for your next turn. Your progression will go faster than the first time because you have a strong base. You have probably lost a lot less than you think. Your muscles are just bound up and need to be freed. I bet you'll be in a much better place in 60 days.

It's not common for racers to carry race fitness year round. Your body needs a break, so you'll have to go through a base and build cycle before racing season starts. For those of us in the Northeast that don't race cross, that's November through March. You get used to losing race fitness and the grind of building it back up. If you do it right, it's motivating.

Hang in there, sarals.

Shovel, thank you for that (oh, I'd give you such a big hug if I could!). That was as centering a piece of advice I've heard yet.

By the way, that Ridley Noah is a NICE bike!!! Is it stiff enough for crits, do you think?

sarals 08-24-12 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hermes (Post 14646874)
Sara, What does your coach say? My family doc who is an avid cyclist and my coaches, advocate rest and taking it easy when sick or recovering from a procedure will result in the fastest return to form. Your body has a lot of work to do in repairing and healing from the surgery. Adding muscle breakdown due to cycling or anything else adds to the repair workload. And since you are run down from the hospitalization, you may be more prone to getting a bug. So extra hand washing is advisable and watch going to gyms and spin classes where you are exposed to germs from other people. When I go to the gym, Equinox has dispensers of hand sanitizer at several locations and I use them a few times when working out.

It takes general anesthetic weeks to leave your system plus laying around for several days with an IV has to cause some enzyme changes, muscle loss and general fatigue that your body was not used to.

Forget about the power meter unless you are using it to go easy and forget about FTP i.e. do not worry about it. Your FTP is higher than you think but if you push too hard and do not heal, you only prolong your recovery and THEN your FTP will really drop. Once you are back to normal, top end will come back fast.

Hermes, you've pointed out some things I haven't thought about - and need to. Thank you! You know, while I was lying in that bed in Lakeport feeling totally famished due to no food, I noticed on several occasions the ache that my legs would give each time I moved them. Walking wasn't easy, either. I knew then I was dissolving muscle. Since then, they've felt okay, but when stressed they just "disappear". And, OMG, the anesthesia. Yes. I have a hard time with it, anyway. I've been sleeping a lot since the surgery, and I think part of that is recuperation but part of it is the lingering effects of the anesthesia, too.

The power meter is entertainment right now. I'm also trying to get used to it. I know it's not valid. My heart rate isn't either, really. FTP? It might be better than I think, but you're totally right - it would do me more harm then good to try to find it right now.

I use hand sanitizers all the time!

My coach and I haven't really discussed very much, yet. I told him I'd be ready to go mid September. We'll take it from there. He did say "heal"!!

Right now, I'm healing, exploring, relaxing, sleeping, eating (more than I should), and worrying (my middle name). My biggest challenge is in trying to keep a positive mental attitude. That's not easy. In that, I need help, and I am getting it from you guys (and from many friends at home).

shovelhd 08-24-12 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarals (Post 14646931)
By the way, that Ridley Noah is a NICE bike!!! Is it stiff enough for crits, do you think?

It's a sweet deal. I could pick that bike up, swap my Dura-Ace/Quarq stuff over, put the Ultegra group on the Felt, sell it, and get a Noah frame for half price. I don't have that kind of money but it's cool to dream.

IMO the Noah is plenty stiff enough for crits. I'll see a friend tomorrow who has a Noah and a Foil and get his opinion.


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