Thursday, February 5

Share the Wisdom Wednesdays (on Thursdays): Part Fourteen

Let's just go ahead and let the cat the rest of the way out of the bag... the squeezy leg bag(s).

I broke down and bought a pair of Elevated Legs from 92Fifty Cyclery.

Yes.  I've made fun of these in the past.  Not that I ever thought they didn't work.  Just that a certain single speeder was using them in a covert manner at the 2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic and it set me into a sarcastic downward spiral.  It was less "that's not very single speedy," and more "why do you need them to beat up on guys like us and why hide it?"

photo cred: Beth Ann Stauffer
l-r: me, "pro" single speeder Dejay Birtch, Clay "Not a gay amigo" Chiles

So from that one point on, they became an object of humor to me.

Yes, a true single speeder forgoes trainers, squeezy leg bags, coaches, heart rate monitors, power meters, true recovery, proper sleep, gear options, suspension, sobriety...

said every single speeder who used to be good ten years ago when you could drink all night and still podium at an NUE or other national caliber event smelling like booze, ass, and shame.

Times have changed.  I've gotten older.  I've gotten softer.  I'm killing myself... and for what?

Last year (May to be exact) nearly broke me.  Over 29 days, I raced PMBAR, Pisgah 111, Pisgah 55.5 and seven days of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.  In between those events, I worked 14.5 days and had four days that I didn't have to get on a bike (but still needed to).  And then a week after all that?  I did the Pisgah Enduro.

I remember feeling totally wiped.  Dark places.  While doing events I totally love to do.   Sads.  Not totally liking what I like to do is unlikeable.

So, looking to 2015 and what can be done differently.  Not in order to make great bike race, but to enjoy the things I do.  I've signed up for the same races... again.  It's gonna be some give and some take.  Question being, what will I give and what will I take?

I'm not going to stop drinking beer.  Perhaps less beer is a good idea, or maybe just making the frequency of beer something less than daily.   Something like more days without beer than with.  That's a start.

Sleep?  Not going to get any better.  Just plan on not letting it get any worse.  Eight hours a night or as close as I can get within an hour either way.

Training.  I'm smart enough to know how it could be done in a better manner.  Things are so different than they were back when I wore a heart rate monitor (about the same time I had bought my previous last pair of new jeans... 1993).  What sucks is that I have such a better understanding of it all, know smarter people, and have the resources to get higher tech in the measuring and metering.  I just have no interest.  My job, life, issues, attention span... just not conducive to productive "training." 

Recovery.  This is undeniably key and something that I've been lacking.  Something that I can't ignore for two reasons.

1.  I'm doing too much sometimes.  Last May, I didn't have enough chance to recover and rebuild between events.  I was just slowly falling apart.  The physical decline contributed to a mental decline to go with it.  That lasted pretty much from late May until... October?  You don't really thinking about how long it takes to get out of a hole until you're standing up above it. 

2.  I'm old, relatively speaking.  I'm 46 this year.  I was in my young 30s when I started endurance racing.  My body just doesn't handle the mistreatment like it used to.  I haven't done a hundie with a killer hangover since 2008.  I don't think I could even if I wanted to.  As much as I hate to admit, I need to slow some things down if I wanna keep having fun.  Suxors.

So, what can I do?

I mentioned the Thera Cane last week.  That's part of it.  The squeezy... I mean Elevated Legs.  They're a much bigger part of it. 

The science is there.  The Pie RN says so.   I trust The Pie.

I'm tired of my legs feeling like lead and having no chance to recover because of work, life, and shitty planning.  I've tried putting my legs up against a wall, sitting in cold streams, sitting in hot tubs, using foam rollers (ouch, not one for lazy people) and The Stick.

I could spend my money on crabon hoops, lighter this, that or the other.  Nothing is gonna make me feel better than some time in the leg bags.

Sure, there is massage, but I have a hard time getting to a massage therapist all that often.  When I do, I'm usually there for something other than my legs anyways.  All the money and time in the world, I'd love to get a massage on the daily.  I haz neither.

So for the money, I have the Elevated Legs, conveniently located as close as possible to my TV/couch.  A place I'm almost guaranteed to be at least thirty minutes a day.  I'm not gonna use them daily, but come summer time when I can feel the fatigue in my legs building up, day after day, week after week?  I'll make time.  I need to catch up on Ellen anyways (I heard she's gay BTW).

And I should mention, something else finally tipped the scales in my decision to finally buy my own pair of Elevated Legs.   The Pie started running quite awhile ago.  Just like me, she has a tendency to overindulge in an activity she finds pleasant.  So much so, that at times, she's doing more harm than good.  She's about as focused on recovery as I am on my 401k.  Knowing that two of us in the house can benefit from the presence on Elevated Legs cut the price in half (in my mind).

She's tried them, she digs them, they are "ours."  I've been told as much.

When I think about how much I've spent on bikes, racing, travel, beer... over the last fifteen years?  This is a drop in the bucket but will probably make a bigger difference than anything I've spent an equivalent amount of money on in that same time.

I'll be living in them most of May and bringing them with me to TSE and the Breck Epic this year.  Should be pretty sweet.  I'll probably let Bill Nye use them at both, although he's in my class at TSE.

He is not a threat.  Threats should not bother asking.

Want your legs squoze, threat?  Get yourself some, dickweed.


Anonymous said...

I hate to say this but it crosses my mind often when I read your blog. The fact that alcohol has such a significant role in your life is not a good thing. Its pretty horrible for your body. Plus the majority of your recovery time happens while you are sleeping. Instead of resting/repairing, your body is trying to process all of the toxins (sugar and alcohol).

Anonymous said...

You're an inflatable hosiery salesman now?

josh neeley said...

Get those things off my goddamn couch!

josh neeley said...

...and pay no mind to the first post. Probably just a dealer thats going to try to sell you some weed later.

Anonymous said...

Nice pants.

Rust Never Sleeps said...

Welcome to old age. The older I get the better I was.