Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm not crazy!! Really! I have a Recovery Pump!

Well I haved updated my blog in way too long, but I did have a little bit of a busy stretch. Over the last five weeks I did three HIMs (Rev 3 Knoxville, Rev 3 Quazzy, and Eagleman) and one Olympic (Rev 3 Quazzy), with the last three races (Rev 3 Quazzy Oly, Rev 3 Quazzy HIM, and Eagleman) in a period of 8 days.

Why would I put myself through such a schedule? Good question. I've never been fast, but triathlon offers many a challenge even for us who may never stand on the podium. Triathlon can challenge you to go faster, further, or longer than you ever dared to try before. When you set your sights high, reaching your goal is that much more rewarding. Back in 2003, I got chewed up and spit out by the course at the Lake Arrowhead Triathlon, but I dug down deep and fought my way to the finish. That was such a great feeling and boom I was hooked. The Sprint grew to an Olympic in 2004 at the Lancaster YMCA Tri, the Olymic grew to a Half Ironman at the New Jersey Devilman in 2005, and finally the Half Ironman went to a full in 2006 at Ironman Florida. Each time I entered the great unknown and went further and longer than ever before, it was such an electric feeling. Finding out you are capable of more than you ever thought possible when the journey began is such a powerful feeling.

For a few years, I couldn't think of an appropriate challenge to up the ante, but in 2009 one sort of found me. I signed up for the Black Bear HIM which I still consider the hardest course I have ever riden, but then I got accepted to be on Team Trakkers and had to do the inagurial REV 3 Quazzy HIM, a very hilly and tough HIM the next weekend. So boom 2 back to back Hilly HIMs-the thrill was back again. The next year I did the Revolution- Rev3 Quazzy Olympic on Saturday and the Rev 3 Quazzy on Sunday. I felt more beat up than I did after any Ironman after that weekend.

So this year, I wanted to one up those last two challenges, so I combined them. A repeat of the Revolution at Rev3 Quazzy folowed up by another HIM (Unfortunately, they dropped the HIM at Black Bear) but this year I had a secret weapon. One of Team Trakkers new sponsors for 2011 was Recovery Pump. Recovery Pump is sort of like a giant blod presuure sleeve and a pump which compresses your legs from foot to quads up then deflats and repeats. In the process in helps to flush out the lactic acid and other wear products out of the muscles and works like a massage. An hour a day after a tough workout really helped to put the snap back in my legs. Recovery Pump and my UltraGen are just an unbetable combination. So this year I put it to the test. I brought my Recovery pump with me to Rev 3 Knoxville and followed the advice of the folks at the Recovery Lounge at the expo and spent 2 hours in my Recovery Pump after a long hilly HIM and sipped on my Ultragen. The next morning, i had a 10 hour drive back home and my legs felt great. Normally, a long ride home after a tough race is cramp city, but that day my legs felt great. An hour a day for the next two days and my legs felt great and my speed was back.

So I was ready for the real test Rev 3 Quazzy! Did the Olympic on Saturday and didn't hold back going 3:32 seconds faster than last year with a really good run. After the race I hit the Hotel and got 2 hours in recovery pump before dinner. The next morning my legs felt great and on a tough course I went 15:35 faster than last year in a year where I was in rotten run shape due to Plantar Facitis. That night I was in the Recvovery Pump for another 2 hours, watching TV and eating dinner. Again my legs felt good for the drive home the next morning. Again I used the Recovery Pump an hour a day and by Wednesday I had to reel myself back in since I had another HIM that weekend. The last challenge was Eagleman. I hit the Recovery lounge at the Eagleman Expo and pumped up for 45 min or so. Again my legs felt so great. 3rd HIMin 5 weeks and 3 race in 8 days and I ripped of my HIM Bike PR by 11:53 sec and 13:44 sec faster than my last race on this course. My legs felt great, unfortunately my stomach revolted and crushed my run, but my legs had another good run in them. My Recovery Pump passed its test with flying colors. A race like that with that much fatigue in my legs and I ripped off a PR! That felt great and took the sting out of my run. Recovery Pump works and helped complete another crazy challenge! Enjoy the Ride!