IM CDA: Aches and Pains, First Stop: Alcatraz

We’re about 10 days away from IM CDA. Last weekend, my back decided to flare up. Very annoying! It set off muscle tightness in my left lower back and glute and made it painful to move around. About once a year this happens and this was not the best timing. I iced it twice a day, which I knew would remove the disc issue, and then some PT yesterday set my muscles on their way to releasing and being back to normal. I just hope that it doesn’t flare up at Escape from Alcatraz, which I’m racing this Sunday as a warmup for IM CDA.
My bike is over at Cupertino Bike Shop and ready to be picked up by TriBike Transport. Since TriBike Transport is picking up my normal race bike on Saturday, I’m racing my Ritchey Breakaway Titanium at Alcatraz.
Late last week, I took my Breakaway out of its suitcase and discovered that the Qantas baggage handlers had thrown or dropped it so hard that it bent the top tube! When I tried to put the bike together, the pieces didn’t line up anymore! I was really mad but also in a bind because I wasn’t sure what I was going to race if I couldn’t race my Ritchey.
I emailed Ritchey Design for help. Amazingly, Tom Ritchey replied to me and invited me to come over to his house where he put my bike frame half with bent top tube into a vice, and the proceeded to bend it back. Wow, Titanium is sure some strong stuff! He was putting his whole back and weight into it and bending it little by little. Titanium has this flexible quality where you need to bend it past the point you want it, and then it springs back. So we kept bending it, checking it, bending it and checking it until the pieces lined up again. Man I thanked him profusely for helping me out! It was stellar moment for me and very impressed with Tom and his company. Definitely buying more Ritchey stuff whenever I get the chance!
So now I’ve got my Ritchey ready to race, and hope the titanium didn’t weaken to a point where the bike is going to fall apart on me at Alcatraz. I’ll put up an Alcatraz race report shortly after the race.
Otherwise, my power and speed are both looking good for Ironman. Yesterday I did a Speed+Threshold workout on the bike Computrainer and got through it with no problem. Today I ran a treadmill hill+speed workout to loosen up my legs; don’t want to stress them too much as I want my muscles to calm down fully from my back issue. Biking doesn’t seem to stress it as much as running does. So lots of rest for Sunday and pray that Alcatraz doesn’t fire up my back again.
Other than my back, I’m happy that the normal aches and pains prior to any race haven’t emerged as much this year. Any kind of ache or twinge I’m really worried about because getting injured right before a race is not a good thing!

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