October 31, 2009
I rode solo and can't believe how quickly the time flew by. This is a magical place to ride, I think I could do the course over and over again and never get bored. The roads have been largely repaved and it was dry so I was able to ride rather comfortably. After the famous Keene descent and my favorite part of the course, a relatively flat and super fast stretch on 9N, my average was 18mph. At the halfway point I was on track to do the ride in 3:15, which would have been my best yet on this course. But the punishing climbs on 86 coming off 9, the Hazleton out-and-back and the final long climb back to town made my average plumet to 15.7. I finished the ride in just over 3.5 hours. Not bad when you consider where I was coming from. And most importantly, I really enjoyed it.
The rest of the day was fantastic. I love being here and wish it weren't such a long drive. I'm really looking forward to racing here next summer and having an excuse to make a few training trips this spring.
October 30, 2009
It's sunny and 47, heading into the lower 50s. Today is a perfect day to ride the Ironman loop. It will be my longest and most challenging ride since Wisconsin so I'll take it easy and just enjoy being on my bike in a beautiful place.
October 28, 2009
If I can figure out how to compress the video I'll post it here. In the meantime, I got an update from the doctor today. He is filing an appeal for the PRP but I won't hold my breath. The more promising update is that he offered to discount the treatment significantly so it's back on the table. I have an appointment next Wednesday. We'll see.
I'm off to Lake Placid tomorrow!
October 26, 2009
I hope they enjoy paying for the months and months of physical therapy, follow up MRIs, regular appointments with my podiatrist and likely someday the surgery or other treatment that will be needed to correct my chronic condition and resulting scar tissue. Medical insurance companies absolutely infuriate me with their short-sightedness.
So my recovery will continue as massive waiting game. I realized today it's been two months since it all began. Just two months out of the four to six I need to be recovered. I've lost so much in that two months that will take me an additional two months to regain. But on the bright side, I am getting better and now that PRP is out for sure, I'll likely start PT and hope for the best. Hope and waiting seem to be the only things my costly monthly premium covers.
October 25, 2009
I have a short week and long weekend coming up. I'm heading up to Lake Placid on Thursday for what was originally meant to be a big biking weekend. However, due to lack of training I'll be taking it easy and attempting only one full loop at what I'm sure will be a leisurely pace. I'm also looking into other activities I can do that won't bother my foot, but will allow me to enjoy the area. It is so beautiful up there. The weather is looking decent with highs in the upper 40 and only one day of rain so far, but it's the Adirondacks so I won't trust the forecast until I wake up each morning. Regardless of the weather and the time I'm able to spend on the bike, I know it will be a really great weekend.
October 21, 2009
This has been a very good week. I've been busy but in a positive and productive way. I've done a little bit of training and have worked to get back on my pre-race diet. But it all still remains very unstructured and I do it as life permits. My foot is still as is, but I can't rush it. I'm hoping to take some steps forward with treatment next week, be it the PRP injection or just old fashioned physical therapy. And I'm preparing for a long weekend in Lake Placid, the site of my next Ironman. More on that to come soon!
October 18, 2009
The frigid weather pushed me to start loading up on my winter cycling gear. I'm attempting to create a no excuses situation where I'll be forced to ride outside unless it's (A) Snowing; (B) Icy; (C) Pouring rain; or (D) Below 25 (ok, maybe 30) degrees. With the right gear, one should be able to enjoy our fair sport nearly year-round, right? Given I've never attempted to ride in less than 45 degrees, it remains to be seen but I'm up for the challenge. Yesterday, I invested in:
The last item makes me look like I'm headed to a Monty Python themed costume party, but it will allegedly help me stay warm on chilly days. The thing on my must-have list is a good pair of neoprene booties to keep my feet from turning into blocks of ice in my breezy tri shoes. I'm planning to invest in either road shoes or winter cycling shoes eventually, but for now will rely on wool socks and booties for survival.
I ended up just taking it easy yesterday, and clearly doing some shopping, and in the end was glad I did. I was still feeling the effects of the week so any effort would have been forced and minimal. I got back into the pool today and also did my first strength training in months. Since I can't do much else I decided to make that a priority for the next few months. Hopefully I won't wake up tomorrow and feel like a bus hit me.
October 15, 2009
Prior to my injury I had considered doing one short run per week in the Frees in an effort to strengthen my feet and beat my chronic PF. But now it looks like I'll have to keep running in my "little foot coffins" as referenced in this New York Times article, "Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants." It's an interesting article, recently sent to me by my dad after getting it from a friend of his who runs in the Vibram FiveFingers. Perhaps after my recovery I can give one of these alternative shoes a try and see for myself.
October 14, 2009
I've already paid out of pocket for my orthotics and am really not in the mood to do the same for an interesting, but definitely unproven treatment. Here is an article. What would you do?
October 13, 2009
With swelling down and healing underway, I'm ready to start PRP injections. Pending confirmation from my insurance company, I may get the injection before the end of the week. I'll start physical therapy two weeks after the injection to speed healing and combat the formation of scar tissue.
The waiting game continues, but I'm optimistic that my body is trying to heal and with the most aggressive treatment possible, I'll get there eventually.
On the motivation and training front I'm feeling much better. Sunday's ride and yesterday's walk really boosted my spirits. I'm also preparing for a trip to Lake Placid at the end of the month so shopping for the cool weather gear has been fun and makes me want to get out and ride more. I was hoping to nail every workout this week even if out of order, but a big work event and other work obligations are making today and tomorrow training-free. I'm running on fumes anyway so it's best not to push it. I'll jump back in on Thursday and keep on track through the weekend. At least the desire is back. That's 90% of the battle. The other 10% is easy and most of the time, fun.
October 12, 2009
Today was my usual rest day but I did something I haven't done in over six weeks. I walked. I had an MRI appointment so I walked to the train furthest from my apartment, then walked to work from the radiology center. I also took a long walk at lunch and then walked home again from the train. All in I walked about 3.5 miles and my foot felt fine. I was barely limping and it felt great to do something so common.
As I enjoyed my old friend the MRI I realized it was my seventh in a matter of nine years. I've had three on my lower left leg - one to diagnose a tibial stress fracture and two to rule out subsequent fractures. I've had one on each shoulder - the first after falling repeatedly while learning to snowboard and the second after crashing my bike last year and breaking my shoulder. I've now had two on my left foot due to the torn plantar fascia. This total doesn't account for the three CT scans - one head, two abdominal - and countless X-rays I've also had. That's a lot of medical imaging in less than a decade of life. It makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong, or if scans are a way of life for an athlete. Let's hope after this one I have a long reprieve. I think I've earned it.
I'm on pins and needles waiting for the results. My doc said he'd call the moment he has an update. I'll be sure to share the news when it comes.
October 10, 2009
I have a nice ride planned tomorrow and am hoping it paves the way for more. I hate the feeling I have when I'm totally inactive. There is a distinct shift in my mood and energy levels that is unpleasant. So while a break is nice, I don't consider being totally sedentary a break. Light, unstructured training is a break. If my foot weren't injured I'd do other activities and take a break from swimming and biking, but alas swimming and biking are the only two activities I'm cleared to do. Oh the irony.
I started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma today. I was just starting Born to Run and decided to hold off on that one in favor for a non-sports book. Given the struggle I've had with my diet this past year I figured it would be enlightening. Plus I feel like the only person who hasn't read it. I'm looking forward to time spent on the couch reading. That's what I consider a break.
October 9, 2009
Now my second season has ended with another injury. At least this time there was an incredibly rewarding Ironman finish to go with it, but I'm still injured nevertheless. I've played the chin-up game for about six weeks now and it's finally taking its toll. I haven't done any training this week and while I can use my schedule and work obligations as an excuse, the truth of the matter is that it simply wasn't important enough to me. I somehow managed to fit Ironman training in for the better part of nine months and suddenly I can't make a 30 minute swim work. It all comes down to motivation and priorities and I have no motivation and the training just isn't a priority.
So as it turns out, being able to do two out of the three sports isn't good enough right now. I'm going to make one more attempt to get back into the swing of things and if it doesn't work, I'm going to rethink how I spend my off season. I know I am desperate to be physically active, but I just don't think it's going to happen in the swim/bike world. Not without the running.
So I'm going to let go of another wasted training day and see what tomorrow brings. I'm going to admit I'm feeling the effects of depression that come with not being able to do something you love. And hopefully I'll figure things out and find a way to make it through this injury and get back on track so my 2010 season doesn't get off to an miserable start.
October 7, 2009
- Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, April 18
- Eagleman Ironman 70.3, June 13
- Ironman Lake Placid, July 25
- Ironman Wisconsin, September 12
I saw the doc yesterday and things are moving ahead. I got my orthotics and will start wearing them instead of the boot on and off over the next couple weeks. I should be having my MRI soon and the results will determine if I'm ready for PRP injections. If all goes well, I could be running by December. I'm willing to wait so I go into the season 100% ready, but just knowing the end is within 8-12 weeks is a good feeling. I don't do injured very well so my primary goal for 2010 is to be injury free. Finally.
October 4, 2009
After a 2.5 week slump, I had a good talk with my coach about the future and about what to expect from my first offseason in long course. Just talking about 2010 filled me with energy and once I had a grasp on what role today and the next several days play, I was ready to get started again. That night I got on the bike and I stuck to my schedule each day after. I deviated today due to mechanical issues with my bike, but I have a bit of a grace period left so I took advantage. I'll take the schedule seriously, but I'll remain open to shifting for life opportunities. I only have three months of off season after all.
Wednesday - Biking
Distance - 14.68 miles
Time - 1:00:00
Thursday - Swimming
Distance - 1,150 yards
Time - 21:29
Friday - Biking
Distance - 15.60 miles
Time - 1:00:00
Saturday - Swimming
Distance - 1,400 yards
Time - 27:02