Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hello 4th sister...

First I would like to thank those who reached out to Chelsea and I over the last week, it has been awesome.    She said make sure everyone knows that she appreciates the encouragement.  For those who wanted an update here is the last text message from her, "I just ran 3.5 miles in 31:14!"  So she is doing very well.

I have had some tangles with the river mountain loop trail and its "3 Sisters."  Now that recent improvements have been finished the 4th sister is now in play.  I have been excited now that I am back to cycling to see what my fitness is like.  I can tell you for fact that I have not felt this good on a bike before.  Although my legs are super sore I have never had this quality of cardio during the climb, recovery during the ride, and after the ride.  My legs were hosed but I go through them quite well.  So our perception of hard changes.  I have lost my intimidation of them and I welcome them.  My plan is repeat them once a week and continue to progress this cardiovascular fitness.  One phrase that Karl said that sticks out is "fatigue resistance."  I feel that for sure.  Overall I had a good week, here is how it went.

Monday-Long swim.  30 min.  Drills not included in the time.  I found some new drill that seem to be a lot more functional so if anyone wants that posted let me know, I can even send it via email.  I did keep 250 m splits because I am a dork.  6:28, 7:36, 8:04, and 6:50.  1000 m in 30 min easy.  My swim fitness is catching up as my shoulders/core remember this motion.   No post swim soreness and looking forward to open swims when it heats up a bit.  I also had 4.5 miles of biking at practice.
Tuesday-Run Easy 40 min.  Nothing really to report.  Sully and I out there feeling good.  I am kicking around logistics of biking to work on tue/thurs.
Wednesday-Track night.  400 repeats.  10 min easy, then my first attempt at alternating 50 with 150 of good swing and 150 meters of good speed.  I did 4.  2 total laps but good quality work.  Tough and I can see how that builds aerobic power and also tunes mechanics.  Something of a gem, I think.  Then repeat 400s with a minute break.  I didn't know where to start so I thought under 2:00 should be good.  Here is what I got: 1:51, 1:53, 1:54, 1:52, 1:55, 1:55, 1:51, and 1:46 (with 1 minute in between).  Then 10 min easy.  I was tired but not bent over or anything.  I was able to go faster in the last 2.  I think next time I may do under 1:50.  Minor soreness.  Great workout.
Thursday-Supposed to bike but windy, cold, and sleepy.  Pushed it.
Friday-5 mile tempo run all under 9.  I was wondering how this workout would compare to the track.  Harder or easier?  I realized quite early on how the track carried over.  I felt very comfortable at faster paces.  Here are my splits: 8:19, 8:43, 8:53, 8:48, and 8:29.  Ave 8:38 in 44:14.  Sully loves going faster.  I felt good.  I went out too fast but felt super comfortable I am not sure how long I could hold that but felt good nonetheless.  Sustained effort was harder.  I guess I need to step up that track workout.  Minor soreness, overall felt great.
Saturday-Long easy bike.  I originally wanted to go longer but had time limits.  I cut it down to 90 min.  I have been thinking about this RAGE bike course.  The hardest part is the turnaround.  A mod steep climb, decline, and then long drawn out slow grind.  I want to kill that section.  With the new RMLT I can get there easier.  But I didn't get it there.  But I did get some climbing in.  1:33, 20 miles, 14 mph, and 1330 elevation gained.  I am moderately sore but happy with my first hard bike effort.
Sunday (today)-Long Run.  I wanted somewhere between 6-8 miles.  When I woke up I layed there and said, OH boy.  Then I remembered that biking and running dont effect each other.  You have to run on those legs and they translate to each other.  SO off I went.  7 miles at 9:30 pace.  I got tired near the end and was happy with the effort.  Get out there and go longer.  No issues.  Just tired after a good week.  Quote:

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

Nope, Im gonna go there faster.  In fact, I had to look at last years post to see where I am at compared to last year.  How funny how things change.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Post I have Been Itching to Post (Warning somewhat Graphic Pictures)

One normal day at work I get word that my new patient in the next few days is a triathlete.  I already get pumped about that but once I reviewed her chart I knew this case was special.  During the initial interview my jaw dropped.  The words BIKE VS BUS shook me.  I have had close calls personally and can identify with that as a possibility, she lived it.

Chelsea decided she was going to do some cycling hill repeats on a minimally busy road with a long challenging hill.  She climbed and came down the same side of the road.  She saw the bus, the bus did not see her.  In fact, the bus did see recognize her until the driver heard the screaming.  She was screaming because the bus WAS STILL ON TOP OF HER.  The bus ran her over her, stopped on her, then rolled off.

I am sitting there taking this all in.  I keep reviewing the list if injuries in my head.  I review it and review it and I am trying hard to keep my composure.   CAN I RUN?  I stumble and stumble to put these pieces together.  Multiple spinal fractures, pelvic fractures, complex open femur fracture, ACL/MCL tear, compound ankle fracture, multiple skin grafts on both ENTIRE quads, non healing superficial wounds with infection, and now I am seeing her 2 days after her ACL and MCL are reconstructed....and she says CAN I RUN.


My first thought is "grrl you are lucky to be alive and you want to RUN?"  I LOVE IT.  My advice at this point is not an uncommon thing for me to say.  I say "Chelsea, you and I are going to be close.  I am going to promise you at no time will I sugar coat things for you.  No one benefits from that.  I will provide you with what the science and literature says and I will provide the facts and you will decide.  I will say that you have a lot of work to do in order to run.  The way this goes is to get on the progression to run and see what happens." She replies, "If I am OK by next years RAGE can I race?"  My first thought was that I would be surprised if she can even run a 5K at that point.  I say "If you are ready for RAGE, we will do it together"  She says DONE.  Straight face and confident.

At this point she is 3-4 months into this recovery already.  The multiple skin grafts, various fractures, and infections had to heal.  She had to graduate to be a candidate for the ACL/MCL reconstruction.  She is not your average triathlete or ACL reconstruction.  Her rehabilitation was hard.  We held her back and went slow.  We applied the latest running science and traditional rehabilitation to her and she put the work in.  She did everything the Dr and I asked and she simply put the work in.  She is going to go from this:
to this:

to top it off:  We are doing the OLYMPIC.  Another PT in my office will race with us.  Chelsea has been running at or around 9:30 pace and can go for up to about an hour.  She is an absolute winner and has never taken no for an answer.  She's had and will continue to have set backs and still is struggling.  She is overcoming the challenges with a grace hard to find in most people.  She was lucky she had tons of fitness at the time of injury, she needed it.  She's lucky she had a mental attitude that stayed positive, handled pain, and kept her nose to the grindstone.  She's lucky she had experience with triathlon and personal training and knows what real pushing is.  You see people like her are reason I go to work everyday.  She requires me use every once of knowledge, experience, and personal courage that I have.  I am so exponentially proud at the work she has done, at the commitment she has made, and at the job she has done to get herself ready for a healthy and fit life.  Chelsea gave me permission to use these pictures and write this post.  THANK YOU CHELSEA for showing me how real life challenges can be overcome and allowing me the opportunity race side-by-side with you.  This situation is the real reason I love triathlon and I am honored to share this experience with you.  I just hope I can beat you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

FInally a triathlon blog...

Now that I am on the clock with RAGE, olyimpic, I am getting back to triathlon training.  I have not been on my bike since August and so swims since Honu.  Thats July people.  I emptied my Garmin for the first time since mid december.  My swim felt fairly comfortable and so did the bike.  This race is super special and hopefully I will get to why this week.

This week has been cool.  I watched Kona and got all emotional like usual.  I got jazzed about someday hearing that I am an Ironman.  I also watched Ironman AZ and I got pumped up thinking thats where my first IM is going to be.  2013?  With Lance getting in on the action, I am just getting pumped on triathlon.

Injury update:  After the race I had very minor soreness.  I was surprised.  The left quads and toes were sore from trying to unweight the R calf.  Today actually is first pain free day since December 22, 2011.  I ran this morning with no pain.  The compression does help.  I dont know how they will contribute to the future but for now I will use them.  Cautiously optimistic about what the next week/months will hold.  Here is how my week went:

Monday-Easy swim.  First swim since august.  My shoulders were fairly sore but no big deal. 2/10.  I went 1000 meters with some rest in between laps.  I also was able to alternate breathing sides.  Overall, I felt good about the workout.  I have some work to do in the water but no big deal.
Wednesday-None...trying to figure out the timing of things and when I got home it was too dark to ride.
Thursday-Easy bike.  45 min bike.  Easy pace more like a hardware check than anything,  Feel my biking legs and get back into that mindset.  It is very different.  No issues.
Friday-Easy 45 min run.  I had time and I told myself to wait on running but I need to run.  My calves had moments of no pain and I got into a groove then they would be sore but overall a good run.  Sully was amazing.
Saturday-I am starting to get some mountain bike time in with practice.  Overall 8 miles on the mountain bike.  Then after practice since I was nearly at red rock I should ride from there.  I wanted to go moderately hard and see what I have.  What I had was a total of 17 mph on the bike!  Really?  My first REAL bike ride and got some good results.  I wasn't sore or anything, my back was a bit stiff for about 30 sec off the bike.  Overally it was 26 miles of biking, 18 on the road bike and at 17 mph.  Good day.
Sunday (today)-Plan was for an easy 60 min run and then about a 20 mile bike.  I have good news and bad news.  Good news 45 min of the run was totally pain free and didn't need to recover or walk. Then the bad news, a migraine.  No big deal.  Happens sometimes when I dont get enough sleep.  A nap removed the majority of the head ache.  The nap meant I cancelled the bike.   I am happy for a good run today.  Quote: (first quote in months)

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
 Winston Churchill

lol, where am I again?  Feels good to reboot.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The big surf board continues to elude me

That big surf board is the medal for the full marathon at surf city.  2 years in a row I was signed up for the race and had to drop down to the half.  At least this year I am was able run, well, kinda.  2 years a in a row I have had calf issues.  Separate and very different mechanisms but calf issues nonetheless.  This year humbled again, I learned some lessons.    


I called Karl to get my head straight.  Generally not interested in devices that artificially improve performance, I wasn't sure if I was thinking straight.  I considered compression socks.  I know marni and tawnee will be pleased because they love it.  I knew it wouldn't hurt me but was it worth it?  I am able to say that my recovery was no different but during I had no sharp pain.  A lot of pain but no sharp tendon pain.  It was all muscular burning pain.  I nearly quit at the first mile.  Gnarly calf in the first mile?  How can I get through it?  It never got to be more.  Lesson learned:  the way it feels now is not necessarily going to be worse later.  My pt/responsible brain said why?  My competitor brain said you have to finish this.  It got better as I went as long as I didn't go too fast.  I was able to keep rolling through as long as it was above 9:30.  It killed me to go that slow. I was happy to be out there and enjoying this wonderful race.  It really is an outstanding race.  It kills me that I got to 10 miles and felt fresh.  No muscle fatigue, cardio wise felt strong, but the calf was killing me.  


Karl was in my head.  I wanted to run the hill he yelled at me 2 years ago.  I am happy to say that dam hill with no stops and I laughed at the thought of Karl yelling at me.  Truth is that hill is weak.  I am so much in a different place.  Funny experience.  Good in that I know I can suck it up and get it done but I want that course as a full.  I want to come through on the goals I set.  Overall a learning experience.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Running Injuries: The Balance of Running

There is something majestic about a skilled runner. Adequately moving across the ground with ease and finesse. How does that happen? Is it just genetic? The answer is no. Skilled running is  developed. Running skills are developed over time and miles. The ability to run those miles depends on consistent training and staying healthy. Efficient running depends on balancing force.
Healthy running depends on the body’s ability to withstand the force of training. When there are holes in training, the injuries follow. Running injuries are always related to force. The treatment of running injuries comes down to the balance of producing too much force during running (ground reaction force) or the bodies inability to tolerate force (lack of strength and conditioning).
Here are a few of the basic themes on how to manage ground reaction force:
-Controlling vertical displacement. How much up and down is the runner using?
-Foot strike. Is the foot strike out in front of the body or right underneath the base of support? What am I striking with? The foot landing under the belly button with a mid-foot or forefoot strike is the best way to manage food strike. Footwear may influence how foot strike occurs but the body should be dictating how successful foot strike is.
-Training/Pace errors. A pace too slow or too fast can influence ground reaction force. Running too many miles or the wrong amount of miles at the wrong time may influence an increase in ground reaction force. Proper coaching or a running physical therapist can plug in those holes.
-Stride rate (the number of strides per minute). Am I using a rhythm my body can move force up the body with balance? If the feet move too slow the vertical displacement will be too high, if the feet move too fast the force will not spread fast enough to dissipate. There must be balance between stride rate and overall pace.
Here are a few basic themes related to running strength and conditioning:
-Toes. Can the toes work as a dampener? Active healthy toe strength is key to forefoot or mid-foot stance during running.
-Calves. If the toes are active the calves will be too. If the toes are not active the calves will be asked to do too much work. The calf must be able to push the weight of the body in order to run without symptoms.
-Quadriceps/hamstrings-These muscles control the shock absorber of the body, the knee. Not only must these muscles be able to stabilize the knee, they must be able to handle the force of vertical displacement.
-Hip stabilizers. The hip musculature is one of the most important muscles when it comes to running. These muscles serve to rotate the femur (thigh bone) so the thigh muscles can control the weight. Hip muscles hold the knee in place while the thigh muscles do the work. They need each other.
-Core. The core serves to stabilize the spine. The spine is the resting place for ground reaction force. If the knee and hip need each other to tolerate force, the core holds the spine stable so the thigh and hip can funnel the force to the spine.
-Shoulder. Runners are always surprised by the amount of rotator cuff strength running requires. The rotator cuffs job is to hold the humerus (long upper arm bone) in the joint. If the bouncing if running is causing the humerus to want to come out, the rotator cuff must be strong and active to stabilize the shoulder
When treating running injuries it is imperative to identify where the abnormality of force is. The balance between the force production and the force tolerance is key. Every runner is different. The degree to which the ground reaction force that must be eliminated and the amount of strength that the runner needs depends on a very complex mixture of factors. Find your local running expert to help you reestablish balance. When you decide to get treatment, be sure the professional is taking your running gait into play. If not, the status of the balance the runner is using is unknown. Happy running and hope you find the balance you seek.


So the Get Class thing didn't take off but I have some blog posts that I wrote that I do not want to go away.  So I am going to repost them.