Thursday, July 9, 2015

Been a While

I haven't fallen off the face of the blog-o-sphere.  I just haven't had the motivation to write.  This has probably been the longest since I've taken off from posting.  New PR?

Taken at the Airport in Phoenix on April 20.  I was headed to California for work instead of running the Boston Marathon that day.

The healing process has been slow but as expected.  After I got the boot, I kept to swimming for a few weeks.  Then swim and bike for a few weeks and stayed there until the boot was removed.  Around 4 weeks I attended a half ironman training camp which gave me the opportunity to swim in a 50 meter pool, open water swim, and then did about 40 miles of the 56 mile ride.  Obviously skipped the run.

I did a handful of aqua running workouts.  Not as horrible as I thought it would be but didn't do more than 30 minutes at a time.

I started weening off the boot after 4 weeks, per my doc.  At 6 weeks I stopped wearing it altogether but didn't start running for another week.  My ankle seemed weak, so I wanted to give it a chance to manage normal walking.  Running consisted of short, slow run and then a walking break... repeat.  First week was not great.  Leg was sore.  I knew right then and there that any hope to run at Ironman Muncie 70.3 was out.

At the track, starting my first run in 2 months.

It was a couple more weeks before I got comfortable running at my normal form.  TKB and I went to Chicago for about a week and I got in a few good run/walk sessions on Lake Shore Trail.  I started extending my runs with good form.  Things were feeling pretty darn good. So after I got back I did a 9 minute run, 1 minute walk for 30 minutes.  It felt good to run long but my leg was sore.

At the same time, my hip was still bothering me like it was back in early February.  My foot neuroma was flaring up again.  During the previous few months I had started putting metatarsal pads in all my shoes and by now I had finally put them in my cycling and work shoes.  About the same time as my leg hurting after the run, my foot was really bothering me.  I got to the point of pain where on a 50 mile ride I stopped in the middle and ripped out the met pad I had installed (poorly).

I was through with the pain.  It wasn't massive pain, but it was there and caused me trouble sleeping. My stress fractures were on the mend but without fixing the hip and foot neuroma, I was surely going to end up in a boot again.  I was done.  I started noticing that with the neuroma on the left foot, I would walk "around" the pain.  Had a conversation with Kevin at work about it who mentioned that his hip/lower back pain was resolved by orthotics in his shoes.  I came to the conclusion that maybe the neuroma is causing my hip issue.

I talked to my physical therapist and agreed that may be a connection.  So back to the drawing board and back to my foot doctor.  I was happy to go back to the foot doc because he is a triathlete and knows how I think.  He and I had a great discussion and when I mentioned my hip he mentioned that it could be caused by the neuroma without my prompting.  So I bought some orthotics per his recommendation to put in my cycling shoes since that's where I started noticing the neuroma.  Even leading up to the appointment with the foot doc, I had become more vigilant at putting met pads in my shoes (correctly) and had noticed the neuroma wasn't as painful anymore.  That being said, it was hard to objectionably determine if my hip was doing better.

Armed with my new orthotics, I went out for a 3 hour ride this past Saturday and my neuroma didn't peep once (it usually starts around 20 miles in).  My hip isn't as noticeable but occasionally it is sore.  I do think it is getting better.

Shining Light
Given all this, how do I see the light at the end of the tunnel?  Small victories.
  • Working on race karma I volunteered with the MTC team to help at a run aid station.  I ended up course marshaling with Mark at the top of a nasty hill.  I brought my JAMBOX to blast music and we had a blast cheering people on.  Talked to participants days/weeks after the race and they appreciated the support at the top of the hill.
  • Knowing that I couldn't run the half marathon at Muncie 70.3, I asked my buddy Erik to participate as a team and he agreed!  Erik was already planning to attend Muncie as a spectator and is currently training for his first marathon.  Hopefully this worked out for him and his training.
  • The short runs I did in Chicago weren't super fast but did show me that I still had decent fitness.
  • I have been having trouble with my Garmin Vector Power Meters on my triathlon bike.  It would read low, although it was fine on my road bike.  I found out that I had not configured my Garmin watch and bike computer correctly for my triathlon bike but I had for my road bike.  This was awesome because it has a big impact on my Performance Management Chart on TrainingPeaks.  Happy to see it be accurate.
  • Had a good conversation with Kevin who was going to participate in Beach2Battleship with me.  We both decided to cancel.  Neither of us had registered yet.  Kevin wanted to train for KC Marathon and I was still the middle of figuring out my hip problem.  I know this seems weird to consider canceling a race as a positive but it gave me the relief to not try to train for something when I wasn't 100% yet.  I've still got a long road to returning to form.

Looking Forward
I feel that I have a good plan to get the hip issue resolved.  My neuroma hasn't flared up in a few weeks.  So after this week I want to get back into hip focused strength training and stretching.  Coach keeps putting yoga on my plan and I keep conveniently not finding time to do it.  Maybe it's time to look up the Yoga place in Parkville.

Why focus on it after this week?  Well, it's race week!  We are leaving for Ironman Muncie 70.3 tomorrow morning.  This is going to be a blast.  Not only am I registered as "Two Tall Tri Guys" team with Erik, but Kevin and another co-worker, Corey Hunt is doing it too. My other race buddy/co-worker Kristen was planning to make the trip but couldn't.  She'll be there in spirit!

TKB pointed out that I missed the opportunity of calling our team "Too Tall Tri Guys" but whatever, still works.

So hopefully I'll be back on the blog with my race report soon.

A while back my coach sent me the below link and I actually just read it finally after finishing this post.  A lot of great advice and you might notice some similarities in what I said/experienced to what she wrote:

OK... going to bed.  Good night!  Got an 8 hour drive tomorrow!

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