Archive for April, 2010

Knee Injury Update

I have had two physical therapy sessions so far and here is what I’ve heard every time they touch my leg.  “Oooo that’s tight!”  I suppose in some contexts one would appreciate that remark.  In my situation it isn’t a good thing.

I have always had really tight hamstrings.  I am not very flexible.  Hopefully with some of the stretches that I’m getting that will all increase.

I managed to get out last night for a walk.  It was f’n cold.  It’s funny how quickly we adapt to warm weather.  A few weeks ago a night in the 50’s would have been warm.  I couldn’t just walk so I ran for a minute or two at different points.  It was nice to run, but I felt winded pretty quickly.  I didn’t have a heart rate monitor so I ran pretty hard when I was running, and I think that tired me out more than I expected.    My training plan doesn’t have any speed workouts in it until May so I’m not surprised that I would be sucking wind right now.  I might actually have to push the speed workouts out now that I’ve been injured.  Ugh.

The run itself was pain free and uneventful.  I’m feeling better and better about my knee as the days go on.  Can’t wait to get back in the saddle.  Yep I’m surprised I said that too.

It’s Official – Kinda

Even in the midst of my injury, the wheels of triathlon must roll on.  I took my next step today, I purchased a wetsuit. I found an XCEL wetsuit that was my size on for $85. I went to the guy’s house this afternoon and tried it on. The guy was quite a character. He was also an anomaly. He was a 55 year old surfer from CT. I don’t think there is another one here. Even if there is he can’t be anything like this guy. He was great! Fully of energy and just all over the place.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy it for $85. It was a good deal but I had a friend who might have one for me at $60 if it fit. This guy was so great that I couldn’t say no. He also threw in a thermal cap and two rash guards.

Never in a million years would I imagine that I would own a wetsuit, but it’s great! I’m excited to have the suit. I’ll have to try it on and get a photo up.!!

Ice Massage – A Pictorial Tutorial

or a pictorial..tutorial…hmm I guess you can’t really combine those words…maybe ptutorial?

After my knee injury, the doctor recommended doing an ice massage.  An ice massage is where you take a large chunk of ice and rub it over an area with pressure.  The goal is to both cool and press the area to increase the effectiveness of the ice.

Everything I’ve read on the topic, and even the doctor himself recommended using a Styrofoam cup to freeze water and then peeling the cup away to reveal the ice.  One important note…Never ever apply the ice to your skin for more than a few minutes.  Once things get numb you need to remove the ice pretty soon or you will get frost bite.  Being that it was earth day on the day of my diagnosis, I wanted to try something a little more green.  Here is what I did.

I used a bunch of Dole Fruit Snack cups, you can get them in packs like this one.

Dole Fruit Cups

They look like this out of the package:

Step 1. Eat fruit (yum) and wash out the cup:

Step 2. Fill with water:

Fill the cup with water

Step 3. Freeze it:

Step 4. Pop it out of the cup, just the warmth of your hands is enough to defrost the outside of the ice is get it to pop right out.

Step 5. Hold the ice with a paper towel and apply it to your injury.  Those ridges from the fruit cup come in handy when you apply the ice.

That about does it.  It works really well and is eco-friendly.  I have one at work and a couple at home ready to go at all times.  It is a bit drippy obviously, that would be the case no matter how you did it.  If that is a problem either lay a towel under your leg or throw it in a ziplock bag.  Either way, you won’t leave a puddle.  No one likes a puddle!

The Diagnosis

I went to the doctor today to have him look at my knee.  I saw Dr. Dauphinais, and he was really great.  If you’re in the market for a family practice doctor in central Connecticut I think he would be a good one.  He said I had Patellofemoral Syndrome and recommended walking for a week, then run/walking for 2-3 weeks with lots of stretching.  He also prescribed some anti-inflammatory medication, an ice massage (more to follow on that) and physical therapy.  I have 6 sessions over the next 3 weeks to help me strengthen the muscles that support my knee.

This takes me out of the next indoor triathlon at the YMCA, and stops me from doing a 5K on May 8th that I had planned, bummer.  Overall I’m feeling pretty good about this now, and I’m ready to sign up for my next race at the end of May.

More ouchies

I tried running again tonight. I got half way down the block and had to turn around. Even with a brace it hurt to run. It isn’t a horrible pain, but i don’t want to push it and risk a serious injury. I’ve scheduled an appointment with a doctor who us a triathlete, and hopefully he will be able to give me some exercises and parmeters for working with this. I’m going to try another short run tonight.

I did manage to get in a good swim. I did 1/2 mile swim with just one break. I made it in 19:25 after a mad sprint during the last full lap. I had enough gas to knock out one more 50 yard sprint in 45 seconds, and a second slower one. I’m feeling much better with the swim, but I still have some breathing issues to work out.

I’ve also lost that downhill swimming feeling I had one tine a month or so ago. If I can get those two things worked out I should be able to get my swims to sub 18 minute half miles.

Knee Update

I have been icing, Ibuprofening (is that a thing), and foam rollering (I know that isn’t a thing) my knee and it seems to be getting better.

Today there was a fire alarm at work and I had to go down 20 some flights of stairs to evacuate the building. Half way down my knees started feeling really tight. I made it through, but it was a reminder that I need to be really careful. I still plan on waiting until Monday before I have my next run, but I am itching to get out there. I know, I can’t believe I said that either. Excited to go running, who’d a thunk it.

I also had a swim on Tuesday. I didn’t quite get the distance I wanted to get because there were a lot of people there that I knew. That wasn’t a bad thing though. One of the guys who is one of the quicker swimmers really pushed me. We started off doing a 300 yard swim. Then we did 5X50 at the 1:30.

Basically, you have 1:30 to do 50 yards including the break. After 1:30 you start the next 50. So the faster you go the more rest you get. I pushed myself so hard I could actually taste blood in my mouth. I had heard that before, but I thought it was a joke. Nope, it isn’t, yikes.

I actually managed to go all out and get a lap in at around 40 seconds. That is super fast for me, but it certainly kicked my ass. I never really recovered, and by the last 50 I was dead and my arms felt like jelly. It was an incredible workout though, so I’ll have to try it again as I continue my training.

My Knee

So the good news is that I think my knee pain is an IT Band issue. I was reading through the causes of IT Band Syndrome (wow that sounds like an STD), and there are several causes. Two stood out to me, running downhill aggressively, and running on a slanted surface, like the side of the road.

Two Sundays ago I ran downhill for 1.5 miles with a 300 foot drop in elevation. As I ran I noticed that the road was very tilted towards my left and I could feel the pressure difference in my leg. I was also trying to negative split the run so I was pushing the pace quite a bit down the hill to try to make up some time.

Put all of those things together and you get a really angry IT Band. So the remedy is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Looks like I was already on the right track. I’m looking for some knee braces to support me when I start running again next week. I’m hoping that things come together for me again in the next couple of weeks. I’m going to keep things light for a while and hopefully that will take care of business.

Y’ll run ova but y’ll limp back

Looks like I don’t have to go too far to find my next drama. Apparently my knee injury isn’t healed yet. I had planned an 8 mile run on Sunday. I wanted to do a short run the day before, but I did a lot of heavy yard work that day so I was beat.

I started my run and everything felt great. No tightness, just perfection. About 2 miles in I started feeling tightness in my left knee. At about the three mile mark I stopped to stretch my legs just to see if I could work the tightness out. It felt better for a little while, but then at mile 3.5 I felt a bit of pain. Not a lot, but enough to get me to stop running for fear of injuring myself.

Now I was miles from home with no choice but to walk back. It was a long walk, let me tell you. It wasn’t all bad though. Here is the silver lining.

I got a mile further than last time before feeling pain.
Only my left knee hurt.
It didn’t hurt at all to walk.
The pain didn’t get worse through the night.

So, here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to take a full week off of running to let things heal. Next monday I will start running but only 2 miles. I will also run with a knee brace for a while just to help stabalize things. I will start my long distance runs over again at the 4 mile mark, and I will try to take things easy.

It’s a little frustrating, but that’s life. In the mean time I’ll focus on swimming, and biking.

Super Dee Duper Swim

I can’t believe that I did this last night.  I mean, I know this isn’t a big deal for most people.  But I actually swam an entire half mile without stopping yesterday!!!

Considering the fact that I did 9 laps in my first Tri in nearly 18 minutes (2 minutes/lap), 11 laps in my next tri in nearly 15 minutes (1:21/lap) I’m thrilled to have finished 18 laps last night in under 20 minutes (1:06/lap).

I have a new goal now, I want to finish the 1/2 mile in under 18 minutes (sub 1:00/lap) and I want to swim a mile straight!!!  I felt really strong the whole time, and I was able to slow down and catch my breath when I shot off too fast.  That’s huge!!  I also had an issue with my goggle (they leaked *shakes fist*) but was able to stop and tread water while I adjusted them!  That means I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable in the water.  I couldn’t be more excited about my progress.

I was just belly aching a few days ago about how stuck I was with all the swimming nonsense.  I actually was complaining to my wife about how frustrated I was with it all.  Now I am swimming really well.

If I had swum like this in the last triathlon I would have placed 27th in swimming out of 49 people.  That is four positions higher than I placed.  It wouldn’t have made a difference over all (mostly because I sucked on the run and bike for whatever reason).  I may even be ready to do something crazy like sign up for the Lake Waramaug sprint triathlon in June.

Wow, now that I am getting the swimming under control, what am I going to whine about?  I guess running is my new Achilles sport.  I hope my knee holds up this weekend.  Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Swim breakthrough, Run Break

My knee felt like new today.  I’m happy about that.  When I got home from work I helped put the kids to bed and then headed out for a swim/run brick.

I swam 2 warm-up laps and just thought to myself, ok, slow down to go fast.

Then it was time to do it.  I started my swim in earnest.  Nice and slow.  I focused on breathing out under water and keeping my form.  The swim felt good, really good.  I swam and swam.  Once in a while I would speed up a little and start feeling winded.  Then I would slow way down and I would actually be able to catch my breath.  I swam 11 laps straight in slightly over 11 minutes.  I stopped for a minute or two and then kept going.  I did the next 7 laps in about 8 minutes.  I swam half a mile in under 22 minutes with only one break!!!  I could not believe it.  I was psyched.  Now I want to focus on doing the whole half mile in one shot with no breaks.

I took a shower with my head held high.  What an awesome feeling.  Unfortunately that feeling wasn’t going to last.  I got in my running gear and started my 3.5 mile run.  About a mile in my left knee started getting tight.  I must have adjusted my run because a little over halfway through the run my right knee started to hurt.  Where I had worked hard before to keep my heart rate below 152, I was now struggling to keep it above 141.  at the 2 mile mark my knees were really hurting me.  I was visibly limping.  I had to walk.

I walked for a few minutes then sacrificed my knees by running the rest of the way.  It was just taking too long to walk.  When I got home I was really sore.  I iced my knees and went to bed.

I’m not sure what the issue is with my knees.  I’m guess it was one of two things, or maybe a little of both.  Either my knees were still inflamed from the weekend, or my leg muscles were too sore, weak to support my legs thereby adding a large amount of impact onto my knees.  Either way I am going to take off until Saturday to make sure I don’t get hurt.

Despite the knee issues, I’m feeling great about my swim.  W00t!

  • The Narcissist Section (a.k.a. Me Me Me)

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