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.

Ow My Knee

Wow, today I woke up and my knee was on fire.  I bandaged it, iced it and rested it.  By the end of the night it felt much better.  This is my first knee pain.  I think it might be related to running down hill for so long.  Wow, I hope this clears really soon.

Where did my motion sickness go?

I have been thinking lately about the motion sickness I used to get while I was swimming.   It just kind of went away as fast as it first appeared.  It is important to understand the cause of motion sickness so that a proper resolution can be found.  The best way that I can think of to describe the cause of motion sickness is that you feel a motion that your eyes don’t see.  This can be counteracted in some cases by anticipating the motion before it happens.  In a car, for example, I often get motion sickness when I think the driver is about to turn right, but instead they turn left.  In the case of swimming laps, I think the motion sickness may have been caused by a few things:

  • My swim goggles fogging up
  • The motion of the water in the pool
  • Breathing issues while swimming

Swim Goggles Fogging Up

I noticed at one point that my goggles were fogging up and making it hard for me to see.  When I took a break, the water movement combined with the blurred vision seemed to make me dizzy.  Dizziness always translates to motion sickness for me.

Solution: I have tried a couple of things.  I bought some anti-fog solution which holds the fog off for the most part.  My head gets hot when I exercise, so that causes most of the fogging.  The anti-fog helps substantially, but they still do fog from time to time, especially when the anti-fog wears out.  I have gotten into the practice of taking my goggles off at each break (which is very for me right now) and wetting them to clear the fog.  That certainly helps.  I read once that contact solution in the goggles before you put them on would help.  I guess it sloshes around in them while you’re swimming.  I haven’t tried that, but I think for people with motion sickness the sloshing around might make matters worse.

The Motion of the Water

At one point I really thought the motion of the water was the culprit.  That freaked me out because I can’t control that.  I still think there might be some merit to that one, especially if you are resting and not in motion.  While you’re swimming, however, your body is in constant motion.  If you are swimming correctly, the motion of the water will be negligible compared to your forward motion, and your body rotation.  Since you are controlling both the forward motion, and the body rotation it shouldn’t be too bad.

Solution:  This is a tough one.  At this point I don’t think the motion of the water was causing my motion sickness.  I think it may have been accentuating the issues I was having with the fogging.  Of course, if you aren’t holding your head still during the body rotation (i.e. stay facing the bottom of the pool) the constant rocking of the head could be a cause of the motion sickness as well.  Keeping your head in the same spot relative to the bottom of the pool, except when you’re breathing, could be the key to helping the motion sickness.  Another possible solution is to use Dramamine or some other motion sickness medicine.  I’m not sure how that will impact your performance however.  Aside from the drowsiness, it may cause issues with water retention, heart rate, and race nutrition.  I would advise seeking the advice of a doctor before trying that, and of course always try it in training before the big race.

Breathing Issues

I think this might be the biggie.  When I first started swimming, and even now at times, I would rock my head to get air.  That quick twist was obviously more of a panicked reaction than a proper breathing technique.  It’s that quick jerky motion that may have caused my motion sickness.  I also tended to over-rotate to get to the air.  Any of these excessive movements combined with the fact that I was holding my breath under water instead of exhaling, and I was really setting myself up to get sick.

Solution: I have been breathing much better lately.  I don’t twist as far around, in fact the other day I had my first session of swimming where I was able to breath while keeping one goggle in the water.  Also, you should always be exhaling while your head is in the water.  That will help make sure that you minimize the amount of time you spend with your head out of water.  I think learning how to breath properly is the key to feeling comfortable in the pool.

In my first triathlon, there was a ton of small waves in the pool from everyone swimming and from the fact that there were no swim lane markers to break the waves.  I felt a lot of swaying, and although I had plenty of other issues with the swim, I didn’t have any issues with motion sickness.  I think that if you give it time, eventually you will stop getting sick.  Of course, when I get to open water swimming, I may start getting sick again.  If that happens, it’s back to the drawing board!  I have also heard about physical therapy for motion sickness.  Apparently there is some sort of controlled motion technique that is supposed to recalibrate the motion/vision issues and help to reduce or eliminate motion sickness.  If I ever give that a try, I’ll write a post about it.


I’m feeling terrible today. Sneezy, sniffly and just plain icky. Training will wait another day.

Knee injury

This Sunday I planned to do a mini-mini-triathlon to prepare for my upcoming mini-triathlon.  I think that’s right, you know what I mean.  Anyway, the plan was to do my normal spin routine, get off and run 2 miles on the treadmill, and then do some swimming.  No real target on the swimming, I just wanted to have my sister-in-law watch my form to make sure I was keeping it correctly while I was breathing.  I just figured out how to breath while swimming, and I wanted to make sure I was as close as I could be to the correct form.

Well, 3/4 of the way through the spin session my knee started to hurt.  I’m not sure why, I think maybe I wasn’t tight enough into the pedals, or maybe my seat was in the wrong place.  Anyway, the pain wasn’t too bad so I kept going.  I got off and did my run, did the swim, and by the time I got home my knee was in pretty bad shape.  The pain is in the back of my knee, so I’m not too worried that it is serious, but I’ll have to give it some time to heal before killing it again.

In terms of the workout, however, I think I did fairly well.  I did about 17 miles during a particularly brutal spinning session.  Did the 2 miles at 5.5 MPH with just one break in the middle, and did about 380 yards of swimming.   Turns out my swimming form wasn’t too bad as I took each breath, now I need to work on bilateral breathing.

I was proud of my performance today.  Considering how new I am to this.  If my knee hadn’t of gotten injured, it would have been just about perfect.

My goal for next time is to do the full two mile run without stopping, and to build my swim endurance.  I am still mostly doing one length at a time.

Ugh sick again!

Went swimming with my sister-in-law. I was doing my Easy Freestyle drills, skating, and the life guard came up to me and said, “what are you doing?” I was taken a bit off guard, and I wasn’t sure if he was reprimanding me or what, so I just looked at him and said, “Um, I’m swimming.” Suddenly I realized he was just curious about my drills. I corrected myself and told him about the Total Immersion drills I was doing. He had heard about them but didn’t know much more than that. Anyway, I swam for about an hour and I started feeling really sick. I’m not sure if it was the bobbing in the pool, or the blur from the goggles, but I felt pretty sick by the time it was all done. The drive home was miserable. I need to figure out how to prevent this or my triathlon career is going to be cut really short.

The drills themselves didn’t go too bad, but I just want to be able to swim. Apparently I have very little patience for swimming, who knew?

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