August 31, 2012

Rolling the dice...

Well, I've been debating actually writing this update, but since I have nothing to really lose - I'll shoot it up here for the world to see.  I have an Iron-distance race in 9 days and I've gone to see an orthopedic foot and ankle doctor 2 times in the last 3 weeks.  Don't worry nothing's broken (I was really worried initially) and I'll tell the story in a bit.
Let's push it back to about 2 weeks ago on Sunday, I was cruising along on a 22 mile run and was running 2x11mile loops from our house on this secluded bike path.  I finished the first 11 mile loop solo and went back to the house to refill water bottles, pick up nutrition, etc and Kim came along with her mountain bike as she wanted to help support and be my "water woman".  The way she tells this story, she could tell a difference in my gait the minute we left the house and could tell I was crabby.  In my mind, this was the LAST run I had to do before taper and I just had to gut thru it, right?  

About 18 miles in, the pain in my right foot felt like someone was stabbing a knife through it and I stopped.  I thought it was my shoes were laced too tightly or something stupid like that, but turns out I was limp-running for a few miles.  Regardless, good thing Kim was there on the mtn bike, because she went home and got the car and picked me up. 
The next day I called the doc, got the x-rays you see above and below.  He confirmed nothing was broken, no stress fractures or anything.  (which is great!)  The official diagnosis is that I have capsulitis of the 3rd metatarsal.  Described to me as; all joints have sacks of fluid around them as lubrication, where your toes connect to your feet, there are little capsules of fluid and that particular one is inflamed.  He prescribed an orthodic to off-load some of the pressure to that joint, some medicine to reduce the inflammation and speed up healing and also to rest, not run for a week, and ice.  
I've been doing all of the above and also wearing sneakers around the house for a little extra support.  After a week the pain drastically reduced and I was able to walk without much pain or limping, but I'm a little leery and taking a huge gamble come race day.  I've not run since then and been aqua-jogging to keep the hip flexors engaged and to maintain fitness.  Right now the pain is like a 1-2 our of 10 whenever I go down stairs or toe-off on that foot.
I know what my contingency plan is during the race and I'm gonna try to get thru the whole thing in one piece, but you can never be too sure.  I'm pretty sure I can get thru 13 miles, but the last loop of an IM is hard enough in itself with your body and feet at 100%, so we'll see what happens come next Sunday.  Either way, I'll be out there "rolling the dice" on the race course and hoping everything holds up! You can't stop this squirrelly kid that fast :o)  The Athlete Guide is out, I've done all the training, I know where my fitness is and I really just want the opportunity to prove to myself that I can properly execute a race like I know I'm supposed to! (meaning - NOT blowing up on the run...) Next weekend will be interesting, stay tuned - it'll be quite the show either way.  Cheers.

August 30, 2012

Rev3 Cedar Point course preview day

This is how far I am behind on my blog entries.  I did this race preview day type thing back on July 21st and I'm finally getting around to writing a little blip about it here.  So, here goes! 
I have never been up to the course at Rev3 before and from all of the reports I read and people that I talked to, there were a few things in common:
1. The course was windy
2. The bike course was really uncomfortably bumpy
3. The course was windy... (I mention that twice because it is very relevant)
So I wanted to go and check it out for myself.  Kim found, via the Cleveland Tri Club that Rev 3 was putting on this "course preview day"on like the Tuesday before the actual day. So I had a 6 hour ride to get done and we had a free weekend when we were still in temporary housing and took the opportunity to go up to Cleveland and stay with her aunt and uncle and check out this course. 
That morning we decided to try and go for a swim at the beach up in Cedar Point and the waves were crashing into the shore and BOY was it intense.  I got a little giddy because I kinda like swimming in rough water.  It's a challenge and I know if it's rough come race day I have a definite advantage over those weaker swimmers.  Kim and her friend Tiff stayed on the beach and wussed out as I was the only one who braved the chop.  It was fine once you got out past where the waves break and you timed everything with the rise and fall of the lake. 
After the swim, we got ready and they instructed who was to be in what group (A was 24mph+, B was 20-24mph and C was below that) and I hopped into a pace line at the A group, but quickly got shelled out the back.  The course was good, people told me it was all SUPER bumpy, but it's just chip seal.  The REAL factor in this race will be the wind.  We did 2 loops (most folks there only did one, but I ran into a guy and cycled with him from the Eleanor Rocks team named Chris who was really nice and from Michigan) and we both were looking to go long.  It's mainly just the chip seal styled pavement and for two long stretches it felt like you were in a headwind and the wind changes and drifts on you, so just be leery of that.  It seems to come from every direction on you. 
The course itself is mainly flat.  They say it has rollers, not-so-much.  This is just flat terrain with a few little blips in the radar screen.  My bike elevation chart looked like this:

And I marked the areas where the loops started because we didn't start at the start/finish, we met elsewhere and I tacked on some extra at the end to get to 6hrs.  The one first BIG hill is at the bottom of a downhill, you hit a 90 degree bend and it really scrubs your speed, because then you fly up into this climb that's substantial, but only last about 100m.  The other ones, I don't really remember, but might have been highway overpasses.  Nothing to write home about.  Just be sure to be in your small ring at the bottom of that hill, otherwise you'll tip over.
All in all the trip was good recognisance and I feel strongly about the bike course.  If the wind is light, this would be a good course to ride within yourself and still rip a fast bike split.  See you out there in 10 days amigos!  It's taper and race time. Cheers.

August 29, 2012

Triathlon funnies

So I've had some posts that have been on my To-Do list here for a while and since I'm "officially' tapering now, I suppose I can get to them!  But for right now, I'm just going to leave you all with <hopefully> a laugh.  I found some good photos that have little to do with triathlon online:
My doctor DID tell me I was anemic a while ago....
They should've made an IRONMAN bar!
I just thought this was hilarious and very true

But anyway, things have been uber busy here, we've been decorating the house, adjusting to home life and having visitors up the wazoo come and stay with us.  My good friend Phil is actually with us for 6 weeks while he finishes up a rotation to become a PA in Circleville, OH.

Between all that, we're trying to do the normal stuff to adjust to Ohio, like get new licenses, plates, registrations and titles for the cars.  Here is a shot of good old "blue balls" taken a few summers ago.  I can finally post it now because I no longer have those plates and according to the NYS DMV, they've been destroyed after I mailed them back.  But the one project I did was to take all of the stickers off the bumper of that car, so as not to be "that guy" in a new town and new city.  Right now the only Ironman paraphernalia I have on the car is a simple chrome license plate holder that reads, "Ironman World Championships" 
I still love stickers, just don't want to be too ostentatious.  I've got a draft of the wedding and honeymoon post almost ready to go, along with a few other articles and a quick post about a course preview day that I did up at Rev3 in Cedar Point (along with some updates and x-ray pictures...cue the dramatic music!)  But I'll leave that till next time. Rest hard, keep those feet up my friends and I'll see you on the roads of Ohio.  Cheers!