Thursday, August 28, 2014

FAI and my story for the last 2.5 years

Gosh, the 'Long Road' really is a long road!  I didn't think I'd pick up the virtual pen again, feeling I'd have nothing meaningful to write given my goose egg accomplishment in the triathlon world since IMFL in 2011.  As it turns out, there was a good reason for my pain induced lack of motivation - I was finally diagnosed with FAI - Femoral Acetabular Impingement- which presented itself as a tear in my hip labrum on the MRI.

Cutting to the chase, here are the hippy details:

  • DNS at Ironman Tremblant in 2012, 2013
  • moderate pain since the injury in July 2011
  • completed IM Florida in Nov 2011 with (not known) torn labrum.  12:03
  • got discouraged in 2012
  • spent time doing 'other things' in 2012 and 2013.  Didn't ride or run.
  • wife was tired of my complaining so she booked a meeting with a sports doc in July 2013
  • within 3 minutes, sports doc suspects torn tabrum and by the 10 minute mark, I was out of her office with a requisition for an MRI
  • MRI in Dec 2013 confirms labral tear in my right hip
  • Meet the local Orthopaedic Surgeon (hip specialist) in March 2014. Surgery booked for June 2014
Here are the surgical details and pictures:

  • chose spinal tap and sedation over general anasthetic
  • last thing I heard was cranking of the traction table to dislocate my hip
  • surgery was arthroscopic
  • shaved the acetabulum (socket side)
  • inserted 2 anchors (like drywall anchors) into the acetabulum to hold sutures (thread) in an effort to pull the torn labrum back tight against the acetabulum;
  • shaved the head / neck femoral junction to remove a 'CAM' impingement - bony overgrowth in the femur that was catching on the labrum at extremes of extension/flexion.

Surgery was 10 weeks ago today!  Pictures:

Knife piercing the hip capsule.

Sutures in place to hold labrum against acetabulum:

 A very frayed labrum

Starting the Femoro-osteoplasty (bone shaving the femur at head/neck junction).  The light orange peel looking section has been shaved and is not complete.

Last one for now - shows finished bone shaving - femur at bottom of photo, shaving burr at top.

I'm going to hold it there and cover the first 10 weeks (to present) post op recovery in another post.  And there is an interesting development to share.

Thanks for reading....!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Squirt!

So, blogging has been pretty quiet since IMFL.  I have had a lot of "life" to catch up on but will start up again, soon.  MT 70.3 and IMMT are practically just around the corner!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Major news in our little world

Please help us welcome Squirt (racing name 'Shaula') to our hearts and home!  Her story is quite remarkable and if we think Ironman have tough spirits and are tenacious, well, we don't hold a candle to this little thing.  She is a survivor in the truest sense:

And if any IMFL vets recognize the location - Ebro - well, it's on the bike route on the northwest corner of 79 and 20.  We come northward on 79, then right on 20 and if anyone was around me during the bike portion at that intersection, they would have heard me saluting the survivors and those that didn't make it.  At the time, we did not know we would be adopting Squirt but the universe works in mysterious and there is no question Squirt was meant to join our family.  She has been here 3 days but you'd think she grew up here!  What a treasure!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IMFL 2011 Race Video

Race report to follow!!  Please let me know what you think?!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The end of A Long Road?

I can hardly believe we are at the eve of IMFL.  Seems like the lapse of sanity occurred only yesterday - you know - the moment you sign up for an IM?  The journey to this day has been like anything else in life worth the wait - full of sacrifice: professional, family, personal, etc.  While you gain so much on the road to Ironman, you are certainly opening yourself up to potential losses as well.  The balance of becoming an Ironman isn't a daily balance, really, it's an overall balance.  While I had many goals along this road, one was to not tip the scales too far in any one direction.  I remember becoming obsessed with training, nutrition management, and shaving seconds during the summer time.  Then I developed this chronic hip problem that sidelined me for 6 weeks and caused me to miss Muskoka 70.3.  And now, a couple months later, I've gained weight on taper (ate anything not nailed down!), still have a hip problem, but learned something pretty important: for most of us in the AG that have careers, young families, or whatever, we have to focus on walking a middle road.  It, too, is a long one, but it's ok to indulge once and awhile, miss a training session or two, etc.  Pushing too hard sometimes sets you back, and in some cases, behind where you were previously.  Equally frightening, being off balance with priorities, which are dependent on each individual and their situation, can end up costing us a lot more than six weeks on a sideline.

Despite the sacrifice, long hours, pain, and all things that come with IM training, I'm glad to have chosen this road and most importantly, my family is too!  OK, so it got me out of their hair many hours a week, but I believe they are very proud of their dad for setting a goal and doing the work it takes to accomplish it.  This has been a one year journey, and tomorrow, it will, with lot's of luck and determination, be 140.6 miles long.
Kinda windy

24 hours door to door, straight.  2,356 km
No explanation necessary

My race plan:

  • Don't get seasick during the swim (like this week during practice).  Don't swallow water, keep mouth closed.
  • Muscle relaxant before bike and run, if needed.
  • Consume 6 servings of Infinite on bike (6x278 cal = 1,668) and 6 gels (600 cals) = 2,268 cal on bike.  Water to wash everything down, will add IM Perform from aid stations if needed.
  • Keep HR around 140 bpm.  If my hip holds up, I should be about 6 hours on the bike.
  • Run easy to start, walk every aid station.  If my hip holds up, I'll be happy.  Ecstatic, actually.  Heart rate approx 150, max.
  • Run / walk / shuffle / whatever 1 mile at a time.  Think about the sacrifices my family made to get me here.  Don't let them down.
  • Believe I can do it and get it done.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You know you have an IM soon when....

You're tired.  I'm sorry to state the obvious and that isn't meant to be funny.  I know it isn't witty, either. Now that race day is in 23 days and volume has been high this last while, I'm truly tired.  Getting to the pool 2-3 x per week at 5:45 am is early and once you add work and life on top of more bike and run, well, it obviously all adds up.  I haven't been able to write or read much blog lately and my family is feeling the effects of cumulative volume as well.  It all comes down to the wire, doesn't it?!

I'd like to share some great photos / experiences of my last long ride (Canada Thanksgiving Saturday last weekend).  Summer had returned to the North East and we hit highs of 25-27 degrees last weekend.  It was truly special and great to get out.  I rode south of Ottawa again to the St Lawrence river and along it first East to Morrisburg, ON, then West to Prescott before heading back east to Cardinal and then North back home.  How awesome is this section along the river? (dontcha love the sound of race wheels spinning?).

As with any great training ride, I learned something really important on this one....hydrate even if you don't feel like hydrating.  I say this because it was warm, low humidity, and very windy.  I didn't know I was losing a ton of fluids as there were no drips of sweat and my tri outfit was bone dry.  The wind dried me off before I could even notice, but at the 120 km mark, I started to literally feel nauseous.  I had to press on for 20km before I hit a store to buy some water and that's when it really hit me.  Once off the bike and sheltered from the wind, it was HOT and I started to near gag from dehydration.  This was after about 4.5 hours of riding and I had consumed 3.5 bottles of infinit and 600mL of another sports drink already.  And that wasn't enough!

Once I started feeling good enough to ride again, I headed out for the final 40km home, thankful the wind was at my back and giving back some energy it had taken from me throughout the earlier part of the day.  I consumed an additional 8 glasses of water once home, further showing me how I misjudged my exertion and sweat rate.  I will NOT make this mistake again.  Had this been Florida in a few weeks, I wouldn't have been running far!

I've been struggling with carrying my tubular flat kit for some time now and I finally took some action.  I had read online that some people carry their kits in an empty water bottle and after a few zip ties and trial and error, I have a relatively aero kit behind my saddle.  As the saddle itself is really forward (most comfortable for me), no "real" cage holder will fit, but nothing beats a good zip tie plinko!  I added a bit of electrical tape to ensure the bottle doesn't launch and I'll clean it up before IMFL.

I'm going to close out with some interesting shots:  The porcupine was on my run, the snake was at our local town fair, the dogs, well, they were chilling in the backyard, and I had to snap the one with the dozer on the massive pile cuz it's one of the weirdest things I've seen in awhile!  Thanks for reading!