Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We might have a problem........Healing week 5

I think I'm gonna need one of these come next month when I reach that 8 week mark. I went to an awesome seminar last night at Salt Lake Running Company. Terri Schneider, a world class former professional triathlete spoke about mental training, and it was great! I need to sit and meditate and visualize more for the big races, and harness the power of the mind. It really is more powerful than I give it credit for. I've always known sport is mostly mental -why else would we go through the physical punishment?- but it is a tool I have under utilized. She callenged us to set two goals to "stretch for", so I'm thinking about that so I can be very specific in the route to achieve them.
Trihive was a sponsor of the seminar, as was USTrisports. I came away with some sweet swag from these guys! Greg from USTrisports was kind enough to give me a race tech tee from Rockcliff, I got a handfull of Raw Revolution bars (good stuff!), and.....drumroll please: An Amphipod! Holy cow! Now I already have a Nathan that I use and love, so I'm still in debates as to whether I'll keep this one or not.
Anyway, the night was great. Fun people to talk to, a very motivational speaker, and awesome swag. It left me ready to take off and run the second I get the ok!

Fast forward to today. I tried swimming for the first time without the pull buoy. Talk about a bring me back down to earth after my high last night...lame! It's hard to pinpoint how it exactly feels. There's no pain in my foot, the kick just feels totally off and awkard. That's so hard for me, I love to kick, it's my favorite part of the stroke. I think and hope it's just a weakness and flexibility issue in my ankle. The back of my ankle bothers me the most. Again, not pain, just akwardness. I hope things come back smoothly for me...
Looking forward to 4 days at Bear Lake this weekend. Hoping for some long rides and swims

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4 week x-rays - Healing day 32

Today was my half way there (hopefully) visit to TOSH. The doc I met with was not the same Dr Drew I met with in June. This concerned me at first since this new guy, Perry Hall had not seen or examined my foot at the initial visit. How would he know how much progress I'd really made? Well I'm still a little concerned with that, but apparently each individual exam is really important. How much pain I feel when they press on different points of the bone tells them almost everything. In Perry's words "I could look at pictures all day, it's the exam that tells me more". He was really cool and was actually someone recommended to me now that I think about it. He spent a lot of time with me, asked me what questions I had, and he's a cyclist so I feel he understood and related to me well. He didn't look at me strange when I said I want to get running as soon as possible and race in September, he actually discussed it with me.
So onto the healing. When we pulled the x-rays up I immediately noticed the fracture looked darker and wider. Crap! Not complete cause for concern though. Apparently fractures can heal with some inflamation (that's not quite right, can't remember what word he used), and the bigger space we see contains scar tissue taking its place there.
The fracture is the line to the left of the mouse arrow. Click on the picture to enlarge it and it should be more clear.
But can you see the thin bridge on the outside of the bone? That really is bone and that's where bones heal first, so that was good to see. Again, you're probably going to have to click on the picture to see it.
And here is the x-ray from the first appointment, 5 days after the accident. Interesting how that tiny little thing that was missed during the initial day of x-ray caused so much pain.
Here are the cool deciscan's they take. We didn't look at them, but I thought they were cool showing so much tissue and where the bones sit in the foot and leg. They pull up all the x-rays up on the computer, pretty cool technology there at TOSH.
Ok, so here's the verdict. The swelling is basically gone, and I didn't jump out of my seat when he pressed on my foot. I can walk pain free most of the time in the boot, and there's at least a bridge forming on the outside of the fracture. While we want the whole bone to heal over with bone, it may not happen. 6 months down the road, if it does heal over completely it should be permanently stable, but I could experience chronic soreness in that foot and would have to be careful not to change my gait (running form) to compensate for the pain. That's not guarenteed to happen, he just wanted to make me aware.
There's not a lot I can do to increase the healing, just give it time and take my vitamins. He also encouraged more activity. Some stress on the bone is good for it, but in Perry's words "If it's hurting, it's not healing" He thinks I'm good to get back on the bike as long as I don't stand in the saddle and just ride on flats. He also thinks I can lose the pull buoy and try kicking, as well as try the eliptical! Not bad eh? Weight training is fine too as long as it's with the boot on and doesn't apply too much weight. The biggest weight training change is that I can do leg presses in the boot as long as I don't lift more than my weight. Still no calf raises though :( My right calf is looking pretty pathetic.
Not all great news though. That 2 mile run I thought I'd start with next month? Nope, not that far, gotta start smaller. But alas, it appears I am healing. I go back in another month, hopefully things only look better.
And you know, as excited as I am to get the ok to do more, I'm also nervous. Mostly nervous to get back on my bike and try to clip out (no twisting of the ankle, that would hurt big time) or put the foot down or crash or something. A nice man I talked with at Rockcliff told me of his experience after rupturing his Achilles tendon (big time injury). He said he was always worried he'd get hurt again, so he wasted 5 years of his kids lives not doing the skiing and other activities they had once enjoyed. He told me not to be so scared that I don't go out and do what I love. I'll try to take his advice. I'll probably ride in the safe controlled environment of my basement on the trainer for the next week, then hopefully venture outside. Sure would be nice to ride with people, I feel more secure that way. Anyone wanna come on some easy flat spins with me?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"One of these things is not like the other"......

"....One of these things just isn't the same"

I rode up to Echo Reservoir for the Echo Triathlon with my friend Jen today. No, I did not race in my boot (although I was asked that several times). I was going to volunteer, but had lots of friends up there racing and didn't want to be stuck in one spot. So I tortured myself yet again watching others race. I really do enjoy it, I was just itching out of my skin wanting to join them and race. There was some good competition up there!
A few observations from the race include watching a girl take 5 minutes in transition brushing and drying her hair. I know, I know, not everyone is like me and runs out as fast as they can, but seriously, this girl had me wondering.
I also saw this 80 year old man racing. It took a lot of effort just for this guy to get his shoes on and off, I just couldn't believe he was racing! I hope I'll still be kickin like that when I'm that age.
Speaking of shoes, I had forgotten about this since I raced Echo several years ago, but they have a whole 20 yards of a "shoe zone". There must have been 10 of these cones with signs on them showing people according to their race number where to put their shoes to wear from the swim to T1. Kind of like an additional transition area :)

I brought the wetsuit up with me not wanting to miss a chance to swim without walls to slow me down. Since I can't flip turn or push off well it's really annoying swimming in the pool. A new friend of mine Te Koi came down and swam with me. I chatted with him a little while he was volunteering earlier that day and didn't even notice that he too has a broken foot!
Notice the matching boots :)
Te Koi is a great swimmer and it was nice to have someone to venture out into the water with. The course was still set up, the water wasn't cold, and the lake was glassy, all which made for a perfect swim! Here we are afterwards showing off our broken feet :)
I've thrown myself some pity parties wondering why this happened and what I'm supposed to get out of it, and I'm becoming enlightened a little bit. I don't really ask why anymore, there's not point, but I do want to get something out of this. I am spending more time in the pool and weight room working on my arms and core. I've also met some really cool people in the last month. I'm so busy and self absorbed when I'm racing I dont really take time to talk to people. This sport is just full of great people! I've met some very talented athletes I hope to train with soon, a lot of people on the buisness side of events and gear, and just some really nice people I can say hi to at future races now.
I go in for new X-rays on wednesday and am hoping things look better. I'm not expecting to be healed, I just want it to look better than it did 4 weeks ago. I am optimistic. The swelling is almost gone completely, as is the bruising, and I'm able to walk around the house pain free 90% of the time in the boot. I'll still be in the boot for 3 weeks, 6 days more, but hopefully the X-rays will show us that I should be good and mended come August 8th, 8:32am - yes I know down to the day and minute when I'll run again :)