Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nearly Broke A**, Machismo, and Other Tales of Recovery

 Tomorrow will be the 4 week count down to my first Ironman race, and it has been a bumpy last few weeks. Since I last checked in with all of you I was dealing with a what I believed to be an ITB syndrome issue that was keeping me from running. Well that diagnosis is not fully right, and more than likely it might be some lower back nerve issue. Now in my case this sounds worse than it actually is, but in my defense it is extremely annoying.

Near the end of May I was still not training as much as Tim and I would have liked, but I was able to stay active. Then our annual family trip to Concan, TX at Neal's Lodges came up. Even though I was stressed about my lack of training I knew this was a great time to recharge. I normally would not bring my bike on a family trip, but this year was going to have to be an exception. Tim said that if nothing more this was a great time and place to get in some bike miles, and just forget about running for the weekend.

The first couple of days I got in some great hill country riding, and was barely feeling any issues with my leg. This wasn't just a great place for training, but it was also some much needed family time. I don't know if any of you feel this way, but many days Susan and I feel like we just high five as we pass each other in the doorway. As I have talked about balance this is one of the most important ones, family!

After my bike ride on our first full day there we decided to go float the Frio since it was really flowing  after some much needed rainfall a few days before. The last time were at the river it was so low floating was more work than fun, but this time it was great! We even had a few rapids that we actually had to walk the kids around. As a matter of fact I even helped a slightly huge pregnant woman down with her tube while her husband saved the beer tube.

Question for you readers:  Is chivalry really chivalry when followed up by stupidity?

Now back to the story. So since I really didn't want to miss the fun of going down the rapids even though I had lost my tube at this point. Well the obvious choice at the time was to go down without a tube. I had barely gone a few feet before I made rapid contact with very large rock. Now considering that I hit it hard enough that I saw stars I was pretty sure I had broken my tailbone. Anyone that has ever done this knows the pain I am talking about.

My next thought was seriously I am starting to finally get recovered from one injury, and now I have done this. Not to mention the fact I am going to have to tell my coach I broke my a**!!!

Thankfully while you are in Concan, TX unless you have AT&T you have no service at all. In this case I am really glad I didn't have to make that call. Actually now that I think about it not having service was the best part of the vacation.

The next day I had a 3 hour ride scheduled and decided to give it a try. It wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world but it was manageable.

Sophia hanging out by the Frio River

Here I am very thankful for my water stop Mom's on my 3 hour ride 

Other than just hanging by the river we did a little weight lifting!

 Besides the little accident it was a great time to decompress, and get ready for the Ironman training to come.

This blog started with my first visits to my cardiologist last year with the fear that I was already starting to have the same issues that many men in the family have had before me. Well I had a follow up with my heart doc Dr. Borno for my yearly check up. To recap last year we went though a few statin drugs to try and bring my cholesterol numbers down, but I kept having reactions to them. Since then I had some blood work and my numbers were well out of the range. Even with my lifestyle he wants me to try the last drug that he thinks will work. In his words as high as your numbers are your lifestyle helps but we still need to be aggressive. The funny thing is that I am sore all the time now from Ironman training so I really can't tell if I am having a reaction to this medicine or not. I will have to redo blood work soon, and maybe we will find that this has helped.

Now on to the machismo part of this blog. A big part of my plan going into my Boulder plan was to race the 25th anniversary Buffalo Springs Triathlon. Since my recovery has been so slow on this leg injury Tim and thought it would be best to test my leg out on a shorted course and hope it holds up. Now this was my first time to race this year which means you have to work out the race kinks. The only thing that I was not prepared for was the zipper on my new race suit to break.  Some experience helped me here because I didn't freak out, but I did have the race bike mechanic try to fix my suit before the race. Finally I just figured it is what it is and I just needed to go race.

Besides that my race went well I was able to finish in the top ten, and place in my age group. The best part for me was that I was able to run all out and my leg never bothered me. Now this wasn't a marathon, but it gave me some confidence that I might be able to finish the race in August.

This is Coach Tim and I at the finish. Open Shirt + Gold Medal = Machismo! Photo Courtesy of the Great Cam Mencio

Even though it was a great race for me the best part of the weekend was meeting our home stay that was in town for the 70.3 race. His name was Elliot Holtham a professional triathlete from Vancouver, Canada. Who had just won Ironman Australia a few months earlier. It was really interesting how a professional athlete prepares the few days before a race. One of the biggest things that I learned was to trust your training and relax. He didn't have the race that he wanted, but I hope that he had as great a time as we did hosting him. Those of you in triathlon remember his name he not only has the right mindset, but definitely the right spirit to be one of the best. 

The pro men ready to start the swim
Elliot coming back into Buffalo 

Keebler and Elliot

It is crazy watching the dedication these pro men and women put into this sport. There is no other sport where we as amateurs are able to interact so closely with the Pros. It was a great pleasure for our family to know Elliot and we will always be huge fans and we wish him the best with his upcoming nuptials!

As usual this update has gone on long enough,  even though I have so much more to update you on. I am hoping to update more frequent since I am less than 4 weeks out from Ironman Boulder.

Even though things gave been a little rocky and tough everyone of us is going to have our issues, but it is about always trying. I used to think that I was doing this to add more years to my life, but only God knows how that is going to turn out. What I can do is try to make my quality of life better for the time that I have here. 

Keep fighting,

P.S. I didn't have a broke a** just severely bruised, but even with that it has been painful.