Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crabman Training Clinic #3

Tonight I will be heading to the Crabman Training Bike Clinic. I am really looking forward to it. I post more about the clinic later.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Since I still need to train for at least 2 events in the Triathlon I hit the open water for a short swim with my buddy Joe. We did a quarter mile swim followed by a 300 meter swim. The water was wicked nice! We plan on going ever Sunday morning.

My knee is better. I can walk normally now. I plan on jumping on the bike this week. Can't wait to see how the knee will hold up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Something I Don’t Want to do

I am dreading writing this post. I never thought I would have to write this. I got the results back from my MRI that was done last Friday and it was not what I was expecting. Going into today’s visit I was thinking that I had a torn Meniscus. Well, now I wish that was the case, but its not. I have an Articular Cartilage Injury involving the Medial Femoral Condyle. Basically, the cartilage that surrounds the medial femor in the knee has worn away, thus exposing bone. Here is what I have found on the web about it:

What is articular cartilage?

Articular or hyaline cartilage is an extremely smooth, hard material, made up of the protein collagen, which lies on a bone's articulating surfaces (those surfaces that come into contact with other bones). Its function is to allow for the smooth interaction between two bones in a joint. Thus, if injured it can lead to impairment in the fluidity of joint movement. In addition articular cartilage is extravascular, meaning that it has no direct blood supply. This means that once injured it is extremely slow to heal.

Damage is graded from I-IV and can vary from obvious defects in the bone (grade IV) to very minor microscopic damage (grade I) which will appear normal when looked at with an arthroscopy (visualization of the inside to the knee joint). Injury to the articular cartilage will lead to inflammation and pain in the knee joint and in the long term it is known to accelerate the onset of osteoarthritis.

My condition is graded IV, figures. So the Dr. gave me a few options. The first being rest for the next 6 weeks and then have another MRI done to see if it is healing on its own, which is the option we went for. Second and beyond would be a number of different surgeries that would promote healing or cap the area with other cartilage from a donor area. Either way it spells doom for my running.

The Doc didn’t tell me I couldn’t run, but did tell me what would happen if I did. It was not a pretty picture considering I am only 34 years old and would have the possibility of having osteoarthritis by the time I was 40.

So I have decided not to run anymore, ever. At this point I just want my knee to heal so I can go run around with my kids. Yes it would heal and I could go back to running, but I am sure that the injury would occur again. I don’t want that to happen. I am sure that I will have some sort of arthritis in my knee anyways. I just don’t want to tell my kids no I can’t chase after you because my knee hurts or I can’t play baseball because I am a fool who decided to keep running after my knee healed and now I have a bigger problem. So no more running. I have at least another 50 years to go on my knees!

I haven’t decided if I want to continue swimming or biking. The doctor said I can do all activities that doesn’t involve running. I do have a sprint triathlon coming up in July that I still plan on swimming and biking, I will just walk the run. This really sucks. I trained my ass off all winter and spring and was so looking forward to this tri season. I really wanted to complete the Mayflower International Triathlon at Plymouth Rock in September and run my first half marathon in Hartford in October.

I am really going to miss running. I enjoyed every track workout, tempo run and hill repeats I have ever done. I will remember crossing the finish line of my first 5K and 10K with a huge smile on my face and thinking…I did it!

Running could have and probably is the direct cause of this injury, but I put the blame fully on my weight. For the past 10 or more years I have been battling weight issues. I went all the way up to 267 pounds and have managed to drop that down to 228 a few times, but have never keep the weight off. As of right now I am hovering around 236 – 237. I have gained a few pounds that I have lost in a recent challenge we had a work. It just doesn’t want to stay off. And the past few weeks with this injury hasn’t help any. So in the next 6 weeks my focus is on weight loss. If I want to help the healing process, I need to lose weight, and keep it off!

I give myself just today to sulk and be sad about not running anymore. But tomorrow, the sunrise brings a new day. An end of one thing brings a beginning of another. What that is, I don’t know. I still have 2 parts of a triathlon to train for.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mystic River Sprint Tri Race Report

Finally the day has come for my first Triathlon of the year. I have been waiting for this since the Wild Dog Tri last year!

Woke up at 4:30, took a shower and went downstairs and ate some toast and peanut butter. I packed the car with everything and went over the checklist one more time. When I was ready to go I woke up my Brady, put him in the car and we were off to my sister’s house. She was going to watch him while I was at the race. After dropping him off I drove down to the race site in Mystic which was only 20 minutes away. It was shaping up to be a wonderful day for my first Tri of the year. I was there by 6:20, so I had plenty of time before the start of the race to stretch, set up transition and check out the water.

For a warm-up I went into the YMCA and found a nice quiet room to stretch, focusing on my left knee. For the past 2 weeks I have been dealing with an ACL strain which turned into something else. For the past week my left knee has been swollen. I went to the Doc for my follow-up and he said it was ok to run the 3 miles on it. Just ice it and take ibuprofen right after. So after the stretch I headed out, put the wetsuit on and down to the swim start.


The swim was a wave start. All pre-registered males went in the first wave. I would say around 125 men or more went out. I seeded myself toward the right middle of the pack. Yeah, not fun. From the shore until the first turn I was battling with other swimmers, getting kicked, hit and just could not get into any rhythm. After I made it past the first buoy, I swam out a little and found some open water to swim in. But that didn't last long. I guess a few others decided to do the same and I was still avoiding people's feet. The last buoy seemed to take forever to get to. Then it was a short swim to shore after the turn. It was kinda of funny. I found myself swimming next to this one guy and we were both taking breaths at the same time...lol. So every time I took a breath, he was doing the same. It was funny. I got to where I could stand and I went to pull the leash on my wetsuit, but this guy came up and said "Hey let me help you out" so he grabbed my leash and pulled it down. I said thanks and started to try and pull the wetsuit off. Well I couldn't. The zipper got caught in some of the wetsuit so I couldn't pull it down the rest of the way. So I struggled with that all the way to my bike. Swim time was 18:45. My goal was 15mins, but my zig zagging and avoiding other swimmers and I think the swim course was a bit long was factors for the extended time.


I struggled for a bit with my suit while at the bike. When I finally got it off I tried to get the little pebbles and sand off of my feet so I can put my socks on. Then shoes, helmet, race belt, sunglasses and I was off


Right off the bat I forgot to tuck my right shoe lace into my shoe, so of course it got stuck in the chain. I stopped, tucked it in and was off. For the first mile or two I wanted to test my knee to see how it will hold up for the ride. After mile 2 everything felt ok so I just kept going at a nice pace. The hills killed my speed. I didn't want to put to much pressure on my left leg, so on the hills my right leg did most of the work. It was a very nice course. There were a few cows I said hi to. At the turn off of a main road at the point where we started to head back to the Y a lady had a flat and was asking for a pump. So I stopped and lent her my pump. Got her tire pumped up and I stayed with her to make sure everything was good. I figured I would help her out since I wasn't really racing for time. After a mile her tire was flat again, so we stopped and pumped it up again. This would happen one more time. Then when we spotted some race officials I handed her the pump and said those guys might be able to help you out. She thanked me and I took off. I felt bad for her, but at the same time, if you’re in a race, you should at least carry a pump and/or a spare tire, no matter what the distance. Going back to the Y was great. The course seemed really fast and I was back to transition in no time. As I was coming into transition I saw my sister with my son and her husband! They cheered for me and I gave a little wave. That was cool!


Since I don't have bike shoes, this transition was fast, racked bike, grabbed my hat, took helmet off and I was gone.


This was the part I really thought my knee would act up. So the whole time I was running I was feeling my knee out, listening to it almost. Making sure it wasn't hurting. I told myself if I felt even the slightest pain I would walk. Turns out, it felt ok. Just a little tight, but no pain. At this point of the say it started to really warm up. I grabbed some water out of transition and once in the middle of the run. I was running slower then normal but I was ok with that. The run course was a flat out and back. Coming up the hill at the Y I saw Brady again. I gave him a little high five as I ran by. I wanted to sprint to the finish so bad, but I knew I shouldn't.

After I finished I stretched my legs out and saw the lady who I helped during the bike finish. She said thanks and gave my pump back to me. Then I went to my bike and grabbed my recovery drink, Gatorade and Hornet Juice and headed over to the food area. I relaxed for a bit, chit chatted with my sister and Tim, then went and cleaned up the transition area.

In all it was a great race. There were a few times on the bike I said to myself that I was very lucky to be able to do a race like this. Now I need to get my knee taken care of. As of today I have 47 days before the Crabman Tri. I really want to race that one.

Until the next race……

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Race Complete!!

Official Results:
Total 1:50:57
Swim 18:45
T1 4:22
Bike 57:57
T2 :58
Run 28:55

What a day for a race! It was so beautiful out. I felt good through the entire race. My knee didn't really bother me to much, but I still held back on the bike and run. I believe my total time was 1hr 50mins. I am waiting for the official results to come out. I'll write a full race report sometime this week and I will post the official results as soon as they are available!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Race tomorrow!!!!

First Tri of the year is tomorrow. I kinda wish it was next weekend. My knee still is not 100%. So going into the race I have no specific time goals in mind. Well, I want to finish the .50 mile swim in under 15 mins, but the rest, I just want to go out and enjoy the race. My doctor said on Friday it was ok to run 3 miles, but I have it in my mind to walk most of the 3. We'll see how the knee is holding up. So the July Tri, The Crabman, will be an all out effort!!!
If I had to guess on my times for tomorrow it would be:

Swim - 14:49mins
T1 - 4mins (taking my time in Transitions)
Bike - 1 hr 5mins
T2 - 1min (not bike shoes to take off)
Run - 40mins (ouch, but probably correct)
total: 2hrs 4mins

Those times are ok with me. I am just glad to be out there.

Until tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Going ok

Tested the knee out yesterday. I went for a slow 7 mile bike ride and the knee felt fine. I am thinking that on friday I might try to run about .25 miles just to see how the knee will react.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Open Water Swim

Tried out the new wetsuit today. I did around a.25 mile swim in Pettaquamscutt Lakes. The water was probably around 65 degrees or so. But with the full wetsuit on it really didn't matter to much. The swim was good. Kinda weird not being able to see the bottom. I am just so used to seeing the bottom of the pool!
We took the boat to the lakes. The kids love driving the boat.