Posts Written OnMay 2015

And the x-rays are in

I must admit, I am very pleased with the work done by my surgeon, Dr. Stephen Chudik. My clavicle went from a 120° angle to arrow straight. Through an open reduction, internal fixation procedure (ORIF), Dr. Chudik was also able to stitch the bone back together perfectly, giving it the best possible chance to heal correctly.     The before and after surgery x-rays are even more impressive. It’s clear that this “elective” surgery was only barely elective. (Give them a click below to see them larger.) Had I chosen to let the bone heal naturally I can’t imagine that I would have regained full function of my shoulder joint. This break would have, at minimum, severely impacted my swimming, if not everything else in my life.     My new jewelry is just over 2.5″ long and the long screw is ¾” long. It’s quite obvious that something is there under my skin,…

I refuse to slow down

After my brick session last night it occurred to me: I refuse to slow down. I worked hard to get where I was before my crash, and I don’t want to lose my conditioning because of one mistake. I had set a goal at the beginning of the year to exercise at least one hour a day. Despite holiday delays and one two-week Dr. ordered rest period, I was beating my goal handily before my crash. In fact, I had not done less than one hour a day since the middle of February when I was cleared to resume training, banking a nice buffer of time in the process. I think I may have set my goal too low. Nevertheless, I jumped back on the elliptical after taking a two day break following my crash, where I broke my clavicle, scapula and two ribs. I also mowed the lawn one handed a…

And I Bonked – or how I nearly DNF’d the Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon was off to a great start. I had spent the morning hanging out with my brother, whom was also running, the weather was cool, but not cold, my body felt energetic and I was injury-free. For the race I decided to wear some of my ultra sexy running shorts. As these were designed for runners, they had two small gel pockets, one on each hip. To help fuel me through my 26.2, I had stashed four Rocktanes in these pockets, hoping to take them every 30-45 minutes. Almost immediately I noticed something was wrong. The bit of extra weight at my hips was gone. Not more than five miles in I had managed to lose all four gels. At the time I was just annoyed, but I didn’t think it’d come back to haunt me. Through 13.1 I was doing great. I was on pace to PR by…

The Triple Challenge – three triathlons in two days

Apparently there’s a lot of crazy people out there. I’ve discovered I’m not the only one. There’s enough of us that three individual triathlons have been combined into a single event, catering to the crazy few that see a single triathlon as not large enough of a challenge. This event is the Chicago Triathlon Triple Challenge. You get to do one SuperSprint, Sprint and Olympic triathlon in the span of about 30 hours, “for a total of 59 miles that includes 1.63 miles in the water, 46.3 miles on the bike and 10.85 miles on the run.” Looking at those numbers, I realized that it was about a half Ironman and I thought this would be a perfect Ironman test. If I could do this without trouble, I’d work towards completing a full Ironman in 2015. In 2014, the order was a SupersSprint on Saturday morning. Then you get to…

TrainerRoad kicks your ass

Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a wimp. There’s no way I’m going to take my bike outside when it’s below 40°, but I also will not allow myself to slow down in the offseason. I’m also cheap. I don’t mind spending money to help achieve goals, but if there’s a way I can spend less to achieve the same goals in mostly the same way, even if it requires more work on my part, I’m going to less expensive route. (I think my wife thinks both routes are too expensive.) TrainerRoad allows me to achieve these goals in the comfort of my own pain cave, I mean basement. In case you’re one of the uninitiated, TrainerRoad (TR) is a subscription-based online service that pairs your computer with your bike, allowing you to take on hundreds of power-based workouts, or as TR puts it, “TrainerRoad picks up live power, heart rate,…

ITU Chicago Triathlon

It’s time for my first olympic triathlon, and my first “big time tri,” ITU Chicago. For those of you not in the know, this is close to the same race that the professional triathletes do as part of the ITU tour. The day started off wet. As in, my car nearly hydroplaned into a concrete highway divider on 294 due to the torrential downpours. Not the best way to start the day. Given than transition setup was the day before the race, some athletes had the foresight to cover parts of their bike to protect from the rain. This was a massive transition area, but thankfully my spot was near the end of a row and right by a sign. I felt bad for those in the center somewhere without an easily recognized landmark. Annoyingly, transition was a good half mile or more from the swim start. Preferring to not throw away…

My first marathon

My brother’s been into running for much longer than I. Back in 2013 he suggested I do the half marathon while he did the full Twin Cities Marathon. Not to be outdone, I figured I’d shoot for the full distance and signed on up.  Given that my longest (and only) race to this point had been a 5k, I had a lot of work ahead of me. Looking back, I don’t think I prepared nearly enough, with only a few long runs and a max run of 20 miles and a max week of 60 miles run. Based on the training I was doing a few weeks ago, before I went full idiot and broke my shoulder, the two months running up to the marathon look relaxing. Click the calendars if you’d like to see my totals. Nevertheless, the race went well. I held a relatively constant pace, only dropping about one…

Garmin thinks I’m fast

Apparently my Fenix 2 thinks I am a way better athlete than I really am … or I have yet to live up to my potential. I prefer to think that these race predictors are based on being chased by a rabid dog or an armed, jilted woman. As I’m way behind in filling out my blog, I’m not going to waste my time, or bore you, with a review of a 2 year old, last version watch. I will add this, the “ignore this screen,” screen:   There’s no such thing as a three day rest for a triathlete.

I’m officially bionic

I may not be the Six Million Dollar Man, but I am now artificially enhanced with the addition of a plate and five screws in my clavicle. After walking up “triathlon early” to make my 5:45 am appointment I had my clavicle transformed from a “worse than expected” (according to the doc) break angle to nice and straight once again. The entire process went pretty smoothly. It helped that I was the first surgery of the day. After stripping down and changing into the bare-assed hospital gown, I was given a nerve blocker to stop all nerve messages from my arm/shoulder making it to my brain. The nerve block process was pretty interesting. An anesthesiologist used an ultrasound machine to find a vessel upon which the nerve sat. I was able to watch the ultrasound screen as the device was guided under my skin through my shoulder/neck area. Once the…

“Hey, slow down for this next corner”

Well, it’s official, I’m an idiot. While riding on an unfamiliar trail I ignored my partners’ advice and stayed aero going ~25mph towards a 90° corner. Needless to say, it did not go well. Once I realized I was moving too fast, I got on my brakes. I reached the rear first and it immediately locked up, sending my rear tire to my left. At that point I decided to run out into the field, but as my bike had rotated right, I was unable to make the field and ended up going about 17mph in the edge of the forest.   I ended up breaking my clavicle pretty bad (hint, that >45° angle is supposed to be a straight line), as well as my scapula and a couple ribs. I will be getting my clavicle surgically repaired on Thursday. Surprisingly, besides the aforementioned relatively severe damage, I came through…