New Site Coming Soon....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Steamboat 09 - The End of My Shoulder

Part of the offseason is going on vacation and enjoying time away from swim, bike, run. This was my goal in my trip with friends out to Colorado to snowboard in the mountains for a weekend, absolutely no swim, bike, run of any sorts, no conversations, no physical work, no reading articles, no nothing. That is exactly what came out of the weekend as well and it was a great break from everything. There was however, a minor hiccup in the vacation...

We set out late Tuesday night after work for our drive to Colorado. First, we had to get to Madison to get the "Red Baron" (the name we gave the minivan) and to pickup Dana. This normally takes about 90 minutes, but we were leaving in the middle of a huge snowstorm and it ended up taking us just a little over 3 hours. Throw in digging out the car twice just blocks away from our destination in Madison, and we did not leave the city until 6am. The venture took us until about 1am the following day to reach Denver. We drove through the entire blizzard that wrapped through the midwest passing countless cars and trucks stuck in ditches along the way, be we had no problems! The following day we set out to drive through the rockies on I-40 to reach Steamboat. The drive was absolutely amazing, and I felt very lucky to be sitting shotgun and not driving so that I could really soak in all that we were seeing. A late check in, a trip to the grocery store, and a quick purchase of helmets and we were all set for 3 days of fresh powder in the rocky mountains.

The first day of boarding for us brought us to start on the smallest hill so that we could "get back in the groove" since this was our first time all year out on the snow. A few trips down and we were set to take the gondola to the first mountain peak of the resort. A few rides down and we were really enjoying ourselves, the snow was not as great as we had expected and still a lot of ice presented itself but we thought nothing of it and kept enjoying the ride down the mountain, and then BAM! I caught a front edge on my board and went flying forward. After landing i got my bearings and thought that I had just got the wind knocked out of me. When I caught up with the gang I knew something was wrong but thought that I would wait until we got to the base to look things over.

When we got to the base and I took my coat off it was apparent that some damage had been done to my arm and shoulder. I quickly ran over to the Ski Patrol office to get checked out and they sent me to get X-Rays at the local hospital. Once I got the the hospital they looked at my shoulder and took some X-Rays. Four pictures later and my weekend was done with a dislocated shoulder and fractured arm. I tried snowboarding the following day and could only muster a couple of hours on the mountain. The rest of my weekend was followed by drinking heavily and enjoying the "nightlife" of Steamboat. We headed back a day early on Sunday as another huge storm was coming our way and we wanted to beat it out.

We got home Monday morning and my doctors apt was the following morning. More X-Rays and an MRI that I slept through and the fractured was shown again. The doctor estimated my return to normalcy with a window of 2-3 months! While I think that I will hopefully regain full mobility of my arm and shoulder by the end of Janurary, I now have to sit around and really not do too much until my body heels.

I guess there is something to learn here and take from this unfortunate experience. Patience is something that every athlete needs to have in an Ironman. You really need to be patient with your body and wait for that time to attack in the race. You hammer to early the bike and you'll blow up on the marathon, you wait to long on the run and you'll finish with something left in your tank. Patience I believe is one of those "secrets" to racing a great race. Now that I am sidelined for a month or three it is time for me to learn something about patience. I am hoping that me being patient with my body now and waiting for everything to heal correctly, that I can transfer that patience to the day of Ironman and being patient with when I want to push myself to my limits so that when I cross that line I leave nothing in the tank.

So for the next month while I am supposed to be in the weight room, working on my stroke, and getting a long run in once a week I will be writing my entire training program for Ironman, picking my race schedule, and mentally preparing for the upcoming season. You sometimes have to deviate from your race plan and improvise along the way and that time is now. I say bring on 2010!

Have a safe and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Bonked

So today I ventured out to do a single loop on the Ironman bike course. I wanted to ride it once before it got too cold just so I had an idea of what it would be like. I started in Verona over by Whalen Road where the loop starts. While I was dressed well for the ride and was never too cold, I did not bring enough water, and I did not bring ANY nutrition. I do not know my reasoning for this as I am usually very prepared with these details. I have been biking for 3 years now and I have never ever had a problem with hydration or nutrition. Whatever I have consumed has settled in my stomach well and given me enough energy to keep going at a good hard pace. So I started my ride and did a couple miles and pulled over to do a good stretch with it being so cold out. Stretch done and I was ready to ride. Once pulling off Paoli St I hit my fist hill and the power didnt seem to be there, I just thought this was b/c my legs were till a little stiff and did not worry, again another hilll climbed up powerless. I figured I have only put on about 100 miles on my bike since my last tri in September so maybe I have lost more strength then I had originally thought I did. I continue going and start to feel better. I was able to find a good rhythm and started to settle in. I started to come up on Mt Horeb, and the hill right before the town though huge I was able to pull through and felt good. Once I left Mt. Horeb the wheels started to come off. The hills were punishing me, the wind was killing me, and I was producing no such power from my legs. At this point I was a little more then an hour into the ride and the powerbar that I ate right before the ride that provided about 250 calories seemed to be gone. Since I brought no nutrtion with me and only 32 oz of water, the water was all I had. It just got worse throughout the ride. By the time I reached Black Earth I was biking on several flatter roads and not being able to go much faster then 15-16 mph. My legs felt weak and I was getting tired. I now knew that this was more or less a battle to make it back to the car. Once I got onto Old Sauk Pass I was on familiar roads all the way back to my car, but the hills of Old Sauk Pass, Timber Lane, and Midtown Road just about buried me. For the first time in my life I comtemplated walking up a hill at Midtown Road. I had no power though aerobically I seemed to be doing alright. My heartrate never did seem to get too high though it was slowly increasing throughout the ride. I finally got back to my car in 2:45:45. I got off the bike and was a mess, dizzy, weak, and now cold. I bonked on the bike for the first time ever and truly learned the importance of nutrition. While I had planned on biking for about 2:15 minutes I still should have brought something to comsume on the ride. I dont really know why I didn't but I learned my lesson the hard way.While it was a hard day and the bike and really hurt my pride I feel that there is alot I can take from this ride. First of all I learned just how important it is to consume calories while biking, and just how badly it can affect you if you don't. And while I wasn't in the proper condition to be biking today I learned jut how hard and punishing those hills can be. I am usually a very strong biker on hills and plan to complete a 6 hour bike split at IMWI next September. This however, was a great learning lesson for me today and I cannot wait to get back on that course next year and be better prepare.