Friday, January 21, 2011

Ironman Training starts in 2 weeks. Eek!!!!

It's been a while since I blogged, here's what's new:
  • I signed up to do an Olympic Distance Triathlon in South Beach, Miami Florida on 4/10 (Olympic Distance: 1.5K ocean swim, a 40K out-and-back bike course, and a 10K out-and-back run course.).  My family is coming with me, can't wait.  A few of my former Goldman Sachs colleagues are doing it and convinced me to do it.  Who wants to join us?  I will ship my bike down for the race.  Click here for a link to the Nautica website to sign up.
  • I registered for the 2011 New York City Marathon (I had automatic entry for this year because I ran 9 NYRR races last year and volunteered for one).  Unfortunately, I probably won't run it this year and will defer, as my Ironman race is on 8/28 and I don't think that I will have enough time to recover (the Ironman finishes with a full marathon also).
  • I ran a 5 mile race (the Fred Lebow Classic) on 1/9 (7:43 per mile booking at the end at around 5:09 per mile).  Average heart rate 169, peak heart rate 186. Click here for the Garmin file from this race
    During the race, my knee was a little sore and after it just flat out hurt, so once again I knew that I had to take some time off to heal. At that point I decided to abstain from running until 2/1 (which would be just over 3 weeks off), when my 30 week Ironman training program officially starts.  So I haven't run at all since then, have been icing a lot, and have been taking an Epsom salt bath most nights (alternating between warm and ice baths). I really believe that Epsom salt baths work.  I also stopped walking to and from work since then (1.6 miles each way). As of today, I feel great (no knee pain) and could run again, but I am going to take it easy until Ironman training starts on 2/1. It is nice to feel totally healthy. 
  • I also started getting acupuncture weekly again (I am a huge believer if you have the right acupuncturist), which helps my knee pain, arthritis in my knee, and shin splints, all of which are basically gone now. It is covered under my insurance and costs me around $33 for each visit, my insurance covers the rest. Well worth the money.  Often, I go into acupuncture feeling pain and when I leave it is 100% gone. It really is amazing. I also had needles put in my right elbow and it hasn't bothered at all since then (I often get swelling in my right elbow due to my Crohn's).  I'm really hoping that I can get acupuncture done weekly during my training (I would do it every day if I had the time).   If you would like my acupuncturist's information, let me know.
  • Recently, I also got an expert fit on my bike to make sure that my bike isn't causing my tight IT bands. The guy I used is a physical therapist by trade but also a road bike racer.  A perfect mix if you ask me.  He came to my apartment to fit me while I was on my trainer.  He determined that I was not properly fit on my bike, as my stem length (80cm) and elbow angle (I think) was way off, causing my elbow to be too close to my knee when cycling. He changed stem to 100cm to extend me out, which he said will relieve pressure on my IT bands and could give me more power.  Time will tell.  The great thing is that he will give me a follow up visit for free.  Let me know if you want his information.
  • Recently, with my physical therapists, we figured out that my right leg is probably getting hurt because of my lack of strength in my right leg and glutes. I have been doing my exercises regularly again (generally using a resistance band or doing balance type exercises on one leg to strengthen) and they have really helped. I have decided that these exercises are critical to my long term health.  I did them during my Chicago Marathon training and stayed healthy the entire time.  I stopped doing them after the marathon and all my pre-Chicago Marathon knee pain came back quickly.  I have decided that I will sacrifice some aerobic training to make sure that I get my strength training in (hopefully I can both) .  I've never been dedicated to strength training.  I need to be.  I also wish that I had time for Yoga, which is basically strength training for the body. 
  • A few weeks ago, I got fitted for and received new orthodics from Soris Tribino at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). She fits professional runners and is totally awesome. She was able to quickly look at my foot and say, just by looking at me stand and not knowing anything about me, "your feet fall out drastically - I bet you have IT band problems, shin splints, and I bet your shoes are worn on the outside after you wear them for a while". Check, check, and check. She looked at my current orthodics, which I have been wearing for 18 months in my work shoes but only recently when I run (and not for any of my 3 marathons), and said that they were doing the exact opposite of what I needed (they were helping me fall out further). I also have a fallen metatarsal on my left foot, so my previous podiatrist said that she would add a bridge to protect against this. Soris said that this bridge was put on the wrong foot! I paid $580 for these orthodics, they were hard plastic and had to be glued together, and squeaked when I walked (think of the Seinfeld episode with the guy walking with tic tacs).  Plus the glue kept coming loose and caused the orthodics to seem flimsy.   The podiatrist I used for these shoes is not an athlete and didn't provide follow up. Soris, on the other hand, wants to see me in a month and the cost of my orthodics ($485) is all I pay (plus 70% of the cost of this is covered by my insurance). I've already seen her twice and will likely see her a few more times, all for 30% of $485. Plus the orthodics I got are soft, direct my foot to move toward the middle (which, for the first time in my life, I feel like my foot strikes squarely on the ground), and are easy to get in my shoes. I am wearing them all the time now, but won't run with them until I start Ironman training. Fingers crossed that they help! I still have mixed emotions about wearing orthodics during a long race - I'll let my body tell me whether or not I should wear them during my next long race.
  • After the Chicago Marathon, I had a bad shin splint (the first of my life).  The doctor recommended that I have my leg length tested (trying to figure out why my right leg is consistently getting hurt, even after taking 5 weeks off from running). I think the #1 reason is weakness in my legs, which I am dedicated to improving, but the leg length test also showed that my right leg is 1.4 cm shorter than my left leg (over a half an inch, which isn't a small difference). The doctors say that I could get a little lift in my orthodics to even the legs, but that it may bother me too. I'm going to try everything else first before going with the lift.
  • I also had my vitamin D tested twice over the last month (I have blood work taken in conjunction with cholesterol tests, so they threw in Vitamin D test too) - my cholesterol is now around 120 with a high good cholesterol level and a low bad cholesterol level. My vitamin D was 66, at the top end of the suggested range of 19-67. My liver function tests were both normal (they are checking them because I started taking 2.5mg of Crestor to lower my cholesterol). All good!
  • Ironman Training starts in less than 2 weeks (on 2/1).  Hopefully I can stay healthy!
  • To stay fit, I've been riding my bike in my apartment on the trainer for 60-80 minutes a night.  Love my Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer!
  • I will blog weekly about my Ironman training staring in early February!

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