Fighting a Bear, Recovery and Getting back to it.

bear fight

So back on Halloween, I got into a fight with a bear. Took a few punches and an “arrow to the knee“, but I got up with the help of some good friends and went home to go to bed.

Before the Bear fight
Before the Bear fight
2014-11-02 09.08.37
Post bear fight

I could barely stand the next day and just felt terrible, had a cut on my face and some broken glasses. I hobbled around icing and taking mild pain killers and was worried I really hurt myself. I gave it a day to be in bed and worry.

I took Sunday and Monday off and tried to run on Tuesday, I still couldn’t walk very well and was in quite a bit of pain, I decided to trainer ride instead. Wednesday I got on the trainer, went for a walk, then ran 3 miles that night and it hurt, but not quite as bad. Pain kept me out of exercise for Thursday and Friday.  I ended up cycling again on Saturday for about 35 miles and running 10, and when I hit 10 I was DONE. Just too much pain. Sunday I could barely walk again, I went into the friendly chiropractor that next Wednesday and got checked out. She was worried and had me stop everything and go get an MRI. I was able to get in Friday evening for the MRI, and went to her office that next Monday to get the results: 1 Fracture in my femoral plateau, and 2 fractures in my Tibial plateau. She wanted me on crutches as soon as possible and no more racing for the season. No running and no biking, but swimming would be OK as long as I didn’t do flip turns.

Instead of continuing to train for the Space Coast marathon that was coming up in about 5 weeks, it was crutch around and swim. I have to say once I “knew” it was fractured, rather than me just thinking I was over reacting to a little pain, that is when it really started to hurtDreaded crutches. Once my brain knew it was OK to have a pain, it piled it on. Being on the crutches sucked, at least  I was able to stay off the leg mostly.

Even though I was not able to race the marathon this 2014-11-28 17.52.12year, I talked to the race director and was able to last minute volunteer in a position where I could sit down most of the time. It was nice to get to be part of the excitement without just being depressed that I wasn’t running.

2014-11-30 06.01.56I had made some special arrangements with the DR. that I would not use the crutches on the 2 days where we went diving or snorkeling on our vacation, and I was good, I used my crutches everywhere on the ship, just not when we went to the little boat for scuba diving or snorkeling. I made sure to not put on my tanks and gear until it was exactly time to get in the water so I wouldn’t put too much pressure on my knee. YAY me, but damn, crutches on an active vacation stink. I normally am all over the cruise ship, this time I stayed put once I got somewhere.2014-12-05 09.28.23

James Bond Wreck
James Bond Wreck

Getting back home after vacation left me with more time to swim and crutch around. I did take some time the day after we got back to go put up Christmas lights! Christmas was great this year, since I was off the crutches on the 20th.2014-12-07 18.58.58

On the 21st I was able to start back on the bike trainer with low intensity and no resistance. For 30 minutes, then each day I could add 10 minutes if I felt OK about it. Let’s just say that 30 minutes on the 21st and I wasn’t able to do 40 on the 22nd. My leg and knee were still just too sore. I took the 23rd off and for Christmas eve I had a 40 minute ride. Since then I have been able to ride a bit more and bring my total riding per session time up to 100 minutes, but my leg is still weak and recovery is slower than I want it to be.

Since the injury I have had 20 swims and 12 rides on my trainer + a few weights here and there for upper body work. My swimming has improved quite a bit, at least nothing feels as hard as it used to, and I am loving swimming in a heated outdoor pool in the winter. Seeing the steam rise off the water looks really cool. A 45 minute 2k swim now feels “normal” and my shorter swims are now 1k in about 22 minutes. My best 100m in this new pool has been 1.42/100 and that’s damn good. My average is now about 2.10/100 and that’s as good as last year’s fast time.

Me wanting to eat an entire Fruitcake
Me wanting to eat an entire Fruitcake

Its been 60 days since I ran that 10 miles on a fractured leg, and 67 days total since the bear fight. I feel out of shape and gimpy, but am happy to know that in only 24 more days and I will be able to get out and run again. Even if it is only a mile and adding a little at a time.

Excited about new jammers for the pool
Excited about new jammers for the pool

There is my little recap of my injury and how I have been recovering.

Please all, if you think you hurt yourself stop and go get checked out. Don’t be dumb like I was and run on it multiple times and possibly make it worse.

I might be sad that I missed out on Space Coast and that I will miss out on a few other races, but I have decided that since I will be able to keep running and its not a permanent injury I will be happy for the future and take it as slow as I need to now to let my body heal.

 

BTW I didn’t really fight a bear, that is just what the doctor said to say.

 

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Training Recap: April (Weeks 13-16)

Racing, Vacations, Injuries, Illness, oh my.  Let’s recap April’s shenanigans.

Week 13:

Leah notes:

Weights – I’ve moved on to the point where I do strength maintenance 1-2x per week, and not on race weeks.  This week is a race week that I’ve decided is at least a B, so I’m going to skip it and resume next week.  I do the same sets (leg press or squats, rows, incline sit ups with twist, calf raises or hammie curls, and pulldowns) at 60/60/80% of my 1 rep max that I established last month.  For the rest of the year, this is about maintaining the pretty huge gains I made the first 3 months of the year, and the strength work will move into sport specific stuff (hill work, speedwork, force work, drag sets in the pool, etc).

Swim – I’m still kicking my butt in the pool on Wednesdays with speedwork, and feeling strong, but I’ve been finding that it’s hard to get there on the weekend after the increased hours on the bike/run and it’s just a little too early for lake swimming.  Again, I’m thrilled with the gains I’ve made in the first 3 months of this year, and I can take a little stalled progress here if needed.  And right now, it’s just that Sauron’s eye has turned a little more to the other two sports.  Once the lakes are in the 70s and it’s a billion degrees outside I’ll be back at it full force.

Bike – My trainer speeds are off the HOOK (I’m at 3/5 resistance and pulled a 30.5 mph avg at a lower HR than I did 28.9 miles at 2/5 resistance earlier this year).  My outdoor speeds suck.  But my outdoor rides this year have been a) after a 10 mile run w/2 mile tempo b) a metric century (61 miles) c) in traffic d) hill-tastic or e) first ride of the year, trying to remember how to not fall down.   My legs feel pretty strong this year, and my stupid hilly ride this weekend at the roller coaster called Pace Bend was not so, so bad (15.1 mph over 19 miles of non-stop hills).  I just need to ride outside more, so we’re planning on doing one supported metric century per month as training.  The love is coming back to me with cycling this week, and that makes me happy.

Run – I feel like I’m just getting off training wheels here.  I spent 3 months running super slow.  I have done my requisite speed work and ran some hills and did some tempo work in the last few weeks, but I am racing 10 miles on Sunday, and I’m gunning for a PR (last year was 1:41-something).  I feel like I have it in me to sub-10 min/mile pace it, but I don’t have much experience at that pace since all my work minus the run tests have been in a lower zone than I plan to run.  I want to put the hurt on this race.  It’s my home turf, I know the elevations and what’s cool and what sucks about it.  It’s about convincing my mind that my body has more when it wants to quit.  That is most of what I want to do.  I want to hurt for about an hour and 40 minutes, give or take.

I hurt pretty bad running the mad hills at Pace Bend last weekend.  I stopped having fun at mile 4 but I finished out the 6 miles complain-y but strong.  I’m going to take the rest of my runs easy this week, and see what my legs have in them.

I’d say I’m loving all 3 sports right now, probably giving running or biking the edge depending on what day it is and what type of workout is planned – and I’m tired of weights but still doing them.

By the days:

Monday: Weights: SM Day 1 of the rest of the year 00:45, Swim: Easy Laps + Drills 1200 m 00:27
Tuesday: Run: Ruuuuuninng in the rain 4.15 mi 00:48, Bike: Trainer + End of Star Trek En… 19.07 mi 00:45
Wednesday: Weights: SM Day 2 00:45, Swim: 3x300m with some farteleks? 1800 m 00:45
Thursday: Bike: Cycling Test 17.78 mi 00:35, Run: Easy After Work Run 3.1 mi 00:37
Friday: rest, relaxing, setting up camp
Saturday: Run: Pace Bend Hill Run 6.03 mi 01:07 Bike: Pace Bend Hill Ride 18.66 mi 01:14 Run: Brick 1 mi 00:10:45
Sunday: rest, taking down camp, 20 mountains of laundry.

Joel notes:

So it turns out I had 1 more kidney stone, the doctors put me on some medication to see if I could pass it normally, but they wanted me in to the hospital the next week if I hadn’t passed it. So for this week I did Monday and Tuesday according to plan, minus some weights on Monday, squats hurt with a stone. Then Wednesday I was in some pain again so I skipped the whole weights and swim deal. I felt better on Thursday and got in my run and trainer ride. Then Friday off and we set up camp out at pace bend park. Now, that was awesome. 1 loop of pace bend park going counter clockwise, that was the smart way to tackle the hills but then we did 3 loops of it clockwise on the bike so we had to struggle up the big hills. So much fun, we followed that up with a 1 mile brick run at the end, then I crashed into a 6 pack of lone stars and sat in the sun reading my book. Not a shabby Saturday, and I didn’t have any stone pain so a super plus on that.

Week 14:

Leah Notes:

This week it was just all about getting in the hours.  After last week’s crazy 2.5 hours of hills, and the ensuing soreness, and the knowledge that it was a fully loaded week, and a race I actually cared a bit about this weekend, I cut everything down to easy miles and skipped weights in favor of extra stick and stretching time.

It was a challenge with all the other commitments – had to be up at 5am for transportation and came back home at 7:30 and then biked for 1.5 hours and then had to leave again, ran at lunch that day, and then hopped on the trainer as soon as I got home to finish up some more time.  I had a dentist appt Thursday early, so I had to squeeze that day too.  I ended up going a little light on swimming and running in favor of extra bike time, but I got in my time (for the most part).

We now are all signed up all the tris (minus Austin 70.3, which we are still deciding on):

Rookie Super Sprint Tri: 5/5
Playtri Olypmic Tri: 6/2
Pflugerville Sprint Tri: 6/16
Buffalo Springs 70.3 Tr: 6/30
Couples Sprint Tri: 7/14
Jacks Generic Olympic: 8/4
Tri Rock Olympic: 9/2
Kerrville 70.3 Tri: 9/29

We will be throwing in some supported ~50-60 mile rides about once a month (Armadillo, HotterNHell Hundred, etc), and hitting up splash and dashes as often as it makes sense with training.

Besides the race commentary from 10/20, don’t have all that much else to say.  See below:

Monday: Swim: EZ Laps 1500 m 00:36
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Josie and the Pussycats. 29.01 mi 01:26, Run: Neighborhood Lunch Loops 2.72 mi 00:30, Bike: Trainer + Rest of Josie 12.01 mi 00:35
Wednesday: Swim: Laps 1800 m 00:45
Thursday: Run: EZ Lunch Run 3.1 mi 00:34, Bike: Trainer + Fringe 14 mi 00:40
Friday: Outside Bike: Neighborhood Loopz 5.3 mi 00:22, Bike: Trainer + Bobs Burgers Butts … 7 mi 00:21
Saturday: off
Sunday: Run: Austin 10/20 Race 10.13 mi 01:40 Bike: Trainer + Les Mis 51.4 mi 02:31 Run: Bricky Brick 1 mi 10:17

Joel notes:

Wow, that feels like so long ago! So 10/20 was great, I got a PR by 5 minutes over 10 miles, so that’s huge! Its even that much more amazing to me when I think that the Tuesday before the race I was in the hospital having them blow up a kidney stone that was too big to pass on its own. (OUCH) I took all of Tuesday and Wednesday that week off of training, but on Thursday I got 2 trainer bike rides in and a 3.1 mile run at lunch. Then Friday I biked in the morning and evening. Took that Saturday off and then had the epic day of Sunday. So yeah we did 10/20 then a LONG bike ride, then a brick run. I didn’t even get a mile into the brick before I called it. Just too much that day.

Week 15:

Leah notes:

This first week of vacation was supposed to be our peakiest peak week of this cycle at 11 hours of training.  We mitigated some of it with 3 hours of brick training the day before we left, and just tried to get in what we could.  I got about 9 of the 11 hours in here (if you count 2 hours of scuba as sort of cross training), but then on Sunday I woke up with the tendon of doom.  I really enjoyed the run on Tuesday in FL. I did NOT enjoy the run on the treadmill on the ship on Thursday, it was very rocky.  I was afraid I would injure something.  Ha!

The highlights of the week was definitely scuba diving.  Both places were awesome, but I think I had just a little more love for Bonaire.  The descent on the first dive was frustrating (I had trouble equalizing, took me an extra few minutes), but even so, it was breathtakingly gorgeous descending into the clear blue water down to the reef.  I’ll remember that forever.  The low point was obvious – waking up with the pain of a thousand white hot suns in my knee on Sunday.

Monday: off (1 mile walk)
Tuesday: 4.5 mile ez run in 52 minutes, 1000m swim in 30 mins
Wednesday: weights and an easy 45 min spin on the stationary bike
Thursday: 3.7 miles in 43 mins (easy run), 7 min walk
Friday: scuba
Saturday: scuba
Sunday: off (owwwww)

Joel notes:

The run in Holywood FL was cool, we went through a kinda sketchy neighborhood, but it was as school was getting in for the day so there were police all over and what not. That was fun. Then vacation! See Leah’s notes for that. It was a blast and the Scuba was amazing. I liked Aruba better, just because I thought the wrecks were just amazing to see, oh, and I found treasure! and by treasure I mean a 200$ dive light on part of the wreck, and good thing too since my dive lights had all died early in the month. Here are the links to the dive videos. Dive 1 Dive 2 Dive 3 Dive 4 . The info on each location is in the description for each video. I know they are long, but hey I loved doing it, maybe you would love watching it. I used a GoPro Hero 3 White edition with the Snap on red filter from polar pro filters.

Week 16:

Leah notes:

This was supposed to be a recovery week with a metric century on Saturday.  It became an “injured, but doing whatever I could without hurting myself” week while on vacation, and then I got sick with a cold (broke my streak of not being sick for almost 17 months, boooo), and coupled with a hurt knee, I just crawled into my couch when I got home and died.

The week’s highlight was definitely snorkeling in Princess Cays.  I love fishies and swimming with them.  It was a great great day (and one of the first days I wasn’t throwing myself an injury pity party and feeling a little better).  Honorable mention was checking out the scenery in St Thomas at Paradise Point.  So pretty!  The low points were a) missing Dominca because my knee wasn’t feeling up to doing much and b) DNS (did not start) ing the Red Poppy Ride.  It was the right call both times to keep myself from further injury, but it doesn’t mean that it was any fun. 🙁

Monday: off (still owww)
Tuesday: weights, 20 mins handcycle
Wednesday: 20 mins handcycle, 25 mins easy, easy spin
Thursday: 2 hours snorkeling
Friday: off (sick)
Saturday: off (sick)
Sunday: off (sick)

Joel notes:

While Leah was recouping, I did get off the boat at Grenada to buy some knick-knacks to give to friends and to attempt to find some open wifi network for my phone. The in-laws and I decided to walk out of the protected touristy area, because my mother in law had been there 40 years earlier and remembered it being safe and easy to walk around it. Not so much we ended up turning back a few blocks in and went back to the ship. I dropped off the goods in the room and went and got Leah some food, then proceeded back to port to attempt to find wifi again. I went left instead of right and found a “bar” kind of place on the 3rd floor of a building and had to walk up some rickety scary stairs to get up there. Music was pumping out loudly, but they had wifi with drink purchase, so I got a slightly grimy can of sprite zero for $3.oo US, and then went out onto their scary balcony and caught up on the internet. I also used the wifi calling feature and called my parent to fill them in on the vacation adventures. Just a note here, that grimy can of soda I think got me a stomach bug, because it wasn’t 3 hours later and I couldn’t keep any sort of food down for the rest of the day. Oh well lesson learned.

St Thomas was a blast, I convinced the fam to take a ski lift type thing up to the top of the tallest mountain on the island, there was supposed to be shops, and a bar and restaurant. Once at the top, there was 1 little shop, in a space they were remodeling to be space for probably 10 shops, and from what I saw the “bar” was a guy selling cans of beer out of a cooler. Needless to say we didn’t stay too long. There were lots and lots of stairs up there and Leah needed to not do so many stairs. I think my fitbit said I did about 30 flights that day up there, so yeah.

Princess Cays was amazing, I love snorkeling, I think just as much if not more than diving. I got some great video and Leah got amazing pictures of the snorkeling, but I haven’t published the video for that still and that was over a month ago. It was like 3 hours of footage, and well, a lot of it was peoples butts. We don’t need no Bob’s Burgers Butts going on here.

Leah Summary:

April had some major highs and lows.  I’m hoping I don’t forget how to be a triathlete as I’m still not back to 100% yet, but my mantra for the early season is going to be “courage, not confidence”.  I stole this from Jesse Thomas’s blog.  By my season opener June 2 (rescheduled from May 5), I should be healed but I’ll be missing a lot of training.  I need to have the courage to push myself to paces I know I can hit, even if I don’t have that much practice at them.  I will definitely draw on my experience Austin 10/20 race day and the training day at Pace Bend Park.

Joel Summary:

And that wraps up April, It was a great month and a lot got accomplished (8 books read, new PR, many new countries visited). I didn’t put it on there but I did hit the gym many times on the cruise but the garmin data for that is of course off, so I will leave you with a link to my 3.5 mile run on the cruise, that was 15 miles since that’s how far the boat moved while I was doing it.  Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned folks, as we have 3 races coming up next month, including our first 70.3 of the year, and lots of fun May training to recap!

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