Friday, July 26, 2013

Seconds and Thirds

Ahh well, another week has passed and my hip is only showing the smallest signs of improvement. I've now seen three separate doctors and received three separate diagnoses. Take that, health insurance deductible!

All I know is this: my hip hurts, on the outside (top of my TFL/IT band) and on the inside (groin/flexor), and the whole region has felt mostly sore for a while now. Anyway, here are the current theories:

Friday, July 19, 2013

[Update] Prognosis Negative

Be warned: I am not happy, and this is a whine/rant post.

I had my MRI follow-up yesterday, and now I find myself in poor spirits yet again. According to the images, my hip is completely fine. There's no apparent tear, strain, fluid or irritation. No bone bruise or callous. To quote the doctor: "What we're looking at here is a surprisingly healthy hip, especially for a runner!"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A few random notes from Vineman

I'm going to use this post to collect a few random thoughts that didn't quite fit into my race report. There's not a whole lot, but eh, I guess a few of these are worth mentioning (or at least recording for my own reference later on)!

Good Stuff

  • Staying so close to the race start was incredible. We were able to stay pretty loose in the morning, and Kristine and I even caught the pros swimming downriver before walking to the start.
  • We had perfect weather on race day -- a marine layer until 10:00 and then manageable sun through the afternoon. It definitely started to heat up by the back half of the run, but it could've been a whole lot worse!
  • If you're ever in Guerneville, grab dinner at Boon Food + Drink and try the Brussels sprouts! Delicious!
  • Kristine bought me some snazzy new shoes in February and I raced in them for the first time today. They're awesome! Getting into and out of these puppies is super easy. I even went sockless on the ride for the first time ever.

Other stuff

  • My hip was so tight coming off the bike that I really didn't expect to run at all. I was pretty close to just calling my race right in transition, so I took my time with things. Had I known I'd be able to scrape together a decent showing, I might have gone through that transition with a bit more urgency!
  • I need to incorporate some more intensity into my swim workouts. It's been mostly easy, recovery-oriented stuff up until this point, and I could tell during the race.
  • The two-piece triathlon suit I've been wearing is kind of irritating, as the top is longer than my torso and makes the back pockets on the shorts difficult to get to. I may need to make a change before Tahoe -- pockets are super important in long races like that!


Most of what I ate on race day came from my kitchen drawer that's stuffed with random sports food, including odd handouts from various event expos and the like. Here's what I ate:
  • Breakfast: three eggs and a Rise bar.
  • Immediately before the swim: one Gatorade Prime and a Clif Shot.
  • On the bike: two mini Bonk Breakers, a One bar, an Accel Gel, half a pack of Clif Shot Bloks (Margarita!), two salt tablets and about 30oz of water.
  • On the run: one pack of Clif Shot Bloks, small cups of water (5), cola (2) and Gatorade (5), five Oreos.
  • Immediately after: 32oz of chocolate milk, a few grapes and some sort of Osmo recovery concoction.
Needless to say, I was in fairly significant calorie debt that evening!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest post: Bo

The extreme ironw00t team dominated this weekend! Thanks to the support crew, especially Kristine, Orlee, and the Rosens two, who made for an excellent weekend.

The couple weeks before were a bit stressful for everyone. Andrew's hip, Alex's knee, and Bo's inability to solve Sunday's crossword were all causes of great consternation. Combined, these forces threatened to sink the team's chances in the murky shallows of the Russian River.

Andrew giving Alex a swim lesson
Saturday morning began bright and early, courtesy of the ebullient water heater. "Vroom, vroom" it kept saying - not realizing that Vineman didn't start for 26 more hours.

After signing in, which proved to be a tortuous process for Alex, team ironw00t went for a shopping trip at the athlete's expo. The extreme team and fans decided to try on shockingly bright Newton running shoes. Against all odds none were purchased, but many bonk-breaker bars were eaten; did I mention they were free?

Alex returns the favor with an uninteresting story
The tension peaked on Saturday afternoon. After searching all morning for scrambled eggs, Andrew's hopes were dashed when the team walked into a dainty little cafe. The team feared a meltdown, but the arugula salad defied all expectations and returned Andrew to his usual self.

Finally, the extreme team decided to jump into the river. A great day of water and frolicking ensued. Several team members (including yours truly) were astonished to learn that actual inner tubes are a real thing you can float on.

Dear Alex: Andrew is not impressed
Sunday morning, the extreme team woke up at 5:30. (Take that, water heater!) A bountiful harvest of eggs, bacon, and avocado provided the sustinence for the extreme team. Andrew, realizing that his publicity stunt slash hip injury wasn't fooling anyone, realized he would have to run after all.

642 Vineman participants saw this face pass them
I will end here, the mind aflutter with inner tubes on the Russian River, as thinking about the run makes me hurt. Ow. Epic rides from the extreme team, and awesome racing with you guys. Tahoe or bust. SICK.

Race Report: 2013 Vineman 70.3

Vineman begins
The team tackled Ironman 70.3 Vineman up in Sonoma yesterday! Needless to say, I am painfully sore today; stairs are the enemy. Bo and Alex seem to be doing a bit better, though I don't envy Alex in the slightest: he was forced to wake up at 5:30am this morning to escape Bay Area traffic en route to Los Angeles. Anyway, here's the report...

Bo, Alex, Kristine, Orlee and I drove up to Guerneville, where Kristine had booked a nice little riverside apartment, on Friday evening. We enjoyed a low-key Saturday by the river before preparing our bikes, organizing our transition gear and grilling up a pre-race feast.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A familiar sight

As I said, it wouldn't be a triathlon season without some time spent in a giant, magnetic tube! I hope to hear more tomorrow or Monday.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Prognosis Negative

It's been a few days. My attitude has improved, but my hip strain hasn't. I'm still hobbling around quite a bit, especially when I first wake up in the morning or after I've been sitting for a long while.

Running is an impossibility right now. I'm making peace with the fact that I may not be able to complete Vineman 70.3 next weekend. When it comes to serious injuries like these, I've got to pick my battles and pick them wisely. I was really excited to test myself on the Vineman course, but I've got bigger fish to fry come September.