Saturday, January 31, 2009
On this occasion, I placed in my left lens. Then my right. I had immediate pain in my right eye and just assumed that the soft lens was inside out and I went to grab it so as to reverse it. It happens a lot since I now wear daily disposable lenses and they are super thin.
Only, when I went to grab it....nothing. My eye is now in pain and I feel the lens but it is nowhere to be seen. My wife looks and looks and looks with a flashlight.....she can't locate anything. Now I have a large hematoma on my upper eye-lid. I can still feel the lens in my eye. I half-joke to my wife that the lens has "gone behind my eye-ball". She is not laughing.
So, I rush over to my eye doctor. After some initial frantic moments he is able to extract half of the lens from way back-back-back-back in my upper eye socket. The other half? Not there and can't be found. But my eye immediately felt better so we think we got everything.
Because of that, I started to think about having Lasik performed. When I lost another lens in my eye later in the summer, this time locating it, the deal was sealed. I would have Lasik.
I decided to wait on Lasik until the fall after the tri-season was done. I did not want to wear glasses for two-weeks leading up to the surgery, let alone in an event. And the literature on Lasik stressed no swimming post surgery for a period of two to three weeks.
Of course, in the old days one would have just dealt with glasses. Last year Runners World had a great story on the '68 Boston Marathon winner, Amby Burfoot. Specs and all.
I finally scheduled my Lasik for October 22. It went very well, aside from the smell of bacon whilst my eyes were being burned like a crispy duck take-out.
48-hrs post Lasik, my left eye measured at an unbelievable 20-10. My right had been diagnosed with central serous retinopathy (CSR) years ago. The Lasik doc said 20-25 would be the best he could get it...and that's what it ended up being. Really, I had had no dryness issues, discomfort, or pain of any kind once I got past the first 4 hours post-op. I had a little inflammation that they monitored and I was on steroid drops for a few weeks.
In my one month post-op, my left eye had settled in at 20-20. My right eye, meanwhile, had regressed a bit to 20-50. We decided to wait two more months to see where the right eye might settle. As my surgeon stated, "sometimes we have to go back in to do a touch-up. Compare it to making a six inch putt."
Two months later was this past week. My left eye stayed at 20-20. My right eye, meanwhile, had regressed further to 20-70. So, it would appear that a second try with the right eye may become necessary. Just to be safe, we're going to wait another three months, until the end of April to see if the right eye has finally stabilized. It would be stupid to make a tweak only to have the eye regress again.
I half expect that I will end up waiting until after this coming tri-season to do a touch-up. I can't afford to lose any more time in the water!
Note - Return Sunday to see some race day Mobile Blog posts right from the Freeze Your Buns 5K in Hamel, Minnesota!
Friday, January 30, 2009
But organizers urge headsets be left at home: Your race experience will be greatly enhanced by having complete use of all of your senses.
I was aware that most sanctioned road races banned headphone use by runners in order to comply with the rules of USA Track and Field (USATF). I was unaware that last month, USATF lifted the ban, clearing the way for Grandma's and other races to decide on their own whether to allow headphones.
I love my iPod. Use it all the time on training. I like that the option is now up to the race organizer to allow or not. If a race would allow, I probably would wear headphones. If they didn't, it wouldn't bother me. Honestly, I've always liked the occasional back-and-forth that can occur with fellow runners during a race but its is nice to have a 'power song' come on and help get you through a killer hill or something.
And of note, with the Nike Plus iPod comb, I can actually set my distance (such as a 5K) and program it not play any music but give me distance splits only. That way, I'm technically deaf and can still be audibly aware of my surroundings.
Of course, I'd never wear during a tri as you would lose too much time in transition...not to mention making the bike leg ultra-dangerous. Believe it or not, I did see people using mp3 players during bike legs at several triathlons last season. Flabbergasted.
What do you think? Should headphones be allowed during road races? Why or why not?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
For those fellow Tri-Talk Forum athletes, you can now see the latest posts to that forum. You will see this on the right hand sidebar under "Tri Talk Forum's Latest".
For people on Facebook, you can now access my own Facebook page via the badge found on the right hand sidebar.
I have added direct links to two fellow triathlete bloggers. One is "Steve in a Speedo?! Gross". His last entry, Half Marathon; no, Quarter Marathon; no, 10K; no 10.25K Race Report! Whew!, is a must read for southern type athletes who complain about training or racing in temperatures below 50F.
The second blog is fellow Tri-Talker MHMarks. His "Where You Finish" blog. His recent School will be Cancelled entry is, ahem, a direct correlation to the aforementioned freezing blog entry. Give both blogs a bookmark and check them out.
Finally, right below the top banner I have installed a custom HTML quote generator. If it works as planned, you should see a random pithy quote that I have pulled together from the seat of my pants.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Material Source: Triathlon Life, Vol. 12, Issue 1
Guest: My son, Graham
Songs Used: Get Back by Ludacris; Space Cowboy by Steve Miller Band
Duration: 10 minutes, 09 seconds
Date Last Updated: Tues 27 Jan 2009 08:17:47 PM CDT
File Size: 9.5 MB
Saturday, January 24, 2009
February 1: The Freeze Your Buns Run, a local 5K in Hamel, MN.
March 8: I just signed up for my first indoor triathlon event. This will be at my local club, Life Time Fitness. The 2009 series is now posted. Various Life Time Fitness locations in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Virginia will be hosting indoor events February 8, 2009 - August 23, 2009. Just check your state to see if there is an event in your area. You do not have to be a member to race. More information from their site:
Start times are staggered. Each participant receives a unique start time prior to the race.
We will email your wave start time and the official race format and rules the week of the race.
First Wave 7:00 AM
The Indoor Triathlon is based on time (60 minutes of racing for each competitor) unlike an outdoor triathlon based on distance.
Participants are allowed times for safe transition between race legs. Transitions don’t count toward the 60 minutes of racing time.
10-minute swim in lap pool
10-minute transition (swim to bike)
30-minute bike in cycle fitness studio
5-minute transition (bike to run)
20-minute treadmill run
Performance is measured by total distance covered in the time allowed. The more distance you cover, the higher your score.
Race volunteers keep track of distances on behalf of each participant in each event.
March 26 - April 2: Relaxing and training in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ahhhhhh, sun!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Summer Heat by Unknown Prophets
Shadow Of The Day by Linkin Park
Hot In The City by Billy Idol
Are You Lookin' At Me by Hay, Colin
Stairway to Heaven by Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Duration: 13 minutes, 13 seconds
Date Last Updated: Fri 23 Jan 2009 08:17:47 AM CDT
File Size: 12.4 MB
I was back in the pool this week and was able to comfortably complete work-outs of 500-meters and 600-meters over consecutive days. The muscle was a little stiff after the second work-out but I am on the mend for sure.
The sad thing is that prior to the injury, my swimming had been coming along very, very well and I was starting to envision coming out of the water in the upper 25% this coming season! Now, after three weeks with no pool work-outs it is if I'm back at square one. The endurance has suffered greatly. Still, I consider my self ahead of my 2008 swim training.
What helped the most were two things. One, Advil up the whazoo. Two, my massage therapist. During my last session she said she could feel a large knot indicatiing I probably suffered a micro-tear and while the muscle was most likely healed, it would take some time to smooth it all out. Off topic - she did say my calves were now "incredible".
Monday, January 19, 2009
Retul takes 3D measurements via infrared markers on the cyclist while cycling. The measurements are accurate to less than 1mm and are taken while the cyclist is actually spinning as opposed to a static measurement. These dynamic 3D measurements also provide data to the fitter which validates the changes the fitter has made during the fitting process. When you are finished you will have ultra precise measurements of your position. This process will also include my pedal positioning and stroke.
It will be interesting to see how much is adjusted. I'm thinking my bars can be dropped a bit. And I've taken a far deal of good-natured ribbing for my saddle....but I have to say it is comfortable. Last thing I want to be thinking about during an event is that my butt hurts or certain, ahem, parts are going numb.
This is a great tri-shop. At the end of last season, they searched and searched for a ZIPP blem for me as I didn't want to pay full price (it's the economy, stupid!). Here is what we finally found and what saved me $400.
Oh, and while I was there....I picked up the new 5.5 oz Nike Lunaracer flats. The salesperson laughed because she had to open the box as she thought it was empty.
This is the fastest and lighest racer I've ever had the pleasure to wear.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Pictured is my indoor trainer setup. This is my city bike and not my racing bike. I like to train using various Spinerval DVDs in my home theater area. That's a 84 inch drop down screen with a Sony projector. Just like being there!
If this works out well my goal would be to post race day updates during the season. Enjoy!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
At any rate, it is to be available in late January or early February.
Also, for you Race Day Boost fans, Hammer is now making the product available in capsule form. Previously it has just been available in powder. We have made light of this product over on the Tri-Talk forums making reference to the product as Race Day Crack.
Other new products are:
1) AO Booster - Superior support against fat-soluble free radicals
2) Seat Saver - Anti-chafing bacterial cream
3) Endurance Amino - Put the power of Branched Chain Amino Acids to work for you
Sunday, January 11, 2009
As seasoned as I am in competing, I have had plenty of aches over the years. But last years triathlon season was especially hard on me. If I had been a NASCAR racing vehicle, I would have spent more time in the garage getting repairs than on the track. This was a different pain. One that came on a day or two after the event. It would mean I would need an extra hour in the morning just to get, well, moving.
After some research and asking around, the term 'DOMS' kept repeating itself in everyone's conversations. At first, I thought I was being called 'dumb', and that's probably true. But the term DOMS is nothing to laugh about.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is the pain or discomfort often felt 24 to 72 hours after exercising and subsides generally within 2 to 3 days. When muscle tissue is injured, it releases a protein called myoglobin. When the muscle injury is more serious, the amounts of myoglobin can be quite high. First sign is the urine is dark colored. Kidney damage and even kidney failure can result.
It used to be thought that DOMS was caused by lactic acid buildup. However, since lactic acid disperses fairly rapidly, it could not explain pain experienced days after exercise, and some concentric-only exercises produce lactic acid, but rarely produce DOMS.
Although the precise cause is still unknown, the type of muscle contraction seems to be a key factor in the development of DOMS. Exercises that involve many eccentric contractions, such as downhill running, will result in the most severe DOMS. This has been shown to be the result of more muscle cell damage than is seen with typical concentric contractions, in which a muscle successfully shortens during contraction against a load.
Another thing that seems to be common amongst DOMS sufferers is the key factor leading to it: Dehydration. In my case, its not that I don't fuel up correctly or not hydrate before an event. It is that I most likely suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and my body does not absorb the fluids and fuel properly.
So, what have I been doing to combat this issue?
Stretching: Stretching before and after exercise has been suggested as a way of reducing DOMS, as has warming up before exercise, cooling down afterwards, and gently warming the area. However, there is also evidence that the effect of stretching on muscle soreness is negligible. Overstretching itself can cause DOMS. Some recommend contrast showers as a treatment, alternating between cold and hot water; it may increase circulation.
I my case, I had to use trial-and-error to determine what worked for me. Stringent yoga with the Mrs. only seemed to make it worse. But so did not stretching. I went back the basics and utilized simple stretching, never staying in one stretch for more than 30-seconds. If it hurt, I didn't push it. Being patient, I began to see more and more flexibility over the course of several weeks. I now spend about 20-mins a day stretching.
Myofascial Release: Soft tissue work, also known as Myofascial Release, also reduces DOMS. This can be done by a massage therapist or with a foam roller or tennis balls. I was introduced to this technique by my current sports therapist. He has used it to essentially heal my Achilles and calve issues. Think of it this way: Just firmly rub the area until the problem area numbs up. Combine any necessary rehab exercises and you will notice the difference.
Drugs: Many drugs have been evaluated in the treatment of the symptoms of DOMS and none have been found to be superior to caffeine. Therefore, I can be seen at my local Caribou Coffee haunt each morning.
This is not to say I haven't taken other drugs. Heck, as a pharmacist, you can be sure I went through a plethora of things to help me through some of the more painful days. Tylenol is not antiinflammatory and will not treat the root case: Inflammation. Advil/Motrin/ibuprofen work wonders for inflammation but will rot your gut. I have been trying some supplements from Hammer Nutrition as follows:
Mito Caps: Hammer promotes it as Anti-Aging Formula with Powerful Athletic Benefits. The unique Mito Caps formula, which incorporates some exciting recent discoveries in cellular physiology, helps mitochondria (the thousands of energy-producing "furnaces" in the cells of your body) work more efficiently and stay healthier. To quote one nutritional expert, "The longer you can stimulate the lifespan or health of the mitochondria, the longer you will live and the better you will perform in endurance events. The athlete who has the most healthy/efficient mitochondria is the athlete who performs at their best."
My thoughts? I've been using for two months. Can't say I notice anything.
Tissue Rejuvenator: Hammer says Superior Joint and Tissue Health. If you're injured and can't wait to get back into action, or if you're trying to prevent joint and tissue injuries, add Tissue Rejuvenator to your order list. It's a powerful, dual-purpose product, supplying your body with nutrients that provide the raw materials it needs to promote rapid tissue repair, while also helping to reduce inflammation, soreness, and pain.
I've used and have reordered. I like it.
Super Antioxidant: Hammer touts Superior Recovery and Free Radical Protection. Super Antioxidant's unique combination of herbal, enzyme, and amino acid antioxidants complements, but doesn't duplicate, the antioxidants you may already be taking. Super Antioxidant is designed to help protect your immune system, enhance circulation, and accelerate recovery, thus preserving all the hard-earned gains you make in training. The harder you train, the more you need Super Antioxidant in your recovery regimen.
Throw away any multi-vitamin/multi-mineral regimen you are currently taking and just keep this on the shelf.
Xobaline: Per Hammer Xobaline will increase Your Aerobic Capacity. Xobaline (pronounced Zo-buh-lean) contains a metabolically active form of vitamin B12plus folic acid in an ideal 1:4 ratio in easy-to-take sublingual tablets. This dual nutrient combination offers a significant advantage over "B12 only" formulas, especially in regards to red blood cell production and the manufacturing/resynthesis of RNA, both crucial components for increased aerobic capacity and muscle repair/building.
I take this each day before my afternoon workout. It adds pop to my step.
Chromemate: Hammer claims put an end to the 3pm fade. The trace mineral chromium has profound effects on both general health and athletic performance. By supplementing your post workout/race fuel with chromium polynicotinate (not to be confused with chromium picolinate or other forms of this mineral) enhances recovery because it helps to increase the rate of glycogen synthesis.
My thoughts? I've been using for four months. I'm giving it thumbs down for now but may revisit. My plan is to go off of it and see if I notice any difference. This is not to say it is not a good product. I do a good job at controlling my blood sugar. But this may be a good supplement for diabetic athletes or athletes with hypoglycemia.
Gear: Lot's of gear is available and I have personally found three things that have helped me through the DOMS periods of the triathlon season.
The Stick: I use the stick prior to my running and cycling workouts. Sort of like having a quick massage session. It helps me through such things as trigger point pain, muscle strain and DOMS. Time needed, 5-10 minutes a day.
The Pro Foam Roller: More than any other product, this roller has helped my IT bands. I have been using on the quads when those post-event DOMS issues seem to creep into the quad region. It works!
SLS3 Compression Sport Sox: There exists quite a bit of debate as to whether compression socks and gear really help or not. To date, testing has not shown that compression socks have any benefit on vascular function in healthy subjects. But that's just results from studies based on vascular function and/or thrombosis. And that's not why we triathletes spend $60 on these socks. Nope, its for recovery. There have been three such studies to date on recovery aspects of compression socks. Here's the key component: All three point to reduced DOMS after exercise as opposed to those not wearing compression stockings. I know I can tell the difference when I wear mine during and after erercise. I made it a point to the Mrs. that I would like another pair to show up in my Xmas stocking this year. And a pair did.
Massage: I saved this for last as it is the most successful weapon you can have in your arsenal to ward off DOMS. I have often joked with the Mrs. that should we ever need to cut the household budget that the maids will go before I would ever do without my massage therapist. And I get no arguments as my wife uses the same person.
I go twice a month for 90-minute sessions. This is not a fluffy kind of massage with scented oils that your trophy wife (or husband) requires when you visit that resort hotel in Arizona. Nope, this is painful. A complete deep-tissue, full-body, bite on a silver bullet massage. There have been some sessions when I've been whincing or slapping the table as she moves into a sore quad or IT band. But I always come back. And I'm always happy to do so.
In fact, last season I added in a pre-race day and post-race day massage into my schedule. Recovery time went from turtle to rabbit immediately.
There you go. One man's view on attacking DOMS. I'd love to hear what others have to say so leave any comments below.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The Rocket Racer defies all the rules in design, technology and innovation by utilizing space driven materials like the 360 Stretch Fabric at only 140g of weight, Hydrofoil waterproof zippers and Vortex Technology. This suit is not only the fastest in the world but the lightest suit ever manufactured.
So to begin with, that saves about 80 gms of weight off a traditional speedsuit. And I like the look of the suit, especially from the back:
And the 360 Stretch Fabric material is suppose to prevent bunching, rubbing, chaffing......our most irritating friends on race day:
I'm not completely sold yet. At $200, I may have to wait to order. But I'm sure someone out there in tri-land has already bought one or at least seen it up-close and personal. Any comments from those who have?
Friday, January 9, 2009
1/2 cup milk
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 tbls smooth peanut butter
1 tbls honey
In blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and frothy.
Each serving: About 342 calories, 9 g protein, 54 g carbs, 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 137 mg sodium
Thursday, January 8, 2009
It is an endurance trainer that weighs in at 12.5 oz. It's the same shoe worn by Dean Karnazes as he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days back in 2006. Priced at $125 and comes in three colors.
I've not tried a pair on, but I do like North Face products. Any one out there tried a pair?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My current stretching routine is as attached. These are what my sports therapist is having me do. And I think it is helping. Little time consuming, though. And, I hate stretching so for me to be doing these should be validation enough.
I also do deep massage (90-mins) every two weeks. My massage therapist has done more for my recovery in two months than all my other efforts combined. More than anything, the massage works. I added pre-day and post-day massages around events during the '08 tri season and those were tremendous in terms of recovery time.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
PhD Cycling Ultra Light Micro
PhD Running Light
Monday, January 5, 2009
Jump forward a few days post meeting with my sports therapist and the conclusion is I strained my intercostal muscle. Intercostal strains defined as
intercostal muscles allow the ribcage to move up and down. These muscles can be strained by any activity that involves extreme or forceful twisting of the body or swinging of the arms. Sports that commonly cause this type of injury include golf and tennis. Other than rest and pain meds, it's easy to treat the intercostals. Run your opposite hand finger tip between your ribs. Press in deeply and feel for a painful point that may even feel like a bump under your finger tip. If you find one (or more) just press and hold for 60 seconds, then continue holding while you take in a long, slow, breath. Then look for more points.
Of course, it got better after one week so I rushed back to the pool and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, I did 'er again. Idiot!
General thought from my therapist is I'm looking at 2-6 weeks to recover. Getting both laser and massage treatment and I'm to hold from swimming for minimum of 2-weeks before reassessing. Just when I was really starting to crank in the pool.
Anyone else have this muscle group cause issues before? How long did it take to work through it? For me, I can still run and bike, just can't swim or do my core workouts. Bugger it all.
"Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something."
January 1 of the new year. Time to get out and work. The temperature for our local 5K was decent (20 above) but a howling wind took away some of the fun. Throw in a big hill the last 3/4 of mi and I've had more pleasant runs for the first of the year! You know that big sucking sound your Hoover makes? That was me on that hill. I mean, do I look like I'm in pain or what!?!?
Not like I get in a lot of hill workouts in the middle of winter as they are usually caked with snow and ice.
My goal was a sub 21-min and I acheived that with a 20:46. Not bad given the middle half was poor for traction due to snow on the course. I finished 8th overall out of 369 people and won the 40-49 Age Group.