Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Checking into Rehab

*Deep Breath*

This isn't something I've shared with (m)any people, let alone post this on the internet for the world to see (ie. a world of both of you).  There is an element of ease while writing this, as I don't have to look at anyone in the eye, and admit I have a problem.  But, that still doesn't mean this is easy.  It takes a real man (as opposed to a fake one) to admit he has a problem, and needs to seek professional help.

Finally, after way too long, I've checked myself into Rehab.

Life was simply becoming too much without it anymore.  I was constantly waking up miserable, and people around me said that I seemed on edge all the time (and of course, my reaction was "F#%k off").  "They don't know the pain I'm going through right now" I'd tell myself, and shun them off.  I'd get concerned looks, but I could care less.  For those that really cared, would ask me to talk about my problems.  "Talk about my problems?"  I'd think, "What, is that for guys don't eat salads who don't wear spandex?".  The lack of summer here in (coastal) San Diego was really depressing me.  I simply couldn't take it.

I needed a therapist, so I checked into Rehab United to set myself straight.

Physical therapy people - I miss riding my damn bike! (and running too)

Ok, enough drama (most of the above is not actually true).  Seriously speaking, I started physical therapy at Rehab United last week, and things are going as well as they could be after a week.  Apparently, the extremely tight hips I have may be causing the misalignment. We'll see in due time.  I am excited to be working with these people, as I've heard nothing but great things about them and what they do.

Also, as head coach, I decided it was time to get back to running and biking (screw that swimming crap for now!), and took my roadie out on the roads on Laguna mountain this past Saturday (more on that in a bit)!  It was freaking great.  All knee issues are no longer, and the endorphins were flowing.  One thing I certainly "learned" - I love riding my bike.  I'm sure you're thinking "Uh duh dude, you've done RAAM twice".  But seriously, even though I have nothing on the calendar, I definitely missed turning the pedals.  Very rarely in the past five years have I ridden a bike without training for something.  Now I do it for (gasp) fun!  I realized the other day that if there was one workout I enjoy the most, it's those 4-5 hour bike rides - especially when I'm FIT.  Assuming PT goes well, I should hopefully be only a few months away from ripping up the roads.

The time off was actually good for me (as Evan pointed out) mentally.  I was totally bummed about not being to do Cozumel, but admittedly, the break from rushing from bed-to-workout-to-work-to-workout-back-to-work-then-maybe-to-a-3rd-workout was certainly welcomed.

I'm refreshed and STOKED!

ps- Chuckie V has finally been updating his blog.  I don't know about you, but there is a sense of calmness and "all that is right with the world" when he graces us with his words.

pps- Thanks for all the positives comments from my last blog post.

ppps- good little jam right here:

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Shutting it down

Warning!  Not a fun post.

I will be taking a little break from training & racing.

Back when I was dealing with my knee issues in May & June, CV mentioned that I should check into any Leg Length Discrepancies (LLD) to see if that is part of the cause for the ITBS.  It was a good idea, and the research I did mentioned that an LLD can cause ITBS, and low back discomfort - which I have had for about 7 years.  It made me think that I should look at fixing any issues on a macro level, rather than just one area (ie. knee, or hips).  This might have been the reason (or maybe the cause) as to why I have had this "pelvic twist" "issue" for years, which is what I went to PT for a few years back.  Ultimately, I became focused on finding out the root cause for this misalignment for the main reasons of reducing the risk of injury long term, along with not having to deal with back discomfort on a day to day basis.

Finally, after RAAM, I started the investigation into the LLD thing, and I had 2 x-ray Rx's from 2 different doctors (long story).  I figured an LLD x-ray Rx from one doctor would be the same as an LLD x-ray Rx from another doctor, right?  Wrong.

Well, after speaking with both doctor's, I have two doctors who think they can help, one doctor who thinks the other is incompetent, an LLD that is at least .25", but maybe more, an argument as to why .25" is both significant and insignificant, no answer to the root cause of my problem, a combination of things that may make up a solution that might work, a boatload more confusion, and a frustration level that is so high, I have almost grown numb to it.

I can't kick off the wall in the pool without feeling discomfort in my back.  I can't swim a stroke with my left arm without feeling discomfort in my left shoulder.  I can't bike because I developed chondromalacia during RAAM.  I can run, but I run scared because I am not sure if my ITBS / Bursitis is still "there".  It doesn't hurt fortunately, but I can also tell something isn't right.

I am in no shape to start training for an Ironman again.  "Wait, what?"  Yeah, well, after IMSG, I believed in myself and my abilities to qualify for the big dance, and CV agreed.  With me aging up next year to M3034, there is no way I want to compete with the likes of these guys for a slot, so I said that the goal should be to qualify this year, not to mention, I was fired up and motivated.  With all North America Ironman's being sold out (shocker), the only one left in the western hemisphere was Ironman Cozumel.  My good buddy Greg also signed up for IM Cozumel because he was so inspired by watching all of us at IMSG.  I was stoked - finally, someone to train with!  So, during the early parts of finding out I had ITBS, CV and I figured I had the standard run-of-the-mill nothing-special ITBS, that I would recover soon, and after a little post-RAAM recovery, I'd be ready to rock it in prep for Cozumel, so I dropped the six hundo on registration, only to have all of this backfire.

So, I am shutting the swim, bike, run stuff down for a while, and am devoting 100% of my energies towards finding out the root cause(s) of these issue(s) I have.  Honestly, I think once we figure out the root cause of the hip misalignment - I think everything else will fall into place - literally, and figuratively.  Unfortunately, this isn't going to be easy, fast, or probably cheap, I'm certain.  Ultimately, I just want someone to tell me the root cause of why I am misaligned (muscle imbalance? LLD? muscle tightness? skeletal something?) and put me on a path to fixing it long term.  Simple, not easy.

Suggestions, especially from those in San Diego, are certainly welcome.

ps- ART is a (strong) possibility, and I don't believe in chiropractic care being a long term solution.