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.


Tawnee said...

I am so sorry to hear things have gotten that bad. But by fixing everything now you'll save yourself from a lot of pain/suffering in the long run. Hopefully you find a cool new hobby, like shuffleboard? ;)

Bummer about Cozumel too. I also was under a false impression with ITBS+recovery... I thought I'd be well enough to do Vineman. Ha. Yea right. I'm signed up for Oside next year, hope that works out! Haha.

Keep me in touch with your progress.

angela said...

Crap! This really sucks and I know how you feel about having 2 doctors that tell you totally different things. Good luck in figuring it out!

Evan said...

Hey Ryan, I don't have your email. I told CV you demanded that he update his blog. He says he has things in mind -- it sounded like a long training thesis of sorts -- so my guess is that the scope of the topic is partly to blame for the delay. Or, it could be busyness related to the new venture.

Too bad about your injury. Good luck with figuring out the issues. Who knows, maybe a change in perspective for a few months may be nice.

Ryan Weeger said...

Dude that is a major bummer, sorry Ryan. But I gotta respect and give you major props for doing something most athletes dont do, that is try to fix something long term, its so smart and in the end you gotta be stoked with whatever result, peace of mind is priceless.

Also, funny tawnee mentioned shuffleboard. Brother in-law runs his own shuffleboard company, coolest bar game ever

Im pullin for you dude, keep enjoying IPA's though right? I see some epic long mountain bike rides in your near future.

Chuckie V said...

I hate to read this; injuries are rarely rewarding. "Rarely" because there's always a chance of developing a better understanding of your body/yourself. Hopefully this will lead you to that.

Don't let this be a reason to shut down completely; you must stay active and do what you CAN do, not just focus on what you aren't currently able to. Keep swimming, keep hiking/walking and join a yoga class. Do *anything* to help make the transition back to being 100% healthy that much easier. It's awfully easy to fully let yourself go, but you must resist the urge.

Hang in there Ryan...

As far as help, do you know KP (Kevin Purcell) at all? He's a local and a bit of a---dare I say?---guru.


Jeff said...

No worries mate, well rested and recovered you'll crush M30-34. Time for some 12oz curls!

Slater Fletcher said...

"Simple, not easy"

That is brilliant!

Sometimes the simple things are the hardest to deal with because we like to get lost in the details of complexity. Easy is walking away and you are wise to take charge of it now.

You have a great attitude and dude you are STRONG. Let me know if I can help with anything

bty - this old fart is aging up next year so lets find an IM outside the US and make a run for AG slots ;-)

Nick Brown said...

Keep your head up dude. You will race again.

Red Rock Chica @ Red Rock World said...

Sorry to hear about your knee/etc. I've been in the same boat for exactly a year, today actually. The upside is that I learned (begrudgingly) more about being patient and giving up some of the type-A control -- and of course worked on the bod and despite what 3x surgeons said, I am running again. Some tips: definitely find a GOOD physical therapist, one who understands the needs/psyche of an athlete. Also, is worth checking out, which parallel'd much of the PT regiment. Let me know if you'd like more... Cheers and keep your head up! :-)

T-Money said...

ITBS sidelined me for a year after IMFL (well that and my wife was pregnant). I took the year off but remained active. I used the time off to learn how to run barefoot (which amazingly seemed to help the ITBS while allowing me to experience running in an entirely new way).

Now I look forward to everytime I set foot out the door. In the past I was a slave to the numbers (distance, speed, pace, hr, power, etc), now I just head out with just a pair of shorts and no goal in mind. Two years later I'm leaner, faster, and most of all injury free.

This may or may not work for you but in my opinion, injuries are are the body's signal to the brain that something ain't working right.

Best of luck,