Thursday, September 30, 2010

Injury Update: I'm effed up in 3D!

This whole diagnosis and physical therapy has been quite the process so far, let me tell you (which, I guess, is what I'm doing).  The cliff's notes version goes a little something like this:

My Rx for PT was "right leg ITBS", ironically, the opposite leg from a few months back, which immediately made me skeptical of my treatment.  I put some faith in those who do this for a living, and went along with it, but still remained a little reserved since I know what I feel, not them.

One morning in the middle of September, I woke up with a stiff right lower lumbar (the same problem area that has been haunting me for years), and rather than discomfort, I had absolute pain.  Like the pain where when you get to work at 7am (and I'm not talking about the pain associated with being at work at 7am), you realize you can't even work, and make a call to your doc at 7:01am and say "Whatever you prescribed isn't working."  Fortunately, "stress is the fertilizer for creativity", and I walked over to my gym, and (I quote myself here) "rolled the hell out of my right glute" with the black/hard foam roller (not that I like large hard cylindrical things near my glutes, but desperate times call for desperate measures I guess).  Why the foam rollers?  Not sure, just seemed like the best thing to do for some reason.  After 15 minutes of rolling out, where my perspective was "the more it hurts, the more I roll" (primarily in the piriformis and Gluteus Medius), I stood up, and 90% of my stiffness went away.

hhmmm... I'm onto something here.  I think ART is in order if the Foam Roller worked that good.

Fast forward to Monday, I walk into PT at 7am, and tell the director and my PT about my Friday crisis, and the session turns into a re-assessment.

Here's the theory:

Because training for endurance sports demands so much from my body, any inefficiencies or discrepancies are exacerbated through big training.  Because my right leg is shorter than my left leg, my body has compensated by anteriorly rolling my right pelvis down in the front, effectively "lengthening" my right leg.  Because the right anterior pelvis rotated down, the rear part rotated up, which is what causes feelings of pressure and compression in my right lower lumbar.  The below picture shows whats happening with just my right side:

(I don't know abnout you, but at a quick glance, the arrow almost makes the photo anatomically correct, except well, mine's not red ;)

On the other side of my pelvis, as another means of compensating, my left pelvis has rotated forward, but in a different direction.  If you were looking at me from above, my left pelvis has rotated from 9 o'clock, towards 12 o'clock (fortunately, it hasn't gotten that bad yet, or else I'd look really funny).

In other words, I'm effed up in 3D.

So what does all mean?  A LOT more PT, a lot of stretching, and a lot of me making sure I don't revert back to poor mechanics.  Once I feel comfortable (mentally anyways) with re-introducing biking and running (which is on-hold at the moment), I will make core and strength work (as in, a lot of what my rehab is) mandatory.  For right now, the only thing I'm focused on is getting better.

Also, I already have had 2 ART sessions, and let me tell you - this stuff is the REAL DEAL.  I know of numerous people getting ART who rave about it, but I was skeptical - more in the sense that I didnt want to get my hopes up.  No way - I'm sold now!  Some funny things to note:
  • I was told that rather than having knots in my muscles, I have golf balls
  • The doc was working on a "golf ball", and the only thing he could say is "Dude...."
  • I need so much work, that he has hurt his thumb both times so far (bragging rights, I say, and we laugh about it)
  • When I told him that when the foam roller just doesn't cut it, the lacrosse ball works wonders.  His response "that tells me a lot about the type of person you are".
While the above bullet points are comedic, the results are amazing.  For the first time in about 6 years, I have no feelings of pressure in my back on a day-to-day basis.


ps- To all those racing and watching Kona next Saturday, have fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Month off

In my month off, I certainly had some time to reflect, time to have fun, and had a lot of time in general.  If I was training for Cozumel, I would have felt guilty for enjoying the following activities, but since I wasn't, I enjoyed them that much more...

Tahoe for Jeff's Bachelor party

First time playing paintball, at 8,200 ft no less.  You can be out of breath by simply pulling the trigger, nevermind running over rocks in a full dickies style suit with a full face helmet, ducking for cover, and fighting for your life against your friends:


 Nick tried challenging me to an absolutely absurd contest:

I liked this picture when I took it, but after looking at it a second time, I like it more because it looks like I am taking a leak in the pool:


Food porn is not a stranger in the sub-culture that is endurance sports blogging.

I cooked one bomb-ass meal for my lady's (I almost put "ladies", oops) birthday a few weeks ago: grass fed steak (me: medium rare rib eye, her: rare filet), green beans and carrots sauteed in butter, olive oil, garlic and shallots, yukon gold potato puree with butter, cream and parmesean cheese, a side summer salad with this dressing (recommended!), and a bottle of Avalon Cab to wash it down.  It was freakin good.


I'm not in the picture, but this is where I work, and what I have been doing every other day during "lunch hour":

Mt. Laguna

Partly inspired by the recent piece in the NY Times piece called "unplugged", I did a solo camping trip a top Mt. Laguna to disconnect with society and technology to reconnect with mother nature (the "me" time was nice too, I will admit).  Naturally, my first time on my bike in a month was spent trolling around at 6,000ft (take that Boulder! and I'm glad your fires are under control), and it was great.

The setup - simple, yet effective.

A must for camping

I have never seen so many holes in one tree.  Woodpeckers paradise?  Target practice for hicks?  Gnarly producer of maple syrup?.  Shawn, any ideas?  Upon closer inspection were a number of acorns embedded in them.  Nuts in holes?  uh, I couldn't resist...

I love this picture, and the contrast it presents.  Standing at 6,000ft atop a pine tree covered mountain, I overlooked the Anza Borrego desert, many thousands of feet below me: 

Stomping grounds of the man...

The road through my rear view mirror (well, almost)...