Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The New Addition

Hi all! It's been awhile! Life has been busy and full since my return from Hawaii. My calves are 100% now, I believe, so it's back to training for me...finally! I have been going nuts without exercise! I am fairly concerned about the toll this injury has taken on my ability to be fully prepared for my race... I already missed one scheduled running race, which was a bummer, because it is a fun event and for a good cause; juvenile diabetes. My next event is that Issaquah tri. I don't feel ready at all, but that could just be nerves...the distances aren't bad. I feel out of shape nonetheless. It's been a good 2 weeks sitting on my rear eating!

Nirve Cruiser, Classic Beaulieu Vineyard, Handmade
In other news, I got a new bike! I have been wanting a cruiser for ages, and yesterday, this gal at work gave me her "old" one. It is not more than a couple years old and it's in perfect condition! It is a Nirve Cruiser and she's shiny and red. She has this sweet springy seat, and coaster brakes. I like her a lot! I feel like a kid when I ride her. So much fun!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Compartmentalization: Not just a Coping Stategy!

Happy Bike to Work Day!....but not for this bike commuter... :(

Soooo.... Remember my little "fun run" on the beach? Well, the pain in my calves wasn't any better by Thursday. In fact it was worse, so I went to see my doc. Basically I screwed up. I knew better, and I screwed up. It was funny hearing him tell me that barefoot running is something that you have to start with short distances and ease into. Like I said before, I knew better! I know running, and I know that I shouldn't have gone more than a half mile TOPS in that stupid sand! Why on earth wasn't my brain turned on that day? Gah! He has ordered ice, rest, and anti-inflammatories. Oh...and no exercise. Yeah.

No, I'm taking it ok... I will flip the F out though, if I can't walk normal by Monday... I really can't think about things beyond that, or I might have a mini flip out sooner...


Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment. It can lead to muscle and nerve damage and problems with blood flow.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Thick layers of tissue, called fascia, separate groups of muscles in the arms and legs from each other. Inside each layer of fascia is a confined space, called a compartment. The compartment includes the muscle tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Fascia surrounds these structures, similar to the way in which insulation covers wires.
Fascia do not expand. Any swelling in a compartment will lead to increased pressure in that area, which will press on the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. If this pressure is high enough, blood flow to the compartment will be blocked. This can lead to permanent injury to the muscle and nerves. If the pressure lasts long enough, the muscles may die and the limb may need to be amputated.
Swelling that leads to compartment syndrome occurs from trauma such as a car accident or crush injury, or surgery. Swelling can also be caused by complex fractures or soft tissue injuries due to trauma.
Long-term (chronic) compartment syndrome can be caused by repetitive activities, such as running. The pressure in a compartment only increases during that activity.
Compartment syndrome is most common in the lower leg and forearm, although it can also occur in the hand, foot, thigh, and upper arm.

Symptoms

The hallmark symptom of compartment syndrome is severe pain that does not go away when you take pain medicine or raise the affected area. In more severe cases, symptoms may include:
  • Decreased sensation
  • Paleness of skin
  • Severe pain that gets worse
  • Weakness

Signs and tests

A physical exam will reveal:
  • Pain when the compartment is squeezed
  • Severe pain when you move the affected area (for example, a person with compartment syndrome in the foot or lower leg will experience severe pain when moving the toes up and down)
  • Swollen and shiny skin

Treatment

Chronic compartment syndrome (what I seem to have) in the lower leg can be treated conservatively or surgically. Conservative treatment includes rest, anti-inflammatories, and manual decompression. Elevation of the affected limb in patients with compartment syndrome is contraindicated, as this leads to decreased vascular perfusion of the affected region. Ideally, the affected limb should be positioned at the level of the heart. The use of devices that apply external pressure to the area, such as splints, casts, and tight wound dressings, should be avoided.[14] In cases where symptoms persist, the condition can be treated by a surgical procedure, subcutaneous fasciotomy or open fasciotomy. Left untreated, chronic compartment syndrome can develop into the acute syndrome. A possible complication of surgical intervention for chronic compartment syndrome can be chronic venous insufficiency.Surgery is needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

With prompt diagnosis and treatment, the outlook is excellent for recovery of the muscles and nerves inside the compartment. However, the overall prognosis will be determined by the injury leading to the syndrome.
Permanent nerve injury and loss of muscle function can result if the diagnosis is delayed. This is more common when the injured person is unconscious or heavily sedated and cannot complain of pain. Permanent nerve injury can occur after 12 - 24 hours of compression.

Complications

Complications include permanent injury to nerves and muscles that can dramatically impair function.
In more severe cases, amputation may be required. (Let's hope it doesn't come to that! Sheesh!)
No Ironman.....? (Don't get all drama, CG! You're going to be fine!)
Insanity. (Kidding. Sort of... Ok, I added this one.)

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartment_syndrome
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002204/

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Training Run On Hapuna Beach

Sunset at Hapuna Beach after my run.
Three days ago, I decided to do my run on the beach...barefoot...in the sand... Um, WTF was I thinking??? My calves are still killing me!! I'll tell you though, if I ran on the beach like that all the time, my leg muscles would be ridiculously enormous! The run was very enjoyable though... I wasn't wearing my Garmin, so I have no idea how far I went, but I really got in a good workout. Everytime a wave came in, I incorporated high-knees in. It was fun. I also practiced toe striking, which is not how I usually run, but felt nice on the sand.

Open Water Swim!


video
I got in my first open water swim the other day at the Captain Cook Monument, in South Kona. Ok, I'll admit it, I was a little scared. I had a bit of trouble keeping my head down in the water; I assume because there was nothing down there I could see that marked where to go - like there is in a pool. The only way to check your location is to lift you head out of the water and glance at your surroundings. I couldn't see anything when I was just breathing to the side. Although the flawed head positioning does impair hydrodynamics, I don't think I was doing too shabby (for a first try). Luckily, I watched the video right after it was taken, so I was able to make a correction right on the spot. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ironman Kona Ride - One Way

On Hwy 270 headed down from Hawi. Beautiful, windy HELL.
Saturday's ride was pretty awesome! I did the Kona Ironman bike route (one way only though). I left Hawi early in the morning before everyone else was up. The plan was that hopefully we could time things right, and they would drive down a bit later (in both cars) and meet me in Kona, where I would throw my bike in the 4-Runner. Then we would continue on to south Kona to sailyak to the Captain Cook Monument for some epic snorkeling     (and I could get in a swim.)

The ride started out fine, but quickly the wind picked up and things became hairy. I have decided I hate hwy 270. Here you have this killer downhill that looks like you could just fly down at ridiculous speeds, but no, not if you are in favor of having skin! The cross winds were so strong that I could barely stay upright, and sudden powerful gusts threatened loss of control, so I was forced to govern my speed. Phooey. I think I averaged about 19 mph on that section. What crap.

At the bottom of the hill there is a gas station. I had planned to refill my water bottle there and grab something more to eat, but when I went to get my credit card...um...*%#*! Oh boy, now I had a problem! I was totally out of water, and I only had a few chews left! I called my brother and told him of my plight. I asked him to please bring me my card when they meet me in Kona. At that point, I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I tend to be pretty resourceful. Going back up would have been worse, so I decided I had to push forward.

I knew that there was a Starbucks at Queens Market Place in Waikoloa Village, and that was only 11 miles away, and Starbucks is always awesome about filling up water bottles. That made me feel a bit better. 7 miles in however, I happened to pass a fire station! What luck! I pulled over and asked one of the firemen for some water and he kindly let me borrow a hose. After I said my thank yous, I was off again, and feeling much better. I had solved one problem, but I still had another problem, and it was fairly serious. I was going to run our of fuel, and fast.

That's when I had my brilliant idea! Starbucks was only 4 miles away at that point, and there are a few things you can always count on Starbuck for: 1. free water bottle fill-ups, 2. the use of their reasonable clean restrooms, and 3. their customer service. Since I had water, and I knew this particular store didn't have a restroom (heh), I was going to put their customer service to the test; I was going to ask them to take my credit card number over the phone from my brother!

Well, I must say that Starbucks was on their A-game that day, because the lady at the counter didn't even hesitate when I bashfully explained my stupid situation. What a life saver she was! I took a few minutes to eat and drink and then I was off again, into the now strong, relentless headwind. I was glad though, I'll take a headwind over a cross wind any day, and besides, I was refueled!

When I was only a few miles out from Kailua Kona, I heard some wild honking; it was the family! My brother, my nephews, and one of my sons in his truck, and my sister in law and my other son in the 4-Runner. They all pulled over so the kids could say "hi," and I could re-sunscreen. I was happy to do so too, because it was scorching out, there was zero shade, and I could feel just the slightest sting of a burn starting on my low back.

We met up again in town a few miles down the road, so I did not complete the last couple miles of the (one way) Ironman course. I can live with that though, considering I've done the route before. I don't think 53.5 out of 56 miles is too shabby. lol I did really enjoy the ride too.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hawi Road: Up and Up and UP!

Two words describe my ride this morning: HOT and HILLY!

I started in Hawi and took Hawi road up to Hwy 250 towards Waimea. Hawi road is stupid steep. I haven't had a chance to check the data from my Garmin, but at one point I looked and it showed my grade at 15%! (Interestingly, I mapped my route on MapMyRide, and it showed the climb no steeper than 11%. Weird.) I got a later start, (7:30am) so it was also stupid hot, so it made for an uncomfortable initial climb. The wind was also ever present. Eventually, the grade became a bit more reasonable (6-8%) and I started enjoying myself much much more.

Once I broke the tree line, the wind became very intense. It was coming from the side, and I could barely stay upright. I was a bit disappointed because it was so incredibly beautiful up there! The rolling hills of green grass pastures and the blue ocean far below was epic. Alas, I was really struggling to even stand to take a picture, so I knew it was time to turn around and go back.

The descent was fun, but slower than I would have liked. I had to be cautious of my speed due to the crazy side winds and powerful sudden gusts. It was a shorter ride than I would have liked, mile-wise, but I worked for those miles for sure!

I forgot to mention... The local pool here is closed for repair, so I am having a hard time figuring out my swim training. Yes. I am aware I am surrounded by an ocean full of water to swim in, but in order to train in the ocean, I need a spotter. I am not comfortable just taking off into the open water alone. I like being alive. ;)









Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hawi to Pololu Ride

Made it safe and sound to the Big Island of Hawaii. It is great to see my little brother, his wife, and their two boys. They manage a vacation rental here in Hawi, so the boys and I are staying in an awesome cottage, on a beautiful piece of land (and for free!)

I was unhappy to find that Alaska Airlines managed to damage one of the buckles on my bike box, but what was more upsetting was that after they opened the box to do an inspection, they didn't even bother to re-close it properly. I am going to file a complaint. It is completely unacceptable that they treat expensive luggage in this manner. My bike seems to suffering from a few issues too... Jesse had done a full tune just before I left, but now it is shifting like crap and I am pretty sure that there is something bent in the front derailleur.

Despite all that, I did have a nice short and hilly 16.5 mile ride this morning from Hawi to Pololu. It was gorgeous, and it felt great to stretch my legs. There was hardly any traffic and the sun wasn't too hot, so it was a very enjoyable ride!





Want It Wednesday: Velocity Skull Pattern Rims

Velocity Skull Pattern Rims!

I'm thinking these would look "killer" on Lucy!

I may be on vacation Jez, but I couldn't miss two WiW's in a row! :)



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fiona's Last Ride...Until Wednesday.

He gave me a bike lamp!

I did my last ride today, before I have to box up Fiona for the flight to Hawaii on Tuesday. I was a gorgeous day, and an awesome ride. Jess and I met up with a couple of his cycling friends and did a very enjoyable 50 miler. I hadn't thought I had met Bob or Todd before, but as it turns out, we had done the same bike race last summer, and we all remembered each other. Pretty cool! They were strong riders, so it made for a fun day.


I received a very nice compliment at the end of the ride... Jess said that Bob told him, "You've got a strong one there, Jess. We've ridden with a lot of women, and she's the only one whose kept up with us." I was tickled pink. (I think Jess was too.) :)

I took this cool bike shot yesterday in the U. District.



Today was one of those rides that reminds you why you love this sport. It was a sunny and beautiful day, and just the right temperature for a long ride. Things feel perfect in the world when you're on a ride like that. Things felt pretty perfect today.






The hose was a wired sleeve, so you can bend it to sit where you like.



PS. I got my Speedfil water bottle today! It is all mounted and oozing awesomeness and functionality! Jess gave her a tune-up and a wash, so she is all ready to soak up some rays with me in Hawaii!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy 1st Day of Bike Month!

Riding the fatties! (Son's bike.)
It feels great to be training again!

Yesterday was really windy, so I decided to suck it up and do 45 minutes on the trainer, QC, and then a short run outside. It actually felt quite good. It is so nice to start your day off with exercise. Work seems a lot more manageable to me that way. Getting my workout done in the morning also alleviates unneeded anxiety. (I tend to worry that I won't get my workout in, until I actually do get it in. It kinda sucks...)

Girlfriend labor.. (he did give me a cookie.)

Today, Jesse took me to work with him. One of his larger bike repair/tune accounts downtown had some bikes in need of some work done, so after having some tea, we headed over. Normally he doesn't go down there on Tuesdays, so this was a real treat for me to be able to tag along. Jess is very good at what he does. He knows bikes in and out, how to fix them, how to tweak them to make them just right. I am good at cleaning cassettes and cranks and wheels and frames. lol I think we made a good team today!

After we finished the bikes and returned them to their happy owners, we headed to the Y. I shortened my pool workout a bit, but still got a good one in. Jess did some swimming too...and some kick drills! After that, we ran. I ran 3.5 miles, (I think Jess might have gone further.) :)

Happy first day of Bike Month everyone!

Here's a fun bike video 'just cuz.' (Awesome find, Jess.)