Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ironman #9!

Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report
Aug 18, 2013
Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Finally getting around to write up a race report.  Leading up to this, Ironman was very iffy with my hamstring injury.  At one point, it was looking like a swim/bike event for me.  But I stubbornly was not willing to give up and somehow managed to get myself in some sort of IM shape after starting running in June.  I knew I was not in optimal shape going into IM but I also knew I was capable of finishing it and that was my goal - I just wanted a finish!  No PBs, no amazing run times, just a finish!

Swim: 3.8km, 1:09:27

The organizers decided to do a wave start as oppose to a mass start and I was in the very last wave.  Good news for me as I did not have to deal with the craziness of the first half getting clobbered and head up swimming.  Bad news, because I like swimming on my own, I had room to do so and did not draft which probably gave me a slower swim time.  I felt great in the water and really had no contact for the whole 3.8km.  Unlike previous IMs, I did not feel tired at all and felt pretty fresh coming out of the water.  But I  am not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with my swim time.  I was hoping for something a bit faster.

T1: 6:10 Transition was long and I actually decided to skip the wetsuit strippers this time.  I found that I could get out of my wetsuit faster on my own then have the strippers struggle to get it off of me.  T1 was pretty uneventful.

Bike: 180km, 6:36:11

Grabbed Limey and got onto the bike course.  I knew this was not going to be an easy ride but I wanted to put out some good power output.  The first loop I was on target but I was losing some steam in the second loop.  I did not have to deal with much congestion which was nice but I did see some draft packs.  At one point to my surprise an official yelled out at me a warning after I got passed!  What?!  I got passed, did not attempt to grab his wheel in any way, and actually got out of aero during the pass.  Huh?!  Anyway, I tried to keep the power up during the second loop but the wind was pretty demoralizing at times and I guess I just did not have the proper training to lay down a good bike time.  I averaged 140W and my normalized power was 159W.  Not bad but not great.

T2: 2:56.  Transition again was uneventful.  Tried to get some extra nutrition in and onto the run course.

Run: 42.2km, 5:11:12

Oh the run!  Haha!  This was the big question mark???  My long runs consisted of a 15km, 16km, 20km, 22km, and 25km runs...that was it!  So I was banking on my mental strength and experience.  And that got me through to the end.  My poor hammy was not fully cooperating with me and was rebelling but I managed to ignore it for the most part.  I did walk more than I normally would but I was hurting.  At 16km I started to fall apart.  My hamstring started to cramp along with my adductor and my lower back. My muscles were seizing.  I think I was compensating for my hammy that my other muscles were rebelling too.  At that point I almost had a meltdown.  I started to panic a bit wondering how I was going to get through this.  I did a lot of walking at that point until about 23km when I decided to shut my brain and just go.  I was playing cat and mouse with one guy and we were giving each other encouragement when we passed each other.  When I decided to just go for it, I left him behind but when we saw each other in the out and backs we still gave each other encouragement which was nice and it helped.  So from about 26km on I tried to stick to the no walking in between the aid station rule.  I tried!  But at times I had to walk.  This run was a definite struggle and a mental battle but I did it!  One thing that kept my spirits up was knowing that I was faster than everyone behind me on the run since I was in the last wave.  Anything to make me feel better, lol!  In hindsight, I think I did a terrible job with nutrition.  I did not want gels anymore so I was solely running on coke, water, and Ironman Perform.  I really should have forced some gels in me.  This was one of my slower run times but I will take it!  At times I was getting disappointed with myself but I could not have expected more.  I had nothing to prove.

Finish: 13:05:54

Yay!  Ironman #9 done!  I did it!  Crossed the line and there was not a catcher immediately there.  So I ended up on my hands and knees on the ground! Haha!  Then people came running to get me.  My legs were cramping badly and I couldn't stand up.  So I got another trip to the medical tent, another IV but just needed one bag of fluid this time.  And my poor hamstring was in a lot of pain.  I was actually worried as to how much damage I did!  I wasn't feeling all that hot for several hours afterwards either.  Thinking back, I am pretty impressed that I pulled this one off.  I definitely gambled but I got through it.  And after my muscle pain subsiding, my hamstring really was not that much worse.  Probably my lack of training did not allow me to push as hard during the run protecting my hamstring in the end.

But let me tell you, now that I did this IM and got this long run in, and after my pacific coast cycling adventure (I'll blog about that soon), I now feel like I am actually IM ready and it was really hard to tell myself that was it!  No races! No IMs or half IMs this year!  Nothing!  That was my deal and I had to stick to it!  I was eyeing IM Cozumel too! Lol!  But NO!  I need to heal because I am ever so hungry now for next year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On the mend!

So much has happened and I have been a bad blogger!  So instead of writing up official race reports I will write up a recap of the last month and a bit!

My tri season started off with Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant!  I met my objective of crossing the finish line!  Yay!  I was surprised that I actually completed it in under 6hrs!  Just barely but I did!  Then before I headed to Alberta I decided to race the Toronto Olympic tri as a very last minute decision.  I kind of wanted to compare myself to last year which was probably a mistake.  I still managed a relatively strong race but was much slower than last year, a whole 8 minutes slower! eek!  But that is ok!  I actually lost 3 min on the swim!  I have no idea what happened there except that the water was super cold!  I was about one minute slower on the bike and about 4 minutes slower on the run.  However, I did do a long ride the day before so I was not exactly fresh for this race.  Then I headed to Alberta for my summer mountain adventure!  I trained in the Rockies and had a couple of good rides there right before the Calgary 70.3!  Such beauty we have in our own country and great climbing in the mountains!  I raced Calgary and exceeded my expectations!  I finished it in 5:41 and a bit, but the bike was short by about 4km.  The good news was that I actually felt pretty good on the run!  And I was ecstatic about that!  I was more like my race-self but that is not necessarily a good thing since I am able to block out pain and I think that is what I did.  I was able to push through and I even picked it up at the end breaking another competitor!  That was awesome!  I was feeling good so I pushed the last bit of the run.  I passed another female athlete at about 17km and she decided to stick with me.  Well, I was struggling to keep the pace and I was going to let her go until she let out some profanities and dropped off!  I laughed! (she did too!).  My hamstring also was not in that much pain afterwards either!  I am not pain-free yet but I am finally noticing an improvement!  I think the PRP shots are actually working!

Saw the sports doc today for another follow up and told him of my improvements and of my plan of doing the Ironman.  And he was ok with it.  He said get onto the run and see how I feel!  And that is my plan!  I will run for as long as I can and if I have to walk, I will walk!  I managed to get up to a 25km run.  This is the least amount of training I have ever done going into an Ironman but who knows!?  I am banking on experience and mental strength to get me through it and I know I can!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It is all in the mind!

I am living proof that Ironman and I guess athletics in general is 80% mental and 20% physical.  There are naturally talented athletes out there that this does not apply to but to the average joe, this is so true!

This is a long overdue post and I had so much happen the past little while!  But I wanted to post this about mental strength   Your mind can play tricks on you but it also is what makes you successful.  For me, my mind gave me success!  After my training week in Lake Placid we made our way to Mont Tremblant.  I had decided that I was going to go for the half ironman and cross the finish line.  I will write up a proper race report but I do have to say that I did surprise myself.  That half marathon was completed purely on mental strength!  Nothing else but my mind.  I had no run training in me to be able to finish the run.  Experience and my mind got me there!  I am ecstatic that I finished the half!

So with this, I am going full steam ahead and going for the full Ironman.  I have been putting in some good cycling mileage in my legs and logged 1210 km for the month of June.  I am slowly building up my run mileage and am up to 20 km now but I am not doing any speed work.  My hammy will not take any speed work and I will not risk doing any either.  I will not be looking for a personal best but that is ok with me.  My mental strength will get me through the Ironman!

Up next is a visit with a friend in Edmonton and then to Calgary for the 70.3!  Looking forward to some training in the Rockies!   Hope I do not encounter any bears though!

Monday, June 17, 2013

This week: Livin` like an athlete!

As my first race of the season is just around the corner, I have ramped up my training!  Last weekend I was in cycling heaven - Parry Sound!  So awesome there!  My second family always welcomes me there and I got some awesome training in.  As I still did not get the go-ahead to run yet, I just cycled.  I rode 110km one day followed by a tough but great 130km ride the next averaging 175W.  Not bad, not bad!

Saw the sports doc midweek and he seemed a but baffled as to why I am in more pain after the 2nd PRP injection than before.  Ya, me too!  I am pretty sure he hit a nerve though because of the pain I went through.  Well, I asked about Ironman and he told me it was not a good goal to have anymore.  I am not quite ready to accept that though.  He told me I can try running again and to start at 1km every other day.  I asked him if I could make it worse by running and he did not think so.  So with that, I made a new game plan!

I have decided that if I could get up to 15km of running before MT 70.3 then I was going to go for it. I want to finish this race as I took a charity spot for it.   I am willing and ready to pull out of the run at the Calgary 70.3.  And I do not want a DNF at Ironman!  I want another finish.  However, I am not expecting any new PBs this year and I won`t kill myself trying to get one.  My purpose is solely to finish and nothing else.

I discussed this with my chiro and to my surprise, he said he was on board with me.  I know - I am just plain ol`stubborn and determined!  That mixed with stupidity and this is where I am.  I think I need to go to a sports psychologist or something, for real!  There are apparently five stages of emotion during an injury: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  Well, I kind of got to acceptance but I backtracked to bargaining! Hehe!  That is where I think I am at now.  Oh oh!  I know I should be patient and wait, and I got some good advise but I cannot help myself.  (Sorry, Duncan!  But I am going back to shore and going to try to swim across later!  I know - wrong!)

So with this, I ramped up my training big time.  I am currently in Lake Placid for the week to train and then heading to Mont Tremblant to race.  This was the plan for a while now since I thought I was going to be able to run by now.  After my chiro and doc appointment, I ran 5km and then 10km the next day.   Yup, from zero to 5 to 10!  I recognize how stupid that is.  Then I ran 16km!  I did it!  Good news: I did not make my hammy any worse.  Bad news: it is still painful.  My pace is pathetically slow but I will take it.  And I am being very diligent with icing it too!  Anything to help me get there.  The first day in Lake Placid  I rode 90km, did a 10min run off the bike, and then a 2.5km swim.  Yesterday I swam just over 5km in the lake and then followed that with the 16km run later in the day.  Today was a hardcore type of day!  2.6km swim followed by 150km bike in the pouring rain where I even got a flat and then a 5km  run off the bike.  I can do this! I will be careful!  I promise!

Living like an athlete is pretty fun though!  All I have to do is eat, sleep, and train!  Not a bad set up for now!  Then back to real life by next week.  Gonna enjoy it in the meantime!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A little update...

What to say, what to say?!  Round 2 of post PRP is not going so well.  I think this time it is a bit harder because I got the taste of getting back into the swing of training and then I had to go back to nothing.  Plus I am in more pain than I was before the 2nd shot and I almost feel like I am in more pain than before the first shot! :(  The pain continues to go from the proximal insertion point where the tear is down to the back of my knee.  Even swimming hurts and I often have to resort to the pull buoy half way through swim practice because it just hurts too much.  Needless to say, I am getting a little frustrated and stubbornness, determination, and stupidity is beginning to set in.  I took the time off, was diligent with my rehab exercises, gone for treatments on a weekly basis (geez, I see my chiro more often than my parents!), spent lots and lots of money, and I have seen no improvement.  I still plan on doing the ironman and the two half ironmans I am signed up for and now that it is June I am getting  a little desperate.  I have been going for long rides once a week for the last couple of weeks despite it hurting me.  I continue to swim hard and I am even tempted to start running.  I need to be in shape to complete these races.  I have bargained with myself that if I do these races I will not sign up for anything next year.  My deal is that I am willing to make myself hurt more now and then to take next year completely off as long as I can race this year.  Yep, stupid! Hehe!  My back up plan for the ironman is to do the swim and bike and pull out of the run.  Ohhh....I just do not know what to do!  I know I should think long term but I am having a tough time doing that now.  I guess I am also in some denial.  What to do, what to do?!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PRP Round 2

After my follow up with the sports doc last week, he wanted me to get a 2nd PRP injection.  I decided to go ahead with it as my attempt at saving this race season.  I should probably give up on it but I have signed up for 2 half Ironmans and a full and it's too late to back out now.  So I got my 2nd injection yesterday.  And I have decided I hate PRP.  The pain is pretty intense and runs from my piriformis right down to the back of my knee.  I did just recently learned that there is a new painless PRP procedure that removes the white blood cells from the blood which is a cause of the pain.  The WBCs cause the inflammatory response hence the pain.  But the new procedure cost $400 more so I decided that for the $400 I could withstand a few days of pain.  But if you ask me now, that $400 is worth it cuz I am in a world of pain again.  I made the mistake of working last night just hours after the injection and a 12hr shift on your feet is not what my hamstring needed.  So I officially made my first sick call tonight in eight years because I could not stand another night of me hobbling around in pain and being stubborn.  Since the injection is done under ultrasound, I was able to find out if there was an improvement after the first time.  Well, the U/S still showed the tear! Boo! :(  The tech told me it is in a bad place because it is so close to the bone and there is no blood flow there.  Which is why PRP should work.  So I am back to being side-lined right now.  Not sure for how long but as soon as I can I will get back to swimming and cycling.  Cannot do that now.  Walking is painful enough.  Keeping my fingers crossed that this shot will work!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Team Fox! Help me make a difference!

This year I decided to become a member of Team Fox to raise money for Parkinson's Disease.  I have been racing triathlons and running races for many years now and this year I wanted to make a difference.  I will be racing on June 23 at Ironman Mt. Tremblant 70.3 as a member of Team Fox.  I am asking you for your help in reaching my fundraising goal of $2500.  Please click on the link below or on the above logo to go to my fundraising page and help me reach this goal.  Any help will be much appreciated!  PLEASE and THANK YOU!


Friday, May 3, 2013


This is my motto right now in my return to running.  After I got the ok to run at the beginning of April I have followed the docs instructions.  I started with 2km every other day and have been slowly increasing my distance every week.  I am at 5km now! :)  My pace started off pretty slow and I have slowly been dropping my pace per km.  However, I am still no where near my normal pace.  I have been attributing this to lack of running fitness and am really just happy that I am back on the road.  I was thrilled to be running my 5km under 30min, lol!!!  Until I had another follow up with the doc this week.  He asked me about my pace times, then told me I was slow! Haha!  I know I am relatively slow, but hey! Lol!  Seriously though, he was referring to my normal pace times.  He wants me to get another PRP injection next week.  He told me that it would not be as painful as the first time and it would not set me back that much.  I have full intentions of doing the Ironman this year (and I told him this) and I have confirmed my registration for two half Ironmans.  I really am not sure what to do but am booked for now for another injection next week.  So I have pulled the plug on my first two races I was hoping to do and will make my race debut at the end of June at the Mt. Tremblant 70.3.

I have been feeling like I am returning a little more to normal in the training department.  Yesterday I rode my bike outdoors for the first time out of the city for three hours (minus the bike commuting) and then went to yoga all after working six night shifts.  The day before I swam, biked, and ran! :) This is more like toddler steps!!!  I've got two months to get myself half ironman ready!  I can do it! :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Swimming like a fish!

OK...well, maybe not!  But I am a Pisces! Lol!

A couple of Saturdays ago I swam in my second ever swim meet!  The Downtown swim club hosted the All Out Swim at UofT which was another sanctioned Masters Swimming Ontario event!  I really should have been a swimmer growing up because I had a lot of fun!

I decided to go all in for this meet and swim the maximum of 5 events allowed.  I decided to swim the 800m, 400, 200, and 100m free and for fun I threw in the 50m breast, all long course!

My first event was the 800m free.  I seeded myself pretty generously at 14:00min because I did not know what I can swim this in.  Realistically, I wanted to swim it in under 13:45 though.  My dive starts are still pretty pathetic but my main goal was to not lose my goggles! Ha!  And that I accomplished in all five dives but I did do a bit of a belly flop in a couple of them.  The first 100m of the 800 was way too fast, I had way too much adrenaline in me and I just tried to settle into a strong but steady pace after that.  I swam the first 100m in 1:29! Lol!  After that, I settled into a steady 1:38-40 pace.  With all the ironman training, I am definitely a long distance swimmer.  I came in at 13:01!  Woot! Woot!  Not bad, not bad!  Would have been fun to come in under 13min but I did place 2nd in my age group in this event.  Next was the 200m which was swam right after the 800s were done.  This was my worst swam event in my opinion.  The first 100 was about a 1:28 and then I completely fell apart and swam the last 100 in 1:37!  Oops!  That was not well executed.  Finished in 3:05 which put me in 5th.  I wanted to go under 3min since I swam this in 2:53 at the short course Etobicoke event.  Then was the 50m breast!  Hehe!  I quickly got the how-to for the dive start and the two handed wall touch for the finish which I had no clue about.  I gave it my all and happily came to the wall in 49.26!  I just wanted about :55!  I came 6th here; clearly not a breast-stroker.  Final event before the break was the 100m.  Another all out sprint which I kind of fell apart in too! Hehe!  I swam this one in 1:24 but was actually hoping for under 1:20.  This one put me in 4th.  My final event was the final event of the day, the 400m free.  I swam this one pretty solid as well with pretty even splits and finished it in 6:21 which gave me another 2nd place finish.  Yay!  I did swim faster than all my seed times for all the events.  I also got some valuable tips from fellow swimmers and the swim coach is now going to work on my stroke more with me to become a more efficient swimmer!  :)   Great day all around!

I am looking forward to the next swim meet!  Not sure when that will be though.  I would also like to thank the Downtown Swim Club for putting on a great meet!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

A couple of weeks ago now, I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas with a couple of friends for a cycling training trip! And it was awesome!  I was scheduled to work some shifts during that week but my awesome co-workers allowed me to make some switches so I was able to escape for 6 days of cycling heaven.  I even asked my awesome chiro if it would be ok and he pretty much gave me the go ahead, just to make sure I do not go crazy!  I also put the biggest cassette I own on my bike on the docs recommendation to make the hills a little bit easier on my hamstring.

On our first full day there, we headed to Lake Mead National Park for our first ride!  It was 2hrs of bliss!  We had a long winter and I haven't been out on my bike yet; and it felt soooo good to be outside in the sun! Plus my hammy felt pretty good so I was super happy with that! :)  That night we went to Cirque du Soleil's O! Wow!  Was that ever a fantastic show!

On the second day we had wind warnings up to 60 mph!  It was raining in the morning so we waited it out a bit and decided to try out the riding and see how bad the wind really was.  If it's a head or tail wind that would not be much of an issue, I was worried for a cross wind because then I lose control of the bike.  Well,  the wind was not that bad so we ventured out to Red Rock Canyon.  We had a good headwind for most of the ride until we got to Red Rock Canyon.  It started raining so we waited that out and the sun came shining brilliantly so we went ahead into the state park.  The loop was about 22km and the first half was all climbing.    It got pretty warm with the sun but all of a sudden the weather turned for the worst in an instant!  First it started to rain and the wind really picked up.  Then the rain turned to snow and then HAIL! Yup, hail in Nevada in April!  Who would have thought!  Since we were not dressed for below freezing temperatures, we were also getting very cold and the hail stones hurt!  I was ready to bail on the ride but was fighting the urge as we started the descent.  It was so cold and windy I was having trouble controlling the bike.  Well, one of my friends bailed first and tried to take shelter under a tree because she could no longer feel her fingers.  We were facing hypothermia and thoughts of the Mt. Mitchell fiasco in Ashville, NC came into my mind!  After climbing 979m we managed to hail down a pick-up truck who thankfully allowed us to hitch-hike back into Las Vegas.  I really wish I could have taken a picture of the three of us in the back of this pick up with our bikes all huddled in a ball trying to get warm while the wind and rain continued to hit us!  Oh another story for the books! Haha!

After that little blip in the weather department, the rest of the week was great!  On our third day we found an awesome outdoor 50m pool and did a swim workout before heading out on our bikes for a long ride on the 70.3 World Championship bike course.  It was another very windy day and that made the bike course difficult.  There are rollers in the desert but no one real difficult climb, but with the wind howling you are essentially climbing the whole time.  We climbed 1110m in total. We went back to Lake Mead on our fourth day and rode our bikes to the Hoover Dam and crossed the Nevada state border into Arizona climbing a total of 987m.  On our fifth day we headed to the Valley of Fire state park.  That was a great ride!  Another difficult one with the climbing but just beautiful!  There we climbed a total of 1220m and then we went to the pool for another outdoor swim!  On our final day of riding we went back to Lake Mead NP and did part of the Vegas 70.3 course for a total climbing of 988m!  Six solid days of riding and climbing!  Spectacular and so much fun!  Plus, I got an awesome tan!  We did head down to the Vegas strip, Freemont street, some outlet shopping, and even tried out our luck on the slots.  I had a great time!  My hamstring held up alright as well! :)  By the third day I was feeling it a little so I backed off when I felt like I was going too hard.  Having that extra gear on my cassette did make me a climbing rockstar that week! lol!

The week after, I did a 20min TT test on the bike while on the trainer, first for the year and first since just before IM NY.  I hit an average of 200W!  Woot!  Woot!  That was my highest EVER!  But I did remind myself this was the first power test on my Quarq, last year I was using the it may be a bit skewed but it was still a solid test!  Hopefully I can gain some more strength on the bike and can at least be a strong cyclist if my running is not up to par when my race season starts!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


For the past six months I have been sidelined from running due to injury.  But things definitely go into perspective in light of what happened in Boston.  I had many friends and teammates running the marathon and when I first heard about what happened, a moment of fear set in.  Luckily, no one I knew was hurt but that does not change the disgusting and unimaginable of what happened to the victims and their families at a world class sporting event.  It just breaks my heart and brings me to near tears when I think how these people's lives have changed forever.  Sports usually are exempt from the awful stuff happening in the world.  Has this changed? I really hope not!  So as I slowly restart my running (I did 2km yesterday!), my mind and heart and prayers are with the families and friends of Boston.  I will continue to run and hope that somehow sports can still unite the world and be a symbol of peace and harmony.  I am a runner.  I will run.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good News!

I just received the best news I could have gotten all week!  I had my follow up with the sports doc today post PRP.  I was going into it a bit bummed because I honestly cannot say that my poor hammy feels better. It still hurts walking, doing my rehab exercises, and even standing.  I can bike but it hurts afterwards.  I told him all this and after some poking and prodding and testing my strength he told me I may actually be doing better than I realize.  I really hope that is the case.  He said there is no muscle atrophy and my strength is good.  So he gave me the ok to start some easy running and to go back to yoga! :) Super happy about that!  The plan is to start running 2km every other day and to increase it half a km every week until I get to 20km a week.  I am to see him at the end of the month for another follow up!  I also just got orthotics and hopefully they will help with the PF I am still dealing with.  Oh ya...and along the way I managed to develop peroneal tendonosis in my right foot! Ha!  Armed with this news, I am going to give running a whirl!  Not today though...too tired and sleep deprived!  I will start tomorrow and am looking forward to it! :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Being optimistic!

I decided to post my tentative race schedule for 2013.  Initially, I was just planning for the Calgary 70.3 and Ironman Mont Tremblant.  But my ol' self is creeping in and is planning a couple more races.  I will keep it very tame though since I am pretty sure my tendon will not be completely healed and I will be disrupting the healing process by planning on racing and training.  I hope to run the Sporting Life 10km as my return to racing although I will not be holding my breath for that one.  I will be taking a charity spot for Mont Tremblant 70.3 (more info on that in the near future) and adding in the TO Women's Half marathon, and the Toronto Triathlon festival as well.  And that will be it!  I swear! ;)  I see the doc this week for my post PRP follow up!  I will see what he has to say! Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What is happening?

Well, besides trying to deal with my injury, nothing really! Lol!  Hence my lack of posting!  Well, also cuz I really do not have much good news to write about so it can get kind of depressing writing about me not being able to do stuff! Hehe!  But I am still in good spirits and hoping for a positive outcome!

I did manage to run away for 11 days to paradise, also known as Costa Rica, in February!  It was an amazing trip and I had so much fun!  My friend and I mixed in an adventure with a nature discovery trip!  We did zip-lining in the cloud forest, canopy tour in the rain forest, rappelling down waterfalls and canyons, surfing, natural hot springs, snorkeling, nature watching tours, and various hikes!  It was spectacular!  Pura Vida!!! :)

Two days after I came back I had another appointment with the sports doc and I went ahead with the PRP injection.  What exactly is PRP?  Well here is a little info about it: PRP is platelet rich plasma injection.  Blood was taken from me and was sent to be spun down to a high concentration of platelets.  This was then injected into my proximal hamstring under ultrasound guidance.  I asked the U/S tech if he could see the tear that the MRI picked up and he could not.  But he could see the whole injured area which was inflammed and showed as a black area on the U/S.  The platelets are a bioactive component of blood and when activated in the body they release growth factors and morphologic hormones that stimulate healing and tissue regeneration.  The belief is that these bioactive proteins stimulate stem cells to recruit repairing cells.  It also reduces the inflammatory response to inhibit scar tissue and enable the tendon to heal with proper cell structure.  Apparently PRP works really well for tendon injuries so I am really hoping for the best.  And the healing phase takes 8-12 weeks from the time of injection.  I am currently into my fourth week right now.  It almost sounds like a Lance Armstrong thing, haha!  From some internet research, football and soccer players often take this route, even including Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, and Kobe Bryant with success.

The injection itself was not painful.  I was told I would have a "full" feeling for a few days.  Ok, it was more an intensely painful feeling instead of "full"! Lol!  The minute I stood up I was in a world of pain!  I did not expect to be in that much pain.  I could barely put weight on my leg and walking was sooo painful.  I was limping for about 5 days and then the pain subsided.  I am still in pain walking but at least I am not limping.  I am not allowed to take any anti-inflammatories for several weeks.  Right now I am back into a rehab program doing exercises everyday and seeing my good ol' chiro weekly for treatments to continue breaking down the scar tissue.  Right now I cannot tell if this worked.  I am in not as much pain since the injection but I am not better than before!  I am doing my rehab exercises pretty intensely and maybe pushing myself a little much in desperation to get better!  I am back on the trainer and I am up to 2hr rides!!! :)  I was always able to continue swimming but I got the hook for yoga which I am immensely missing! :(  I haven't been to yoga since mid February.  Boo!  I have a follow up with the doc in two weeks to see if I will need another injection.  And to tell you the truth, I do not know what I want to do.  If I do another injection, it is another 8-12 weeks of recovery and probably no running.  I am still setting my eyes on Ironman in August.  So I do not want to throw away a 2nd injection if I plan on training/racing the IM since each shot is $600.  I would have to do this properly since it is a lot of money!

In the meantime,  I signed up for another Masters swim meet on Apr 20th so I have something to work hard towards and I can get back into good swim shape.  Since I am not practicing yoga which I used as my core and strengthening workout, I found a pretty good core routine that I am set on doing everyday!  It is: 50 sit-ups, 15 push-ups, 1min plank, 30sec plank on each side, 1min bridge, 15 push-ups, 1min plank, 30sec plank on each side, 50 sit-ups, 1min high plank, 2min bridge, 50 sit-ups.  Hopefully this daily routine will get my core back into tip-top shape! Hehe!  I am on day five and so far so good!  I throw in variations here and there to make in interesting.  This way, hopefully when I get the ok to start running I will already be in pretty good shape and closer to race weight since I let myself go a little bit!

So that is pretty much what is happening now.  Hoping for my hammy to recover!

Thanks for reading!  Here is a pic of my new fav sport, if running fails maybe I can become a surfer girl! ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Injury Update

The scoop: officially diagnosed with proximal hamstring tendonopathy with a tear in my tendon (either the semimembranousus or the semitendinosis - can't remember!).   The ultrasound showed the calcific tendonopathy but missed the tear; the MRI confirmed the tear.  What does this mean?  Possibly going to take the PRP route for treatment.  And running? Not to sure yet!  Will have to inquire about that!  But I am back on the trainer and doing some intense rides for me now anyway.  Trying to get back into shape!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2012 - oh what a year!

Well here is my belated year in review post! Lol!  What to say about 2012!?

First off, I am extremely happy to report that I PB'd at every triathlon distance I raced this year!!! :):):)  I am super proud and happy of my new IM PB of 12:01!!!! Woohoo!!!! Did not expect that!  I also paid the price of that one by making a three hour trip to the medical tent.  But I do not regret it one bit! It was worth every second of it! ;)

A look back at 2012:

Unfortunately, the year started with me being injured and pretty much ended the same way! Haha!  I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and an ankle sprain.  While the sprain healed on its own with time, the plantar fasciitis required treatment since it was chronic.  So started my long relationship of treatments with my chiropractor! ;)  I did very little training in January to try to let my foot heal and then slowly started to build in February.  I ran the Chilly half marathon and PB'd there which was a total shocker since I was not running much at that time!  2012 marked the first time ever running at a track meet!  I ran three of them in total for the year representing UTTC and had a blast!  March and April came along and I made the trip out west to visit family, train in Santa Monica, and race the Oceanside 70.3 and Hollywood half marathon!  I had a great time and made some training and racing gains.  No PB's but I got to race the famous Oceanside half and got to run along the Walk of Fame.  May involved more training and I rode at the NYC Gran Fondo and ran the Toronto half marathon and managed to PB again!  I was super stoked with that as I was not sure if I was capable of running a sub 1:50 yet and I did! Woohoo!!!  My training then became more triathlon focused as I started racing tris in June and July to get ready for the big show in NYC in August.  I raced the Tupper Lake Tinman half, a race I always wanted to do and put down a solid effort and a great time!  I then raced at the inaugural Toronto tri after a heavy training week and PB'd at the Olympic distance.  And now was time for the big one - IM NYC/NJ!  By this time, my right hamstring was pretty unhappy and I was hurting on every training run.  It had really started to bother me back in March but I ignored it and continued on.  Well, I had an awesome performance in NYC and laid down an awesome time!  And this was the start of a crazy, aka stupid, 5-week race schedule I gave myself.  I followed NYC with a sprint tri, the Muskoka 70.3, and the true "double" savage at Savageman.  I improved my time from the previous year at Muskoka and gave a savage like effort at Savageman but by then I was hurting pretty bad.  I had 5 weeks to rest up, recover, and get ready for my last race of the season at Beach to Battleship in North Carolina.  During this time, I fulfilled a goal and I made the trip across the border to Buffalo on my bike! ;)  October came around and at B2B I managed to maintain my focus and mental strength despite my injury and I laid down another awesome performance for a new half IM PB!  Booyah! ;)  I also picked up a new sport in 2012 - surfing, and found a love for yoga!!! :)  I topped up my race season with my first ever swim meet representing TMU!  I had a blast!  Maybe I should have been a swimmer growing up! Lol!  With race season over, the start of my running ban was implemented trying to get my hamstring healed up before the 2013 season.  I was told to stop running, stop cycling (except commuting) and even stop yoga.  I did not quite stop the yoga until I managed to sprain my elbow really badly at swim practice one night.  Hahaha!  So 2012 ended the same as it started, being injured and in rehab.  2013 also started the same way!  Oh-oh!  Hopefully I get all sorted out sooner than later!

Here are some numbers for 2012:

Swim: 340.737 km, 129:46 hours
Bike: 3717.15 km, 204:43 hours (incl trainer time but not incl distance/time of bike commuting)
Run: 1145.16 km, 130:38 hours
Other (yoga): ~50+ hours

Not bad! Not bad!  My swimming and cycling mileage had increased from 2011! :)  I had a blast last year and I plan on continuing to have a blast with my crazy triathlon world!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Back on hold...

Running is back on the sideline! :( Boo!  Went into my chiro appointment today and I told him about my running progress.  And as I feared and expected, I was told to put running on hold until we get a definitive result from the MRI.  Too bad since I was getting back into a running groove.  My pace was slowly getting better and my third run this morning was the best to date.  But the pain is still there and I guess that is not a good sign.  So back to swim and yoga and I will be much more serious with training on the bike!

On another note, I have still been commuting on my single speed around town all winter so far.  I changed my tires to cyclocross tires and I have a better grip on the snow.  I have been improving my bike skills in the snow until I come to corners where I fishtail! Haha!  If cars were not around I would be having way more fun!  Still having fun though but I have to be aware of the cars around me and make sure I do not fishtail too much!  The last few days I've been riding in -20C and even colder with the windchill!  Now that is hardcore! ;) Hehe!  Winter in Canada!  Fun!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oh January...

First of all - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  I have been a real delinquent in the posting department....oops!  I blame it on being too lazy after picking up extra shifts to cover for sick calls!  I have yet to post my annual "year in review" post which will come soon.  I just wanted to post a little update on what I have been up to! ;)  Well, I guess I have really not been up to much.  After the holiday break I am back in the pool and am getting my speed back.  I was out of the pool for almost three weeks due to closures and cancelled practices.  The first week was pretty brutal but I am almost back to my pre-Christmas pre-elbow sprain speed! :)  I have been practicing yoga about 3-4 days a weeks and am loving it.  And that is pretty much it! :(  My poor hammy is still very unhappy.  I had a follow up appointment with the doc last week because there has been little improvement.  My hamstring will hurt just after 15min of walking at the insertion point.  It will also hurt if I am standing for about 25min (I discovered this when I was Christmas cookie baking and standing at a code at work one night).  So with this, and not having run for 3 months now, my good ol' chiro sent me back to the doc.  Up next, an MRI to see what is going on that the US may have missed.  Depending on those results, I may resort to PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections or a higher dose of shockwave therapy.  For now, the doc told me I could try to start running as he doesn't think I am at risk of tearing the hamstring or the tendon.  So aimed with this little bit of good news I went out for a run the very next day!  Ha! That was a bit of a body shocker!  I am so not in run shape!  My plan is 20-30min max and honestly, that was all I could do.  I started my runs at my normal run speed and that lasts for all but 5min!  Then it is all downhill!  I cannot keep my normal run speed and I am hurting.  The first run I was almost ready to puke for the effort I was putting in to try to run at my normal run speed! Lol!  I probably should not be running with my Garmin so I don't get frustrated when I see how pathetically slow I am going.  I really should know better and I really should not be expecting much of myself.  The best was the next day - my muscles felt like I ran a marathon! Haha!  I was quite sore!  The bad news - my hammy hurt just as much as it did back in October! :(  Ok...maybe not as bad but if I kept on running it may have been just as bad.  I walked home on my first run because it became so sore.  This was the most frustrating!  I have put in the time, the therapy, the rehab and it seems like I got no where! :(  At this point, I honestly do not know if I should keep running or not.  I tried again the next day and although my running muscles remembered a little more what to do, my hamstring was still sore.  I may try again to see if it actually hurts more or if it is just the same pain.  I will be smart about this as I have an Ironman planned for this August.  I also really should start on the bike training to see if I can at least maybe become an uber cyclist! ;) Haha!  So that is where I am at now.  Still injured and not much training!