Posts tagged Triathlon
I’m sure anyone that is my age has had their share of injuries, whether sport-related or normal day-to-day injuries. I’m no different. Although I haven’t had many injuries per se, I’ve had one that has definitely affected my life.
Back when I was in 6th grade, in 1994, I joined our school’s ski club. We would take weekly weekend trips to 1 of 2 nearby ski “resorts”. I use the term lightly because they aren’t anything special. If you want to hit the slopes, it’s something, but nothing special. Although located in the snowbelt they have a hard time covering the slopes in snow and rely heavily on the snow machines, which tend to product more ice than snow. Skiing proved to be quite a challenge for me. I had a history of riding horses but that was the extent of my athletic ability. As you will see from the pictures, I was a bit chunky as a kid. This didn’t help my endeavor much. Unfortunately, due to icy conditions, poor functioning of my rental equipment, and my lack of athletic ability, I suffered a broken right femur. Yes, femur. The largest bone in my body. Broken clear in half.
Due to the immediate contraction of the muscle upon fracturing and the age I was at the time, a pin was drilled into my knee, I was set in traction for a month, and then placed in a body cast. The traction allowed the muscles to relax and stretch, while allowing the femur to heal.
After a month in traction I was taken down and placed in a body cast for another month. The cast was my entire right leg, around my waist, up to my chest.
If you’d like to read in more detail about my broken leg experience, check out this blog post.
I consider myself as having a full recovery from my accident. I’m fairly happy with the function of my body. However, over the past several years, as I’ve taken up running, I have found more challenges along the way.
- I don’t have the full flexibility of my right leg as I do with my left.
- Like so many people that have had fractures I can feel weather changes before they arrive. Although there is no longer any hardware located in my leg I have residual pain in the area.
- I have found to have significant pain and swelling in specific areas around my knee, especially when adding mileage and even worse if done at a fast rate.
- Along with pain I also tend to overcompensate, in other aspects (especially when tired), which then can throw my entire stride off, making further discomfort.
- Something else that has reared it’s ugly head over the past 2 years is discomfort is my piriformis muscle. Per wikipedia the piriformis muscle laterally rotates the extended thigh and abducts the flexed thigh. Abduction of the flexed thigh is important in the action of walking because it shifts the body weight to the opposite side of the foot being lifted, which keeps us from falling. Although I’ve had this addressed through a doctor they’ve never officially said it was Piriformis Syndrome. However, with further research I think this is the case.
Thankfully I have been able to keep this issue in check through stretches/massage and have not had to resort to medications (other than the random NSAID). However, I’m interested to see if my conditions, especially piriformis-related, will be exacerbated with not only adding more biking to my workouts, but also the position in which I have to sit. I foresee this being a challenge, but as with everything, I’m ready for the challenge and look forward to overcoming it.
So what previous injuries have you had that affect you to this day? What has helped you overcome them?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After I started getting the hang of my tri bike I started to re-evaluate myself. Although things were coming along I realized that my positioning was way off. In order to keep my girly bits (thanks Hoo Ha Ride Glide for the terminology) I was sitting way too far back in the saddle. Anytime I moved forward in the saddle I was beyond uncomfortable. My initial plan after purchasing Sparky was to upgrade the saddle. However, in order to spread out cost, I thought I could get by with the one that was supplied when I purchased him. That plan didn’t work too well. Upon performing a quick survey on Twitter I found that most everyone recommended a cut-out saddle, but more importantly to be re-fitted for my bike. Not a problem since I had already had plans to go back in to make some tweaks.
As quickly as I could I made an appointment with Bike Authority for another fitting. They immediately understood my discomfort and gave me several options for a new saddle. After discussion I ended up with an ISM Adamo Road Saddle. No surprise, but it has a cutout and I felt immediate relief in my seat. Whew!
Mike also made a few adjustments with my bike while I was there:
He raised the seat approx 5mm so that I had a more appropriate angle extension.
He also spent some time with me while I was on the CompuTrainer explaining how pedaling is different with clipless pedals, how to actually pedal, and discussing different exercises I can do to improve my technique. With the CompuTrainer I was able to visual see a difference in how I was pedaling. I found it very interesting and helpful. I know it will be a challenge not to “punch” my legs as I pedal, since I’ve been doing that since learning how to ride a bike, but it will come with practice.
I thought I was happy prior to my second fitting (minus my saddle), but after these adjustments and helpful hints I was in heaven. I’m so very happy. Now, I’m back at it, working on logging hours in the saddle in order to get more comfortable with Sparky, being in aero position, pedaling correctly, and adding endurance especially while being in that position.
I know I blogged about him already, but wanted to explain his name. When I purchased him I was told that he needed a name…you know, kind of like a boat. No biggie. I name anything and everything. Chances are if you know me, I may have a nickname for you. For instance, all of our companion animals not only have their ‘real’ names, but secondary names.
Lily AKA Liky Beans, Beans, Beaner. Viking AKA Bubba, Bubba Black Head, Vike. Spencer AKA Banana Nose, Spence, Bigs
In addition, our cars are also named. Back in the day I had a Mercury Topaz that was named “Betty”. Nowadays we drive around a Jeep we call “Creeper”, as in jeepers creepers, and a Chevy Aveo we call “Skate”. We have a local skating rink where you get to ride in a large skate for your birthday. Doesn’t every town have this?? It was kind of a right of passage to ride in the skate for at least one of your birthdays. My car is so small it reminds us of the Skate World Skate. I’m so lucky that I not only got to ride around in the skate for several of my birthdays growing up, but now I get to ride in my very own everyday!
Back to Sparky. Originally I was thinking of an Ohio State Buckeyes name. You know, like Scarlet or something, given my bike is Scarlet & Gray. Although we’re huge fans, it just wasn’t clicking. Of course I liked the name Buzzbomb, but that’s my namesake, so I couldn’t share it. I knew I wanted something with a bit of energy and zap. Ah ha! Sparky!! It has the energy that I wanted, but also a few more reasons…
While growing up we went to the greyhound races once. (Something I’m totally against now). Everytime the lure would come out for the dogs the announcer would say “Here comes Sparky!!” and the dogs would take off after it. Now, everytime our adopted greyhound takes off running in our yard, I can’t help but think of that. In addition, one of my previous coworkers, Carey, blessed me with the nickname Spark Plug. You are probably seeing a trend here with my nicknames…first Buzzbomb, now Spark Plug. What can I say, I’m a livewire. Although I’m not willing to share Buzzbomb, I am willing to share Spark Plug, or atleast a play on the name.
So, that’s why my bike is named Sparky. I can only hope that like the lure at the greyhound race, I’ll have other athletes chasing after me. Ha, wishful thinking, but the idea still makes me smile.
I’ve had my Tri bike for several days now. I’m still enjoying the excitement of owning a new bike. ‘Sparky’ is currently being housed in our dining room. I find that everytime I walk by him I want to hop on, and oftentimes do. I know this excitement will more than likely fade, but I am enjoying it now. Not to mention, by hopping on, my body is adjusting to the fit of the bike.
I knew there’d be an adjustment in riding a Tri bike versus what I was used to. But I must admit, I think it’s going to be a larger adjustment than I originally thought. Mind you it’s been several weeks since I’ve ridden my bike since I’ve been targeting 5Ks. However, with the Tri bike I feel like I’m so out of shape. I’m tiring easier and my legs are sore the next day. I attribute this to the different geometry of the bike.
So it looks like I have a bit of a challenge on my hands. But, if I learned anything from D being in the Marines, I must Adapt and Overcome. I’ve never let an obstacle stop me before and this is no different (with the exception of doing pushups. I can’t do a pushup to save my life, no matter how hard or long I’ve tried. Any helpful hints on doing them are greatly appreciated!)
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
Several big things happened over the past few days and I wanted to share them.
Number 1. I purchased a Triathlon Bike this past weekend. Back tracking a bit….in April 2010 I went to Bike Authority. At that time I wanted a “big girl’ bike since the last bike I had was from when I was in 8th grade. I decided on a hybrid vs a road bike since I thought I could ride it to and from work a little easier. Although this was the case I wonder if I should’ve purchased a road bike at that time.
Fast forward to the present, I was looking to upgrade to a road bike given I’ve started doing triathlons. The fit of a road bike vs hybrid is totally different. Add on to that, a triathlon bike is even a little more different (it has to do with the geometry of the bike and you), but more specific to performing triathlons. I walked in targeting a road bike with plans to upgrade certain components (adding aero bars, etc) but walked out with a Cervelo Tri bike. Say what? Tis true. Here is my reasoning. We were all set to get me fit to the road bike and we passed some bikes on sale, most of them Tri bikes. One was the perfect size for me. After adding all of the components I had hope to add they would’ve been comparable in price. And lastly, although the Tri bike is more specific to running triathlons, that’s all I plan to do and I have my hybrid bike as a backup if I want to just go out for a joy ride.
So I was measured for “Sparky” (I’ll explain the name in a later blog), purchased clipless pedals, purchased cycling shoes, adjustments were made to the bike, I picked up a trainer, and I was good to go! I’ll be heading back to Bike Authority in a few weeks for any adjustments that need to be made.
I’m grateful that not only do I have an understanding husband, but one that encourages me in my sport. He went with me, helped me choose my bike and got me all outfitted, without one complaint…even about how much everything was. It got to a point where I had to tell HIM “no!” when he wanted me to get more things. I know there are many supportive spouses out there. I’m just glad I was just one of the lucky ones that got one.
Chris and Mike at Bike Authority were excellent! Although I had done a ton of research they took their time and explained everything, which I really appreciate since I’m still a newbie when it comes to some of this stuff.
Number 2. Even bigger than the bike…I registered for the Half Rev3Tri at Cedar Point!!! I’m so flippin’ excited that I cannot contain myself. In 340 days I will be swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles, and running 13.1 miles…all in one day. This idea has been in the back of my mind for several years. I’m lucky enough to live in a city that the Rev3 Series hits, so why not?? This is a first for me and it is a big undertaking, but I have no worries. I’ve never let myself down before and it won’t happen now.
So that’s what’s happening around here! I had a 5K race this past weekend and another one this weekend. I plan to do a video recap of those and will post those sometime next week
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling!
A couple weeks ago I commited a Not So Random Act Of Kindness by volunteering to help out the Revolution3 Triathlon Series. Here’s a video describing my experience. Make sure to check out REV3. They rock!
Day before: I had a relaxed day. Worked for 2 hours in the morning, went for an easy 1-mile run, and had an hour midday nap. I’ve been maintaining a 100% raw lifestyle throughout the past month, so I continued that. I didn’t go to bed until 10pm. Although it was later than I had hoped, I was just too geared up to relax. I wasn’t nervous…just psyched.
Saturday called for scattered thunderstorms, continuing through the night, on through Sunday (race day), with a high near 75 degrees. Saturday was a gorgeous day. We all were hoping the excellent weather would continue on Sunday. This race is notorious for being HOT, so we were looking for a happy medium. We awoke at 4am to find that although it wasn’t currently raining, it was damp outside. Upon arriving at the race location we found some serious waves rocking in Lake Erie. Ugh. Thankfully we bit the bullet 2 weeks ago and had a training session in the same such waves. At that point although we didn’t prefer the conditions, we knew we’d survive. The question: would they allow us to swim? At 45 minutes until the race time the buoys still hadn’t been placed in the lake. Finally it was announced that there would be a 30 minute delay and the swim would be altered. Instead of being a counter-clockwise course it’d be a straight shot. In addition, the Olympic length would be the same length as the sprint (1/2 mile). Of course everyone had the option to change to the duathlon. My thoughts: Heck no! I signed up for a triathlon. I’m doing a triathlon.
Prior to race time I was calm and centered. I wasn’t going into this worried about anything but enjoying the experience. I am not a competitive racer and quite a slow runner to be honest. I don’t do it to win (not that I could!) The girls I “raced with” were in a separate wave so I went at it alone. I liked the atmosphere. We were athletes among athletes, encouraging each other. From 5Ks, to the Cleveland Half Marathon, to the Columbia Muddy Buddy, and now the Vermilion Triathlon…each vibe is different. The athletes, sport, and race length makes each experience unique in it’s own. I love them all.
Due to the conditions no one was allowed to run in the lake, which in my opinion made my first experience less stressful. I stayed to the back of the pack, made sure there was enough space, and then took off. I had a bit of a problem with my goggles fogging up (the lake was warmer than the air). I only got kicked a few times. With that being said, I would consider my swim a success.
The transition went just as smooth, if not better, than the swim. My biggest fear of triathlons was not performing 3 sports, but dealing with the sand. Like I tell people, I do sand, I do water…I don’t do sand and water. (Although I’ve dealt with this “fear” and have overcome it.) The run between the lake and transition area allowed my feet to clean themselves and the tubs with water provided worked wonders. I had little to no sand to remove from my feet at the actual transition area.
Onward to the bike portion! Although I expected this to be the easiest part, it was the hardest. I had an issue with my front brake rubbing the tire last week. I thought I had it fixed, but found out during the race that this wasn’t the case. After a mile of working against the rubbing brake I decided to hop off my bike to see if I could realign the front tire in hopes of fixing it….which did last time. After hopping on and off 3 times, wasting much time, ultimately I couldn’t fix the problem and just dealt with it. One of the friends that was in the heat behind me ended up passing me and was having the same problem, so I also assisted her. Of course I could fix her bike, but not mine. At least I was luckier than the guy that busted a tire! Other than that I’d say this was my favorite part of the race. Me, the road, and no one around. I loved it. I was at peace. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. Of course this was also when I realized that I was probably dead last in my heat, which was fine with me. I finally passed one person. Woohoo! Although I’m not fast I usually can pass a few people during my races. This wasn’t the case today. Transition 2 went just as smooth as Transition 1. No biggie.
Next up, the run! This was the leg where the most support was, which I expected. There weren’t a ton of people, but it was great feeling the “race vibe”. Athletes encouraging each other instead of continuously hearing, “on your left!” like on the bike. There were slight inclines with one steep, short incline. My smile was still plastered on my face. I was in my happy place. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in my happy place. Not to mention I don’t think I’ve been in my happy place ever during a race. (Not that I’ve never enjoyed a race). It felt awesome. I needed that. I even had a photographer say, “That’s the best shot of the day!” Ha! Dunno if he told everyone that, but I’ll take it as a compliment.
After ½ mile swim, 12.8-mile bike, and 3.2-mile race it was time to finish this up. I came around the finally corner and the first person I saw was my dad and heard him hollering at me. My smile got even bigger. Thinking back it brings tears to my eyes. Having my parents support means the world to me. Then came my friend Wendy, an experience triathlete. She was hollering at me to kick it out. So I kicked it up a notch. Then I saw my mom with her bright neon pink sign shouting for me. I could hear the family of my friends yelling for me. My husband came into view, taking pictures of me at the finish line, along with my mother-in-law cheering. Then I heard the announcer say, “I hear some noise! Must be someone coming across the finish line! Number 70! Heidi Henry!” Ha! I’ve never had that happen. That’s what happens when you come in all by yourself!!
Following my finish I ran back to meet up with my friends, who were also running their first triathlon, to encourage them to the finish. That in itself was a memorable moment and I am so very proud of them.
I finished strong. I finished with a smile on my face. I want to do it again. I’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug and am ready to take on another one. This time around I’d like to be more “competitive” and not just take the backseat while the others kick butt.
(Side note: the temperature ended up being about 75 degrees, overcast. Small rain drops few and far between. In other words, almost perfect weather. The skies opened up about 2 hours post race. Whew!)
I have my first sprint triathlon in less than one month. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I can’t wait for the experience.
I had yet to venture into a pool due to time and the accessibility until today. And instead of heading to a pool I headed out into the lake. I figured if I’m doing it, I’m going all out.
I purchased a wetsuit several weeks ago, and am glad I did. Although I have history of being like a fish in water, this isn’t true of me in a lake. I can’t remember the last time I was in a natural body of water (other than a quick entry after the Columbia Muddy Buddy a couple weeks ago). I don’t deal well with it. I like sand
I like water. I don’t like sand and water combined. And most times the water is frigid.
I went into today’s experience hoping for the best and wasn’t disappointed. Thankfully I picked an awesome swim buddy (who is also training for her first sprint triathlon…same one as me). After a hot day at work, along with the comfort of my Vortex 3 Xterra wetsuit, the water was perfect.
We got some swimming in.Although my swimming needs some work, this was huge accomplishment for me and I consider it a success. Can’t wait from our next training session!