The pain killers have seemed to have knocked out all my taste buds. The coffee and beer that I love - I can barely drink either. And most food still doesn't sound that appetizing. My favorite thing to eat right now? Popsicles.
WARNING - FRUSTRATION RANT FORTHCOMING
Well first of all, if I'd known how it would really be, I would have never have done this. I feel like I've wasted 6 weeks of my life and I'd rather have the pain of bone/bone than not being able to ride, to walk right, bend my leg enough, feeling like crap most of the time and losing a lot of extra overtime money and missed travel. And reading about other people who have +100 degree flexion the first couple of weeks really depresses me. The ONLY good thing is that I've lost 20 pounds (in the first 3 weeks) and have kept it off (and will hopefully lose a lot more if I can ever train again.)
Yes, I am in a pissy mood. My life is sleep in, get up and lay on the couch, go to PT 3x/week, come home and lay on the couch, go to bed. And, this week has been the week of the trip to Hawaii that I had to cancel , so seeing all my friends' photos is killing me.
Currently my extension is anywhere between 5-10 degrees. We know this will be slow since I lived 6 years never fully extending my leg after my arthroscope in 2009. That is what my former surgeon wanted and I didn't know any better. So my current surgeon is fine with that number right now since hamstrings and calf muscles are super tight. Working daily on stretching them.
Current flexion is only about 90 degrees, which is behind where I should be. I have a lot of pain in the IT band and over the fibular head and calf (one pin-point area), with "tightness" over the front of the knee. I can drive if I scoot the seat all the way back to get in the truck then move the seat up. The surgeon said 90-ish is ok for now and he thinks I'll get more in the next couple of weeks since it feels "springy" and not like hardened adhesions. Keep it going and he added 4 more weeks of PT.
Back to work full time on November 1st and ease into it by working a few hours at home for the next three weeks.
I did get to three hockey games in the past two weeks, including a Meet the Team party and opening night Gold Carpet walk. Last night was the first night that I've made it for the entire game, sitting in my usual seat, so that's a plus.
I haven't been walking as much as I should, since I don't like to walk around my neighborhood (long story) and I really have a very difficult time getting off the couch or out of bed. But tomorrow, I am going to go to the pool and try swimming. The surgeon doesn't want to see me until December 31st and said go for it regarding swimming and walking.
It's been just over two weeks since surgery and I feel like I've lost about 8 days somewhere. I ended up spending 3 nights in the hospital, starting physical therapy on the second day. They get you up and going as soon as possible after surgery, though the nerve block in the leg needed to wear off first. And once that wore off - PAIN! I should have known the first day/night was too good to be true.
On Saturday afternoon, my Dad arrived and teammate Angela picked him up and they came to the hospital to get me and take me home. I'd set up the downstairs as a sleeping area since I didn't really know how well I'd be able to do the stairs. One minus of living in a 3-story house! We got home and within the first 30 minutes of being home, I proceeded to lose my lunch. And I still can't eat much and nothing really sounds good anyway.
Nurse Dad stayed for 9 days and it was really nice to have him here, though I felt bad about him having to just sit around the house most of the time. But he had one of his knees replaced a number of years ago, so he knows the score.
The Monday after surgery, home health care started - blood tests on Monday and Thursday (in order to monitor the blood thinner med) and physical therapy Monday through Friday. It's been two weeks of that, so starting next week, PT will drop to 3x/week and I'll be going to my usual therapist Jonathan.
Daily schedule for the past couple weeks: get up; coffee; think about eating, but nothing sounds good; lay on sectional and try to look at Facebook, emails, etc.; physical therapy; take a nap; try to eat lunch; do a couple of hot laps around the living room and kitchen; lay on sectional and rest, usually falling asleep mid-texting or mid-email; do another round of PT with Nurse Dad; try to eat a few bites for dinner; go to bed (usually around 8-9 PM); wake up multiple times during the night. Repeat.
Labor Day Dad flew back to Kansas, so I rode with Kathy to take him to the airport. My first big outing, so I was wiped out afterwards. Another big outing th next day - staples came out!!!
A few observations:
* This surgery was quite a bit more involved than I originally thought.
* Just yesterday (2 weeks post-surgery) was the first day that i could focus enough to read a magazine. Thank goodness for reality TV where you don't have to think too much.
* Everything that I thought I might want to eat has not sounded good at all. Or, something will taste good for a day, then make me nauseous the next day.
* Any physical exertion (even doing easy PT exercises) gives me serious cottonmouth. Like I can barely talk.
* There have been many days where I will just fall asleep right in the middle of whatever I was doing.
* When you don't have to go to work, all the days seem to run together. I need a big calendar and then mark them off each morning so I know what day it is.
* Rehab is ike a job! And sometimes even the smallest gain is cause for celebration.
It's hard to believe I haven't updated this in over a year. Very little training and even less racing to report. The past year has been work, physical therapy, work, travel for work, sit too much, exercise not enough, and go to some hockey games. And now, tomorrow, I face surgery to get this bum knee fixed once and for all.
Last fall involved quite a bit of travel for work, all condensed into a short time frame. I also decided to become a 13-game season ticket holder to the Nashville Predators NHL team. I found my new love! They do a really nice job for customer experience and the team was good too! In fact, I found I loved it so much, I became a full season ticket holder for this upcoming season.
The winter again was rough - too cold for me, even a snowstorm that shut down the city, then a month later, an ice storm which again shut down the city. Still too much work, continued physical therapy, more work travel, not enough training, but I did get to spend half a week with the gals in the high desert of Los Angeles County. I was unable to go last year and really missed it. My knee was hurting a lot so I mostly did some walking and swimming. No biking, which was a major bummer.
After that trip, Jonathan, my PY, said he had some pretty much all he could do. My strength was better, we'd gone from 15 degrees to about 5 degrees shy of full extension, but to make it any better, I really needed surgery and a new knee since I was bone-on-bone. He suggested seeing a non-surgical orthopedic doctor to see what he said, so I did. He suggestion injections (no thank you), a topical creme (that gave minor relief), get fitter/thinner, and last resort - knee replacement surgery. Not what I wanted to hear, but the same thing my ortho in SF had told me in September 2009. ("You will eventually need a knee replacement.")
May - June - first part of July - more work travel, work, some riding, a couple "races" (more of me just paying the entry and riding around), then when I saw my GP in mid-July, I told him that maybe I'd go see the ortho he suggested. I "raced" on my birthday and could barely walk for two days. So that's how I ended up at Dr. Andrew Shinar's office on August 17th.
X-rays, exam, history, and admitting that I couldn't really ride my bike and that sitting or walking or standing too long really made my knee hurt, made me realize that my quality of life had gone down. So surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, August 26th. TKR - total knee replacement.
Not thrilled about it, but it needs to be done. On Friday I had a major freakout session when I think everything finally hit me (and I realized that he wants to do a spinal), and I came this close to canceling the entire thing. But I didn't. So tomorrow I head to the hospital and in the future, back to riding the bike, walking, weights - getting back in shape. Time to rehab and then start training for the 2016 racing schedule.
Wish me luck.
July 27, 2014
The last triathlon I completed was the full Vinemen in 2007 (I did swim/bike Kansas 70.3 in 2008 but a tornado cancelled the run). After that I'd turned to bike racing only, then a crash, knee surgery, rehab, and told by the surgeon that I should never run again, so I didn't really think about triathlon. I followed who won the various Ironman races and the results of my friends, but I rarely swam and never ran. But then with moving to Tennessee, I thought maybe I'd try a tri again and Music City Tri was a good choice. And hopefully I'd be ready for the sprint.
The start is in downtown Nashville, with the transition area right on Broadway, within spitting distance of the honky tonks, less that 2 miles from my house and a few blocks from work. What wasn't to love! The day before the tri we did an open water swim race to test out the course and the river. There was a current in the river and I probably swam closer to 500 meters than 400. But it was good to get in the water and test the course. And we didn't seem to have any adverse effects from the water. (Everyone at work said, "You are going to swim WHERE!?!?!?! Ick!")
Sunday morning I checked the weather and it was about 75F. Yea! Until I walked outside and it was super humid! Oh boy. I picked up Kathy, we drove to my office and parked there and walked our bikes and stuff to transition. They were doing a sprint, an international/Olympic distance, an Aquabike and a "velo-run" dividsion. The sprint started first, with a time trial swim start – you start one by one about 10 seconds apart, jumping off the dock, with the start order seeded by your projected swim time. Everyone had to be out of the transition area by 7:00 AM, so there was a bit of waiting around to line up for the swim. I was sitting with my swim buddy Pu and we chatted with a gal who was doing her first tri, so there wasn't too much time to get nervous. (Unlike a month earlier when I did the Chattanooga Waterfront Aquabike (swim/bike) where I was extremely nervous before the start!
I was number 280 or so (and remember, you lined up in numerical order) and I wasn't so keen on jumping off the dock into water I couldn't see, so I sat down on the side and went in that way. Swim time was 9:29, about 1 minute faster than the day before. I swam a much straighter line but it was much more crowded than the open water swim on Saturday. Climbed up the ladder and walked up the stairs and to transition.
Helmet on, sunglasses on, shoes on, trot the bike out to the mount/dismount line and head up 2nd Street. One block flat, then uphill about 3 blocks to the bridge to go over the river. The bike course went over by the football stadium, then through an industrial area and onto a 4 lane expressway which was totally closed to traffic. Going out was a net uphill, with a couple of rollers, and I was thinking that once we hit the turnaround we would fly back since it was net downhill. Right. Once we turned around and were headed back, we hit a big headwind. At this point, I was really glad I didn't have to do a second loop. I passed a few people on the way out and quite a few passed me, but on the way back, I passed quite a few of them back. Finished the bike in 58:52. Racked the bike, put my running shoes on and...melted.
The 5K run became a 5K walk with a few 50-70 step jogs interspersed. It was sunny, no shade and close to 90F (still humid). Couple that with less than optimal run training, and my whole goal was to just finish. Which is what I did. 52:36. And, as slow as that was, I was only 3 minutes out of 3rd place Masters Athena. Note to self: Do the run training, get thinner and kick some butt next time.
June 14, 2014
The TN State time trial was the first race I did when I moved here two years ago. I flew here on a Thursday, checked into a hotel in Brentwood and on Friday, went to MOAB Franklin to pick up one of my bikes. The guys gave me directions for a ride right out the door and man, it was HOT and HUMID! In the line-up in 2012, I ended up right behind Tammy so she was one of the first people I met here, and now we're on the same team! That race was fun – I was 4th in the 20K Merckyx division (no time trial equipment), riding about 17.1 mph.
Fast forward to this weekend. A lot has happened in two years – lots more work, lots more travel, a real winter (SUCKS!), buying a house, a very, very stressful fall 2013, xx more pounds, and a lot less riding the bike means I am far from the fitness I used to have (but I WILL get it back). So my goal was to just ride within myself and use my new bike (Quintana Roo tri bike). I've only had a few rides on it and no extended time in the aero position, so I was a little worried I'd be riding too much on the bullhorns (definitely NOT aero).
Chrysa picked me up at 6:00 AM and it was actually a little cool. Way better weather than 2 years ago. We drove down to Lascassas and met up with Corrine, who was doing her first ever race. FUN! They'd posted the start list and my start time was 8:25. Get checked in, pin number, get warmed up, then it was time to go line up. There was one other woman in the W55+ division and she was from Indiana. She stated 30 seconds in front of me in full-on aero gear (wheels, skinsuit, booties, etc.)
Starts were 30 second intervals. Clip in, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go. I'd started too fast in the last TT, so I eased into the first mile. The course is an out and back with a slight false flat and even though it wasn't hot, there was a definite headwind. The IN gal was down the road so I rode controlled but wasn't very happy with my slow speed. In fact, I was in the small chainring most of the way. One good thing is that I was able to stay aero almost the entire time. When I got within a mile of the turnaround, the men coming back all shouted “TAILWIND!” They were right.
Hit the turnaround and clicked it into the big chain ring and coming back, I hit 22-25 mph most of the way, with a few times much higher, once hitting 33 mph. I got to the 1K to go sign and that seemed like the longest kilo ever! Crossed the finish line at full speed and then shut it down and spun around for 20 minutes to loosen up my legs.
2012 20K time: 40:09
2014 20K time: 43:55
Goal for next year – sub-40:00.
The IN gal dusted me, but, since she's not a TN resident, I am the TN W55+ State TT Champion. Thanks to the women of Tennessee Women's Cycling Project and everyone who's drug me out to ride, to ISM Saddles and Quintana Roo. Now to do the new bike justice.
May 31 – June 1, 2014
I hadn't really planned on doing these races since I'm vastly undertrained, but I did get 6 days in a row riding in California in mid-May and a few days prior, decided to just go and have fun. It would be a good way to get some enforced training in. W4s could either do the W4 22 mile RR or ride with the 123s in the 44 mile RR.
Friday afternoon I picked up Emily and we were off. We got to the hotel, got checked in, picked up our race packets, then met up with Kristi and Chrysa for dinner. Back to the hotel to figure out when we had to get up and leave and it was then, I had my first “What the hell am I doing?” thought.
Saturday morning we were up and out the door fairly early for our 8:00 AM road race start. It was then that I was really getting nervous. My last road race was in 2009, back when I was decently fit but just a week post-crash. Now, I was way out of shape and a lot fatter. Note to self – rectify this!
The W4s RR was 2 laps of the course, about 22 miles total. TWCP had me, Emily and Paige in the race, plus about 8 other ladies, mostly from the Memphis area. Warm up on the road, then time to line up. The first half mile was neutral roll-out (similar to Snelling for your NorCal readers), then a right hand turn and up a hill and GO! There was a little too much braking and hand signals (just ride over the small cracks please, no need to point them out) but the group stayed together. The right turn came and going up the hill, I was off the back. Well, a nice solo ride. But no, I get to the top of the hill and there is a lone rider not that far ahead! Hammer the slight downhill and catch up with her and we chat and she says, “Let's ride together”. OK by me! She was from Memphis and knew the course, so that was good. The course was flat to rolling, so I got on the front for about 80% of the time and just rode tempo. She kept commenting on how strong I was, which made me keep going.
We go by the finish line and headed out on the second loop. The hills on the neutral rollout were a lot easier when I could take them at speed (use that momentum!), but the right turn hill that dropped me the first lap got me again, but I got to the top and thought, “I don't have to do that again!” Somewhere about 2/3rds of the way through the second loop, I got a gap on my riding partner, and to be honest, I was just wanting to get finished and if I had to sprint her out for “not last”, well, the track legs were getting ready. We get to the 1K sign and I KNOW I can ride hard for the kilo, so I picked it up. At the 200m sign, I took a peek back and saw someone in blue (she was wearing blue) – CRAP! Seated sprint! I crossed the finish line and sat up and the person in blue was a Cat. 5 dude. A few minutes later my riding partner crossed the line. I thanked her for motivating me. Finished 10/11. But hey, finishing was the main goal.
Later Saturday afternoon was a short (5 mi) TT, back on the same RR course (only the opposite direction). We'd left and went to eat, then laid around the hotel until time to come back and get ready for the TT. It was hot and humid (like 85F) and as we were hanging out at the truck, the local TV station had a reporter onsite interviewing people, so I chatted with him.
Lined up for the TT start and I took the first mile out too hard. We made a left turn, straight into a headwind. Since the TT was so short, I'd just ridden the road bike. I do wonder what my time would have been with my TT bike. I ended up sub-17 minutes, which had been my goal, but I could feel the tiredness in my legs. Again, finished “not last”. But had fun. 9/10
Back to the hotel to shower, then the team went out for dinner.
After the TT, teammate Paige was sitting right near the top of the omnium, so the team goal was to get her a high enough finish in the crit to be on the podium of the omnium (hopefully, the top step!) Our race was around 9:00 AM and after about 5 minutes on the rollers in the parking lot at 8:00 AM, I was drenched in sweat. Yes, it was going to be a hot and humid one early.
For the crit, we had a majority of the W4s field – me, Emily, Paige, Kristi, Karah, and Tammy plus Chrysa (who is officially on Team Novo Nordisk). Warmed up, did a few laps of the course – why didn't someone mention the two hills???? Lined up and we were off – up a hill. I was behind someone who had a little trouble getting clipped in, so I was off the back from the gun. I rode around solo and about halfway through, my legs started to cramp, so I put it in the small chain ring and just finished it out. The one very fun part of riding solo was being able to come down the backside hill and just rail that right turn at speed, taking whatever line I wanted. At one point in the race, I came up on the aftermath of a crash and slowed up to make sure Paige and the other gal went to the pit to get their free lap.
There was a strong headwind on the long finishing straight (and up the hill), which made it not so fun, but in the end, Paige WON, even after a crash mid-race, with Karah third and Kristi fourth. And with the crit win, she won the omnium! So a very successful weekend for TN Women's Cycling Project. 6/6 for the omnium.
Only six days left in this challenge and I've been liking it quite a bit. It's given me some ideas to later write about and got me to take a writing course, so a win all around.
Yesterday I found out how much you can get done if you just get out of bed and get going. That is something I had a lot of trouble with in the past maybe 3 months. Pretty much when the weather changed and the time change. I did sleep in with no alarm and since I didn't get to bed until after midnight, I slept in until nearly 9:00 AM. Coffee, make my juice (orange, carrots, kale, lemon, kiwi), then I finished up the painting in my master bathroom. For everything else, I think I'll have a painter come do it since it does take up a lot of time. I like the painting part. I don't like all the taping up and then cleaning up everything part. But my ocean blue wall against the big window and white trim and white bathtub looks really good.
My new bike racing team, Tennessee Women's Cycling Project, (http://tnwomenscycling.com/) had our first get-together last night and it was so fun to meet all my new teammates. We had originally planned a ride in the afternoon, but with the uber-cold weather we've been having and waking up to a little snow on the ground, the ride got cancelled and we just did a potluck that evening. We had 15 or 16 women here from both the race team and the club team, and there is a mix of road and mountain (and of course cyclocross.) And at least one trackie and triathlete silly enough to enter an Ironman this year!! Most of the time was spent chatting and getting to know everyone and we will plan a road camp and a mountain bike camp before the season gets going. The first race in the area is Hell of the South at the end of March.
And I did get on the trainer yesterday. I have the Lemond Revolution trainer (http://lemond.myshopify.com/) where you take the back wheel off the bike and the Lemon has a cassette that you put our bike onto. It rides much more realistically than other trainers. I also recently bought all of the Sufferest videos (http://www.thesufferfest.com/) so yesterday afternoon I rode most of one of them. How apropos – it was the Wretched one where you used to be a champ, and now you're out of shape and suck, you forgot how to suffer, etc. Yes, that pretty much sums it up! But at least I'm back on the bike. But hopefully I'll get some miles in soon in warm sunny California.
So the 2014 season is looking up. There should be some good racing and it will be time to do some things like road races and go other places to race. Supposedly Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky aren't that far. I've only been out of the Nashville metro area once since I've moved here so it's time to do some exploring.
Endings. What is that saying? “All good things must come to an end.” I think that's it.
When I moved here I knew no one. The one person I did know that lived here (who knows me pretty well), high-tailed it out of the state to San Diego before I moved. His comment when we went to lunch on my first visit there was, “You will hate it here.” Thanks Paulo. At least he turned me on to Fido. There was one person whom I knew from a triathlon email list, but had never met (yea Lisa!)
So it made it so less difficult to actually move knowing my co-workers Matthew and Vince would also be moving. Matthew, Johnno and the kids moved first, landing in Franklin. Then on one of the trips to interview potential hires, Vince found the apartment complex that we both ended up moving to. I reserved a place there when it was still being built, but it was close to downtown and work and was going to be brand new. Having to commute in my own truck was not an option (and they don't have public transportation here. Well, there is a bus, but let's just say, this is a VERY car-centric place.) So having a nice, brand new, granite countertops, laminate floors instead of industrial grey carpet and a WASHER/DRYER INSIDE THE APARTMENT and a pool was awesome! Of course, going from having half of a San Francisco flat to a mere 700 square feet took a lot of weeding out and condensing my stuff and in the apartment, there was no good place for the bicycles. Plus, I still had to rent a storage unit!
But, it was so great having Vince, Aaron and Wookie in the same complex, though they ended up being in the building next to mine. That was close enough. There were so many fun times having someone to go out with, and it made me feel better when I'd go ride solo, knowing that if I got stranded, I could call them to come get me.
Some of the highlights:
Many a dinner shared that I cooked but it did include Vince learning to cook, including his making lumpia for Thanksgiving.
Many a Wednesday night in their “apartment/lounge” (the coolest decorating by Aaron) watching “Nashville” and drinking whisky, often followed by a Wii dance party.
Dinners or cocktails out. Many, many nights.
The night we went honky-tonking during CMA Fest.
Taking Vince to his first ever Jimmy Buffett concert. We met in the parking lot to drive downtown and he had on turquoise pants, a Hawaiian shirt and a hat. His first words were, “I'd better not be the only one dressed like this!” “OK”, I said as I smiled, knowing he would be dressed pretty tame compared to some Parrotheads.
Taking Vince to his first ever NFL football game, the San Francisco 49ers v. Tennessee Titans. And trying to explain everything that was going on down on the field. 49ers won!
Taking Aaron to the Grammy Nomination concert where we both drooled over Adam Levine. And trading photos and comments back and forth about Adam.
Wookie. That little dog – I love. When I lived at the apartment, he knew exactly which door to run to when they got off the elevator. And the first time at my house, he went to the 3rd floor and ran across the carpet, rubbing his face into it, marking his territory.
Vince coming over regularly at the apartment to vacuum my floor. I didn't have a vacuum when I first moved here and Vince LOVES to vacuum, so it was a win-win!
Our daily talks about everything, either in his office or mine.
And now, Vince and Wookie are moving back to California (Aaron moved back in the fall). And Vince's last day at work was yesterday. I feel like I'm being abandoned. But it's a good move for him personally and I'll see the three of them on my trips back to NorCal. I guess it's time for the next chapter for all of us.
This would be the 24th straight day that I've written a minimum of 500 words. I'm kind of getting into the flow of it, so I've decided to take a 6-week writing course – Intro to Non-Fiction through Gotham Writers (www.writingclasses.com). Time to get a little more focused.
One of the TV shows I like watching is “The Biggest Loser” and they use the Body Media device to measure how many calories they burn (with a corresponding food database to enter what you consume since it's a lot about calories in v. calories out). Since they were having a sale, I ordered one (Body Media Fit) and it came Tuesday. I've now had two full days of wearing it and you know that sitting at work for 8-10 hours a day isn't the best, but damn, seeing it in real numbers is very enlightening.
You plug in your metrics and goals and it gives you a target to hit for calorie burn and intake. Intake in via an online database so it's much easier to eat whole, real food, than to enter a long list of “ingredients”. And restaurant eating? Well, that's a guesstimate. Like last night when we went to Lucky Bamboo (off Charlotte just past White Bridge Road next to the K&S Market) for hot pot. Hot pot is a broth and then you choose what veggies and meat or fish you want and they bring it all out raw and you cook it yourself. We had chicken, beef, jumbo shrimp, and a whole table full of veggies – greens, bok choy, two kinds of mushrooms, Chinese pea shoots, Napa cabbage. Kind of hard to quantify that. But it's really good and all whole food, so I won't worry about that one meal.
Anyway, back to the Body Media. For the last two days, I've only burned 2,000 to 2,100 calories. So, I need to step up the working out. Crap, I need TO work out. It's been very cold this entire week (5F this morning). I didn't sign up for this. In fact, that's a major reason I left Kansas in 1984!! I remember when we visited in November 2011, everyone said, “Oh, winters are not that bad here. Maybe a few days of cold weather.” I call bullshit on that.
Another thing the Body Media measures is physical activity (over a certain MET) and steps. The target goal for steps is 8,000 per day. I've only hit 3,500 and 3,200 the past two days. Going from the house to the truck to work and back is a habit I need to break.
If you wear the Body Media at night, it will measure your sleep and give you an efficiency rating. That's one plus – I don't toss and turn. I get in bed, fall asleep and stay asleep until the alarm wakes me up. I just need to get another hour of sleep.
Each area further breaks down into charts, graphs, etc., such as nutrition breakdown into percentages, actual graphs of when you take the steps or have physical activity hitting the MET minimum.
So, very eye-opening. Time to swing the kettlebell.