Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 Year in Review – Athletic Accomplishments

This is the blog post where I list the various 2010 events I participated in as an individual athlete rather than as a coach. I would normally highlight any personal accomplishments or extraordinary experiences, and stories about destination events. Normally I would hope to report on 6 to 8 Triathlons, various ½ and full marathons, and a Century ride or two. Unfortunately, this year I was unable to participate in a single event. This is the first year since 2002, when I first became involved with endurance sports by running the Houston Marathon, in which I did not individually participate in a single event. It was not by choice, my hip has given me a lot of trouble this year and I have been unable to run, bike, or even walk very far without pain and a limp.  

In January I signed up for the Lone Star Triathlon in Galveston with Team in Training which was scheduled for late April. I planned on doing the swim and bike, and then walking the run portion. It became clear early on that I was not going to be able to pull that off. I got on my road bike on my trainer a couple times early in the year and each time I had pain and a clicking noise in my hip, so that ruled out any biking for me. I attempted several walks around the 2.9 mile loop at Memorial Park and could not finish them without having to stop a few times and then needed ice afterwards. I resolved to myself that this was not my year as an athlete. I did go ahead and complete the fundraising to support the Lone Star Triathlon Team and ended up as the #3 fundraiser. I was also Master of Ceremonies for Inspiration dinner held the night before the event for all the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapters who were participating in the event.

The good news is that I am scheduled for a full hip replacement at the end of January and have expectations of being able to run again. My Doc, Kaare Kolstad M.D., said that after about 9 months I could do some easy running. So I have something to look forward to and anything will be better than limping around all the time. I think I will stretch the definition of “easy” running to suit my own needs and am planning on doing a couple of Sprint Tri’s near the end of the 2011 season (that sounds like “Easy” running doesn’t it?).  

Monday, February 1, 2010

Teach, Train, Inspire



Teach, Train, Inspire, that is going to be my mantra for this year. Or maybe Learn, Train, and Be Inspired. This weekend was a great start on that path. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Barrie Shepley Former Canadian National and Olympic Triathlon Coach. In over 25 years of coaching, Shepley has helped to create over 100 national and international medallists in a number of sports. As a coach, Shepley led Canada into the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games where Simon Whitfield won his historic Triathlon gold-medal.
Barrie was in town as the keynote speaker at a dinner for the Canadian Club of Houston. The Houston Racing Triathlon Club “HRTC” also arranged for Barrie to lead a run workout and give a lecture afterward.  Because I am still recovering from my recent surgeries I was unable to run during the track workout, but that actually worked out to my benefit. I followed Barrie during the workout and got to hear his comments and observations on the HRTC participants that were running. This is the “Learn” part, One of the philosophical distinctions he made to me was about the time ratio of dynamic warm-up to training session (20-25%), and his general observation that people train too much, and the quality of their training is poor. This couple hours shadowing Barrie reinforced many concepts, and theories that I had previously been exposed to, and have been using with our team. (Also, it was kind of funny because Barrie kept calling me “Coach”. I had forgotten that I was wearing our team windshirt that said “Coach” on it.)
Sunny and I attended the Dinner that evening as VIP guests and got a chance to spend more time with Barrie and have our picture taken with him and the Olympic torch he carried as part of the kick off for the 2010 Winter Olympics. His “rags to riches” coaching story, including a photo of Simon Whitfield’s broken down car, were very inspiring. I look forward to keeping in touch with Barrie and following his team.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Starting 2010 - Slowly, but surely

My plan as an athlete for 2010 was to start the year with a special event, “The Goofy Challenge”, which is a two day event in January with a Half Marathon on Saturday, and a Full Marathon on Sunday. You receive three really cool medals and several of my friends were going to do the event too.
During an October 2009 Training session after running about 8 miles I started to have substantial pain in my right hip. I made a trip to my friend Dr. J.D. Hasenbank and after an exam he recommended an MRI. The MRI proved that there were tears, and loose bodies in my hip socket which could only be corrected with surgery. On October 29th I had arthroscopic Hip surgery performed by Dr. Kaare Kolstad, Jr.
In addition to my hip surgery, I needed another surgery. I had been procrastinating having surgery for an abdominal hernia and diastasis recti for several years and it was getting worse. I tried to have the surgeries done at the same time, but wasn’t able to get the doc’s schedules to match and now I am glad that didn’t work-out. The hip surgery had me spending a lot of time laying down, using a crutch for several days, and using ice for a good part of each day. The abdominal surgery was substantially more difficult and painful. I was in the hospital for four days, and then spent the next week literally in bed at home. It has been very painful and there was a complication from surgery which affected my lateral femoral cutaneous nerve which runs along the upper and outer thigh. I had (have) pain from my hip, my abs (like a bad sunburn or abrasion), from the Lapascopic incisions, and from the nerve on my thigh (a burning tingling sensation). I hope to be 80-90% healed by the end of January. One of the most amazing things about this whole experience is that because the doctors were in the network of my health insurance I was able to have nearly $70,000 worth of medical care for a $620.00 out of pocket payment.
I am currently in an aggressive Physical Therapy program and have some great Therapists, Matt Holland and Natalie Naifeh. My hip doctor said that I should not ever run again, and that I will need a hip replacement in 2-4 years L. A hip replacement isn’t the end of the world because you can run again after the procedure, so we’ll see how things progress. I am currently registered for the Lonestar Triathlon in Galveston on April 25th. I haven’t been able to swim, bike, or really walk too much yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to start a routine the beginning of February.