Monday, September 28, 2009

Two steps forward 1 back!

Today was another day of progress. I managed to find my old snorkel that I used to train with a few years ago. I figured that would allow me to keep my head submerged without having to turn my neck. I could then focus on my shoulder and my stroke. I managed to do 30 minutes of drills...first pulling under water,then getting my arm out of the water to do a fingertip drill and lastly managing to get my arm out of the water and pulling through all the way. I did not want to push things so I stopped after thirty minutes when I started to freeze in the pool.
I then spent another half hour in the shower and hot tub warming up which felt great!
It was such a gorgeous day I decided to head over to the reservoir for a little walk with the possibility of seeing how my neck felt running. This is the softest surface and one of the prettiest area's to run around here. I headed out walking and then started a slow shuffle. My first mile was 12 minutes,second 11 and third 10 minutes. I never jogged faster than a 9 minute mile. This is HUGE but a few hours later I was advised by my PT that running is still not a good idea. I have been getting pain which has got progressively worse the more I do in my glute. Jimmy is still thinking I may have hurt/torn a hamstring attachment. I have definitely got some bad bruising on my hip socket bone/and (ileum/ischiem bones) and glute and hamstrings have no strength. So today's physical therapy was so painful that I threatened to hit him if he hurt me anymore.
I am so achy from all the prodding to my body but will get a good nights sleep so I can do it all again tomorrow!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One day at a time!

One must not forget that recovery is brought about not by the physician, but by the sick man himself. He heals himself, by his own power, exactly as he walks by means of his own power, or eats, or thinks, breathes or sleeps.
Georg Groddeck

Today I got in the pool for the 2nd time. Two days ago was just a kick and roll to breathe...20 laps as I still did not have full ROM on my shoulder. Today I managed too pull through gently with my left arm, with little pain, just weakness. I need to get over the fear of turning my neck as I am able to turn it slowly left and right most of the way. Every time I talk of the crash my neck decides to go into a mild spasm this will be the last time I mention it so I can forget about it and move on.

I am not running yet but have spent the last two days on the elliptical. Today's 1 mile took me 30 minutes...yes laughable and embarrassing...I know but something to mark my improvement with.
I spent 20 minutes climbing stairs...and 20 minutes pushing 150 watts on the stationary bike. I think it's time to see if my neck and swollen glute can manage my bike on a trainer.

I am anxious to get back to training where I am happiest!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Looking at the glass half full! Thankful!

Well, over the weekend I was unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I was biking down Casino street in Freehold Township with two friends Bob Reilly and Tom Manzi who I had just hooked up with, when we saw a garbage truck in the distance.I always pay close attention to my surroundings when I ride so I watched the garbage man walk across the road back to his truck which was facing in our direction on the opposite side of the road. I saw the cans were on our side of the road all standing up, 3 of them. So I assumed he was moving on. We were riding around 22-23 mph and we were meeting a few friends further up the road. As we went by out of the blue a can was rolled very fast right in front of me. I am not quite sure as I had no time to react but I believe the can went either in front or hit my wheel and I somehow did a flip landing on my head,neck, shoulder then hip. I do not remember hitting the ground but I do remember my head pounding and my shoulder throbbing. I was lucky to not get any road rash as all the impact went down into the ground and into my body.
Tom who was behind me said he will have nightmares for a while as he said it looked like I was going to either crack my head open or break my neck. Thankfully neither is the case! I am thankful for helmets as their were 5 cracks in mine that could have very easily been my head. My head however did receive a few staples.

I was taken to Jersey Shore Trauma hospital where they did cat scans on my head and neck, and xrays of my shoulder and hip. My cat scans showed inflammation from the middle of the back of my head down into my neck with no severe damage..thank goodness. My xrays showed no broken bones. For that I am relieved!
As I had cut my head and I was in the trauma ward the attending nurse was so kind not to cut my biking jackets or my hair instead she sweetly jammed three staples into my scalp without any medication saying it wasn't really worth it!!! Thanks!
Another very sweet nurse then kindly informed me that I would have to get a tetanus shot in my arm...and we decided to put it in the same arm that was already in pain. (Looking back now probably not such a good idea!)
With a steady flow of morphine going( which in itself felt awful), my pain seem to steady. Bob, who I had been riding with came by to check on me which was very nice. We both could not believe how absurd the accident was. Hank and the kids had arrived very concerned but happy to see me in one piece and took me home. I was warned that the next few days were going to be the worst and they were right. I called Coach Paulo right away who always puts things into perspective for me. He right away told me not to think of doing anything for 5 days and then we would reevaluate.

I am very lucky to have some great people in my life. Gerry Goldberger, friend and orthopedic surgeon from Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Freehold, set up an appointment for me on Monday. What an amazing facility they have there and everyone was so nice. He confirmed with an Xray that my neck muscles were in total shock/spasm. I could not move my neck and my left shoulder was very swollen. It was great to see someone who understood how I was feeling as he too is a triathlete and understands the importance of recovery/training/racing. Gerry set me up with Karen from his Physical Therapy section which is right in the facility. She did some gentle massage,heat, a few basic exercises and some good kinetic taping to push out some of the swelling. I don't like to sit in bed and being around pleasant happy people I feel was better therapy for me than resting at home! I am thankful to my friend Judy who dropped everything she had to do to drive me there. Things like that mean so much!

My next visit was too see Dr Liz Perez. She not only saw me on her day off but let me come to her home as I was in the area. She is the best ART(Active Release Therapy) therapist in America...and I mean that! She has got me through many a sore /strained muscle and she is always the last person I see before I leave for a race as she fine tunes my body. I trusted my aching body over to her. I asked her if she thought I would be back to training by the weekend and she laughed :-( and said no way! Thanks for keeping it real Liz!
What she did was got the range of motion going on a neck that would not move and gave me some exercises to do to help loosen them up. She strongly advised me to rest and ice ALL day! Liz is truly one of the most giving and caring people I know!

Today I made a trip to see another great guy. Jimmy Smith from Crest Physical Therapy in Wall. I have been going to see him since I moved down to the NJ Shore 13 years ago. His PT facility is where I like to spend my winters getting strong and ready for the following season. His office is filled with good energy and happy people and I always leave there feeling great. His hands are like magic and I trust his opinions greatly. Without hesitation he got me in today and got to work in his lunch break. He is one of those people that go above and beyond! He has no mercy and his hands go to work digging deep and finding the source of pain. Well today he too did not want to touch the shoulder but worked on the neck muscles moving them around and trying to get them to relax. Soon I will be back to training I know it!!!
Thank goodness for having a strong body! He was a little concerned over a possible hamstring tear but will let some of the swelling go down before he digs in to see.
Thanks Jimmy for your time today!

I appreciate ALL the calls/texts/FB messages I got over the last few days. It is nice that friends are so caring and thoughtful and it really helps when you are down and hurt to have that support. Thanks to the Cole Family for their lovely fruit basket and to Liz for dinner.
Hank and the kids have been great too, bringing me and making sure I am icing on a regular basis and doing alot of the stuff a mom does!
I will write an update soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Farewell Summer!

My kids start school tomorrow and I am sad to say that summer just went by so fast this year. With a month of rain in June, July and August just flew by. So on this last weekend of summer I tried to do some of my favorite things.
Saturday was a gorgeous day for an ocean mile swim. I met my friends Ran, and Bernadette and we biked up to the race. At 6.30 in the morning the usually quiet roads were already busy with vacationers claiming there parking spots along Ocean Blvd. We arrived at the race to see all the usual ocean swimmers and friends getting ready for the last race of the year. The Sea Girt swim was meant to be yesterday but was cancelled due to rough surf. The ocean has been closed on and off all week so we were lucky on Saturday just to have a bit of a shore break. With my Blue Seventy speed suit on, as the water was still 72, I ran into the ocean and got pummelled by many arms and legs. The usual thoughts went through my head of WHY do I do these swims...but a few moments later when I found some open water I relaxed and enjoyed every second. I felt great and finished strong and was happy with my 25th overall place and winning my age group. These swims are so relaxed and it's always fun getting the old ice cream sticks to see where you placed. Next was a 1.30 bike followed by a 40 minute run with Vinnie along the boardwalk. Most of it was spent dodging people.
Back home everyone was lounging by the the rest of the day was spent soaking up some sun before meeting up with some friends for dinner!

Sunday I woke up feeling a little under the weather. Three hard weeks back in training was catching up to me and I woke with a sore throat. Lying in bed I could hear the wind blowing hard through the lagoon and I peeked out of the window thinking it was raining. By 5.30 I was up and out on my bike to meet up with friend Bob Reilly. I met Bob out in IM Arizona last year so it was nice to finally get a good ride with him. He was coming off of racing Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race in Colorado and was definitely strong. It was a solid bike day for sure with a bread and butter run a few hours later that didn't feel quite as solid. Later that day me and the fam headed out for smoothies filled with antioxidants(which I needed) and then for a long walk,some shopping and playing around Ocean Grove and Asbury Park. It was amazing and good to see Asbury so revived and busy.

Today, despite still not feeling great I put my game face on and headed to Long Branch again for a 5km race. First one I can remember doing in many years. This was my great idea instead of the hard Monday run I usually get. My legs were fatigued on the warm up and my pick ups were short and my legs flat. But I got on the start line with a few of my good friends and did what I had to do.
A few fast girls were there and they took off way quicker than me. I ran a 5.45 first mile and they were about 20 -30 seconds already in front. So I settled into a comfortable pace, which looking back in a 5 km there shouldn't be any such thing as comfortable or FUN and that is pretty much where I stayed at. I could see my friend Tommy a few yards in front of me for most of the run but no trigger went off in my mind to try surge and catch him. I paced myself off of a girl who I knew was a good runner and when she surged at the end I did not dig deep to catch her.
It was over quickly,way too quickly. I almost felt like I wanted to do it all over again at the finish...push harder. So hopefully I will get another chance this year to try run a little faster and feel the pain!I managed to get 5th place, a styling new beach chair and a small check :-) Great job to Tommy for second in his age group and his fastest run of the year!

Great job too Geoff too. It was great to see you out racing today. It's been a long time since we stood on a race line together!

Next up was a swim with Scottie D who has been training with Team TBB. 30x 100's was the workout and it was a hammer session. I felt great swimming but sad as the outdoor pool swims come to a close this week :-( There is nothing like training with the sun on your back.
Back at home I headed out with Hank and the kids for a long easy bike ride...later stopping at the fun fair for rides and games and a little ice cream.
A greatway to end the summer season.