"It’s not over yet"
Those were the last words the Lord spoke to me (yes, spoke to me) about the B2B as I limped home dejected after a run that ended in ITB pain a few weeks back. I haven’t heard (yes, heard) anything specific since. Those words were enough to keep a little fire of hope kindled in my heart for racing the IM this year. In retrospect I should have never doubted, but its hard when time ticks by and you stay injured week after week and you are helplessly watching your run fitness slip away. So while I still had a glimmer of hope, I had partially written off the race in my head.
Fast forward to last Friday. The race is 22 days away, about 3 weeks, and if I couldn’t pull off a long run I was going to pull out of the race. I figured there’s no reason to trash my body and sacrifice my off season run training just to finish the ironman. As a last ditch effort at salvaging my spot in the race I stopped by the local CVS pharmacy on the way home from work and picked up a double hinged knee brace (http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/shop_product_detail.jsp?filterBy=&skuId=397803&productId=397803&navAction=jump&navCount=3).
I was skeptical that it would work since I’d heard no mention of using such a device for ITBS on the web. Yes, I’ve read just about every bit of content on the internet on the subject of ITB. But I could see that the device was designed to force the knee into a straight track and minimize lateral (side to side) movement. I believed Dr. Renick when he determined the cause of my ITBS as lateral movement of my knee in the stance phase of my run, although his diagnosis of a tight adductor as the cause of the lateral movement seemed to be questionable after gaining flexibility in that area and continuing to have issues.
So I went out for a run early Saturday morning in light rain while my wife and kids were still asleep. To my surprise, wearing the contraption wasn’t too uncomfortable. After having an injury of this nature you become very acutely aware of any hint of pain in the affected area. I felt none. So I kept running. By mile 14 I was feeling the fact that I had very little run fitness left after 8 weeks without running long. My inner quads were screaming but my knee felt fine. I started feeling a little better by mile 16 but decided not to push it past 18 and change. Don’t get me wrong, it was slow (2:52 / 9:20 something avg. pace) but I ran it very easy and I got through the distance while staying in zone 2 almost the whole time. My average heart rate for the run was 135. This showed me that my run fitness wasn’t that far removed.
So … It’s not over yet. My plan is to race the B2B on November 1. I won’t have a great run split, but I’m confident that the ITBS won’t be an issue. Does this give me an excuse to go for a 5 hr bike split? I need to get in one more longish run this weekend, but with only two weeks until the race I’m not sure how long I should run. Any and all advice is welcomed!! My thoughts are either I go for 20 or I only do 14 or so.
The SC Half
This was my first relay race. It was hard watching everyone else do the whole race and not being able to myself. I met a really cool guy, Dan (psycholist on Slowtwitch), who only does relay teams and is one of the best time trial cyclists I’ve ever seen. He’s older (not sure how old) but for the second year in a row he had the fastest overall (not just relay) bike split of the day. He came by me at mile 39 and said, “smackdown”. I had no answer for him either verbally or on the bike. The guy is a legend. I think he went 2:13 or something like that. It was great talking with him afterward and later via Slowtwitch messaging.
Other highlights from the race:
- I was asked to do the pre-race prayer (nerve racking in front of some many people).
- It was beautiful morning. The sunrise was spectacular.
- We did great as a team (4th of 18) we went sub 5 hours (4:47). My original goal for the race, doing it alone, was a 4:40.
- I got in a great day of training on the bike. I went 2:25:52 for the 56 miles (23+ mph average) which I though was pretty good for a roller-hills type course. My original race-alone goal was 2:30. Not having to run off the bike allowed me to push harder than I otherwise would have. Next year I hope to go closer to 2:20 and run well coming off.
My new bike, a Scott Plasma 10, was supposed to arrive on the 15th but it looks like some of the 09s are delayed a bit. So it looks like I’ll be racing the IM on my 08 Plasma, which is okay by me. I’m very comfortable (and fast) on the 08 and it’s certainly less risky than switching models two weeks before a big race. As soon as it comes in I’ll be parting with my 08. It’s 54 cm and will go for a ridiculously low price if you know anyone interested, (with stock Mavic Cosmic Elites – the Zipps are not included).
For Sale: 54 cm 2008 Plasma Pro
Work has been nuts. Good and really bad. The good is that I’m getting to lead a project that I’ve wanted to get done for 4 years. Also, we’re getting recognized and touted by Microsoft for our innovative software. The bad is that we’ve been given the manager from you know where. I have faith in our former manager and current AVP that he’ll get this situation corrected swiftly. A whole team of talented, opinionated and headstrong developers that are very unhappy is not a pretty thing. Harmony must be restored - pun intended (Harmony is the name of our system).
1st Place SCTS Male 30-34
My wife and I attended the South Carolina Triathlon Series awards ceremony this past weekend. We came in a little late. Jeremey was already on the mic when we got there and we had to walk right between him and all the tables full of people to get where there were some empty seats. Thank you David for inviting us to your table and congrats on your 2nd place finish! We had such a good time talking with you, Chris, Cameron and the others at the table. I feel like we had the best seats in the house. The dinner and wine were good and it was nice to meet new friends and we got a good amount of Hammer swag. Thanks Chris for kicking down the free Tri the Midlands entry for next year! Cameron tried to convince me to come get my butt kicked in the Open division next year. Those guys are racing at another level than me. Maybe Old Man Winter will bring me a little more speed in each discipline. We’ll see.
Next up is the B2B, then on to the exciting world of the off season.