Brief update...God Bless Hank

Oh my...what a crazy few weeeks here. I only have a few minutes here to fill everyone in - so I'll be brief....Last week was my first of the 3-part lecture series on Triathlon and it took a little more time to get together than I anticipated - but it all came together well and we had a great turnout. It's great to see so many new faces around here getting healthy and trying something new like this sport! Putting that lecture together in conjunction with coming off a really hard week of heavy training literally drained the life out of me - and any waking moment i had was dedicated to power point! fortunately, i've had a recovery week this week and I have slept more than I can remember ever sleeping and it has been wonderful! I feel so rested...and looking forward to my next few weeks of killer mileage...
as far as the foot is going - well, it's still there [the foot, that is :-) ] and the pain too....I have been managing it well and dont feel the pain as badly as I did before I took all that time off and started therapy...but it is still there. I call this my management phase. I am running 3x/week and focusing on specifics - and hopefully that will be enough. I am weary of running more as I do not want to make it worse and I seem to be able to keep it under control at these levels - so, it is what it is....and I'll take it because it can alwayd be worse......

last weekend after a long ride, a very good friend and someone i look up to in many ways was hit by a car on his way home from our ride. He should have died on the scene based on the severity of his injuries, but by the grace of God, he is still with us. Hank has been in this sport much longer than me and is ne of the people who has witnessed my transformation over the years. he is a very spiritual and religious man and had always been a big believer and supporter of mine - as he was the first sponsor I ever had!
Hank has been in the CCU for a week now and has had a very bumpy road since his accident. He has undergone many "procedures" to help his lungs as when his ribs broke, they punctured his lungs in so many places that is is impossible for him to breathe on his own. Without getting into the gory details, Hank was hit broadside when he rolled thru a stop sign on the trace and an SUV plowed into him. His injuries included broken ribs in more places than i can count, broken C-7, broken clavicle, collapsed lungs, and a broken hand. I am likely leaving something out - but I can tell you, it was bad.



I'm no doctor, but I think I have figured out what to do to get a handle on this heel pain...and I have to share. Too many of us have gone through the plantar fascitus thing and there will be many more to come so I would like to pass on the things I have learned.

Strangely enough, my "condition" came on in the "off season" after I took a little time off after Clearwater and began back training in late November. I have never really been one for stretching a lot - I mean, would do a little here and there, but not spend more than say 10 minutes a day. The heel just began to hurt, especially after running, but soon it just hurt all the time. I kept running on it thinking it would just go away (sounds stupid, i know, but sometimes little pains DO just go away!!)

It got to the point where I ran a 15 mile race and decided then that it was time to stop running. I mean....I could barely walk after the race and for the next day. I could walk the 2nd day, but I was limping and favoring the outside of my foot avoiding the "toe off" which seemed to hurt the most.

I went to see my podiatrist, Dr Jay Groves ( My Foot guy) and he told me NO RUNNING, gave me a shot on the plantar part of the foot, put me in the splint, and got me on the prostretch. I then hooked up with Mike (my massage guy) and had the foot/calf worked on. Mike began to tear my calf down! At that point we stayed away from the heel because it hurt too much. Strangely, the plantar part of my foot did not hurt, but the heel did. the day after the shot, the heel still hurt a little - I mean, it was better, but it still hurt. then a few days later, i'd say the heel hurt the same as before, if not more. I was worried at this point....so I had an MRI done to settle my mind on what was going on down there - it came back saying everything looked good and in tact, but some bursitis. come again?

So, I started to wear compression socks all the time. Morning, noon, and night - i hear my new nickname is "suzie socks"....cute. anyway - that didn't bother me, it's actually funny! it's like I've told a lot of people, I was to the point where I would strap a dead chicken to my handlebars if I thought it would make the heel feel better! (sorry Tony).

Another trip to Dr Groves, and he said the problem is still there rooted in the calf. I need to loosen it up. No problem, i thought. but the heel hurt when I stretched.....

Then, the breakthrough -- The discovery of the trigger point in my soleus that (according to the trigger point book in mikes massage room) has referred pain in the heel. I squirmed around on the table like I have never done before - but the heel was pain free for the next day and a half (it hurt a little after the massage, but the next morning, i stepped out of bed in shock! It felt normal!). I was on to something. Now, I am pursuing PT and some ultrasound on the heel and soleus with my massage and lots of stretching and I think I have found the recipe for success in beating this.

So I have been back to running now for just over a week. I must say, the pain is still there -- like Amy Marsh said it would be :-( -- but manageable I suppose. It is not as bad for sure. I am a little frustrated, but happy to be running again. I hope I can continue to manage it and keep the training going for New Orleans. I'll keep you posted.....

OH - look what I saw at the Saints Game in the Superdome a couple of weeks ago!!!



In Light of my new sponsorship with

Lakeview Regional Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Clinic

(Good timing with the heel and all, don't you think?)

Here's the video from our spot this morning. It was fun...but I still think I look goofy!


Wishful Thinking

Well, I thought the heel was better...but it's not. I went for my test run yesterday (after 3 weeks of no running at all) and man, did it feel good to run. but the heel....not so good. I could feel it the entire time, but it was very mild, so i just kept on. after that, i went for another easy swim (and i could feel it in the water - hmmmm) then came home to ice it.
I felt it all last night in bed - I even took my splint off since it was making my heel ache with the pressure of the bed. that sucked - but at least i could sleep after i took it off.
This morning, I woke up to the typical morning "owie" of Plantars. I immediately put the shoes on and it seemed to be a bit relieved. and it seemed to loosen up as the mornig went on. I think that's a good sign, since before, it was bad all off the time and never seemed to loosen up as the day went on.
I had another massage on the calf this morning and mike did his usual magic and now the heel feels good. It just all comes down to stretching and blood flow - just like the doctor said! Imagine that!
So, I'm going to try to re-introduce the run slowly here - 3x a week and see how I can manage that. I plan to keep the swim up as I have really enjoyed the extra yardage I have been putting in....who woulda thought that?


A New Development

Yesterday, I was flipping through Mike's (my Massage Therapist) Trigger Point Books - I like to read up on a lot of stuff when I have a weird lingering injury because i always wonder if there is something else going on that maybe we're all overlooking....

Well, I found something. A trigger point in my calf (when I was reading the book, I showed mike what i found...) and when he hit it - it sent me squriming!

Back in Clearwater, I remember having a pain in my hip, to the point where I was ready to stop because it hurt so bad and I had never had it before so I was spooked. It was kinda at the top of my leg in the backside (like the lingo?), but since I loafed around for a couple of weeks after the race, I never had it again. Well, after my library session yesterday in the massage room, THAT seems to be a trigger point related to the soleus trigger point we found yesterday. Go figure.

So, after the massacre on the massage table, I came home to ice and found myself lying in bed the rest of the day foregoing my scheduled swim practice. I felt aweful and I wasn't sure if it was just from the massage (sometimes they make me feel really bad afterwards), or if I picked up some bug at a New Years shindig....anyway, so I crashed for the day, then this morning I woke up and VOILA! NO PAIN in my heel!!! Can you believe it?

So this morning I decided to cross the lake and ride the IMNO 70.3 bike course with GNO TRI. Something new for me as I always ride up here on the northshore. I got caught in the fog over the causeway this morning, so i was running a little late. I parked a little ways down on the lakefront and was able to hook up with the Giro. I'm sure they weren't too happy to see me with my aerobars and all, but after we caught the tri group - i pulled off and rode the rest of the way with them. I like the steady pace of a tri ride anyways - I'm not a big fan of the drafting surge/slow road bike mentality anyway.

The Heel was good all day. No ache on the bike or afterwards - and none in the pool either. I am so excited. I will try to run tomorrow and see how it goes.....


On The News!!!

Well, Here we go...

Lakeview Regional Medical Center here in Mandeville will be one of my Sponsors for 2009 and we will be hosting a 3-part Lecture series on Triathlon starting January 27th. The New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO had me in for an interview early this morning and here it is: