The Triathlon Chronicles #2

This is going to go differently than I planned initially. According to my initial plan, this second Triathlon focused post was going to be the post about how I am finishing up my scheduled races for the year and spending my winter in a balanced mix of swimming, biking, running, and weight training so I can learn to
balance working out with the new family schedule and responsibilities, all the while continuing to build up my overall cardio and strength so that I can really attack my chosen training plan next year when it comes time to begin the training for my first ever triathlon, the Escape The Cape Tri on June 8th (I jump off the back of a ferry and swim back into shore in 228 days from today…not that I’m counting or anything). That’s what I was SUPPOSED to be writing about. But as it usually goes with me, the best laid plans are destined to be blown to smithereens. And so they were again. I have gone on at length about how my damn arthritic knee is a hurdle I need to overcome. I was prepared to accept that and work with it. I was prepared to just deal and as the folks in the online running group I belong to love to say “Suck it up, Princess”, strengthen my
core and muscles surrounding the knee. Do everything I can to fix the problem, and just get on with the Triathlon ass-kicking. What I was not prepared for was my OTHER leg, my “good leg” to start giving my problems too. Out of nowhere, I have developed a nasty case of ITBS (better known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or IT Band Syndrome). You can read all about it HERE,
but in simple terms, the IT Band is a thick chain of muscle that runs down the outside of your leg, from the hip down to the knee. A common running injury, this muscle can become tight/ strained/ inflamed due to any number of factors up to and including having poor running form, not being flexible enough (particularly in the hips), and not being strong enough to hold everything in line. This can all cause the muscle to rub and get inflamed. I am 99% sure I am both too weak and inflexible, and this is directly attributable to why this whole new world of suck and pain that has opened up for me. The short version of the story is that I can’t run for more than 2 miles without my thigh/knee hurting so bad I
need to stop and walk. Curveball officially thrown.

OK, so the whiny and bitchy portion of the post is now over. I don’t like spending too much time in the “woe is me” mode, and I’m 100% positive nobody likes reading that either. So just like every other hurdle I have had to overcome, it is what it is. It’s time to accept that this is my new starting point, accept it, and set about fixing things and moving on. I’m a believer that a combo of a positive outlook and a good plan (one that you actually follow through on) will set you free. Or in this case, fix my leg.

Very luckily for me, I have a close friend also just happens to be Therapist and is willing to help me stage my triumphant comeback. Up until this point, the focus was on surviving. Making it to (and through) the Five & Dime races at the Runner’s World festival (got the 5K down, scratched the 10K in the name of
exceeding pain and good old fashioned common sense), and now I am heading into the winter season with the renewed focus of rehabbing & rebuilding myself: first getting back to zero and then building from there. So while it’s going to be wery weird for me to intentionally be a “non-running runner”, doing this is
going to make me come the other side better for it all. I’m aiming high, and bringing you along for the ride. Again, I felt like since this is such a common injury that affects a lot of people and I have not really found any first-hand accounts of what it’s REALLY like is to deal with it, I may as well be the one to share.

So I begin yet another series of posts on the blog. I’m calling these “The Rehab Diaries” these will overlap with my Triathlon training eventually, and I’ll probably switch back and forth, but for the time being, My primary focus is going to be fixing these damn legs and even more importantly, keeping them injury-free going forward.

So here’s my deal. I am looking at working out in the gym 4 days a week and at home the other 3 to start out. I’ll be doing something each day, but this whole thing was designed with the intention that I can get it done and have a positive improvement on the current state of disrepair while still being a functional dad, husband, and employee.  Basically I’m trying to keep on top of everything
in “real life” and make myself a complete and total badass (a real deal athlete…a triathlete if you want to get technical) at the same time.  This schedule will absolutely be changed and tweaked on a regular basis- we’re looking at it and revising as appropriate on an every other week basis , but “Don’t Call It A Comeback, Version 1.0” is as follows:

The grand idea is that these approx. one hour workouts will
correct the issue and set me up for a 2014 full of running race and triathlon success. I officially start next week. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

The time for planning is done, now it’s time to get after it. I’ll be here to tell you how it’s going. Thanks for coming along with me, and hopefully someone else out there who is going through the same things with the ITBS can benefit from me going through all of this bullshit pain and suffering, or at least get a perspective of how to go about fixing it, then all the better. Ok, till the next update. Hang tough and take it easy.


[i] Chest Press, Assisted Pull Up, Overhead Dumbbell  Press, Curls (Normal, Hammer, Reverse), Pushdowns
[ii] Squats, Lunges, Step Downs, Hamstring Curls, Add/Abd Machine
Disclaimer: I want to say that I am in no way a professional, expert, or any other form of authority on the matters of food, exercise, or weight loss. I can only relay my own experiences and opinions. I know -and stress- that these are my personal opinions and experiences and realize that in all likelihood they are unique to me and me alone. Since everyone is different, everyone can and probably will have a different experience and have success using what works for their unique circumstance. Do not take my words as a
replacement for a doctor’s opinion.  
Again, I am not a doctor. Please do not take any information I write as a replacement for proper medical evaluation & treatment. This is only an account of what I am going through and is in no way a recommendation for anyone else. I have included the detailed workout info as a refer ence to give to give you an idea of the types of workouts that I am using and give a real life example of my experience as I go about trying to rehab my leg and get myself back on the road. I stress that these workouts are custom tailored to me and will continue to be adapted to my personal progress; and I do not recommend this plan for anyone else nor accept any liability for the use of this information.

2 responses to “The Triathlon Chronicles #2

  1. Ah man Andy that stinks. I am fighting the early symptoms of ITBS also. Gonna check out your routine. Take care 🙂

  2. Wishing you a speedy recovery! You can do it!

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