I started this post exactly three months ago. I was off crutches, and excited to have almost seven months to train for Ironman Busselton. I wrote the words, “On Monday, April 14th, I began my training regimen again.” Famous last words. The last three months have been one physical setback after another, along with losing the battle of any balance in life.
But as of yesterday, Saturday, July 12th, I can say “I have begun my training for Ironman Busselton.” And I can also say, “Oh man, I do not have enough time to get ready.”
But let’s revisit the last 8 months:
- OUCH! In the first week of November, leg pain indicated something was wrong with my left leg.
- A physio in Sydney’s CBD diagnosed it as a labral injury
- I stopped running, but still kept fully training, including my triathlon club’s camp in Thredbo ( mountains South of Sydney)
- Snap, Crackle, Pop! In February, an MRI revealed the left femoral neck in my leg was about to fracture, which was the cause of the pain. I was immediately put on crutches.
- Bryan, I am your density. In March, a DEXA scan revealed than I have low bone density in my hip and legs, likely from the chemotherapy and steroids during my kidney treatment 10 years ago.
- Come on, serious? In April, after seven weeks of crutches, there was still pain. Another MRI revealed that there had also been a small labral tear in the left leg (that was missed in the first MRI). Surgery was the option that most people said was ahead of me, meaning three months out of training, and no real chance at Busselton.
The New News
Four weeks ago, an orthopedic surgeon concluded the following:
- I’m a terrible candidate for labral repair surgery. It won’t really help me. The structure and anatomy of my hip, and my activity level are both reasons why surgery won’t fix anything permanently.
- I’ve been doing permanent damage to my left hip for a long time, probably since I start running in childhood.
- At some point I will need a hip replacement. How long that is depends on how much I run.
- The place where I have the pain is more likely to be adductor tendonitis, i.e. trauma from the location where the bone stress reaction occurred.
What I concluded (decided to hear):
- No surgery needed right now!
- Green Light! Go Do an Ironman!
- “You’re an idiot, you’re going to be an idiot, so what does it matter what I tell you.”
So, we’re all systems go (or currently, all systems slow) for Busselton!
The Physio Floors Me
Friday, I went to the physio to get his take on all things Bryan. He shocked me with news from my body: I had no idea I had a pelvic floor. I thought I had removed it when I tore up my pelvic carpet and had the pelvic light fixtures upgraded. But apparently I have one, and it is not helping. So I am learning to strengthen it. Though googling how to strengthen it encouraged me to buy a handful of exercise equipment – but that equipment requires equipment I don’t have. So I googled “pelvic floor exercises FOR MEN” and got some better results. So if you’re sitting next to me anytime in the next three months, and I’m breathing deeply in and out, and concentrating, you know what I’m doing. I’m putting in wood, nay cement pelvic floors. And some new drapes.
Day Two of Training – The Harsh Reality
I ran a whopping 5k this morning and it felt great. I am slower than I was a year ago, I am weaker than I was a year ago, my cardio system needs so much work it’s not funny. Okay, it’s a little bit funny. I have less time now to train for the Ironman I am targeting than I did a year ago. But the rush was there, the endorphins, the wonderment.
But my adductor does not feel happy tonight. A 70k ride and a 5k run on the weekend shouldn’t feel this bad. It means I just need to build slowly, but fast enough to get me across the finish line in December. And it means its going to be a tough four months ahead of me.
- Sept 27: Australian Transplant Olympics – a small reward in my training program. In Melbourne, the events are short, and I’ll do one running, two cycling, and two swimming events over the four days I’m there.
- Nov 9: Challenge Forster – a half Iron distance race just 3+ hours North of Sydney. Make sure I’m ready for the big one in a month.
- Dev 7: Ironman Busselton – all 226.3 km!
Busselton: The Odds
I am starting my training far too late. I am no longer even considering a chance to get near 11 hours for my overall time. I am injured, and in some pain every day. But I have a giant smile on my face, and looking forward to getting up tomorrow morning at a ridiculously early hour, putting on my wetsuit, and getting in the ocean for a swim.
I can’t wait.