Friday, May 30, 2014

Update on that last update

Last post I talked about how I tried a swim and it was unsuccessful due to the pain? Well new news for ya. Yesterday (Thursday) I made another swim attempt in the big blue ocean, five days later. I did it not only for me and to test the wrist again (which has been feeling really good), but also for my sister who needed a swim partner on her lunch break since she's doing another sprint tri next weekend (!!!). There was no way I was going to hassle with a wetsuit again and hoped the water was warm enough (ya, it's warmer now with summer approaching but it still fluctuates and has its cold days). Wore my Betty Designs Jacquard two-piece.

Karlee was tight on time so we jetted down, jumped right in, and right away I had a good feeling about it. No pain. The water wasn't as calm as last weekend, in fact there was a bit of a swell and the water was very "churny" and kelpy but it wasn't too choppy or risky.

I seriously felt amazing... I think no wetsuit helped (so freeing and much more comfortable to ocean swim like that), and the water was nearly Hawaii-like warm (in my opinion). Karlee and I swam out to a buoy that's ~500m. We didn't have watches or anything on, just going off feel. I felt strong and in a good rhythm -- as good as it could be with that dang wrist brace on. To feel good swimming and like I was actually swimming... ahhh... I think I was smiling between breaths.

Didn't want to overdo it, and Karlee didn't have tons of time, so we did roughly 1k in I'm guessing, in I dunno like ~20 minutes? With a few stops. But who the heck really knows. Doesn't matter. What matters is that it was an awesome experience with my sis who's so fun to train with these days (I also see her weekly for strength training), and my wrist felt a million times better than it did just five days earlier.
#TeamBetty #lagunabeach #sillyselfie

I still haven't been able to, nor thought it was safe yet, to ride outside on open roads for several reasons. And I'm not making any promises yet, but yesterday gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe I can do Eagleman 70.3 -- which is nine days from today. I'd have to do some self-introspection to come to terms on how I'd race knowing I'm not 100 percent. But  I don't know... I'm pretty back and forth with it right now. What do you think?

I'm also putting it out there -- now and after I'm healed I'm making big changes to how I approach my training. Lots of ideas floating around.


In other news... I finally got around to making bone broth (it's in the making right now)! Sorry to my vegetarian/vegan friends for these photos :/

Hey @MamaSimmons, how 'bout these feet?! (I blanched the feet before adding to crock pot)

Bone broth in the making. Super simple! I basically just threw in: the whole leftover organic chicken carcass (some skin and fat included, whether that's standard I don't know) a couple chopped up carrots and celery stalks, some herbs, the feet and filtered water until it was full. Also added 1tbsp apple cider vinegar and ~1tbsp sea salt. We'll see how it looks 24 hr later. Smells amazing in my home right now though! Mmm.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Update and Decisions

I'm actually feeling quite awesome and in the driver's seat right now with what's going on. Ya the wrist fracture put a wrench in my plans, but I'm not going to sit around and whine or mope. I'm doing what I can! As I said in my last blog, I started exercising again 4 days after the break. Well, I went on to workout 10 days in a row, averaging ~1hr per day (with some days ~45min, some ~90min). I can't say that it was "training," but, quite frankly, I think that was the best approach for me. All the workouts I did were extremely enjoyable and even though I definitely feel the de-training effect setting in, I wasn't stressing it. I only used my HRM like once, and power meter a couple times or so. I think my bike fitness has held up better than run fitness; however, since none of my rides have been long I'm sure my bike endurance blows.

Oh yea, I tried swimming on Saturday too. It was in the ocean not pool, and, no, the decision to go ocean was not because I was being a dumb athlete ;) Mostly because the ocean was looking awesome, calm as a lake and it's my happy place... and our pool was closed (and is closed for 2+ weeks). How'd it go? let's put it this way: It took John and I longer to put on my wetsuit than we spent swimming. Ha! Next time I try to swim I'm going no wetsuit, I'll just suck it up, which is easy to do in ~65degrees. So really though, how did it go? It hurt in the area of the break soon after starting. We swam maybe 10min total with frequent stops, and it was more like "moving forward" rather than swimming. I was not about to F it up more. I did some single arm (with my good side) and also found that making a fist on fracture side helped relieve the pain a bit. But I wasn't "swimming," and that brace certainly isn't an advantage for swim technique. Thankfully it was awesome in the water, though, and that made me happy enough.

So Tuesday of this week marked two weeks post-break, which meant time for more X-Rays. Sucky for me is that the new ones looked virtually the same as the first set of X-Rays in terms of the radial fracture (was hard to tell if a hard callous is forming yet, with signs of fracture still clearly there). However, since swelling went down, my doc was able to rule out any additional breaks, including any fractures at the wrist joint (like scaphoid), which was great news because usually those breaks require surgery and bolts, ew.

This week I also did an interesting podcast with an osteopathic physician, Ben Rawson, and covered some great grounds on bone health and fracture healing. Uploading it today. Among the many topics covered, I basically got two big messages from that show:

1) You can't really speed up bone healing, or, at least, it's not proven that you can via supplements etc (even the PEMF stuff is promising but not guaranteed). On the flip side, you can delay bone healing for whatever reason (poor health, re-injure, etc). At the end of the day, the body and the bones know what they need to do to heal and the process just has to play its course. Takes time. So all those supplements and things in previous post -- well, they certainly don't hurt, but they also won't turn me into Wonder Woman. Or at least not yet (n=1, n=1. n=1). Bwahaha.

2) The inflammatory response is your friend. This is not earth-shattering news to me. I preach this all the time, and is one reason why I'm so against using NSAIDs for injury. But in my case it seemed that Dr. Ben (the expert) was, in a nice way, telling me to not overdo it even with the all-natural anti-inflammatory stuff because that can potentially block the inflammation response needed for healing as well. That was good news for me because I then admitted that I hadn't been a perfect angel with daily nutrition/supplement stuff -- man that's a lot of stuff to take and sometimes I get lazy, forget just don't want to obsess over it. And while I'm admitting things, I also didn't cut out alcohol and caffeine either to help the healing process. Nope. Sorry not sorry, as they say. Haha.

Where does that leave me with a Wrist Progress Report?
Well, like I said, I have been working out regularly, and that is feeling totally fine. A as of this week I have a few new tricks up my sleeve:

12-15 days post break:
-I can open a can of sardines by myself (surprisingly hard with broken wrist lol)
-Can do light resistance band exercises at gym (with brace on of course) like pull-aparts, some external/internal rotation, scap pinches, etc, while not applying too much force/pressure, but enough to activate shoulders/back muscles. Man, that felt good!
-Hold a light barbell with both hands for 2 X <1min be="" because="" br="" hurting="" it="" not="" safe="" started="" time="to">
-Able to move around and set up much more equipment at the gym
-Further increases in wrist extension and flexion, and even some light pronation/supination now doable without pain
-Brace is off much more often at home and I'm able to do many things just carefully -- typing feels totally normal, showering I can use it with even more normally and with force (still not 100% though)
-Figured out a system to put on compression socks by myself, aw ya.

I still can't do:
-Some basic household things like hold a pan or hold a full pint-size mason jar with left hand alone
-Swim (see above - tried saturday, no bueno,. haven't tried since)
-Half Ironmans. Yup, it's looking like Eagleman won't happen. Just not worth it in my state; complicated and not worth the risk with the break still so fresh. I know I can't race it at full capacity, and with so many 70.3s available, I'll have plenty more opportunities to get out there again. I gotta look at my health and healing first and foremost... and it's not like we're talking a world championship/once-in-a-lifetime event here.

But I'm still headed to the East Coast to watch John and a couple of my athletes race. And I'm excited to have one hell of a trip, now with a much lighter load of luggage ;)

Friday, May 23, 2014

fracture healing part 2: rehab and ways to speed recovery

I hoped to have this Part 2 out a little sooner, but I've been working away this week and totally able to do so, yay! At the bottom of this post, you can check out my wrist progress report and day-to-day list of tasks that I've slowly been able to do again... wondering if my progress and ability to do the things listed occurred at an accelerated vs. normal rate compared with others who've broken their radius. Interesting stuff.

Anyway, on to rehab for a bone fx outside of nutrition/supplementation. If you're curious about the timeline for healing a fracture and potential problems in the process, this article is a good quick read.

The 23/24 Rule
I don't think this is an actual "rule" by any means, but it sounds cool. Thankfully this day in age for certain breaks/situations there is the option of a "removable cast" like the Exos brace I have. (That said, I know this isn't the case for everyone, and many breaks require a traditional cast and staying locked up in it 24/7.) But if your break is less severe and you can opt for a brace that's removable, then most doctors/PTs should recommend that as an option, athlete or not.

I was told that right away I should be removing my brace daily and accumulate up to 1 hour a day of time without the cast on, and this will set you up for faster recovery as well as ensuring it heals correctly without deformities (pretty important for the wrist joint!). The time w/o cast can be in 5-10 minute increments or whatever; doesn't have to be one-hour nonstop. During this time you can work on light mobility exercises, range of motion, etc. For my wrist, I cannot be doing pronation/supination yet (or at least not on purpose lol), but I can work on flexion and extension and some other very easy light exercises.Taking the brace off also allows for the area to air out and dry out, which is really nice. I shower without my brace. And if I workout, I need to wash the brace and leave it off for a bit to dry.

Whole-Body Cryotherapy (WBC)
Step into the chamber... bwaaa hahahaaa.
Now, to my knowledge there is no research to show that this technique has been proven to speed up fracture recovery (anyone have a study?), but if you look at what this therapy entails, it would make sense that there could be a benefit. Personally I'm not really a fan of the whole ice bath thing (we talked about it on this podcast), but cryotherapy chambers are a different story and intriguing to me not only for my fracture healing, but for athletic recovery in general from hard training, etc. It even can have benefits for people dealing with chronic pain issues like arthritis or fibromyalgia.

What is it? There's a cylinder-shaped chamber that you step into and the fun begins: The temp drops rapidly and gets as low as -300 degrees F, but it's a dry cold and nothing in there or on you can be wet, which prevents frostbite from occurring. That is key. Just to be safe, you wear dry gloves, socks, slippers and underwear -- and that is all. You stand in this chamber for 3 minutes max -- less if 3 min is too much (you don't get frostbite but it's still dang cold lol.

Just in that short time a bunch of things happen to promote faster recovery and healing. For one, you get a decrease in inflammatory cytokines and increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines. You also get more blood flow to the core, which replenishes vital organs with fresh blood -- similar tactics are used in yoga with certain poses, like this one from bikram, which is said to replenish and rejuvenate your thyroid.WBC also doesn't actually have the same negative effects that ice baths do -- ice baths can actually freeze and stiffen tissues, WBC doesn't. In fact, in theory you could go workout right after WBC without risk of being too tight/frozen. Plus 3 minutes of exposure is something I can handle in my busy schedule.

I could go on about the science and research, but in a nutshell the point is: WBC, in theory, is all about accelerating recovery. Does it work? I don't know. I've had four treatments in the past week. Hard to tell. But it doesn't hurt.

If you're in OC and interested: I am going to a place in Costa Mesa called Polar Cryotherapy. If you're local check it out and tell Dan you heard about it from me.

Want more info? Dan has great links on his website that I link to above. Also: This is a great article that explains more on WBC.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF)
That stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Laser Therapy. Honestly, I do not know much about this nor have I tried it. But the all-mighty Dr. Minkoff suggested I look into it for faster healing. It was the one thing he said he believes actually works to heal faster. However, I haven't tried it yet (oops). I blame that on location of the nearest place (not that far, but far enough), cost, etc.

But PEMF seems to be a trusted therapy. What it does is apparently signal a response that causes increased ATP production, restores normal cellular function and, thus, enhances the healing of damaged tissues.

And as opposed to Cryo, there is direct evidence of PEMF healing bone fractures more quickly. But then again, research is inconclusive. I gotta look into it more. Maybe I'll suck it up and take a drive to my nearest clinic or spend my Friday night researching scholarly articles. (Or not ;))

Anyone out there have comments on PEMF? Tried it?

Obviously the prescription for rehab/physical therapy stuff is going to be very individual to each person and depends on what is fractured, severity, etc. But the underlying theme is to be proactive with hands-on rehab and prevent loss of ROM/atrophy as much as possible. Don't let that area waif away, don't allow your injury to turn you into a sedentary person... do what you can, as soon as you can, but be smart and don't do too much. how about that for specificity? lol. I'm getting in my share of activity with my wrist without being dumb... although when I'm at the gym with a client, it's already getting frustrating not to be able to move around the weights, pick certain things up, set up a workout station, etc... but patience and a good attitude....

Get More X-Rays
Swelling is a natural and normal response when you have a trauma like breaking a bone. For up to two weeks the swelling that occurs can actually hinder the ability to get clear X-Rays and you may not be able to see all the damage. It's important to then X-Ray again after ~2 weeks to re-assess the damage as well as look at healing progress.

I'm getting new X-Rays next week. I'm looking forward to the results. We're going to make sure there weren't any other minor fractures, and I was also advised to look and see if a hard callous is forming yet. If there is a hard callous that could indicate a green light for racing more physical exercise that I'll be able to do.

More Resources To Come...
Next week I'm going to be speaking with a bone specialist on the Endurance Planet podcast to do a show on bone fractures, healing protocols, etc.... a bunch of cool stuff from an expert who deals with these issues every day!

Anything to add?
If you have a bone-healing recovery technique, please tell us/me about it in the comments section!

Wrist Progress Report

Lots to catch up on here. If anyone else has had a similar break as mine, I'd love to hear about your progress vs. mine! Similar or not?

(For reference: Injury on Tuesday afternoon, May 13.)

Happiest trainer session ever? It's possible.
3 days later (Fri):
-could type on computer with L hand, but it was still slow but more efficient
-could extend wrist and fingers even more than day prior
-slept almost normally without being woken up by pain

4 days later (Sat): 
-was able to put hair in a loose/sloppy pony tail.
-*first workout* - rode on trainer 55min mostly easy with 10min tempo. no bad pain during/after. see photo to right. (john set up trainer for me)
-could put on socks
-could finally cut and open an avocado again!
-could cut meat (used knife with R hand however, and used L hand to stabilize fork)
-could open a jar (used R hand to twist, and L hand to hold base in place)

5 days later (Sun):
-felt like i was able to use fingers normally to type; wrist stabilized in brace of course so no pronation/supination
-rode trainer 1:10 with 5 X 3:00 intervals at Z4 watts
-first RUN. did a 4-mile t-run off bike and wrist felt fine.
-could almost floss normally
-carefully showered without the brace (had doc approval to do this)

6 days later
-could apply enough pressure with the broken wrist to put on lotion
-ran 4-5ish miles, easy.

7 days/1 week later
-turn a door knob to open a door (wrist still lock in place with brace on, but able to still use that side for the task)
-hold a regular-sized glass of water that's full
-did an outdoor strength training session with clients that included planks and side planks, which I was able to do!
-treadmill run intervals at 6:30 and faster pace (less than 15min total though)
-could use the puff in the shower with left hand and able to apply enough pressure for washing
-operating virtually like normal in the kitchen for cooking, no pain

8 days later
-could finally do some "real" cleaning around the house with brace on i.e. wash dishes, clean up/hang up clothes that had been piling up, wipe down counter tops, etc, and spend enough time actively doing all that with no bad pain at all.
-definite increase in extension/flexion of wrist and overall wrist mobility when brace off
-tried typing with no brace... possible but need to be careful. any wrong movement and it hurts bad
-comfortable taking off brace at home and moving around the house with it off, doing light movements/tasks with no brace (vs. before I'd take it off and sit quietly in one spot to avoid aggravating it or hurting it in any way because it still hurt)
-bike workout AND I set up my bike on the trainer all by myself for the first time!

9 days later
-i made breakfast without the brace on, but that was a bit risky and i really had to watch my movement to not do something dumb.
-i feel like I'm ready to try a swim with the brace (duh), but our pool is closed for a couple weeks and I don't feel like driving forever to get to another one. ocean is option, but it's quite choppy and that seems a little risky at this point. we'll see....
-wrist still visibly swollen in area above the radius, but improving.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

fracture healing part 1: nutrition, supplements and juice recipe

as you can imagine, i want this bone to heal asap. already i'm seeing huge gains in just 4 days. after i got on my exos brace thursday, things took a positive turn. before that i could barely move my fingers let alone use my hand to type, but after we removed the wrist and mobilized it a bit, i now have function in my fingers again and can use my left hand for small/light tasks. for example of progress, see the end of this post for my "progress report."

onto recovery protocols that i'm taking. i'll separate this into two posts with today focused on nutrition and supplementation for bone health and healing. next time will be about other treatments to speed recovery. 


the key areas to focus on for bone healing, recovery/relief:*
1) anti-inflammatory nutrients -- you need the natural inflammatory process to heal, but you also need to nourish in a way that reduces inflammation in the body for better healing without inhibiting the natural inflammation process.
2) adequate caloric intake -- even though not exercising, body still needs those calories to "energize" bone healing!
3) protein -- amino acids are the building blocks of bones and tissues in our bodies!
4) vitamins and minerals -- a specific array as you'll see below

and what to avoid:*
1) pain killers -- really just not necessary; pain is bad but i can hang.
2) NSAIDs -- these drugs block the body's natural inflammation process and delay/inhibit recovery; specifically COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors including asprin and ibuprofen.
(thankfully i never take drugs/medications of any kind as it is, and that certainly holds true with the "trauma" of this wrist fracture. i haven't had an ibuprofen since 2009 in fact. NSAIDs may provide temporary pain relief, but that's not worth it if they inhibit recovery!)
3) alcohol -- excessive drinking can delay bone recovery and bone reformation... but that said, dude. c'mon, a drink a night can't be that bad and is good for the soul! i mean, i need to stay happy and have something to "kill the pain" before bed ;) but i'm keeping it in total control and limiting my intake for sure.
4) crappy foods/drinks -- things with excessive sugar, caffeine, salt, etc, aka things that can inhibit calcium absorption and deplete minerals. i'll also be sure to limit food with oxalates (raw kale, chard, spinach).


starting with the ultimate all-natural real-food route for healing! i'll be making daily juices with ingredients that are powerful anti-inflammatories, healers, detoxers, etc. pictured is a simple concoction i'm making this week that meets all those requirements. it's a great flavor, kinda tart and not super sweet but very drinkable:
tart green juice. gauge ingredient amount based on photo.

dandelion greens
dino kale

i'm trying to keep the juices i make lower in sugar from lots of added fruit since i'm pretty sedentary and not training. i keep my juices low in fruit as it is. there are more ingredients i'll add to mix after i hit up farmers market likebeetroot, beet greens, green cabbage, cilantro, etc. don't want too many raw greens though due to oxalate content.

My go-to protein supplement for 2 years now. So, Dr. minkoff is one of the awesome guys I've talked to since breaking wrist and he suggested I keep taking MAP for protein and to promote healing. Normally I don't take MAP on easy/non-workout days to save money but in this case I've been taking 5 per day on empty stomach since the accident. Might up that to 10/day.... I'll also be eating adequate quality protein in the forms of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts/seeds, etc... no slacking.

Fish Oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of reducing inflammation. This is normally in my daily supplement routine, but I'm up'ing the fish oil from 2 to 4 pills a day, which works out to just under 3g a day. Taking Nordic Naturals in triglyceride form (avoid ethyl-ester forms). I'm not mega-dosing (8-10g a day or so) because I'm eating fish regularly and also taking cod liver oil. I take my fish oil with 2000-4000 IU Vitamin D per day....

Vitamin D.
D regulates calcium absorption in the body and works on bone rebuilding/bone strength. i always take at least 2000 IU a day up to 5000 sometimes, and have been for a long time now. that holds true currently, and i'm not gonna slack. 
Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
Excellent for bone health and health in general! I've been taking this for almost a year now. Currently, I'm taking 2ml of Green Pasture's liquid FCLO a day (i've taken their capsules in the past). Rich in not only EPA and DHA (omega-3s), but also fat-soluble vitamins including Vitmains A, D, E and K2. I'm going to order their Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend which is even richer in those nutrients. Want the full lowdown on why you should take this and not just fish oil pills? Read this.

Proteolytic enzymes.
Based on research, these are shown to speed up bone healing. Plus the have tons of other everyday benefits for athletes and general population like reducing inflammation, helping digestion, enhance immune function, etc. I'm going to buy the gold-standard Wobenzym formula today.

This was recommended to me by my friend and super-ultrarunner Neeraj, who I met in Colorado this year at our endurance planet group run in snow; and he's friends with Lucho. I just ordered it today so haven't started yet. I'll be sure to balance what's in this with other supplements as to not overdo any one thing.

A flavonoid that is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and can aid in bone healing. I actually haven't gotten this yet but buying and starting it today. dosage is something like 2g, need to verify.

Just for extra insurance, I always take Body Health Complete + Detox (even before the break I've taken this for a while now). I learned about this through Dr. Minkoff, and it's from the same makers as MAP. Most multi's are shit in my opinion, but this one is legit and quality and has things like Viatmin K2. Still, I only take 1/2 the recommended daily dosage (2 pills not 4) since my diet is pretty darn good, I have the other supplements I take regularly, and I don't want to break the bank.

I use Great Lakes brand, which is a powder from grass-fed cows and price-friendly. It is a great source of dietary animal collagen that not only helps bones and joints (and their recovery) but also has many other benefits... better skin, better hair, fewer wrinkles, helps with digestion and so on. So far I am putting this in drinks, but I don't like it. While there's not much taste, it just gives a weird taste/texture. Thinking about making gelatin gummies, sounds more appealing.

Bone Broth
And circling back to the real-food protocol for healing... In addition to the gelatin powder supplement, real bone broth packs some legit nutrition that is a powerhouse for bones. I haven't made this yet, but excited to add this ancient nourishing method in to the healing process! Here's more info and a recipe.

On a regular basis I take the following, and this holds true still: 
NAC (a precursor to Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant)
Vitamin C
Natural Calm Magnesium

wrist progress report:

0-48hr after injury: no typing with left hand whatsoever. too painful. only one-finger typing with right side, ugh!
72hr later i was able to type with left side again, but slowly and carefully, of course with my wrist securely in the brace so it's still awkward position but fingers were working. 
4 days later, it feels like fingers on left side are almost to normal function minus a few movements i can't do without it hurting, but i can type even more efficiently and normally minus the lack of mobility in wrist.

0-48hr after injury: could not move wrist nor bend back fingers/hand w/out extreme pain. 
48-72hr: regained ability to move the rest of my hand and fingers and am making sure they're staying mobile -- all without pain. i can slowly move wrist if needed (like when we set new brace); however, it is locked in place in brace.

0-48hr later: i could not use left fingers/hand to rub in lotion on right arm after, it hurt too bad to put down that much pressure. john was my moisturizer lol. 
72hr later i was able to apply enough pressure to rub in lotion on right arm without pain.

0-72hr. no exercise whatsoever. but i have taken some walks.
4th day later: i plan on attempting an easy spin on trainer (hasn't happened yet)

nights 1-3: did not sleep well due to pain/throbbing/inability yo get comfortable
4th night: finally felt like i got a good night's sleep and pain only woke me up twice, and that was because i made an unconscious move in my sleep that aggravated wrist, oops haha.

 *Based on my own knowledge, advice from trusted resources and internet research I came up with my list of do's and don'ts for bone healing. One excellent I found online that guided my lists includes this great resource here on fracture healing that goes into more details of the how-to's, why's, what's, etc.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

broken. again.

excuse any terrible grammar/editing -- i'm typing with one hand. i broke my left wrist tuesday, literally one year to the day after breaking my right wrist last year. what are the odds?! no other broken bones to my name. i've had bone density checked and i'm 100% normal/healthy. I guess just apparently May 13 is not my day to go out riding! next year i'm locking myself in a cave. this most recent break is worse, i think, or maybe its this socal heat wave causing my wrist to constantly throb (we don't have AC). speaking of the heat... my issue seems small and insignificant to all the fires that started in san diego wednesday.... heart goes out to those affected and in threat. that place is a second home for me.

so the wrist... what happened this time? well just like last year it started with an epic mother's day on sunday in which we surfed, played beach volleyball, grilled, and hung out all day. it was perfection. caught many waves and dug more spikes playing v-ball than i have in years -- getting plenty use from the wrists haha.
a peak into my happy spot at san-o. this day reminded me of all those perfect surf days growing up. and look how pretty and normal my left wrist looks haha.
 fast forward and tuesday i had a mountain biking modeling shoot to do in afternoon at a local trail I've ridden a million times. in fact it's the first trail i ever rode way back in 5th or 6th grade on my cool diamondback mtb lol. and it was the same trail where i did my first-ever modeling shoot way back when, 2008 i think?... remember the pic i used top have as header on this blog? that was from that first shoot, at this very trail. needless to say i am familiar with the terrain there.

i was also riding a sweet Felt 29er that I borrowed from the guys at Felt for the shoot. thankfully monday evening i got to take it out for a spin and got comfortable on it, oh and fell in love with 29ers! had a legit ride, no falls ;)
thankful that i got in at least one stellar ride on this borrowed beauty before the crash. #felt

on to tuesday. we hit the trail and stopped soon in for the first shot. the photog set things up, and i was stoked. it was not a bad place for an afternoon office, even if it was 95-100 degrees (for real).

we got goin. they told me they wanted me to get huge air off this steep rocky single-track jump thingy that you had to climb up to get to, with bike on back... it was off trail and extremely advanced/sketchy. gnarly! i nailed the landing the first couple times but the last one i slipped, or something, when i landed and fell to my left... arm out, wrist extended and taking the brunt of impact.

just kidding.

sadly the fall wasn't that "awesome" in reality :(

the true story: the other model and i were riding in an oval-shaped lap on the trail and had to "look legit" at a certain spot that the photog would shoot (he'd only take one shot at a time; it wasn't random continuous shots being taken. i've done this style a ton in past shoots in swim, cycling and running). i was taking tight u-turns at the top of the lap because the trail was rather narrow, not a wide-open field or anything. we were plugging along with good momentum and style, and i decided to do just one more round after 10-15 "laps" already. famous last words: "just one more!" of course, it was the last lap when i fell.... so cliche. i just took the u-turn too tight and too fast and went down like a ton of bricks on my left side, yes... with arm out, wrist extended and taking the brunt of impact. i think i heard someone once say, "29ers are great but there's a longer way to the bottom if you fall." truth.

i heard a loud pop/snap/break noise. i rolled onto my back, face looking up to the sky through the trees, and i just repeated, "fuck fuck shit fuck" over and over. i felt like such a douche bag. it didnt really hurt, at first.

beginning of the swelling.
within 15minutes my wrist was swelling quickly so much that my once-loose watch had become tight. i couldnt move my forearm/wrist/hand/fingers w/out extreme pain and had to brace it w the right hand until we got back to cars where i iced and waited for a ride to go to get xrays. i knew the guys still had to shoot and i didnt need them to sacrifice their day to take me to hospital; since i was closest to my parents house i just called my mom, aka miss reliable. john was on standby just in case but he was farther away. the guys hung with me until my mom got me...they were super cool and they felt bad, but i think i felt worse.

the x-rays confirmed it was broken. specifically the radius. it coulda been worse so i'm thankful. it's pretty much the same thing i did last year but opposite side and somewhat worse. i had 4 doctors look at my xrays to analyze the break -- my local doc and three others across the country, each whom i know very well and trust.

splints suck.
i was in in an old-school splint until today and it sucked. it's also been tough to sleep with pain and heat wave. this afternoon i upgraded to a more functional Exos cast, which i'll eventually wear for swim/bike/run when i am able to exercise again. it's a cool cast with the athlete in mind. you heat it and it gets all soft, then you put it on the wrist and custom mold it while it starts to harden in the correct position. then once hard it's solid and keeps wrist totally in place and immobile.(see pics of the process below)

which brings me to training/triathlon. i have a 70.3 that's less than 4 weeks away....shit.

i reviewed my training from last year after my break and in that case i got back to it quickly -- the same week i broke it i rode the trainer and ran... 6 days later pr'd in the portland half marathon... 8 days later i swam... 2 weeks later i rode outside!... then ~8 weeks later i pr'd vineman 70.3!

but this break is worse, more painful and we agree it's a risky break where i could do more damage so i cant do anything dumb. even the all-mighty Dr. Maffetone told me no exercise for at least a few days after chatting with him and showing him the xrays.

so i am taking it one day at a time.

48hr later. ring is stuck on.

getting exos molded on.

it actually kinda hurt like a bitch bc he had to put my wrist in proper position and not too flexed.

watch out... thing is legit. #hiya

Monday, May 5, 2014

Training Camp, OC Half, and Duck Fat Fries

It's probably pretty obvious that the busier I get the less I blog. I don't even know when I last blogged so I'll just pick up with what's going on as of late. It's been a rollercoaster of all sorts! Typical haha.

Cheers to Sunday Runday fun! Dream come true to see my sister getting into the races and loving it these days.

A week or so ago I held a small training camp with some of my athletes and we basically hit it hard. Three of us are training for Eagleman 70.3 (flat) yet somehow our days were packed with hills. I don't mind that, I love the hills. My mom, who's training for IMC (Whistler) especially loved it ;) The original plan was to have Day 2 of training camp start with the Huntington Beach Sprint Triathlon (which I won last year!), but this crazy ass storm rolled through at just the wrong time, which led the RD and lifeguards to cancel the race that morning. I firmly believe it was the right decision on their part. I took one look at the ocean and wind that morning and was like, "no way." I could have bet money that they'd cancel it. It just wasn't safe out there.

My athlete Damon and I in SD. He came out from the East Coast for the camp. It's funny to know someone so well for so many years but not know them in person.

So what else to do Saturday? A smashing swim and leading my peeps on my "best of Laguna Beach" run (they may have not agreed on "the best" part, it was a toughie, lol). Naps followed. That evening we drove to my parents place in Carlsbad, where we spent the next couple days going for it. We rode the Elfin Forest/Del Dios/Coast loop two days in a row, different directions each day. It's hard to say which was was harder. Each day was 50 miles +/- a few (100+ total) and more than 3,000 ft elevation gain each day. Plus, I made us do T runs off the bike both days as well. The first T-run was hilly as heck out in the hills near the C-bad pad, and the second T-run was coastal from Encinitas to Solana and back. Since my mom is Ms. Nytro these days (that's her bike shop and where she got her P3), the guys there kindly let us store our bikes in the shop while we ran an ~hour, then we got a ride home. Both tough days and solid efforts to say the least, with perfect weather. Whew.

Bike route in SD. Love it.

Crusin the coast on my IA, so in love with this bike. Still working on some things but it is better than I even anticipated.

Training camp casualty.
After all that I think we were pretty cooked to the point where we were saying weird shit (while sober fyi haha) because our brains were mush. Somehow the topic of duck fat fries came up earlier in the week -- cause ya know that happens sometimes in life haha -- so I had us hit up the crowbar and kitchen back in OC, for our last night (Monday), which is famous for duck fat fries and great beers on tap or bottled (they almost always have fresh Pliny for example). We enjoyed two huge servings of sweet potato duck fat fries. It was just three people at that point, and those fries were basically inhaled along with all the other good things that were ordered. Ya gotten loosen the reigns after all that hard work even if it's not "the best" for proper recovery.

The infamous duck fat sweet potato fries. oh my, I ate many.

Monday night when we were loaded up on fries and a couple drinks, John and I made the genius decision to get in on the OC Half Marathon the following Sunday. I knew it'd be a race on tired legs, but why not. I had a few more hard key workouts that week still to get through by Friday, and then an easy day Saturday before the run.

In fact, tangent: Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous and the ocean was beautiful beyond words -- it's not always that inviting but in this case the water was calling my name. No one was around to hang with me on a spur-of-the-moment swim so I did something I've never done before: a solo ocean swim! It was pure bliss and I'm so glad I did it. It wasn't a hard session or anything, just a mile of enjoyment, ignoring "time" and feeling the water. For much of the outing, I felt like I was swimming/snorkeling in hawaii; the clarity, the sights and colors were incredible. I purposely swam over reefs and kelp beds to take in the underwater views.

John and I did a hard run wednesday to preview the OC course in 90+ degree heat and extreme wind.
To give an idea of the heat wave, this candle on our patio melted (and not in the traditional sense).

Then Sunday. OC Half Marathon. My race report in one word: Meh. 

Haha! Who's genius idea was it to race a half on totally wrecked legs?! Clearly Saturday was not enough to "recover" for a PR run -- ya in my mind I had this plan that I'd PR, which meant averaging sub-7:10 pace overall. But heck I got over that as you'll read. It wasn't a stressful morning at all even with those thoughts of trying to PR. Running races never stress me out. In fact, John and I were in great spirits despite the alarm going off at 4 something. It was a morning full of laughs and silly comments... man I love that. I was especially excited because my sister and other athletes of mine were also running. The run started at 6:15 (the full marathon starts at 5:15!). Early start because you're talking about closing some major roads in a very busy coastal area on a weekend; I can't even imagine how much the permits for that cost even at those early hours. But when you have well over 20k runners entered to run at $100+ a pop, I guess that helps with those fees. The early start was also good weather-wise. The heat wave was still lingering, and it was hot even by the time I finished at 7-something.

Views on the OC Marathon/Half course. No, of course this photo isn't enhanced!

So like I said, my "race" went out the window pretty quickly and I had to reevaluate the goal. After about ~6 miles of pain, I knew I was digging myself into a rut for a race that wasn't worth it and not part of the "big plan" so I scaled back the intensity and just enjoyed it as to not totally wreck myself and delay training for what that matters right now (70.3 prep). Don't get me wrong, my whole run still hurt like a biatch and that's not the easiest course, but from mile ~6-7 on, I was not racing, I was just running. And that was ok with me. I wasn't a total dud and nor having a shitty time, no way! John said I was chatty. Guilty!!!! Haha. At one point I was chatting with some dudes about hokas (I had on my new Conquests), then we got this huge wiff of pot (the ganja, mary jane, ya know what I'm saying) in the baller neighborhoods of Corona Del Mar, and we were joking that it was me and I was "stashing that stuff" in my giant hokas... hahaha... Then also for a while I was running with John (before he broke away) and even kindly offered him my honey/flask fuel knowing my race was going downhill quickly and his wasn't, but he didn't take it.

Speaking of fuel. I ran hard enough to feel the need to fuel for the 1:42-1:43 (and 13.26 miles) I was out there, and I opted to further test my honey+water in a gel flask. Worked like a charm... except for that first sip when I grabbed the nozzle with my teeth and it ripped off again just like it did in my last race -- F! Forgot to get a new flask to avoid that. Of course it happened on mile 2 during a downhill and I forced myself to slow up to fix the flask just so I had the option for calories; with the early start I hadn't eaten much breakfast.

Anyway, my run ended up just being a fun morning and time to reflect on all the races I've done in the past 7 years. I can't believe I've been racing triathlons and related events for MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS at this point. I counted: I've toed the line in more than 60 races to date from triathlons to running races to mountain bike races. Oddly my first-ever race was a 10k trail race at Lake Hodges early 2007, which we had just ridden by, twice, the weekend prior -- but I hadn't been there since. It was fun to think back to those early days. Wow! I am thinking I'll have to mix it up soon with some other stuff too. Or at least start surfing more again. Ha.

The best part of the morning was how my peeps did. Screw my race; it was more fun for me to see John run away from me and beat me (his first time doing so!), and for my sister Karlee to PR and complete her Beach Cities Half-Marathon trifecta and get a special medal (you have to do Long Beach, Surf City and OC halves back to back, so cool!). Karlee is the champion of the family lately -- that girl is on FIRE with fitness and she has the world's best attitude. So inspiring...and so much love and happiness being able to guide her. NExt weekend she'll finally get to do her first triathlon (she was going to do HB but we know how that ended now).
Post race hanging with the fam and super sherpa, Dad! Love him!

And I love this guy more than words can describe.