(Author's note: I wrote this Tuesday night but didn't get the pictures taken until Thursday. Such is life when there's a lot going on)
Wow I looked to see when my last entry was and it was almost two weeks ago. Not that too much exciting has been going on, but I feel I need to update the two or three people who read this.
Okay, where to start? Let's start small and work our way up:
Last week I had my fake tooth/denture/retainer-type thing put in. It feels like the retainer I had after my braces and actually looks kind of real. Thanks to Hannah who says it looks whiter than my other yellow teeth. Here's the pictures:
Pretty cool, hey? Good at parties too.
I finally sent the money off for the Spartathlon entry. My application had been accepted a month or so ago but I thought why part with the cash until I absolutley have to? It's a good thing I didn't wait until the last minute because when I went to wire the money to the bank in Athens, my bank said they needed the address of where it was going to and who was receiving the money. I emailed the Association in Greece to get the address. After another couple emails and a few unanswered phone calls (tough to remember to call when it's daylight over there) I got a response from Mr. Tsakiris who was unsure why I needed the address of the Alpha bank when other competitors had wired the money no problem with the information that was provided on the entry form. That's us in Canada, I said. So, armed with this new address of the bank and the account numbers I went to try again. It took forever. At first they told me the accout number wasn't in any of the many numbers that I had with me. Then they played around with them until the computer was satisfied enough to graciously allow me to wire the cash. The entry fee was 250 Euros which was just under $400. When I got my receipt, it read $440. Turns out they charged me $42 to wire money to Europe!! I barely made it out of there without the top of my head blowing off. I guess the "money" (it's really only electronic impulses) travels to Toronto, then the States, then over to Greece somehow. Still can't see how that runs me 42 bills. The cost of running these races mounts ever higher.
I saw the UBC sports med Dr. Prassad and it turns out he's not 100% sure my shin was a stress fracture but most likely was. Could have been bad shin splints as the "heat" from the bone scan showed up in different places. Regardless the treatment is the same - strength training, calf-stretching, no running for two weeks once there's no pain to run. How can I know if it hurts if I don't run?? Better yet, is it considered "pain-free" if I run for a mile, ten miles, twenty miles without it hurting, or what? The good thing is that it's feeling a whole lot better even from last week. I snuck in a little twenty-five minute trail run the morning before I saw him and although it didn't hurt per-se, I could feel an awareness that something wasn't right. Almost like it did two months ago when I first felt it coming on (and should have treated it then and not been a %$#@ idiot). Prassad said I could see Colin McKay and get some ART (Active Release Therapy) as long as he stayed away from the tibia bone. I did that and if felt GOOD!! I was told I could look into orthotics as well and as the guy who did mine two years ago was out of the business for a while, Colin gave me the name of Noelle Trotter to have her look at my situation. I went to her and she was awesome. She did a video analysis of me walking and figured a couple things out. The biggest one being that, "Why are you running in a control shoe for pronation when you hardly pronate and should be in a neutral shoe?" Well I'll be a son of a....For years I've been under the impression that I pronate pretty bad and need a control shoe to prevent my foot from rolling too much inwards. After comparing video of me to people who actually do pronate badly, I looked pretty good. I traded a pair of trail shoes for neutral ones and talked with Darren Mealing the Adidas rep who will get me some neutral road shoes to use. Could the fact that these shoes weren't letting my feet do what they want to do be the cause of injury? Maybe the old shoes were fine for marathon and Ironman training but once I moved to longer distances they were hindering me. I guess time will tell. Maybe I'll go another year of being injury-free and then have something else happen and I'll be back to square one. Ahhh, this running is so much fun. So Noelle took my old orthotics and has shaved some off and changed some stuff to act like a cushion. She could have told me I needed new, different ones to make a few bucks, but because she was honest and did what she did, I totally respect her and would recommend her to anyone. She is definitely knowledgeable when it comes to feet.
I did another epic ride during our three day heat wave. Went 155k in just under 5 hours but was feeling the effects of the heat and not drinking enough. Ian says to practise eating and drinking more in training or he thinks I'll explode during the Spartathlon. This trip took me to the Tswassen Ferry Terminal then back through White Rock, down zero avenue to the Abbostford airport then returned from there. Had a nice chat with a gentleman who was riding to Cultus Lake to camp for the weekend. We both noted that we were riding into a headwind, and then I turn around to come home and what's hitting me in the face? Of course, a headwind. It was one of those days. I calculated my time to return so as not to be late to get the kids and realized I needed to move. About fifteen k's from home I heard a "twang" that sounded too loud to be a rock skipping off my spoke. I suspected what it was and upon an examination of the rear wheel confirmed that one had indeed broken one. I think that's the second or third one off that wheel so time to get a new one or rebuild this one. It was a good excuse to take it easy the rest of the way.
I managed 45 minutes water running today which after a long layoff was a whole new world of torture. It wasn't overly boring, the muscles and the body just forget how to "run" in water. It's always a tough curve to get back to being water running fit.
Other than that I think I should be back on my leg running within a week. Another long bike awaits this Saturday - 7 hours and probably around 200km.