Greg's blog 2008

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[edit] 2008

[edit] November

[edit] Rockland Lake Turkey Trot

Sunday, November 27, 2008

A new PR... 7:27. Not bad. That's 13 seconds a mile faster than last year.

This is one tough little course. It starts out up hill, and really shoots your HR sky high. Difficult to recover. I stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, but really had no kick left at the end. I guess that's good...

Results are here.

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[edit] NYC Marathon

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well, I managed to break 4 hours with a 3:58:30. 12478/37750 (top 33%), 9978 in my gender, and 1527 in my age (unfortunately, they don't give the totals for any of the groups - why, I wonder?). I was only 13 minutes short of my target.

However, it was not without a cost... The race started out well. I was running a consistent 8:20's, my heart rate was in the low 150's, and I was holding back because I felt good and wanted to go faster. Around mile 14, two things happened, with a third just a little while later. Both my ITB and my feet became really sore. The ITB was a surprise - It was fine, and then the pain just wouldn't go away. Where did that come from? I can only think that I ran a few miles on the right side of the road with the camber the opposite of what I normally run. At the same time, I got two big blisters on the balls of my feet. And, shortly after that, I got a dull cramp in my stomach (nutrition issues?). My heart rate shot up to the mid 170's, probably due to the stress and pain. I had to walk to bring it back down.

As the day went on, I had to walk several more times times, finally walking at every water station for about a minute. As much as my ITB hurt, the acute pain of the blisters was far worse. When I stated to run after walking, I was able to maintain an 8:30 pace for about three quarters of a mile, then the pain was just unbearable and had to resort to walking again. Surprisingly, I was still able to do roughly 10 minute miles.

I was watching the magic 4 hour mark getting closer and closer. I was at mile 20 around 2:54 and had 6 to go. Even at a 10 minute pace, I could crack 4 hours easily. At mile 23, I was 3:24, mile 24 3:34... Mile 25 was at 3:43. It was getting close. So, as I tell my daughter, you're not going to get it unless you GO FOR IT! I said to myslef that I have to run the remaining one and a half miles despite the pain. I was able to do it at a 9:18 pace (with the .2 miles at a 8:45) and made it in under 4 hours.

But, the agony didn't end there. The walk to get my bag was well over a mile, and it was moving like molasses. Every step hurt, I was feeling nauseous, freezing (even with the Mylar blanket), couldn't eat or drink and generally feeling like a zombie cow standing in line for slaughter. The funny part was that when I finally got my phone and called Martha to tell her I was up on 81st street, her comment was "We're down at 72nd street. Meet us there" Ha! No, you walk to me!! I basically crashed on the bench in front of the Museum of Natural History until they came.

Regular cabs were no where in sight, so for $60 male deer, we got a pedicab to take us to the ferry.

For those of you who like to look at data, this pretty much explains my misery:


Click on the thumbnail to see the full image. Notice the HR around mile 14, and the erratic pace until 18 where I was able to restore some semblance of control to the pain as I got into a rhythm of pain management and forward motion. And, of course, now I see why I was nauseous at the end. Check out the HR...

So, I think no more marathons for me... My body is more suited to the middle distance events. Back to the ice and ibuprofen...

Results here.

Place Gender Place Age Place Official Time 5K Time 10K Time 15K Time 20K Time 1/2 Mar. Time 25K Time 30K Time 35K Time 40K Time Pace/Mile
12478 9979 1527 3:58:30 0:26:14 0:52:20 1:18:16 1:44:24 1:50:06 2:14:04 2:43:13 3:14:32 3:46:23 0:09:06

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[edit] September

[edit] Westchester Triathlon

Sunday, September 21, 2008 My goal: Make the top 1/3 in my age group and qualify to go to the USAT Age Group Nationals.

I opted to skip my NYC 16 miler the day before and try to achieve my goal..

It was cold... Waiting really sucked. I was in the 6th wave. The siren sounded, and the swim began. Oh boy, that water felt good. So good, that I didn't want it to end. I was sighting well, and swimming straight. A real pleasure.

T1 was OK. The wetsuit came off relatively easily, and no one messed up my transition area. It was cold, so I had to take time to put on socks.

Out on the bike, I felt strong. The hills were tough, but my legs kept putting out power. However the roads were really bumpy, and it made it kind of hairy going fast down hills (not to mention that I'm not 100% OK with that yet after my accident). Claire's Climb wasn't bad, and I passed a few people I knew. However, at the top, with my hands and forearms so cold, I hit a bump and my left hand came off the bar. It took every ounce of strength from my right arm to keep me from falling. Damn, that was scary.

Coming into T2, my transition spot was so close to the bike dismount, I opted to to get out of my shoes on the bike and run to T2 with my cleats on. I don't think it made much of a difference either way. T2 was uneventful (which means it was pretty good).

The run is new this year. It goes around Playland. Nice route. I tried hard to focus on turnover, and managed to do a pretty respectable run (for me!).

So, what's the result? 160/865, and 23/75 in my age group. Do the math... Look out Portland - hear I come!!! Wahoo!!!

Distance Time Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
1.5K/40K/10K 2:37:46 28:57 2:58 1:15:31 1:46 48:36


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[edit] Westchester Kid's Triathlon

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This was an "as real as you can get" triathlon for the kids. Tori did AWESOME! She finished 7th in her age group, and 23rd overall in her wave (7-10 year olds). She was 6th overall out of the water.

The transition areas did not allow parents, so she had to do everything herself. T1 was a little rough going, with socks, shoes, and bike shorts, but she did it! Her bike was great, and her running has really made some nice progress.

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[edit] American Memorial Triathlon

Sunday, September 7, 2008

As with West Point, I did my long run the day before. It really makes your legs heavy. I was pretty slow on the bike, but the run was OK. However, even with all that, I placed 3rd in my age group. First "podium" finish ever!

Distance Time Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
.5/16/4 1:45:26 15:47 1:53 54:01 1:07 32:39


[edit] August

[edit] West Point Triathlon

Sunday, August 24, 2008 I did my NYC Marathon long run the day before this race. The swim was great, but when it got to the bike and run, my legs were just not there. Still, for my come back race of 2008, it was just great to be out there!

Distance Time Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
.5/16/3.1 1:22:04 11:01 2:19 42:59 0:45 25:02


[edit] West Point Kid's Triathlon

Saturday, August 23, 2008 Tori has just completed her first "official" triathlon. She competed in the West Point Kid's triathlon and did very well. With only one week of training (long story), she managed to be about 10th out of the water, and 18th on the bike. There were 100 registered participants. Her run is where she need work, but she did finish the 300m swim, 5k bike, and 1 mile run in about 36 minutes. Totally awesome! She's gearing up for the Westchester Kid's Triathlon in September. Go Tori!

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[edit] June

[edit] Training Update

Friday, June 27, 2008 Started physical therapy last week, and got the OK to start running again. It's been rough trying to get back up to speed. Pace is down, and heart rate is up... Also, I think I may have over did it last week. My legs are sore. I hope that's not ITB issues I feel...

I did get into the pool on Tuesday. It was not pretty, but I went through the motions and my shoulder felt pretty good. Still quite weak though, and the doctor said no hard stuff until August 9th.

NYC Marathon training begins this weekend with a 10 mile run. Hopefully, my legs will be back.

[edit] May

[edit] Training ride to Nyack

[edit] Saturday, May 10, 2008

So, it was a rainy Friday night, and the roads were wet on Saturday morning. I decided to hold off until around 11am to get in a 40 mile ride. Weather warmed up, and roads were dry. Off we go to Nyack. Even though my ride ended in Nyack, I didn't get there the way I had planned.

About right here, I was passed by a woman, Lucy Mortensen of Piermont (according to the initial police write up), in a black Subaru. She promptly turned right, without a hesitation or a turn signal, forcing me to ram into the side of her car. Needless to say, I crashed, and hit the ground with a loud "crack" sound. Thank goodness for my Rudy Project helmet. Wait - that wasn't the helmet cracking. What's that pointy thing under my skin where my left collar bone is? Oh shit. That's my bone. And, what's that crunchy feeling in my ribs. Damn.

And, what was the woman's comment? "Oh, I don't know what I could have done differently" (or something similarly dumb). I mean, she fucking passed me!! And turned right into me. Holy shit - talk about not paying attention.

Fortunately, there were a bunch of roadies taking a break at that intersection who were very helpful. I never got their names, but I thank them for doing the clear thinking for me since I wasn't quite in shape for that. They called 911, talked to Martha for me, made sure my bike made it to the PD, etc. Thank you all!

The trip to Nyack wound up being in the ambulance with some nice, sharp pains in my shoulder, and pain while breathing. They kind of dropped me when taking me out of the ambulance, but only about 6 inches. Yes, that hurt.

A full set of x-rays later, and the clavicle is broken with a piece "floating". The ribs are apparently not broken, but I still feel things "moving" around in there.

What's the treatment? Well, ribs, nothing. Broken clavicle with bone poking? Nothing. What the fuck? I am NOT satisfied with that at all. I called my friend Donna, a doctor, fellow triathlete, and someone who broke her hip after falling off her bike. She gave me the name of an orthopedic surgeon who I will be calling on Monday. Not only is the bone moving around freaking me out, but I just don't see how 1) the fact that the bone is poking into my skin will ever heal, and 2) without some sort of support, how I will be able to actually use my shoulder for a LONG time.

So, I'm pissed. Depressed, and pissed.

Thank you, Andrea and Vic, for going to the Orangeburg PD, picking up my bike and bringing it to Ridgewood Cycle, and to John who checked it out and said it's OK. However, I'm sure it's scratched, and if you know me, and how much I baby the bike, you know how mad that's going to make me. And thank you, Wendi, for letting everyone know... Really, really thank you, Martha and Tori, for helping me out at home. I can't dress, bath, or anything, and they are really being good to me. Friends and family are special things...

Anyway, that's that. I'm sore, I can't do shit for myself right now, and I have to sleep sitting up. I'll update this when I'm not on so much Vicodin.

  1. Without a light table, it's hard to scan x-ray film
  2. Another film
  3. With some Photoshop magic

[edit] Monday, May 12, 2008 - Update: Tents are for camping

We got the police report today. The woman reported that she turned and heard a thump on the side of her car. In other words, she passed me but never saw me.

I got an appointment with the surgeon for tomorrow. We'll see what he has to say.

frameless - Yes, that bump is the bone. It's blurry, but its the best I could do (photo through mirror).

Here is a short youtube clip of the collar bone. If you look carefully, you'll see the bone moving around and "tenting". Yuk!

[edit] Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - Update: Surgeon

Met with the surgeon. Looks like I'm getting a plate with 6 screws on Saturday morning. The displacement is worse than it was on Saturday. I have to go for pre-surgery checkup tomorrow at both my primary care physician, and the hospital.

[edit] Saturday, May 17, 2008 - Update: Post surgery

Got home from surgery about 4 hours ago. Feeling tired and drugged, but pretty good otherwise. I suppose thats because my shoulder is still numb. Tomorrow should be very interesting. Martha is taking Tori to day 2 of her first long course swim meet, and I get to stay home with the dog.

[edit] Sunday, May 18, 2008 - Update: Next day

Today sucks. Couldn't sleep. Up at 2:30 doing some mean, one-handed perl coding because, well, I couldn't do anything else. The pain is worse - it feels like someone is constantly pushing down on my shoulder with a hot iron. The skin around my clavicle is numb. The muscles around my neck are sore. Just wonderful. The Percocet and Oxycontin are "slowing" me down, making everything very uncomfortable. I'm lovin' this... Oh, and let's not forget the freakin' strange dreams. Somehow, I don't think I'd enjoy LSD...

  1. Post surgery dressing #1.
  2. Post surgery dressing #2.
[edit] Monday, May 19, 2008 - Update: Movement, finally

Well, with the help from Philip's MoM, things decided to move last night. Three times. In a hurry. I'm very tired today, but at least I have some relief. I didn't eat much yesterday, so the bagel this morning was really good. Still sore, but the Percocet seems to be doing its job by taking the edge off it.

I'm spending most of the day dozing. Some eating, drinking and TV, but I can't find something that will hold my attention long enough before I fall asleep. Even Indy 500 Bump Day didn't do it...

[edit] Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - Update: Dressing

Slowly, but surely, feeling better. Still hurts a lot (no shit, Sherlock). Pizza tasted good today.

  1. Post surgery dressing #3. Note the brusing by my arm pit (slight green). That is pre-surgery brusing.
  2. Post surgery dressing #4.
  3. Post surgery dressing #5. That's a big-ass bandage.
[edit] Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - Update: Off the drugs, time to get out

Today was better than yesterday. I tried to cut back on the drugs so I wasn't living in a "fog"... Made it until about 2pm, but my shoulder and ribs were starting to ache.

Took a .25 mile walk this evening - totally wiped me out. Felt sore when I got back. Sucks - I was walking like an old man, and it was still too much.

Going to try the Oxycontin tonight, rather than the Percoset. One pill should last 12 hours.

Hey - I actually washed my hair tonight! Wahoo!!

[edit] Thursday, May 22, 2008 - Update: Drugs, love 'em, hate 'em

Wow. Oxycontin sucks. I took it last night and it threw me for a loop again. Nasty stuff. Anyway, I managed no pain killers all day today. Turns out, my shoulder was OK, but my ribs were really sore. Forgot about those, huh? Yup, I did...

I feel sore this evening, so just a Percoset before I try to sleep. Have to be awake for my daughter's IEP meeting tomorrow.

Sitting home is driving me nuts. I don't know how people can do it. I'm coming up with lame, one handed projects just to keep my mind active so I forget about how much I want to be out there swimming, biking or running.

Tomorrow, I plan on seeing if I can get Fedora 9 installed on an ancient PC so I can run pyTiVo to serve up some movie files / videos that the TiVo can't currently handle. I've got Ubuntu 8.04 Workstation running nicely on my Inspiron 5150, including running Lotus Notes under Wine. I've even found some nice plugins for Firefox that work under Linux and Firefox 3. Whipee. BYW, eclipse and PHP don't seem to mix that well. Emacs still rules.

At least Formula 1 is at Monaco this weekend. They usually have a lot of coverage, so I hope to be not that bored. Also, Tori will be running the Ridgewood 1 Mile Fun Run. Martha said she'll bring a chair for me so I can cheer them on. I'm hoping to not need the chair.

[edit] Sunday, May 25, 2008 - Update: Peek a boo!

After taking my wonderfully refreshing sponge bath, the dressing came partially off the area. Photo op!

  1. Incision looking from over my left shoulder
  2. Same - not quite as good.

These photos are hard to "understand". The perspective is from above, over my left shoulder.

The last few night, sleeping has been an issue. I feel very jittery, like I need to go exercise or something. It's not making the night time very enjoyable. I cannot wait to see what the surgeon has to say on Tuesday. I'm going nuts here. I need to get on at least a trainer and spin for a while.

So, interesting side effect - I have NOT been gaining weight, and that's not for lack of eating. I'm not piging out, but I'm also not "on a diet". Given my propensity to gain weight just by standing next to food, I'm thinking one of two things. Perhaps my body is expending energy healing. Or, perhaps I'm losing muscle mass, and gaining fat. I suspect a little of both.

More reading, and I find that I have several of the symptoms of Percocet withdrawal. Nasty stuff... Definitely the anxiety, runny nose, sweating, insomnia, and some gastro stuff. Wow. from just 5 days on the stuff.

[edit] Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - Update: Detox, x-rays and incisions

My shoulder is feeling better. Virtually no pain. My ribs still hurt a lot when I cough, laugh and especially sneeze.

What's getting me now, are the feelings I described above. Most notably, the feelings of "anxiety". It's not anxiety per se, but this "I can't sit still - I've got to get up and go some place" feeling. Totally sucks when you are trying to sleep or concentrate on something. It's happening now, and I had to get up and come back to finish writing this.

I'm meeting with the surgeon today to have the stitches removed. I will definitely bring this up with him.

OK, just got back from the surgeon. Here are the shots of my titanium composite plate and Home Depot decking screws:

  1. X-ray of plate and screws (threads included!)
  2. Slightly different angle

Look at the size of those screws!! The surgeon was able to wrap the butterfly piece with a suture and then got the screw into it, so I didn't need the artificial bone graft to wrap it into place.

Four "NO's" for four weeks: No lifting my arm over above shoulder level. No swimming. No sun. No lifting more than a 2 liter soda bottle. Gotta love it. He specifically singled out swimming.

But, I can sit on a trainer and spin as long as I don't put any weight on my shoulder / arm. And, I'm not in a sling any more. Of course, I can only lift my arm 6" at this point, but that will improve with time.

And... I get to take a shower tomorrow. Yipee! The adhesive from the surgical tape is incredibly sticky, and just won't come off. I tried soap and water and alcohol. Didn't make a dent.

So, without further ado... here's the incision:

  1. The scar
  2. Take 2
  3. Unevenness. Note the very tight tendon going up my neck.

I guess I'm not going to have even clavicles again... And, you know that tendon that runs up the side of your neck? Talk about tight... If you look at the photo, it is continuously "pulling". Going to have to spend some time stretching it out.

I haven't had any issues with the Percocet withdrawal since this morning. Hopefully, I can get a good night's sleep. Oh - last night was the first night back in a regular bed. It was OK - I could only lay on my back and right side.

[edit] Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - Update: No more withdrawal, spinning and....

OK, I think we're done with the Percocet detox. Had a decent night's sleep last night. Actually hit the trainer today. However, my 1.5 hour spin turned out to be 45 minutes. Not surprised, but not happy. At least it was a workout.

And then.... A SHOWER!!! Oh man, did that feel good!

Driving is an issue. I can't lift my arm to reach the wheel, and the seat belt bites at the incision.

Going to call Cervelo tomorrow to find out how much a new paint job on my P2C will cost.

[edit] Sunday, June 1, 2008 - Update: Elbows and skin

I'm winding down the updates to this blog entry, and will be starting the "recovery" thread when I start PT in late June.

As of right now, things are relatively stabilized. I drove to Rutgers Busch Campus yesterday for Tori's swim meet. Seat belts are still an issue since I don't want to put it over my collar bone. In fact, even if I did, the skin is SO sensitive in the area where it transitions from numb to feeling, that I'd be screaming by the end of the trip. The sensation is like if someone rubs your skin so much that after that, any touch, however slight, is really annoying. Also, I'm getting occasional, intense "pins and needles" sporadically. Some hurt a lot, and they catch me by surprise.

So, the car ride yesterday was a little over an hour. My elbow was annoying me on the arm rest (can't hang on to the steering wheel that long with my arm yet). Then, during the meet, I bumped my elbow on the arm rest of the bleacher seats. Ouch. At dinner, my elbow itched, so I scratched it. Whoa... What's that? I've got a golf ball size "sack" on my elbow. Researching, it looks like a form of bursitis, or "water on the elbow". Great.

Them, I get home, and who knows what I did, but all of a sudden, I get a stabbing pain in my back (right side). Hurts so much, I can't breath. OK, I get the picture, I over did it yesterday. Gotta deal with the consequences. Sleeping sucked, and my back cramped again this morning. No spinning today...

[edit] Friday, June 13, 2008 - Update: PT, swimming, biking and running

Just got the OK for PT!! And running!! And EASY biking. Have to wait a week to swim, and that will be easy too. Looks like no heavy stuff until around August 9th. NYC is probably out now, and most likely Timberman. :-(

[edit] Long Branch Half Marathon(13.1m)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The weather was cool and damp, but after mile 1, it became ideal. For whatever reason, I felt less than 100% after mile 2. My overall pace was similar to last year (8:05). I was hoping for 7:45. Probably didn't do enough tempo training runs this winter.

Date Event Type My Time Results Notes
2008/05/04 NJ half marathon Run Chip time: 1:46:00 (8:05 pace) Results Felt OK - Garmin showed it as 13.19 miles 7:59 pace (1:45:14) Overall: 329/3701 (8.8%) AG: 43/213 (20.1%)

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