Thursday, June 27, 2013

I've been busy

Weekday work travel going back a couple weeks then forward:
Tampa,
Chicago,
buffalo(today),
down week,
Tampa, Seattle/Portland/Eugene,
Orlando,
San Diego,
down week,
DC,
San Fran,
down,
down,
London.
Thru sept 15.
Two weeks off travel as for as I know, then the weekend fun starts in October:
ACL,
ACL,
down,
Iceland,
Iceland,
fun fun fun fest,
formula 1,
open,
thanks giving.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Scars, Swelling and Bruises

Everything is coming along well.
The scars are now exposed and as you can see they are tiny.
The bruises are slowly going through their colors and will eventually go away. The purple knee just happened last night!
The slight swelling is minor.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Knee Surgery Update - medical wonders of the modern world


It's pretty amazing that 8 days after my knee surgery, I no longer need to use crutches to walk (except if I'm going for very far walks, or know I will be walking a lot throughout a day)  
Surgery went well last Thursday, Jan 17 at 6am.  
As I mentioned in a prior post, the doctor had planned to go in and remove excess cartilage from the trochlear groove (base) of my femur, which seemed to be causing my knee cap to rub, causing my problems.  Option 2 was to scrape even more if he found the cartilage to not be in great shape, in order to promote new, healthy, stronger cartilage growth.  Option 1 having a 90% success rate, and option 2 having an 80% success rate. 

(click on photos to see larger versions)

(allergies on wristband.  grass, pollens and dust don't count as allergies)

(post surgery view)

(post surgery snack #2 - apple juice and crackers. 
snack #1 was cranberry juice and crackers)

(my vitals post surgery)


Once in there, Dr John McDonald, (a fellow of the Steadman Clinic) found that although there was excess cartilage that he removed, the cartilage he left was in great condition and no regrown cartilage could have been better than what I already had.  This meant we didn't need to go to option #2.  He also found excess Plica* in the knee, which he went ahead and removed.  John and I spoke the next day, to discuss the surgery and he mentioned that overall, my knee was in great shape and had no other issues at all.  The surgery lasted less than 45 mins, which was half of the total allocated time for the surgery.
*Plica - in plain English, plica** is a fibrous tissue that is left over from when a fetus is growing in the mother's womb. The Latin term essentially translates "mucus-y ligament".  It is so thin that it cannot be detected by an MRI.  Sometimes it can cause great irritation within the knee.






(apparently, Jupiter lives in my knee - bottom right of the above 4 photos) 

After surgery, I was driven home by a friend, and spent the next 5 days (Thu-Mon) doing nothing but lay in my bed with my iced knee elevated by pillows, drugging myself with the pain medication  prescribed, aspirin, anti-nausea, and laxative pills.  While I joked about doping myself, I didn't enjoy the feeling of popping pills at all, and I'm confused as to how someone could get addicted to it as all I looked forward to was not having to take any more.  (I do take Ibuprofen to reduce swelling and inflammation, but the absolute minimum).  I hate pills.  I kept having visions of those movies where someone is kidnapped, and tied to a bed in a room, and drugged so they remain in a vegetated state.  


(rare time spent on couch compared to time spent in bed and  
compression tights on to reduce chance of blood clots due to extreme slothness.)

Monday was my first Physical Therapy session with Amber.  She said my knee was looking great, she measured the bendability of both my legs, and had me do all sorts of exercises.  Based on how great everything looked, she reduced me down from 2 crutches to 1, with the ability to do some light walking around the house without crutches, and sent me home with instructions and daily exercises   
(Knee on Sunday when i was finally allowed to remove bandages and take a shower.  Two incision points.  "YES" written by nurse after I confirmed which knee.  Doctor signed his name above it after additional confirmation by me)

Yesterday, Friday (8 days after surgery) I went in to see Amber again.  In summary, my left leg bendability is 137 degrees, and my right knee went from 101 on Monday to 135, yesterday!  She sent me home with old and new exercises, and instructions to no longer use crutches at all (except for long walks to not over-stress the knee)

**Here's some more about Plica for those that are interested.
This inflammation is typically caused by the plica being caught on the femur, or pinched between the femur and the patella. The most common location of plica tissue is along the medial (inside) side of the knee. The plica can tether the patella to the femur, be located between the femur and patella, or be located along the femoral condyle.  
The plica themselves are remnants of the fetal stage of development where the knee is divided into three compartments. The plica normally diminish in size during the second trimester of fetal development, as the three compartments develop into the synovial capsule. In adults, they normally exist as sleeves of tissue called synovial folds. The plica are usually harmless and unobtrusive; Plica Syndrome only occurs when the synovial capsule becomes irritated, which thickens the plica themselves (making them prone to irritation/inflammation, or being caught on the femur).
Finding the presence of a plica is impossible to nearly impossible through any external tests, including an MRI. Plica can be detected arthroscopically, and their existence can only be confirmed during surgery. (Source)
Stay tuned for an update once all adhesive tape comes off and you can see how small the cuts were!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

surgery went great

i'm home and just woke up from a nap.
I'll type more after I talk to the doc tomorrow, but thought I'd tell my interwebs fan base that the surgery went exponentially better than expected, and doc has changed prognosis from 6-8 weeks of rehab, 4-6 of no weight bearing crutches, to 5 days on crutches and to simply try to stay off the leg as much as possible, but light weight bearing is allowed if need be.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

change of plans

I went to a different doctor yesterday for a second opinion.  He earned a fellowship from the renowned Steadman Clinic.  Both docs are most excellent, and have both successfully treated personal friends so I have nothing but good things to say about both.  However, I have decided to switch to the second doc, because I simply feel that he is a better fit for me.
He agreed that I need surgery to fix my issue, but his approach is different to the first doc's plan, which was quite educational to me.  I had no idea that my issue, a type of Chondromalacia, had multiple surgery strategies. I figured there was one way to fix things.

Chondromalacia is due to an irritation of the undersurface of the kneecap. The undersurface of the kneecap, or patella, is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage. This cartilage normally glides effortlessly across the knee during bending of the joint. However, in some individuals, the kneecap tends to rub against one side of the knee joint, and the cartilage surface become irritated, and knee pain is the result. 
This image shows the issue decently well, 
but mine issue is more towards the middle of the indentation ( in the trochlear groove).


Here are the differences in their surgeries:

Doc #1: 3 options.  a)make a hole in problem area, take a piece of bone (think wine cork) from other part of femur, and plug the hole with the cork.  b) if the problem is larger, plug the hole with multiple corks. c) if the problem area is really large, add metal to fill the hole.  We're talking about 1 cm piece or so, but it's still metal.





Doc #2:  Dr McDonald's plan has 2 options:  a) scrape the top of the excess cartilage off with a pick (think dentist scraping plaque).  If he can smooth it out and the below area looks healthy, we're done.  b) If it's not healthy, then he will scrape down into the problem area with the same pick, and and poke holes.  The strategy here is to promote new cartilage to grow back to fix / plug the hole organically.

Dr McDonald says that a) has a 90% success rate, and b) has an 80% success rate.  I am satisfied with those odds.  But what if I end up in the 10 or 20% club?  That means my bones do not heal themselves on their own very well anymore. (guess I'm old).  So, first he gives me a shot of some liquid that promotes growth of the cartilage, in addition to lubrication agent, and we see if that fixes things.  If it doesn't, then I get a shot every 6 to 12 months (depending on need) and say good bye to my dreams of running more than 13-15 miles at a time.  I can live with that, as honestly, that's a minor issue in life.  There's more to life than running over 15 miles, like kayaking and rowing. (But not cycling, i am just not interested in that.)

Rehabilitation?  We'll cover that topic when we reach that point.

Prior to my second opinion, I was never quite at peace with what I was about to do to myself, but now I am.

Wish me luck as I go in for surgery on Thursday, Jan 17th at 6am.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Surgery on Tuesday, Jan 15


I'm not medically versed, and my brain automatically deletes personal bad news, so I don't remember the exact plain English medical terms he used to describe all this.  I've attached the MRI result in case you can't sleep.

But, essentially there are no ligament or meniscus issues at all.
There was a small chance of an ACL tear, a bigger chance of an ACL sprain, but everything is normal.
THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS!

THIS IS THE SURGERY NEWS:
IMPRESSION #1 and #2- is what we are fixing (on the MRI result doc I uploaded earlier.)
However, there's an area on my knee, in the Trochlear Groove area (behind the knee cap) that got scuffed up.  The human body usually produces some sort of cartilage / shield over such areas to fix them, but my bone has not healed.  It's been a year, and he said usually it would have fixed itself over 6 months, especially with all the time off I took between Jan - July.
So, I go in for knee surgery next Tuesday.

He has two options.  He won't know which one to do until Tuesday.  Option 1, is to create hole where the problem is in the bone, then take a piece of the same bone where there isn't much action within the knee, and put the healthy piece in the bad hole to promote healing.
Option 1: If the area that is bad is too big to plug with one or two bone pieces, then he'll make it a little bigger,(think nickel sized coin) and insert a piece of metal in the hole.
Option 2: also calls for a potential need to put a coin-sized piece of hard plastic on the back side of the knee cap, where the knee cap will be interacting (going up and down) over the metal insert.
The attached photo gives you a decent idea of what it would kind of be like.


Recovery:
1- One week of very limited walking, then 1 week of sensible walking. No driving for 10 days as it's the right knee.
2- After 2 weeks, walking should be doable.  (Should be fun as I will be in Vegas for work for a week, and those casinos are BIG)
3- Eventually, we introduce the stationary bike, and other rehab exercises.
4- 3 months later, by April 15, I'm hopefully starting to run again, with a knee that has no issues.
5- January, 7th 2014, I return to racing at the Bandera 50km trail race and redeem my horrible performance of last year!

How long does it last?
He said Option 1 should be forever, Option B should be fine for 30 or 40 years.

Wish me luck.

MRI RESULT

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My knee has been an issue since Jan 22, 2012.  
I went to 3 different sports doctors who all felt they could fix it, but they didn't.  I got better, but not really.  Never ran over 12 miles, and oftern the knee would hurt bad the next day to the point that i had to take up to a week off.  Finally today I went to a new doctor.  Not sure why I didn't go earlier, but i'm gladly I finally found him.
His bio on his website is below the steps we are taking to fix my knee. 


Step 1: Doc Appt (today)
Step 2: Xrays and abuse it (today)
Step 3: Cortisone Shot (today)
Step 4: Test Run on Friday and Saturday.
Step 5: New MRI (very soon) to determine extend of: ACL sprain vs. slight ACL tear vs. extent of irregularity on Trochlear groove vs. possible loose piece bone rubbing.
Step 6: 1 session with Physical Therapist to review my bio-mechanics and muscles firing correctly.
Step 7: Review MRI
Step 8: Pray that it's not ACL tear or loose bones that require slicing me up.
- Best Sports doctor appointment I've ever have. Dude was amazing. Renewed hope to be able to run clear across Yosemite in late spring! -



Austin orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brent Brotzman, is considered a nationally recognized expert in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the injured athlete, specializing in injuries to the feet, ankles, and knees.  Dr. Brotzman is the author of 4 best selling medical textbooks with Elsevier/Mosby/Harcourt entitled Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Handbook of Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Second Edition and Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Third Edition. These textbooks cover orthopaedic treatment and rehabilitation of fractures and sports injuries of the knee, shoulder, foot and ankle. These books are distributed internationally and have been translated in seven languages.  http://www.northaustinsportsmedicine.com/our-austin-sports-medicine-specialists/dr-brent-brotzman-orthopedic-surgeon-austin-texas/

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 Grand Circle of Awesome



I'll find time to write some details around this soon enough.  Until then, this gives a decent recap.
Congrats to JT and Katie on their Wedding!
It was an honor to be part of it, dressed up in costume.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

45 days later...

Wow.  Just noticed I haven't posted anything since Aug 31. I'll make it a point to provide an update soon.  Had a fantastic 10 day trip to Arizona, Nevada and Utah that deserves some attention.
In running news, i went for a 3 hour run this past Saturday.  i was only fit for 2.5, so the last 30 mins were horrible.  My knee wasn't happy the next day, which means stuff is still going on in there.

For now, enjoy my new cover photo, from the Zion Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Wouldn't you know your PR??

I call bullshit on this.

No one that runs as fast a sub 3 fails to recall their PR.  
And there's no record of him to be found.
If anyone would know how to get access to results, it would be Runners World

Damn Liar, that Paul Ryan VP candidate.
(guilty until proven otherwise!!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a way with words...

I asked a friend who had teased me with the possibility of him smoking a brisket for our football tailgate, if he was indeed going to bring the goodness.  His reply was nothing short of great: 

Hark! Tis' a bold and wonderful endeavor,this sport of pit masters.
Lo' I shan't be true,
to mine own friend's celebration
Of his once and forever Day of Birth,
were I instead to toil o'er the fire,
battling the muses of cold and tough meat
with only steel and smoke as my aids,
for the full hours of eighteen
that true victory requires.
Thus I must send message now,
to the front lines - at once! -
that this War of Tenderness must wait,
if but one more week...


Sounds like he's got a Birthday party Friday night, so no Brisket this time.

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc weekend is here.

The biggest Ultra Marathon race in the world is this weekend.



Someday, I'd like to run the CCC option.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Grand Circle - photo preview

Here's what awaits me for a week in late September...
The Grand Circle

Mt Humphrey's, AZ
credit: runningcenter

Havasu Falls, AZ

Las Vegas, NV
Credit: City Guides

Zion Narrows, UT
credit: Jon Sullivan

Bryce Canyon, UT
credit : Dowdle Daily

Moab, UT
credit: Discover Moab

...and a sprint back down to Phoenix to catch my flight!

Dreamland for 2013

With the 2012 National Park "Grand Circle" still 3 weeks out, it seems a little preposterous to be talking about the 2013 National Park trip we're planning.
Then again, it's very difficult to abstain from posting photos so my imagination can run wild.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Leadville Trail 100 video

Spent lat weekend in Colorado crewing for a good friend as he ran the Leadville Trail 100 Trail race. 
It was great fun.  I want to writye up some thoughts about it, just haven't had any time, since I got home at close to midnight Sunday night, then was on a business trip to Atlanta on Tuesday until yesterday.  I hope to have something by end of the weekend. 

Paul's wife Meredith posted this little video which gives some great insight to Paul's 20hr and 4 minute day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Karma

My dog sitter took this brilliant photo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cool Dog

I doubt you'll ever see a cooler dog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New marathon distance

"Mellouli won gold in the 10-kilometer marathon"
http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/islamic-extremists-come-out-against-tunisian-athletes-081412

Well done, Fox Sports, well done.

Grand Kona Slam

A good friend, Paul T is looking to become the first person to ever complete the Grand Slam of trail running and the Kona Ironman all in 16 weeks.  5 races - 540.8 miles  His blog with race reports can be found here: The GrandKonaSlam


So far he ran his first ever 100 mile trail run, Western States in 20 hrs 14mins or so in late May.  
4 weeks later in mid July he ran the Vermont 100 in a little over 16 hours which was good for 4th place!  
This weekend he runs the Leadville Trail 100.
Followed by Wasatch 100 in September in Utah
Then 5 weeks later he goes to Kona to compete in the Ironman triathlon world championships. 

Why am I telling you this?  
Well, I will be his crew person this weekend in Leadville and will be chronicling his race on a twitter account @grandkonasla

Feel free to follow along!

If you see me out there, come by and say hi.  
I'll be the one in this t-shirt :

Storm that evacuated Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza Storm Timelapse (Aug. 4, 2012) from Angus Finlay on Vimeo.

Monday, August 13, 2012

3 out of 4

Trying to step up the running a little more, so i ran 50 minutes on Friday, 55 on Sunday then another 55 today.  All on trails.   There was a 5 minute stretch today when the knee was not happy, but it may have been from the slow pace (new friends I ran with that are quite slower than i am on trails), but the irritation went away.
I'm not really measuring distance , but they were about 6, 4.5 and 5 miles runs.  Going to take Tuesday off as my legs are tired.  Yes, that's how badly out of shape i'm in. HA!

A couple weekends ago I went to chicago for Lollapalooza, a 3 day music festival with 8 stages and 120 or so bands.
It was great.  I'll spare you photos, as i don't carry a great camera and you all know what a stage with a band looks like, but these are the bans I saw:
 Day 1
Animal Kingdom
First Aid Kit
O Rappa
Michael Kiwanuka
Black Angels
Metric
Band of Skulls
Black Sabbath

Day 2
Jeff the Brotherhood
Givers
*big rain storm forced park evacuation for almost 3 hours!*
Bloc Party
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Day 3
Mona
Bombay Bicycle Club
Polica
White Rabbits
Gary Clark Jr
Sigur Ros
Torp u Moi
At the Drive-In
Miike Snow
Jack White

My favorite by far was Sigur Ros.  They were unbelievable. Easily one of the 3 best bands I have ever seen live. And I go to a TON of shows.
Here's a video of the last 4 minutes of the last song (I found on youtube).
I got to their stage 1hr 15mins before their set to get a good spot. I was about 10 people back from the tip of the shade cast on people.


from the sound of these reviews, I wasn't the only one that was mesmerized by their performance.


Friday, August 10, 2012

6 miles

I ran (with a little walk here and there) for 6 miles today.
Total trail time was 67 minutes, the running part was 50.

Felt like I was going to die.
Little by little we continue to build.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lollapalooza 2012

Sat here on the last night for
Toro y Moi (left - green stage)
At the drive in (right - red stage)
Miike Snow (green)
...and finally Jack White (red)

Here are some panoramic photos I took from 7-8pm waiting for Jack White.
270,000 people over three days, so 90,000 per day, this must have been two thirds of those.
(click them to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Worst sportsmanship I've ever seen.

Say all you want and laugh all you want over Badminton as a sport.
I played it "competitively" high school (british school) at our ridiculously low level, and even then it was still super hard and demanded an incredible amount of fitness. 

Moving on, surely you've heard about the Olympic controversy in Badminton and how the players purposely played to lose the games.  This link has the footage and as a big sports fan I can say that this is the worst display of sportsmanship i have ever seen in my entire life.  A slap in the face to every team they beat in the Olympics and also to every team they played to make it into the games. 

This link has video footage of the pathetic display.  It took the IOC a few hours to review, discuss and disqualify them.  I personally think it's not enough, and that they should be banned for 4 years of international play, to discourage this behavior in this and any other sport.  
Yes, I know many multi-player team sports purposely don't play their stars if they have already qualified within group play, but this is different.  This is a blatant attempt at throwing of the match.  I'd even consider banning the Nation from the next Olympic games.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/badminton/all-eight-women-disqualified-for-throwing-badminton-matches.html  




Ramping

Ran a couple 25 min runs in Europe, then then two 35 min runs last week. This weekend I ran 40 but felt like crap due to terrible nutrition, and horseflies were EVERYWHERE.
This morning was much better with 45 min run on the trails. No pain.

Off to Chicago for 5 days tomorrow for the Lollapalooza music festival an a couple work meetings.
Won't get much running in, but since it's a mile between the two end stages, I'm pretty sure I'll be walking a minimum of 6-8 miles every day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

35

15 minute power hike, 35 minute trail run 15 min power hike.
no pain in the knee at all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interesting

you can thank me for this

if you fly American Airlines, you can thank my prior rant about poor quality planes for this announcement of huge fleet upgrade. 
I'm amazed how quickly they reacted to my comment. 



London, Sweden, and Rain

Spent 10 days in Europe.  
London was fun; Brick Lane is the #1 place to go if you want fun bar time.  Catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in 24 years was the highlight of my 2.5 days there.  Onto Sweden I went, spent 5 days with my dad, sandwiching 2 days with my mom in between.  Good stuff all around.   Was able to get in 2 25 minutes runs on asphalt, and experienced no issues in the knee.  It rained in London, it rained in Sweden, and based on the huge growth in my vegetable garden, it rained a ton in Austin as well.  

I'm pretty much convinced that my days of flying American Airlines to London or Sweden are over.  Apparently, those are the routes where airplanes go to die for that airline.
Exhibit #1 would be that on the way home, the 9.5 hour Helsinki to Chicago flight was on an old Boeing that had only those small 14 inch tv's every 3 or 4 meters along the middle.  The closest tv to me was so old, that the screen only had shades of sepia.  Not a single TV along the side rows, little less individual screens for each passenger with multiple tv and movie channel choices, like every other airline offers.  BIG FAIL.
While that may sound snobby, it was brutal for a 9.5 HOUR flight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

more running

up to 25 mins now without issues
yesterday, I went for an hour, 20 min hike, 25 min run, 15 hike.
Off to foreign lands for a few days, but bringing my kicks so hopefully i'll keep these 25 min jaunts going, so i can move up to 30+ upon my return

Friday, July 6, 2012

23

Ran twenty three minutes today.
That felt like forever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

success

Almost every day for the last 3 years or so, as I got ready to take a shower, I'd take the shirt I was wearing and toss it towards the closet door where my dirty-clothes-hamper is located.
It's about 8-10 paces away, and I always aimed at the door knob, trying to get it to hook on.
Finally, this weekend... victory was mine.

In other news, I've been running on flat ground for 17 minutes (8run-1walk-8run) for the last couple of weeks. Then on Sunday as it was raining I decided go to the greenbelt and run to the creek and back. It ended up being about 30 mins of running broken up by a 10min sit down by the water. My knee wasn't too thrilled on any of my runs, but it wasn't crippling pain either.
Today, I went for another flat 17, and other than a little discomfort for the first 5 mins of so, the rest of the run felt really good. Hope tomorrow brings more of the same, and of so, I'll up it to 21 (10-1-10)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Please vote for my friend


Here is a great article on a friend of mine.

He's a 4 time cancer survivor that has had over 75 surgeries and wasn't expected to live past childhood.

If you can find the time in your day to read this, you can find the time in your day to vote for him HERE
This link will take you to a video that will more than convince you that taking 1 minute to vote for him is worth your time.  Top 2 vote getters go to Kona to race the Kona World Championships Ironman Triathlon.

(Click on the little heart, bottom left below the video to vote.)

Best thing you can do is: vote, refresh your browser, vote again, refresh your browser, vote again, and do that 10 times or more.
You'll be glad you did.
Vote every day until July 3. (and direct your friends to this so they can help vote too)