Friday, August 30, 2013

"Too Lazy To Think Of A Good Title This Week" Update Friday

Snakebyte turned 7 this week, and *had* to ride the saddle at Texas Roadhouse, so good times!!

It's been a good week for me, too. I mentioned last week about the co-contraction of my muscles and visualizing one to shut off while the other is on, well it's working. I went from a 63:48 mile to a 36:44 mile in 10 days (17-20 min/mi is normal walking speed). This is of course due to therapy, and also using the elliptical every day, but part of it has to do with training my brain to interpret the messed up signals that it now gets through my spinal cord correctly; the other things I've been doing for months. Maybe it will never get better than that, who knows? But my speculation is that music helped because I stopped focusing so much on what wasn't working correctly and instead what feels like moving correctly, and the same here. If I keep in my head what is correct movement and what feels good, then I move better. For example, I'm practicing swinging my legs. My right leg would not just drop, the co-contraction would make it drop slowly and jerkily, not just swing down passively. But I've been working on it over and over again, visualizing my foot being sooo heavy and that muscle letting go, and I can swing it sometimes now. It's not enough to write a book on yet, but totally worth continuing!!
ALSO next week, a Pilates instructor offered to help me - I'm super stoked because I was doing it on my own because I didn't think anyone would want the liability, but she has a great reputation and it is exactly what I feel would help me right now! Wulf says that part of my problem is that my core is unstable due to the co-contraction and weak hips due to the injury, and since that's exactly what Pilates work on, I'm all for it.
My wrist is much much better, my hand is also moving better. Progress is so slow, I keep feeling like I'm telling you it's better but there's still so much to go, but the truth is there are little things better all the time, and even if it's not fully functional yet I see it headed that way and it's a good feeling.

Good luck to everyone racing Hy-Vee this weekend!!! Ashley Delaune of Smoothie Factory is racing it, she and her husband now own CajunMan, a Lafayette sprint on September 8th, which will be a great race too! The World Triathlon Grand Final starts just a couple of days later, and the TriCajuns' SugarMan is on October 6th. It's a hard time of the year for me for patience right now, but I'm looking forward to next year. Ya'll have a good one!

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Pressure Friday

A wonderful reporter from KATC is doing a series of stories following people training for the inaugural Zydeco Marathon, the first marathon held here in Laffy. This is the story: Cyclist, runner seriously injured in accident plans to run Zydeco Half Marathon
I don't think I'm going to watch it because I can't think of a grosser place to watch oneself than therapy, but I'm pretty sure my therapist Wulf publicly talked nice about me so that would be worth seeing! ;)

So No Pressure right? If you remember, Wulf had warned me that it will be too far for me to be able to do within the 4 hour time limit. Sure it's half a year a way, but he says it's still a year too early. And of course nobody knows for sure what will happen with a spinal cord injury. BUT I'm still aiming to run it. So that's the goal, and if it doesn't happen, none of us are allowed to get all down about it!

It's racing season ya'll and it's been fun watching my friends and colleagues kicking butt all over the world. The ITU Worlds is just 3 weeks away. The 1 year anniversary of me getting hit is only 6 weeks away. I plan on riding a bike on the road by then. My right ankle is still crazy weak but I think I'll be able to pull it off - will keep you updated!

Overall, it's been a good week. Healing comes in fits and starts and it's doing that right now. I guess I try to capitalize on it when it starts as much as possible. Music isn't necessary to get me to move faster anymore, but it was a good jumping stone! I'm doing a lot of visualizing and practicing shutting one muscle off while the other is on - if you remember my major problem is co-contraction of my muscles, the biggest one being my right quads don't shut off when my hamstrings contract. I'm thinking if I can get my brain to understand the signals it's getting from my damaged spinal cord I can do a little more healing. This is NOT proven or anything, but it keeps me occupied while I'm healing!

You can see my right leg is now slightly bent here. It's been coming, but maybe a little faster this week.
Also, I should never be an artist.

My friend Jenny is going through some stuff right now. You can check her out on our blog with Perky: Cajun Titanium. She was rescuing a drowning kid, pulled a lead out of her new pacemaker, and damaged her phrenic nerve in the process. Sheesh! Be thinking about her!

And of course this week has been all bike bike bike. There's a lot of volunteer work for an advocate in this area right now! I started a new Facebook page for stolen bikes: Stolen Bicycles - Lafayette Area that works in conjunction with the group ACADIANA BICYCLE CHAIN REACTION and will soon feed into BikeLafayette's website. Still working on the Bicycle Friendly Community designation with some wonderful ladies with LCG, with "The Lab" on becoming a Bicycle Friendly Business, and some PSAs to educate our community on cycling safety. There's also some work to be done with "Safe Routes To School" -- so keeping busy! Love you guys, have a great weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Broken Tenodesis Update

People really should say "relax" tenodesis, because that's what it is! I've been struggling with tenodesis of my wrist, which means it had started compensating for weak fingers. It helps a lot of people be functional, but I don't want it. I'm trying to keep normal form, which may make me not as functional, but my goal is to continue strengthening until my function is normal again.
And I'm achieving it! It took sitting in the passenger seat in a 12 hour car ride, retraining my wrist and fingers, but I can flatten my hand now and keep my wrist in neutral position. Patience and meditation comes in here - I literally think about "relaxing" my hand flat. It's not perfect, I still have to work on it, but I can DO it. Heck I can even extend my wrist and keep my fingers straight! So now I'm working harder at extensor strength. It's slllooowww but I have movement in everything, and it's coming. My grasping etc - flexor strength - is coming along quite well, definitely functional.

The car ride was a Fabulous trip to Columbia, Missouri, where I finished veterinary school, then worked as a fish biologist for a year. I love this place, I have amazing friends there, and a piece of me is always there. I found out I can now SWING again (!), hiked to Table Rock and the Devil's Icebox (a bat cave!), went birding at Eagle Bluffs, visited my old river crew, and visited my old office the Missouri River. Walking in hills and long grass did a lot of muscle building for my ankles, gastrocs, and extensors. I need to find a place like that here in south Louisiana! ;)

Colleagues and Coworkers at Les Bourgeois

TODAY is the day to start Hal Higdon's 30/30 program if you don't run now but want to run the NOLA RnR half! Hal Higdon
My training log, I haven't posted it in a while: Training Log

I get sad and scared sometimes still, but not as much, at least not right now. I'm working on being less in my head and relying on my intuition more. I don't understand it exactly, I'll let you know when I do!
Snakebyte started 1st grade this week, dang kid! My favorite triathletes, the Zaunbrecher twins et al, have been kicking butt all over the nation. My own triathlon club is doing awesome. Nic is awesome. Life could be worse. Have a great week!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Update -NOT!

I'm on vacation, you'll have to wait til next week! #prescheduledpost
Have a good one!

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Lied Last Friday. Also, Never Underestimate Music.

And the Friday before. But not on purpose! And not entirely. Okay here's the deal.

Those "little" progressions, well one of them turned into a huge leap for me. Right when I had told you it's all little. I guess it's not THAT big of a leap (or a lie for that matter), but it is for me! I'm thinking so fast it's hard to type all the words out, and I type fast! Okay, I Never listened to music when I ran. I didn't need to, and I was always focusing on form etc. Totally cool if You do, I just never found it helpful, just distracting! I'd think it in my head, but never actually listen.
BUT this week I started listening to my favorite songs that I think about when I'm running while I was on the elliptical. And All Of A Sudden my body just started working, I don't know how to explain it. I had Nic get on it to see what was a "normal" walking speed, and he said about 35rpm, easy jogging about 50, and 150 was out of control.. I was averaging 34, with my absolute max at 50. This all of a sudden thing was 40 average with a top of 62! I don't know what "normal" jogging speed is for me, but heck that's close enough. To top it off, many times spinal cord patients can't get their heart rate about 150bpm, and mine was at least 180bpm. While it's kind of funny to think that just this little bit will get my heart rate elevated to a point of a high cardio exercise, I'm Stoked!! I'll get back in shape again in no time.
This does *not* mean I can run again yet, I still have high muscle tone, but it's looking better.

PS If you're my Spotify "friend" sorry for the constant repeat of songs! ;) I've got my "TRAINING" playlist as collaborative, so pppppllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeee add to it!

Also, malfunction with the exercise bike. This is okay because the awesome Mark Miller at Precision Bikes fixed Eric's road bike for me so that I can ride my rollers. I'm pretty attached to Precision at this point. And of course I love Eric. And holy heck it's been a flying week.

I would say that's enough awesomeness for one post, but something else totally cool happened. Nic's sister Laura knows Daniela Ryf, 2x Swiss triathlon Olympian, and I now have her personalized jersey and signed a picture. I couldn't be more excited, incredibly sweet!

AND this post was written on Saturday! There's the rest of the week to go!

Sunday belonged to my kid. Maybe I didn't think he trained enough, but dang he's fast, and he completed his first triathlon. Not just completed, killed it. Nic was with him,  they rocked. Poor kid worked so hard he was shaking at the end. Keep kickin ass, Snakebyte.
Tri-Kitten, playing with Liam on the run!
 (Nic's picture)

Monday belonged to The Daily Advertiser. More specifically, Jean-Paul Fonte and Paul Kieu. I had no idea how well it was going to turn out, I was more concerned about how therapy maybe isn't after all the best place for pics. Damn good article.
GO LAFAYETTE is what I have to say about it, and sooo stoked that there's real support for bikes rollin about here.
photo credit Paul Kieu

Tuesday - Dang I don't remember Tuesday. I was tired. OH we have new friends that we went to hang out with, awesome. OH, the elliptical music experiment was reproducible. And I'm faster now even without it...going to keep working on it.

Wednesday - Therapy, and some realism. Wulf says it is highly unlikely I'll be able to run, or even walk quick enough, those half marathons.  He says it's a year early. I should be able to ride a bike by then though, including getting on and off by myself, We did a lot of talking, and at least I have his support in reaching my goals! Closest thing I've ever had to a trainer.
Also, Kieth Terro today, best chiro in Laffy.

Well that's enough for this week, I think. I am OUT ALL NEXT WEEK!!! Friday will probably be skipped. Don't look for me. I'll be hanging out with my previous co-workers and colleagues near my old office. This is way more awesome and exciting than it sounds here, I'll explain later! Have a good one!