There has been a lot going on recently, mainly due to issues with my knee again. It's funny how it popped up the same time of year as last year. This time it was very severe at one point while biking one night. I decided I should have this looked to make sure I haven't/won't done(do) any permanent damage. So, I made an appointment with an Orthopedist. I managed to figure out that running didn't bother my knee so, I've been doing a lot of that instead of biking.
Due to where the pain was occurring I made a self diagnosis of patella femoral syndrome. This was confirmed by the orthopedist after x-rays and bending my leg in weird ways. He basically said, my flexibility sucks (I know since I can barely touch my toes without bending my knees) and I'm going to need to see a physical therapist to work on it. I should mention that I hate, HATE, static stretching. I would rather go run 10 miles than stretch for 15 minutes. I imagine this is due to the fact that I'm not flexible...kind of a vicious cycle.
Before seeing the Ortho, I got a bike fit on a Guru Dynamic Bike Fit Unit since I was certain I was in the wrong position on my bike. It's a very good idea to get one of these and I should have had this type of bike fit before I bought a bike. The machine moves you around while you're pedaling and you can instantly feel how the changes effect your power. They figure out three ideal positions and switch between those. It's amazing how much of a difference you can feel just by moving your position 1 or 2 centimeters.
After the bike fit and the Ortho, I saw someone for PT. It turns out the guy I saw did PT for the US Olympic team and has seen all kinds of runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes. Needless to say I felt pretty good when I heard all this. The reason I mention this is because if you end up seeing a string of doctors etc...that aren't used to seeing runners, triathletes...and aren't a runner or triathlete themselves they may end up telling you to stop doing what you're doing forever rather than finding a solution. So, if you do see a doctor about an injury, make sure it's one that sees a lot of athletes or make it clear that stopping isn't an option or see if they'll recommend a different doctor that will work with you.
Immediately following PT, my legs felt like jello. I've never had them stretched that far, in those ways and had that much pain caused voluntarily. I'm sure anyone watching me be stretched would get a good laugh at my lack of flexibility. Both the PT and the Ortho seemed confident I would still be able to do Branson 70.3 which is less than 2 weeks...both of them also said I couldn't have picked a worse race for this type of injury because of the hills. The PT even said he would gear the workouts/stretching for the Half-Ironman. This was great news because I probably would have attempted the race either way. I'd rather have a DNF than a DNS.
The biggest news is my registration for IM Wisconsin. I registered right when it opened at noon on 9/10. I was going to volunteer but, I decided I would take my chances online rather than spend $1000 on gas, hotels and food. It turns out I didn't need to worry. Registration was only at 80% at 8pm the night it opened. So, not going to Madison was a great idea...especially since I wouldn't have been able to bike the course.
P.S. If you're considering volunteering for an IM to get a spot, you should consider registering for an IM Foundation slot instead. It's twice the price but, if its a race that sells out in minutes you can save yourself the hassle of traveling and spend the money you would have spent on travel for the IM Foundation spot. That's assuming you would spend at least $600-$700 to travel and volunteer.