Osteochondritis dissecans (pron.: /ˌɒsti.oʊkɒnˈdraɪtɪsˈdɪsɨkænz/), often abbreviated to OCD or OD, is a joint disorder in which cracks form in the articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. OCD is caused by blood deprivation in the subchondral bone. This loss of blood flow causes the subchondral bone to die in a process called avascular necrosis. The bone is then reabsorbed by the body, leaving the articular cartilage it supported prone to damage. The result is fragmentation (dissection) of both cartilage and bone, and the free movement of these osteochondral fragments within the joint space, causing pain and further damage.
At the ripe, young age of 19, I was told that I had knee ‘problems.’ At the time I was running 100+ miles a week and I felt unstoppable. 143lbs of lean mass. Muscles elastic like Gumby. More snap, crackle, pop than a box of Rice Krispies. I thought I was at the pinnacle of my running carrier. Although, in the Summer of 2000 there was a POP that was shattering. A piece of my femur chipped off and became lodged underneath my patella. Painful? Little bit. Functional? Not at all. -Have you ever seen a kid on a skateboard cruising down the sidewalk only to encounter a teeny, tiny pebble? The sound of nails on a chalkboard screech out from the bottom of the wheel as it comes to an abrupt stop! And, what comes next? Face-plant! I’ve been that kid before. You look around to see if anyone saw you put your front teeth into the checkered concrete. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is get up. Yeah, so, that teeny, tiny pebble was a bone fragment that locked up my femur and tibia. Refer to picture below:
So why am I bringing up the past? Well, History has a way of repeating itself. Thirteen years later, and I’m looking at another knee surgery. January 25, 2013. I’ll be in the excellent care of Dr. Gottlob at Panorama Orthopedics. No need to worry about me, although, if you would like to send a gift basket that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. How’s the surgery going to affect my season? I don’t know.
If you look back at my Schedule|Results page you’ll find a string of asterisks which much resembles the Tour de France results, or Baseball records, or Track and Field marks… Does anyone play fair any more?! Unlike those cheaters, my asterisks indicate an injury. (Ironic fact: The website asterisk.com is what… …a knee protection system.) Not very *humerus. Like my boy Jay-Z says, “I got 99 problems…” and they all seem to be structural. And, in all honesty, I haven’t been truly ‘healthy‘ for years. For several years I’ve been plagued with countless injuries, but maybe this might be a new beginning. I’m trying to remain positive with the surgery, but it’s challenging. Thanks for your concerns, and I’ll see you on the other side.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill
Some might say according to the Mayan calendar the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. -SOME might say… Maybe the Mayans just got tired of counting. You ever think of that? “5,123… 5,124… 5,125… …Hey, Fred. I’m getting awfully board with counting all these beans. Let’s go tip over some cows, or run some stairs!” -Get it? -Stair intervals… Mayans… -Anyways, a mess of really smart people who claim they’re some kind of “anthropologists,” or something, know what the Mayans intended by their calendar ending so abruptly on December 21, 2012. ‘They’ say it’s not so much an ending as it is a beginning. -Whatever that means. Some infinite cyclical rubbish, if you ask me. Sounds like I’m back in Philosophy class. But, as many of us are planning our 2013 and plotting out our resolutions for January 1, a beginning is truly here. Whether you agree with the hearsay or naysayers, we can all agree there’s a new beginning. A new tomorrow. A new year. A new chapter in our lives.
I started a new journey yesterday (12.20.12) as I accepted a coaching position with Kids that TRI and Teens that TRI. Kids that TRI is a triathlon team that supports the proper physical and cognitive development of youth while providing age-appropriate social interaction and skill building. And if you think for a second that this is some type of glorified babysitting, you’re sadly mistaken. These kids are AWESOME! And, this is what I feel I need in my life at this time. BALANCE. As a professional triathlete I often times get so focused on the smaller elements of our sport I lose the overall objective. HAVE FUN! -Right?! That’s why we do this, right? If I’m wrong, please contact me and share your thoughts. So, ‘we’ (Kids that TRI) had our end of the year party last night, even though it was my first day as a ‘coach.’ Talk about beginnings and endings. Thanks to all who participated in helping with the event.
Greener than the yard of the month, I’m the new addition to the Kids that TRI coaching staff, and although there’s no hazing, thus far, I know my place with these veterans. From SUPER moms to swimmer senseis, we have the spectrum covered. Cool thing is, I already know the whole coaching staff, including the ringleader, Bob Seebohar, MY coach. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for Coach Bob for giving me this opportunity to be a part of something so life changing. I’m not entirely sure of my roll on the Kids that TRI team just quite yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out more about myself. I mentioned earlier about balance, but if you’ve ever watched a child compete in the sport of triathlon, regardless of ability, then you know that THEY are the ones who have it figured out. It puts a skew on how I view my professional career as a triathlete.
There might not always be tomorrow, so, I challange you… from beginning to end, in your next triathlon, whether you fall short of that P.R., or don’t get on that podium, or Heaven forbid a flat tire… …I challange you… HAVE FUN!
If you were to look at how my schedule recently restructured you’d think that I got injured or some mid-season crisis occurred. Nope. Neither. The schedule change comes as a priority shift. At the start of this season I sat down with my coach, Bob Seebohar, and discussed the course of my season along with my top-3 goals. Bob was apprehensive about the large amount of racing that was plated up for the 2012 season. If you know Coach Bob, you know that he LOVES to train first and race second while giving volume AND intensity to an athlete who can handle such a hearty helping. Originally, with NINE Ironman 70.3 races and TWO full Ironmans on the menu, we knew it was going to be difficult to say the least. -But doable.
One of those three goals was to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re not familiar with the qualifying procedures for the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world championships …well, basically, top 50 in the world go according to a point system where pros accumulate points at various races during the season. -Kind of. That’s a pretty tall order; top FIFTY in the WORLD! I don’t want to say that my eyes were bigger than my appetite when I set this goal, but I knew what I was in for. Everything had to be in my favor for me to qualify. The point system is kind of like a Thanksgiving diner buffet with the servings of points spread throughout the Ironman 70.3 circuit. Problem is that a small number of pros are sitting at the head table gobbling up all of the points. Rightfully so. They’re really fast. They deserve those points. But there are a handful of us in the pro field, gathered at the ‘kid’s table,’ that are fighting tooth and nail for a point. -No. It’s more like the drooling dog adjacent to the ‘kid’s table’ waiting for someone to accidentally drop a bone. Yeah, that’s more what it’s like. Chew on that for a few and see if you still want to try for your pro card next year.
On a side dish; Chris McCormack voiced his opinion through social media of just how difficult the qualifying procedures have become for Kona: “Chasing points. Wow hasn’t this sport changed for the professionals. What a nightmare!” Chris, being one of the most decorated athletes in the sport, you have every right to say whatever you want, and we all know you will. However, the individual who responded to Macca’s post with, “AGREED…” You’re a BIG FAT liar! You have NO idea what it’s like chasing points. There’s no rolldown spots here, cupcake. -Sorry.
So, as the fat get fatter and the sinewy starve, the WTC has created a pecking order if you will, where pros are ranked according to their waist size. Us bottom feeders know where we lie, and we also know what is needed to qualify for such races. -So, no excuses. But once I had a hiccup in my season where I was unable to make it to Ironman 70.3 Mooseman I knew my head was on the chopping block. After that point, my season quickly turned into a terrible feeding frenzy of Chubby Bunny gone wrong. We cut back on training, making room for races that weren’t originally scheduled, and as my fitness wilted I knew my goose was cooked. -Not just cooked, but burnt. The only reason I had so much racing crammed down my throat was because I was trying to nibble my way to the top-50. -Gluttony. It bit me in the ass. And here comes the priority shift. I still have two other goals I want to accomplish this season. I’m at a setback right now, but not at a loss.
It’s about a month until the inaugural Ironman U.S. Championships in New York, which also happens to be my debut Ironman as well. Scared? Just a little. To be honest, I’m SO scared. With great respect for the distance I don’t want to be naive in my first full and choke. Can I DO the distance? -Sure. I’ve been doing workouts every Saturday that are longer, and in some ways, much more difficult than your typical IM distance. I’m not in it for the 140.6 bumper sticker. I’m not in it for the tattoo. I’m not in it to cross the line just under the cutoff time. I’m not in it for the ‘right’ to call myself an “Ironman.” I want to leave an honest effort in my first attempt at the Ironman distance. And that’s what scares me. What if it’s not good enough? Well, that’s why I’m doing these ridiculous workouts EVERY Saturday over the last month or so. I’ve never been so broken down physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually than I am right now in my training. True story. Yet, I keep coming back day after day. I usually come back stronger after such hard sessions. Occasionally, I wonder if I missed my calling as a stage racer of some sort because of my ability to “recover” so quickly from day to day. Funny thing is that we have a “trophy” in our home that reminds me of this blessing/curse that I have. Virgil (above) is a cheap plastic Hobby Lobby yard gnome that stands at the base of the front door in our apartment. Creepy little dude that I won a few years back at a two-day EPIC XTERRA event for fastest combined time for the two races. Virg’ is like my motivational speaker that reassures me that I will come back tomorrow a better athlete than I am today. Sometimes though, with the high amount of accumulated fatigue, Virg’ doesn’t always come through.
3.6mile swim, 140mile bike, 18mile run. Would you like to come hangout with me next Saturday? If so, please get in touch with me via my contact page, plus I’ll know that there’s someone just as stupid as me in this world. Most sane people, even crazy asylum escapee triathletes, would say no. Can’t really blame you. However, last Saturday Glenn and Susan did ride with me for the first hundred of what I like to call Jessop’s journey. Their company was greatly appreciated, as I mostly train solo. It’s not everyday you get to train with an Olympian. I could write volumes of what a class act Susan Williams is, but instead I’m just going to share a picture with you. Above is Susan’s cruiser bike she rides to open water swim sessions at Chatfield State Park a few miles from her home. Hilarious sight to see an Olympic bronze medalist in the sport of triathlon pedal a beach cruiser to swim practice. A true sight to behold. A pair of Crocs compressed to platform pedals by her developed legs. A cinch bag dangling from her stout swimming shoulders. And all accompanied by a sweet smile under the brim of her helmet. But once she gets in the water, it’s like a shark in a fish barrel. I’m not talking fun, playful Shamu either. You ever see Jaws? -Remember you wouldn’t even set foot in a kiddie pool in fear that you might be eaten by a great white? That’s how I feel when Susan gets in the gravel pond at Chatfield. You can almost hear the da-nump… da-nump… as she enters the water. She’s not slow on that cruiser, either.
Enjoy a bucket of Orville Redenbacher with a sprinkle of sodium and a drizzle of dairy. Retrieve the Red Vines and Raisinets from your wife’s purse, that rest in hiding from theater employees. Please, silence your cellular devices. Recline and relax. One of the year’s most anticipated blockbuster is about to take the stage. The vast IMAX screen goes to an abyss black and awaits like a blank canvas. The reels start spinning, mimicking the chatter of a lazy cassette. The premiere of The Big Picture comes August 11th. -Lights. -Camera. -Action!
We’ve come so far in the world of triathlon. Technology has become the front-runner of our sport, and we’re all trying to play catch up. “You’re still rockin’ that old P3?” “Yeah, I got the new P5 coming soon.” It seems that most of the game is being played off the course and not on the course. Some have bigger pockets… while some have bigger lungs. No matter how you play, technology is constantly changing the game. Wetsuits that have more research than a NASA space suit. Bicycles that share properties of formula1 race cars. Shoes that make us more efficient, faster, and less prone to injury. -Ridiculous. And it doesn’t stop there. However, the most advancements made in our sport in recent years isn’t necessarily in the gadgets and gizmos. No. It’s in the training.
Gone are the days of training with “Rating of Perceived Exertion.” Nowadays, EVERYTHING is calculated. “Train SMARTER, not HARDER.” What workouts can be executed to fully utilize our abilities? Rest? Intensity? Duration? Frequency? Workload? -It’s too much. You’re kidding yourself if you think you can do it on your own. If you’re just a weekend warrior, then keep up those group rides on Saturday and keep having fun. -No need to get all geeked-out over this nonsense. If you want to be mediocre, keep “coaching” yourself to mediocrity. If you want to take it to the next level, hire a good coach. If you wish to be the best that you can possibly be, you might want to consider Bob Seebohar. That’s why I work with Coach Bob. I am 100% convinced that Bob’s methodology WILL work.
Today I did some testing with Coach Bob, owner/operator of Fuel4mance. These “tests,” however, are designed to make the individual fail. -Seems odd that once we “fail” we have the data to help us succeed. And fail I did. Bob says, “We have to see ‘what’s under the hood.’” I guess Bob was happy with ‘what’s under the hood.’ A Maserati. That’s what we found. -Not firing on all cylinders and needs some tinkering. But non-the-less, a Maserati. I swear he was going to pop the hood only to find Herbie the Love Bug. Bob determined that I possess the genetic make-up of a “FREAK of Nature.” Now, how can we better tap into it? Question: Is it in you? If the answer is “Yes,” then HOW do you get it out? …And the answer… POWER.
I recently began training with power, specifically CycleOps G3 Alloy Training Wheels with a Joule Computer. A light bulb went off after my first ride. Kind of one of those moments when you go, “I’m an idiot.” “What was I thinking before?” First off, the wheels are phenomenal! -Truly. Did you not see the exclamation point after the word phenomenal? The wider rim bed makes any tire ride ten times better than on a traditional narrow rim. Cornering is far more superior. Ability to run the tire at a lower pressure enables the rider to have a more supple ride quality without jeopardizing rolling resistance. They’re structurally sound, strong and smooth. With a three cross lace pattern, it’s simple and practical. No proprietary spokes that no shop carries. Easy to true, in case you hit a small child, or some random wild animal. The wheelset looks basic, but it’s anything but. The real highlight of these wheels is found in the G3 rear hub. -Genius! I don’t even know if Einstein could wrap his mind around a set of these wheels. The technology that’s packed into the cap of the G3 is breathtaking. Imagine taking apart your smart phone. I would guess it’s like that. The guys at the “genius bar” would be lost. No worries, CycleOps is coming out with a Joule GPS soon. -Never mind. That might confuse them more instead of help them. The Joule is a device that reads and records everything. Yes, everything. Watts, time, miles per hour (or kilometers per hour if that’s what you fancy,) cadence, elevation, heart rate… the list goes on. Once your ride is completed, you can upload ALL the data of your ride to your computer and evaluate, track progress, make changes, and that’s how we tap into what’s inside.
Long ride short. You need to be training with power.
When Bob Seebohartalks, people listen. Bob speaks as if he’s a prophet translating scripture with divine inspiration. His words are priceless. Valued by many, but fully understood by few. Mainly because of the alphabet soup that succeeds his name, thanks to countless certifications, degrees and Masters honors he’s acquired over the years. (M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., C.S.C.S.) I don’t even know what all those characters stand for. With more acronyms than the U.S. Military, I can’t even imagine what Bob pays Nelnet every month. Bob is at the forefront of his field of study, and like many mad scientists before him, he might be considered crazy, but in reality, he’s a genius.
-Remember, at one point in time, we all thought the world was flat.
It takes people like Bob to think outside the “norm” and find the truth. However, Bob doesn’t work in theory, speculation or conjecture. Rather, Bob is a man of data. Plain and simple. If you’re ever blessed with the grace of his presence you can almost hear his mind at work. Gears turning like the precision craftsmanship of a fine Swiss time piece.
Today, I was LUCKY enough to have a conversation with Bob, as half of the 2012 KompetitiveEdge team met for an hour run to close the 2011 season and open the 2012 new year. -Lucky…? I take that back. Every answer I got from Bob, posed ten questions in return. One step forward, ten steps back. As we ended our run, I had a massive headache. Not from the pounding on the pavement, but rather the unanswered questions bouncing around in my head. My mind was blown!
Bob could ask, “How are you?” You might reply, “Good.” But, really you’re thinking, “How AM I?” -Tired. “Did I get sufficient sleep last night?” -Flat. “Do I need one more day of recovery?” -Big race coming up. “Do you think I need more volume right now in my training?” “NO! NO! NO!” “Less volume?” I don’t know, Bob! I was doing just fine until you asked me how I was doing. Maybe these questions arise because Bob is viewed as an oracle by some, one with all the answers if you will. -Okay, not ALL the answers.
I just finished reading Metabolic Efficiency Training: Teaching the Body to Burn More Fat. Insert euphoric moment HERE. New Year’s resolution: start eating metabolically efficient January 1st. I know, it sounds cliche. -”DIET STARTS MONDAY!” -Right. However, I think this resolution will stay the course. I miss you already Mt. Dew, but sacrifices HAVE to be made.
I have the utmost respect for Bob Seebohar. I write these words as a testimony that what Bob preaches is TRUE. -Maybe I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. Find out for yourself. Do the research. Ask questions.
December 22nd is a day I’ve been waiting for for a long time. Enlightenment! Sorry, Gandhi, not that enlightenment. -Still searching. This year, December 22nd marks the day of the Winter Solstice. Cue the bells and whistles! Bring in the marching bands! Sound the trumpets! From this day forth the Northern hemisphere gains sunlight each day. To those of us who live where there’s snow falling on this very day, we rejoice. Hallelujah! A bright future is on the horizon. This is the time when we recognize the rebirth of all things. Time on the trainer is dwindling down like sand in an hourglass. Workouts grow longer, in unison with the days, and it seems that world has redeemed itsself.
The recently released 2012 KompetitiveEdge triathlon team is witness to a new beginning as well. With nearly 40 athletes, this team is AWESOME. -Insert soapbox HERE. This team is more well connected than Lego Land. More studs than the Kentucky Derby. This team puts out more watts than General Electric on a group ride. Not to mention some of the coolest cats around. As some would say, “quality human beings.” “Good people.”Congratulations to all who made the 2012 KompetitiveEdge triathlon team. I personally look forward to working with all of you, veterans and rookies.
“It all began with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall shouldn’t be there at all.” -Dr. Seuss
One shoe, two shoe, old shoe, new shoe. I haven’t tried every shoe on the market, but I’ve gone though my fair share, and I’m currently running in the Newton Distance running shoes. (Pictured above: Fig.1) I don’t want to sound naive in saying that Newtons are the “best” shoe out there, but I will say that the Newton Distance are the best I’ve found. And I bet that if you find yourself in a pair, you’ll agree. You may or may not be familiar with Newton, but in the triathlon world they are widely accepted, dare I say preferred. Newton is know by most do to World Champion Triathlete, Craig Alexander. Craig crushed the Ironman World Championships this year in a record time of 8:03:56, cruising home with a 2:44:03 marathon sporting the Newton Distance S. Recognized by their flashy, bright colors and lugs on the underside of the forefoot, Newton promotes NATURAL RUNNING. To further educate yourself on natural running, read the book Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger, Healthier Running by Danny Abshire.
I just received a FREE pair of Newton running shoes from KompetitiveEdge, for winning the 2011 Gobble Wobble held on Thanksgiving Day at Clement Park in Littleton. “Birds of a feather flock together.” There were some odd ducks at the Gobble Wobble this year. Myself being one of those angry birds. Like a cock fight, the cage opened at 8:30 and we all took flight. I made my way to the lead gaggle, gauging the hens in the coop. After a few minutes I began to see the fowl gather. The most “COMIC” of them all was the peacock with neon knockoff Frogskins which matched his getup. “Comic. Real comic.” I believe he placed second. The thing with peacocks, the look pretty, but they pose no threat. If I’m not mistaken, I think he received a pair of awesome Oakley Jawbones for his valiant effort. Don’t get your feathers ruffled. -You’re welcome.
Today wasn’t about who won and who didn’t. In all honesty I didn’t even feel like racing today. Rather, today was about Thanksgiving, and giving back. The proceeds from the 2011 Gobble Wobble benefit the Professionals Miracles Foundation, which provides assistance to Denver Metro area children and families to help improve the lives of children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, faced with a lifetime medical condition or are involved in tragic accidents. I’m THANKFUL for my health. I’m THANKFUL I was able to participate today. I’m THANKFUL I was able to help give back.
Every classic allegory follows the same basic plot: introduction of the main character, incline, climax or multiple climaxes, followed by the resolution. Have you ever heard of Where the Sidewalk Ends? No, not the collection of poetry composed by stud Shel Silverstein. I’m referring about a bike route which starts on the western boundaries of Boulder, CO and takes the rider on an epic apologue.
Where the Sidewalk Ends is a 53mi. course that climbs somewhere in the neighborhood of 9000ft. in elevation, highlighting some of the most famous ascents in Boulder: Magnolia, Sugarloaf, and Flagstaff. (No Garmin, so excuse the estimates, but trust me, this ride isn’t easy.) DESCRIPTION: Ride up Boulder Canyon to the Magnolia Rd junction. Go left (south) on Magnolia and climb until the road turns to dirt, then turn around and carefully descend back to Boulder Canyon. Go left (west) up Boulder Canyon for about 100 yards and then turn right (north) onto Sugarloaf Rd. Climb up Sugarloaf, past the summit, to where the road turns to dirt, then turn around and return to Boulder Canyon. Go left (east) and descend down Boulder Canyon to return to town. Go right (south) on 6th Street and climb all the way up to Baseline Rd. Go right (west) on Baseline and climb past the summit and continue upon where the sidewalk ends. Then turn around and make you way home. Sounds like a real page turner, right? -Leg burner is more like it.
I felt like Cinderella dancing on the pedals, waltzing to and fro, attempting to keep my bike on the road. The wicked stepmother, Mother Nature, wasn’t very cooperative. Mother-something-else rather. 20-30mph winds gusting to FORTY. It might have been a breeze if the weather was fair. -Right. With the three evil stepsisters: Maggie, Suzy and Francey, -I don’t think so. Those are definitely three b!&@#es you don’t want to meet on a poor weather day. Or maybe even on a good day you wouldn’t want to cross their paths. Fairy dust (gravel) sprinkled the descents, making the downs just as difficult as the ups. Fairy dust, because if you go down on a turn you might get a visit from the Tooth Fairy. I hear when she’s not scaring little kids she works as an orthopedic surgeon, and she loves clavicles. Lucky for me I have mad bike handling squabbles and kept it rubber side down. -Easier said than done considering the weather conditions. Usually it’s not a good sign when you come across a “Pavement Ends” marker on a road bike, but in this case it was anticipated and appreciated on each climb. The ride came to a conclusion when I arrived at the pumpkin chariot, the Honda.
Come next Fall, for The Big Dance, I think I’ll use this route to see if Cinderella’s ready for the ball.
It’s the middle of the night, and I’m in the middle of Texas, passing through this wind field with turbines as far as the eye could see. Red lights beat in unison like a resting heart rate, only mimicked by the effortless cadence of their giant arms. -Holland would be jealous of these windmills. So, I’m zipping along at 70mph, and my little Honda is clicking just under 3000rpm. My mind is wandering, like it often does, and I’m reflecting on the Ironman 70.3 Austin race I just competed in. It’s like applied physics. Back to the drawing board. Crunching numbers. Analyzing.
I recall a conversation I had with good friend, Jesse, last time he stopped at KompetitveEdge. Basically, the conversation went like this: “You suck at swimming, Brandon!” “Yep. I know.” -So, he really didn’t say that. Nor did he imply it, but we did talk about how much more effort it takes for a poor swimmer to struggle through a 1.2mi drown-fest, and what it does to your other two disciplines. Think about what it does to you when you get out of the water, five, seven, nay, TEN full minutes behind a pro field of triathletes. Maybe you don’t have to think about it, because you’re amphibious. “Lucky!” (Said in the voice of Napoleon Dynamite.) Yes, one might argue that I am swimming slower than the entire field, therefore not exerting SO much energy. -Well, you’re wrong. Sorry. But you are. So let’s think about the negative impact a poor swim might have on your bike and run. Not only am I 10:00 behind the game, but so exhausted do to the thirty minute brawl I just lost. Because so much energy was used to stay afloat, my bike and run suffer severely. Jesse and I thought that if I could improve my swim by 5:00, I might better my overall time by 10:00-15:00 or so. The math doesn’t work, but the logic does. At least to this landshark it does. I guess I know what I’m doing this Winter. -Happy laps!