Monday, June 20, 2016

Update - sorry its been awhile.

I haven’t written a blog with an update for some time for a few reasons. In an attempt at full disclosure here are the reasons:
1.      I’ve been super busy. I’ve really poured myself into some new clients this summer and it is exciting to see them having awesome results.

2.      I’m not trying as much but I am doing a TON of PT. I try to seek out the best help and advice on things when I need it and Gina is awesome but almost an hour away. So by the time I drive there, get work down and drive home, its usually 3-4 hours round trip in the middle of the day. So I try to cram in a few things in the am, then off to PT, then home to fit in a few things before the evening comes around.

3.      I’ve been frustrated with the process lately. If you are reading this and wondering if you should do it then here are my thoughts as of now. If you have to wonder, you probably need it. So get it done. I can tell it will be worth it. I have less pain walking around in my heels already. I can tell that as of now. I do get stronger every day but it’s a slow process.


I lack the strength to really toe off even while walking right now, so running is a no go for sure. I can elliptical as of now. I should note I am like 13 and 7 weeks post op on the two feet. I can do stair master actually pretty good but I can tell it gets pissed a few times so I am reluctantly going to give up that work to make sure I am being conservative.

Therein lies the issue for me. It’s confusing for sure what is the “good” pain, the “bad” pain, and the “pain need to work through” pain. Add to that I have had this done twice within three months and both healing processes feel a bit different. So while I can learn from one, I can’t really.
I’m afraid to ask or talk to anymore doctors about the issue because every time I do I find out someone has a harder standard to which I should meet before running again. That becomes super frustrating.

First I was told: I have to do 5 single leg calf raises. I thought, that was tough but manageable.

Then I was told: no, 10 is the best number… Damn… I thought. (keep in mind I can’t do 1 when I heard this).

Then I was told 25! WTF……

No, no… its actually 3 sets of 25 with 15 seconds rest between…. You’ve got to be killing me! In fact, give that a shot.

So I have stopped asking. LOL

Its dawning on me how long the actual road to recovery is. It sucks. I feel pretty out of shape. I’m 10-12 lbs. up. I’m barely back to where I was swimming. BARELY. I can’t hold the efforts for a complete set yet but I am starting to see signs of life. I can’t really push off the walls normal yet although close, I have to think this is part of the slower times.

The Bike… this one is interesting. I have been riding a lot of rides in tennis shoes on my pedals. It kind of sucks so I invested like 20 bucks in some platform pedals and have that on my MTB. Tanya asked me to do a 100 mile organized ride with her and some friends. I told her I didn’t feel like it because I only feel OK on my MTB and I don’t even have clips yet.

She convinced me to come and then basically dropped me… ugh. I made it 64 miles into the ride with eh group but had to do the last 3 on my own. It’s been a LONG time since I was owned like that on the bike. That wasn’t a good feeling and although I finished in like 5:30 on my MTB I was ready to retire for good.

I was able to ride in clips a few times but it was a lot of strain on my claves. Interestingly making me rethink moving to the mid sole cleat position as you can really feel how hard the regular shoes make your calves work. That being said I think while in the midfoot position it would be a bit tougher to stand and accelerate or sprint. Remember though, I’m not clipped in right now so hard to say definitively but I will re look at this. The doctor told me though I am getting a bit too far out over the front of my skies with the regular shoes though and has told me to go back to the running shoes on the bike. I hate going backwards.

So this is where I am. I’ve invested too much in getting this solved so I am not going to do anything that goes against it healing, but I realize it’s going to be a long road back. The reality is I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do before the surgery anyway so it’s not like had I don’t nothing I would have otherwise been racing well this year.

If you’re scared to get it done though, I wouldn’t be. Just go to a doctor who is good and gets what you are trying to come back to.

I’ve also been really trying to think about controlling my weight with diet instead of workouts. That’s going to prove to be pretty liberating I hope in the end.


If I had to guess, I would say the end of July I can start to think about going for a jog.


BTW, I searched everywhere for what the scar would look like, I couldn’t find one so here you go. I had what’s called a “mattress” suture. Looks freaky with the stiches in but when they take them out its ok. My surgeon I guess has a good way of closing so it really looks good for what went down there. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We have some exciting news!




Training Bible is the backbone of the company. The book will be released in its 4th Edition this fall!  As we continue to grow with new books, knowledge base, and experience, we have decided to rename some of our offerings to allow us to represent all of them. We are very excited! 


Nothing will change for this season. We are still team TBC!  As we move through the end of the season, our coaching division will be renamed to “SuperFly”!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A toast to Ben Kanute!



Ben, you did not earn your spot on the Olympic Team last night. Yes, you received your spot last night, but you made the team with all your years of hard work and amazing team of people around you.

It’s impossible to say when it started exactly, perhaps with the Geneva River Rats even!

Keith Dickson pouring his heart and resources into the youth development here in our area was awesome.

Bill Schalz played a huge role laying the ground work of your amazing swim which remains a weapon to this day.

Our group rides and people like Rob Kelley helping us get you around the group ride course. I can still remember being able to drop you, not anymore!

Eric Ott and other local business supporting you and still standing behind you through thick and thin.
Brian Grasky and the Tri Cats at U of A helping yo through a crazy college schedule. The friendships of people like Stephen Pedone Pedone from places like this continue to be amazing!
Getting Trek bikes to believe in us and our vision for you and what we can accomplish has been nothing short of unbelievable and second to none.

TJ Tollakson taking you under his wing when you first moved to Arizona – Such a class act.
I know you have an amazing support staff in Tucson. 

Jim Vance who is willing to always lend advice and info. Jumping at any chance to do whatever is needed.

Ryan Bolton stepping up to the plate to help us get over the hump with your running and confidence in it, and his willingness to help ongoing and giving you chance to run with great runners – unbelievable.

Bobby McGee and USA Triathlon has always been there to help with run form, technique, advice, support.

People even like Joe Lotus who lends advice and encouragement and perspective, is something I know I am personally thankful for. Your parents Mike and Eileen Rassin Kanute and family.

I watch with continued amazement at the support structure and values that you are brought up in. Words cannot describe the level of devotion and enthusiasm, and TRUE UNCONDITIONAL love and support I have seen them give you over the years.

Ben, you took all of these things not just last night, but over the last 10 years or so I have gotten to personally witness and have always given honor to them by who you are as an athlete, but more importantly who you are as a person.

So you got your spot last night, CONGRATULATIONS! But I have seen you earn it for years. We all have. Enjoy this!!!
We are all behind you Ben!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Getting through things

One week after my second surgery and here I sit on the couch. I knew when I set out on this journey this would be the worst week, and it has been. Don’t get me wrong, my spirits OK. I’m just as out of shape as I have been literally in 15 years, and as immobile as I think I have ever been in my life. Add to that it’s my right foot right now and I cannot drive.

You know what though, I already have 1 week done! 5 to go.

As I tell my athletes when things look overwhelming, just take things one thing at a time. Here are some simple tricks I have used to do just that:

-        Marine Corps. Boot camp: I would try to make it to each meal. The weeks were too much, sometimes even the days. But I could make it from breakfast to lunch, then luck to dinner. Then soon I would wake up and have breakfast again. And so on. They add up pretty quickly.

-        With huge blocks of training: I would have weekly hours over 20 when I was working 2 full time jobs years ago. It was quite tough. Even when I was working less I would see some weeks I would think “how the hell am I going to do this?”. One workout at a time. Even on days you think you’ll have no time. If you just get one done, then try to find a window for the next. You’ll be surprised what you can do.

-        Workouts: this one is key and can be used for any sport. I would look at sets and start to anticipate how I would feel at the end. Then I could easily let that make me feel defeated before I even started. DON’T DO THAT. Take the next interval and so the best you can per the instructions for that interval. Then about 90 percent through your rest interval evaluate the next interval. Do the best you can at each one.

-        Races: Same as workouts. Evaluate how you feel right now and make choices based on that. For long course you have to obviously have to think about how you feel right now relative to the plan so you can finish strong. However, if you are at mile 10 of a 70.3, worry about the next 15 min. manage that. Then work on the next 15 min.


-        Injuries: For this one, I’m learning a lot on the job. What has been working for me is to try to get through weeks. I get through the weeks by trying to get to PT sessions. I know I have 2 of those a week most of the time. So if I can get to Tuesday I get a progress report. Then I only have one free day before I am back. Then I am only one day away from the weekend and those always fly! Then its Monday again and I into another week and 1 day away from PT. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Here we go again… We got this.


Here is a recap of how it has gone so far
It should be noted- I did a lot of research on the subject. I had previously tried PRP as well as low shockwave therapy. Both did help reduce the pain initially but I could tell I was quickly on my way back to a lot of pain. I had a structural issue in my heels that needed to be removed in my case. I am the type of person that when I know what needs to happen to get the true result, I like to just do it. In my case I felt in my core this was the ultimate decision for me to make to actually give me the best chance at a full recovery and life.
Things that went into my choice
-        Non-surgical vs. surgical. Addressed above.

-        Was I ok with the outcome if it “worked” but I wasn’t able to run like I had before? Yes. I was and remain hopeful it will be my choice to return to normal triathlon activity. However just like I talk to my athletes who want to set a big PR, sometimes you have to be willing to take risks. Yes, they can be calculated but you need to back yourself at some point. If you don’t, who will? I knew I wasn’t happy with how I felt now. Something needed to change.

-        What was the technique I felt the most comfortable with? I chose a technique that used something called a speed bridge. http://www.arthrex.com/foot-ankle/achilles-speedbridge. I chose this because I was told it was knotless, I was told it was strong enough that I could put weight on it in 2 weeks, and the procedure made sense to me.

-        Who. This was a big one for me. I have use Dr. Paul Bishop for all my foot issues and continue to do so. He made my orthotics. They are the best orthotics I have ever had for running hands down. He fixed my forefoot issue which used to derail me. He diagnosed the issue I am dealing with now. He is amazing. He and I have become very good friends over the past couple years and I initially chose him to do my surgery.

After further discussion, he had recommended I speak to another surgeon he trusts implicitly. We thought due to our friendship it may make sense for me to have a different surgeon. I sometimes think about how honorable that was. The mark of a person who REALLY knows their stuff in my opinion, is the ability to practice humility. He obviously puts his patients first.

Even though he told me to consider someone else I was very reluctant to change from someone I have been having so much success and trust in. At the end of the day, Tanya and I decided to take him up on his offer to get us in with Dr.Vora.

Dr. Vora is equally as amazing. He cut right to the chase. He told me exactly what he thought I needed. He said I could mess around with PRP, and shockwave, as well as other non-surgical things but it would just be something that he would do to satisfy my curiosities. He said based on the structures in my Achilles and the extent of the Haglund’s deformity on my heels I will ultimately need surgery.

-        What was the expected outcome? He of course could not guarantee any outcome, but he was 99.99% sure I would have very close to 100% recovery. He said he had done hundreds of my procedures with great results and one athlete had just done a 100-mile trail run after. Each case is different though he warned and until he got inside to see the actually situation needed me to know nothing is a guarantee.

-        Grafting. VERY IMPORTANT – In my opinion, this was one of the most important choices. A lot of people I spoke to said they would use my FHL (the tendon that helps connect the big toe). To ME, it didn’t pass the smell test for returning to running at a high level again. While I have no qualifications to say what is best, like training I need to have confidence in the plan I choose.  What I really liked about Dr. Vora, and was one of the things that pushed me over the top with him; he said he has done so many of these and could almost promise he would not need a graft of any kind. His confidence in this was huge to me. Had he needed one, he recommended the FHL, but we agreed to use something else. (HE WAS ABLE TO DO THE REPAIRS ON BOTH SIDES WITHOUT A GRAFT)

-        My biggest advice – Once you decide, stay off google. It’s insane what you find on there. I found people saying terrible things, it freaked me out. I found DOCTORS asking other doctors how to treat is because they never had…. WTF??? So it goes back to: do your research, google, ask friends, interview doctors, whatever. Once decided, STOP. Trust the process. It’s like walking around an expo asking everyone else how they trained for the event and when their last long run was. You’re never going to get an answer that makes you feel affirmed. Trust your coach and your process.

-        Timeline. No doctor would do both at once. Understandably. Most suggested a 4-month spread. I convinced Dr. Vora to let me schedule my second one 6 weeks out. He agreed to let me schedule it if I would promise to cancel it if I had any doubts at all.

-        The second biggest choice, which I am lucky to have secured is PT. It can be as important as the surgeon. Gina Pongetti, and her team Taylor Millican and Lindsey Rose at Achieve are amazing. Literally every tool at their disposal I could need. Dry needling, Garston, ART, Alter G, etc.  Rob Duncan helps me with the PT exercises and Garrett Krug coming up with awesome ways to keep me fit even from week 2.

Dr. Ginsberg at Ginsberg Chiropractic in Geneva has helped my hips, neck and back stand up to the constant beating my body has taken from the crutches, and having the boot on. This is a huge point as a lot of people have back trouble for months after walking in such an uneven boot. It can be 2+ inches higher then then other leg with it on. Have a plan for this!
-         
RECAP

Left Achilles first. Last week of March 2016.

Week 1 – lots of laying around and pain meds. All non-weight bearing. A lot of swelling and discomfort however the pain was quite manageable with the meds. The worst is having to rely on others. Not because I am someone who won’t ask for help, but I appreciate they have their own stuff going on.

Week 2- Still non weight bearing. Still a lot of swelling when I wasn’t elevated. I was able to use my personal trainer, start PT and get Chiropractic care. At the end of this time I was able to get my stiches out which helped a lot. I was told to let the holes close then I could swim!

Week 3- At the end of this time I was able to get my stiches out which helped a lot. I was told to let the holes close then I could swim! A day after the stiches came out, I got a small infection starting in the lower part of my incision. Taya caught it immediately. She got me on some antibiotics to clear it up but it delayed my being able to swim till the end of the week. I was also told to start to walk in the boot (with a lot of heel lifts). It was very painful at first. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to do it at first and took my crutches with me a lot of places.

Week 4- What is becoming a reoccurring theme is things I can’t wrap my head around start to become possible pretty soon after. Walking in the two heel lifts at day 20 was almost impossible. After a few days, I could do it. Now I was down to 1!  I was able to start swimming in week 4 and I was SOOOOO out of shape. If I’m honest I was pretty discouraged with the times I was seeing. I started to ride the bike in the boot. Just on the trainer. This is good but I can only tolerate an hour before my ass hurts so bad (I can’t stand so I just sit there and push about 150 watts which means a lot of time on the saddle)

Week 5- I was able to take out my final wedge. I was able to feel more normal and do thigs like stand up without the boot and even shuffle around the house a touch barefoot. I wasn’t using the foot at all. Just was able to sustain some weight on it enough to slide to bathroom in the middle of the night etc. I started out the week not sure how my repaired foot was going to be able to sustain me when the other couldn’t, but I just had to trust that it would when the time came.

Week 6 – I got to take off the boot! This was huge because the last 4 days in the boot I was starting to get a lot of pain in my plantar fascia – A lot. It still hurts today. It’s the hardest thing about using my repaired foot actually. I got the boot off on Monday
Tuesday was Right foot surgery time.

Dr. Paul Bishop will be doing my post op follow up care. 





Sunday, April 17, 2016

20 days post surgery


Spirits are stable and mainly up
So here I sit. All in all, my spirits have been pretty even and generally up. I had my post operation visit with the doctors. They said everything seemed to be healing quite well. In fact, I think that worked against me because where my sutures were in, my body was starting to get pissed off to have to deal with them. I had a small spot that a little abscess formed as a result. We quickly got me on some antibiotics and that seems to be working like a charm.

Ditch the crutches
I was expecting at this appointment that they would tell me to start to introduce weight bearing gradually. Instead, they told me to go ahead a lose the crutches and try to have a go with just the boot! I was a bit shocked cause you come in there thinking not to let the foot touch the ground, and leave there with instructions to suck it up. LOL. Kidding of course but only kind of.

I couldn’t do it that first day, it was too painful on the medial and internal side, but was told that was normal. The fat pad at the bottom of my foot wasn’t ready for the weight bearing either so that took a couple days. I do have two pretty big wedges in my boot and I thought I would introduce a familiar feeling to my foot to help it along. So I grabbed an insert from a pair of running shoes and put that in the boot. It actually worked quite well. Within 2 days I was already doing about 90% walking in the boot.
THE BOOT SUCKS

Walking in the book sucks. It makes my one leg a lot longer than the other so I have to be very careful to not let my knee hyper extend while walking in it. I have heard many people need to follow up ankle surgery with knee surgery for this reason. I really don’t want to do that. So I am trying to just take it slow, and when I want to walk fast I grab the crutches.

The boot is heavy, its hot, and I am so thankful I have been cleared to just not have to sleep with it anymore.

Trying to not be a fat ass.



I have been able to go t strength 4 times already. Garrett has been awesome. We come up with complete circuits where I am basically on my knees the entire time. He has been great though as I can actually say I leave there feeling fully challenged.

This week I was able to actually get on the trainer and spin. I leave the fan off so I can actually sweat a little bit but today I was able to ride for 65 min at an average of 165 watts. I have to have the boot on, and a running shoe on the other foot to make it work. I also lower my seat a bit so my calf isn’t put under a lot of stress. I don’t want it to pull on the tendon repair. It makes your ass incredibly sore sitting on a low saddle without any standing breaks at all.

I’m not really working out for a comeback, at least not yet. I still have not decided how and if I’ll do a comeback to competing yet. I have a unique opportunity I believe right now where I can comeback if I want to, but I don’t HAVE to return to the same level of training for myself. This season basically off creates a natural break point for me to decide what it is I want to do. So I am going to take my time with that. For now, I just like moving and staying in touch with fitness. I know I always want to do something.

PT makes all the difference

I have been really lucky to know some of the best PT’s in the world I believe. Three immediately come to mind.

Bryan Hill in California

Wolfgang in Scottsdale

And Gina Pongetti here at home.

Gina works with USA gymnastics athletes, Cirque, and is an Ironman competitor herself. She teaches dry needling, Garston, ART, and many more techniques I’m sure I am leaving out. So I am damn lucky to be able to go to her.  She has been working her magic on it already. We are able to already mobilize the joint, work on the plantar fascia and start to do band work to strengthen my ankle.
It is giving me tremendous confidence that all will be well.

Sick - ugh


I final caught a bit of a cold. So if I can just shake this, I think I’ll be good to go. My next surgery is in 4 weeks. The Dr. was like “you sure?”. I told him, I just want to get through this. If I can be healing two things at once, I’m down for that. I have no doubt that I will be in for a tough May/June. However, my goal is to be able to walk around the 4th of July and be able to work out that morning ding something. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2 weeks after surgery

I was able to go off the pain meds after about 3 days. They gave me some powerful stuff, and some not so powerful stuff. I never used the big boy stuff, had a few restless nights but all in all seem to be fine.

My foot swells a bit when I am up and about a lot. That makes it uncomfortable but the stiches seem to be healing quite nicely and Tanya, is dying to take them out here at home. To be fair she is an Orthopedic surgical PA. We are waiting at this point to hear if the Dr. would rather us come in for that.

Gina has given me a few PT sessions already. I’ve been in a boot so have been able to do some slight movements of the foot and its remarkably tight, but very little pain. At this point I think the PRP felt worse for the first week but the IDEA of what is actually trying to heal makes this recovery more serious by far.

I’m supposed to be able to do slight weight bearing starting Tuesday I guess. For the first time since the surgery I can start to wrap my head around the idea that it would actually be able to be done. I worry how this foot will be able to do all that my good foot has been doing for me in just a few short weeks when I have my other one done. I don’t think it will be able to yet but I still would rather they both heal up simultaneously then to get all the way through this then restart the entire process. We may look into wheel chairs for a couple weeks to help ease the burden of the good foot while it gets strong.

I’ve actually been able to work out with Garrett twice. I’m on my knees the entire time but am able to do sit ups, curls, pushups, band work, etc.

I still put the oils on it 2-3 times a day and I think it is helping things heal up nicely.

I should have more to report in a week when I can actually start to use it. until now, it’s just been hanging off my body. So nothing really to update.


I do feel very satisfied at this point I had this done. I have zero regrets. At least for now. J