View Full Version : Triathlon update
07-01-2005, 08:49 AM
My triathlon is next week. At this point, I'm not sure which leg of the relay i will be doing. People in the office at Danskin hasve said that they will not allow the recumbent trike because they feel they would not be able to assure my safety through the entire bike course (lawyer talk, because recumbents are safe in traffic). But some of the people who actually run the triathlon series are saying that the recumbent shouldn't be an issue in my case and that I should be allowed to ride my trike. In any case, if I can't do the bike, I will do the 5K "run" leg.
So yesterday, at Sci-Step, I did a "5K" on the treadmill, just to be sure I can walk the distance. I was able to do it in 2:27:43. So no matter what Danskin decides, I am ready. It won't be the fastest sprint tri relay, but I am doing it and that is what counts.
Doing this tri relay and eventually one on my own, represents getting my life back. How cool is that?
07-01-2005, 11:25 AM
I witnessed the entire session and you did great! Way to go Kathleen!
07-01-2005, 02:01 PM
Good luck Kathleen. You were on the treadmill for almost 2 and half hours? Wow - wish I could walk for that long. Do you use a walker/crutches/ or any other aid? Mike
T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003
07-04-2005, 03:11 PM
Kathleen, I'm with Mike, walking a 5K is amazing! Way to go :applaud:
I wonder about the bike thing .. recumbent trikes shouldn't be a problem. I do worry a bit about them in auto traffic with narrow roads, but I wouldn't think that's a problem in a race where the course would have to be controlled. Their reaction suonds just plain stupid to me.
I'm getting a recumbent hand-crank bike soon (it's on order) and can walk, though the farthest I've gone on a treadmill is a bit over a mile. You have gotten me thinking: can I do something like this? It's certainly something to work for. I like having big goals!
Anyway, whichever leg of the race you do, I say go get 'em!
I wish we had triathlon relay near me. That's awesome, best of luck to you:applaud:
07-04-2005, 11:16 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/tropheys/3.gif Congratulations Kathleen!! :applaud:
07-05-2005, 12:08 AM
Wow. That's absolutely amazing Kathleen. Bring it on!
07-05-2005, 08:04 AM
Thanks for the support and encouragement! A number of my friends, some who I haven't met in person yet, will be at this race as well. After my accident, they started racing as Team Kathleen and got tri-suits and bike jerseys with that on them to race in. TK will be out in force this weekend.
Mike, I currently walk with lofstrands -- have been doing that for a year now. I can walk short distances with no aids, I think I've done that for about 1500 feet. I could switch to a cane or one crutch, but I'm still not confident enough about curbs or steps where there is no railing.
As far as using the trike for the race, I think that what has happened is that Danskin's policy has been no recumbents because that is a USAT ruling and the people in the corporate offices went according to that. Most USAT races do allow recumbent trikes or hand-cycles for disables athletes, but I suspect the issue has never come up before with Danskin. Of course, I'm sure that the corporate people are worried about Danskin's liability, too. But I heard last week that some of the people who actually run the race series think I should be allowed to use the trike. My friend who has been acting as a liason between me and Danskin is concerned about congestion on the bike course though, and with my current speed (especially since I have focused more on preparing for the "run" in the last couple weeks) she is afraid it will lead to extreme frustration with everyone in the race trying to pass me. So I'll do the run this time and have an opportunity to talk to the people at Danskin face to face about the trike for next year when I want to try to do the whole race as an individual instead of a relay.
I also hope to do a shorter tri (250 yd swim, 7 mi bike and 2 mi "run") as an individual in September and I've already gotten the ok for the trike there.
07-11-2005, 04:28 PM
I DID IT! My relay team's time was 3:56:something and my run time for a 5K was 2:48:27. I did the whole "run" with my lofstrands. My friends pushed the wheelchair behind me in case I needed it, and it did come in handy for them to pile their stuff in so they wouldn't have to carry it. Along the way, almost every woman who passed me had a comment (awesome, you go girl!, you're so inspiring, etc.) or a pat on the back or a hug. Near the end, there was a 2-3 year-old little girl, Hannah, who had AFO's on. She walked alongside me for quite a distance. Hannah has spina bifida and seeing me do the race with my lofstrands encouraged her that she can do things like that too. It was really touching and moved me to tears. Who would have thought I could have such an impact on people before my accident. Crossing the finish line also choked me up -- I did it! WOW!
I ended up doing the run leg because there were just so many issues around the trike. It turns out that USAT allows hand-bikes but not "recumbents" (meaning recumbent bikes for AB people). It seemed to me that the major differences between my trike and a handbike is that I can pedal my trike with my legs and it has the word "recumbent" in it's name. I guess since I have regained the use of my legs, I'm not "disabled enough" to use a special bike to race with. I will be seeking a clarification of this issue with USAT, and expect to find out that the Danskin people were just being hypersensitive about USAT rules because they are notorious for being so lax on so many of them. (Of course, my friend who was acting as a go-between with Danskin and me is also someone who tends to make mountains out of molehills!) The reason I decided not to press the issue any farther for this race is because I am still pretty slow on my trike (and even slower because I started focusing on the run) that there were concerns about other racers being able to get passed me without causing big bottlenecks. So I decided to focus on working on my trike speed and swimming for the supersprint in September. (and they already ok'd the trike for that race!)
07-12-2005, 12:37 AM
Kathleen, big congratulations! That is really something!
I'm interested in the fact that you still walk with lofstrands .. yet you can walk 1500 feet unaided. I can walk only very short distances unaided, yet I use a cane everywhere. I find the posture I get from lofstrands to impede my gait as I hunch over and bear too much weight through my arms. I can get down steps and curbs by approaching at a 45 degree angle with my weaker leg leading and my cane behind me. My PT taught me this technique.
Have you done any gait training at higher speeds (over 2 mph) while swinging your arms?
07-12-2005, 03:50 PM
Bruce, my next goal is to lose the lofstrands. Right now, the only thing keeping me from using a cane is that I feel insecure at curbs or steps where there is no handrail. I'll have to try approaching them from an angle -- if that works it would be great. As for speedwork, my highest so far is 1.7 but I'm still working on that, too.
07-14-2005, 02:42 AM
Kathleen, I believe that if you keep at it, you will get to the cane, and maybe even lose that. You're still less than two years post .. at two years I had just started to walk with lofstrands. It was close to 3-1/2 when I graduated to a cane, and it took a bit of time to get steady.
One thing I did in between was use trekking poles for a while. They gave me more support than a cane, yet I couldn't put much weight on them, and I had a better gait pattern. Something to think about anyway.
07-16-2005, 09:42 PM
Bruce, I'll have to look into the trekking poles . . . that sounds interesting. Even though I'm using the lofstrands, I don't use them to support my weight -- I use them more for balance and confidence. Without them, I tense up and don't do as well, although I've been trying to walk around the house unaided altogether. When I'm out and about, I'm usually by myself so I err on the side of caution and use one or both lofstrands.
07-16-2005, 09:44 PM
Here's a link to some pictures from last week's triathlon. Some are just the group I was with, but many are from the race.
Looks like you had lots of fun, you had a smile on your face in every picture. :applaud: So when is your next event? :D
07-16-2005, 10:17 PM
Kathleen......what you have and are accomplishing is really groovy. It not only gives me the umph to stay focused on my own rehab,you and the others who are walking after SCI proves I can do it also. Please keep posting your progress;I am keenly interested in your future races and triumphs. Good luck to you always. And also, you have some really amazing friends. God bless them all for helping you. I wish you and your friends all the best....John