ridetorecoveryMy Name is Corey Blatchford, and I am a Medically Retired Veteran.   I served close to a seven years in the US Army as a 12B Combat Engineer.  I entered the Army in 2004 to support and defend my country.  I was deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 for 15 months, and on my last month there I was hit by an IED that damaged my left shoulder and left me with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.  Since then I have undergone 4 surgeries and endless amounts of therapy.

When I was retired from the army I felt a lot of loss and pain both physically and mentally.  Coming home I felt really alone and thought that I would never be able to find an outlet for my pain. To help with my injuries and PTSD I found a program called Ride2Recovery.  Bike riding helps with my weight and also helps with my mental health. When I am riding I am able to be calm and enjoy life.

I recently was donated a new bicycle and needed a FIT. Julie Young of  o2Fitness/Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab located here in Reno heard about my new bike and sponsored aPro Fit to ensure over-use injury prevention, and maximize my comfort and power output. From the moment I stepped into her office I felt calm and relaxed. She was very attentive to my concerns and what it would take to lessen the pain of my injuries while riding. Thanks to Julie I have now added more miles and faster ride times without being in pain that I would have had I not had the Fit done. Thank you for everything and thank you for your continued support in the Ride2Recovery Program.

Brad Rassler – Now where were we?

Cardiac-Ride-Albans-LoopThe continuation of an on-going blog by Brad Rassler

Oh, right. On Mt. Tam with Bruce Dern and me at home, nursing a crapped-out Achilles.

Since that post well over a month ago, I’ve driven some 2,888 miles to the Green Mountains of Vermont. I consumed seven donuts on the Trans-Canada Highway. I occupied my office at the headquarters of Alpinist and Backcountry Magazines, where I’m spending the summer, scribbling for a non-living. The first three weeks on the gig I worked well over 200 hours and consumed more donuts and maple syrup. No shortage of Dunkin’ joints around here, dontcha know.

Back to the Great Basin…Prior to lighting out from Reno, Julie gave my bike a good going over; rather, she fit me to it…using a groaniometer (nah – it’s really called a goniometer). Anyway, I’m sitting on my bike properly, and for the first time ever, I  inhabit it rather than it having me.

During the same session, Julie asked me to execute a series of one-legged squats. When my knees tracked inward, she diagnosed weak hips and emphasized the importance of performing the floor exercises she had prescribed early on.

She analyzed my running gait using video and Dartfish.  She re-emphasized the criticality of hip activation exercises.

On a series of too-long runs, I aggravated an old Achilles injury and the tendon sheath bulged in precisely opposite
the pull-tab of my new Brooks Pure Grits (no Achilles notch on that model).  When I begged for relief, Andy Pasternak sent me to physical therapist who informed me I had weak hips (Julie: 1, Brad: 0). This kindly soul – the PT — forbad me to run, hike and climb. So I scrapped a planned foray into the Sierra’s Palisades and attended her torture sessions instead.

Turns out that sweet PT possessed a sadistic streak, evinced by the going over she gave my tendon. I grunted, ground my molars and attempted to stifle agonic squeals as she cranked on the lump to shred the scar tissue. She worked my gastrocs, hamstring
s and glutes. She plied the Achilles with ice and stuck electrical patches to my ankle, cranked the knob and redlined the stimulation meter; I watched in fascination and delight as my toes twitched like a machine-gunned mobster doing the frug before hitting the ground for good.

The following week, I lit out for Vermont.

So here am I. Turns out I landed in the midst of some of the best road riding in New England. Smuggler’s Notch is just up the road, and on the other side of it, Stowe and a 20% climb to regain the notch. Rain falls nearly every day, which puts the “green” in the Green Mountains. There are a lot of happy cows around here. The locals are mighty friendly in that reserved, New Engandy kind of way.

More soon. Meanwhile, here’s a pic of one of the scenics just outside of Alpinist’s headquarters. It might look flat, but it isn’t; all terrain’s a false flat around here.

FIRST annual Medicine and Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference

Incredibly honored to be invited to talk to the FIRST annual Medicine and Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference at Squaw Valley yesterday and today. Truly the best conference I’ve been to in a long, long, long time! Came out with all sort of energy for new research ideas and ways of continuing to improve medical care at the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs

Performance Metabolic Efficiency Assessment

We are excited to introduce this new cutting edge testing protocol to Northern Nevada endurance athletes.   If your goals races are 4-6 plus hours, this testing will provide the specific heart rate, power and/or pace to further focus your workouts and maximize your training investment.

An important predictor of your ability to finish strong in longer races is how well your body utilizes fat as a fuel source.    During a race or even a long training session, it’s impossible to ingest as many calories as you are burning.  As a result, your body depends on breaking down fat to get more energy.    If you find yourself bonking during an event and /or having gastrointestinal distress during races, our performance metabolic efficiency assessment will give you the information you need to improve your fat utilization.  At the end of this test, you’ll precisely know:
1. Caloric expenditure at various heart rates and intensities
2. How to preserve carb stores in order to decrease the amount of fuel replenishment required
3. How to increase fat as fuel, so you can perform workloads faster, longer
4. Lactate levels for your various metabolic zones