Alive and Well…

8

It’s a good day!

I’ve made it through the biggest build phase for Gulf Coast 70.3 and so this week I’m rewarded with some well deserved rest….plus a little sprint tri on Saturday.

My last event was back in May, but March 2012 was actually the last time I took part uninjured. This was also when things began to fall apart. 2103 has been a year of change in effort to keep this body in motion!

images-2The most monumental thing I’ve done is hire a coach.

When I decided to race IMFL, I felt like I needed the help to get through the year uninjured. I really believed I trained fairly hard and so maybe a little help backing off would keep me in the game, so to speak.

Time would show I wasn’t REALLY working as hard as I thought!

It was fun and games through base training.

Then we began the building blocks. Every day was harder than the next and I started to quickly see where I had been slacking in the past.

I quickly learned it was a bad idea to look more than 1 day ahead in Training Peaks. It was just better NOT to know!

Amazingly, as hard as it was though, I was able to complete each session, recover, and get up and do it again. Most evenings I went to bed feeling like I’d been in MMA fight, but by morning I was ready, willing, and able to repeat the process. The ability to absorb what she was giving me was simply remarkable.

I wasn’t carrying residual soreness or on the brink of injury.

During this last week, which naturally contained the highest volume and intensity to date, my hips started to get a little snarky. I have to believe a 4 hour bike/run brick followed by a 2 hr run the next day would do that to most of us mere mortals though.

It was a very manageable snarkiness and as I come up for air (and coffee) today, I’m realizing how vital it was/is to have an experienced coach to guide me through the process.

The race results will be what they will, but to make it through these workouts successfully after the year of injuries I’ve had speaks for itself.

Everything happens for a reason….

If I hadn’t been graced with the stress fracture, I would’ve never understood how much day-to-day help I needed. I would’ve never made that step to align myself with what will, no doubt, end up being the most valuable training tool I have…..

My coach…

Yesterday, as I finished up my run…hot, exhausted, and with sore feet…it truly felt like the end of a long race.

It didn’t matter how fast I was going only that I was still able to go….

I knew the hardest of the work was done and my body had held up. I was so happy and so grateful to have been able to complete every single bit of it because you just never know.

Sometimes we take that for granted…

injury…illness….it changes perspective a bit.

So now it’s race week and ohhhh it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to chase that carrot!!

Time to pick a tri kit (blue or red??), get the pedicure, pull out the wetsuit, and grease the chain…

Good times are ahead!

Race Happy, My Friends!

racer

Fabulous Friday

8

Yes it is Friday!

The weekend has finally arrived.

And while that is indeed pretty fabulous it is not what this post is about….

This is about a certain ITEM that I’ve recently been made aware of, that I would really like to scoop up for myself…

It’s no secret that I want a tri bike…

I’m not convinced it’ll make me any faster, as I am a full believer in the “it’s the engine not the car” philosophy.

However, I’m also of the opinion that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a nice ride while putting forth some hard work out on there on the road!

Check out the custom number by Betty Designs:

I do love all things Betty!

Perhaps a gift to myself after Galveston! 😉

Ride Happy, My Friends!

Here We Go Again!

6

 

 

Folks there are a lot of us racing lately. Things are gettin’ kinnda crazy out there as we all enter into the deep, dark realm of tapering.

Tapering effects each and every one of us differently. For some it borders on a pathologic illness.

I’ve been told, by some, that I sometimes fall a tad on the pathologic side.

How about you? A bit neurotic when it comes time to reduce the volume of your workouts?

How can you tell if your “that” kind of athlete, you ask?

Well, luckily I had some free time on my hands and did a bit of research this afternoon.

Here are a few tell-tale signs of an individual who could be diagnosed with Taper Madness:

  • Out of Control Phobia of Germs.  Even if you have never been a self proclaimed germ phobe before your taper, you find that your eye sight is accurate enough to now see possible viral and bacterial infection lurking around every public surface.  No infection, flu, or cold will stand between you and the starting line.
  • Self Proclaimed Expert Meterologist.  Through your training, you rarely studied weather except to decide how much sunscreen to wear.  You withstood all temperatures, wind gusts, precipitation – hell even a tornado and hurricane.  But now with weeks to go, you have your email, Twitter, IM and cell phone set up to provide up to the minute reports on the 3, 5, 7, and 14 day forecast for race day.  You have enacted a “no talking” zone during nightly weather and find yourself switching to the Weather Channel ten times a day.  Some will even go so far to try to strike up a relationship with the local meterologist to get the inside scoop.  And others will channel ancient forecasting methods to forecast the weather themselves using moon position, clouds and the path of birds.
  • You can’t get enough of the details.  The race website you glanced at a few times before signing up you now visit regularly in the lsat few weeks.  You have a minute by minute schedule mapped out for the days before the event through the starting gun.  You have studied the maps to figure out bathrooms, parking, meeting spots, and more.  You have doubled checked your confirmation number, hotel reservation, and your bib number.  Every other day of the year you let the little things go but for a few weeks each year, the details are everything.
  • You wonder if you are losing your mind.  In the same hour you think to yourself, “I  can!”  “I can’t possibly..”  “I will!”   “What the heck was I thinking…” “I can’t wait!”  “Am I really ready?” “I am going to rock that race!”  “What if I am last?”  “I can’t wait to cross the finish line!”  “What if I don’t finish?”   “My training has gone so well.”  “I should have pushed harder on the miles in the middle…”.    You flip flop between positive energy and mental anguish in the blink of an eye.  Every other month of the year you are a rational, logical human being capable of dealing with complex emotions.  But for these few weeks, you can’t seem to get seem to talk sense into yourself.
  • You see people talking and hear words, but you really don’t care what they are saying.   And that’s not like you.  Most times, you try to pay attention in those boring meetings.  You can usually remember what your better half told you last night.  You can even stay lucid in a conversation with your kids about video games and cartoons.  But not during Taper Madness.  Not a chance.  You hear people talking.  You see their lips moving but you can’t focus on the message and you really don’t care.  During Taper Madness you would you really like to stand up and scream, “Can we talk about what I want to talk about….MY [FILL IN RACE}?!?!?”
  • Your race gear achieves high status.  Instead of being throw on the floor, in the laundry or stuffed in a bag, your chosen race gear is clean, folded and perched on a shelf, chair or other place of high honor a few days/weeks before the event.  Family members are instructed not to touch it, move it or refold it.  It has a purpose.
  • Excursions require safety reviews.  Someone casually mentions going out for a meal, drink, shopping, whatever, and you do a mental scan of the route, the establishment, and company before deciding if it is worth the risk of a sprained ankle, chance of eating the wrong food, or picking up a stray germ.
  • You think about the race – A LOT. When you get up you think about what you will  be doing that time of the day on race day.  When you go for a run you think about what it will be like to start or finish the race.  You have visualized the finish line so many times you have your never-to-be-used finish line speech to perfection.  You have practiced, secretly, the fist pump, jump for joy, double arm  ‘yahoo!”, etc that you will do for the picture that really counts.   And smiles….you know which smile you will try for and at which miles – instead of the death snear – even if that is how you feel.  You think about the race at every meal, walking to your car, brushing your teeth, while watching the news, singing your favorite songs (but with new taper related lyrics)… with every step or breath you take.
  • You know you are dying … or at least facing a race ending injury.  You held off minor and major injuries throughout your training, but now in just a few days you have aches, pains, tweaks, tight spots all in places you haven’t before and in ways you haven’t experienced before.  You wonder how your body could betray you now!  You spend time on www.webmd.com and www.sportsinjuryclinic.net hoping to find the answer to your mystery illness – only to find that there is nothing that specifically covers what you are experiencing.                          *information courtesy of runnerslounge.com

 

Have no fear if this sounds like you. Taper week is short and all for good reason. Come race day things will return to normal.

Inhale and exhale…..we’ll make it through!

T minus 5 days and counting…

 

Race Happy, My Friends!

  

                                                                                                                                             

Oops, I’ve Done It Again

6

Well it seems my hamstring has gone and gotten annoyed with me yet again. Not quite as mouthy as last year, but it’s definitely voicing its dislike for my recent fondness of track intervals.

Luckily it’s not torn, but it does have issues (don’t we all?) which could lead to another tear if I don’t get it under control ASAP. It seems lefty has a complex with being puny and weak compared to its rival righty.

It really is my own fault, so I can’t complain too much. I’ve been avoiding the gym, like the plague, since spring has sprung and have, therefore; done NO strength & resistance work in a very long time 🙄 . Now my entire right leg, calf to sit bone, feels like:

So what’s a girl to do?

  1. Rest 
  2. Ice 
  3. Compression 
  4. Swim and Cycle
  5. Foam Roll As If Life Depends On It 
  6. Stretch 
  7. Strengthen

Then try to run again. If said hamstring is still pissed off, repeat cycle. Which is fine and dandy, in principle, except our first tri is in 2 weeks. You know what they say, timing is everything!

Luckily I’m starting to back my mileage down to rest and recover a bit anyway. Hopefully Humpty Dumpty can be put back together in time. I don’t think it will be something that will enable me from racing, but I certainly don’t want to cause a more permanent injury by pushing the envelope.

So CAUTION is the word, the mantra if you will, for the next two weeks. Not my strongest trait, but a skill I need to hone nonetheless. Wish me luck!

Swim Happy, My Friends!

FRIDAY FIND

0

Remember how I said I was a gadget girl? And how much I liked my techy stuff ?

Well, today I am going to share a small slice with you in hopes of making your life a bit more enjoyable. Perhaps this sharing thing will become a regular event, we shall see…..

Anyway, since I’ve been trying to drag my arse to the pool (nope, haven’t made it…soon though, I swear), I thought a swimming gizmo might just set the mood…..

This, my friends is the Pool-Mate, by Swimovate. It’s a nifty watch that contains an accelerometer (yeah, ok..) that automatically counts your laps as you go from one end of the pool to another. No more old-fashioned clicker on the finger or game show like pad you have to remember to hit twice when you get to your origination point.

This does all the work (mental, not physical..sorry) and you can now focus on that great form your busy developing. It even calculates calories, distance, and of course time in the water. Sorry, no heart rate monitoring with this bad boy.

AquaDoc and I got a his and hers set for Christmas. I’ve tried mine a few times and he uses his regularly. We both find it a beneficial piece of technology. It runs for about $130 and comes in this grey color or an all black version and for you divas out there they even have a pretty little pink number.

You can find them at almost any online swim store or Tri supplier. We got ours through amazon.com if memory serves me correct.

Well, it is my sincere hope this “find” enhances your workouts and makes keeping up with all those laps a bit easier! Lord knows the pool can be as dreadful as the treadmill at times. These gadgets can help spice things up and make the time pass a bit more quickly.

Swim Happy, My Friends

The Lessons We Learn

4

 ONE MAY GO A LONG WAY AFTER ONE IS TIRED  -French proverb

There is no doubtwe learn the most about ourselves during those times in which we fight through adversity. My lessons came on a beautiful, crisp Sunday morning in New Orleans, La. as I was willing my body through a 13.1 jaunt around the city. If you really want to get picky, those true defining moments actually occurred during miles 11-13.1….that point when it would have been so easy to just stop and walk instead of willing my legs through every stride that remained.

No one would have questioned my reasoning. After all, I spent the past year  in rehab due to my injury roller coaster. First a herniated disc, then 2 months later a torn hamstring. Hell, this time last year I couldn’t even walk, much less run. So no one ..not 1 single soul, would have judged me if I walked a little bit to the finish line. Ahhhh…but how would I judge myself?? 

So this was the game I played with my psyche for the final 18 minutes of the race. Who was going win? My body or my spirit? AquaDoc says he never doubted my ability or sheer determination to run across that finish line. But then he didn’t see me pull up to that final aid station around mile 12 and attempt to beat my quads into submission….all while cussing them out for rebelling on race day, when they had been so submissive during training….it was not a pretty sight at all.

In the end, mind over matter became my reality. I ran through the finish line in 2:07:33. Not bad considering how I spent the last year and with only a single 5k under my belt (since returning to the race circuit this past December) to boot.

Most importantly, I came away with some very valuable lessons:

Incase I had forgotten, I was reminded that AquaDoc is a keeper. He not only walked me 1.5 miles to the start then 1.5 miles back to the condo, he walked 3.5-4 miles from the condo to the finish line with BoyGenius (who, BTW, was highly annoyed there was no WiFi at the finish). AquaDoc truthfully did more hobbling than walking because he has a torn meniscus right now and is not ambulating as well as he’d like.  His effort and enthusiasm for my undertaking, despite his injury and constant pain, taught me tons. I hope if I am ever injured again (curses!!!!) I can live up to his example. But remember, the bar was set REALLY, REALLY, REALLY high!!!  just sayin’…

I also realized that the statement, “it hurts a lot up to a point, then it doesn’t hurt anymore”,  is actually a highly accurate assessment.

Seeing all the participants and everyone’s individual struggles and personal motivators, I learned that ALL roads are long, regardless of where they are headed… and getting to that destination sometimes hurts…. but once you make it….the reward is so worth it.

This is what it’s all about…Good Times!

 This is me and one of my dearest friends for over 30 years….we finished within a minute of each other and somehow, with no preplanning, both landed at family reunion letter “Q”…AquaDoc says it’s a fate/ karma thing and I’m gonna believe he’s spot on because he is one smart man… and besides I am always up for some fate and karma (only the good kind) in my life!!!

On that note, its time to get back in the pool…its Tri Season!

Swim Happy, My Friends!