Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, y'all...and Say what?

Best wishes on the new year everyone! This is the time that some of us write up a list with all the things we're going to do this year that will improve our lives and those of our loved ones. For me, it means I relist all the things I did not do last year but should have.
I wish you luck with your new year lists should you feel compelled to make them.


 For instance, of course the top priority for me is RUN, RUN and RUN again. All that running around helped me drop 1 dress size (hurrah!) and THE summer race is around the corner (SGK 5k) . That's my number one along with my number two which is DIET (meaning eat better, healthier and much less)

And now for something completely different, I want to post the MRI results that for some reason were mailed to me instead of my ortho dude.
He's on vacation so I have to wait until next week to find out what in the world it all means, perhaps one of you can shed the light. I found it terribly amusing, that after 30+ years of living in the US, I thought I actually understood English but after reading the letter I realized that I don't.

This letter came from NYU imaging (the folks who did my MRI on my aching knee)

"Findings:
There is focal full thickness cartilage defect measuring 5mm along the tibial surface of the medial compartment with exposure of the underlying subchondral plate associated with marrow edema. There is a patellar fissuring at the median patellar ridge with exposure of the underlying subchondral plate and associate marrow edema. There is nonspecific heterogenity of bone marrow signal intensity most consistent with red marrow reconversion. There's a small partially ruptured popliteal cyst."

eh?  what? It doesn't sound good. Especially the word "ruptured" but this could explain why it hurts to run for any distance longer than 1 mile and to walk up stairs.  My PT forbid me to run for some time, a restriction that I found not too hard to keep, I even dropped my running class (BIG L on my forehead). But I've also been feeling discomfort in my not rigorous swims (not that I ever did rigorous swims)
WTF?

Using Web MD (dangerous in my hands) I think I figured out some of the things...I'm thinking that 5mm thing must be the Osteoarthritis rearing its ugly head, but don't know what the other stuff means. Nor could I find out what the treatment was.  Any of this sound familiar to you?  Man, I want new knees. Maybe Santa will oblige next Christmas!

Happy, Healthy lives, y'all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bike Tech

When I ran with Chris and Jim last weekend, Chris mentioned buying a new bike. Then immediately stripping off all the Shimano Stuff and installing Campagnolo. I'll admit it. I don't have the guts to do that work myself. Especially on a new carbon frame bike. So I'm feeling a bit like a chump writing this post...
I think I've mentioned before that my bike had been shifting poorly. Then when I put my extra wheel on for the trainer, it was even worse. So I put a post up on a forum asking advice. Some were suggesting that my chain was stretched. Others said to adjust the High and Low limit of the rear derailleur. So I went to check it out.
Sheldon Brown's website of course was the first stop. Plenty of good info there. Nice pictures showing how a stretched chain will wear your cogs and all that but not exactly what I was looking for. I was looking for an easy measurement to determine if my chain was stretched. I found my answer here. I measured 12 link pairs which should have been 12 inches. It was definitely 12 and 1/16th maybe a bit more. Just to be sure that I was looking at this right, I measured the chain on Genine's bike. She was right on 12 inches. Alright, good to know. I bought the bike in June 2007, it's time for a new chain.
I don't have a pin tool to do this myself. I looked up the prices for some tools. Range from 10-45 dollars. Then I decided I would take a stab at doing some of the derailleur adjustments. This reminded me that my front derailleur cable is frayed and needs to be replaced. My rear brake cable is also shot, it's actually rusty. So I start looking into how to do all that work myself.
I definitely think I'd enjoy working towards being a better bike tech, but I bailed. The bike is at the shop right now being worked on.
I haven't given up tho'. I think my brother said he's been given a couple older road bikes. Maybe one of those will be the "project" bike. Troll ebay for cheap parts and go from there.
Once the bike is back. I've gotta get comfortable with the new saddle. Then in a few weeks I think we will both go to get a bike fit.

Getting Fatter

Not really, just feels that way, Christmas was very very good to me, not my waist line. Training is way off any competition stage, but feel good about maintaining some pushups and situps through the start of winter. The recent shoveling helped.

I have been all over the place about what to do this year. Focus on a doing a couple of international tri's, or focus on some sprints, or Xterra point series sounds fun, or try to achieve a cometitive 1/2 marathon.

Then Bam! a little blurb on iplayoutside.com showed a bike race that last year only started 3 miles from the house. It is back on again this year. Then it mentioned a points series with three of the races being in my county or a county away.

http://www.abraracing.com/Schedule.html

Road races close to the house, less than an hours drive from ABRA racing:
April 3, 2010 Morgantown Road Race
(this is the one close to the house, it really is mostly in PA, only goes about 25% in WV)
June 5, 2010 Tour of Tucker County Road Race

June 26 , 2010 Hilly Billy Roubiax

August 21, 2010 Appalachia Visited Road Race
September 18, 2010 WV State Time Trial Championship

This sounds good to me. I would love to do some bike races. All of these races except the Time trial are 40 to 50 miles. So, this is a committment, starting now!

Genine was hitting me hard to go to Mooseman, so that is in the mix for now too.

Hope all had a great Christmas.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jim is focused

Christmas day I get back "home" around 10PM. I check my cell. 1 message, from Jim. "Running 20 tomorrow morning. Meet me on the trail around 9:10 to run the last 10 with me".
I had eaten 10,000+ calories on Christmas day so it sounded like a good idea.
My alarm goes off in the morning. I look out the window and it pouring rain. Genine says "I'm not running". I fall back asleep. Alarm goes off a few more times... Alright. I'm up. Only excuse I have for not running is the weather and that's a lame excuse. I have 10 minutes to go and meet him. So I go for it. Best case scenario, I get to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band for awhile.... No such luck. I see a couple runners on the road. They tell me to meet them at the house.
Jim has finished 10, Chris 5. Jim changes into dry clothes and we are out the door.
My first 5 miles feel terrible but it goes by quickly. Running with others really helps the time go by. The 2nd 5 miles feel better but I think Jim said we were running an 8:30 min/mile. Ugh! The New Year's diet can't get here soon enough.
I got 10 miles in. Chris got 12 in. The best news is that Jim was going strong finishing 20 miles. He should have some confidence going into his marathon next month.

I got about 5 hours off. Now Genine and I are heading for the pool. Our "Group Swim" kinda fell apart on us. (who would have guessed?) I'm looking forward to it. Also looking forward to catching up with everyone else later tonight. Quick trip. Gotta keep moving to fit it all in.

Jim thanks again for getting me out the door this morning.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm trying....

to get into the Christmas spirit. Yesterday on my home I decided to make a shift and not let my "inner scrooge" win. I feel like I've been so grumbly these past few weeks between the aggravation of the house renovations, the chaos of retail in December (ok...really since September) and all the extra "holiday stuff" to do, etc.

We haven't put up a Christmas tree in probably 5 years. Not that I don't want to. I actually really enjoy decorating the house. It just seems like so much (after dealing with the holidays at work for months) to do for a few weeks and then we aren't even home for Christmas Day. So, I have forgone the interior decorating for awhile now. But I have always decorated the outside of the house. It is so beautiful driving through town at night in December. I love Christmas lights! I am very traditional...white lights, real pine garland & wreaths, red bows, candles in the windows. I even put a wreath on the garage. But with the construction still lingering, the outside of the house is still undone and the interior...well, let's not go there. I kept telling myself that I would decorate when the outside projects were complete. That still hasn't happened.

So last night on my way home I decided that I was putting up lights on the dogwood tree in the front yard! I had 45 minutes between when I arrived home and had to pick up Matt at the train station. So still in my work clothes, I dug lights out of the storage closet behind the futon, extension cords from the basement and ladder from the garage. I literally flung the strings of lights over my head on to the tree, wrapped them around the trunk, ran the extension cords to the back of the house and plugged it in. Aaahhh....... I was so happy! Something as small as a few strands of lights put a smile on my face. Perfect. I made fudge & cupcakes on Sunday and tonight I'm wrapping gifts. Maybe this holiday stuff isn't so bad after all!

Merry Christmas Little Tree!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Watch this.

I got to the pool this afternoon. I think the coffee I made today was not decaf. As a result I was feeling kind of agitated . Or maybe that was because I had to make a punch list for the contractor because he's never here to know what's been done...
Anyhow, I had to go to the pool to burn off that edge. Genine stayed home to bake all sorts of good stuff. She had picked a workout though. Anaerobic Threshold. I think it was something like this.
Warmup:
300 swim.
8x75 pull
300 kick
Main Set:
500 easy
3x75 fast
1x75 easy
2x75 fast
1x75 easy
1x75 fast
1x75 easy
Cool Down 100m

It was a good workout. I'm starting to get the Lat Pull that's supposed to happen along with the rotation. It's nowhere near 100% but I'm very aware of it and I'm excited about where this is headed. My shoulders are going to be very happy that I'm not relying on them so much.
The only downside of the swim. My skin is so dry I want to scratch the skin off my legs!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Potpourri!

Haven't posted nor commented in some time.... time catch up with miscellany and brevity....
1. Talked with Michelle and Jerry today for a while. I suggested that anyone dealing with a sports injury go to a sports medicine doctor/fellow trained. Primary care docs and surgeons usually do not give the same treatment plan nor suggestions. Here is a local one I'd suggest: WCA Sports Medicine Center at (716) 664-8604. Dr. Mitchell is a great Doc.

2. Upcoming plans:

Signed up for GA marathon on January 16th, 2010

If the marathon goes well, or at least not terrible, I may try to redeem myself for the 1/2 ironman. I would possibly go back to the Lake Tupper Tinman on June 26th.

20 pull-ups update- Was doing great until my right handed developed some pain. I was in week 6 of the plan. I started at 6 pull-ups and can now do 13!! Doesn't matter which way the hands are positioned. I need to get back at this and finish the goal!!

That's enough big plans for now. I've been running 4 days a week and 1 day of either bike or swimming. Which is the best I've done in quite a while.

Of course Tango is on the list too.

What do the rest of you have brewing for 2010?

Get out and run before it's too late!

I ran 5 miles on Friday late afternoon and 6+ on Saturday morning before the snow hit. I can't remember the last time I've run on a dreadmill. I'm hoping the roads clear before Tuesday. I'm afraid that if I run on the dreadmill in a nice warm house, I might not go outside the rest of the winter!
As I was running Saturday, I figured we would swim around 5PM. So I got home showered, ate some oatmeal and Genine says we are swimming with Maija in less than an hour. This will be interesting.
Genine is the keeper of the swim workout book. So when I get out to the pool deck, she's already there with book flipped open to today's workout. I think it was called Force 10 and it had a ton of pulling. (proving Genine really does love me). My legs were very happy about this.
The main set looked like this 3x (2x200 pull, 4x50 pull fast) then 4x50 with hand paddles. Genine and Maija both hate the pull buoy as much as I hate a kick board. So they modified. Initially I thought I was going to be able to pull the whole time but eventually my shoulders needed a break. I'm guessing I did 75% with the buoy and got 2500-2700 meters in.
It was another good swim for me. I think that's about 5 in a row. Hopefully the pool is open tomorrow and I can make it 6.
The snow started to fall as we were walking into the pool. On the way out there was already a couple inches on the ground and the roads were covered. We drove to the grocery store and picked up ingredients Genine wanted for baking. We were both getting very hungry, I'm surprised we didn't start opening stuff to eat as we were shopping. The soy crisps made it out to the car before being opened. Then when I got home it was recovery food time. I shovel the snow off to make room for the grill. I roll out the grill from the garage, got it warmed up. Broke out a bag of shrimp and trimmed up the steaks and headed back outside to grill. My neighbors must think I'm nuts... Standing out there in a snow storm grilling, but it's so worth it.

Oh I almost forgot. I think I posted the other day that I ran and it felt like my shins were cramping up on me. Terrible run. Well I figured out why that happened and it's plenty stupid. Today at the start of my run only one shin was bothering me. It's because I over tightened the laces on the one shoe. Once I adjusted it, I was fine. It would seem that I've forgotten how to tie my running shoes. The elastic laces "crutch" has crippled me.... at least mentally. I gotta get those normal laces outta there.
And there you have it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Swim Groove / Bike Seat/ Training Wheel

I almost hate to say anything as I might jinx myself. It's just that I feel that I might be taking one of those steps forward and I'm digging it. I swam a 1:35 100m very comfortably tonight. I would have been interested to see how many 100's I could have done on short rest. I'm hoping I keep it rolling and I'll try it out this weekend.

I also put my new saddle on the bike the other day. It's not love at first ride. I'm not sure any saddle is. Is it? It seems to me any change is going to feel off for awhile. I was hoping to get an hour in Tuesday night. Unfortunately I was also having trouble with my gears.
I have a spare wheel with the exact same SRAM 9 speed cog set. So I put that on and it's fine when I'm on 26,23,21,19.. Then after that the gears hit the chain so off center that it just can't be right. I spent a ton of time trying to adjust the derailleur but there doesn't seem to be a fix. I may have to take it to a bike shop and let them adjust it. Or perhaps I've built something incompatible somehow??
Any ideas?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Greek Food and Green Lightning

For some reason that I can't seem to figure out, all of my joints and muscles have been tired, tight and achy the past 2 days....more than normal that is. Not sure why. I'm sure I am in need of some good stretching, heat and some foam rolling. Hopefully if I whine enough, Santa will leave some gift certificates for massages under the tree! ;-)

At any rate, Matt & I got to the pool both days this weekend. Good swims. The rest of the weekend was spent trying to clean and reassemble the rooms in our house that FINALLY will not be having any more construction happening in them. Matt installed the new exterior light fixtures on the house. They look great! Still no date of completion for the house projects. All I can say is that we may be getting close. I wish I could say with some certainty, but I can not. ::sigh::

There were 2 highlights from this weekend:
Friday night Matt and I were invited to my friend Eleftheria's house for dinner. It was a small gathering- just her & her husband Niko, and Mary & Christin from work. Eleftheria is my "Greek Godess"....my savior at work when I need to escape or vent. She has a wonderful way of making you instantly feel comfortable in her home. And as I have mentioned before, she is also an AMAZING cook. Dinner was fantastic...delicious Greek favorites complete with waaay too much wine & cheese. Mmmmm..... But the best part of the night was getting to spend a little time outside of work with these special people. One of the few true rewards from the retail insanity I work in is the handful of honest and truly good people that have become a part of my life. What a blessing they are...and for that I am thankful.

And.....check out my new bike trainer! I love the lime green color!


Matt & I are almost ready for our side-by-side showdowns in the basement! woo-hoo! Can you tell that I'm trying to psych myself up for indoor bike season? It should be good. I need to get my ipod loaded with some new tunes and hope Santa comes through with the new spinervals dvd's on my wish list. It's also rumored that we are going to have tv and dvr connections down there. Man, we are living the high life!

Cedar Point

If only there was an option for half iron.
Rev3 Cedar Point Triathlon

Got to the pool both days this weekend. I've been feeling good in the pool recently. (Probably because I haven't been sharing a lane with Bob this week).

My run mileage really dropped last week. Guess that was my recovery week. I'll try to get on track this week.
Bike is on the trainer ready to go. Next I've gotta get my ipod loaded, put the new saddle on and find new shoes. I'll put the new pedals and cleats on when I get new shoes.

Yoga tomorrow night.

I'm not even going to bother giving an update on the house renovation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A new trend????

So tonight at masters was the third swim in a week that has felt improved to me. I don't necessarily feel faster, but it feels smoother, stronger pull and....I think I may be rotating (a little more). Shocking! I haven't kept track of times yet. At the very least it leaves me feeling hopeful about what the future holds for my swimming. We'll see...... I'm also not afraid to say that I have enjoyed masters the last few weeks. Swimming has been solid, 25m races, diving off the blocks for fun and practicing flip turns. Coach Elana even said that she's trying to get permission to allow us to use the diving boards! I see fun times at masters ahead. Although, Coach Elana also told me last week that she was going to stuff my goggles with paper towels so I would have to practice swimming "blind" to overcome my fear of not being able to see in murky water during races. Hmmm...ok maybe not all fun.

Work is finally starting to chill out a tiny bit for me.....whew....big sigh of relief. Despite the toll the past few months has taken on my training and fitness level, I am hopeful as I look forward to the new year. I'm ready to set new goals and plans to achieve them. Even though it seems like a long way off, I'm excited to be able to race again and to cheer on my friends as they race toward achieving their goals. I'm eager to start training. Our bikes have made it from the garage to the basement. One step closer the rocking it out on side by side trainers!
Fun times ahead indeed.......

Knees

Knees seem to be the topic lately. I came across this in the NY Times today.
FYI, I typically not a fan of their health articles. They never seem to have a conclusion. It's always just food for thought. Here it is anyhow.

NY Times Article on Knees

Friday, December 4, 2009

Busy

Quick update just to get something on here.

I seem to be managing at least one workout a day.
Running 3 or 4 times a week.
Swimming 2-3 times a week.
My bike... is locked in the garage, thanks to my contractor. (there is no key, I'll have to break something to get in)

My left foot pain is being managed best with a tennis ball massage every night.
My low back pain is being managed best by doing 20 minutes of stretching as soon as I roll out of bed.
I've started doing the pullups again. Underhand only so far. So far the bicep has been good.
The weight loss has been a disaster. The renovation has destroyed our living space and has made it difficult to cook at home. (the grill is also locked in the garage with the bikes)
My speedwork run workout plan has been sabotaged by whomever decided to fix the fence where we used to sneak through to get to the track. Funny how we were disappointed by that. Most people would find that to be a relief!

I've ordered a new saddle for my bike. I'm hopeful that this will be a huge upgrade in terms of comfort. The Adamo Racing Saddle.
Now to find some new bike shoes!

I've heard reports from both Ruth and Michelle regarding their MRIs. I love that both of them are on a mission and don't plan on letting something like a knee stop them.

It was a great visit to Warren last week. Looking forward to the Xmas break. It will be another quick trip tho. Thursday to Sunday is my guess.

That's the news.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here's the ad!!

My picture of Laurel is the 2nd picture in the ad.

It will be in ESPN magazine and Self as well.

It's official

Have I mentioned how frustrating this home improvement project is? It was another brutal day spent at the house finding flaws with "completed work". So I have to compose an email with pictures to send to the contractors. Equally as annoying.
I've definitely learned a few things along the way. I need to make a point of putting them in my database so I don't make the same mistakes the next time we take on a project like this.
So as I'm putting together this email and I'm kind of steaming. I receive an email from the advertising company that wants to use my picture of Laurel Wassner. It seems that the ad is approved! I'll be paid for the picture and it will be used in a national campaign. I instantly stopped writing the email to the contractor to write this post. I'll be sure to ask what magazines the ad will be in and when.
I'm still amazed at how this all happened. The internet made it all possible.

Alright. Back to this email. Then Yoga. Then to the pool.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I haven't been saying much

With all the projects going on at the house. I'm having a hard time staying positive. Things aren't exactly going smoothly. That seems to be the normal state of things for the workers though...
I guess the stressful part is this. I have to do quality control on everything and guess what. I don't know all the things to check for and that is frustrating. This isn't going to go on forever. There is an end. I just can't say the end is in sight yet.

I posted my workout schedule last week. It was listing 2 workouts a day. Well I managed 1 workout a day and I'm fine with that. It will get better.

Michelle and Ruth, I hope you get some solutions from your MRIs.

I'm looking forward to seeing friends and family this holiday weekend.
Jim remind me that I wanted to talk guitars with you.

Apologies for the boring post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Xcountry 5k

Wow reading Genine's post was incredibly inspiring. She IS a warrior! So I thought I'd share my not so warriorish post.  As you know I've been taking a running class with New York Road runners. And the saga continues. Once a week. Beginner's class. This week (WEEK 6) we're up to 8 minutes 2x. The class has been good. According to the coach we're running at 12 minute pace which is a great improvement over the 15 minute mile which was my best pace this summer.

Well I decided to see how this improvement translated to a 5k. I had the brilliant idea to sign up for the Cross country championships at Van Cortland. I haven't been jogging for any 1mile+ distances lately  but since I knew the course I felt comfortable. HA! I thought we would do the FLAT loop plus the little wooded loop, twice. I was sadly mistaken.
The course was expanded to go over the little bridge into the wooded area that I had never gone through which  I swear was 2 miles of uphill! Or it seemed that way to me. Hello. What was I thinking? Excellent challenge though. So I sadly admit I walked the entire wooded area to bring my time down to 54 minutes. Yeah I know. I know. Almost the last one in again. But I did the first mile in 13.5 minutes! So I felt good about that (small victories!) So this is another race to add to my goals for next year. Maybe some of you would like to run it too! I'm doing those &*%% hills! The weather was absolutely perfect. And the course not too muddy. And the crowd was extremely generous with their cheering. It made me misty eyed.

I do want to congratulate my volleyball teammate Nina, who decided to run the course with me just to see how she would do. Damn. The girl is a machine. 28+ minutes. Can't imagine how'd she do once she begins training.  She wants to do more races. The winner, Frank Corrigan, did the course in 15:55 minutes at a 5:08 pace. HOLY COW! Congrats Frank!


I gotta say I really enjoy the cross country running. It's so much better on my possibly torn meniscus (grrr MRI coming) and the view is gorgeous. I saw a Blue Jay and a Mocking bird (I know I should have been concentrating on the run but hey!) and tons of squirrels. The trees were all shades of yellow, orange and red.  What a great course! Afterwards we treated ourselves to a large unhealthy breakfast at the Coffeshop under the bridge for 4$ each.

All in all, a great day at the races.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hurts So Good


I finally got myself to the yoga class that Tiffany teaches on Monday nights. Ever since our Wednesday yoga lessons at her house have dissolved (schedule conflicts on both sides), I have been wanting to get there. Tonight I did.....aahhhhh. How can something so painful feel so good? My gluts, hamstrings, hips and calves were screaming. But by the end I could feel a huge improvement in my flexibility and I felt so relaxed. This is definitely going into my "soon-to-start" winter workout schedule. I'm going to build into the training plan between now and January, so when the new year starts I will be ready to go full force. My plan is to increase my biking via the trainer, get back to the pool and continue my base running. I also will be adding kickboxing to my cross-training along with intensati. Sounds a bit ambitious, but I really want to see what I can build into this winter. Can I keep healthy and focused on my goals?

I guess I should set some goals then, right? Those are still a work in progress. For now, let's just say my goal is to get my mind set back to a more scheduled workout plan....add some "non-sbr" stuff in for fun and see where that takes me. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

I'm also looking forward to some workouts with our Warren friends over Thanksgiving vacation. Jim: You can count me in for maybe 5-6miles of your 13mile run. Michelle: Shall we line up some swim and spin time at the Y? Craig: Will you be in Warren over the holiday?

Gotta work off that stuffing, potatoes and pie!! ;-)

Atlantic City Trip

Last Friday night I went to the chiropractor because my lower back was really starting to give me grief. If I had to guess about the cause, it was either butterfly kicking with fins or perhaps because it had been so long since I’ve had my back adjusted. I was hoping to run a 5K race the next morning. I didn’t make it to the 5K. I slept right through it. My back wasn’t much better anyhow. So it was probably for the best.

Genine and I then took a bus down to Atlantic City with Tiffany and Jimmy. It was a fun day, not profitable for anyone but Tiffany, but fun. I’d go again. Genine would too, only she wouldn’t spend any time in the casino.

Sunday was a gorgeous day and we managed to get ourselves out the door in the afternoon to do some biking. 71 degrees! My back was fine during the bike. The trouble was getting off the bike, and putting the bikes back on top of the car. My lower back was super tight.

So I finally realized I had better start taking some NSAIDs.

I had hoped to swim Monday morning but decided to play it safe until I saw my chiropractor in the city. He got some really good crunches out of my lower back. That’s a good thing, sometimes I’m so locked up it won’t move. Then I asked him if I should be taking time off. He said only if it seems like the activity is causing a problem. Guess I’ll find out as I try some workouts.

I think I’ve come up with a bit of schedule finally. I’ll try it out and see if it works.

Monday: AM Swim / PM Yoga

Tues: AM run speed/ PM Bike

Wed: AM Yoga & Core / PM Swim

Thurs: AM Run some intervals/ PM Bike

Friday: recovery day

Saturday: AM Run / Afternoon Swim

Sunday: Bike / Swim

Lastly, I hope not to jinx myself. I think I’m making progress with my foot. I’ve been diligent with the icing and rolling it out with a tennis ball and the boot at night. Maybe it's just the pain in the back is masking the pain in my foot... It's always something.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I am a WARRIOR!

As you all know, I am a firm believer in the principles of the practice of IntenSati developed by Patricia Moreno. I started almost 2 years ago, and I can say without question that it is an integral part of the positive changes that have transpired for me these past few years. It has empowered me and enlightened me. It has shown me how to find the best in myself and others. It has allowed me to find my inner strength, not only in sport....but in life. I have become acquainted with some amazing people...most notably my friend Tiffany. She inspires me to dig deep and keep moving forward no matter what the hurdle. it was Tiffany who nominated me to be featured in the SatiLife monthly newsletter and I was chosen! I have pasted a copy of the section from the SatiLife November newsletter below. My story is found in the "A Higher Level" section. (If you click on the article, it will zoom to a bigger size which is easier to read.) It is such an honor for me, so I wanted to share it with all of you. If you want to find out more about IntenSati, just click on the link.

I told Matt what a lucky guy he is. Instead of PlayMate of the Month, he is married to the Warrior of the Month! So much cooler, right?! :-)



The Triangle

Some might not know about "The Triangle". The sides are triangle are labeled: Good, Fast, Cheap. There are many situations in which you can use this triangle. Here is the deal, you can have any two sides but not all three. I'm currently wondering where the home improvement falls on the triangle (good and cheap I hope!). I'm going to withhold judgement until the end. I'm hoping I don't miss all 3 of them!
There are times that I wish that I had time to use my camera more. Well, I've been using my camera quite a bit lately. Unfortunately, it's been to send pictures to our contractor so he can see the problems. Or because Genine is at work, I'm sending her pictures so that she can approve of things that are being done.
The one good thing I'm sure of is this. Because I've been hanging around so they can get into the house, and because the place is trashed and because there is a huge dumpster in the driveway, I decided it was an opportune time to pull the paneling out of 2 of the rooms. Those 2 rooms have left the 70s. Which is awesome. What is amazing is that there was a full length mirror hanging in one of the paneled rooms when we bought the house. Well I guess that mirror has been there for a long time. Under the paneling was 2 layers of paint. The mirror was painted around when the 2nd layer of paint went down.

Triathlon: Great bike on Sunday with Genine. We really dug in at the end of the ride and did better than we expected.
Monday night, we went to the pool. My main set was 10x50m on 1 min. Then 5x100m on 2 min. I also did some butterfly and free kicking with fins. It was a good swim.
Tuesday night, 3 mile run with Genine. Good to get out and run it was a nice night.
It's amazing how the workouts help me relax. I've been stressed out over this renovation project and after the workout I feel great... until we start talking about the project again. Ha!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grateful for Today

After a day filled of construction frustrations, Matt & I took advantage of today's sunny 60 something degree weather and got out for a nice bike ride. We got in almost 33miles and enjoyed every minute of it! What a treat for a Sunday in November. The other fun part is that is was the most challenging ride we have done in months. (although that's not saying much considering how pooped we've been recently!) We got in a few intervals and a couple decent hills. It felt good to be able to get out there and feel well rested and have some energy. It is amazing to me how debilitating fatigue can be. I've been so used to feeling like Dawn of the Dead. Sleep is a beautiful thing! I have 1 more week of total insanity at work and then it's back to the normal holiday crazy. Give me strength...almost there!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The renovation

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea as to what's up.

Before:


New Roof New upstairs windows.


The back porch before. But the new roof is on. Old windows in the dormer.


Back porch framed out to become a dining room. New upstairs windows.


All the windows in the house will be replaced the front door too. The awnings will be gone and the entire house will have new vinyl siding. It will look like new.

swimming

I went to masters swimming last night. It's been awhile since I've done a swim workout that's actually been a workout. I feel like it's been a solid 4-6 weeks "off". Well the workout went much better than I had expected. I got into a groove and had some speed. I finished my 100m "races" on 1:37 for all 3. Way better than I expected and I didn't feel that I was going 100%.
This morning I was reminded of how swimming is a full body workout. I had some tight back and hip muscles. Fortunately I woke up with enough time to do 20 minutes of stretching. I prefer feeling like this in the morning compared to doing nothing and still having aches and pains.

I realize the pushups and pullups kind of disappeared. I keep trying pullups and my left bicep keeps telling me to take it easy. So I'll continue to do some every day but not following that plan at all.
Pushups I think I can handle again. So I'll start that plan... again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November... time flies.

Still on track with the nutrition. Still have this lingering cold. Still wearing the boot at night for my foot.


I get into my car Tuesday morning and there is frost on the windshield for the first time this year and the car stinks. It’s going to be a nice day so I leave the sun roof open a crack to let the car air out. After work it’s better. I go buy groceries, open up the hatch to load them in…. bam! There’s the stink. We forgot to get our bike shoes out of the car after riding in the rain on Saturday. Yuck!

It’s an beautiful night to run but I have too much to do. I text Todd to find out if we are running in the morning, we are. 4:45 wakeup then.

The contractor called me today and wanted to know when he can get access to the house again, that along with a million questions. I tell him I will email him all the answers tonight. So now I sit and compose an email for about 2 hours with descriptions and pictures to answer all of his questions. He will call me in the morning to discuss everything. (this call never happened)

5-6 hours of sleep and it’s Wednesday morning and I’m out the door to go running. Left foot is not getting better or worse. My plan is to ice and ibuprofen for a week to see if that makes a difference.

Our run was only 4 miles and it wasn’t speedy. Not a big deal, makes it easier to talk when you are running slowly… Did I mention it was 38 degrees? Todd shows up wearing shorts and a T-shirt. He misread his thermometer. He read the indoor temp thinking it was the outdoor. Fortunately he had a running jacket and gloves he had left in the car.

I enjoyed the run. Those of you that haven’t tried running in cold weather, you need to give it a try. After the first mile or so, it’s really very nice. (unless it’s windy).

We had hoped to go into the city to watch the marathon this past Sunday. That didn’t work out, but we did watch on TV. The winner averaged a 4:55 min/mile over 26.2 miles. I now need to get back to the track to find out if I can even go that fast for ¼ mile.

Kevin has run this 2 years in a row now. If his lottery luck continues 13 more times, he will be an automatic entry because he will have completed it 15 times. Ha ha.

I looked up the qualifying time I need to run a half marathon once I hit 40 in June. 1:30:00. That’s a 6:52 min/mile pace…. Typically, I'd say anything is possible, but that is quick!

My next option is this. After you’ve been denied 3 years in a row, you get in. I’m fairly certain I’ve applied in both 2008 and 2009. So I should be able to run in 2011. I’m going to have to dig through old email to verify that I registered both years.

If not, I will join NYRR and attempt to run 9 NYRR races in 2010. I’m already thinking I should race at least once a month, maybe twice, January-March. Just so I keep focused on adding run speed during my workouts. Most of these will be 5K or 5 milers. There is the NYC half marathon March 21st, I’m kind of looking at that to be my long run race for the spring.

Lastly, I passed up free Knicks/Pacers tickets for tonight’s game so that I could go to masters swimming. Had they been Yankee Tickets, obviously I would be in the Bronx tonight. I’m still surprised I passed on them tho’.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Matt's nutrition, the next level

They are tearing out the windows in the house as I type this. Within the first 5 minutes of them being here I am already concerned. The guy measures the window space he just cleared. Goes to the selection of windows delivered yesterday and says “There’s no match. Closest thing is off by an inch and a half. Let me call the boss.” I already know what is going to happen next. He’s going to come back and say. “No problem, it will work.” I was close, he said “Nah, it’s alright.” Ah yes, that gives me confidence.

So nutrition. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had read the Thrive diet written by a vegan Ironman triathlete. The book has inspired me to add more variety to my diet as well as adding supplements. So many people at this point would be thinking, you shouldn’t be taking vitamins, just eat better! Which is ideal, but not easy to do, and they aren’t vitamins. At least I don’t think so, this is where I’m curious what Craig and Tamara think about what I’ve chosen.

The first product is Gary Null’s “Red Stuff” (don’t be scared off by the technical name). This product is a fruit mix. Cranberries, apples, cherries, red raspberries, peaches, pears, papayas, mangos, watermelon, red currant, nectarines, pink grapefruit, blood orange, pomegranates, pineapples, lemons, limes, tangerines, apricots.

The second product is “Enriching Greens”. Alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass, carrot, spirulina algae, probiotic culture, kelp cranberry, rosehips, bilberry, soy lecithin, Dandelion, Beet, Eleuthero, bromelain (from pineapple), artichoke, soybean, tomato, Milk Thistle, ginkgo biloba, grape seed.

The third I have yet to add is going to be sea vegetables of some sort. I haven’t found one I like yet. Thinking Kelp, Chlorella, seaweed stuff.

The concept here is that it’s somewhat of instant variety to your diet. I’m certain I don’t eat everything on that list on a monthly basis. Some might question why would you need to eat all that stuff regularly? Well that’s just it. Here is the concept I’m working off of as I try to take my nutrition to the next level.

If your body is missing nutrition of any sort, your brain is triggered into having cravings. It seems to me that some people are more tuned into what these cravings actually require to be satisfied. (anyone that has been pregnant might be able to tell me if that statement has any validity at all). Well, I feel that I haven’t a clue about what I need to eat when I have a craving, I just feel hungry and I eat randomly. The result can be eating many extra calories as you are searching for satisfaction. How many times do you eat a snack which is filling but you are left still not satisfied, so you eat more or find something else to eat?
Well I feel that by using fitday.com I definitely dialed in some level of cravings at the macro-nutrient level. (Carb/Fat/Protein). If I get hungry at an odd time, I can look and see if my eating has been unbalanced and make sure I eat the right thing to balance. The result of figuring that out helped me go from 205-175 pounds.
Well I’ve been stuck at the 175-180 range for at least a year now. So I’m hoping this might take it to the next level. This is an attempt to satisfy all of my micronutrient needs and other essential proteins and fats which the body cannot create. My thinking is that if I satisfy my nutrition needs at this micro level. Maybe I will be able to function at the calorie intake that will put me closer to weighing 165 pounds.
That 165 is not a goal number. I’m trying very hard not to get on a scale. I should be able to look at myself and decide if there is room to improve. That is the “scale” I’m planning on using. Once I feel that I’m there, then maybe I’ll hop on just to see what that number happens to be. Then the scale might be useful again to keep me from going back up? I guess I’ll decide on that if/when I get there.

Comments, suggestions?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spirit of Morgantown

Got an email from them today. They are definitely responding to the problems reported.

* New swim exit next to transition area (just 30 meters from the TA entrance)
* New swim course (keeping well north of the lock)
* New bike courses on smooth roads (totally new routes and roads)
* New single lap 13.1 mile run course for the half iron
* New earlier start times with the half iron going first at 7:00am


Not that it matters for me. I believe it's scheduled to be the day after the Tango.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home Projects

I guess our house is going to go through some changes in a big hurry. My contractor calls me today and starts asking me questions that only Genine can answer. Of course Genine is swamped at work but I really have no other choice than to pass along the call to her. Genine calls me on her way home and tells me there will probably be 10 or more people at our house on Thursday. They are going to replace all the windows. Tear apart the back porch and start framing in the new walls and do some of the siding up on the dormers. Needless to say it's been busy. Just trying to think through all the decisions and then prepare the place for having all this work done. It feels like it's happening too fast but I guess we prefer that to never hearing from the guy and nothing being done.

On the fitness side of things, my lungs still aren't clear but Genine and I managed a 3 mile run Monday night. First mile was ugly Once I warmed up I felt like I could go for awhile. Fortunately we called it at 3 miles, I can definitely say my cardio is way ahead of my muscular conditioning right now. I'm fine with that. I think that says I've successfully de-trained. (although it wasn't completely planned).

Eating plan is still very much on track. I need to write about that soon. I'm curious about what Craig and Tamara would say about my attempt to take my nutrition to the next level. It's something I think they've worked on before. More on that later tho'. It's late.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Warrior

That seems to be what I have become recently. It's Christmas at Bloomingdale's. Added to that is a store visit from our CEO, Director of Stores and President of Stores every other week until mid November. Ugh! I am trying my best to battle my insomnia and prepare myself to withstand the numerous 12-14hour days on a continuing basis. It is not easy. By the end of the week it's like night of the living dead! I swear I used to be able to keep up with this schedule....when did I get too old for this job?! Anyway...I'm counting the days until Nov. 13th, when the worst will be over and I will just have the "normal" holiday retail rush to contend with.

Until then, I am relishing my weekend workouts even though I feel slow and sluggish. I have been able to get to IntenSati the past two Saturdays....aahhh....so good. Last weekend I also got in a spinning class and a short run. Not a single workout this past week. :::sigh::: But, today Matt and I went out for a bike ride. The weather was just glorious!! The sun was shining and the leaves were in peak color. We just did our short 12.5 mile loop as it was Matt's first workout in over a week due to his lung infection/coughing. He felt good at the end of the ride, so that was good news for his recovery. I feel badly that he has been out of commission for so long. Hopefully he will be back up and running soon!

We are planning to get the bike trainers set up in the basement this week. I am hoping that by having the trainer and treadmill ready to go, I can squeeze in some short 30-45min workouts in during the week while work is still crazy. Other than that, I am focusing on maintaining healthy eating and trying to figure out how to manage my insomnia. Sleep is so critical. I am trying valerian root tonight for the first time. I really want to avoid having to take any prescription sleep meds if possible. I also have some meditation cd's that Tiffany gave me to listen to when I wake up in the night. Keep your fingers crossed! I'll let you know how it works. Any other natural sleep suggestions that anyone knows of are welcome!

Snapshots

Here is something I've been waiting to write about for awhile.

About a month ago I received an email from a pro triathlete, Laurel Wassner. She had seen the pictures I had taken of her at Uberman and when the designers of an ad campaign asked her for some action shots, my shots were among the pictures she submitted. She put me in contact with the ad agency so that I could send them the higher resolution images to try in the layout. This is when I found out that it was going to be a Nike ad.

Obviously I was very excited about all of this. This is not something that happens every day. So of course I had started to type up a post for the blog about it. Then I went to Laurel’s blog and realized she hadn’t let the cat out of the bag about the ads yet. So then I modified it to be very generic and posted it… for all of 15 minutes before I deleted it. I figured I’d just wait and see if it really happens before saying anything.

Well I’m still jumping the gun here. It’s not official but I figured now that Laurel has posted about the campaign I’ll also post, because not only is it Nike. It’s LIVESTRONG! How cool is that? It just kind of falls into place very nicely with what we are all about.

Hopefully I didn’t jinx myself by posting this early but it’s exciting. Heck, I always thought it was fun to see my pictures hijacked from my Flickr site just to show up on athlete’s facebook pictures, blogs and websites. This takes that feeling to a whole new level.

Oddly enough, not a week later, one of our friends sends us an email asking us to send a high resolution picture that Genine took of her at the Black Bear Triathlon in 2008. Turns out that Coach Don Fink is writing a new book and would like to use that image in his book. We’ve already signed the release forms for that picture but the book isn’t going to be released for another 12 months or so.

Fun right?
Once again proving that the internet is a cool place. Laurel would have never seen these pictures if not for flickr. Not to mention the fact she could just send an email to contact me from the same site. Then when the ad agency needed the pictures. I didn't have to dig through negatives or FedEx anything. I just created a set on flickr and sent them the link.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great abs workout.

Cough for 7-10 days straight. Make sure you string enough reps together that it really hurts.

Hopefully I'm at the end of this. I haven't felt feverish for the last couple days and coughing seems to have become effective.

My left foot seems to be tracking better the last few days when I walk. Maybe that will fall into place as well.

Our new roof is finished and it's been raining quite a bit today. I haven't noticed any leaks yet. One less thing to worry about now.

Pretty boring stuff. That's all I've got.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why?

There is a thread on Trifuel right now that asks "So what's your most irritating question people ask you about triathlon". The overwhelming response appears to be when people just ask "Why". I think people get upset when asked this question, because the person asking is basically saying to you that they think triathlon is a waste of time.
Of course as I was reading this, I couldn't help but think about the fact that my answer to "Why" is different than most people racing. The Fundraising for Dr Guinan's research is "Why" for Genine and I, and our "mission" has been brought back into focus this week.
My cousin Katie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has already started the chemotherapy. She's married and has 4 young children.
Those of you that have gone through this with someone close, can appreciate how you feel totally helpless. You know you aren't going to wake up one day and think up a solution to this problem. It is out of your control. Fortunately there are things you can do to help that are in your control.
1) Register to be a Bone Marrow Donor. Typically all that is required is a mouth swab. Other times the registry is held along with a blood drive. Everyone should be on the list.
2)Donate Platelets. You can do this every 3 days but no more than 24 times a year. Start by checking with your local Red Cross. Next check with your local hospital's oncology ward.

My never ending chest cold suddenly doesn't seem like such a big problem. I will get over it. Then I'll get back to training. You know Why.

Running class #1

SO I started my beginners running class last Thursday w New York Road runners. It was cool, figuratively and literally. The weather stunk, dark cold and rainy. Everyone showed up (20 of us gals, no men). We met at a local public school, did a basic warm-up routine in the gym then headed out to Central park (boat basin) to do our first workout: 1 minute run, 2 minutes walk, 7X.   Easy breezy.

I swore to myself that I would run at a faster pace than my regular shuffle mode. After all the purpose of this class is to get me to the 10minute mile goal. We run as a pack with the coach at the front leading and shouting "run!" or "walk!" The people who get to the front of the pack have to loop (turn around and run to the back of the pack) to maintain the pack pace. I was always somewhere in the middle, running behind the same ladies who were having a great conversation about asking for a raise, though by the end of the class I was in the front row. I guess eavesdropping is a byproduct of running in a pack. The same gazelles kept passing the rest of us and looping back. The pace was good, not too strenuous, I felt a nice warm up feeling but then we only ran for 1 minute intervals.  Tonight we go up to 2 minute intervals.

Things that I learned:

1. you hit the ground heel first. Not toes, not mid sole, but heel. For me it's a big adjustment. I always jog leaning forward, to let gravity pull me forward and thus land on my toes. To be able to strike heel first I had to lean back, straighten my spine. I did discover that my knees thanked me later and I was not hobbling home  as I usually do after running (but then again only 1 minute intervals- the last long run I did was 1 hour long so it's a huge difference in workout and in the pounding of the knees)

2. you hold your hands as if you're grabbing butterfly wings. Arms bent 90 degrees, relaxed, middle finger and thumb touching (ohmmmm) thinking about my hands forced me to relax my arms which I never think about when I run since all I can usually think about is my aching knee (see #1).

3. Wear a hat with a visor when it rains.  I had one but noticed my classmates had to squint through the whole run. It also absorbed the sweat so I found myself not having to wipe my brow every ten seconds. Why didn'tI think of it sooner?

4. bring an extra pair of DRY socks when it rains (for the freezing subway ride home)

5. wear Gloves.  I thought I would eventually take them off but I never did. Glad I had them.

The biggest discovery was the roadrunner website http://www.runningcoach.com/
(Does it count as a discovery if your teacher tells you about it?)

It's filled with great tips AND the workouts for each class along with the homeworks. I am sure there's bound to be something of interest for everyone. Even the Ironfolks!

More later!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knee problems

Jerry and I are continuing on our P90X adventure. Tonight will complete one round for me. I have to say...I am enjoying it. I can certainly see how it will help. Unfortunately given the height of the basement ceilings, we aren't able to take full advantage of the workouts...pull ups are difficult, forget jumping jacks, and there's no way to jump high unless you like hitting your head on the ceiling (just ask Jerry how he cut the top of his head). Regardless, we continue on....making the most out of it. I guess we could buy a new house with higher ceiling...alas---we are too practical.

On a different note - my knees are really bothering me (the right knee more than the left). It started after the 1Tough Cookie trail run and hasn't seemed to improve. I've not been running since the Liberty Run at the end of September but it doesn't seem to be improving. There's a substantial amount of grinding when I walk up or down the stairs. Sharp pains...difficulty bending my knee when standing. There isn't any obvious swelling although there have been times when it's felt swollen/stiff. Any suggestions? Should I ice after I work out? I don't want to become an Ibuprofen addict. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated (well except that I should stop exercising...that's not an option...I'm on a mission!)

Until then....BRING IT...P90X style :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Feeling like junk.

If I felt better, I'd be going stir crazy. I have done a whole bunch of nothing lately. We went to the pool Saturday and I got about 40 minutes in, if that. I left figuring I'd do pushups and pullups later. Nope.
Sunday, I felt worse and I did more nothing. The fever comes and goes and my lungs are a mess. Maybe I've got H1N1 or some of these other newsworthy illnesses. I may go to the doctor tomorrow although I'm not sure they can do anything.
The good news is we are still very on track with our eating. I've read the Brendan Brazier Thrive Diet Book. There isn't a chance in the world that we could manage that diet right now. Yet I did come away with a few things we could change. We've been working hard at adding more variation to our nutrition. This way hopefully we are getting more of the essential building blocks required to keep us going. I also realized there are some things I'm just not going to get in my diet. Like omega 3, 6 & 9. I eat fish once a week and buy omega eggs from time to time but that's not going to do it. So we are taking them as supplements. I'm guessing once I'm over this cold I might actually feel the effects of eating so well...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Slow week

In terms of workouts, it's been slow. In terms of recovery, I think I'm doing alright.
I ran (slowly) on Wednesday morning (34 degrees) and my left elbow and bicep didn't complain. That evening we went to masters swimming and that also didn't present a problem. So I'm feeling that I've recovered from that bit of over training.
My left foot is still not 100%. It's just not tracking as it should. So I've switched up my footwear to neutral. After 2 days of wearing my Birkenstocks to work it's starting to feel more normal. Hopefully that will continue to improve. I may try neutral running shoes as well. The right shoe seems to be very important at the moment.

The weather is cold and rainy. Which is perfectly fine with me. Keeps me from wishing I was out biking or running. Which I don't feel like doing because I've got a bit of a cold. So I guess it all works out.

I'm also driving myself a bit crazy trying to determine how to get the loan for the house projects. Too many choices and too much lingo. Remove the lingo please. Just give me the numbers. Numbers are easy to understand....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

P90X "Superstar"

So Jerry and I have started to use P90X. He's further into it than me. Again I will blame my lack of commitment on football. The other evening it was YogaX night. I must say it was one of the most entertaining evenings. I never realized how inflexible Jerry was until we started this. Moves that I do with ease are virtually impossible for him. We laughed every time the instructor said "Downward facing dog" in his monotone somewhat "stoner" voice. It became all that more entertaining when in "DFD position" our dog decided to rigorously lick Jerry's head. After multiple scoldings Dudley finally took refuge ON Jerry's yoga mat (aka - the towel).

So here are my current observations of YogaX

1. The whole time I was doing the workout I was thinking...I wish I had Tiffany here to help me. I am sure I am not doing this properly (no clearing your mind when thinking the whole time....rrrr)
2. Additionally, It's impossible to clear your mind of all worries when your dog is licking and/or nibbling on you during the workout
3. It's even more disgusting when your cat (who typically shows very little interest in you) decides to lick your hands while in a yoga pose...forget about clearing your mind!!!
4. HOWEVER--the most disgusting thing....MEN who fart while doing yoga!! I am sure you can guess who I am referring to.

Jerry did Leg/Chest workout last night (P90X - he's loving it!). I intended on joining in but had an unexpected trip to the emergency room. Jordan separated his shoulder in the football game last night. We are heading to an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon. Hopefully we will hear Rest/Ice and nothing more.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

KB2 Rocks on.......

No news about Kona yet but I thought you'd all be interested in knowing that Cindy Schuster from the KB2 09 team ran the 1/2 marathon this weekend. She finished 22nd overall and first her division with a time of 1:39:59. I sent her a congratulatory email.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kona

I think Genine is more into triathlon than I am. We had my computer streaming the live feed from the championship at Kona on Saturday. It was kind of hard to hear and when someone would start mowing or power washing... I'd look over and see Genine leaning into the computer speaker trying to hear what was being said. Fortunately I have a pair of exernal speakers which we hooked up which fixed that problem.
It was pretty cool watching Andy Potts leading the swim. A straight line of about 5-10 people and then a huge pyramid of pros back behind. He was doing really well on the bike too. Watching Chrissie Wellington start her bike was awesome. She was passing people like they were standing still. These are all pros! Awesome to watch.
We decided we had better go do something ourselves instead of sitting in front of the computer for 9-10 hours straight. After we got back from some shopping and a swim, the leader board was completely changed... on the men's side. Chrissie of course was leading the women.
Genine had quite a list of numbers scratched out on a napkin beside the computer. This way she could use the athlete tracker to find out how everyone was doing. Potts, Wellington, Lovato, Wee, Gabreski, Haughton... (Here it is 2 days later and I asked if the napkin is still around, she says what do you need to know? And she starts naming the athletes and their number. Ha!)
Anyhow, it was very cool to watch and very fun to go to different people's blogs to read their race report even if they were only watching. Ironman couldn't ask for a better champion than Chrissie Wellington. She is incredibly inspiring.
Those of you in Warren, please let me know if/when there is an article about Patty Gabreski post Kona. The heat in Hawaii was incredible and she finished. I'd love to hear about her preparation and her race day. As it's unlikely any of us will ever get to race Kona.

In other news. The last 2 weeks have easily been the most lazy I've been in the last 3 years. (when not sick). Between my foot bothering me my bicep strain and tendonitis in my elbow, I figured it was time to give it a rest. Genine's schedule was crazy as well, so I went into support team mode and all is well. The 3 day weekend has included a ton of sleep so we are ready to get back into it. For the record, one thing is certain. I feel much better when I'm working out. Without the workouts, I actually have felt more stiff and sore!

The big thing both of us want/need to do is get back to eating perfectly. (Ignore the previous posts picture of the dessert). The scale is not a pretty sight right now. So we have been preparing food and planning our meals.
This whole weight loss thing kind of falls in the same basket as the twenty pullups or 100 pushups... I mean this week will mark 3 years of working out... a lot!! You would think I'd have these things figured out. Perhaps it just goes to show how difficult some things are. I'm not buying that. I think it's a matter of being consistent and smart 24/7/365.
I don't plan on weighing myself this time around. At least not for a couple/few months. The scale can make you crazy. I can weigh plus or minus 3 pounds in a day. I just plan on trying to keep my head focused on eating as "on plan" as often as possible. It's nothing I haven't done before. It's just a matter of staying focused on it.... forever. The weight loss part if much harder than the maintain part is all.

I might wait another week before doing pullups. I'm going to give pushups a try today.
Biking is back on the schedule. We had a nice 30 mile ride yesterday.
Running, I've been really slack. Of course I want to run but I also want this foot thing to get better. I have wondered about the bone spur possibility. I'm going to give it a bit longer before seeing a podiatrist.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm sure this has nothing to do with it

How could I forget...... Although we are most likely taking a small, regional trip to celebrate our anniversary this weekend, we did go out to Carrabba's for dinner this evening. Mostly so I could enjoy one of my favorite desserts EVER (from a restaurant that is)...the Sogno di Cioccolata, otherwise known as the Chocolate Dream. And boy is it ever!! It is described on the menu as a rich fudge brownie brushed with Kahlua, crowned with chocolate mousse, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It is simply heaven...mmmmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with why my pants are feeling tighter! I really need to be back to a regular work schedule so I can back on a better workout schedule. Less training + More eating= Too many LBS. Oh boy.......

15 years ago today...


Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary. In some ways it seems like yesterday (or maybe last week). But yet when I think about it, I have a hard time remembering my life without Matt in it. We have been friends for so long...almost 25 years! We've been through a lot together. Mostly good times, some difficult times...but thankfully we have been able to lean on each other when the going got tough. As I was looking through some of our wedding photos, I was also reminded of the strong friendships we have been blessed with. When this whole "triathlon thing" started to take shape and I was telling people the story behind our motivation, most could not believe how long many of us have known each other...and that we are still such close friends. We are so grateful to have you in our lives! And so as Matt & I celebrate our 15 years together, we also raise a glass to toast to all of you.....our Venerable Companions.

October 8th, 1994

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bummer

The relay option for Mooseman is no longer an option. I'm not sure what to think yet.
It certainly makes me appreciate the last 2 years a bit more. Those were some good times.
I'll be talking with the relay people and see if we can't come up with a plan B.

If you want to read the thread check it out here. Keith Jordan is the race director FYI.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Downtime... Sort of

Genine has been working nonstop since we been back. So our workouts have been kind of... missing. Which is probably just as well. I definitely strained / sprained my left bicep last week doing pullups. (I guess you don't tough through the last of them if it doesn't feel right). It's getting better but even my pushup and pullup plan has been put on hold temporarily.
I haven't been running much either. I ran Saturday and my legs felt like lead. I may have been going faster than I thought I was but it didn't feel awesome.
Sunday Genine and I got a 14 mile easy bike ride in. She was exhausted but it was a beautiful day and it was nice to be outside.
I've had the boot for my foot for a week now. It's definitely feeling better. Massaging that part of the foot is no longer causing me to cringe. I do feel like my achillies and other tendons at the back of my leg near my heel feel a bit awkward at the start of the day. I'm guessing that's normal because they are being stretched all night. It is amazing how you unknowingly walk differently to avoid the foot pain from the plantar fasciitis. My walk is starting to feel more "correct" now.
It's a beautiful time to be out training but it's also a really good time to heal up. (or at least that's what I'm going to tell myself)

So Chris. IMLP next summer. Does that mean you won't Tango next summer? It's on Aug 7th.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2010 Mooseman/Timberman

Well I’ve signed up and paid for my three main races for 2010.
Columbia, Mooseman and Timberman. I’m sure I’ll be at the Tango as well but I don’t have to register for that one yet.
It’s a drag that other races that I’d like to do happen the same weekend or a week before / after. Jerseyman (20 minutes away), Black Bear in the Poconos (80 min away) and NJ State Triathlon (30 minutes away) are 3 of the races I’d like to race some year.
I put the travel time in there because it seems like I drive a long way to race all the time but that is somewhat deceptive. Yes, I drive a long way, but going to Warren and New Hampshire are kind of like going home. I only have to get a hotel for Columbia. Oddly enough Columbia is my co-worker Doe’s hometown. She can tell me all the great places to go eat. Wahoo!

I’m feeling kind of beat up right now. I seem to have sprained something in my left bicep or elbow or something. I’m not capable of overhand pull-ups right now. Underhand doesn’t seem to cause a problem.
Then of course I’m still dealing with my left foot’s plantar fasciitis. I’ve been using the boot Jim let me borrow. I think after 3 nights, I’ve finally started to dial in how to adjust it properly for a good fit. So hopefully I start to see some progress there.
My big toe on that foot was sore after running 4 miles with Genine tonight. No shooting pains like I had last Sunday but it’s not perfectly happy.
After our run I did 100 squats, then the pushup plan, then some planks.

In non-triathlon related news, I’ve had 2 contractors come to the house to give me quotes on a new roof and new windows. The first guy was total salesman I expected he’d have the higher quote because he wasn’t going to sell me anything but top of the line. The second guy was no nonsense. He measured everything and gave me a quote before he left. Well I finally got the quote from the first guy tonight. I figured he’d be 50% more. I was wrong. He was 145% more. I hope to have my financing figured out this weekend and get work started on the house soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Food Tracking Program

Dailyburn.com

Another reason to want an iPhone. :-)
I haven't tried this site yet. The UPC Scanning if it works well would be cool.

Mooseman 70.3 News

I know we have been doing the olympic distance race. This could bring in some bigger names into the area for the weekend. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Here is the story

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not so smart sometimes

So last week my brain was fuzzy. As a result I wasn't very productive. Thursday night I was going to sleep at 9PM!! Slept until 6:30AM. I was hoping that I would be well rested and could drive back to Warren Friday night. Nope, got home from work Friday night and was still in a fog. It was starting to freak me out a bit. I was well rested, eating well, drinking plenty of fluid... I was starting to think something more serious could be wrong. Then I figured it out.
The weekend of Buckman/Skylands, I somehow got some poision ivy rashes on my chest. I eventually broke down and started to put Benadryl cream onto the rash. Not only did it stop the itch, it stopped my brain from working right! So dumb! I was glad to have figured it out. I stopped using it and all is well.
We made it to Warren Saturday afternoon. Jerry, Jordan and I went to the weight room while Genine and Michelle went swimming. I still wish our Y could be as nice as the Warren's facility...
Then I went to my Dad's and we watched the PSU game. It wasn't their night.
Sunday, Genine and I go over to run with Michelle and Jerry. I started running up the hill and the big toe on my left foot was in bad shape. I've never had this problem before. It felt like that toe was broken or I had turf toe. So I tell Jerry he should go catch up with the girls and I'll just walk back to the house. After about 10-15 minutes of walking, it felt like I was going to be able to run. I didn't think I had a chance of catching up but I headed down Conewango and up 5th to see if I could see them. Nope, I just continued up to the High School, up to the elementary school, 1 lap around the lower parking lot and back to the house just in time to see Genine run around the corner. So much for the group run..
Then more football over at my dad's. This time the Steelers bummed us out.
Jim texted that he was back in town and asked if I wanted to borrow his boot for treating plantar fasciitis. Genine and I went up to pick that up from him. He thinks my toe problem is probably a side issue from the fasciitis. He's probably right.

That's the news. Hopefully I'll be less foggy this week and be more productive.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not Worth It!

Did you know that there are 260 calories in ONE jelly filled donut? Also- 100 of those are FAT calories. That means I would have to run 2.6 miles to burn off that garsh darn thing. Not gonna happen.

Ok--I admit it. We had a vendor show up with fresh donuts and I almost gave into temptation. But alas--I stand strong. No donut for me....just black coffee...YUM

Last night I did my 5k run around Warren. I didn't feel as good as I did on Sunday's 4+ mile run. My left leg continues to hinder my overall performance. It's become apparent to me that its not just my calf but my foot that is affected by the poor circulation/inflammation. Regardless-I completed the run. Sunday's run was much better. I powered through running at a faster pace (kinda like the Carlson "meet in the middle" concept posted by GEnine). It was GREAT! Thanks to Jerry who sticks by me the whole way.

Tonight - I am going to do another 5k run and then rest for Saturday's race. I am looking forward to it (even if it does rain!) Even better-Genine and Matt are coming home. Hopefully I can get Genine to hit the pool with me while Jerry inflicts pain on Matt in the weight room...Should be a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

following the dude

Tonight was the second time in a week that I ran WITH Matt....the whole time. Not just starting out together and then him taking off after a minute. We did 5miles last Thursday and 4miles tonight. It's been so much fun for me! Even thought I know that he has slowed his pace waayyy down for me, it's still enjoyable to be running together. The other amazing point worth mentioning is that both runs have been pretty much pain free. Go figure!! Maybe being sick for 12days and not working out much has helped from a recovery stand point!

I hope to be able to keep up this slow, but steady "running program". As I have said before, I really think I could grow to love running if I can manage my hip/leg pain. Time will tell. For now I will keep following Matt for our "meet in the middle" runs (his slow run=my "fast"run) and see where that takes me over the next few months. Thanks, Matt! You rock!!

35 pushups

Started off tonight doing some of the exercises Tiffany put together for me. Then Genine got home and we went out for a 4 mile run. Then it was test night for the pushup plan. I did 35, the last 4 were pretty ugly. When I looked to see where that put me on the schedule, I was somewhat relieved to see that I was placed in the "easiest" of the 3 columns. 36 would have put me into the next group. Whew!
Next up 100 squats. They seemed much more difficult tonight than the set I did last week. I'll be curious if I feel my quads for 2 days like I did last week. Just think I'm only 100 behind Genine!

I did the pullups last night. I still fail on the last one of the 5th set every time. I guess that means I'm on the right track with that plan. The first 4 sets last night felt great and I wasn't feeling very well, so that was encouraging.

As for my plantar fascitis, I've put my Sole orthodics into my running shoes, I ice my heel after I run and I've also been doing the foot strengthener/calf stretch Chris suggested. It's kind of early to say, but I think it's getting better.

what the "hill" was that?

So yeah, Debbie and I went this morning to Van Cortland park to check out the trail run we THOUGHT we were going to do in Oct.  I'm sad to announce that we decided to postpone the run until November when our calves hopefully will recuperate from the one hill on the trail. Holy Moley! Not only that but for the 5k, we'd have to run up that hill twice! But we are determined. Today we only did 1 loop-1.5m. Thursday, we're going to try to do it twice. Debbie was able to jog up the hill. My calves gave up on me 1/4 of the way up (and frankly I think I was able to walk it faster than I was jogging it) I was glad there was no one else on the trail because I am sure my grunts were rather bestial.  I was really working my arms and I felt they were helping, however, I also felt that my nose was almost on the ground but I am sure that was just my imagination.
Then of course there's the downhill...which is the reason I'm posting. Any tips on running downhill? I kept finding myself leaning back, running on my toes...God only knows what my knees were doing. When I tried to lean forward (to gain momentum) I felt I was going to fall forward on my face and break my neck (which would certainly prevent me from having to run up that hill again...there's a thought) and what to do with the arms? Down? Up? Any thoughts? The surface was a true trail with little rocks,  branches and the such so there wasn't much traction...How does one run downhill? Any tips from the experts will be welcome.