Friday, April 30, 2010

Shit Sam

When I was walk my dogs in the early morning darkness,I have a lot of time to think. Sometimes I talk out loud to the dogs, sometimes out loud to myself. Sometimes I just think silently.

I wonder if my neighbors heard me if they’d think my dogs names are ‘Shit Sam’,’Damnit Daisy’, and ‘Ahhh Max’, instead of Sam, Daisy and Max. Walking three big dogs is a challenge. They want to go everywhere, twisting their leashes around each other. I’m constantly swearing as I attempt to keep everything moving in a forward direction, and me not trip over any of the tangled mess. And I think dogs have a reserve tank (you know, of pee). They can go outside after a night of sleeping, take a big pee. Then take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood and still have enough pee to stop and leave a few drops every 30 seconds or so for the whole walk.

I also wondered why do we vote for jobs like coroner. And county treasurer and clerk. Now, I’m not the most political of people, but I do understand voting for positions where political thought might impact decisions that are made for the people. But coroner? Come on! Isn’t the coroner just handling dead bodies? What could a coroner possibly do that needs the taxpayer money to be spent by holding an election for the position, as opposed to people just applying for it like any other job in this world.

Why can’t the lilacs bloom all spring and summer long? It’s such a beautiful smell to only have a for a few weeks a year.

Why do people not understand that it’s disgusting to get in a swimming pool with a ton of perfume on? And I wish my work would ban perfume from the office, just like they have banned smoking.

Why can the body do amazing things like heal an open wound in your skin in just a few days, but take weeks, even months, to heal some internal injuries?

I wonder how many days I can take off from training to heal up my injuries before I start to feel like a non-athlete. And once I feel like a non-athlete, will I think, hey, I kind of like this non-athlete thing!?

hmmm.... I wonder.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book review: 'Making toast : a family story'

Making toast : a family story
By Roger Rosenblatt
I heard an interview of Roger Rosenblatt on the PBS newshour a couple months ago. He is a write, and a regular contributor to the Newshour. He was talking about the sudden death of his 38 year old daughter. And how that day changed his life. He and his wife moved in with his son-in-law and three grand children. He wrote this book about the year since they moved in. Its touching. And funny. Stories of his interactions with young grandchildren who call him Boppo (in fact their whole school now calls him Boppo!). He had wanted to be called El Guappo by his grandchildren (he explains why in the book), but they couldn’t pronounce it, Boppo stuck. Interwoven with memories of his daughter. It makes you appreciate the fragility of life, and the need to embrace it.

any book recommendations out there? my stack is dwindling and the holds I have at the library aren't coming in very quickly.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting Back on Track

I’ve got more physical problems right now than I’ve ever had at one time. And they are all self-induced. All results of stupidity. A bum right hip/hamstring/glute that I’ve ignored for years, tried like crazy to fix, while I continued to train (or tried to train), with no success. A bum shoulder, a result of a bike crash, and not being aware of what was going on around me. Allergies, asthma, sinus infection, that I’ve conveniently ignored for too long. And I’ve been feeling sorry for myself for these. But no more. Its not like I lost my home, or a limb or my life or a loved one in an earthquake. Or my home in the mortgage fiasco. I’m not struggling to support myself or my family. I’ve got it pretty darn good. Training related setbacks are not worthy of self-pity when I look at the big-picture.

So, I’ve had enough moping. I’ve wasted enough time whining over injuries, and trying to train without trying to heal first. And you can only do that for so long before you self-implode. If you don’t listen to the warning signs your body sends you, eventually it will force a shutdown. That’s where I am right now. And I have finally come to terms with this setback. Because that’s all it really is. And I will make the best of it.

I’ve actually got a plan!

I’m making myself take off 4 weeks from running, even if things begin to feel better before then. If at 4 weeks, I’m still having problems, then 4 more weeks off. I know eventually the injuries will heal.

I’m also taking 4 weeks off from swimming. Swimming comes back relatively quickly for me, so I’m not at all worried about losing too much swimming fitness in four weeks. I want the shoulder to be good as new , or as good as a shoulder with 40+years of swimming can be. I’ve got a new age group coming up and state records to shoot for!

I’m taking off at least one week from riding. After one week, I’ll evaluate the hip/glute/hamstring. I’ll try an easy spin, and if that yields no problems, I’ll stay on the bike with regularity, and the bike will be my fitness tool during the layoff from swimming and running. If the bike is problematic for the hip/glute/hamstring, then I’ll stay off it until it’s not a problem.

I’m also going to dive into some physical therapy, massages, and I’ll examine my TRX and core program, and figure out what will help, what might hurt(and avoid those), and, the hardest part, try to eat super healthy. For the past 5 days, I’ve already swapped out my morning diet coke with black tea and honey, good for the sinuses. I generally eat pretty healthy, well balanced throughout the day. I should probably cut out a few of the chocolates though, especially since I’m going to be cutting back the workload this week.

I’ve also got an appointment with a new doctor. I’ve always only ever gone to my nurse practitioner, who is great, but she is really just ob/gyn, plus a little extra. The new doc was recommended to me by a friend who is also a doctor, and she is in family practice, with a background in sports care. So, I’m going to get a physical, blood work, whatever they can do, just to see if there are any things that are a little (or a lot) off, that I need to take care of.

And then when I’m all healed up, I’m going to start back very slowly and carefully! I may not race again in 2010. Maybe I will. But I won’t rush things. Or I’ll be right back where I am today. And that’s a pretty ugly thought. I really do love to train and race. And I do miss it right now. But I don’t miss the frustration of trying to train when my body is not well. So, the thought that, in some time, I’ll get healthy, is enough to motivate me to stick to my plan. I want to run again. I want to run fast. Well, as fast as my short swimmer legs will run.

I’ll also spend time with my dad as he recovers from surgery next week. And I’ll try to keep their lawn under control during this spring weather. And I’m pretty sure my mom would appreciate it if I spent mother’s day with her instead of my bike. And Todd and the pups will get some extra attention (I bet they will get tired of me and my pent up energy). And I think I have a fall vacation to plan… (destination top secret)!

I'll miss my first race, Kansas 70.3. But I'm enjoying watching all my old and new friends race and seeing how awesome you are all doing! Keep it up! Keep inspiring me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Tiramisu to Me

Tiramisu is my all time favorite dessert. Yesterday was our 18th anniversary, and I selected the dinner location for who makes my favorite version of tiramisu.

(I thought I should have a positive happy post for a change of pace)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How old do you have to be before you stop having dumbass attacks?

Well, at least 43. I’ve been feeling pretty crummy for the past month. I’ve been writing it off to spring allergies, they have been particularly bad here in Btown. The early warm weather, very little rain (it keeps going around us), and lots of wind has kept the allergy practice here in town hopping. In 2001 I was diagnosed with allergies and asthma (exacerbated by exercise). I tried a few meds then, but nothing really seemed to help much, and I was not very motivated to train hard, and I was not racing then, so I kind of gave up on trying to manage my symptoms. Doesn't everyone have allergies and asthma, I thought?

Fast forward 5 years. I bought a mountain bike, and fell in love with it. I started to ride a lot, and then I raced an xterra, was hooked. Raced more xterra, and thought I should race on the road too since I couldn’t always ride the trails. After a couple of years of just training with little direction and not a huge amount of intensity (which meant I didn’t have to manage the asthma much) I hired a coach. And she started to have me run fast (gasp!). And ride fast (gasp!). And, shit, she even made me swim fast!(triple gasp). SO for a year I tried my best, I did what I could, had some decent results. Still managing my breathing (or lack of it) just by monitoring my effort.

Now, April 2010, and for a month I’ve been struggling with my workouts. I thought it was just me losing my mojo. I’d occasionally have an OK workout but no great workouts. Last Friday I was doing a run around the stadium, and I hit a new max HR – I haven’t seen that number since I was in my 20’s. But the bad thing was that with that HR, on a flat half mile course, my pace was slow. And my oxygen intake was barely existent. And I had this thick sticky mucus that I couldn’t even spit out of my mouth – I had to pull it out with my fingers. I pretty much just wanted to die. I felt like I was, and I said that when I passed a woman I know who was running there too. After the run, she asked me if I was ok , because she said I sounded awful when I went past her, and that I should see a doctor for the asthma. Hmm, I thought, yeah, she is right, what have I been waiting for.

SO, finally after a month of being a dumbass and feeling like crap, I saw a doctor!
I had an appointment this morning with an asthma/allergy doc. Turns out I have a sinus infection! Which I’m going to hopefully clear up with antibiotics. And I’m allergic to all the outdoor allergens (pollen, grass, mold), and dander (but I’m not getting rid of my pups!). I’m going to start taking an allergy med. (thankfully, I am NOT allergic to dairy! Oh that would be so sad to be allergic to dairy). I also have asthma, that is made worse when I exercise. So now I will try an inhaler. And As noted above, I have the most disgusting thick mucus/post nasal drip in my throat. So, new nasal spray to try to take care of that.

Oh yeah, I also have to carry an epi-pen now! We’ll see how that goes. Last fall I was running on a trail alone. I was stung by a small swarm of bees. My arms and legs swelled and itched and tingles, I couldn’t breathe. I was 20 minutes from my car. I ran scared for my life back to it. Somehow managed to get home, and took prednisone and benadryl that I had for one of the dogs. Now who knows what reaction I might have to my next sting, so as a precaution I’m supposed to carry that. It will take some getting used to.

So, now I feel better, not physically, yet. But mentally. I have a plan of action to get myself better. I hope it works. I have to be an ironman this August!

Speaking of ironman, for the past week I’ve been wondering what I’m going to wear for the swim at IM Louisville, because that new WTC rule is making swim skins illegal. And not that I want to wear a swim skin, but I am a swimmer. And as a swimmer, when coach wanted to make us really hurt, we’d wear a drag suit – that is, a suit with pockets to catch the water and drag your ass down. So, for IM, my favorite Desoto 400mile shorts have a pocket right in the center of the back, and as a swimmer, I will NOT race in a drag suit. SO, I thought I’d be buying an old school speedo knee length suit to just wear over to cover up the pocket (plus pockets in the top), but I re-read the rule, and it doesn’t take effect until Sept 1. Lou is on Aug 29! I’m safe.

Now, come on drugs, do your thing and make me better!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


It’s easy to lose your mojo. Shit happens and before you know it, its gone. In Arizona (10 days ago) I had 3 really good solid days of training. I did have a bike crash (which was a bit detrimental to my shoulder, and I have been in denial about). Then I flew home in the big metal germ box and got sick. And then I didn’t give myself enough time to recover from the long AZ training, the bike crash and the sickness. Since I’ve been back I have had one fair workout, then 2 bad ones. Then repeat. Finally this morning I admitted I was in need of more recovery. I’m tired of being tired. Tired of coming up short in workouts. Tired of feeling like a complete slacker. Tired of dreading each workout because I feel like crap and am afraid it’s going to be another failure.

So, the shoulder thing. When I crashed I landed on my shoulder first. I was quite sure nothing was broken, but it wasn’t right. Its been uncomfortable, not painful, to lift it up (sideways, front, back). That’s a small problem for swimming. I could swim, I was favoring the shoulder, trying not to put a lot of pressure into it. Then this morning I got out of bed, sat down on the toilet, and snap, crackle, pop! The shoulder was back where it was supposed to be! Hallelujah! Its almost like I had a mild dislocation, if that’s possible, and now I can lift the arm like normal. I am sooooooooo happy. I think I got like 30% of my mojo back just by sitting down (on the toilet!). That’s pretty darn awesome.

Now, I just need some snap, crackle and pop to come back to my legs. And my energy levels.

A few lessons learned:
->try not to crash my bike
->when I am sick (that was the first time I've been sick in over a decade), make sure I'm recovered from it before I attempt workouts
->pay more attention to what your body is telling you than what you let your mind tell you (I can't let what other people post on facebook and blogs make me feel inadequate about how I'm training or not training)

Then I can say my mojo is back.