Monday, September 13, 2010

Race Report - TBF Hit 70.3

I did it. I completed my first 70.3. It wasn't pretty, but it got done. Here's my race report...

David (my husband) and I did our short brick on Friday morning and were on the road by 11am. The hotel we were staying at was about 2 hours from our house. About an hour into our trip I realized I had forgotten my brand new racing one-piece. I had washed it the night before (because it was new) and I neglected to put it into my suitcase. Big OOPS. Luckily, with a little help from David's Iphone and Google Maps, we found an REI in Stockton, which was on the way to our destination.

REI had a race outfit I had tried on previously, in my size, and on sale. It wasn't what I would normally choose, but the top was pink and I figured at least my coach would approve of the color scheme! In short, I lucked out. I silently hoped this was the only snafu that I would face during the trip.

The hotel we stayed at was very nicely situated. It was quite new, and behind a shopping center that had a grocery store, coffee shop, Baskin Robbins, and 3 different resturants. All were within walking distance from where we were staying.

We checked in, dropped off our stuff, had lunch, and got back into the truck to drive out to the race site and drive the bike course. The site was a decomissioned nuclear power plant called Rancho Seco. We were unable to see the swim site and run site (which was probably just as well, in retrospect), but we did see the entire bike course. It consisted of some flats and lots of rollers. Nothing to techinical or scary, I figured I could power the downhills as they did not contain any turns.

After our drive we had a dinner of pizza (cheese, ham and mushrooms without sauce) which was prefect. I made all of our water bottles and David checked the bikes. Then it was off to bed. I slept better than I have before any race, but 4:30 am still came really early.

We drove out to the site and were probably the third racers there. It was dark. You couldn't even see transition. Crazy. The lake looked glassy and calm. The nuclear chimneys had a number of red lights on them, which made the landscape even more alien. I wondered how many 3 eyed fish I was going to see on the swim.

Got a great spot in transition, then it was off the legs until go time. The women were to all swim together in the last group. I was kinda annoyed about going last, but it turned out okay.

Here we are waiting in transition...

The Swim: 36:42

I wore a sleeveless wetsuit, lined myself up at the front for the in water start. It was nice and warm, really. I went out a little fast and then dialed it back a bit. Breathing every stroke. Ever seen Harry Potter 4 where the little devils come out of the lake weeds and get him (they're called grindylows)? Well there were so many weeds, I kept thinking expecting something to come and grab me. Anyway I passed some men in the group ahead of me, and some super fast girls passed me. In all I felt good.

Bike: 3:51.21

So this is the official time. My Garmin has it a bit differently I don't know why. But Garmin says I averaged 15.1 mph over 56.46 mi in 3:44.58. I was a little hungry getting out of the water so took a gel at the beginning. Then had my carbopro/electrolyte 15 min in. I felt strong on the bike. The first 20 miles or so went quickly and were relatively flat. Then we got into the rollers. Lots and lots of rollers. The terrain is very similar to what I have ridden on for training rides so I was comfortable. I did my best to power on the down hills, they were all nice and straight. Even got up to 30mph at one point. A couple of down hills I stretched. Had to click out a couple of times on the flats as my feet were a little numb, but it didn’t take long to get feeling back. My hamstrings hurt, but not like they did before the bike fit and they hurt symmetrically.

This is the first mile out on the bike. It was downhill, I was thinking about how unpleasant it was going to be to bike back uphill at the end of the ride...

For the first time in a race this year, I actually passed some people on the bike! I was excited. I stayed in my planned heart rate zones, but I just didn’t want to blow out my legs and tried to spin as much as I could. My mph suffered on those rollers, but I didn’t want to redline it just so I could keep my mph high. Nutrition wise I felt like I did a good job. At the mile 35 aid station I grabbed a water bottle with water and drank about half, just to get the sweet taste of my water bottles out of my mouth. I did that again at mile 45. So I had 3.5 water bottles on the ride with the carbopro/electrolyte drink as well as 1 bottle of just water. I never felt hungry or bonky on the bike.

Run: 2:49.32

Otherwise known as the 7th circle of hell. I really had no idea the run course was this hilly. I knew it would be some single track, and some fire roads but I had no idea on the hills. Even reading the old race reports, I just didn’t get it, apparently. So off the bike I immediately took a gel. It was about 90 degrees at this point. I grabbed my water bottle with my electrolyte drink, my race belt with gels and salt tabs and hit the road. It was fine at first, my legs felt okay – just heavy – but I was trucking along.

Here I am leaving transition for the first loop. Sorry...spandex is so unforgiving...

I came to the first hill, I jogged up it, giving myself permission to walk it on the second loop if I needed to. As I crested the hill I saw a series of other hills and my heart just sank. It was so hot. I didn’t think I could run up all of them and actually make it all the way to the end. So I started to walk the uphills, actually I walked a lot more than that on that first loop. I wasn’t happy about it, but I was being conservative and safe I guess. I was, by far, not the only one walking.

I hit the first aid station and got two cups of water and poured them on my head and back. Bliss. I would jog the downhills, walk the up hills and sometimes a little more. Took my gels every 40 min. I was done with my electrolyte drink in about 50 min. At the second aid station one of the wonderful volunteers filled up my water with ice water. This was awesome. I decided to do this at every station. Then I’d drink about ¼ of the bottle and the rest went on some part of my body. Wonderful. I was so glad I had that water bottle.

Once I ran out of electrolyte drink I would have approx 8 oz of Gatorade at the aid stations, stick ice down my shirt, and refill my water bottle. GI-wise I was okay. I took salt tabs every half hour. I kept sweating. I was dirty and dusty. The loop was an out and back that you did twice. Going out was hilly, coming back was flatter and single track. I told myself on the second lap I would only walk half way up the hills, and that I would run all the single track. Which I did. I am pretty sure I came back faster on the second loop than I did the first.

I passed people (crazy), I stayed hydrated and kept my own pace. I ran non-stop on the single track, and my knees were a bit unhappy, but I did it. I was just so excited that I was going to be done, it kept me going. I knew I was going to finish one way or the other, even if it wasn’t quite as fast as I was hoping. It was 92 degrees when I finished. I could see the finish, and I could see a guy hobbling along, so I kicked and passed him. He tried to stay with me (feebly) and I still beat him. You can see him behind me in this picture:

Poor guy, I think he just bonked. Across the line, I attempted not to puke on the volunteers who had my finisher medal.

Total: 7:17.35

David was waiting for me with a big hug at the finish. I saw him out on the run course twice. He looked toasted. I suggested we go for a post race dip in the lake. It was great. We got most of the dust off, but ended up not hearing them call his name for awards. He came in 3rd in the Clydesdale division. It was his first 70.3 as well, and I was so proud of him. Here he is at the finish:

As we were packing up, I heard my own named called. I got a 5th place finish too. There were 5 girls in my AG....there were more on the list when I checked in, but perhaps the heat scared them away. At anyrate, I was happy, and I had some hardware to go with my first half IM.

We drove back to the hotel, with a stop at the grocery store for a couple of bags of ice. My ice bath was lovely. I now love ice baths. Maybe in February I won't be so pleased, but it sure felt good on Saturday. We went to dinner and had mediocre Mexican food. For desert we went to Baskin Robbins, which was wonderful.

Sunburned, sore, and chafed, we hobbled back to the hotel. I had a hard time falling asleep (I blame the coke I had with dinner), but I didn't feel too bad, and my stomach was content. Sunday morning was a different story. Wow, my legs were angry. My whole body was angry.

Today is much better. I credit the ice bath and the minimal amounts of strectching I have done. Oh and great coaching to get me ready for this little adventure.

My next challenge is going to be a half marathon the first weekend in November. I am excited to have a better run! But for now, I am going to enjoy rest week!

I want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point, my awesome coach, my husband, my family, Molly, and all the people who were cheering for me online. You guys rock!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where did summer go?

Actually, some people might ask if summer ever got here at all! We've had one of the coolest summers I can ever remember having here in the Bay Area this year. Not that I have really complained much, I don't have air conditioning!

We've had a couple of hot spells, which have been great to simulate some warm weather training, but other than that it's been pretty mild!

The past two weeks have marked my build up for my first HIM in September. September 11th, to be exact, which is now less than two weeks away! did that happen?

Two weekends ago, my instructions were to do a long ride with long and steady climbs. My husband told me that Mt. Hamilton fit that bill very well. It's 19 miles of climbing with an average grade of 4-6%. You ride all the way up to the observatory. It's a mountain that I look at every day. David has ridden it before, but I have always gotten out of it. This time I figured, why not? The weather was forecast to be nice, and I knew it would be a great training ride.

Here's a good picture I found of the mountain:

You see those tiny white specks at the top? That's the observatory I made it up to! We set out about 11am from a near by park, as we didn't want to start climbing right away. About 45 min later, we got to here:

The climbing wasn't bad. I was very happy to have a triple! You gain about 1500 ft, and then you drop down into a valley, losing all that altitude which you then get to gain again. I hung in there okay until the last mile or so. The last part of the climb is full of switch backs, with the occasional teasing glimpse of the observatories. Here's what they look like as you get "closer":

I was pretty much cursing anything that moved by the time we made it to the very top of the switch backs.!

Finally, we got to the top where we took this picture:

We filled up our water bottles and then got to the part I was really dreading - downhill. I am terrified of going downhill. I tend to imagine how it will feel when all the skin and muscle has come off from sliding down the side of the road. Not great for your confidence, really. David was nice enough to hang out behind me and give me some really good tips about descending. It helped immensely, I felt like I had much more control around the turns and I wasn't nearly as scared.

About 5 miles from the bottom, my back started to scream obscenities at me. David had gone ahead of me as we were over the more technical part of the descent, and I was on my own. My back and hands just hurt like you would not believe. I was so happy to get down and to a stop light where I could unclick and stretch out my back.

All in all, it was a great day. 5:30 min in total. The summit is 4200 feet, so between that and then coming back down, garmin says we did a total of 6879 total feet of climbing. Crazy. Here's what it looked like after I downloaded the ride:

This past weekend we did another longer ride, but I will post pictures of that soon. It was a great day as well and I am looking forward to that magic word "taper".

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tale of two rides

Training has been going well. The new work schedule (32 hours of night shift/week) is making it interesting to get all my workouts in, but I am doing my best. I really like sleep, and sometimes I choose sleep over a workout. I figure my patients would prefer me awake!

Last Sunday David and I had a great ride up to Canada road. We got a later start than we were planning on, but such is life. Luckily the weather got cooler the further we rode north, so that was a pleasant surprise. We also started our ride in a head wind, which meant we had a bit of a tailwind on the way back, which was fabulous.

The reason this ride is so great on a Sunday has to do with something named "Bicycle Sunday". About 4.5 mi before our turn around, the road is closed to all motor traffic. Everyone I saw on that stretch of road had the biggest smile you'd ever seen. We were all just so happy to ride on a road without any cars. It is a bit windy and downhills on parts too, so I got to practice my descents and only had to worry about falling, instead of falling and/or being hit by a car!

I had done part of this ride back in April with my brother. I felt much better on this ride, actually staying in the correct heart rate zones, whereas before, I was all over the place. The only other time I had done this ride was a year in a half ago, in February, with Molly. It was raining. So this was much better in lots of ways!

Today David and I drove over to Santa Cruz. He's doing a triathlon there in a few weeks and wanted to swim in the ocean one more time prior. I figured this would time to ride on some new and different roads, as well as have a lovely run along the sea cliffs.

I found what I thought would be a nice, flatish bike ride that fit the training plan for the day. After we did one loop of David's bike course, we were off. It didn't go well. We were unfamiliar with the area. I had found a course but didn't realize how many lights there would be along the way. There was also a bunch of traffic, for a Monday, but perhaps this is how it is in any beach town during the summer.

At any rate, I couldn't WAIT to get off my bike and go for a run. If you know anything about me, you'd know how crazy that statement is. But really, it was a beautiful run along the sea cliffs, and really it was the best part of the day. That and the fact that I got to be out riding and exercising with my husband. It was helpful that he stayed in the car watch the bikes while I went for my run.

So that's about it from around here. The weather people keep saying our recent weather has been "unseasonably cool" and I am so okay with that. If it could stay that way until we get past my tri in September, I wouldn't complain!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Beginnings

It's been far too long since my last post! Hopefully I can get back to being a bit more prolific. Truth be told, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. Poor sleep due to night shift, sporadic training (my own bad there), a sinus infection and bronchitis, a trip to Colorado, and summer finally showed up!

I decided last week that perhaps July 31st was a little too soon for my first half ironman, after the recovery from surgery, getting sick again, traveling to Colorado to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday, and deciding to increase my hours at work beginning in July, it just kind of all backed up on me. I found a great half that will be held on September 11th south of Sacramento. Coach agreed with me so this is the new goal.

Things have been going well, thus far. David is out of school and I have a ready made, and willing training partner. He even signed up for an Olympic length triathlon in August that requires swimming in the ocean, which would also be why I didn't sign up for the same one. Well, that, and the fact I work on said weekend. So we're having fun together, and I feel safer on the bike and running having someone with me at all times.

He's been going to masters with me too. I was faster than him in the pool for approximately 2 practices. Humpf! Oh well, it is what it is, and I am glad he's getting the exercise, also - he's quite adept at changing flat tires =).

Today was a big day. David wanted to get in some ocean swimming before his triathlon. Molly let us know that she was planning on swimming at Cowell's beach in Santa Cruz around 7am. Woo! That is early for this night shift worker. I had told David I would go with him and watch while he swam with Molly and her aunt due to the fact I am truly terrified of swimming in the ocean. A few messages were exchanged and Molly's husband, Jeff (who was more than a few beers in at this point), said he'd swim in the water, sans wetsuit, if I got in too (I was allowed to wear the wetsuit).

Well I couldn't quite pass up such an offer, and I knew, deep down, that I should really get over this fear and get in the damn water. David and I were at Sports Basement and rented wetsuits. To this point, I had only ever worn the 2XU sleeveless suit. This time, I tried on a long-sleeved orca. It had pink writing on it, and it fit really well. Between the deal with Jeff and the pink writing on the wetsuit, I figured I had to rent the wetsuit and deal with the ocean.

Fast forward to this morning. We got up, I had some oatmeal, made some french-press coffee, put on my big girl pants, and we were out the door. Traffic was really light, which was great. The parking at the beach is free before 10am and we were there well before that. Jeff was there too, ready to hold up his end of the bet. I am watching him enter thinking how great it is to have a wetsuit on right about now...see exhibit A:

What a guy. I think I owe him a six pack.

The plan was to swim out to the buoy. My plan was to swim out, see how I felt and possibly swim back to shore and be done. The water was COLD. 53 degrees actually. But my wetsuit kept me quite warm and loved the buoyancy of the salt water and the suit. I hardly kicked!

It was really tough to put my face in. I have gotten over the claustrophobia of the dark water for the most part, but it was the coldness that was keeping me doing heads up freestyle. David and I made it to the first buoy and Molly had her camera so we'd have proof:

It wasn't so bad out there, so we swam to the next buoy, which was probably 150m to 200m away. I kept watch for the occasional sea lion. There were two of them out this morning, playing around in the water and popping up when you'd least expect them. David swears one went past him. We went between the buoys 3 times and then decided to head in. It was nice swimming with the current back to the shore.

Then we were out and happy to be finished:

So I really need to thank Molly and Jeff for pushing me to do this. It was a big hurdle and I am glad that I did it. Even if I whine and moan about sharks and jellyfish and other creatures that might want to eat me =)

I go back to work tomorrow. I have increased my hours; going from 24 hours (3 shifts a week) to 32 hours (4 shifts) still on night shift. The new shift begins on Monday so the next week and a half is going to be pretty busy with work and training as I transition to the new schedule.

On a completely random note, I have started drinking GT's Kombucha. Yes this is what Lindsey Lohan says set off her ankle alcohol sensor, which then turned into Whole Foods pulling them from their shelves. Luckily another local grocery store is currently carrying it. For the record, I feel no buzz whatsoever, but it really does help with the soda cravings and appetite control.

Apparently you can make kombucha at home, but seeing as how I will spend just as much money for a venti latte, I figure I am justified in buying these instead.

So that's where things are now. Summer is here in full swing. We had a couple of 90+ degree heat days, but today looks to be in the low 80s, which is just about perfect in this un-airconditioned house.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I wrote this blog post about a week ago regarding my lovely sinus surgery, but I never put it up. I have edited it a bit and figured now would be a good time to post something!

I have to give a shout out to Marit for answering a ton of my questions once I got back home from my surgery. She was extremely informative and helpful, and I really appreciated it! She even let me whine a bit =).

Basically I had splints in my nose to keep my repaired deviated septum in place, an unknown amount of gauze in my sinuses from the endoscopic surgery to make my sinuses drain better, and a ton of pain. I had instructions not to blow my nose, and if I were to sneeze, to do so through my mouth (not a problem as I don't do much with my nose to begin with).

I have had one trip to the ER for a pain control issue. I had my husband take me to the ER where I work, which was fabulous. They were great and sent me home after a pain shot, and with a new prescription for percocet (which I asked for initially but my surgeon didn't want to give me). I was lucky it was not busy when I went in.

After I started the percocet, my day was been split into 4 hour intervals. I didn't really like being this dependent on a drug, but I am a wuss when it comes to this type of pain and hoped against hope I could stop the narcotic once the dreaded splints were out (a week after the initial surgery).

My friends and family have been great. David stayed with me on Wednesday after our midnight trip to the ER. My friend Jen came over on Thursday armed with Jamba Juice and we watched a movie (okay fine, we watched New Moon =>). Friday I was on my own but my dad made a trip to get me enough pain meds and gauze to last me through the weekend. I feel like I should buy stock in Odawalla and Jamba Juice. I have had numerous offers from others to go and run errands for me, etc., and I appreciate them all.

My splints came out the Tuesday after my surgery. I was very scared that their removal was going to hurt, a lot. We got to the doctor early, and he actually saw me early (?!). I asked him to numb my nose, but he responded that it is a pretty hard thing to do. He cut the suture that was holding them in and pulled them out, one at a time, with some medical tweezers. It was painful, but not horrible. I felt immediate relief. It was wonderful. Here is a picture of what the splints look like before they're inserted this is almost to scale, I couldn't believe how ginormous they were when I got a good look at them:

Things have been much better since the splints have come out. I continued to sleep in fits though, last night was the first night I actually slept an entire night without waking up, so it took about 2 weeks in total to get back to a normal sleep schedule. I lost my taste for a little over a week, but it's back now so that made me happy. It's so weird when you can't taste.

Advil has been good enough for the pain. I haven't had any more narcotics since the day my splints were removed, that's good enough for me. I don't know how all of these people get hooked on narcotics. All I have to say about that is they must eat a TON of fiber in their diets.

May marked an exciting anniversary for me as well. It has been exactly one year since I graduated from Nursing School. That is just, well, crazy! I cannot believe it has been a year. I am looking forward to a summer of not studying and worrying about taking my boards, and whether or not I am going to find a job. The time since graduation seems to have just flown by. I have been in my current job in the ER for 6 months now. I still LOVE my job. I work with incredible people and I still have much, much, much to learn.

Here's a picture of David and me at graduation:

I have started training again, albeit slowly. Which is fine with me. I could feel the pressure in my nose yesterday with some of the TRX moves, but it wasn't too bad. Running and biking don't seem to bother it at all. I am going to try swimming tonight. I have chosen to attend the late night practice, because I am not really sure what I might be adding to the pool. I know, gross, but hopefully no one will see it, and I will be in my own lane!

In the meantime, I need to convince my husband/mechanic to put my new road pedals on my bike so I can figure out how to clip in and out with my new road shoes. I have ridden with mountain bike pedals and shoes for ten years, so it should be interesting. It was definitely time for new shoes!

The weather is supposed to be beautiful for a few more days, and then it will be summer. This seems to be the year of the "one week of Spring". Oh well. At least it's not raining!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Uvas Tri Race Report

Pre-pre race:

Decided the best way to rest on Saturday would be a pedicure with my mom. My reasoning was three fold: 1) I needed new teal toes to cheer on my Sharks, 2) I knew the tech would massage my feet, and since my feet had been bothering me, I figured this woudl be a good thing and 3) Mom had had a tough week and needed to be pampered!


I woke up at 4:30am. I slept like crap. Have I mentioned I work night shift? 4:30 am in the morning is really early for someone who works nights, unless you're already awake! Anyway I got up, made my coffee, grabbed the oatmeal I had made the night before and was out the door.

Once I got my truck parked, I decided to have my oatmeal. Oh wow, that did not taste good. I was not hungry by any measure of the term, but I choked it down because I knew I would appreciate it later. Which I did. But ugh, that was gross. I drank about half of my coffee, which was just enough.

Swim: .75 mi = 20:29.8 min

Swim was a water start, which I liked. I warmed up my wetsuit (=>), swam around a bit to get used to having my face immersed in darkness with every stroke, then lined up right at the front. At the horn, we were off. There was a little contact, but nothing horrible. I was certainly not in front, but I could sight well and just got going. I turned the corner around this peninsula thing, I could NOT see the buoy. Seriously! Where was it?? Luckily, I knew the general location where we'd turn again, but maybe an extra buoy would be nice for next time! After the race, another racer agreed with me, he turned and couldn't see the buoy either. I tried to save my legs for the most part, took a breath every stroke and would sight every 4
th or 5th stroke.

Thanks to David, Molly, Jeff, Melissa and Nigel who cheered for me.

Transition 1: 3:39 min

Was slow...I am so befuddled as I get out of the water. I wasn't as dizzy as my ocean swim, but definitely not all brain cells were firing. I fought to get my wetsuit off, got my shoes on, decided against the arm warmers and cycling gloves, put my helmet on and stumbled out of transition. David said I didn't look to happy coming out of transition. He took this picture, he'd gotten a great spectator spot!

Bike: Total time (via
Garmin): 1:05.6, 15.96 mi, avg 14.7 mph/hr

My legs did not feel great for the first 5 mi or so. LOTS of lactic acid and my hamstrings were kinda tight. So I tried to spin as much as possible. My goal was to finish the bike in less than an hour, but there were lots of little hills here and there, I tried to push the downhills as much as I could safely (30mph max - HA!). The big hill hurt like a mother, I was out of the saddle a bit, but just tried to spin my way up. I felt much better on the bike than I did at Showdown, and I am happy to report that I didn't get passed by any mountain bikes =). I didn't do any passing of my own, but that's okay we can be sure I didn't draft,
LOL. People were pretty courteous about signaling when they were going to pass me, so I appreciated that.

The weather was gorgeous, overcast and almost no wind.
Ahh...makes it worth getting up so early. I loved hearing the disc wheels come up behind me, they sounded really cool.

Miles 13 - 15 were a bit up hill. I was hoping for down hill toward the finish, and even though I have ridden the course before, I had conveniently forgotten the uphill. Since I knew I had a run coming up, I just spun up the hills and tried not to
redline. My goal was to finish the bike in under and hour. It didn't happen, but I am okay with that, I didn't blow out my legs so it worked out just fine.

Coming into transition, again David's tallness pays off!

Molly was doing the race as a relay. They began 20 minutes behind me. I fully expected her husband to pass me on the bike, but I never heard him. I saw Molly when I came into transition and realized I would probably be seeing her on the run.

Transition 2: Not sure, but certainly faster than T1!

Run: 52:37.8, 5 mi, avg 10:31 mi.

By far, I am most proud of this leg of my race.

Let's see, I felt like the tin man running starting out. My legs were just so stiff. It was incredible! Oh and my feet were numb. Nice. They finally showed up around mile 2. Happily, my heel didn't hurt one bit, and my breathing was labored, but not over the top. It was nice and even. I just picked my own pace and went with it. I really didn't look at
Garmin other to see what the mileage was. I did see the total time so I had an idea of what was going on. I really wanted to complete the run in under an hour, so I am quite happy I did that, and ran FASTER than at Showdown even though it was a longer distance by almost 2 miles. Good things happen when you don't have to run a 1/2 mi in and out of transition =).

My legs didn't feel fabulous (and I guess that's normal), but I didn't have any side cramps, all though I could tell I would get them quickly if I picked up the pace, which is why I stayed where I was. I got passed, a lot, but it was nice to get passed by people in my age group in the fact it had taken them that long to catch me.

Molly made an appearance right after I turned around. She caught up to me around mile 4 I think. I wasn't
surprised that she caught me. I knew it meant she was having a good run, and again was glad I didn't get caught on the bike!

Total Time = 2:23.12

Thanks to David, Molly, Jeff, Melissa and Nigel who cheered for me. I liked the cheering section, and the cookies that came along with it (he he Melissa, those were yummy!).

Now I am home, watching hockey.

Next up is the dreaded sinus surgery on Tuesday. I know having the surgery is the right decision, however I am more than a little bummed that I am really starting to get in shape only to have to take a week or two off from training. Ugh. In the pool, I finally started making intervals I haven't seen since I was in my early 20s. Oh well, everything will be okay, and I will be able to breathe better!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Take That!

Well, they did it. My San Jose Sharks beat the hated Detroit Red Wings and are headed to the conference finals for only the second time in the club's history. To say I am excited is putting it mildly. Look how excited the players were:

The game was exciting to watch from home, even if I can only watch the parts when my team might score. If the other team has a scoring chance, I tend to do other things like: read a book, hide under a blanket, or play on facebook. It's just too hard for me to watch.

Finally the handshake we'd all been waiting for:

I am hoping to go to a game, as I have never seen a third round match up before. We'll see. Tickets get a lot more expensive the futher the team progresses in the playoffs. One thing is for sure, I will get to watch my team play while recovering from my sinus surgery. Yay!

I made it through my long run and my long ride this week. My long run was great - 7.5+ miles, the longest I have ever gone. I brought my dad along with me (he rode his hybrid bike), for some security. It was a beautiful day. I think my left heel is trying to develop plantar fascititis so I just keep stretching as much as I can. My calves are pretty tight, and I am not great about stretching regularly, so have to keep on top of that. I have my next tri on Sunday, then figure I can let my heel heal while recovery from my surgery.

My ride on Thursday was supposed to be 2:30 min. I moved it to Thursday so that my brother could ride with me again. It's good bonding time. Not more than five minutes into the ride, I heard a loud pop behind me and a curse from my brother. He had ridden over a huge screw and his back tube popped. Luckily, I had brought an extra tube and tools. My brother changed his tire quickly (another reason I brought him along), and we were on our way.

We had a great tail wind the first hour of the ride, but I knew we'd have a hideous headwind on the way back. As such, I decided to turn around after an hour. We took a cliff bar/water break and then headed back into the wind. Not five minutes later, my brother hit something else and I heard the tell tale pop yet again. I didn't have a patch kit with me, or any other tubes. He told me to keep going, luckily we were on a bus route, so he bused it back to our town and had Dad pick him up. He has since bought extra tubes and a new back tire!

So I was on my own for the rest of the ride. It was still quite nice, even with the headwind. I figured the rolling hills and wind would be a good training experience as my 70.2 in July has similar terrain. I made it over the one big hill a mi/hr faster than this time last year, so that made me happy.

I am on my third night at work. I am having a really tough time wanting to do any sort of work out on my work days. Nights are tough, and I am just not sleeping well. It's annoying. I wake up and I don't feel like I have really slept at all. I also really don't feel like swimming no those days, so need to talk to coach about that. I don't know what it is, would just rather run or play on my trainer the days I work. So will have to see about that. I really hope I start sleeping better! Ugh.

This week is a light week due to my tri on Sunday. My wetsuit is here, and the weather looks to stay nice so it should be a blast.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So far, so good....

Things are going well here in Northern California. The sun has been out for almost 5 days straight, and I am pretty sure it was around 80 degrees for my hill run on Monday.

I am almost half-way through my longest training week to date. Still have a long run left for today, and a bike ride with my brother tomorrow. Then it's back to work. I haven't actually been to work on the floor for 2 weeks, so hopefully I remember how to be a nurse still. I work 4 days in a row, then two off, then work Wednesday and Thursday. Then I am off for a while owing to my impending sinus surgery (shudder).

My next triathlon is next Sunday the 16th. I am really looking forward to it. 3/4 mile swim in a reservoir, 16 mi bike, followed by a 5 mi run. It should be fun. I know it's gonna be cold (for us NorCal people anyway) in the morning before we swim, so thank goodness for my wetsuit. I plan on lining up in the front this time though, I am not trying to win the swim or anything, but I am pretty sure I can hold my own up there, and it's better than trying to pass people. Transitions are flat - WOO HOO!

"So far, so good" also applies to my beloved San Jose Sharks, who are currenlty up 3-0 on the Detroit Red Wings. I know, shocking. But pretty awesome. I am in a constant state of happiness right now. I had the distinct pleasure of attending game two in San Jose last Sunday with some good friends as a birthday celebration.

Our seats were way up there, and the 30+ rows of stairs were not well liked by my legs (who had just completed a 30 mi bike ride) but it was worth it. We could see all the plays develop, and as we were on the goal line, we knew exactly when the puck hit the back of the net.

Last night, the Sharks came from behind and beat the Wings in OT - here is a little gem of a picture I got from one of the blogs, you will notice it is in stark contrast to the picture I posted a few blogs ago =):

Yes, that is Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton hugging back there, the big boys scored the winning goal in OT...

Tomorrow night is game 4. I am dusting off my broom for a possible sweep, but would still be pretty happy if the guys split the games in Detroit. We shall see. The game is early, which means I get to see the ENTRIE thing before I have to go into work.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend Review

This was a busy weekend, in my terms anyway. Having been a competitive swimmer for 9 years, and doing double practices for the last 3 of them, I am very happy whenever I get to sleep in. Yes it has been 16 years since I had to attend 11 swim practices a week, yes I have had other jobs which necessitated waking up at some horrible hour (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I am talking about you!), and no I do not have any children yet, so yes I am still allowed to sleep in.

What's been great with my new job and my triathlon training is that I don't have to get things done early in the morning. I can wait until 2pm in the afternoon to do my run/ride/swim if I want to. It's glorious. The reason I like my current Masters program is because they offer a practice at 9am (and most days that still seems too early for me....).

But this weekend, I had lots of fun things to do, and I sacrificed my extra sleep. Saturday's workout was to be a nice run, with no heart rate limitations. No heart rate zones? Woo Hoo! Of course I also had a baby shower to attend at noon, and dinner with the moms from the party who were very thrilled to be attending dinner at a restaurant sans their children =). So I woke up early on Saturday and got my run done. It was my longest to date (6.6 mi) and I felt pretty good. Except for one heel, which proceeded to remind me I have been neglecting my stretching....

The shower was great, dinner was great (especially when I noticed the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings/2010 Canadian Hockey Gold Medal team sitting at the bar). I must admit, I did stare at him, but couldn't come up with anything to say that would have been appropriate other than - congratulations on your gold medal. Being that they're the arch enemies right now, I kept my mouth shut.

Today there was a long ride on the schedule, and we were also scheduled to go to see the Sharks play at 5pm. This is a relatively early game and kind of threw everything off. My husband was lovely enough to get up early on his day off and go ride with me. The ride was nice, if not a bit on the windy side, but luckily my husband suggested we ride into the wind first. Brilliant, really. I am happy to say I think I may be finally used to my new saddle. Great timing as I have another triathlon in less than 16 days...ack!

Everything went as planned and we got to see a great, awesome, incredible hockey game. Joe Pavelski is on fire, I think I need his jersey. The tickets were a birthday present from my wonderful parents.

So all in all, a good weekend. Great workouts, beautiful weather, fun activities and my Sharks up 2-0 on Detroit. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just want to go on the record

Okay, maybe you know this, or maybe you don't but I am going to make it clear right now. I love hockey. Specifically, I love my San Jose Sharks. Dearly, passionately, like I will leave my starving husband at home to fend for himself if anyone (Molly) offers to take me to a game.

I used to have this same sort of love for the Oakland A's when I was in middle school and high school. I was a huge fan. I made headstones of offensive World Series opponent players in my yard as decorations for Halloween. I could tell you the starting batting order and the batting averages for each player. Then they went on strike, and I left baseball fandom for good. When I moved back to San Jose 8 years ago, my fanaticism found hockey.

There have been many roller coaster playoff series these past few years. I have spent shifts in the ICU watching the game on the slingbox of a kind nurse, only to run down the battery and have to listen to the game with my head underneath the desk because the CPU speaker was down there and it was the only way I could hear clearly.

I have driven home, sobbing, because my team lost in 4 overtimes to Dallas.

I was also there for this gem - this is a picture of Detroit beating San Jose in game 6 in 2007 (I think, I could be wrong). Either way, I was there for this game, I watched as the Sharks pulled their goalie in the last minute to try and tie the game, and Detroit scored an empty net goal, effectively ending the Sharks season and sending me home on the tragic trolley in despair.

This year....Olympic medals won, second line scoring, and grit showing. We meet them again. I am going on the record now to say I am DONE. The Sharks are going to win this series. I am going to do everything in my power to think positively (Detroit is old and slow, Detroit is old and slow, Detroit is old and slow etc.) and be at a game or 2 to support my team.

Why am I bringing up these horrible memories now? Because I'm done. I don't care if it takes 7 games. The Sharks are winning. What's in the past is in the past and it only matters if it makes you stronger, otherwise forget it. Or in the words of my favorite Disney Movie "Hakuna Matata".

The Sharks are gonna win this one. I can feel it. I have to believe it. My heart, voice, and liver cannot take anything less.

Just thought I would let everyone know =)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mountain Lion

Today was supposed to be a hilly trail run. I am fortunate to live in an area with many open spaces dotted with numerous trails. I chose my favorite and headed out. About 1/4 of the way up the first major hill, I noticed an older man and a younger girl coming the other direction. The man had three dogs with him (Golden Retriever, Black Lab, and a Beagle), being a sucker for dogs, I planned on giving them a pat on the head.

The man flagged me down (it didn't take much I wasn't going that fast up hill, but I did have my ipod on). He told me that there had been a mountain lion sighting on this trail eariler during his hike, directly on the trail I had planned on going today. He let me know he thought the other ones were safe, but honestly, that was enough for me. I scratched the Golden's head, and high tailed it down the hill.

Now I was in a bit of a quandary, once I reached the bottom of the hill, I was only 15 minutes into my run. I didn't really want to get into my truck and drive somewhere else, so I decided to run around the neighborhood. This particular neighborhood has many different hills. It's not as good as the trail I was planning on going, but I figured it would be a close second, and much better than getting eaten.

But seriously, what was a mountain lion doing out in the hot (and it was warm today for an animal with a thick fur coat) middle of the day?? It was 2pm!!! I avoid jogging at dawn or dusk for this exact reason! I don't bring my lab because she's only 50 lbs and would be merely and appetizer. I have contemplated carrying a small taser, but who's to say I could even get the thing turned on to zap the animal if I was attacked?

Ugh ugh ugh. Either I am going to have to find someone crazy enough to run with me on those trails, or I am going to have to find some new hilly ones in the time being. Blah. I was so looking forward to my nice hilly trail run too.

I get to swim tomorrow, in a pool. No sharks or mountain lions to worry about there. Whew.

Riding bikes with my brother...

Yesterday was especially fun. My brother is back in town, and I convinced him to go on my scheduled 2:15 hr ride with me. He's got my old bike, which used to be my husband's bike. But he loves that bike (we did upgrade it quite a bit) and can ride the heck out of it.

My brother has quite a unique look. Three years of going to school in Chico turned him into a bit of a hippie. This past year he wanted to see how long he could grow his beard if he let it grow for an entire 12 months. The answer is - pretty long. So my riding partner had on a short sleeved plaid shirt, his mountain biking shorts, and his beard. It was fun, we got a lot of looks as we passed people (well he did most of the passing).

We took the same course as I had done the day before, only I planned on taking us further out before we turned around. The last time I had been this far it was pouring rain, so I much preferred yesterday. Everything is blooming, so it smells wonderful. All of the hills are green, and everyone was really polite out there on roads yesterday.

My instructions were to keep my heart rate in a certain zone, unfortunately I had forgotten about a rather large hill that comes before the turn around. So Garmin was beeping at me steadily for about 5 minutes. I felt good though. We stopped at a gas station after the hill, got some gatorade, and turned around to come home.

It was nice riding with my brother because he was pushing me to go harder than I normally would if I were out on the bike by myself. He wasn't pushing me out of my zone, just to the top of it. It was also great, because I haven't seen him in a while and we had a really good time out there, talking and being silly in general. He's in great shape after a summer of working in Alaska and a winter working in Jackson Hole. If he stays around this summer, I plan on dragging him a long more often. Yesterday ended up being my longest ride so far of training this year - 31 miles.

The weather person is saying it is supposed to rain again this week. I can honestly tell you I am really DONE with all this rain. It is almost May!! C'mon! Enough with the rain! I know we need it and all, but still. I want to enjoy my Springtime. I don't want to lose the tan lines I have already started!

This week brings some more long rides - if I am not feeling in shape riding-wise by the time my next Tri comes around (in three weeks), then there is something seriously wrong with me! I am still getting used to my new Adamo saddle. I was complaining about my painful ischial tuberosity (sit bones) yesterday. This is actually a good thing because A) I remembered the correct anatomical term 5 years after taking anatomy and B) this is what the seat is designed to do. After my rides this week, I should be pretty well broken in.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ON YOUR LEFT!!!!!!!!!!

So today I got back on the bike. It has been a week since the Vineman Showdown Tri and it was time. I had some sprints that coach assigned me so I choose a nice flat expressway that was a short drive from my house. Foothill Expressway is clean, has a nice wide bike lane, relatively free of debris and quite well paved. In short, prefect for a sprint work out, apart from the occasional lights if you catch them wrong.

I knew there were going to be a lot of cyclists out today because it was a Saturday and it was gorgeous out. What I didn't realize is how incredibly rude they were all going to be. As I was warming up I heard the tell tale sign of a bicycle clicking behind me, I waited to hear the obligatory "on your left" so I would have a better idea of when they were going to pass, but instead, I heard nothing as the cyclist rode by me, seemingly mute.

Well, I thought, that's just one person. No big deal. Or so I thought. After a while, I had been passed by 4 different people, at different intervals, and not one of them said anything to warn me they were about to pass. At this point I decided I was going to count. I was annoyed, and I couldn't think of any good retorts to say when the person went passed, so counting seemed like as good an idea as any.

At one point, one girl passed me and I almost hit her because I was trying to avoid some debris in the road. Are you kidding me? Is it so impossible to let someone know you're going to pass them? Is there something wrong with me? Do I not get the obligatory saying due to the fact I am a little chunkier than most cyclists? The brand of my bike? The fact I am wearing black? Mountain bike shoes on a road bike? My rather slow speed? Did I miss the memo that it is extremely passe to tell someone you are passing them? WHAT I HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE SUCH RUDENESS???

I mean it is just so silly, and unsafe. Yes, I was not riding on the white line, leaving plenty of room to pass on the left. However, should there be some sort of obstacle in my way, and I DON'T know you're there, I am going to swing out to miss it. I can't be looking over my shoulder to look for a mute cyclist before I avoid a branch/roadkill/screw in the road! Unsafe because if I do swing out and hit you, I am going to knock you into oncoming traffic, and yes I will call 911 for you and try to stop the bleeding but cyclist VS. car does not usually end well.

It occurs to me that the people who are not saying anything prior to passing are also the ones whose turn signals appear to be broken on their car whenever they wish to make a lane change or turn. Curious.

Finally, cyclist #14 who passed me uttered the magic words as she passed. I don't know who you were, girl in the blue and white kit, who passed me very nicely today, but I appreciated it.

I managed to get a little *ahem* lost on the way back. I tried to go back to my truck a different way in order to avoid a particularly nasty left hand turn. But I went a bit too far east, at one point I thought I had found the school I had parked at, after all - wasn't that my red truck in the parking lot? Of course I had about 10 min left to ride so I proceeded to do little laps around the neighborhood, as the end came near, I got closer and realized that no, that was not my truck, and this was not the school, and yes I was still lost. Crap. Crap. Crap.

So I ended up doubling back, turning down a road I had debated turning down earlier (which I should have done) and finally made it back about 10 min over the prescribed work out time. Oh well, my saddle needs to get in riding shape anyway!

In other news, my Grandmother passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning. She was at home and happy when it happened, which is all I can ask for. I feel extremely blessed she was not in a hospital, nursing home or similar when her time arrived. I will miss her dearly, and hope my 89 year old Grandfather is able to manage okay. Loneliness is tough.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vineman Showdown Race Report

It's been a while since my last post, nothing to incredibly exciting has been going on, and I have been healing from an injury I had no control over. But yesterday something exciting did happen - I competed in my first triathlon ever!

I went to this race with Molly last year, so I was fami
liar with the course. I had even ridden the course last year for something fun to do, so I had a good idea of what I was going to face.

Here I am setting up my transition area for the first time:

The swim was in the bay, which they told us was
68 degrees. I had rented a sleeveless wetsuit, and even 68 degrees wasn't warm enough for me to keep it off, all though I did see quite a few people who opted for Speedo only. I prefer the buoyancy of the wetsuit, so I kept mine on.

I thought a lot about what I was going to wear under the wetsuit. I just couldn't fathom riding and running in my one piece polyester suit. I finally decided to wear my biking shorts and sports bra. I figured it would make my transition a little faster, and more importantly, much more comfortable on the swim and run.

We're ready to go!

Our swim wave went last, at 4:30pm. Molly and I were in the 34 and under group. There were some young girls there, who I had no doubt would be faster than me in the swim, so I lined up in the second row. Looking back, I should have just gone in the front, it would have been okay.

Having never done a shore start before, I was a little apprehensive. When the gun went off I did a lot of heads up swimming to see who I could pass. I swung out and was able to pass a bunch of people before the first buoy. I sighted well and felt like I did a good job staying in a straight line from buoy to buoy. I continued to pass people and the buoys kept coming faster. Before I knew it, the swim was over and I was dizzily running up the hill to transition. I ended up placing 2nd in my age group for the swim.

Here's a picture of our wave entering the water:

Here I am at the swim finish, trying not to fall down...

I got into transition and did my best to get everything on. I have mountain bike shoes, but today that was a blessing, as we had to walk our bikes, uphill a 1/2 mi., to the place where we were allowed to mount our bikes. This was tough, my heart was racing, I was nauseous, and my legs were screaming at me.

The bike was a beautiful course, but not my best showing. I had to constantly remind myself I had not been able to be on my bike for 3 weeks due to my injury. Of course, when the girls on mountain bikes and running shoes passed me, I did curse to myself a bit. There was nothing I could do about it at the time, I stayed in my zone and thought about not blowing my legs out for the run. I was hoping to take a gel as soon as I got on my bike, but my stomach was not having it. I managed to get in a full water bottle and gel by on the second half of the 9 mi ride, but it wasn't pretty.

At the dismount point, we had to walk our bikes back down the hill we'd come up which was pretty exciting. Luckily I didn't fall, and no one fell on me so I felt successful.

Here I am almost at the dismount point, I was hurting....

I racked my bike and got my running gear on. Now we had to go up set of stairs and another hill (for another 1/2 mi) before truly getting to the run course. Again, my heart rate spiked, and I just walked up the hill. Once out on the course my legs actually felt okay, but I was breathing hard and had double side cramps which stayed with me the entire time.

I have just made it up the hill and am on my way out...

At one point I heard a conversation going on behind me. Two girls, seemingly in no distress at all, were having a full on conversation and passing me at the same time. I swore silently (breathing too hard to swear out loud) and kept going. I was really just jealous that they could talk and pass me at the same time! Oh well, this was my own race. My knees, ankles, and feet were all feeling good so I was happy. In fact, I had really been looking forward to the run - no body to kick you like in the swim, and no one to hit you on your bike!

I saw a girl about 50 meters ahead of me at the turn around. I really wanted to catch her and attempted to pick up the pace. Running back into the park, we had to go uphill again before we came to the flat finish. I wanted to walk, but I noticed the girl I wanted to catch was slowing down, so I kept plugging along.

As we came down the hill, I continued to catch up to her. On the flat, Molly spotted me and started yelling and cheering, which was awesome.

I really picked up the pace and flat out sprinted the remaining 25 meters or so and passed the girl I had been trying to catch right at the finish line.

At the end I was the closest I had come all day to tossing my cookies. But I kept it together and Molly and I took this picture:

A big thanks to Molly, for keeping me calm when I was freaking out, and her husband, Jeff, for all the great pictures he took and cheering! It made my first tri a lot more enjoyable.

My next
tri is the third week in May. I am looking forward to having a better bike and run, hopefully sans side cramps!! I have to say I probably won't do this particular race again, unless they figure out a way to change the 1/2 mi uphills out of transition...

Happy Spring, everyone!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Proceed with caution....

This is how I am handling my foray back into training. Very cautiously. After doing pretty much nothing for the past week, I got back in the pool yesterday. quickly one loses any semblance of swimming shape. So sad. I felt slow, and as if my arms were slipping the entire time. In other words, I felt like I had no feel or catch in the water. But it was a gorgeous day, I was outside, the sun was shining, and I didn't need narcotics for pain, so in all a good work out.

The only thing that was a little bothersome was the lovely, mouth-watering BBQ scent wafting over the pool. It was lunchtime when I swam and the pool is right behind Armadillo Willy's, a burger/ribs/BBQ type place. Oh that smelled nice. Such a tease while you're swimming. I held strong though and drove home for my recovery cliff bar and glass of milk!

Molly has bought a TRX and offered to let me borrow it from time to time. So last night was my first training session. It went pretty well. I like it. It didn't hurt my healing bits, which was a big bonus. I only did one set of everything. Just to get the hang of things. I am happy to report I did not fall flat on my face or hang myself up in the straps. This, I am to understand, is quite an accomplishment! Of course, there is always next time...

I am quite sore today. I like being sore in places you forgot you had muscles. It's nice. I am not so sore that I can't function or am reaching for the advil, but just some tenderness. And yes, those atomic crunches are evil. Wow.

I am certainly not 100% on the healing front. This week is swimming and running, I cannot get back on my bike for another week at least. This gives me a chance to get my bike serviced, the new Adamo saddle installed, and what ever else I choose to have done to it. So that's good. Spa day for the bike.

I had to skip the 10K last Sunday, which was fine, I was bummed, but I really don't think it would have been a good idea to race. Then I heard it was really quite hilly, and I was secretly glad I didn't race =). My next race is the Vineman Showdown on April 17th, I am excited for this race, I went last year as a spectator, and I rode the bike course. So I am looking forward to actually racing. Gotta rent a wetsuit though...

I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words regarding my Grandmother. She is currently in rehab and apparently doing better everyday. The plan is to have her come home the first week of April. Her speech and language are both intact, and she continues to gain more strength on her left side. They will have a hoyer lift in the house to help her get in and out of bed, which is fabulous for my 89year old Grandfather's back. So far my brother and parents have both visited (my grandparents live in Colorado) and my brother will go out to help again after she gets home. It sounds like she's getting pretty decent care in rehab, so that is always a bonus.

Well, that's all from around here. The sun continues to shine, and it truly feels like Spring has sprung. Sure hope it stays that way!

Happy Training!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bed Rest

No, I am not pregnant. That would make this bed rest thing a little bit easier to swallow. That's right, I am out of commission for a little while. Without going into TMI territory, let's just say I am suffering from a condition which prevents me from sitting on a bike (or sitting on much of anything for that matter), running, swimming, or (according to my doctor) working for a few days.

The bed rest just began yesterday, and should be over tomorrow. I hope anyway. The resting though has to go on a bit longer. So training peaks and I won't be sharing any information for a few more days at least. I am pretty bummed as I was looking forward to nailing my second 10K this weekend. But alas, that is not going to happen.

Training has been going well. I was having a bit of a blah period, but I got through it and just did the workouts. That's the great part about having a coach, they do the thinking for you when it comes to creating workouts, and all I have to do is work hard and follow the plan. I like that.

Of course, now that I can't workout, I miss it immensely. It doesn't help that Spring has decided to visit the Bay Area. The sun is smiling, the wind seems quiet, and it is a nice 70ish outside. Hopefully, when I can get back into things, the weather will still be nice!

In other news, I met with an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor and we decided that Sinus Surgery would be a good idea. So May 18th is the fateful day for my recalcitrant nasal passageways. Hopefully this will mean no more Augmentin for a long, long time.

Well that's all I got. Luckily there are many shows for me to watch through the miracle that is Comcast OnDemand. So I guess that's where I will be for a while longer.....

Happy Spring and Happy Training!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Laundry day tomorrow, nothing clean right?"

This is a quote from one of my favorite moves, Terminator. That about sums up my day for today...I am home today, cleaning and doing laundry. Between working at the hospital and triathlon training, I have noticed my laundry needs have shot up quite a bit. It's worth it though, as I like having all my clothes to chose from before work/work out.

Last week wasn't especially the best, from a personal stand point. My grandmother turned 90 on 2/22 and then had a stroke that night. The initial information I received had me looking into arrangements to fly out for a very sad event. It turned out, after speaking to her nurse, that things weren't quite as bleak as they had made things out to be. She's still able to talk, but suffers from weakness on her left side and some swallowing issues. She had had a wonderful birthday up to the stroke, lots of dinners with friends and general things to make her feel loved. So I guess, whatever happens, she knows how much she means to people. After a week in the hospital, she was moved to a Skilled Nursing Facility, where they will work on her rehab. Hopefully she will regain some use again of her left side, but she wasn't extremely healthy to begin with, so it's very hard to tell. She continues to have her sense of humor and is joking with the nurses, so as long as she's happy, there's not much more I can ask for.

Last week was a rest week as well, and I took full advantage of it. Having a rest week the same week I work 4 days in a row is fabulous. I made it to yoga, twice. This meant I cried, twice, due to some very angry hip adductors. Oh well, I guess I really needed it!

I got back into the pool for the first time in 2 weeks and it wasn't too horrible. I swam in a faster lane and made some decent intervals. Now if I can stave off the sinus infections for a while, I should be golden.

Speaking of golden, I woke up after 4 hours of sleep on Sunday so I could watch the US v. Canada hockey game live. There was no way I was going to watch it on our DVR and potentially get spoiled. It was a wonderful, exciting game. I wasn't too sad that the United States lost, I felt they played exceptionally and had nothing to hang their heads for. I thought it was pretty special that the Canadian fans gave goalie Ryan Miller his due when he received his medal. The only thing I wished could have been different (besides US winning) would have been for somebody else, anybody else (like someone with the last name of Thornton, Marleau, Boyle or Heatley) scoring the final goal for Canada instead of Sydney Crosby.

Thanks to Molly, I was priveldged enough to go to the first home game post Olympic break for the Sharks last night. Lo and behold, they had their medals on display for the fans:

Please ignore the cell phone in the way of Boyle's jersey. There were lots of people pushing and I wanted to get my picture as quickly as possible.

Anyway, after the game, I still had a tough bike trainer work out to do as well as eat, get a nap in, and go back to work! I got it all done, even with a two hour nap. I was fine at work, but boy, did I pay for that on Monday. I woke up to swim at noon and my body told me in no uncertain terms, that we would be staying in bed. I didn't argue. Just meant I got to swim and run some fun Z4 intervals yesterday =).

Finally, I just have to say, I am really enjoying running right now. Hard to believe really. But I just like the simplicity of it. What I mean is this: very simple to get dressed, put your running shoes on and go. I am sure I will start enjoying swimming and biking more when the sun returns, but for right now, I look forward to my runs no matter what the weather is like outside. Weird...

This week I have two big bricks. I decided to do one of them tomorrow because the forecast is calling for sun instead of today's torrential rains and thunder (no sniggering from anyone west of Nevada =>). It is safer to ride in the sun instead of the rain. May I remind you that California drivers = crazy.

At any rate I am looking forward to both of them! Whee!

Happy Training!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Um, where did February go?

Well, another week is in the bank. As weeks go, it was okay. I still missed some swimming due to questionable sinus issues. Tomorrow I go back for the first time in two weeks. It is a good thing that swimming is probably my strongest of the three disciplines. It will not be fun to make up the losses from missing two weeks, but it won't be too terrible.

I had a wonderful run in the hills near my house on Wednesday before I went back to work. It was a beautiful, sunny day. It is a nice open space, but I always worry about the potential mountain lion that could be lurking around. As such, I looked up in the trees a lot as I made my way down the trail. In all I ran about 5 miles that day. I had been on this course multiple times, but I never knew the actual distance. This would explain why I was always sore after walking it. It was also the first time I attempted to run the course. In all it was a good training run, and I can now saw my running shoes are past the stark-white stage.

The biggest workout on my list last week was a bike/run brick. I kept switching around the day I was going to do it due to work schedule and then the weather. But I finally did it today. I was glad I waited. Yesterday was raining, today was glorious. I was pretty angry with myself for not bringing my camera along because it was so clear today, you could see forever. The hills are all a wonderful green and everything smells good - the jasmine is beginning to blossom (my favorite) and the plum trees seem to think it is time to be in full bloom. So I can't complain.

I also can't complain because I watched probably one of the best hockey games I have ever seen last night: USA v. Canada. Yes it was on
MSNBC, and yes, it was not in HD (grumble grumble). We will not delve into the fact that I think the bigwigs at NBC are a bunch of morons. It was an exciting, nail-biter of a game, and I loved every minute of it! I was a little conflicted though as many of my favorite San Jose Sharks (save Swede Douglas Murray and American Joe Pavelski) play for Canada. I did laugh at Brodeur so I guess that's something. I do hope Canada beats Germany tomorrow, otherwise the entire country might go into mourning.

March is quickly approaching (what? when? how?) and I find the time is running out for me to make a ski trip up to Tahoe. I have been itching to go now that I know my legs are in MUCH better shape and (probably) won't give out on the slopes. Last time I went skiing, my mind was willing but my legs just quit working and I had a huge classic Bode Miller moment where I almost fell (there would have been broken bones for sure). This caused me to go out and buy a helmet. There's a lot of snow up there though, my trip may have to wait until April...but then I get to ski in short sleeves. So we'll see.

In the meantime, now that my big brick is over, I am looking forward to "rest week". Especially since the "talking heads" (as my 89 year old Grandfather refers to them) are predicting more rain this week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A week(ish) in review

First of all, thank you to everyone who posted all the nice comments regarding my 10K. I really appreciated it!

Last week was fairly low key. I felt surprisingly good after the 10k, and I credit the dip in my cold pool for that one. I would much rather blame the Superbowl party fare I consumed post-race, but I don't think that counts!

Sinus-wise, I was a mess. My doctor started me on Augmentin and I have an appointment with an ENT on March 1st. So we'll see where that goes. The Augmentin helped me pretty quickly, but I still had to miss work Monday night. A little switching in my work schedule ended up giving me 8 days off in a row, which was great to help me recover.

So I ended up skipping the swims last week, but I was able to get all my other workouts in, including a "hilly" brick. Wow, my legs felt like concrete on the run after riding in the hills. The weather only sprinkled on me a bit, which was a nice change. I took a little dip in the ice bath/pool afterward and that made things better. Of course, I convinced myself the best way to stand in the pool would be by sipping a hot chocolate from Peet's, which I did. As soon as I was done drinking, I was out of the pool!

Sunday was a nice flat run on the Los Alamitos trail near where I live. There were a ton of people out on the trail; families and couples enjoying their Valentine's Day. I celebrating by running almost 5 miles. I was angry with myself for not looking down at my mileage when I turned around - because I could have gone just a bit farther to make it an even 5! I felt pretty good though and can't believe I can run that far for that long without my knees or ankles hurting. It's nice.

This week is more of the same. Some hilly running (that should be interesting). A brick on Saturday which I will be dragging David along for so we can go somewhere a bit further out (I don't really relish riding alone). Some swimming as well.

Oh yeah, and a few days of work thrown in there for good measure!