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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Priorities

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon... what's a girl to do? TUNE UP HER BIKE!

I have had a special relationship with The Green Machine for 2 years now. She's taken me so many places and so many miles. It's time I treat her right. I had neglected her over the winter. I was still riding outside but I couldn't bring myself to give her a good wash when temps are hovering around freezing most weekends. She was starting to look sad. I could pluck chunks of grease of the chain rings. There was mud splattered up the seat tube. Poor Green Machine. 

I sprayed her down with Simple Green and soap and scrubbed off all the dirt and grease. This time, I was going to give her a little special attention... new cables and housing! RED! (With Tyler's guidance... ok A LOT of guidance) we successfully replaced the scuffed up white housing with bright and sparkling red! Oh, and the best part... red bar tape! It really brings the bike together. 

Oh I almost forgot... NEW TIRES! I'm LOVING my Continental 4000s road tires with the black chili compound. They feel super grippy and speedy. I can't wait to take them up the mountains as soon as that silly snow goes away. CHECK HER OUT!
shiny new red stuff
sexy
sweet new tires
Isn't she beautiful? Now it's time to load her up on top of my filty, dusty, dirty, trashy car! Too bad I don't have any time to clean up my car... priorities!
What's Armor All? 
Door doubles as a trashcan... and... Where's my floor mat?
kickboards, and sharpies, and pens Oh My!

Do I care that the bike is cleaner and shinier than the car it is on top of? Heck, it might be worth more than the car it's on top of pretty soon... priorities again! (Well I think my 2 bikes combined might be worth more than my car?) 

And what do more people see? My bike or the inside of my car? Definitely my bike. Ok, I guess I'll clean up my car soon, really soon... How much can I pay someone to do that for me?

go ride some!

Monday, March 17, 2014

what happens without a coach

Spring is around the corner which means triathlon season is near. Woohoo! I'm starting to dig into Ironman Boulder Series training, but don't be fooled. I'm still a runner who happens to swim and bike... and run... in that order... during organized endurance events. And nothing shows this more than taking a look at my training log. 

Before I explain, you should know that I do not have a coach (which will become totally obvious), and I don't want a coach... that's just me. I could go on about that subject separately (maybe another time). For both Ironman Wisconsin, and now Ironman Boulder, I am using a free plan I found online. I am accountable to me! Here's how I use that plan...

First, I look at the week and write down "swim, bike" or "swim, run" or "bike, run" on a blank calendar. Then, I decide what I wanna do verses what "the plan" says I should do. I simply rearrange things to fit into my week how I want it to. Do I wanna go to spin class? Do I wanna go to run club? If yes, then that's what I do. 

Here's my thought process when I see the workouts on "the plan":

Swimming: How long am I supposed to swim? I guess I should be moving my arms and legs for about that long. What's a "main set"? Doggie paddling is definitely a warm up. A "cool down" is whatever I am doing at the end of my workout. Stroke count? Sounds dirty... I haven't used my pull buoy in a while, I think I'll do that today. Choice? freestyle duh. My arms are tired, I think that means... WORKOUT DONE!

Biking: WEEEEEE! Bikes are fun. Bikes go fast. How long am I supposed to ride? I guess I should pedal for that amount of time. One-leg drills? No thanks! I mean if you're pedaling with one leg during a race, then you've got major problems that should be addressed. How long is The Voice this week and will it fill up the time I need on my trainer? Intervals? Not unless the spin instructor says so. Cadence Schmadence. 

Running: Are my miles per week increasing at a reasonable rate? I want to do a __mile warmup, followed by __ x 800m repeats with 400m recovery, ending with a __mile cooldown. It's a hill workout! I want to do a __mile warm up, followed by __ short hill repeats going __seconds faster each repeat, followed by __ long hill repeats going __ seconds faster each repeat, followed by a __mile cooldown. Oh, it's a long run, I want to go out at ___pace and then drop that pace by __seconds per mile for the last __miles. I COULD KEEP GOING! :) 

So that's how you do it! And I love it! I mean... I know my place. 
Go run some!



Saturday, February 22, 2014

No, THIS is the Worst PT Experience EVER!

It's been a while since I posted. I've been laying low and easing back into running after taking a little time off. I haven't really had anything too exciting to write about. However, my last PT experience was... an experience. Looking back on it now, it just makes me laugh. I hope you laugh too!

I thought my physical therapy experience back in September of 2012 was the WORST... but NO! Last month, PT reached a new low. 

Long, boring story short... my knee got really grumpy after the Moab Trail Marathon. I guess I just didn't know when to shut my season down; so my knee let me know. I had some terrible patellar tendinitis/tendinosis. I had been seeing my go-to-dream-team of specialist (ASSM and Navitas Massage), and lots of YouTube videos, and started making progress! Some days were better than others so I figured I should go ahead and see ye 'ole Physical Therapist through my insurance just to be on record that I did try PT... just in case this problem returns. 

Here's where the "fun" started....

I entered the PT room at KP. 
"Oh look at your blue hair," said the PT lady.
"Yeah, I'm a big Panthers fan!" I said... while wearing my Carolina Panthers hoodie.
"Who are they? Like your high school?" said PT.
[I hold back the urge to walk out at this very moment. The Broncos were all the rage during this time, and if you didn't know the Panthers... you shouldn't be working with anything sports related.]
"Um no, like the NFL team... like Cam Newton... the most amazing quarterback."
"Oh like the Broncos?... I don't really watch sports." said PT. (Is your blood pressure rising yet? I'm getting angry just typing this!)

Then she continued to tell me all her problems....

PT: "I'm supposed to weigh in today. I've been drinking this lemon and cheyenne drink and it's disgusting, but it supposed to help me lose weight. My problem is that I drink too much wine!"

Please know that we have not yet talked about why I came to PT. She finally started looking at her paperwork and started poking different parts of my leg.

PT: "Yep, your right side is 15%-20% weaker than your left side. I don't even have to test it, I can tell by looking at it. Oh, and you have bursitis in your right hip."

me: "I haven't had any hip problems, just the knee."

PT: "Well, it looks a little bruised."

%#@&!? seriously, I don't get it.

PT: "So you're a runner? I see all those runners in Boulder all the time... all the ladies in my neighborhood... I guess they can eat whatever they want!"

I desperately wanted to say, "well maybe you should try running instead of drinking that SH!T and going to Weight Watchers!" I just imagined saying it instead :).


Then she began giving me 6 different therabands and like 9 different exercises. Every time I did whatever it is she told me to do, she said, "well, that's too easy for you." But she never followed up with anything... no different exercise, or harder resistance, but she did say, "you probably don't have time to do this anyways." 

I asked, "should I be doing both sides or just the right side?"
She said, "would you just stop talking and let me finish!"
I'm pretty sure this was the only thing I said since I really had no opportunity to talk. 

So... she told me to schedule another appointment in a few weeks, I walked right past the front desk and out the door. And I've been feeling just fine.

I'm sure there are perfectly wonderful, and friendly, and knowledgeable PTs out there... I'm sure... I hope. 

go run some!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ironman Training With Your Spouse... Or, Training for the Same Ironman as Your Spouse

I wasn't sure what the title should be, because we are technically training for the same Ironman, but we rarely workout together. You'll see why soon.

Last year, while training for IMWI, I got used to doing my workouts whenever I wanted without any questions about what I was doing, where I was doing it, or when I was doing it. I would roll outta bed most mornings before 5am, grab my gym bag, without any hint about any details of my workout. Since Tyler has joined us crazies, I've had to make a few adjustments.

1) "What are you doing tomorrow?" really means, "What are your workouts tomorrow?" We have to adjust for who might be using the trainer, or who is hitting the pool after work so someone can be home to let the dog out, etc.
important logistics convo
2) Tyler won't go to spin class without me. I'm not sure why. We don't talk to each other during spin class. We barely look at each other. It is mostly ladies at these classes... not sure where I'm going with this. But, deciding to go to spin class is now a joint effort... or really I decided and then Tyler decides if he's going to join me. I mean, I can't hold him back in spin class like I normally do on the road... hmmm. 

3) Tyler won't go to the pool with me. I'm not sure why. I mean, it's a lap pool. It's not like I can leave him behind; you just touch the same walls about 120 times. He doesn't have to talk, or listen to me talk, with his head in the water the whole time. I guess he's just embarrassed by my amazing swimming skills... since this is the ONLY area I'm better at (for now). But Tyler asks "where are you swimming?" before he decides where to go, and then picks a pool different from mine. Not my problem :).

4) DVR space is valuable... And it's ALL MINE! I am allowed to watch all the E!, Celebrity Cookoff, and The Voice I want as long as it's on the trainer. It's not mindless TV, it's working out.
important Beyonce viewing party of one
5) Feeding two adult Ironmen-in-training is about to get serious. We might say, "I'm starving" more than "I love you" right now. But we mean well! Nothing says "I love you" like fixing your spouse a protein shake!

6) We have always shared a massage therapist and chiropractor. But now we see them more frequently to keep up with our training. And this means Tyler and I probably shouldn't talk about each other during our treatments as much. One of us just might be their next client!
Vail 2011ish
I'm definitely looking forward to warmer, longer days when we can spend more time training outside... together! I love that we will get to go through the ups and downs of the adventure together! And most importantly, we are learning that going to bed at 8:30pm with various body parts covered in RockTape is super sexy!

go run some!

PS: GO PANTHERS!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Never Ever Give Up"

I've been trying to think of something GOOD to write about to fit this time of year... Christmas, New Year's, Family, Friends, Eating, Drinking, etc. Of course, I start thinking of New Year's Resolutions, which I have mixed feeling about. I still don't quite understand why anyone would wait until January 1st to do something better for themselves when they can do that any other day of the year. But better January 1st than never! 
Here's my yammering from last year.

I was surfing through Ted Talks... something I only seem to do when I have a little free time... like during Winter Break from school. Which, by the way, I have a secret life goal to give a Ted Talk on something, not sure what. It'll be good. Ok so, I'm surfing through Ted Talks and come across Diana Nyad talking about her AMAZING swim from Havana to Key West. So, before we go any farther, you need to stop reading and click the link and watch her Talk for the next 15 minutes. It is worth every second and is better than anything you would ever read from me. Ok, GO!

Ok, welcome back. What did you think? Of course I was inspired/motivated/re-energized, etc. But when the Talk was over, I mostly wanted to know more about the other 4 times she attempted this goal and didn't make it. How far did she swim before she had to stop? Who decided she had to stop? After any of those failed attempts, did she think "it's impossible" or did she think, "it's not my day" or did she think, "I didn't train enough"? 

There were so many inspiring parts of the story: her impressive physical and mental strength, the loyalty of her team that supported her, she's a 64 year old woman! But mostly, the fact that she didn't reach her goal over and over but continued to reach. I think it takes a lot of bravery not just to finish, but to know when to stop. 

So when you're looking forward into 2014, maybe keep her story in mind? I will! And maybe we will reach our goals, or maybe we won't? Or maybe it will just take a few tries... which will make the achievement even better! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Favorite Things

My pal said, "your last blog makes me feel sorry for you". And that bummed me out... So I thought I would chat about things that make me happy... And they might make you happy too.

I'm no pro... and I'm no Oprah. But here are a few of my fave running/tri things and it's the holidays, so it seemed appropriate. And yes, beer is related. Beer mile

Here are a few of my favorite things...

1) food
Ok, more specifically, Honey Stinger Chocolate Rocket Energy Bar are AMAZING. They're perfectly chocolately in every way. Also, I'm currently obsessed with the Espresso Chip Bonk Breaker. It's chewy and coffee-y and chocolate-chipy. And it's holds up in my jersey pocket for hours in the hot sun!

2) beer... I'm on a dark kick lately.
Great Divide Hibernation
Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout

3) goggles
I'm loving my Blue Seventy Siren goggles... No leaks and super-comfy. And the gaskets don't give you ridiculous goggle-face when you take them off.

4) bag balm
This stuff is in an old-school-green tin; I think it's made for dairy farmers or something. And since there are so many dairy farmers in the Denver metro area, I found some at Walgreens! I originally bought this for my epic saddlesore issue of 2012, but I've found it's much better suited for back-o-neck chafing from my wetsuit. I slather a little on and, viola, no hicky!

5) booty comfort
This is a 2-part favorite thing.
A) Chamois Butt'r is a miracle from heaven.
B) I traded my saddle on my tri bike for a sweet new Specialized Oura Gel saddle of glory.
I've had plenty of saddle issues and this combo has made all my rides feel like I'm sitting on a marshmallow couch of glory.

6) carrying your cargo
I'm kind of obsessed with my Flip Belt. I can shove so much crap in my little purple belt... iPhone, keys, fuel, a few dollars, and more! Hit up Runners Roost for fun colors and lots of sizes.

7) refueling
Refer to #2
Then, consider Spiru-tein. This stuff is super delicious and keeps me full during a long day of teaching or between double-workout days. OMG cookies and cream is my favorite! Not chalky or bitter-protein tasting. I'm kinda drooling thinking about it right now.

Try one or seven of these things. Do it! Go run some! I'll be enjoying #3 and #5 for a little while longer.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Injuryland

It's like I have a timeshare at a little place called Injuryland. I get to visit twice a year... and stay for several weeks at a time. I guess it's my time to visit again?

I know I tweaked something in my right knee in Moab last month. Too many giant steps downhill. Nothing really came of it, for a while. Then, during the Girls on the Run 5k, the knee pain came back with a vengeance! My patella tendon got tighter and tighter with each step... then the tightness turned to a stabbing. And that's how it's been ever since... I can't walk more than 5-10 minutes without some stabbing, much less run!

This is EXACTLY how my ankle behaved last fall... a repeat of some obnoxious tendinosis. I guess my timeshare is for November? So what's the plan? I was SUPPOSED to start training IMBoulder TODAY. Looks like that's not going to happen as planned. So I'll stick to the swim and bike workouts as planned, at least I can do that. (Strange, I know. You'd think my knee would hate the bike too. But it's something about that forward "kick" when you run/walk that makes my knee grumpy.) I'll replace the runs with ellipticals. I'd be super-excited if I could run by Christmas? I'm not getting attached to that idea though. Hopefully between altering my training plan and seeing Dr. Cowin at ASSM, I'll start seeing some progress soon. But honestly, right now, some days are better than others; heck, some hours are better than others. 

What do I normally do when and injury gets me sidelined? 
1) Cry
2) Give Tyler a hard time because I'm jealous when he goes out for a run so I try to live vicariously though his run. I ask a million questions: How far did you go? Where did you go? What was the weather like? Was the path crowded? See anything interesting? He really enjoys this. :)
3) Get anti-social. I block all running-related Facebook pages from my newsfeed. I unsubscribe from all running-related newsletters and emails. I don't look at runners when I pass them in my car; they don't exist... that's safe. I skip group runs or social events. I don't wanna hear about your amazing training or upcoming marathon... none of it.
4) Dye my hair. I haven't done that yet. But I did chop it off. And I love it. No one needs hair touching their neck, it's gross. But normally, injury=pink or blue hair.
5) Get a tattoo. Haven't done this yet, but it's crossed my mind and I've fought the urge. I've had 2 injury-induced inking sessions. 
the side-effects of a stress fracture and tendinosis

So... 

Go Panthers!
my secret boyfriend
Maybe Santa will bring me recovery?

Happy Holidays!