Monday, December 17, 2012

Presents, Raffles, Prizes and Giveaways -- Get Yours!!

So far, so good.  This month has been without madness and perhaps my luck is improving!  I really like the idea of ending the year on a good note.

I have been putting in 45-50 hours/week trying to get in some OT to spend on Christmas gifts as I LOVE giving presents way more than getting them (my checking account probably doesn't agree).  I plan to really delve into the shopping world with less than a week before Christmas just to put a little pressure on -- haha!

I was fortunate enough to receive a $50 gift card from Fleet Feet and a $200 gift card to Liquid Lifestyles from teh Stan Bugarcic Memorial Fund Raiser.  I donated $100 in hopes of pushing the fundraiser line closer to the goal.  I know the money is no replacement for his loss, but perhaps it will be one less thing for the family to deal with.  MR even threw in a hoodie with the NCM logo and some gloves.  I can never thank him enough for all the support he has given me through the years and volunteering at his races has become a favorite past time of mine. 

I brought myself home a laughing hyena award that poked fun at my supposedly snapper bitten wetsuit that won me a brand spanking new one from Blue Seventy.  I am not sure what kind it is, as it's on backordered until January.  It just so happened my mom bought me a reaction for my birthday, but hey, who doesn't want 2 wetsuits? :)

And now, I am diligently entering contest through the holidays and hoping by a stroke or two lucky enough to win a brand new Garmin 910xt here:  He needs 75 entrants or no dice -- I mean Garmin.  So, go sign-up!  I'd rather see a friend of mine get it.  I mean if I don't that is ;)

I'm also doing the USATNCC to motivate myself to workout more.  It's easier said than done.  I was hoping to run 50 miles and swim 10-13.  Running is going well, but I can already tell you the swimming is a #FAIL!  I have hit the pool one time, so far --EEK!!  I entered this DecDoubleDown challenge @girlsgonesporty too and I think perhaps when it's over I am going to be renamed this girls gone portly!!  Ahhh!!

Anyway, hoping to pull out some workouts via gym rat style here for the next 2 weeks.... or more!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December -- Please Go Easy On Me!!

I was doing well for a minute there, getting a little more diligent about my blogging and then -- BAM!!  Life happened.

This fall has been a little hard on me (to say the least).  In August, I was hit by a car while riding my 2 month old brand spankin' new tri bike.  Then in October I finally had the breast reduction I had wanted for about 20 years and with the arrival of  Novemver, I had planned to head back to work in time for the holidays and put in some OT but unfortunately, my grandfather became ill and passed away. 

Needless to say it has been hectic and now --- THE HOLIDAYS!  I am taking each day in stride just trying to find a balance between work and starting to train, again.  It's never easy and now seems even more difficult due to the fact my fatigue level has been worse than normal.  I had my annual check-up and my red blood cells and hematocrit came back low with my hemoglobin right on the lowest point of normal.  I assumed it was because I had surgery and RBCs take about 53 days to replenish themselves, but then I saw my TSH levels and those were moderately elevated, so that is the next saga for me.  Hopefully, it will literally just mean a "magic pill" and no side effects.

To be continued....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Smelling the Roses Ride

I had been pushing myselft, specifically my quads with lunges, squats and then the brick the day before, so I needed a recovery day.  The weather however was still beautiful and there was just no way I could pass up what could perhaps be my last chance to ride outside this year.  I have some unfortunate family stuff going on right now, but I felt a short recovery ride would help clear my head.  I quickly changed into cycling my cycling gear and my trusty steed and I set out.

I chose a flat loop that had no climbing in it and would take about 45 minutes.  The plan was to keep my heart rate under 130, but from the moment I left my house it was in the 130-140 range.  Undoubtedly, adding to the situation was my sore lady bits.  Apparently, my lady bits are just like a muscle -- can't just go out there and ride for nearly 2 hours without having some residual.  You can forget HTFU, I need to "harden the crotch up!" (HTCU!)

As I gingerly, pedaled up Glenwood I came up on a kid on his BMX bike riding on the wrong side of the road (against the traffic that is) and without a helmet.  I could only shake my head in dismay.  I whole heartedly wish there were stricter cycling laws in Ohio, especially after my own little body meets car, body meets cement episode.  To make matters worse the kid started pedaling harder trying to "race" me on his side.  I was very happy we were approaching the drug store where he was going and I was turning the opposite direction.  It's like riding and defcon 1...all the time!

I began to relax a little after about 20 minutes and my heart rate started trickling down.  I soft pedaled frequently and felt at times like I was barely moving, especially when I hit the spots with a headwind.  I tried to look around and just take in the scenery and the fresh air.  As I made my way back, I did 4 hard pushes of anywhere from 1-3 minutes at the end of my ride.  I pulled in the driveway breathing hard, sweating and de-stressed. 

By The Numbers:
Bike: 12.01 miles, Time 46:59, Avg 15.3 (with stops), Ascent 343Ft, Avg HR 143 (with pushes) 136 (without pushes), Max 182

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Let's Get It Started -- Again

Officially past the 2 week mark and stir crazy does not even come close to depicting the amount of restlessness and mild case of insanity I've acquired.

It never occurred to me that the "resting" for 2 weeks would be the most difficult part.  Thankfully, the weather broke THIS weekend and I took the Joker out for a 28 mile ride (only the second one since Rev3) and I even (wo)manned up and rode past the crash site (GULP!!)

The light was read when I got to the fateful intersection.  I spent the few minutes I had brushing away any thoughts of angst I had.  It had been a freak accident (one I never wanted to experience -- EVER).  My heart was pounding in my chest and my mouth was dry.  I took a sip from my water bottle and debated turning left, instead of going straight.  I was up in front of every car so they HAD to see me (right?) it couldn't happen again.  When the light turned green I took the path most crashed (by me) passed Mario's with no cars passing me, let alone riding a white Aztecs side panel before crashing head first into the passenger's side door and richocheting off the cement ground with my face.  Nope, I just pedaled right on by. 

When I got home I managed a 3.5 mile trot through the grass around my neighborhood with 2 sports bras (like usual) with minimal bouncing and no pain.  After 2+ hours of working out I still hadn't suffered enough, so I threw in some lunges and crunches for good measure.  A sense of normalcy, had started to return to my life. 

By The Numbers:
Bike: 28.79 miles, 1202 feet of climbing, 1:45:13 (with stops) avg 16.4 mph max HR 177, avg HR 158
Run: 3.47 miles, 32:49, avg 9:27/mile, max HR 187, avg HR 172
Wgt: 139 lbs. ( I gained about 5-6 lbs. since surgery -- grrrrrrr!!!!)

Friday, November 9, 2012


I survived my surgery.  It was of course, a little nerve racking as it included a foley catheter (which I begged them not to do, because of the risk for UTI's -- I had some when I was younger and boy do they suck!), intubation and lets not forget just plain old cutting into my chest for 3 hours. 

My breasts are definitely higher, but I am (so they say) pretty swollen.  He did indeed remove about a 1/2 lb. from each.  I have sutures entirely around both my aereolas and from my side below my armpit pretty much to my sternum and from the bottom of my aereola down.  My old nursing school buddies lovingly named me Franken-boobie when I met them for dinner one night.  Apparently, my breast tissue is pretty dense which makes for some heavy solid boobies -- yippee.  It also means it may take forever to heal.  I think I thought I would see more of the finished product right away, but it looks like it will be a good 3 months before the girls are at the pre-planned size.  I am swollen enough now I am at best a 36D.  I can squeeze into my 34s, but with all the swelling it can be a little tight and uncomfortable on my sides. 

The procedure itself was pretty easy for me.  Once I received my IV and my surgical team confirmed with me about 8 times that we were doing a mastopexy with reduction, the doc took a marker and drew lines and dots where he wanted my new boobies to be.  All I had to do then was just walk into the operating room hop up on the table lean back and within less than a minute I had new breasts.  Well, it wasn't really a minute, but they spared no time in knocking me out that's for sure.  I was glad because I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight and it had taken over and hour to go from check-in to the OR, so I had time to get nervous, that's for sure.  AH was so nervous I told him to go home and rest or go to the main building and get some food or shop, but he just sat in the Crile building diligently watching the screens to see when I was in OR and PACU.

I was able to follow commands almost immediately.  My vitals were stable and i had no reactions to the general anesthesia.  When I'd had my wisdom teeth out I'd woken up crying and hysterical and the nurses spent a good 5 minutes trying to calm me down, over what I will never know.  I had a burning pain that I told them was maybe a 3-4 on a scale of 1-10 and without even asking they just gave me some fentanyl and boy did that stuff work fast.  My pain was a 1 within a few minutes.  The only problem was my head was floating and I thought I was going to vomit.  They jammed some zofran in my IV with no improvement and then pepcid.  Neither worked.  I fought to stay awake and prove I was okay to myself.  I muched on some water and graham crackers, but the crackers made the nausea worse.  After about an hour they took out my IV, told me to get dressed and brought in a wheelchair.  Just like that I was all done. 

A transporter wheeled me down to the first floor where AH had pulled up the car and I gingerly transferred from the wheelchair into the front passengers seat.  I didn't where my seatbelt as the band on my chest hurt and every little bump in the road jarred my breasts and caused a little pain.  I complained to AH his driving was hurting me, so he started swerving more to avoid bumps, but that just made me feel like I was going to vomit.  Finally after an hour drive in the car we made it home and I thankfully laid down in the recliner. 

I ended up having to change the bandages a few times the first two days because of the drainage, but then they only needed changing once a day after that.  It's been a little over 2 weeks and I can almost sleep comfortably on my sides.  I do however sleep in a bra and I have since the surgery, which isn't very comfortable, but it's improving each day, albeit slowly.  The steri-strips are off and the sutures will disolve on their own.  I had to go to the doctor yesterday, because I felt like I had a UTI (I knew that damn foley was going to give me one!!) and they put me on antibiotics for a few days.  Now it's just a matter of time and a whole lot of patience as I watch the girls heal and hopefully shrink. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Do you like the boobs?

That's become part of the Jersey Shore theme before every episode begins.  Deena asks the question.

I've always had the same answer about my own -- NO!

For 20+ years now I have micromanaged the extra weight in my chest looking for permanent solutions and find a way to accept what God had given me.  In High School I usually wore a sports bra and 2 when competing in sports.  I even inadvertently learned to stand with my shoulders rolled inwards to minimize the hugeness of the girls.  I tried a few nude, white and black "regular" bras that provided minimal support.  I even bought a strapless once (it was a complete waste of money and fell down).  I shyed away from swimming suits finiding them as supportive as a toothpick.  I searched websites to no avail through the years for the right option and finally opted to go with a super powered "over the shoulder boulder holder" and a secondary sports bra over the top.  It felt like my chest was being squeezed, but it was the best I could do to support them.  I suffered through sore neck and back muscles and sternum burns throughout my years as an athlete (and still do).

Until now...

I had been considering a breast reduction / mastopexy since pretty much the day the girls showed up.  My mother had scorned the idea saying "I needed to appreciate what God had given me."  Over and over I tried to accept them, but enough was enough.  I made an appointment in September with a plastic surgeon, went in for a consultation and scheduled an appointment to have them reduced.  It was unfortunate they would not be covered under insurance because he couldn't remove 1 pound from each and I didn't have any severe condition my breasts had caused (i.e. chronic back pain).  I was offered a 20% discount through my employer and only had to pay 38% up front, with the rest being deducted from my paycheck.  I took the deal and signed the paperwork.

On October 24th, after years of fighting to accept my body and change it through physical activity and fancy bras I have decided to go under the knife.  I'm a 34DD and have asked to be as 34B.  I worry about the pain and the risk for infection, but when it's all said and done I hope to say exactly what my doctor's NP told me "women leave all the time saying they should have done this 10 years ago and are extremely happy." 

Since the amount removed from each breast will be less than 1 pound it's considered a mastopexy.  Here is a video (minus removal of tissue) of pretty much what they will be doing to me incisions and nipple resetting --- ouch and barf!!

Mastopexy 1
Mastopexy 2

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Akron Marathon Relay - Five Fast Femme Fatale Freaks

Here we go again!!

The email offer from Daisy sometime in August.  She was requesting the prescence of 4 additional females to participate in the Akron Marathon 5-person relay.  The 5F have always put up a top 3 finish, even last year down one runner and with a turtle (myself) and I didn't want to be the reason they didn't again.  This year with everything that happened (Rev3, the accident and my eternal ongoing battle with my foot) I felt it best to be a smartass and volunteer to be the 6th (wo)man and I emailed Daisy my as such intentions, to which she replied with a welcome to the 5-person team. 

Aww, crap!  I had only ducked under the 8:00/mile (barely) barrier a handful of times all year and holy cow did it hurt not only my lungs, but my foot and most importantly my pride.  Every run I had indicated my glory days had come and gone.  She reassured me it was "for fun."  Ha!  I had run a 5k two weeks prior and knew I would probably be about a minute a mile slower than everybody else, nevertheless they kept the fat kid. 

I picked up my packet and a nice little pink outfit (it's FS women's sports from the national running center -- and I love it) at the expo as per instructions from our captain and took a few benadryl since I was still on nights and needed to catch a few hours sleep before the 4:30am wake-up call.  Everything was going smoothly until I realized I forgot the damn snap bracelet in the car and had to head back.  It was too much for my simple runner mind, a D-Tag, a race bib on the front, a race bib on the back, and a snap bracelet.  I was brain dead, but apparently that wouldn't be the only thing I forgot yesterday. 

We waited impatiently for AM and CV, but they had a mix-up with directions and with only 10 minutes to the start I headed out missing them (mind you I would be handing off to AM and I had only seen her for about an hour nearly a year ago on a trail run).  All I knew is I had to find a blonde in a pink shirt when I got to the relay point.

As in years past, the sun was not quite up when the gun went off.  I started somewhere near the 3:25 pace group and on the left.  I only wore gloves figuring I would be pretty warm once we got going.  The first mile was blissfully easy going downhill and flat.  I even held back and still passed Bill Rodgers running on a relay team.  My garmin split 7:22. 

I felt a little concerned as we finished the bridge and started to make the left turn through the neighborhood that I might blow myself up and tried to rein it in.  I was hoping for 7:30-7:45, but knew 7:22 would be a death sentence.  I was breathing pretty hard and just kept trying to relax.  Mile 2 split 7:52. 

I was uncomfortably okay and my foot was throbbing like a mo`fo.  I had gas in the tank, but my stomach was a little upset at that point.  I kept telling myself "it's supposed to hurt like this" and "keep going."  As we crossed back over the bridge I clung to the pace group to carry me through.  I tried to imagine I was running the full and I had to relax and stay on target.  We hit the end of the bridge and the only hilly part on my section of the course.  The pace group pulled ahead of me and I suffered climbing that little hill.  My stomach went south and I felt like I needed to poop, pretty bad.  I felt the ground even out and the cheering crowds helped me forget my pain and push a little bit.  I heard Daisy cheer for me and I waved.  I split 3 in 7:42. 

Just 0.9 miles to go and the pain would be over.  I felt mentally abused at this pace, after training slow and long all summer this was quite unpleasant.  I had looked over the final instructions and relay runners were to veer to the left.  My foot was screaming at me to slow down, I ignored it.  I saw the sign that said "Relay Runners" and ran for it, ripping the snap bracelet off my arm.  I finally saw the exchange mat, but no relay runner -- what the heck!?!?!  I crossed the mat and kept running, then I saw the runners standing in the rode ahead.  They had made the runners start way in front of the mats, grrrr!  Now I was on AMs time searching frantically for her.  I thankfully saw her up on the left in a YELLOW shirt and start screaming her name.  She screamed "yeah!!" and waved me over, bouncing up and down.  After and what seemed like the longest tenth of a mile I finally ended my torturous leg with my last mile being 7:47.  Garmin said 4.01 in 30:44, but my official time is 3.9 in 30:25.  AM went on to run a mile farther than me and in a faster time thankfully negating my turlteness on the first leg. 

I immediately jogged up the ramp and stretched looking for my friend who wanted some redemption in the marathon after suffering through his first in 90 degree weather.  I used the extra time to stretch, but man it was getting chilly, so I might have bounced around a little too.  My foot was aching, but much happier.  I saw him roll through and jumped in with him for the next 5 or so miles back to the start.  My foot hurt a lot less at that pace.  I ran into BB and we changed and got some coffee before tracking the insanely fast AM down (she ran 6:11/mile). 

Not sure how we were doing we headed into the stadium.  We headed down to the field to cheer for Daisy when she came in.  We had to wait less than 10 minutes before the blonde bomb shell came FLYING into the stadium.  We immediately started cheering and screaming her name.  We finished in 3:00:45, good enough for 2nd place female team (out of 192) and 13th relay team overall (out of 1225).  We found solar and got a group photo minus CV, who was missing in action in the stands. 

It was an exciting and fun day (as always) and I am super lucky to have such wonderful friends (and fast ones).

With the pain in my foot now spread up toward the front near my toes and surgery in less than a month I am closing the door on the 2012 race season, in hopes I will heal up ready for next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Natatorium 5K 2012 - A Family Affair

It was that time again.  It was my dad's birthday and the annual Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium 5k, for the family was upon us.  I was super excited for this day and ready to retain my title, as family champ.  I had even given my family a handicap by doing a full distance triathlon (or ironman for those who don't give a sh*t who owns the name rights) the weekend before.

Those over 50+ years of age had a great shot at PRing, but those of us under, well not so much.

A-train was about as nervous as I had ever seen him.  He was dreading the race as he was pretty much doing the abbrevitated couch potato to 5k training program, completing it in less than 24 hours.  I had celebrated too much throughout the week and felt a wee bit heavier than normal and sluggish.  God, this was going to be fun.

After getting our numbers and schwag, one of which is a really nice dri-fit shirt (score!)  We opted to run backwards to the 2 mile marker and back for a warm-up.   We partook in some family friendly trash talking and teasing  while we lined up at the start.  The temp was 50-60's and sunny.  It was a perfect day, just like last year.  A-train and I are way through the 500+ participants, but not quite far enough as we had to run around people for the first 1/2 mile. 

A-train pulled ahead of me about 5-10 seconds and although I wanted to push the pace to catch up to him, I felt it a much wiser choice to stay where I was at.  The first mile I split 7:38.  I was hoping for 7:40-7:50 pace on the day, so that was good.  The course is set-up so your first mile should be the fastest and last the slowest with the uphills or inclines, whatever you want to call them.

I spent a large part of the race trying to get my intensity up without blowing up.  All summer, I had trained to go long and under control, only doing a few hard paced runs.  I felt "off" and out of sorts.  I kept remining myself  "You've got a lot of endurance.  You aren't gonna get tired in 3.1 miles, just go with it."  It didn't matter.  I still backed off on mile 2, complacently settling into a pace that felt a little hard, but nothing pressing.  I was rewarded with and 8:00/mile.  Damn!!  I got what I deserved though.   Although some runners were still coming back to me, probably just as many had passed me.

I tried to surge like last year and push myselft that last mile and it worked.  A-train turned left at the corner and looked back.  I thought he saw me so I waved (afterwards, he said he didn't).  I made the turn too and started pushing.  One-by-one people I started to pass people.  I even made up ground going up the hills.  Training for Rev had made me stronger than I realized.  And then it happened....

On the last climb, I caught A-train.  He was tired and when I pulled up along side him I encouraged him to pick it up and come with me.  He waved me on.  I didn't want to make it any worse, so I pushed up the climb to the top.  At the top, I forced myself to keep the pressure on  to the 3 mile marker and split 7:56. 

As I made the final right turn to the finish, it occurred to me that A-train may come back on me and run me down at the line.  I was okay with that.  He was doing this for me, because I had asked him and it took a lot for him to swallow his pride and suffer through a 5k when your so far from the runner you used to be.  I continued to push the pace all the way to the line, but one girl came SCREAMING by like a fighter plane and I was not going to fight her.  The last thing I needed to do was let my ego take over and hurt myself by being dumb.  The last 0.1 was :54 seconds. 

Finished in 24:27, avg.  7:53/mile.  I just eeked out A-train by a few seconds.

I saw J.R., owner of Ritchies Sporting Goods at the finish, gave him a big hug and said "hi," before
A-train and I went back to look for my mom.  We saw her at the top of the last climb.  She looked too good.  I jogged in with her while A-train went back for my dad.  The RD M.R. of Northcoast Multisports was nice enough to make an announcement "here come the Heier women" which was awesome.  Mom actually, ended up with a PR and went sub-13 min/mile -- FINALLY!  I am so proud of her. 

I ran over to the car and grabbed A-train's camera phone (and I would post pics if he would send the darn things to me!!) and snapped pics while he was finishing.  T.S. and a few of the ladies at the final turn started singing happy birthday to my dad as he came around the last turn.  Dad finished with a PR and without getting hurt on his birthday -- Whoo Hoo!!

In the end, I retained my title as family champ.  Next year, I am gonna 3-peat baby!! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rough Waters

Training is still rolling along.  I suffered through 19+ miles of running this morning after sleeping for about 20 hours after 3 straight days of work.  It seems inevitable that 3-4 days in a row at work is just a strain on my body.  Each day I get a little less sleep than the last, until I am nearly a zombie.  It seems so strange how the majority of the world works 5 days a week and deals, but I struggle with 3-4 in a row.

After 34+ years, I can't fool my body into thinking day is night, no matter what I do.  I've resolved to switching to days if I have more than one day in a row off (weekends) and hoping the boss puts this (3) 12 hour shifts/week into action soon.  It's funny how I work at a hospital and they preach "be healthy," yet I only get one meal for 30 minutes on a 12 hour shift (that I don't even get sometimes because I am too busy with patients), heck I only go to the bathroom when it's down to the wire and I'm not gonna get a choice in another minute or so.  I do however LOVE my job.  I can't imagine ever doing anything else.

The waves of difficulty come and go for me, just like Lake Erie's.  I'm definitely going through some "chop" right now after the loss of one of my favorite patient's about 2 weeks ago and then the GCT fatality.  Odd how I lost both of them to neuro issues.  I've stopped asking "why" but still go over and over stuff in my mind -- what I could have done differently, not that either would have made it for certain, but I can't stop.  The nightmares have started to subside (I always have them when I lose a patient I get close too).  I still cry discussing the beautiful memorial my patient's family had that I attended after work.  As for the other, it's still surreal and I go over and over the roll I played that day in my mind again and again, thinking about what could have been done differently.

I can only hope I've passed through this rough section and will hit some smooth waters for a bit.  It's crossed my mind that I have seen more dead people and watched way too many people literally die right in front of me all too often.  I have spent countless drives home crying and banging on the steering wheel in anger (no dent yet).

I often wonder how much death can a  person see, or more specifically me before it's too much.   

On the flipside, seeing how precious life really is daily, reminds me more often than most, it's the only one I have and it is not to be wasted. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Make It or Break It Workout

It doesn't matter if it's a running race or a triathlon, I always prep for my event with key workouts, as I am sure many do, but there is perhaps one difference.  There is always one workout that is long and intense or mentally grueling that I make myself complete with certain goals.  If I don't complete the workout and meet the goals, then the race goal changes, i.e. usually the finish time.

When I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon I new I had to run a 20+ miler at less than 9:00/mile and I had to pull off a half marathon in less than 1:41, not necessarily to meet the running calculator goals (because some of them said I could be slower than that), but for me.  I had to make myself believe I could do this.  Having all the potential in the world and meeting all the calculated run times doesn't mean sh*t for me if I don't believe it. 

Yesterday was one of those.  I didn't per-se dread the workout, but I had a lot of anxiety and hesitation about surviving the workout.  It was a 5 hour ride and a 2 hour run.  Alone. 

I headed out on the Joker (have to elaborate on that further in another post) around 8:30 am feeling like I was ready to rock this mother out (that never happens, maybe it's the steroids I am on).  I felt only a little tight from the threshhold intervals I had done Monday and of course, my left calf and foot were tight too, but that's par for me.  I got about 5 miles out before I though I may have forgotten to shut off the coffee pot so I looped back to check (it was off) and headed out again in another direction and whipped off another 23 miles.  The route got hillier after that and I had to stop at a gas station to buy more fluid since the park had no freakin' water (seems to be the norm this summer at parks).  I was able to cram about 6 bottles of water/EFS/Gatorade down my throat over 5 hours and I peed twice.

Got home and changed (quickly), set-up my little make-shift aid station and headed out for 2 hours of running.  I was a little stiff and felt like I was trotting so very slowly, but my heart wasn't pounding in my head or chest, which was a good sign I wasn't completely dehydrated.  I made my way back for some water and headed out again, but this time as I returned from my second loop (about 5 miles), I was starting to get the thirst.  I jammed ice down my shirt and grabbed my hand held, not worried it would slow me down because I was already going so slow.  I was able to sip on it as needed and even managed to take down some liquid shot.  Surprisingly, the brick was going really well, until about 10 miles when I could tell my stomach was starting to go south and gonna revolt.  Luckily, I had only 2.5 miles to go to get home and voila`....

I "made it."

Bike 90 miles - 5hrs 3600 feet climbed - avg. 18.0 mph
Run 12.5 miles - 2hrs, avg. 9:40/mile

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Training Much? -- I'll Say!

I can't express (or write for that matter), how much fun training has been this summer, even though I am not signed up for any races.  It has been my saving grace, keeping me on an even keel with the stressors at work and thankfully it is also managing my weight. 
I took the last of my scheduled PTO (paid time off) days off yesterday and completed one of the most fun filled 5 days of swim, bike, trotting yet.  Saturday, I survived a 2+ hour run before the cavs and feet just felt too close to their limit.  I almost felt like a runner again. 
Sunday, after not being on my bike all week after my 100 miler, Daisy (and company) invited me to ride with E.P. for 70-80 miles all over the more rural side of northeastern ohio.  E.P. was riding across the country to raise money for cancer (check out and don't hesitate to drop $5 or even more if you feel so inclined!!  Initially, it was me Daisy, Mr Daisy and FastEddie.  We rode pretty much my tempo effort on the way out to Chardon (about 18 miles) and blew by a handful of amish buggies (now I know how "I'll have another" feels passing the competition ;).

 It started to rain and my shoes and socks were soaked.  We picked up a few CTC riders before stopping in Chardon to wait for the larger group that had left from E.P.'s shop in Mentor (The Bicycle Hub).  I took the time to literally wring the water out of my socks.  It was gonna be a long day if the rain didn't hold. 

E.P. and company rolled about about 15 minutes after we stopped.  Group pics and salutations were exchanged before heading back the way we came 16 miles.  We stopped at Linda's Restaurant and smashed some breakfast before rolling out at an albeit, leisurely pace.

We lost portions of the group from that point on, including ourselves when we hit Champion/Warren.  We said our goodbyes to E.P. and her escorts before turning around about 55 miles out and headed back to Parkman.  The pace, of course picked up with FastEddie pulling, but it was doable.  A couple times, I must have been sleeping and drifted back off somebody's rear wheel and had to push to get back up in line. We hit one of the steepest hills, I have climbed all year and I was forced to stand up a little over half way to the top.  We reached Parkman with another 22 miles logged in the Garmin bank.  Mr. Daisy had completed his longest ride ever, to boot -- Hell Yeah!!
We enjoyed some nice Busch beers, pizza and other bar food way too long and quite a few laughs to wrap up the day.  Oh and it DOWN POURED about 20 minutes after we arrived back to Daisy's.

Monday, I managed to pedal on out for a recovery, errr not-recovery ride, thanks to A-train bombing the hills and tyring to push my heart rate up to the northern end of the 130's, before inappropriately rehydrating for the second day in a row post-ride. 

Come Tuesday, I was all but retired, not only from triathlon, but from triathlon training.  I swam for a little over an hour trying to wash the post training celebrating out of my body.  I felt really strong in the water, but on land I was dragging, bad.  I almost bailed on the Tuesday night tavern ride.  Not fast enough to roll with the A group and not wanting to wait until 1830, I decided to just roll out on my own at around 1745.  The goal was to keep my HR 150-170 bpm and with the hills, heat and humidity on the way out, it wasn't a problem.  The loop was about 30 miles and I spent the first 8 miles pretty much pushing and panting (sounds like I am in labor).  I was feeling a little better every mile.  My thighs were burning and I was actually kind of liking the pain (WTF - was the heating melting my brain?)

I was about 17 miles out and had just started making my way back, when I heard that awful sound of my tire going flat.  I stopped and sure enough the front tire was done for.  I walked my bike back to the side of the road, just in case the A group came by and caught me before I fixed the flat (and thank goodness I did).  I ripped the old tube out and was trying to get the tire and new tube on when lo' and behold they rolled up, like knights on shiny steeds.  Daisy, J.D.  of, C.S. and N were able to get me back up and riding in no time.  I was glad they were there since the beads in the tire itself seemed to be a little faulty (I would have never noticed that).  Not wanting to flat alone again, I bit the bullet and "went to the cave," sucking whomever was the last wheel in the A group paceline for dear life all the way back to my car.  I couldn't pull, but I did manage to hang on and get back safely, sans flats -- Phew!!

By Wednesday, I was a training zombie.  I rolled out of bed at 0520 for a group swim.  My army of one and sometimes two (when Daisy and my schedules aligned), had now turned into four with FastEddie and B.O. joining in.  The lake was calm and quiet.  The ducks were out patrolling and the sun was just rising -- it was a perfect morning for a swim.  I felt a little wasted after the first loop and my arms were sore from the swim the day before, so really, really focused on my form.  I was good for about 45 minutes of quality swimming, before calling it a morning.  I got a cooking bug up my arse and toasted some bagels and scrambled up some eggs with veggies and cheese for everybody before we parted ways. 

I had planned on a recovery run or ride a little later, but my my body said "hey jackass, why don't you just take a recovery nap?"  It didn't take much thought and I passed out around 1000 until about 1630 when I ....

had to go back to being an adult and go to work, but I'll be back at this training gig on Thursday.

Like Macca says "Embrace The Suck!!"  (he should add but take a rest day once in awhile and rehydrate appropriately).

Monday, July 9, 2012

ABC Century, Easy as 1,2,3 ...

Not certain what got into me.  Maybe it was my semi-devotion to cycling this summer, or maybe it was Dave Zabriske's suicide mission in the Tour De France the other day, but whatever it was I spontaneously decided to sign up for my first century on Friday (GULP!)

I signed up for the Akron Bike Club's Absolutely Beautiful Country Ride.

The weather looked to be near perfect on Sunday as long as I got rolling on time and no isolated thunderstorms crossed my path.  I woke up at 5:30a and rolled out a little after 6:00a, only to have to turn around about 4 miles from home because I had forgotten my pump -- was it gonna be one of those kind of days?  I had printed out directions that turned out to be inaccurate and didn't arrive to the start site until 7:30a (yep it was gonna be one of those days -- SIGH).  Grabbed a bagel with peanut butter and rolled out solo at 7:45a.  The sun was out, but it was pretty cool compared to the last few days.  I started passing people right away on all kinds of bikes.  One girl I passed on a Felt road bike with aero bars would go back and forth with me for a few miles ( I dropped her on the flats and she would power by me on the hills) the first hour before I lost her.  I think she was doing the 50/60 loop so she turned left where I turned right.  I don't really like leapfrogging with people but my plan was to keep my heart rate under 145 for the first 2 hours. 

The first hour flew by as I detour from the orange/pink arrows to the first of 2 green loops the century riders were instructed to ride.  The website advertised ample rest stops, but I hadn't bothered to check where they would be and after taking down my first water bottle and part of my second I really had to pee.  I had an internal battle with myself if I should just pee on the bike, but the idea of urine down my leg and on my water bottle, just seemed too gross for a casual ride -- maybe if it was a race.  I definitley have more issues with germs than ever before now that I am a nurse.  The course reminded me of Muncie with open fields and no woods to jump off the bike and pee in the woods, but hillier.  As luck would have it I rolled up on a porto-potty and Ahhhh, RELIEF.

Not even a mile from my rest stop I went over some railroad tracks and sent my aero drink sliding down the road in front of me.  I jammed on the brakes and trotted over to pick it up.  Luckily, it was just low enough with fluid I didn't lose too much.  I reset the bottle and headed on my way.  I completed the green loop pretty quickly and was back on the orange/pink loop again when I started to see more riders.  I was pretty much out of fluid at 1:45 in and asked a gentleman on a hybrid if he knew where the first stop was.  He indicated it should be up ahead in the next 2-3 miles.  I thanked him and pedaled onward.  Just like he said, I hit the first rest stop a mile or two later.  I refueled quickly and met a nice CTC member, who also owned a Felt tri bike (She had a B16 though).  We had a nice little chat about the aero bottle and it's splashing capabilities.  She was only going 50 she said so I set out solo for the next part of my ride. 

I riding about 16-19 mph and my heart rate average was under 145 bpm with 35 miles done.  I had been a little tight in my quads at the start of the morning, but had loosened up.  I spent the first 20 minutes out of the aid station trying ot ride super easy and stretch my neck and back as those have been the big factors on my long rides and surprisingly not my legs.  An older gentleman named, Samon a nice Cannondale Slice caught up with me and we rode together chatting for about 10 miles. He owned a bike shop in New Franklin on the Akron border and was trying to stay ahead of his son (who was faster for as long as possible).  He was in for the 100 too.  We rode through a small little town and made a climb up a nice hill where the next rest stop was, indicative by the sign that said "ABC Rest Stop - LUNCH!!"  He decided to stop, but I wanted to get done, so I split off. 

A gentleman in some weird ultra runner's get-up was yelling "Miss are you doing the 100?"  as I passed the aid station.  I said "Yes."  Apparently, this guy was lost and confused as to where to go.  I slowed and gave him a chance to catch me.  I whipped out my map and explained we were to follow the green arrows for the 2nd loop and then get back on the orange/pink loop.  He seemed like he wanted to ride with me, but I was not really interested in his company and he was going slower than me, so I cranked up my I-pod, told him good luck and rolled out.  The temp had definitley gone up and the roads were giving off some refractory heat.  I was starting to get hot.  I had rolled through the last section a little under 17 mph (a little slower than I had hoped), but between talking to Sam and the stops through town -- ehhh, whatever.  I could tell I was beginning to feel the miles on my body around 65 miles.  My neck, back and shoulders were getting pretty tight and stiff.  I sat up and tried to ride and stretch for a bit, rehydrate and relax.  I ran out of water and started looking for somewhere to refuel and then I popped back out at ABC (lunch) rest stop -- Hallelujah!!

Not only was I thirsty, I was starving.  I smashed some trail mix and a small turkey sandwich done, ran to the bathroom, and applied some of my magic-crotch-saving bliss.  I had about 30 miles to go and I was ready to geterdun. 

The rest stop is on the middle of a steep hill and I couldn't clip into my look pedals and spin up it.  I tried 2x and almost fell the second time.  It was embarassing!  I was too prideful to walk my bike up the hill to the clip in so I rode down to the bottom and re-climbed the whole freakin' hill.  Now the rub was I forgot to start my Garmin for about a mile -- doh!

At this point, it was a matter of just finishing, but it was not going to be pedal, pedal pedal.  I hit a long road that had gravel and bumps and slightly uphill.  The punishment had begun.  I made it to the top of a long climb and saw my friend who had updated me to the first aid station stopped on the side of the road.  I begrudgingly stopped to see what the problem was with his bike.  He had a gearing problem.  I had no clue how to fix it.  Another cyclist stopped, but no dice.  The guy had no cell phone so I called S.A.G. for him and we waited for about 15-20 minutes.  Finally, the S.A.G. van showed up and I pushed on.  Stopping for that long had really tightened me up and holy moly was it hot!  I had forgotten to stop my Garmin, so my time was officially screwed up.  I could only split my watch and go from there.   I had a decent headache starting and I needed this ride to end and soon.  I started to feel like every road was uphill and bumpy.  I even cycled down the middle of the road on many sections.   I saw the last rest stop and opted to pass it, but realized there were no arrows about a 1/2 mile after, so I turned around and entered the park that you actually have to ride through and exit on the other side.  I decided then to stop and get some more fluid as I was down to one bottle with 12 miles to go.  It was the best decision all day.  The lady at the aid station said "can I fill your bottle with ice?"  Can you?  (HELL YEAH and can I kiss you???)  I have never been so excited to have ice.  It was so refresshing. 

I pulled out renewed and excited.  I had no doubts in my mind I would finish my first century today.  I squirted some ice water on my head and down my shirt and just jammed out to Pitbull, Flo Rida, Skrillex et. al all the way back. 

I pulled into the school and after dismounting realized my legs still felt pretty good, maybe a little tight an tired, but not too bad at all.  The most damage was my shoulders, neck and back.  I have some terrible tan lines, that were a little painful and a whopper of a headache.  I packed up, grabbed some food and drove home with an ice pack on my head - I'm pretty certain I got a little sun poisoning. 

I took an Aleve in the car and stopped at McDonalds for some french fries and a small coke in hopes it would help -- it did a little.  I ended up showering and dead to the world by 6:00p.  No stage 8 TdF post century cool down for me.  Just sleep, lots of sleep, but hey that's what 100 miles does to me. 

Total Miles: 100.1
Time: ~ 6 hrs
Ascent: 4746 (about 1100 feet in the last hour), oh how they punish you
Avg HR: 145
Max HR: 170

Overall, I thought the ride was well supported and well run.  The food and aid stations were spaced appropriately.  The ride was hillier than I had originally thought it would be, but it gives me confidence I can tackle any century in these parts.  I would recommend the ride.  There isn't a lot of shade and you can definitley smell the manure on some parts -- P.U.!! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crossfit Triathlon (Relay) 2012

The story is still the same with my foot, but cycling and swimming have become part of my daily ritual.  I have managed to drop 6#'s and am feeling healthier than I have in about a year.  The idea of training and training for nothing in particular inspired me to beg my mom to do another race with me...

The Crossfit Tri (1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run) . 

She reluctantly agreed to run the 5k after I once again promised we wouldn't be last (unless she walked and took her time). 

I had put in a huge week (for me that is) of swimming hitting the lake nearly everyday for a week and racking up over 9 miles with my guns dragging me back and forth for hours in through the waters of Aurora Lake.  My arms were thrashed by Saturday night after doing a long swim of 1:45, and I was going to pitch an internal fit if I didn't beat my time in the water on Sunday for the 1/4 mile swim. 

Originally, the relays were to start in the last wave with the 50+ men and the clydesdales.  GULP!  I could only hope they would be gentle with me.  I ran a 15 minute warm-up very slow on my tender foot and hit the bathroom while the earlier waves went off before donning my wetsuit and swinging my arms around like I was pro swimmer.  I noticed a few copper colored caps (my color) exiting the water.  OH SHIT!  I jogged over the the RD and asked him if he had changed the relays and he informed me that he had indeed, but it was no big deal I could just go off in the last wave (the 50+ and clydesdales).  Whew!  I was fine with that.  I just wanted to race. Hindsight I wish I had gone off in a faster wave, but I will get to that in a minute. 

Finally, it was my turn and waded into the water and got in 2-3 minutes worth of strokes.  I usually need about 10-15 minutes of swimming before my arms and body get in sync and I feel more fluid in the water, but that wasn't going to happen today.  There was a lane line to my right leading out to the far buoy, but it was crooked and it was going to cause congestion, so I started on the outside giving myself the straightest shot at the buoy.  I jokingly, begged the men not to pummle the copper cap before the horn sounded and then we were off.

I took it out hard.  I was surrounded by men and I need to let them know I wasn't just a floatatin device in the water - I had my own motor, plus I refused to give up my position and get swam over, kicked of wailed on by a stray arm.  It was a fast start with men all around me pulling hard.  I fought to keep my line and saw myself pull through the field in front of all but one swimmer on my left who pulled himself across my line.  I slowed and let him pull right then went by.  I dropped all but one guy.  I thought two men had pulled ahead and dropped the field, so I found a guy just a little ahead of me and kept pace with him.  My heart rate had rocketed and I was gasping for air.  I tried to center myself in the water and calm down as we made the turn.  It was so pleasant.  I had no bodies around me for the first time ever in a sprint!  We headed back and I backed off the pace a little trying to recover what I had spent.  The guy in front popped up way sooner than I did and started running, but I kept swimming (next time I am running too -- he was definitely faster on foot, than arm).  I popped up and ran at a near dead sprint for T1 and I was moving -- I couldn't believe how good I felt.  I had recovered a bit in the water and I was sprinting from the time my toes hit the sand.  All that work in the water got me a 1.2 second PR, but I did feel better than ever coming off the swim. 

T1, I wrestled with my wetsuit struggling to breathe or not and get the thing off.  I ran through the grass and fumbled a little trying to clip in to my pedals at the mount line.  I have looks for flying dismounts, but man they are a pain otherwise.  Also faster than last year by 0:24 seconds. 

I could tell I still had a lot of blood in my arms and I was running on adrenaline in the legs.  Lately, on my longer rides I have noticed I am kind of spent by the end because I have no control throughout the ride.  I spent the first few miles trying to "control" myself and get in a rythm.  At the Twinsburg Duathlon a few weeks ago I had bulldozed my way through the 10 miles out of control with my HR avg at 170 bpm.  I had suffered with lactic acid in my quads for the entire race.  I tried to encourage every person I passed through the 2 loops, except the 4 (dare I say assholes, 2 with ironman tatoos), I saw drafting in a pace line; them I called out as they rode by and dropped a F-bomb for good measure.  I pushed myself, but rode nice and controlled back into the park.  My legs felt way better and as I dismounted I ripped my chip off before entering T2 and ran to my rack.  Third time was a charm as I was 53.3 seconds faster than the year before.  I passed the chip to my mom and my day was done.

I changed my shoes and jogged over to say hi to my dad before running the looped course through the grass (grass feels so much better on my foot).  My mom was running really well as it took me almost a full lap to run her down.  I jogged with her through the first lap before doing another loop in reverse this time.  When I passed her in reverse I said "I'll see you at the top of the hill," which is less than a 1/2 mile from the finish.  As I jogged up the hill, I hoped she would be there when I got to the top, but she beat me to the top -- YES!!  I could tell she was having a PR day.  Our goal was 1:25 and I checked my watch -- we had lots of time.  I ran with her and encouraged her until we hit the grass then I started telling her "I want us to break 1:25!  We can do it, if you run hard.  It's all on you!"  She picked it up as she got nearer and nearer to the finish.  She was laying it all on the line that day.  I knew we would be way under the time, but I kept yelling at her and she kept going.  She hit the finish in 1:22:19.9.  She may or may not have called me an "a$$hole" for trying to kill her coming into the finish, but she was definitley all smiles when it was over. 

Team Silver Fox and Flash, the Turtle had struck again!  We were the fastest relay time on the day.

They haven't corrected my swim time so it say 22:06.5.  My dad said I was 2nd out of the water in my wave out of 51 (50+ men and clydesdayles).  Sometimes, I am able to draft and I think that may have helped get me a tiny bit more of a PR -- oh well.

Swim: 7:06.5
T1: 1:10.1
Bike: 36:23.5
T2: 0:24.7
Run: 37:14.9

Monday, June 4, 2012

Twinsburg Duathlon (Relay) 2012

Yep, after hundreds of years (well maybe  a little over a half a year) I have a race report! 

My foot is still the same.  I have good days and bad days.  I am still going in for this and that hoping the medical professionals can figure it out.  I can run or run/walk, but it's nothing worth writing home about (but obviously blog worthy as I am typing about it).  If I push myself I can probably run close to 8min/mile for about 5k and that's all I got right now.  Needless to say road racing and even multisport are nearly impossible -- or are they?

I love the RD for Northcoast Multisport and try to volunteer at as many events of his as possible, including the Twinsburg Duathlon.  Last year, I was in "ok" shape on a downward spiral to near couch potato and still managed to put up a 1:06:xx time and win my AG.  This year I would probably have to kill myself just to break 1:10 and was certain my foot would hurt like a mother for days after.  I had just completed "staycation ironman" and was feeling great about getting into some overtraining for at least 1 week and begged my mom to run for me.  She thought it was ridiculous I would want her to "race" with me, but it would give me a chance to crush the bike and compete.  She begrudgingly gave me her blessing and I signed us up.

I got off work Saturday morning and was asleep by 10am, but 1pm rolled around so fast and we headed down to packet pick-up.  We drove the run course in hopes of settling her nerves a little and she kept reiterating we were going to be last.  I proceeded to Ricky Bobby and Charlie Sheen her for the rest of the night saying "If we're not first, we're last" and we had "tiger blood" and team silver fox and flash the turtle were gonna be "winning! winning! winning!"  All my confidence did nothing to change her mind that we would be last. 

Sunday I rolled out of bed packed my gear and jumped on my bike at 5:30 am and pedal out to the race.  My legs still felt tight from the 100+ miles I had cycled that week, and my heart rate jumped into the 140-150 range almost immediately.  I wasn't sure if it was because I was fatigued or because of the added weight of the backpack I had on.  I had to call AH from my bike because I had forgotten my race numbers and he thankfully offered to bring them -- doh!!

I arrived a little before 6:00 am and immediately helped start setting up for the race.  Time just flew and before I knew it we were already to start.  My mom nervously lined up and at the horn started her first race in 3+ years.  I was so pumped to race with my mom and tear the bike course up.  I knew I was going to be riding from behind and I wanted to catch as many people as possible to help us out.  AH had changed out my tires the night before -- finally (they were bald as heck and just waiting to blow).  There were a few bangs at the beginning and my dad had to tease AH that those were my tires blowing, which of course had AH in a panic.  I had headed into the gym to warm-up on the track with some really slow jogging for 10 minutes. 

I had told my mom when you cross the mat and enter transition "Come straight to me.  Don't get anything to drink, take off the chip, just run to me."  Transition times were to be built into the bike time and I wanted to be in and out as fast as possible.  However, when she hit the first mats she took water, stopped to try and pull off her chip (sign a few autographs and wave to the crowds I think).  Transition ADD hit her.  I motioned for her to run to me and yelled "I'll get the chip off, just run here!!"  When she got to me I all but ripped her leg off at the ankle grabbed my bike and ran out of T1. 

I was the last bike out.  I had one thought on my mind "get as many as you can."  And I did.  From the first mile I started passing people.  I got up to 13 a little over half way and lost count.  I was in no danger of getting a drafting penalty as I was moving significantly faster than everyone.  I tried to yell a few words of encouragement to everyone I passed.  It started to rain on the back half where you can fly.  I was leaned over on my aero bars for most of the race and I felt my tires shimmy-ing a little -- damn I was gonna have to ride hunched over on the outside.  I switched and kept pushing.  I could tell from the get-go I had spiked my heart rate between the initial climbs and chasing.  I ignored my garmin, opting to just push, push, push.  I wasn't gonna get my HR back down no matter what I did.  I hit the big hill on Glenwood and mistakenly decided to climb it seated nice and easy.  Hindsight there was less than 3 miles (pretty much all down hill) left and I should have blown up the hill like last year.  I crested the hill, turned right and bombed my way back to the fitness center.  When I hit Miktarian (street/blvd) I started sucking some air hard and just grunted and yelled "come on, move motherf*cker!!"  There was a lady walking her dog up ahead and I think she heard me because she turned around.  I got one more guy before heading into the fitness center and I hammered my way up to transition, like I was Mark Cavendish sprinting for the win in the TdF. 

 I ripped off the chip right before the dismount line hopped off my bike and ran for my rack.  I almost slippe on the wet pavement, but managed to hold myself upright until I got to my mom.  I gave her the chip wheezing and spent.  I had ridden the course like a crazy person, being very aggressive on the turns, the downhills and the slick roads.  I had glimpsed my Garmin and seen 33:xx.  I was hoping to be sub-33.  Damn!! 

My mom headed out on her second run and I quickly changed shoes and grabbed some water.  AH was worried I had flatted when I hadn't come back by the 1 hour mark, but extremely happy to see me flying in.  He had been the spotter for my mom since she had her glassess off.  She kept asking him "is that her?"  And he would say "no, she will be much faster than that."  Funny thing when I did come in I guess they were both kind of like "That's her!"  Haha -- I really didn't even ride as great a time as I had wanted. 

I eventually jogged out to nearly a half mile and waited for my mom to reappear.  I saw people coming in that I had passed on the bike and knew we wouldn't be last, barring my mom's back hurting.  She crested the hill and I picked her up at the corner.  We ran together nearly to the finish.  There was a lady in red coming behind her and I was getting worried she might catch us so I ordered my mom to pick it up when we hit the light post and she did.  They had a finisher's tape set-up for her to break and with 1:31:26 on the clock we finished!! 

Run 1: 27:42
Bike with T1 and T2: 35:28 - pretty sure my mom tried to make me kill myself on the bike by goofing around in transition ;)  Even with her sabotaging me I had the 5th fastest bike split out of all the women racing -- haha.  Averaged HR 170: Max HR 180 for 10.44 miles.
Run 2: 28:15

And we didn't finish last! We beat 14 individuals and 3 teams :)  Pics to come...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dream A Little Dream

I need to become more regular again regarding my blogging and by that I mean 3-4 times a month, not once a month.  I have been a busy bee though with other things.  No rest here.

Work has slowed down a bit and I am not being called in every week for OT, although I did willing volunteer Tuesday night to be on-call and ended up going in for a few extra hours.  Lord knows I am going to need the money to fix my broken self.

On my way home yesterday I stopped at Solon Spine and Wellness to see TK, who has been providing me with temporary relief in my left foot with his magic hands.  After that it was a quick trip home to let the beasts out for a potty break and then over to the Twinsburg CCF facility to see my doctor. 

He seemed genuinely bummed to hear that the orthotics (that cost $400 mind you) had not brought me any relief.  He examined my foot and ankle, making sure to hit all the tender spots and make me wince (there are four) before saying the 3-letter acronym I knew was inevitably coming when the orthotics had failed.  "Let's do an MRI, okay?"  "Okay," I replied.  Another test, another long test, but over the last few weeks my attitude has definitely moved into a more depressed state in regards to this.  I have put running again out of my mind and become desperate to just WALK without pain again.  I know I did this to myself, but 2 years of this has now become too much.  I dream of the day when I don't wince in pain (at least not on my left foot/ankle anyway).  Anyway the MRI is next week and hopefully, I can make some headway, err "foot-way" with this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cracked - A Fit Club Intervention

Time has been ticking and over the past 3 months my foot has not improved as I had hoped.  I've drown my sorrows in food, fun, work, alcohol, vacationing you name it and it works for awhile....

But then I see myself in the mirror and I feel every lazy pound I have packed on because of my sedentary life style and my couch potato ways.  I am my lightest when I race a marathon at 126-128 pounds, but I have let it creep up to 138!!  I haven't weighed that much since before my anemia was diagnosed.  I have developed terrible eating habits i.e. eat everything in sight and the amount of alcohol I have put away in comparison to the past has increased (Call me a wannabe alchy if you will) beyond what I feel comfortable with. 

Switching to nights permanently has definitely helped.  Even on my off days I stay up all night until about 9-10 am.  I have even attempted two 5 mile runs this week at an albeit very conservative pace.  The foot doesn't scream FIRE, but it does hurt and there is absolutely no way in heck I can start training with it like this.

So, I finally cracked and went to the Twinsburg Fitness Center and got a membership.  It seemed so stupid at first, I mean I work downtown at the main campus of CCF and we have not one, but two gyms available.  However, the idea of working a 12+ hr day with nearly 2 hours of additional driving makes working out a dream.  The spin classess never seem to correlate with my schedule and I am not going to drive 50+ miles to go to the gym and back, hence my TFC membership. 

I ran last night at 1:00 am and at 5:30 am packed up my gear and headed to the gym for my new membership.  Luck was on my side and because I am a Reminderville resident and I work for CCF (get this) it's $22/month -- that's it!!  That was cheaper than my JCC membership -- SCORE!

I changed my clothes quickly and hit the 6:00 am spin.  TY was leading the class and gave me the run down about the class as I warmed up.  The workout was great.  I was practically sweating like this chick (I'll take it -- she's fast)!  Everything was based on cadence and quarter turns and I pushed myself pretty hard.  I am sure my ass is gonna be sore after I finally get some sleep.  His music also matched the paces (lots of Green Day, All American Rejects and Linkin' Park -- and I love them all!).  I felt very weak and out of shape.  TY talked to me after the class inviting me on an outdoor ride that would be starting when the weather finally broke and stating that if I came to his class I would get stronger -- I sure hope so.  I am a little disappointed with how soft I have become (literally).  Hell I didn't even like taking off my shorts to snorkel in my bikini bottom in Hawaii' my ass had (still has) so much cottage cheese, but hopefully I can tighten this sh*t up and lock it down. 

** Just a side note: My weight has rocked from 113-145 pounds since I was 21.  I know how I look and how I feel.  I hate that a woman's weight is like a white elephant in the room, that no one can talk about.  I am not a small girl for cripes sake.  I am 5'7" and I like to eat -- a lot, but there is no reason why I have to hide my additional smooshiness from anybody or lack-therof. The thing is -- we all get older, we all age, we all have our own demons to battle.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Deck

It's been nearly 3 months now since running went on the back burner due to my foot, oh hell, what am I saying it completely fell off the stove.

Anyway, I got my orthotics 2 days ago and I am back on nights, so we shall see how it goes.  The doctor said to break them in slow and apparently his definition and mine are different.  I thought I would wear them at work every other day, but nope he recomends starting with 30 minutes and working my way up to a few hours!  At that rate, I wont be running until 2013, sheesh!!  I am gonna play it by ear, errr, I mean foot and see how it goes.  No races planned, but hopefully by fall I will have at least a half marathon on deck.

Less than a week until Hawaii and I am so looking forward to the sun and sand.  I need a little re-juvenation after my intermittent bouts of UPTO.  I have never been sick like this (cold in Nov, pink eye in January and now the stomach flu).  My personal goal was for work on my individual development plan was to become healthier and of course with any goal it must be measureable so decreased sick days and weight loss is the way I am going. 

In the meantime, I am gonna keep counting the days until me and A-train leave this thankfully mild winter behind for a bit and keep breaking these orthotics in.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Great Distractions

Life has been no less than pretty great since the holidays ended. I find my plate overloaded with tasty treats in 2012, but something is missing.

Work has been extremely busy as usual and overtime is inevitable for me.  The only way I seem to be able to avoid it is by making plans, so I can't stay or refusing to pick-up my cell phone on my days off, which I am working on.  I have made a decision to move to straight nights too.  The thought had been brewing for months now and after weighing all the pros and cons I think it will be worth it in the long run.  Some of the advantages included no more rotating shifts and getting on a regular sleep schedule.  Parking will be cheaper per month and I will make an more money. 

 I found myself purchasing a new vehicle.  A-train thinks it looks like a booger on wheels and I have to keep re-educating him that mucous is white to yellow and only green when infection is present, but alas I think it's a losing battle with him.  He's just gonna keep referring to my car as such.

My employer offered us FREE nose bleed seats to any Lake Erie Monster's game and A-train and I sat through three exciting periods of hockey.  The goalie that night (Gerald Coleman) was freakin' amazing only allowing 1 goal on about 30 shots.  Gloves and helmets even came off for a few brawls on the ice!!  Lately, when I go to watch the CAVS or Indians we have lost, but I finally broke my losing streak as the Monsters took the win 3-1. 
Before the game we needed to eat dinner and I decide I would keep it a secret from A-train that we were going to hit up The Chocolate Bar!!!  We each had a very tasty martini.  I got the chocolate banana creme and he got the boring plain old chocolate martini.  Mine was WAY better.  A-train picked brie with chutney for an appetizer.  Funny thing is he had never had chutney and wasn't sure what it was until I told him.  When it arrived he had absolutely no qualms about eating most of it.  The main course included pesto salmon for me and a buffalo chicken sandwhich with fresh kettle cooked chips for him. Overall the food was pretty good and the price was reasonable, except for the $10 martinis, but that's what we expected.

After what seemed like forever, we had an official GNO at BB's house. It was perfect with the exception of a damn snowstorm that hit that night, so the roads on the way home were less than ideal for driving on. MK also left her hazards on and drained her battery, but thankfully e-speed and I knew how to jump a car, so she was back in business after we borrowed BB's jumber cables. 

I did manage to get my hands on this stuff too while I was there ....

Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

Blackout Stout aged in oak bourbon barrels.
ABV: 9.5%
ABW: 7.6%
IBU: 50
  • Gold Medal, 2011 World Beer Championships
And let me tell you -- it's pretty dam good!

On the horizon first and foremost is my vacation to Kauai!!  It's only 19 days away and I can't wait.  I am finally going to see the ocean up close and personal.  Only 10% of the island has roads and offers quite a few places to hike.  I plan to attempt surfing and scuba diving (or at least snorkeling), horseback riding and we are going to be there for Waimea Town Celebration

And although, things are different in a great way, deep down I carry with me a little bit of sadness and a lot of yearning that I still can't run the miles I so badly want to.  My foot has reached an impasse.  It's no better or no worse.  I'm still waiting for them to complete my orthotics and sneaking in 3-4 miles once or twice a week just to hear the ground crunching under my feet and my heartbeat pumping hard as I trot along.  I guess there just are no substitutions for true loves.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My 12 Months of 2011

This year was filled with ups and downs, dare I say it though... I think I came out on top!

January - Spent weeks prepping for the hardest test of my life (thus far) and quit waiting tables at Longhorn!  Yes!!!!

February - Took the hardest test of my life (thus far) and PASSED!  Yes!!!!

March - Started my job as an RN in oncology at one of the most renowned hospitals in the country!  Yes!!!

April - Finally got to run the Boston marathon after having to skip it a couple years in row!  Yes!!!

May - Put up a 10k (soft) PR -- one of the few I got this year!  Yes!!!!

June - Race my first of only two triathlons this year and managed to incorporate a surprise birthday party for A-train into it.

July -  Somehow managed to PR in the Fairport sprint tri on minimal training (swimming in races only) and feeling like a hippo in spandex (that's a boooo!!) Yes for the PR!!!!

August - Finally got my Eleanor and ran the Twilight Trail race without completely blowing up and destroying myself!  Yes!!!

September - Finally, got the whole family to run a race together, even if G-unit cheated and then DNF'd ;o)  Ran the Akron Relay with 3 Freaky Fast Females and came in 3rd female team overall.  Yes!!!

October - Hitting up Columbus with the best gal pals EVER (including two of the Freaky Fast Females) to run the half marathon and party!  Yes!!!!

Novemenber - Traveled to Chicago with KM and the decimator to eat way too much chocolate fondue after racing my first 15k ever, which led to my only other PR this year!  I also completed marathon number 6 -- didn't go very well, but I did it nonetheless.  Yes!!!!

December - Tried to do my own little version of a "shopaholic" and bought lots of gifts for myself and the family.  My checkbook may have been fatally wounded after after those final weeks in 2011!!  It was awesome buying my family some "big" gifts after being so poor through my 3 degrees.  Yes!!!

Looking ahead to 2012, I've got a lot of possibilities on the horizon in all aspects of my life (professionally and personally), starting with getting my orthotics so I can run again and finding a place to live all my own.
And that's a wrap.