Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weeoooweeoooweee, like a cop car

Or an ambulance.

Went to the doc at noon today. She ordered a bunch of tests. I felt like crap, she could tell. I was in a lot of pain. She could tell that too.

Mom and I walked next door to the lab to have blood drawn. They made me wear a mask. I warned her I would pass out. Funny, lately my veins have been bulging. As soon as we get to the doc, it's like they ran for cover. She sticks the needle in my left arm...nothing. Moves to the right arm, takes two vials. I didn't look. I had my head leaned back against the wall. The tech kept asking me how I felt. She pulled the needle out, put on a bandage and I remember thinking that I'd made it through this one...without fainting!!!

Next thing i know, I feel a sqeezing sensation around my thigh, someone is telling me it's ok. Where am I? There are shoulders under my armpits. I'm gasping for air. Seriously, where am I? I hear mom's voice. I'm lifted out of the chair, but my legs are not mine. They're lifted from under me.

I hear nurses panic. I hear a call for a doc. I'm sweating. I can't catch my breath. I'm laid on the floor. I hear mom ask if seizing is normal when one passes out. I hear sirens. My arms and legs go tingly. Then my whole mouth and nose. My shoes are removed. I'm freezing. I'm wet. Someone's rubbing my feet, telling me to take deep breaths, wiggle my fingers and toes. Too much. I couldn't do all three at once.

"Are you pregnant? On medications? Allergies? Eppileptic? Ever had seizures before?"

No. No. None. No. No.

On the stretcher and down the elevator to the ambulance. Off to the ER.

They tell me they're going to take more blood. Tears come to my eyes. WTF?!?

THey didn't. And it turns out, I apparently just had some response to the blood being drawn. I was released after an EKG and other random shizzle...
Back home now and can barely type I'm so tired. So, I'm out. Nighty night.

Oh, and no Pig running for me Sunday. I will be on the sidelines cheering for Judi and Tom and Sandi, Squirrel, Mark, Quinn, Tim, Ackermann, and all my buddies I forgot!

**Update - Yes, I seized. That's why they called 911. EKG also revealed an enlarged heart. Does it ever end?!?***

Good, Bad and Ugly

First, the Good:
Avenue Q is an amazing show!!! Hilarious. And raunchy. And tactless. But honest. And fun. It's about relationships and finding your purpose in life. How appropriate! Here's a little clip, just for fun...

Now, the Bad:
My PCP sent me home on Tues with the diagnosis of "virus" as I said in last post. Well, yesterday my swim went well, but by 2pm, I wanted to fall asleep at my desk. I went home, did a short run with strides. It was awful. My legs felt heavy and it was just WAY more difficult than it should've been and I was seriously sweaty. It wasn't even 70 degrees and it was only a half hour run and i looked like I jumped in a pool. I drank some coffee to wake up and went to the show downtown. Got home before 11 and slept soundly until my alarm sounded at 6:30am.

No morning workout scheduled, but I put some coffee on and took the dog out for a stroll. I noticed some pain and upon investigation...severe lymphnode swelling. Called in sick, back to the doc - a different one - at noon. I feel worse today than I have the last couple days. I almost passed out this morning. They better take some damn blood today! Mom is coming along because I'm notorious for passing out when blood is drawn. The Pig is looking like it won't be run :( but I'll go down and cheer everyone else on :)

And, the Ugly:
Tomorrow, I'm supposed to go out of town, to mom's hometown. The cancer took my uncle Tuesday night. The visitation is Friday evening, funeral services are Saturday morning. He and my step-dad were diagnosed about a month apart. Step-dad passed just over a year ago. Strange that sisters lose their spouses to the same thing within a year of one another. Perhaps they can garner strength from one another?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ahhh.... I can breathe!

Monday, I tried to get out for a swim. I completed a solid 2500, but I couldn't finish the entire prescribed 3300. I just had NOTHING left. I crawled out of the pool, drove home and crashed on my bed. Again. No shower, but I did eat dinner. And I read the article in Triathlete magazine about how we are so obsessed with our bodies. Ya think?

Tuesday morning I went out for my 30 min easy run. It was just hard to breathe! Running just isn't as fun when you suck at it.

I finally broke down and called the doctor. I HATE going to the doctor. It's not because I don't like needles or meds or because I have some crazy fear that I'll get horrible's because I hate being weighed. Yep. I do not like getting on that scale. I mean, is it really necessary? It produces anxiety and I can't even recall the last time my doctor actually prescribed me a med. Anyway, I went. The nurse weighed me, took my blood pressure. The doc came in, asked some questions, listened to me breathe and told me the same thing he always does "It's a virus. Nothing I can give you. Just gonna have to wait it out. You should be able to run by Sunday."

That's what I figured.

I went home and got on the trainer in front of the TV. I watched some stupidly rich kids flaunt their parents homes on MTV's Teen Cribs, a little bit about staph infection on Oprah, and parts of a documentary on some modern-day Bonnie & Clyde . This is exactly why I just don't watch TV. And hour later, my energy was gone. Completely. I walked Clubber to stretch my legs and spent some time talking with a few highly confused, self-sabotaging individuals. These talks brought me to wonder why it is that we're so afraid of success? Why do we create drama for ourselves?

To avoid drama myself and take advantage of the fact that I was sharing the apartment with no one, I went to bed at 8:30pm.

I woke up to do my swim this morning and felt pretty great...relatively. So, I headed to Mercy and jumped in...400 mixed strokes warm-up
3x (200 pull on 3:20, 4x50 on :55) I held ~3 on the pulls, :36-:39 on the 50s
800 free
200 mixed strokes cool-down

I made it through the whole thing feeling pretty good. Now it's almost 3pm and I feel as though I could fall asleep at my desk. I'm supposed to go see Avenue Q tonight and I'm listening to the music now. It's pretty great. I've got a quick run after work before I put on a dress and heels. I'll give the full report tomorrow...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Being sick

There are very few things in life that I hate. Being sick is one of them. I always want to get up and do something. Then I try (or i do, out of sheer will) and find it was silly of me. Yesterday's two hour run, for example - Sheer will got me through that thing. And ego. I couldn't bail half-way through and leave Missy running alone. I couldn't tell coach that it just wasn't in me. I should've. But I didn't. Today, my abs are getting a workout with the coughing. You know, the kind of coughing that leaves you red faced, gasping for air, broken capilaries around your eyes...

I've been awake for three hours and once I finish this, I'm going back to bed. It's probably about 80 degrees and sunny today. I may not even make it past the porch. There will be many more days like this to come, but it sucks to miss the first few.

A couple people have asked about my race season...and I have the bigs ones on the calendar, but I think there will be a few smaller ones thrown in. Thus far, its:

May 3 - Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH
May 22-24 - American Triple T, Portsmouth, OH
July 19 - Musselman Triathlon, Geneva, NY
August 30 - IMKY, Louisville, KY

I'm not dead set on Musselman right now. I registered for it because I thought I'd be living in Jersey and it would be a good half to do. I'll likely sub in another race. Gotta talk to caoch about what he wants me to do, I suppose.

For, now, I need to go rest and get healthy for the Pig next weekend.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

my head...

...right now, is full of snot. Like, gallons of it. Seriously, what was I thinking going to Portsmouth this weekend for TTT training?! Beside the facts that my lung capacity is at about 65%, I can't breathe through my nose and my energy levels are waining, the courses for the 4 races are extremely hilly! I made it about 3 hours on the bike yesterday before I finally decided it was just stupid for me to be out there, particularly with one week 'til the Flying Pig. I felt like such a wuss, but I do know better. I couldn't keep up and my legs had no pep. Seriously, it wasn't even fun.

...talked me into staying the night anyway. Missy and I had our own cabin. At one point, all the guys were in it too, but we had the place t o ourselves the majority of the time. I figured I could rest up and even if I couldn't do the prescribed run in the morning (of run down to the trail, run the trail twice and back to the cabin), I could do part of it and see how the course looks. Missy and I did the whole thing anyway. It felt much more difficult than it should have for me. But, I made it through the whole two hours without passing out. totally stuck on someone. CAN NOT GET HIM OUT! ugh. wondering where I'll be moving a month from now. It's become pretty clear I can't live with mom and Kaylee. It's been an experience over the last year, but it's also a 3-ring circus inside these four walls. There are some things happening right now that just don't feel right. And that's something I can totally do without. thinking about those who raced St. Anthony's today!

...needs a break. I'm off for a nap...

Friday, April 24, 2009


3am.I awake in a pool of sweat, unable to swallow. Do I go into work? Mom and her 30 years of nursing look down my throat with a flashlight. Swollen. No white patches. Into work. No lunch break.

4pm. It's sunny. 68 degrees. I'm itching to get outside. The sore throat has turned into drainage and sneezing.

5:30pm. Home. Arguing via text about whether to throw His things in the dumpster or give them to Goodwill. I change into shorts, bike cleats. Strap on my helmet. Suspend the conversation. 75 mins on the bike to clear my mind. 75 mins to be out on the road, away from the chaos. 75 mins to not engage in argument. 75 mins to not worry about a thing. 75 mins to breath the fresh air. And the middle 25 were focused. Intervals. Those are 25 minutes for me to be in control, to be strong, to dig deep.

7pm. Back home. Check the phone. Respond. Laugh at myself. And Him. We're both crazy. Take off the cleats, slip on the runners. Re-apply Body Glide. Ditch the sunglasses. Dig out the iPod. Grab a few jelly beans. Out for a 45 min run. Push the hills, relax all else. I charge the hills, minutes 6 to 13. At the top, I relax. Easy. I sing along with the music blaring in my ears. Sing out loud. 25 mins in and I feel as though I could run forever.

8pm. Walking the pup. Talking training with the neighbor. Texting with Him. I know I'm crazy. I'm also a little a excited.

8:45pm. Showered and fed. He arrives. It's been over a month since I've seen Him. I get a kiss on the cheek, gifts from SA, conversation and stories. I'm given compliments, niceties. He tells me I seem different - relaxed, but fun, comfortable with myself. I know I'm just detached. We laugh. We eat pop-tarts. He watches the muscles in my legs as I crack my ankles. He holds me close. I keep from getting too close. We stay up past midnight. And I fall asleep in his arms.

5am. The alarm sounds. We both hit snooze. I get up and make "the best coffee in the world". He still doesn't put the peanut butter jar away when he's finished. We swim a few grand at Mercy. He resists criticizing my stroke. He lets me swim my prescribed pull set. He joins in for my 8x50. He's quiet on drive home. Tired. I ask questions. I'm granted honesty.

8am. He breaks the news He was hired for a coaching job in FL. I make breakfast. Get ready for work. Brew Him more coffee. Help him construct an email. It's like nothing changed, but it's all so different. He smacks my ass. He tells me I look cute. He likes my hair. He leaves me with a few things of his. HE APOLOGIZES. He hugs me in the parking lot. Doesn't want to let go. He whimpers. We each drive away not knowing when we'll meet again. Unclear of our status. But I feel safer than I have in weeks.

4:30pm. Sitting in my cubicle. 80 degrees outside. List of food and gear in hand. Going home to do laundry. Have to pack my bags, my car. Big training weekend at Shawnee in preparation for TTT. He dropped out a few weeks back. Had only signed up to impress me. I don't know anything about where this path may lead, but this is my path. And He is on His. And that's exactly how it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Work sucks right now. Like, it really sucks. Everyone has a bad attitude. We're not making any money. Sales reps are whiney. Credit is complacent. We're all bored and tired. We watch the minutes tick by. Hard times have hit. And we're a bank.

Fortunately, I have training that keeps me busy! And it's always brought me far more joy than my actual occupation. So, days like today, when the atmosphere around the office is slightly more oppressive than inviting, I look forward to getting out for some nice hard track work!

Tom actually asked to join me this week. All he knew was that it was a 90 min session. And to meet me at the track behind the Domicillary.

I wore a dress to work today primarily because it's easier to change clothes while driving when it's just one piece you have to strip off. I arrived at the track looking like an Easter egg in my green shorts, pink bra, blue shoes and purple jacket. Tom was waiting. I spouted a few choice words about a few of my sales reps as we started the 20 min warm up. We ran on the road for this and came back to shed some layers and start the real work.

First up, just 6x100m sprints with 2 mins recovery run between each. By the 4th one, I could feel the burning in my quads. By the 6th one, Tom was starting to get warmped up.

Another easy mile around the track. Seemed like it took forever! Then began the 3x9min tempos. The first one, I started out and lost Tom right away. I looked at my watch as I crossed a mile - 6:27. Uh...can I hang on? Yep. Five and a half laps in 9 mins. And an easy recovery lap. Then off for the second...crossed the mile at 6:31. Again, 5.5 laps. That one hurt. I finally got a glimpse of what Judi means when she says she feels like she's going to shit herself during speed work. Last one...the first couple laps I could feel my quads burning. I tightened my abs, I paid attention to my foot strike, my leg turnover...crossed the mile at 6:38. My pace had slowed a bit, but I made it the full 5.5 laps again. And so grateful for the cooldown.

Tom and I laughed as we made those final loops around the soccer field...and I realized how much my mood had changed. I put on my tights and dress in the parking lot...very discretely (seriously, i'm a master. lol) and went back to my cubicle to rest up for my after work swim :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And bring on week TWO

I slept in my compression tights Sunday night and awoke before the alarm sounded...and not lying in a puddle of sweat! Wit hthe extra time on my hands, I decided to make the trip out to the pool at Mercy Anderson, where I used to swim Masters.

5:40am and I was in the water...a few hundred for warm-up, 6x100 drills and swim. I noticed that a guy had jumped in the lane next to me and was moving pretty quickly. Between sets, I looked and it was Curtis, one of the guys from Masters! I said hello and he mentioned he wondered who was swimming so fast next to him. Ha! Time to cut the small talk and get down to business. 3x800, each set with a different focus, and each with only a 20 sec breather. Coach E had given me a goal pace, but the effort was to be relaxed. These were long sets and the idea was to complete each in similar time. The first one, went out a little too fast, 20 seconds ahead of pace. Second one, 40 seconds over goal pace. Dang! Still learning how to pace in the water. I knew that third one was going to be difficult. The first half, I didn't feel too bad, but that last 400, I felt like I was dragging a piano through the water! And, I managed to be just over goal!

After that session, I was glad that my next workout wouldn't be for a full 24 hours.
So, after work, I went home, walked the dog and laid in bed reading a book while the rain poured down outside.

This morning was cold and wet and windy. I opted for the DREAMILL!! I hate that thing, but I wanted to wear shorts and sweat. And I did...through the warm-up, pick-ups and cool-down.
I was actually early (or earlier than normal for work) and I worked through lunch because it was still cold and wet and this time...hailing. So, my bike after work was on the trainer. It was just ok. I'm quite glad i stayed inside because it hailed yet again while i was riding. After a warm-up, there was high cadence stuff, which i like and welcomed. Then, 2x20min in z4 with a 5 min easy spin to separate. The first 20 min segment kinda sucked, but the last half of the second one is when i actually felt best. Cool-down, walk the pup and stretch.

Just so happens my boss is outta the office tomorrow so I can take a 2 hour lunch and do track work :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

done and done

Yesterday was sunny and 78. Today, 56 and rainy. PERFECT running weather. I dragged my butt outta bed at 6am, did my business and drove to Tom's for a two hour run. I donned my sexy compression socks and we started out at a nice relaxed pace. Up the hill, and down to Covington, across the Suspension Bridge to downtown Cincy. Sunday mornings are quiet. Very little traffic. Not many people. The only sounds were our voices, catching up on life, our laughter and the rain falling on the streets. We turned up Gilbert, across Taft, down Reading, past the church where I was married 5 years ago. We passed a couple other runners and I spotted a some crazies out on bicycles a few miles ahead. We spoke of race strategy, irony in life, relationships, growth and hinderances. We crossed the Purple People Bridge and in front of the lifeless levee. As we headed up the hill back toward his home, Tom fell back. I slowed, told him to hang onto my back wheel. And there he stayed. Somehow, we always tend to come in at just the right time. An hour, 59 minutes and 22 seconds later, we were in front of his house, shoes wet, clothes sweat-drenched, but souls smiling. We pondered how it occurs that just the right pace, just a slight hesitation here or there, a water stop, a potty break, would've put us off time...but it worked out just right.

From there, I went to help the girls cook. I had dish duty. Listened to a man speak of living a life in turmoil, from the streets to prison and now living a full life. Amazing what we humans are capable of.

Then home to eat, shower, rest before the 2x1000 time trial swim. Recovery compression tights on and under the covers, Clubber cuddled so close. The alarm sounded too soon. It was time to hit the pool.

I gathered my suit, made the drive, changed in a daze, noted the warning sign on the pool door "Due to recent weather, the pool temperature is unseasonably warm, but SAFE. We are working on getting the temperature back down to 82-84 degrees."It was like a sauna. Warm water. I started the first 1000. Lap after lap after lap. 14:55. Not bad for no warm-up. 2 min rest. A teenage boy had come in and I noticed him splashing around as I swam. He noted aloud the difficulty of swimming, that he thought being in good basketball shape qualified him for good swim shape. I mumbled something about it being about technique before I pulled down the goggles and off for another 1000. It felt more difficult. I tried to focus on high elbows, a strong pull, legs together when kicking. 14:39. And out of the water.

Week one under Coach E...DONE! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I had so much fear about today's ride. Four hours with Coach E and the kids (i use this term loosely. They're all older than I) he trains. I met Andy in the parking lot. We were both early. E and Squirrel and Missy showed up just 2 mins after ETA of 8:30...on their bikes. They'd already ridden almost two hours. After a quick chat, a potty break and food, we all took off.

Missy headed home after an hour (and still got in her 4 hours) and I was left with the three boys. I soon learned what Missy must go through all the time. LOL. They're men...and men tend to act like 12 year olds whenever three or more are gathered together. And I can't tell you how much I lOVE seeing men act this way, making gay jokes and singing 80's songs. They don't even get mad when I call them old. I stripped off my half-zip fleece while riding down the road, over the helmet and all. When Coach saw me attempt, he threatened to install a pole on my bike if I could accomplish...and i did. Instead, he just offered me a dollar :)

Naturally, it turned out my fears were irrational. We took it easy... they even let me pull some, usually at the top of some big hill. I have no patience to just ride up hills, so I tend to get to the top as quickly as possible...and Coach called me "monkey" at one point since I had the energy, but that's understandable since they'd logged additional hours. The only time I questioned my sanity was climbing this hill out of Ft Ancient where the gravel on the side of the road made my tires spin.

I'd let Coach know I'm not incredibly confident on the bike, so he tested me a few times - he'd ride close, he come up and put his hand on my bike and pedal along, charge the downhills. And turns out, after just a week with him, I trust him completely.

There was a big beautiful blue sky and the sun was shining. 66 miles later, Andy and I pulled back into the parking lot at the beach, stretched and headed on our separate ways.

As I ate the best PB&J ever on my way home, I found myself smiling uncontrollably. Life is good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

my new love affair

And you got your share of secrets
And I'm tired of being last to know
And now you're asking me to listen
Cause it's worked each time before

But you don't have to call anymore
I won't pick up the phone
This is the last straw
Don't wanna hurt anymore

- "You're Not Sorry", Taylor Swift

...And so I've begun a new love affair....with my bike!!!

Coach E has these very prescribed workouts. Yesterday a brick. The bike was 11x30sec big ring power sprints with 90 secs easy spin. My warm-up was pretty much getting through Newport and across the bridge to Cincy and onto Eastern Avenue, where there is some flat fast ground. The sprints were fun! I felt fast and powerful and in control. And they made the time fly by! The cool down was good to help hydrate for the run...and it was then that I was reminded of the thing I love most about riding alone outside - cat calls from the gritty dudes on street corners...and me returning the favor!

Three and a half minutes later, I had stripped my sleeves, changed shorts and shoes and was out the door for the run. The "hilly run" where I was instructed to "push all hills into z4, rest is z1". Finding hills on which to run is no problem in my neighborhood. The first four mins were flat/rolling. Then I hit the first big hill...and charged up...and I felt it. Like, every muscle fiber in my quads. I felt them all. Just as I would get my heart rate down, another hill...and another...before finally heading back home.

Lots of days when I run, I just let my mind wander. And some days, the thoughts are too comical to keep the laughter inside. That was one of those days...I was just running down the street, laughing out loud. I can only imagine what my neighbors think of me.

Oh well...

Today, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I'm the only one in my dept at work, Tom volunteered to ride hills with me and there is considerabley less traffic during the day, and go for a "lunch" ride. I was counting down the minutes to leave for the ride. Sunny and beautiful and 73 degrees.

A quick warm-up and then a hill...7 mins to get up. Some down hill, and more uphill, over and over and over again. I was laughing. Tom was panting. On the last one, he says "this one's a bitch". And she was...and as we started the climb (standing in granny gear the whole way) all I could say was "Awesome" and I heard laughter behind me...and I can't tell you how happy I was to be out on the road...and out of my cubicle :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm looking at the (wo)man in the mirror

I'm asking her to change her ways.

The disappointment must stop. I must let go. I must not continue to emotionally entangle myself. I must not invite in the chaos. I must not respond. I must not show weakness. I must not let him know he still infiltrates my thoughts.

Because he thrives on these things. Each time one of these things occurs, he gains some control. I must take back the control. The only reason he has power is because i gave it to him. And I'm finally just sick and tired of pain.

At least the emotional sort. The physical kind is beautiful.

Last night was my first bike under Coach E. It was on the trainer. The warm-up and 30 sec fast spins were easy. Then came the 40 min steady state in z4. Fifteen minutes into this, I wanted to rip the fucking bike off the trainer. My legs felt swollen, achy. But how could i tell Coach I bailed after 15 mins? So, i kept pedaling. Ten minutes later, my legs had come around. I felt fresh and powerful and the remaining time went by quickly. I emailed Coach notes. He responded with "Tomorrow sould be a good one-be strong!!"

After the night sweats and the early morning dog walk, I woke to legs that felt better than they've felt in weeks. I tried to commission Tom into meeting me at the track. He declined, said he might just stay in bed. I made one last desperate attempt and decided I'd swim at lunch and go to the track after work.

And about 11:40, I get a text from Tom "I've got to get out. Tell me when and where before I change my mind" LOL! So grateful he changed his mind. I needed a push. Someone else there. Someone else to push me to feel the pain.

We met for my track work. 10 min warm up. 8x30 sec stride with 90 sec recovery. And then...3x1 mile with 2 mins recovery. I already had my mind made up I was going sub 7...maybe 6:45? First mile my heart rate was up. I could hear my breathing. I could feel my legs. 6:30. and on to recovery lap. Next mile felt easier. I gained focus, got relaxed. 6:30 again. And last one...go out on the first lap, maintain for the second, push on the third, hang on for the fourth. 6:37. Slightly off, but I'll so take it. Cool down and change back into work clothes as I drive back to the office. When my next workout is only 4 hours away, there's no need for a shower.

The women in my new department are poster children for J Crew. The men, Brooks Brothers. They all drive Beamers. Hell, they sell aircraft. I go back to my cube with sweat soaked hair and I'm sure I stink. They think I'm silly and immature, no doubt. I live an entirely different life. They have no idea the joy I feel out racing, testing my limits. Maybe it's the same thing they feel watching their kids walk for the first time...or say "dada" or how they feel when they land a big deal with rich payoffs?

After work, a quick swim. Had to get it in and out before aqua aerobics. 5x(150 swim, 150 pull). Short and sweet.

And tonight, I pray I can refrain from contact...even more than for lack of sweating.

For the love of God...

...what is up with the night sweats?!?

3:23am - I'm awoken by my dad's whining dog (I'm dog-sitting), a full bladder and a grumbling belly. I check my phone - is it time to get up already? No. My t-shirt is stuck to my chest. My hair is wet. Beads of sweat drip down my obliques as I rise to take her outside.

3:25-ish - Pee a freakin' fountain. Peel off the wet layer and replace.

moments later - Welcome the blast of cool air as I open the front door to walk the dog. The hair that is matted to the back of my head begins to dry in the breeze...and gives me chills.

3:34am - Scarf down a banana with peanut butter, noting the time on the clock in the kitchen. I brush my teeth and stumble back to my room.

3:42am - Lie back down on damp sheets. Gross. But I'm able to fall back asleep. It's the fourth night in a row for this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yesterday was my first official day under the direction of a coach! And, thus far, I've survived two planned workouts.

Yesterday was a swim that included lots of drills. I was really concerned about swimming on my own because for now, I'm told "no masters". I don't particularly like that idea and I plan to whine about it until I get my way. Coach has me concentrating on my weakness - the bike, so swims are used for recovery. Anyway, it felt great to be back in the water. I couldn't help but think how incredible it is that I can go swim a couple miles without hurting. The very simple acts of swimming and breathing, knowing how to use a pull buoy, do drills, and concentrate the effort on my lats are pretty amazing. As I swam lap after lap, I became very grateful that Paul had spent so much time with me in the water, analyzing my stroke, helping with the catch phase. As Judi pointed out, I could've spent a LOT of money learning the tings he taught me for free. Even if that is the greatest thing I receive from my experience with him, I'm grateful. I suppose you never know when or why healing will occur...

This morning I awoke and went for a run in the rain. It's been raining for over 24 hours. It's just a drizzle, but it's wet. Warm-up, strides, cool down. I didn't feel particularly great, but I also didn't feel awful. I think I was half-asleep until nearly finished with the strides.

I've been having night sweats lately...the kind that soak the pillow, make my hair curl and mat to my head; the kind where beads of sweat drip down my chest when I stand to go to the restroom...even when I sleep with the windows open (and it's only 50 degrees outside).

There's a bike session on the schedule for tonight, which includes 40 mins at steady state in z4. that requires focus. It will probably take place on the trainer. I'm looking forward to the concentration it will require. I welcome the hurt. I'm finding peace with it's various forms...and I see that with it, come better days and strength and joy and laughter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

LSD all alone

Tom bailed on our long run late last night. It was too late to change plans and go to Caesar Creek and ride with the CincyExpress gang...or go to the TT. My bike is still in the box, disassembled. I already planned a ride with Brian for Sunday, so I still needed to get the run in today. The Pig is just three weeks away and all the focus on IMCA 70.3 didn't allow for such long runs.

Admittedly, I was a little pissed that he bailed last minute...but I told him I understood. He's had quite a bit of emotional turmoil involving friends and family as of late. He needed to "decompress". Don't we all?

I decided I'd still get out on the road around 9am...and after spending all morning on the toilet, I wondered if I'd get out there at all. I assumed it was the sweet potato I ate at 9:30 last night...or the ice cream at 10? I didn't realize until I stopped at the bathrooms at the levee about 80 mins in that it was simply hormonal since I'm bleeding from the crotch.

Needless to say, I was less than thrilled about the prospect of going out for 2.5 hours alone. While I've done it so many times before, I'm a tad needy right now. I want company to keep my mind from reeling with various sick thoughts.

So, I started slow....and with my iPod. Right around the first mile, I see a bumper sticker that reads "My give a damn's broken". Yep. I can relate with that. My mind wandered and every time the dark thoughts came, I just asked God to redirect my thinking. I took the long way down to Newport, went through Ft Thomas, by my old apartment, past the high school, down the long winding road where I ran so many times over the summer. I back-tracked to the flood wall where Tom and Judi and I would do speedwork in the heat of the day. I stopped at the levee to fill my water bottle and I crossed the bridge into downtown Cincy. The bars were opening their doors and fans wearing red were beginning to linger in the streets.

It was then that I finally got comfortable with being alone out there. An hour and a half in...and I realized I needed to regain that confidence to be running alone, long and slow. (Well, kinda slow. I averaged 8:13 pace for 18 miles.) That confidence that comes from just feeling, even if just for a few minutes or hours, that everything is right in the world...that no one can hurt me when I'm running, that I'm strong and powerful and beautiful in motion. That's exactly what I needed. And I as I made my way back home, I sent a little thanks up to God for having Tom bail on me.

Friday, April 10, 2009



- It's Friday!!!

- I got my legs back! I went for a run this morning in the cool rain and my legs felt amazing. And I was going at a pretty good clip.

- I'm gaining some acceptance. I have set-backs every now and then (like this morning when I couldn't refrain from spewing hate via text) but I quickly realized that I'm only allowing myself to be stuck in the chaos. And the quote my buddy, Rob, sent me yesterday helped...

Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is… The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.

- I am willing to ask for and accept various forms. My eyes are open to the abundance of grace and hope I've been granted.


- I'm getting a coach!!! One that's super strong on the bike. One that believes I can get to Kona. One that wants to help me...and wants me to help him. Woo Hoo.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a few not so great pics. ha


My legs still aren't right. My stomach isn't either. Nor are my lats...or my breathing...or my food consumption or sleep or thoughts or motivation.

I travelled back from Cali On Tuesday. I arrived home just after midnight and after spending all day on airplanes and in airports, I absolutely had to shower. It was like heaven sleeping with my little munchkin, Clubber. She cuddled so tight to me.
awoke a little groggy on Wednesday and headed to work...where I got chewed out for leaving confidential information on my desk before I left. I didn't even have an excuse. Except that my head was a clusterfuck the day I left the office for the last time. And I'd intended to be back on Monday. But Monday came and I called in sick. I didn't bother explaining to my boss that the guy I was dating is a total psychopath and that I was suffering from shock when I left...and that I'm still grieving the loss of something and someone that never existed. Head up. And back to work.

And after work, I went for a run. My legs are still heavy and tight. Four miles and I was done. But it felt good to sweat, even if just a little.

I was awake until almost 11pm, which is about two hours post normal bedtime. I'm still adjusting back to EST.

My alarm sounded at 5:30 and I'd never felt so grateful that it just so happens to be the week the pool is scheduled for routine maintenace and is closed where I swim Masters. Instead, I dragged my ass out to the 20 meter pool at Urban. It took a full 1000 before I even started to feel comfortable. My breathing isn't right. My stroke feels off.

This too shall pass. The legs will come around. The stroke will come back. Recovery will occur.

Tom just apologized for the uncertainty regarding the time frame for our long run this weekend. LOL. Life is pretty uncertain right now...and I'm pretty OK not knowing whether the run will be at 8am or 9:30am on Saturday morning. I'm even OK not knowing where I'll be living this summer. I'm OK just floating along, not fighting life, seeing where it might just take me.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The M-dot experience is one not to be missed. The level of competition, the athletes, the spectators, the support, the entire buzz surrounding the event are all indescribable.

As Saturday grew closer, the athletes in Oceanside grew in number. Never before have I seen so many beautiful bikes (and those riding them weren’t bad to look at either)! Race day couldn’t come soon enough.

We awoke to an air temperature of 47 degrees, ate breakfast, got the bathroom outta the way, set up our gear in transition and went back to the condo to stay warm. The first wave (of Pros) was to start at 6:40. My heat wasn’t until 7:25 and Tom’s at 7:37.

We walked over to the start just as the first male was coming out of the water (in 22 minutes!!!). I checked my gear in transition one last time and walked over to chat with my dad. I must’ve been taken in by all the excitement (and the fact that my phone was ringing at 2:30 am. REALLY?! He can't sabotage me in person, so he's gotta try telephonically?!) because my brain wasn’t functioning properly. Somehow, I got confused with my start time and by the time my dad mentioned I should be headed to the start, it was 7:22. My wave was already in the water!

I ran frantically through the crowds of white, pink, orange, red, green caps and hit the ramp as I heard the siren and saw feet and armed flail a couple hundred yards away. I missed my start!

Playing catch-up was enough to keep my mind off how frigid the water temperature was, and it wasn’t long before I was in the middle of a pack getting knocked around. That calmed me some, but I had no gage of where I was among my fellow purple caps. Unfortunately, all my work in the water over the last few months went unrecognized as my swim split was extended form the late start. I reached transition (after a quarter mile run out of the water) in 37:22. They allowed booties for the swim (thanks to Garrett at WF for the suggestion) so my feet weren’t solid ice blocks upon exiting. I stripped the wetsuit, donned a long sleeve tech shirt and got on my way.

The bike course took us inland, through much of Camp Pendelton. I took in only water until about 35 mins when I washed down a Gu and I was feeling great. I’d been warned about the deceptively flat beginning. It was relatively flat for the first 28 miles and I was right at 20 mph for that portion. It was windy, but bearable. Then came the first big hill…Or should I say mountain…around mile 29. I got to the top feeling as though I might wretch my guts. The next 15 miles were much of the same, long steep uphill where I’d pass people gasping for air, followed by a downhill where I’d get passed merely due to weight of the rider and aerodynamics.

I spotted a CE jersey around mile 37 and said a few words to Mark as I passed by. The scenery was beautiful out there. Gorgeous mountains and a big blue sky. No rain or clouds in sight. I got a little choked up at the very fact that I was even out there. Somehow, as much as I struggle on the bike, it’s the one place I find the most gratitude. Soon enough, I saw mile marker 45 and the hills were all over, just 11 more miles and it was on to the run. Those last 11 miles were consumed by fighting some Santa Ana winds and were likely the slowest 11 miles of the entire course.

Happy to be off the bike after 3:05, I saw quite a few bikes on my rack and got a better idea of where I stood amongst my AG. After peeling off the sleeves and slippin’ on the Zoots, I made a quick potty stop and headed out for the run. And that’s where the fun really began...

The aid stations and spectators were amazing! My legs felt great. I felt I might shit myself for the first few miles, but some guy came along side and said “You’re going just faster than I wanna go, so I’m just gonna hang onto your back wheel here”. So, I struck up a conversation, which took my mind off the cramping in my belly. I lost him after a couple aid stations and hit the turn around in about 52 minutes.

When I hit mile 10, and verbalized that there was only 5k left, I picked up another guy, William age 33. We stuck together till the end. The bottoms of my feet were hurtin’ and once again, chatting with a fellow athlete took my mind off the pain. I couldn’t help but think how God puts just the right people in your life at just the right time. The 13.1 miles took about 1:44, just under 8 minutes a mile.

I crossed the finish in 5:37 on a sunny beautiful day in Southern California and headed straight for a massage and a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza! It was a great experience and so much fun! I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but there are always more races and this one was quite incredible. At least I didn't blow up on the run.

Last night, I slept in my compression gear and feel pretty darn great today. I've spent most of the day on the beach as it's BEAUTIFUL out there. All sun and warmth. Probably headed for a short run to loosen up later this evening.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

T minus one

Tom and I arrived safely in Oceanside. Right now, I'm sitting in my room listening to the waves crash. Went to athlete check-in today by the Oceanside Pier. Everything is going smoothly thus far. Bike is here and in good working order. Though the water is pretty frigid at 59 degrees and air temp cooler in morning and evening, the full wetsuit and cool water cap make it tolerable. i'm getting rest, eating well, seeing some things, checking out the course. i really couldn't ask for things much better, physically.

Emotionally and mentally I struggle some. A short while ago, I made a choice that caused Tom some pain. Little did I know I'd be here suffering the same pain, and he'd be the one to help me sort through it all.

See, I've always held the philosophy that everything happens for a reason. I usually don't know why until much later, but inevitably, every tiny detail plays a part.

For example, a few weeks ago, my dad made the suden decision to make the trip out here to Cali. I didn't know then that Paul wouldn't be making the trip and I'd be seeking some comfort from those I love, and who better than dad to give me a hug on the starting line? After all, he's the one that started me on this insane journey of triathlon.

I found that the real pain I'm feeling is loss and disappointment because I had an expected outcome. I thought things were going to occur a certain way...and they aren't turning out that way at all. And I have fear because I thought I knew in what direction I was headed...and now I'm being redirected.

It's scary to not know what lies ahead. And at the same time, there's so much adventure in the not knowing. And there's comfort to be found in accepting things have all happened exactly as they should.

So, i'm gaining some acceptance of the current circumstance and i'm attempting to focus on now. and now, it's time to focus on Ironman 70.3 California!