30 December 2008

(no longer) Broken Jaw Series

I felt as though I should give the below post its own space. To update on the chronicles of my broken jaw:

I had the wires that kept me closed cut on 12/19. I could open my mouth about ½ of an inch. That night, I managed to get a few small pieces of White pizza in, and some Italian wedding soup after I gave up on the pizza. It hurt to chew, and my mouth forgot the process. I couldn’t get my tongue to move the food around properly, and I didn’t have the strength to chomp down. So, really, it was like having my mouth wired shut still, only I had a slightly bigger opening to swallow food, and didn’t have to shove small pieces through a pulled tooth. I had a few pieces of a filet on Sunday.. which was far too ambitious. I had a cheeseburger on Tuesday, which was delicious.

I went to the oral surgeon today. He looked at my mouth and said “lets get all that junk out of there”. So, I have an appointment scheduled for January 9th to have the remaining wires that are wrapped around my teeth taken off, and to determine the fate of my teeth/get me set up with a cosmetic dentist.


Rest in Peace...

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What does, makes others realize how strong they can be.

I’ve had quite an absence on my blog lately. To be honest, I haven’t really had much to say. Shock would be the best emotion to describe. Its been a hard few weeks.

On Tuesday, December 9th, my dad fell off the back of the semi while making a delivery (he was a truck driver for Conway Freight), or at least that’s what we think happened – the whole thing is still going through attorneys since it’s workmen’s comp. He must have had a box of lights or something in his hands (he was delivering to Whitmers Lighting in Akron) because he didn’t brace his fall at all, and hit directly onto the back of his head. He wasn’t on a loading dock, so it was a good 10+ foot fall. He immediately was unconscious, though regained slight consciousness in the ER and was very combative, so they sedated and intubated him while they got a cat scan and stitched up his head. He never opened his eyes, but his blood pressure showed he would respond to pain. Wednesday morning around 2-3am, he stopped being responsive and his pupils dilated out. He’d still cough on occasion with the tubes in his throat, but that stopped around 4pm. The neurosurgeon put a “bolt” into his head, which reads the inner-cranial pressure, around 5pm… told us “he’s in very serious condition.. he has a few hours, maybe a day to live” and walked out. Excellent bedside manners. Normal cranial pressure is 8-10… dads was 130 (mental retardation sets in around 45-50). We decided against pulling the life support on Wednesday since we were all drained. After talking that night, we realized we hadn’t even seen the cat scans or anything, so we had another cat scan ordered (so we could compare days 1-3), and the EEG for brain activity. There wasn’t any brain activity, and the cat scans were a mess. His skull was split all the way from his eyebrow to the back of the head, and the central divide between the halves of the brain were more in an S shape instead of a straight line from all the swelling. There was heavy bleeding in the front too. They did the final apnea test at 1:30 on Thursday (pull the machine to see if he could breath on his own), and he failed that, so it was official. Talk about sudden. We had calling hours on Monday night, and a full military funeral on Tuesday (dad was a Vietnam vet – marines.), and had him buried at Western Reserve National Cemetery, since its one of a few military cemeteries in the country that allows non-military spouses.

I’m sad my dad unknowingly canceled the plans we had for the weekend following his accident. He was going to come out to DC, go to my tri team’s holiday brunch, help me move, take me to get my wires cut off.. I wanted it to be a great weekend. I wanted to spend time with my dad since I don’t often have a chance for it to just be him and I. I guess I’m the most upset that he unknowingly canceled plans of the rest of our lives. He was supposed be at the finish line at Lake Placid to give me a huge hug. He was supposed to walk my sister down the aisle 2 weeks after LP, after celebrating his 60th birthday. He was supposed to go to work following these events, and tell every person he came in contact with about how proud he was of his children, just like he always did. He was supposed to be around for so much more.

It was incredibly moving to see the number of lives my dad had touched. He was an amazing person, and it showed by the number of people we had never even known, be brought to tears over my dad’s death. He was a simple, hardworking man that liked to see people smile.

Miss you daddy.

07 December 2008

And the countdown continues!

Only 1 more week until the wires come off... woohoo! I did have a sad realization however. I'm most likely not going to be eating solid food until almost FEBRUARY. Why, you might ask? Well, I'll have rubberbands on the wires for a minimum of 3 weeks. During this time, the main focus is to teach my jaw how to open again. I've talked to 2 people who have had their jaws wired shut, and both said not to expect to open more than a finger's width for the first 2 weeks, and it took them close to a month and a half to have a semi-normal range of motion. That 6 weeks put me around the end of January. Unfortunately, however, I'm going to have to have some crazy dental work done once the rubberbands come off. Come Mid-January, I'll have to have another round of surgery to get the posts in place, a few root canals, crowns, etc etc. Soo, take another week of healing after that, and you've hit February.

This brings me to a new question. I scrapped my Marathon entry for a Half Marathon Entry at the Myrtle Beach weekend. Can I successfully run a half marathon on 1 month of training plus a 2 week taper (not allowed to run until after Monday)? I had a few 10 mile runs prior to the accident, but the last Half I did was in September. Never done a marathon. And I haven't trained for a month, with the exception of 2 swims. Hmm.

Other changes included to my list of events include scrapping the Jingle all the Way 10K, and the Celtic Solstice 5 miler. Doc said no. I am, however allowed to participate in the Christmas Light Run through DC on the 17th, due to the fact that its not a high pace environment. Should be interesting to see how well I can sing christmas carols while running through the city with bells on my feet. :)

I'm also sad I won't be able to go ice skating downtown this year :( I have to avoid any activities that increase my chances of falling and busting up my face again. I'm good at ice skating, but you never know when a small kid might fall directly infront of you and trip you (read: this happened last year, and I had a nice ice-rash on my chin). I will have to go get some pictures again of the trees. These are from last year:

National Christmas Tree on the lawn of the White House (seen dimly in the background). The National Christmas tree is surrounded by a small tree decorated by each state and territory.

There is also a Menorah during Hanukkah on the front lawn, a manger scene, and the Yule Log (which is a giant fire pit about 6 feet deep, fueled by large pieces of the "yule tree" . Keeps you quite warm while looking at the tree's) You can see the smoke from the pit in the picture above.

Trees at the Botanical Gardens. There is also a very elaborate miniature train set that goes around the front of the Gardens. The track is handmade, fabricated by little twigs. It is definitely a work of art, and I hope it is there again this year.

Capitol Christmas Tree. I personally think the Christmas Tree on the lawns of the US Capitol is much prettier than the tree at the White House. Less tacky, just simple and beautiful.

I'll post pictures of this years decorations once I manage to get Downtown. This year, I won't pick the coldest night of the year to go down like Austin and I did last year. Most of my pictures were blurry. Longer night exposure time combined with uncontrollable shaking didn't work out so well.

Oh, and also in the Christmas spirit - if you are doing a Secret Santa exchange this year, check out this site: Secret Santa. With this site, you can set up a list of people to be included on the exchange, they can go in and create a "wish list" to share with the group, and you can set up so certain people are unable to be secret santas (ie: husband and wife in a group). Gotta love technology.

03 December 2008

12 Days.

Until they cut the first set of wires binding my jaw closed. I'm stoked.

I went back to the oral surgeon for my week 3 checkup yesterday. No x-rays this time, just a glance at my teeth, asked me to try to open my mouth (Umm.. buddy, you wired me shut remember, I cant. I'm guessing he was checking to see if it needed to be tightened at all), and told me to set up an appointment around the week of December 15th to have the wires cut. Apparently my eyes must have grown wide with excitement, because he quickly stomped on my dreams of cheeseburgers, noting that I still wouldn't be able to open my mouth much. I'll have rubberbands replacing one set of wires so I may begin strength training in my jaw. Needless to say, I scheduled for 9:30 on December 15th - the first possible appointment.

Feeling brave and adventurous, I went to swim practice last night; my first physical activity since the accident, unless you can count walking to the fridge for another Ensure as activity. As I pulled into the parking lot, Coach Ed was walking to his car. Before I could gather my towel and such, he was standing outside my car door, asking "Are you here to see me for something? I'm heading home since we have 2 other coaches on deck, and I'm swamped with paperwork for the fiscal year." Nope. Here to swim sir. He was impressed that I was already trying to get back on board, and as he admired how much better I looked that last time I saw him, and how phenominal the healing has been I think I saw a slight tear in his eye. Awww.
I was extremely nervous to get in the water. Will I be able to breathe? What if I can't.. I'm just going to get frustrated and dissappointed. How much will I have to throw my form off in order to breathe? How much slower have I become since I've been out of the pool for 3 weeks? And, with that, I slid into my normal lane with Matt, Sebastian, and Fabrice. Iwan hopped over the lane divide to give me a huge hug when he realized I was back in the pool. And so began swim practice. I was a bit late after talking to Ed in the parking lot for a while.. so I missed most of the warmup. Matt suggested we add a little time to the w/u so I could adjust. Good call. The first 50 yards might have been the scariest lap I've swam in a long, long time. We're talking since I learned to swim with my face in the water, circa 1991. I found it easier to attempt to breathe on my left (weak side..), because I have a missing tooth from the accident and am able to suck air in a bit quicker on that side. I had to really focus on the glide part of the stroke, so I could leave my head turned upwards long enough to breathe. It was difficult to get used to turning my head high enough to have my lips completely clear the water. I have very little feeling in my bottom lip-post accident, so I couldn't make my lips do the strange contorted movement we all normally do when breathing during freestyle.

The first set was Kick, Catchup Drill, Tarzan Drill, Fist Swim, 4x100 (we're on a recover week) Kick, no problem. Catchup, no problem, Tarzan.. okay starting to get tired, having to breathe more often = sucking in more water = starting to panic inside my closed jaw, Fist drill... Pass, I'll just kick instead. Each set of 100 lost another drill off the end, so the final set I was just doing pure kick drills for 100. Luckily, I LOVE kick drills, and stay on pace with the guys doing the other swim drills. We then started a set of 800 Z2. Since the four of us suck at counting after a while, we rotate every 200. I mentioned I probably would just hang in the back - they don't want me leading, I'm going to be pulling the pace down. Sebastian looked at me and said "Nope. You're going to have to lead sometime!" I focused on staying as calm as possible during the first 600. Somehow it worked, and I actually stayed on Seb's toes until he peeled off and I lead the final 200. I felt very accomplished, and I'm glad Seb pushed me. We had 3 more sets of 800 prior to climbing out of the pool for the evening, and I only skipped 1 lap after sucking in too much water. Not too bad. I felt like Darth Vader trying to swim though... Not the easiest thing to do, but I guess I'll have excellent breath control once this is all over with.

Nothing else too exciting is going on. I'm not tired of Ensure yet (surprisingly), and I'm excited to get a new flavor sometime this week - mixed berry, to add to the stash of high protien Chocolate, Vanilla, and Banana currently stacked in my room. Mashed potatoes are slowly losing their appeal though. I find new smoothies to make daily, keeping the taste buds happy. I have yet to attempt making any common food into a smoothie - I'm not that desperate, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I don't think you'll see me drinking a processed steak.

Off to get ready for that thing I was extra excited/nervous about a few weeks ago, that was supposed to happen the day after my crash, and they were kind and understanding enough to move it to today. :)

25 November 2008

23 going on 3

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my first of many, many followup visits. He took out the stitches on my chin, so those aren't itching anymore, and took another X-Ray of my mouth. Not just the old school xrays; no no, I stand in this contraption that then rotates around my head, pausing occasionally to extend some sort of plate. Its like a mini bone scan. The images showed tons of wire all through my mouth. Kind of scary. He also explained why he didn't want to have me admitted to the hospital and instead come directly to his office the following day - if I would have been admitted, chances are he wouldn't have been able to get a surgery room until Tuesday or Wednesday to do the surgery. No thanks... I'm glad he kept my costs down! I go back to him on Tuesday morning for another scan. He's guessing I'll be wired shut for at least 3 more weeks, then the wires will come off and I'll get rubberbands to start strengthening my jaw. I can't wait for the rubberbands... even though I'll feel like an awkward teenage with essentially braces and their mouth in rubberbands (glad I never had braces..). I'll be able to sneak extra tiny pieces of food in. I miss meat the most, but not enough to blend it (yet).

I was excited to be able to brush my teeth today. That's the type of thing that brightens the day of a girl with her jaw wired shut. My doctor gave me a baby toothbrush to brush with. Gee. Thanks for making me feel 3 years old.

Smiley faces... nice touch.

This is my current toothcare - a baby toothbrush, complete with smiley faces, Crest Pro-Health rinse, and salt water rinse (featured in a dixie cup). Do you have any idea how much I wish I could brush the OTHER side of my teeth? Ugh.

I'm home in Akron through Thanksgiving. Mom drove me home last night since I'm still on a few pain killers unfortunatly. It's snowing here, and that makes me happy.

View outside my window.. I guess we had 8 inches earlier this week

Safe travels to everyone for Thanksgiving!

21 November 2008

New Grill

Not as much bling as some in hollywood... but its pretty shiny in there.

I took this last night. Lots of the bruising is going down, and the road rash is healing. My neck is still massively swollen, and although the picture doesn't show as well, I have very dark dark bruising from where my chinstrap for my helmet went.

I'm going nuts being in bed. I just want to go out and run, or swim.. or even ride my bike. You would think that laying in bed eating pudding all day would be pretty glorious. Its not. It gets real old, real quick.

Unfortunately I don't have the energy to do much else right now. Maybe by next week. Es dropped off some books for me to read though, bunch of endurance books. I should be well read on all things triathlon by the time this is over. :)

Not too much else to report. I go back to the oral surgeon on Monday. Not sure for what, but I'll be sure to report back.


18 November 2008

Now that I'm coherient..

Here's the full story:

Sunday morning I joined up with the team for a quick 20 mile recovery ride. Nothing big, I've been on this route a few times before. It starts at Falls Church High School, and heads through some of the local back roads. Some are busy, but most have a very forgiving shoulder to allow cyclists plenty of room. Harriet, Robin, and I set out on our journey just after the "A" riders.. and lost site of them, apparently when they turned at we didnt. We realized our mistake after about a mile, since we had all made that mistake on the ride the previous time. Turned around, grabbed the right road, and continued on our way. Met up with some of the 15 mile riders, and chatted it up with them. I passed the girl who was borrowing my old bike, and Nelson and Kate decided to ride with Robin, Harriet and I. We got to a 4 way stop prior to a car, so we took our left turn. Well, this crazy old man slams on the horn as he's running through the stop sign... turns, and proceeds to yell at us for running a stop sign. Nelson clearly explained that he ran the stop sign while slamming on his horn. We told him he was a grouchy old man, and went along on our way. I almost had a dog run into our group, after the owner was checking us out as we rode by.. pretty funny. :) One part of the ride featured an out and back around mile 13 or so. We saw the "A" riders heading back, so we decided to cut out the hill and join back up with them. Tagged along, and I was the last to turn around so I was bringing up the tail end. We headed up a hill, and Robin and Harriet spotted Luke, another teammate on the side of the road waiting for a SAG vehicle. They were slightly ahead of me, so I assumed they would have regained speed from the downhill as I approached, however I don't believe they had. Here's where things get fuzzy. I'm not sure if I just clenched on the brakes to hard and went over, or if I was braking and hit something in the road, losing control and going over. Either way, I went over the handlebars around 25mph, skidding past Robin who was still riding, while I was on my face. I don't remember much other than crawling on the ground for a minute, gasping for air, spitting out blood, and Luke saying he was an Army EMT(?). Then nothing again for a few minutes, until being loaded into the ambulance, refusing to be backboarded because my ribcage and neck hurt. I remember Ed knocking on the door, and just waving to him through the window as I was bleeding everywhere. I don't remember much of the ride to the hospital, but I remember being wheeled through the ER. Then the questions came - "Do you have your insurance card?" No. "License?" No.. I was running late because I fed my friends cat and forgot to grab them and put them in my saddle. "Where do you live?" I umm.. 7706.. no thats not right. 23.. no, thats not right either.. oh my gosh I can't remember where I live (in my defense, I just moved about 3 months ago, and have had about 8 addresses in the past 3 years). They start checking my vitals and hooking me up to a saline drip. Finally I remember and just blurt out 6614E! They looked at me like I was nuts, but then realized that I was repeating my address over and over through my blood-gushing mouth. Coach Ed and Robin came into the ER to see how I was and fill the doctors in with info I was missing. They told me my helmet was cracked, and I showed them my now ruined sunglasses (who knew so much plastic could be shaved off and STILL not bust. Thank you, Smith sunglasses). I was wheeled off to my CAT scan, where I had to try to explain to a nurse how to get all my piercings out with a jacked up mouth. Finally, I got everything out, and was able to be scanned. Returned to the ER, then was wheeled off to x-ray for my face, neck, and chest. The doctors come back in amazement that I didn't have a concussion, no skull, neck, or chest damage. I didn't break my clavicles either. Instead, I broke both hinges of my jaw, broke directly down the center of my jaw, shattered the plate behind my upper lip, and rearranged a good deal of my teeth, chipping most of them. I have stitches in my chin. So the painkillers flowed, as a good 10 or so people from the team came to the ER to visit. I have never been so overwhelmed with feeling than seeing people come in and out of the room to see me. Special thanks to Robin, Sebastian, Ester, Jason, Ed, and all the others came through. And especially to Coach Ed, who almost puked while they stitched my chin closed. My roommates came to pick up my car and bikes. OH my bike! The only damage it sustained was a bit of scratching the brake levers, and the right aerobar is a little out of whack and scratched up. Apparently it was the second question I asked Coach Ed - is my bike okay? He called my mom to suggest she come out, and her first question was did I look okay.. and the second? "Is her bike okay? I know that meant the world to her right now and I don't want to think about what happens if that bike is totaled". Ed came in the room laughing, telling me it was my moms second concern as well. My mom knows me well. :)

I had my jaw wired shut yesterday. I'll most likely need some new teeth, as they've already pulled one, and they don't think a few others will reestablish their presence in my mouth. I'll be wired totally shut for the next few weeks, then rubberbanded so I can start doing some PT on my jaw.

Overall, I'm damn lucky. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes.

17 November 2008

The Bike is Okay

But I'm not...

Full story this evening after I have my teeth fixed and jaw wired shut.

13 November 2008

Missing Posts

I'm not quite sure how I deleted my last post, but I did. So, I did have a post between November 4th and now, but its forever gone. Simple rambling about how I can't dye my hair successfully.

I still can't dye my hair successfully. I attempted to go a medium auburn color, with some different highlights. I headed off to Sally Beauty Supply and picked up what I needed... mixed up all the chemicals which surely will kill me one day, and went to town. I have a few good friends who are hairdressers, and they taught me how to properly dye hair (ie, NOT out of a box from CVS). Most of the time, they bleach the color out of hair, and then apply the desired color. I skip that step, because the one time I've ever had my hair professionally colored, they did this.. and then when the color didn't hold to my hair for more than 2 weeks, I was left with extremely light blond hair, even more so than my natural color. Anyways, I finished everything up, washed and dried my hair, and admired the results. Not as dark as I wanted, but still a pretty color.

And then I went swimming the next day, and lost almost all traces of color.

This year is officially the year I give up trying to color my hair. Its blond, and its not going to change no matter how hard I try. Maybe I'll start investing in wigs.

My reasoning for delaying posting, is I keep wanting to put pictures up. Unfortunatly my camera cable is MIA, and, until I find it... I can't add any pictures. Last Friday I had off work, so the P2C and I went adventuring. Since it was gorgeous out, I took advantage and hopped on my bike by 11am. I set out on the W&OD for a while heading west, and then after about 15 miles, decided it would be a PERFECT day to go to Gravelly Point. This is one of my favorite places in DC, when its not busy. I turned around and headed towards the city. Along the route, I think I was on the Custis by this point, I spotted The Italian Store. I became a huge fan of this place after going there often with a guy I was dating a while back. So, I stopped in, picked up a small Milano Sub, and a little container of the Veal Tortellini. I was able to fit both in my jersey pockets, and continued along my way. Along the Potomac, I captured some great pictures of the fall colors with the Monument and Jefferson Memorial in the background. If only I could show them to you right now... grr. Anyways, the park was mostly empty, saving a few other cyclists taking advantage of the 65+ degree weather and sunshine. I laid down on the hill facing the runway, and enjoyed a solitary picnic watching the planes land and take off. I never get tired of that. My return trip was equally as relaxing. I wasn't training, I was just having fun. I did have two pretty good looking cyclists come up and tell me I had a hot bike. Pretty much made my day, and I instantly picked up my speed, stayed with them, and continued to chat. Unfortunatly, they were splitting off to go the opposite way on the W&OD as I was, so thats all the further I got with them. Bummer. I had another guy admiring my bike when I ran into Spokes... I came out and he was standing infront of my car which creeped me out for 2.2 seconds, but then I realized that he was staring at my bike. I just laughed and said "yeah.. its shiny and new, and I love it." We talked for a few minutes, and he asked me how I could maintain that steep of a position. Luckily, I was a dancer for most of my life and have a lot of flexibility and generally good core strength.

Sunday I ran a local 5K with a friend of mine. Nothing too exciting, I didn't "race" it... I just went out and we ended up chatting up a storm the whole run (yep, I was one of those people). Kept a rather pathetic 9 minute mile... but it was fun to catch up with my friend. I rode my bike a bit more on Sunday. I was still sore from my long run and a few intervals on Saturday... so the run and the bike hurt a bit. I finish up Sunday night with swim practice. We were working 4x 100, x 200, and 4x 400's, with focus on form, stroke count, and consistant times. I kept a 6:07 400 for my zone 2 work. Got booted up a lane for the Sunday swim class (in a different pool with less lanes). I was with some people that are definitely faster than I am (ex college swimmers), so it hurt a lot towards the end, especially with already dead legs.

I recieved some very very exciting news yesterday. Unfortunatly I can't really say what it is due to some people that may or may not read this blog. In the coming weeks though, I'll be following up on this, but for now, I can't disclose publicly (if you're extra curious, send me a note and I'll tell you). Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping everything goes in my favor, because I'm stoked about the possibility of this happening.

Thats all for now.

04 November 2008

PSA, great companies, and generally good stuff

Public Service Annoucement:
We are lucky to choose between who we want to lead our country. Exercise this right that so many other countries do not have!

(End PSA)

I went this morning and hopped in line for voting. I was AMAZED at the turn out... there had to be at least 250 people infront of me at George Marshall HS. Impressive. Actually, shocking! It made me smile though - its good to see such a turnout for this election. I'm excited to see the number of voters that actually turned out, in comparison to previous years. It is a historic race to say the least. I am, however, ready for the end of the political nonsense plaguing the airwaves. If I see one more commercial regarding who to vote for, or which candidate is trying to screw over the country, I might scream. I'm so glad these are only once every 4 years.

I skipped swimming this morning to vote though. I'll have to make that up this afternoon, most likely followed by some running. I have some new plans of attack regarding my training and my plans for the upcoming season... but I'm keeping those a secret for now. They are written on a piece of paper that I keep on my nightstand, which have my general "self improvement" list. Being in plain sight, I'm able to constantly scan over the list as a reminder. I got the idea from a guy I used to see. I've never let anyone read the list though.

I have to give a huge thumbs up to the folks over at Beaker Concepts, makers of the Hydrotail H5c. I recently purchased the hydrotail and mounted it on my new steed Sunday. I had read a few reviews of people mounting it upside down, which effectively changes the angle at which the bottles sit. I liked this setup, and decided on attaching to my bike this way as well. During bike ride number 2 of the day, I hit a fairly decent pothole, which almost threw me from the bike (note, do not get mesmerized by leaf colors). I stopped immediately when I heard a nice *crack*. Instantly panicking and almost tearing up, I hopped off my bike to see what I just broke. It was my hydrotail (THANK GOODNESS!). I wrote to Beaker Concepts this morning, to let them know what happened, and that they should consider doing some testing on the product in the upside down position (which was actually mentioned as a way to mount on their website), as my tail broke at the u shaped juncture. Within an hour, I had a response back, and it was not a generic response. The following is what I received (I'll forgive for the misspelled name):

1st, thank you for letting me know this! Many people tend these days to just blog their disgust before asking the manufacturer about it. Yes, I believe you are correct and I have some tests going on now. The website which has been plagued by a rogue person this summer does not show the position anymore as well. The unit was meant to be only used in the low position till it was pointed out that it could be turned upside down. But it is not perfect there and is being redesigned along with a complete new style unit for the Spring. Please give me your address though as I will gladly send you a new unit if you desire. Also what color. Again I am sorry this happened to you and thanks for letting me know what happened.

Send me a free replacement??! Talk about PHENOMENAL customer service. I had full intentions of buying a replacement unit and mounting it in the original manner, but this is just awesome. So, A++ in my book for Beaker Concepts. And, don't mount them upside down.

Adjusting my nutrition is going to be a big task. I used to have a variety of nutrition drinks for biking, so I didn't get tired of just one. All of them contain gluten, which I have to minimize intake of while on meds (which, I'll most likely be on for a few years.) I don't get bothered so much eating gluten products during meals, but I found out Sunday, using only gluten products on the bike is not going to be an option. I was doubled over in stomach cramps for a good hour after the ride. Not fun.

All for now. Cheers (well, not really because I can't drink much anymore.)

29 October 2008

An awesome evening

Last night, a teammate invited a bunch of us over to make pasta and carve pumpkins. Although we never got around to carving, we did make a fantastic dinner and enjoyed a few drinks. It was awesome to just hang out and have fun. I also learned many things about some people that I figured I pretty much knew from spending so much time together. I had no idea what some people's jobs entailed.. and it was cool to learn more about the people I spend 10-15 hours a week with.

My bra made the news. Seriously. :) That's my hot pink bra I donated for the Bra's across DC event benefiting Breast Cancer. On my day off Friday, I went down to the mall to see the exhibit. It looks pretty strange to see the Reflecting Pool outlined in bras.

I have zero motivation for Halloween this year.

I received my test results back from last week. Yep.. officially have PCOS.... starting on the meds immediately. Here's to hoping it doesn't affect my training.

28 October 2008

Blog? What blog... Ohh.. that blog.

I figured I should probably update my severely neglected blog. In my defense, I've been training. I think its a very good excuse to be neglecting the computer a bit.

Where to start..

My brother got hitched on October 18th. I made my way down to Chapel Hill, NC for the festivities. It was a nice, small wedding. Nothing exciting to report from that weekend really... I'll post some pictures up eventually of me and the fam.

I have a new love in my life. He doesn't have a name quiet yet, and I haven't gotten around to snapping pictures when he's not looking. In the meantime, I'm stealing a picture from a hilarious tease written by another awesome tri-blogger.

Only, its much, much smaller. I'd guess his to be a 58 or 61... mines a 48.

I took the new investment out riding this past Sunday to the 3 covered bridges ride. First, a rant about DC's traffic - I picked up my friend Iwan for the ride.. he lives in NW DC. I read all the road closure times for the Marine Corps Marathon (which, congrats to all those who ran!), and planned my route accordingly. Embarked on my drive, and of course, every road I had planned was closed. I stopped to ask a cop what the deal was, and apparently they had a "security breach".. so they needed to close all of the roads early on in the morning. So much for being early to the ride. It was a stunning 42 mile ride through the historic covered bridges in Frederick, Maryland. Have I mentioned, I LOVE fall? Its my favorite time of year, when the air is crisp and cool, and the fall colors are lit up by the golden hue of the sun. I think Ohio gets a slightly better glimpse of fall, more intense shades of orange, red, and yellow; however, this area has this hillsides to really showcase the array of colors. Back to the bike though - I felt extremely comfortable on it, aside from occasional neck soreness as I got used to the aero position. I felt like I had much more power as I pedaled along, and felt much faster. Unfortunately, I cannot back this claim with data, as I forgot to adjust my polar computer from my 700c wheels to the 650 wheelsize. According to my computer, I rode 59 miles, and averaged around 27 mph. Pretty sweet for a rolling terrain, no? I kind of want to leave the comp as is - it makes me feel super fast.

I feel like I'm also getting stronger running, but I need to make more commitment to the activity. Instead of just plodding along, I need to focus on form, my weaknesses, and building strength as well as speed.

I got to do the "moving on up" song/dance combo this morning at swim. We were doing sets of 500, and I led my lane. As I ended the set, the coach was standing at the end of my lane.. looked at me and said "you aren't even breathing hard. Did you start the same time as them?" I turned around and looked, and I was about a full length ahead of my lanemates (? new word..). I just kinda smiled and let out a sheepish "well.. yes.." "move. you're not allowed to swim in this lane anymore.. move up another lane. Say goodbye to Lindsay" Well damn. Another lane up.. only 2 more to go until I'm in the ultra fast lane. Goals... I gots 'em. :) On a more serious note, resistance bands are my secret. Strap some of these puppies to a stable anchor, and work on the freestyle stroke. I tie loops in my therabands (I have tons, from years and years of PT) for my hands, then work a freestyle set on land 3 days a week. I may invest in some of the swim cords, with the paddles for a more realistic feel. Oh, and lose a little weight too. Thats gotta help something. I was pretty excited to move up, but now I'm further and further away from the people I always sit around and chat with! Bummer.
**Edit: I dont know what happened to a few lines in that paragraph at posting, but it made no sense. Fixed.

I went to an endocrinologist on Friday (sorry, this is a very non-chronological blog... stay with me). I don't normally talk about any strange disorders I have, but this one might prove to be very interesting. I'm being tested for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). One thing that strikes me about this, is the associated insulin resistance - meaning my muscles don't properly absorb glucose. As we all know, glucose is one of the feeding agents for energy in the muscular system. Its treatable, with a daily dosing of a drug often used in diabetes, Metformin. How will this affect my training? Doc thinks I would become a much, much better athlete, as my muscles will be fueled efficiently and firing properly. Interesting. Now I just have to wait for the lab results (which, by the way.. they took 8 large vials of blood... not those little tiny ones I normally see, after being on an 8 hour fast. I give blood routinely, but this was the first time I stood up and almost passed out. Scary feeling.)

Before this post drags on any longer.. I'll go be productive. Looking forward to making pasta and carving pumpkins with some friends tonight. Again, I LOVE FALL!


16 October 2008

"I don't know how you do it"

A very close friend of mine just sent the following text to me:

"I don't know how you do it. I do P90x and feel horrible after. I can't imagine [doing an] ironman"

And my response was this:
"I never said training doesn't hurt. I guess the accomplishment drives me.. it overrides the exhaustion"

I think this is kind of my mantra. There are plenty of days that I don't like training. But then, when I reflect back on them... I see the change in myself; be it becoming stronger, faster, or just overall more confidence in my abilities. Thats why I am pushing myself to do what I'm doing. That, and I have always had a slightly masochistic streak. :)

I never got around to updating my blog last week. I've been in a bit of a funk, but that is over now. Last weekend's run (7 miles) was very promising. I almost enjoyed it, and I wasn't sore. The ride, on the other hand... was supposed to be 48 miles. And then my seatpost decided in the cold morning air, it was not participating, and I slumped down onto the base. Hopped off, wiped off the bit of grease that had accumulated, and retightened the bolt. Rode another 3 minutes, only to experience the same issue. Sonofa.. Hop off again, have one of the guys on the team tighten it (maybe I really AM girly?).. ride another few minutes, and I begin to feel it slipping. So, that was the end of my ride. Another guy had twisted his chain and bent a link, so we both rode carefully back to the cars together. Total mileage: 10. Swam in Barcroft for about 1700 meters, and called it a day.

I just received an email with the option of buying a 48cm P2C for around $1800... brand new. hmmm. Thats a seriously viable option right now. To buy, or not to buy...

12 October 2008

My first experience...

Of having an ex get married. This guy I used to be with about 3 years ago got married this past weekend.

kinda strange. And makes me feel old. And uncomfortable.

I'll write on training experiences from the weekend tomorrow.

08 October 2008

Primal Diet

I found this article very interesting:

The Modern Primal Blueprint® - The Rules of Living Today:

1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.

Focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries), and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week to week more than meal to meal. Eliminate grains, sugars, trans- and hydrogenated fats from your diet.

2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

Do some form of low level aerobic activity 2-5 hours a week, whether it is walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion, fat-burning and overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility.

3. Lift heavy things.

Go to the gym and lift weights for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Focus on movements that involve the entire body and in wider ranges of motion – not just on isolating body parts. Emulate the movements of our ancestors: jumping, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc. This will stimulate your genes to increase muscle strength and power, increase bone density, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate growth hormone secretion, and consume stored body fat.

4. Run really fast every once in a while.

Do some form of intense anaerobic sprint bursts several times a week. This could be as simple as six or eight (or more) short sprints up a hill, on the grass, at the beach… or repeated intense sessions on a bicycle (stationary, road or mountain bike). These short bursts also increase HGH release (HGH is actually released in proportion to the intensity (not the duration) of the exercise).

5. Get lots of sleep.

Get plenty of quality sleep. Our lives are so hectic and full of things to do after the sun goes down that it’s often difficult to get enough sleep. Yet sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health, vibrant energy and a strong immune system.

6. Play.

Spend some time each week involved in active play. In addition to allowing you to apply your fitness to a real-life situation, play helps dissipate some of the negative effects of the chronic stress hormones you’ve been accumulating through the week.

7. Get some sunlight every day.

Contrary to the “Common Wisdom” dispensed by dermatologists (who suggest you shun the sun), the Primal Blueprint would insist that you get some direct sunlight every day. Certainly not so much that you come close to burning, but definitely enough to prompt your body to make the all-important vitamin D and to support the mood-lifting benefits. A slight tan is a good indicator that you have maintained adequate Vitamin D levels. Natural sunlight also has a powerful mood-elevating effect, which can enhance productivity at work and in inter-personal interactions.

8. Avoid trauma.

Eliminate self-destructive behaviors. These concepts are self evident to most people (wear seat belts, don’t smoke or do drugs, don’t dive into shallow water) yet so many of us live our lives oblivious to impending danger. Develop a keen sense of awareness of your surroundings.

9. Avoid poisonous things.

Avoid exposure to chemical toxins in your food (pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc) and on your skin. But also try to avoid the hidden poisons in foods like sugars, grains, processed foods, trans and hydrogenated fats, and mercury in certain fish.

10. Use your mind.

Exercise your brain daily as our ancestors did. Be inventive, creative, and aware. If your work is not stimulating (or even if it is), find time to read, write, play an instrument and interact socially.

As with the Original Primal Blueprint, this list is very general, designed simply to allow you to understand that everything our ancestors did can benefit us as well. Except that we can do it having fun, enjoying every aspect of the lifestyle and without worrying about our survival! In future blog posts (and to a much greater extent in my book) I will be going into much more detail as to how and why these behaviors work and exactly what foods to eat, what exercises to do and how to otherwise find ways to allow your genes to recreate you in the healthiest, fittest way possible.

Taken from: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

07 October 2008

My Big Move

I completely forgot to mention!

I moved up 2 lanes in swimming today... I'm now in the third fastest lane. I'm not sure what happened; either my normal lane I lead took major downers, or I have gained some serious speed lately in the pool. I guess the extra workouts I've been putting in, coupled with strength training is allowing myself to pull through the water much more effortlessly than before. The lane I normally lead was struggling to stay on the same length as I was, and were all out of breath while I was just meandering along. The coach was standing at the end of my lane once I finished a set of 100, while the rest of the lane wasn't even complete on the 75.. and told me to turn around, look at my lane, say goodbye, and move at least two up.

I'll miss ya lane 5. We used to sit at the end of the pool and talk! And today, you were happy to see me go, as you were all gasping for air on what my z2.


My Thesis

The following is my completely non scientific, non researched, and most likely not really accurate thesis:

Food can be directly related to depression.

I spent a few days last week at Bowling Green - the university I used to attend. It was a very strange feeling to be back in that city (those of you who don't know, I took an internship, and ended up staying on with the company without returning). I used to walk into my favorite bar, Downtown, and would know at least 20 people in there any given night of the week. When I went up Thursday night, I knew the bartender, and that was it. Back to the original topic of the post though - I indulged in every place I used to LOVE when I lived in BG. Campus Pollyeyes has these stuffed breadsticks to die for (chicken and cheese, with a side of ranch and marinara please), and of course there's El Zarape which has the best margaritas known to man, along with excellent food, and Mr. Spots cheesesteaks, and Jimmy Johns... It all just tasted so good.
... however
I felt like crap after eating like this for the 3 days I was there. I craved fresh, homecooked food. I didn't feel happy and full of energy after eating so much food out. I wanted to make sushi, or a fruit salad with greek yogurt. Just anything natural and not greasy.
I noticed a decline in my workouts while rocking out in the Cooper Pool (shown below.) My per 100 pace slowed down dramatically too.
I always used to roll my eyes at people who claimed the felt cleansed or what have you after switching their diet. Maybe because mine was such a gradual change that I didn't really notice, but when I went back to old habits, I quickly realized that I love the way I eat currently, and what it does for my body and energy levels.

I did get a chance to stop by my favorite piercing/tattoo shop. I seriously spent a lot of time at On The Edge during my collegiate years. It was my outlet from depression or something, I'm not sure. I had 17 piercings just prior to the job fair (had to take a good deal out to look professional). I ran into John, the guy who did every piercing with the exception of my two original piercings in my ear from my childhood. We talked for a while, and ended up deciding to add to my collection again. I settled on repiercing my tragus. I went and got dinner, and couldn't help but go back and the nape of my neck. As weird and masochistic as it sounds, I enjoy the pain of triathlon (legs burning, exhaustion), but I do love the focused pain of piercings much more. I coughed a bit while he was feeding the piercing through the needle, and it caused the needle to disconnect from the jewelry. Unfortunately, that means he had to fish the jewelry through by hand, which took about 5-6 minutes, and is quite painful. As I laid on the table with essentially a stable digging around in my neck, I thought of a quote one of my teammates had sent out. "It only hurts to a point, and then it doesnt get any worse" Very true. I'll add pictures once I have my camera back in two weeks (left it at my parents house... I'll get it back at my brothers wedding). Needless to say, my mom is not too happy about the additions, but my dress covers the neck piercing.

I'll make some training updates later in the week.

27 September 2008

23 years ago yesterday

For some, New years brings a time of self reflection, revelation, and for some, revolutions. I, on the other hand, tend to use my birthday as my mark of reflection on the past, where I currently stand, and where I hope to grow.

Thursday night I met up with the team for a happy hour/Savageman Wall viewing. My friend Robin is a flight attendant, and came back from Frankfurt shortly before the gathering bearing gifts from Germany.

Here is Robin presenting me with a beer straight from Germany..
in her awesome dollar store dress from Frankfurt.

**note: and then I got sidetracked... and never finished writing this post. So, here goes the rest:

Robin brought back a German beer, fruit bars (really good to eat on the bike!), and an absolutely fantastic poppy seed pound cake. I will fail any drug test I have to take, but it was totally worth it.

Friday I woke up, ran some errands since I had the day off, and went to Tysons. While driving around trying to find a parking spot, I encountered this:

.... Are you kidding me? We now have spots reserved for Hybrid Vehicles next to the handicapped parking spots? After I sent this off to a few friends out of state (who all wrote back "f'ing hippies...") I wondered though the mall to find a dress for my brothers wedding. FAIL. What is it with dresses these days? They are either weird and tiered, which kind of makes me look like the trunk of a tropical plant, or short and ruffled. Seriously, who is buying these dresses, and where are they wearing them to? The fashion industry sucks. While I do love the malls in DC, I'm going to opt for looking for a dress in Toledo, Ohio while I am visiting friends at Bowling Green State University. For some reason, when I absolutely must have a dress, I've had awesome luck finding dresses at Franklin Park. They just carry more practical clothing, instead of wannabe high fashion or whatever that Tysons sometimes seems to endorse. I dread dress shopping, to be honest... I'm not very comfortable wearing a dress. On a side note, anyone want to go with me to my brothers wedding October 18th? Since it seems like I'll be the only one there not married or engaged... Moving on.

Began my trek home to Ohio around 4:15pm.. on a Friday. Again, not one of my most brilliant ideas. It took about 7 hours to get home, versus the usual 5 hours and 45 minutes. Met up with my friend Matt, who took me up to our favorite spot on Headlands beach in Mentor. It was a cool, crystal clear night, and we just laid on a blanket in the sand, listening to the waves crash in while drinking Jester's Blush (one of my new favorite wines..) Sounds quite romantic, but anyone who knows Matt and I understands we're just dysfunctional like that. Lived together for almost 2 years, attempted dating on an off, but we just work better without the relationship stress. I had a wonderful night though.

I'll update more tomorrow with my adventures though the rest of the week. :)

24 September 2008

But its only September...

Yes, the 2009 race season is now upon me. I've been evaluating what our team is doing, and what races I want to do.... so without further ado, I present the 2008-2009 Race Calendar

Jingle All the Way 10K
Sunday December 14, 2008
Washington, DC

Christmas Light Run (4-5 miles)
Wednesday December 17, 2008 (7pm)
Washington, DC

Myrtle Beach Marathon
Saturday February 14, 2009
Myrtle Beach, SC

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
Sunday April 5, 2009
Washington, DC

Kinetic Half Iron Triathlon
Saturday May 9, 2009
Lake Anna State Park, VA

Kinetic Sprint Triathlon
(I've always wanted to do a back to back..)
Sunday May 10, 2009
Lake Anna State Park, VA

Ironman Training Weekend (Team Z)
May 22-25, 2009
Lake Placid, NY

Mooseman Half Iron Triathlon
Saturday June 6, 2009
Newfound Lake, NH

Sunday July 26, 2009
Lake Placid, NY


Okay, well, thats actually all that is planned so far. In the running for post Ironman include the Nation's Triathlon, Patriots Oly (Nice flat course), or Bassman sprint or half in October. I guess it depends on how much I like the half iron distance.

I'd also love to throw in some sort of cycling race. My brother is big into road racing, and I'd like to do a few and earn up in the "cat" division.

So there you go. The season ahead looks both challenging and terrifying. I'll be shattering all sorts of records for myself in terms of distances.

23 September 2008

Ignore that last week...

You know, the one where I didn't post for a week? Shame on me.

I didn't do anything overly exciting last week. Had my VO2 Max test done, and thats about it.

Over the weekend, I went to Deep Creek Lake, MD to compete in a relay for the Savageman Half Iron. I drove over on Friday evening, arriving around 8:30. Since our team has close connections with Kyle Yost (Sadist himself who created this monster of a course), I went over to his house and had some dinner, made smores, and generally just relaxed. Saturday a group of us rode the Oly course. Brennimen road is tough, to say the least. .4 miles or so, around a 23% grade in spots. I'm not a magnificent hill climber as it is, and this one hurt. There are some very fun descents along the course, however some are a bit technical. One particular decent ended with a 90 degree turn (I was riding the brakes going around 35), which then goes into a 15-20% pitch back up hill. There were 4 of my teammates ahead of me. Frank, who had taken the lead down the hill, forgot to close his front brakes. He knew he wouldn't make the turn, so he picks the woods on the other side of the road, flips over a rock, and lands soundly on the ground. I didn't see him go over; however Kerry (next down the hill) and another girl ran into the woods to see if he was okay. Damon, who was infront of me, yells back "Was that Kerry?" I hear "Is that a bear?", look up, and see a bunch of rustling in the wood. I turn the corner, go 20 feet up the hill, and unclip to see why we were stopping if there's a bear in the woods. As I look down the hill, I see Kerry and Kitty running out of the woods like crazy people, waving their arms frantically. Then Frank comes running out, doing much of the same dance, only with his bike strewn over his shoulder. I come to find out, Frank landed directly below a hornets nest in the woods. Apparently, hornets do NOT like to have a 200# guy slam into their tree at high rates of speed. Kerry and Frank ended up with stings, and frank a few scratches, flat tire, and untrue front wheel. Things could have been much worse (there could have been a bear...). We continued our ride, headed back to the houses and went to packet pickup. Enjoyed a nice dinner out, and hung out for a while before heading to bed.

Deep Creek has become notorious for its fog. The race was delayed for 30 minutes to allow some more fog to burn off, but it wasn't happening. Unfortunatly, there was a misdirected kayaker on the course, who told the pro's to turn when they still had one more buoy left to go. Shattered my hopes of beating a pro in the swim. I finished my swim around 37 min, which was about 5 minutes over what I expected. Not sure if I was having an off day due to sighting, or if the course was long. A few others felt that the course was long too. I ran up the steep hill and steps to transition, and passed off my chip to Will, who smoked the bike course. Meanwhile, my teammate Es and I dressed up like angels (to compliment the devils on top of Savage Mountain) and headed up to Killer Miller. With a bottle of rum. Needless to say, 1/3 bottle of rum after not really drinking much anymore is not good. Nor is going back to the team tents and shotgunning a few beers (classy, I know). Ended up being quite a mess, and called it a day around 7pm when I went to bed. Lessons learned, and I'm going back to not drinking anymore. I'm sure I'll have a glass of wine at christmas, a glass of champagne at new years, and maybe a post-marathon drink in February, but that is most likely it. Sunday ranks as not one of my proudest moments.

The next two weeks will be short recovery runs and rides, maybe a few swims. I'm going on vacation next week, which I am looking forward. I need to get some things straightened out in life, and so far I have not had the time.

I'll try to find some pictures from Deep Creek to post later.

16 September 2008

Projectile Potomac...

Sunday was the third annual Nations Triathlon (first year being a duathlon that I did not participate in; however, I raced last year). The Nations Triathlon was my first olympic distance race, and I did so on essentially zero training. I had completed two other sprint distances earlier in the year, but complications from improper healing with my broken leg (snapped the bone, damaged my Achilles, and tore all ligaments on the outside of my foot). Work picked up, and I didn't have any time to train through August/September. I hadn't joined Team Z yet, and at that point in my life, I was planning on returning to Ohio in a few months anyways, so I was out doing as much as I could in the city outside of work as possible instead of training. I posted a time around 4:18 or something of the sort. Flipped out on the swim and had to swim parts on my back, couldn't battle the headwinds coming back around Hains Point, and was just overall exhausted by the time the run came around.

This year, I had a few goals in mind for the race. The morning started very warm, and I knew I was in for a rough day. I took down most of a bottle of Gatorade AM, suggested by a friend of mine. I stood in the swim pen forever, until my race started at 8:20 or so. Hopped into the water quickly, swam around for a few minutes to get accustomed to the water, and lined up right at the front of the pack. Started my watch at the 30 second countdown (otherwise I forget..), and then we were off. I was easily leading the pack at first, dealing with a bit of contact. The girl next to me couldn't swim well, and was flailing into me. I gave her a kind push to get her out of my water... first time I've ever intentionally moved someone in a race. It felt slightly empowering. Water was wide open, and I continued my trek towards the Memorial Bridge. About halfway, there was a good deal of wake in the water from boats going to pick people up. I turned to breath on my left side (bilateral breathing..), and got slammed in the face with a wave. I swallowed a good deal of water, but continued on, rocking back and forth in the continual wake.
And then it happened.

I felt sick... Oh my gosh... I don't GET sea sick, EVER... whats going on??? I make it to the turnaround buoy, and promptly get rid of all the gatorade and potomac water I had drank. I'm not sure how many people have thrown up while in the water, but it is not a pleasant experience. Matter of fact, it made swimming in the already murky river a little less nice for me. 2 or 3 minutes go by, and I decide I'm okay to move on. Surprisingly, no kayak came up to me to see if I was alright, as I was spewing orangish red liquid all over. The rest of the swim remained uneventful. Passed back under the bridge, and had a hard time sighting the final buoy; however I made it back without too much issues. My swim was far slower than it should have been, coming in around 34 minutes or so. It should have been down around the 25ish minute range. No problem up the ladders, and out to transition. I fumbled through my bag for a minute to find some anti-nausea chewables I had still in my bag from a while ago. I ate one of those on my way out to the bike. Hop on, no issues, and I was feeling okay.

And then I tried to eat a cliff block and some gatorade.

I think I permanently scarred the woman from the wave infront of me, as I began to hurl Gatorade right back up while riding shortly after passing her. I didn't have the reaction time to stop and unclip, so I just kept trying to pedal to keep speed. This continued for a majority of the ride, and I realized that there was no way I was keeping calories down. Excellent. Finished the bike, and headed out on the run. Ran a 7:50 for the first mile, and my legs felt great coming off the bike. Unfortunately, my head decided this wasn't a good idea, and I became extremely light headed and felt like I was going to throw up again. I was reduced down to a pathetic 45 second jog, two minute walk. I was pouring cold water over my head to cool down, and tried to eat some ice. Came back up. At this point, I completely gave up on putting anything else in me, I just wanted to finish. By about mile 3.5, I had stopped sweating, and I was completely covered in goosebumps. A medic on wheels came by me and asked if I was okay. I explained to him the situation, told him I had raced a lot and I know my body pretty well, and that I was sure I would be okay to finish. He didn't really like my answer as I continued to shake like it was 15 degrees out instead of 95, but I wasn't being pulled off course.

My parents came into town, and I saw them around mile 5, and my mom knew something was wrong since I was walking. They walked along the sidewalk and I explained everything that happened, and told them I just wanted to be done. My dad jogged (I don't think I've ever seen my dad jog in my life...) along with me for about a half mile, and I was tearing up a little under my visor with that support. I hurt bad and from lack of any calories, salt, fluids, etc, but I kept pushing because my dad was out there jogging with me. Amazing what a simple act can do. :) I finished at a miserably embarrassing 4 hour time. Somehow, inbetween all the puking... I still managed to finish above 10-12 other people. And slightly ahead of my time last year.

My oly's this year have generally been around the 3:10 mark, so this was a complete failure in my book. Lessons learned. Third times a charm, right? My goal for next year will be top 10 in my age group. I'm sure post Ironman, it shouldn't be much of an issue. My bike time is what kills me on the oly's... so that will be this winter's focus. I think a proper fit on a new bike will also assist in my goals.

I'm taking this week off from the bike and run while my blisters heal up. I'll most likely be swimming only this week in preparation for Savageman, where I'll be relaying the swim portion for the half. I'm looking forward to a pure swim segment, as I always feel I need to hold back so much on the swim to get through the bike. I have a running VO2 Max test scheduled for Thursday, which will help with the winter marathon training as well. Anyone up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon?

All for now.

12 September 2008

Oh my gosh, thats MY car

So last night, I hop in my car to go test ride a few more bikes, and then to my Thursday night swim. I head out of the parking lot, and there's a Honda in front of me. I think to myself, man, that's a loud exhaust. Upon rolling down my windows, I realize that it is MY exhaust that sounds like a dragster. So, I immediately call my dad and ask him what's going on... as if he should instantly be able to tell me from 400 miles away. After pulling into the parking lot of a LBS, I checked the front of the car, nada. Look in the back... and my tail pipe is corroded off, and there's a hole in the side of my muffler. Sonofa.. Called one of my co-workers who had previously recommended a mechanic and had him send me the info. Continued with some bike testing (which, fyi LBS employees, i do NOT want a pink bike. Stop trying to sell me a pink bike. I realize I'm short, blond, and a girl, but that does not mean I want a pink bike. Nor do I want a a light blue bike. I want a predomenantly black, carbon fiber bike), and then went to swim practice number 2 for the day. I went to our 5:30-6:30 practice, and did the same z4 work again at night. Slightly exhausting. Went out to grab some sushi with a few teammates afterwards (forgoing the beer due to the onset of some resperitory thing, and an upcoming race).

Result of 5 years living in the snowbelt... salt corrosion.

Today I scheduled an appointment at the car doctor, and decided it would be a perfect opportunity to get in some extra riding. I planned on stopping by a bike shop on my journey, so I looked up some directions via Google "walking directions". FYI - these do not work well for walking, nor bike riding. I rode across multiple on ramps for 95/395 following these directions.

Google or Garmin - please invent an "Avoid Ghetto" option on your maps and GPS. I wandered down Duke street and some other side streets today, and rode through some areas even I, the "bad ass city girl", was nervous riding my bike through. I passed a bum fight, a taxi driver and their passanger in a screaming match outside the car, and a bum who actually got up as I was approaching near him, and started yelling "Hey baby". Needless to say, I rode as fast as I could, prayed for no flats, and wished I would have eaten breakfast. The plan was to take the remaining few sips of gatorade along with me from last night, and then stop along the way at CVS, 7/11, or something of the sort. No chance I was stopping. On my way back to the house, a Starbucks came out of no where, and looked amazing. I'm not much of a starbucks coffee person, as I can make better tasting stuff at home, but today it sounded delicious. I grabbed a light coffee frapp, sans the whipped cream. Just as I got it, the mechanic called and my car was ready. So, I decided ride back since it was only about 3 miles away.

I was excited it fit in my cage. I had to stop though and pour it into a bottle.. the lid was rubbing against my legs as I pedaled. And, to avoid getting flamed - I realized I was out of CO2 cartridges today, so i had to strap on my old school hand pump.

I got in a good 4+ hours of riding, and realized I LOVE LOVE LOVE my saddle... this is the most I've been on it at once since I bought it. Ass is still happy. :)

All for now. Next update will most likely be after the Nation's Tri... My parents are coming into town. Hopefully the upper resperatory crap clears up. Its supposed to be in the mid 90's for the race... ugh. Can't I have DECENT weather for a race this year? Its either been pouring rain, rained out, or scortching hot.

11 September 2008

okay, I'm sticking with it this time...

Seriously. Its been a month since my last post! My new resolution is to post every day in the morning, so I don't forget about it later on. This works well, considering now I get to work around 7:15 in the morning, and often don't start charging my time until 7:45. Perfect half hour to update the blog. Kinda like how my 30minute lunch is turning into right now.

Since the last update, the training has been rather.. relaxed. I built up some longer distances cycling, in preparation for the Patriot's Half Iron that was supposed to take place last weekend. Thanks to Tropical Storm (formally Hurricane) Hanna, the race was washed out. Now all that's left is Nation's Tri, and the swim for Savageman Half. Kinda a bum way to end the season, but thats okay. Its all about prep for Ironman next year anyways.

I'm working on upgrading my bike. First investment was a better saddle. The previous was a $30 saddle from a magazine, which I bought to replace my brothers saddle on his mountain bike when he let me use it for my first triathlon. The seat that came on my specialized Dolce Multi-sport was horrendous, so I switched it out for the cheapo saddle I bought previously.

It's pretty much AMAZING. I used to be very anti-thin seat. Okay, well more or less I just thought they looked insanely uncomfortable. I instantly feel "perched' ontop of my bike, effortlessly pedalling away (on the W&OD at least...). Its surprisingly wonderful to bike on. I had my sit bones measured by the Specialized ass-o-meter, and I need a 130 saddle. Apparently thats very rare. I guess I really do have small hips. It came at a bit higher price tag than I would normally have spent, but, I do love my ass, and I had some spare cash from dog-sitting at my old bosses house. The folks at Conte's hooked me us as well after our Tuesday night rides.

I'm actually in the market for a new bike. I have it narrowed down to two bikes, based on price range and fit. I need to ride both again a few more times before making the final decision

2008 Trek Madone 5.2 (Carbon in Black and Pearl White)

2007 Cervelo Soloist Team (Aluminum, in Anodized Gray)

Both are absolutely stunning bikes. I like the anodized gray frame on the Cervelo, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to join the Cervelo Mafia. It does have the flippable seat post, which is a plus, but I'm not sure if I really want a tri-set up anyways. On a course like Placid, the key is to get up the hills. I have no issues on decents whatsoever. I'll have to throw clip-on aerobars to both bikes anyways. I'm not sure if I'd really ever change into the "aero" set up. Being as short as I am, the aero set up isn't much different than the way the standard seat tube angle for the 51cm Cervelo, or the 50cm Madone. The madone is one seeeexxxy looking bike though, and not one that you see often. I like it a lot. I'd love to see a set of Hed 3's on either of these for race day!

All for now. I need to eat my turkey sandwich and yogurt before getting back to work. :)


12 August 2008

See? I'm terrible at this.

There's not enough hours in the day it seems to keep up with a blog, work, homework, training, friends, and sleep. I just have to get through the next two weeks to finish out class, move, and get set up in the new place. I'm going to miss living so close to work, but, alas, cheaper rent means I can spent more on triathlon stuff.

I swam at Lake Barcroft for a bit on Saturday. Easy 1000' or so, then worked with Lynn on her stroke. I have to laugh, every time I tell someone I'm only 22, they are very surprised. Lynn's comment was "if you would have told me you were 32, I would have completely believed you, and envied how young you still looked. Maturity wise though, I would have believed 32." I feel young and old at the same time. Went to the Redskins game Saturday night in the SAIC Corporate suite (I can't lie, it was pretty sweet). I was looking forward to the "OMG-WTF? :-(" ride on Sunday, so I only had a glass or two of wine, and drank a lot of water. Unfortunatly, the food decided not to like me, and I was throwing up around 5am. So much for the ride. Went back to sleep, got up around 11, and went out to get the miles in on the bike. Didn't get the full 68 I wanted, more like 45, but it was good to be out riding at least. Stomach still hurt a bit. I didn't swim on Sunday or this morning.. Trying to let my shoulder heal up a bit. I have a 60' Z2 ride tonight on the W&OD, so that should be nice and relaxing.

I was looking at our workout locations and such for the next month and a half, through the end of September. I'm excited that my vacation coincides with the TeamZ vacation too. Sweet! Then it hit me. When the next set of training documents go on... I'm going to be on the 140.6 track. Holy shit. I'm training for an Ironman.

In other news, I'm hoping the team does the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa Bay. I mean seriously... a PIRATE themed marathon? How entertaining is that?! I would totally wear some sort of Pirate striped socks or something. :) But, Austin also sounds entertaining, though a heck of a drive. At least with Tampa Bay, we could crash at the house in Hilton Head.

All for now.

31 July 2008

I'm starting to enjoy training.

Training this week has gone pretty well.
After work on Monday I went up to Hains Point to swim. Walked in around 5:45 - score, no attendant taking $$ since it was near the 7pm closing time. This pool (pictured below. be jealous) is by far one of my favorite places to swim.
50 meter outdoor pool, has a few lanes roped off for swimming, and usually a plethora of decent looking triathlete guys to swim with. Heading away from the starting blocks, if you look up to practice sighting, you can see the tip of the Washington Monument ahead. It just reminds me that I really enjoy living here, and wouldn't trade it for anything right now. Some days I still can't believe that its where I live. Must be the lack of 8th grade field trip to DC, so its like I'm still experiencing all of this for the first time.
Did a few loops around HP to get the legs spinning, went to the roomies softball game. I was looking forward to a nice, deep sleep, however I had to go take care of some unfinished business. Guys confuse me, and I remember again why I should swear them off and just stick with my training. Though I have interest in someone on the team currently. This would make life easy, because they understand the need for sleep and the time commitments triathlon takes.

Tuesday, did an easy early morning swim, went to work, and then rode from McKinley afterwards. Helped Marie with her riding on the W&OD for about 45 minutes, drafted Matt most of the way back (which, is awesome because I hardly had to peddle. He did notice though, saying he could hear a lot of coasting going on behind him), did two hill repeats (ouch. I need to get better at those), and called it a decent workout. Took Talia home, and met up with Collin, Benke, and Matt for dinner at Rincome Thai on Columbia Pike. Tim joined in later and told more stories about the 'boys' and their chaffing from Ironman than I cared to hear about. :) Walked over to Baskin-Robbins for a scoop of icecream, and called it a night.

Wednesday, I went for a short jog in the morning, came home, preceded to fall asleep until 8:30, and frantically got ready for work. Went for a 2000m swim at Tysons Sport and Health, where I was able to really develop the catch phase of the swim, and work on my flip turns.

This morning, I swam with Chris Wren. Yep, the age group record breaker at Lake Placid... sub 1 hour swim for 2.4 miles. Tuesday night he made a comment that no one was in his lane and he was sad, so I told him if no one was there again on Thursday, I'd swim with him. I laughed that he was alone again when I walked by, and he was like "join me.. I dare ya!" So, I did. What a freakin workout to keep up with him. Almost embarrassing being 23 and barely able to keep up with a 60 year old man. But, he's a damn good swimmer. It made me realize that my catch is finally where it needs to be, but I don't have the muscle power to really pull me through the water like I need to. We had a lot of fun, and he didn't lap me at least... so it was a good work out. Haines Point for some speedwork tonight, though I'm most likely donating blood, so it will be a nice slow ride.

3 Covered Bridges ride this weekend, pretty excited. Not so excited about having my shoulder drilled into tomorrow. More on that later.


28 July 2008

Warning: Blogging Inconsistancies.

Its true. I'm terrible at this.

So, lets get to the point of things.

Last weekend, I was in Lake Placid, NY. The Adirondacks are absolutely stunning. Reminds me how different the terrains are within the confides of our nation's boundries.

Team Z tents out in full force.

Here's a picture of Mirror Lake. What you CANT see, is that by the far tree line is the turn around point for the swim. Note, 2 loops of that. Oh and let me tell you how bad it is to be at that turn around point and have a severe thunderstorm including hail hit. Not fun.

Pretty much the best sign ever, considering there are 2300 people in the water just aft of this sign. :)

While I was up there, I swam 2 loops of the swim course, rode the bike course, went for a short run, got stuck in a monsoon (okay, 14+ hours of pure rain for race day. Poor racers), and then

I signed up for next year. Yep, there's my official registration. #900. Registration info is blacked out for security reasons, but this piece of paper is hung in my office, in my bedroom, and might very well become the background of my computer screen. 363 days and counting. I couldn't be more excited/terrified by the road that lies ahead. Today marked the official training endeavor (took a week off to recover from the drive, etc for ironman.) Woke up at 5:45 this morning to get a quick run in before work. I headed out my door with the intents to run to George Marshall high school and do some timed miles on the track. Upon arriving? Gates are locked. They're reconstructing the football field. So much for that idea. I continued my journey around the apartments and finally back home. I learned I love watching the sunrise while I work out. Its something I've loved about swimming in the early AM's (okay, well, when I'd actually go).. Dawn just beginning to break as I left, and the sun being up on the drive home. Many times it seemed half the neighborhood was just waking up by the time I had 2-3000 meters in the pool.

Life is good.


10 July 2008

I wonder what I'm actually drinking...

I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for anything that promises quick recovery and no soreness after hard workouts. I've recently become a fan of Endurox R4, and it really has made a difference. I'm not sore the following day after a ride or run. This morning, after the swim, I took down my usual 8 oz (I cut back from the 12oz serving.. Its not like swimmings THAT hard), and got halfway through it before I started to question what I was actually ingesting. For those of you who have never enjoyed Endurox, Fruit Punch being my flavor of choice, its a semi thick, semi milky tasting drink. I feel like if I tossed scoop of ice cream in when I shook up my bottle of it, it would make a delicious milkshake. Sans the ice cream (which, now I kind of what to try), its just a little odd. Oh well, its "good for you", right?

Swim this morning went well. One of the very few times we've completed a full workout. It was only 2000 meters though, versus the normal 3500 that tend to appear on the sheet. Tuesday I had a bit of an issue getting up. My alarm went off, I stared at the clock, and began to have the following internal conversation with myself:

me: Ugh... I really don't want to get out of bed at 4:45.. Maybe I'll just go back to sleep.
me: C'mon. You already told yourself you were going to get up and do the swim early today.
me: Then again, I'm biking later tonight.. I COULD just go straight to the night swim instead, and sleep in.
me: Shit... I am supposed to clean my room and get some things done before mom gets here this weekend. Thats why I wanted to get my workout in this morning.
me: there's always tomorrow to clean my room.. I could get up early tomorrow and knock out some laundry.
me: but 2 workouts in 1 day is really good for the metabolism. And I want to shed these pounds.
me: Okay.. I've had a 5 minute internal debate.. I'm freakin awake now, might as well get up.

::stands up:: damnit. I should have just stayed in bed.

Head to Tuesday's practice before the birds are awake (seriously, there's a bird that stays on the top of our porch light. I opened the door and the bird nearly fell to its death, albeit the fact s/he had wings to catch him/herself. I'm pretty sure the bird was like WTF? I'm not even up chirping yet, what are you doing up? Practice consisted of a decent amount of Kick drills. I enjoy those - I'm insanely fast at kicking. The rest of my lane dreads them. I enjoy them even more since I've been having shoulder issues. I suppose I should schedule the arthrogram, and face the fact that I'm most likely going to have shoulder surgery. It'll be for the best, and hopefully I can return to my faster swim lanes and keep up.
Biking on the W&OD was uneventful. Matt tightened my brakes for me before the ride, since apparently you aren't supposed to be able to pull the lever to the handlebars. He tightened the front a bit too much and it was rubbing, so I had to disconnect it midway through the ride, and have him fix it when we got back. I had to laugh - after all that debate in the morning, I ended up going out with Matt, Annie, Dave, and his wife to a little mexican place in Clarindon. We ended up there until 10:30 at night.

Bike tonight at Hains Point, maybe a short run (or out to eat with the standard crew), finish cleaning my room before my mom gets here tomorrow, and rest.

Diamond in the Rough Saturday. Its supposed to be so freakin hot. :(


06 July 2008

Lazy Sunday

I was supposed to get up this morning and ride Skyline Drive. Instead, I didn't set my alarm, and woke up around 8:30. Since Skyline is an hour and a half away, and the other ride option of Rileys Lock started at 8, I had to ride alone today. So, I decided to sleep in until 9:30, got up, tossed my bike on my car, and headed to the W&OD. Started out at a good pace, shifted into my big chain ring, and all of the sudden it felt like I was braking. Looked down, not in the big chain ring. Shifted back and forth again. No luck. Hopped off the bike and pretended to be a mechanic. Turns out I'm not, and I made shifting my back derailleur more difficult than before, and still couldn't switch into my big chain ring. I accept this, and continue plugging along in the little chain ring for another 12 miles, and then turned around and headed back to my car. Passed Ken along the way... always nice to see Team Z'ers out even when its not an organized ride.

I went to the pool this evening and worked with hand paddles. I love those things... it makes you swim correctly. My strokes after I took them off were as close to flawless as I know how to get. Awesome. :) Came home, ate some Naan and strawberries, and came to check mail/post.

Off to do some yoga, then sleep.