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.