Tuesday, August 31, 2010

giveaway tuesday!

It's time for another giveaway!

CSN contacted me about doing a giftcard giveaway, and of course I said yes - what an awesome gift for one of you!  I'll be giving away a $60 giftcard.  CSN hosts a whole range of websites, where you can buy anything from a blender to kitchen tables to barbells.  Scoot over there and take a look at what they've got!  

Now the really exciting part....how to enter!  I'm going to give you 3 awesome chances to win.

1. Become a follower or tell me that you are one AND (I've shamelessly stolen this idea from another great mind) ask me a question.  I'll answer ALL of the questions, so go freakin' nuts.

2. Go follow me on Twitter & tweet this giveaway.  Include "CSN stores" and @thisamazingday in your tweet so I can see it and give you credit.  Be creative!

3. Take a look at their site and let me know what you would buy with the giftcard.  

I'll randomly choose a winner next week when I get back from vacation.  Good luck!

Monday, August 30, 2010

injury update

I've been in PT for 2 weeks now - that's 2 weeks with NO RUNNING AT ALL, for those of you keeping track at home with notches on the bedpost.  No?  Only me?  

The good news?  I already can tell that my shoulder has made a lot of progress.  I have long stretches of no pain at all, and when I do have pain, the intensity is much less.  Hopefully the adjustments I've made to my lifting program based on the PT exercises will continue to let my shoulder heal properly.  I swam 1000 yards on Saturday morning - 10x100, increasing speed on each one - and while my shoulder muscles felt very definitely fatigued at the end of this set, I had no pain.  I'm hoping to get in 2 swims of similar length/speed this week, probably around my hot pool running dates.  I think the key here is to do short stretches, to strengthen the little muscles in my shoulder and back that weren't being used for so long.

As for my IT band, there's really no way to tell what that little bastard is doing.  I have very little pain in my day-to-day life.  Cycling doesn't bother it at all, thank goodness, and I switched elliptical machines at the gym and haven't had any more tingles or snaps.  Most of the PT exercises for this I was already doing some version of, but I've added a few things into my lifting program and adjusted some others.  Occasionally during pool running, I've felt a twinge in the band itself, but I think that can be attributed to my IT band being swollen and sore from the ridiculous beating it's been taking at PT.  

I forgot to ask last Thursday if I was cleared for running, but I figure he would have told me with neon signs and balloons that I could run.  And once I can - that will be the real test.

I had a great weekend, filled with awesome friends and good food and sunshine and more than just a little bit of beer.  I'm glad fall is approaching, but this summer has been filled with so much joy that I'm a bit sad to see it go.  How was your weekend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

mexican casserole

Instead of random Friday facts, you guys are getting casserole porn.  I make the rules.

Inspired by Liz and her delicious-looking casserole, I hit the grocery store yesterday for my own version of the same.  Yum!

1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans of chopped green chiles
1 can of chopped jalapenos
1 package of whole wheat tortillas
1 package of mexican cheese
1 package of prepared southwestern chicken
1/2 jar salsa
2 servings of brown rice
chili powder

Preheat the oven to 350.  Heat a saute pan to medium heat.  Add peppers, onions, chicken, chiles, jalapenos.  

Saute until veggies are tender, adding chili powder and cayenne to taste (I added a lot).

Remove from heat and mix with rice, tomatoes, 1/2 jar (it was a small jar) of salsa, and a handful of cheese.

In a large casserole pan, line the bottom with tortillas.  

Layer cheese, the mixture, tortillas, cheese, the mixture, tortillas, cheese.
Cover in tinfoil.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.  Remove tinfoil, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Make roommates jealous of amazing dinner.  Then force them to eat some when you realize you'll have 2 weeks of leftovers if you don't.

In other news, I went out this morning for a recovery ride with some speed work mixed in.  I did 2 sets of the following: 1-2-3-2-1 minutes hard, with equal recovery following.  "Hard" was in the 19-22mph range, and I recovered at 15-16mph.  I did about 20 minutes of riding in between the 2 sets.  My legs still feel pretty tired from last weekend, but were thrilled about some hard and fast.  My toes went numb, for some strange bicycle reason.  No idea there, but better my toes than my biscuit.

Total: 30M/1:55/avg. pace 15.7mph

In other other news, get ready for an awesome product review and giveaway from CSN, coming next week!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

three things thursday

1. I HATE the elliptical.  Aqua jogging I can tolerate when I have people to yap with, and the stationary bike I don't mind because I think of it as junk cycling miles.  This week I'm trying to lay off the stationary bike and just concentrate on my outdoor recovery rides, but I need to do something on the in-between days, so I'm back on the elliptical.  It's just so dull, and so tough to read my book AND get my HR up.  Ugh.

2. I'm hoping that the crazy egyptian man will clear me to run this weekend at PT today.

3. Still eating ice cream every day.  Hope is lost.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


My body still isn't quite right.  I couldn't manage to eat dinner last night - swallowing makes me actually nauseous - and instead just picked at little snacks all night.  I don't feel that sore, but then I'll lean over or stretch in bed and notice that my quads are exhausted.  I took a whole entire rest day yesterday.  And life goes on.

I've got two rides this week that will definitely be at at serious "recovery" (read: barely moving) pace, and I go back to PT today for another beating.  I'm halfway through the 2-week ban on running, and I'm looking forward to spending some time both pool running and swimming this week.  I also find that when I lay off the lifting in preparation for a race, I really miss it.  I know that I don't lose any real muscle by taking 5 days off lifting, but it feels so good to go back.

As far as what's next - not sure.  I've got a little bit of the "now what?" going on.  The next week or so at PT should tell me what fall running will look like.  The Army 10M is starting to look more and more like it's not going to happen.  As for cycling, I'm already mentally adding more consistent hill workouts to my cycling as I've got two more century rides in the next 6 weeks - one metric, but it will cover a lot of Sunday's terrain.  

But in the meantime, I'm going to stretch and ice and feed my body, and hope it forgives me.  What do you do in recovery?  How long to you wait to return to gentle, then full activity?  How much ice cream do you eat while you're waiting?  These are the questions keeping me awake.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reston Century: race report

So, no surprises here.  I decided Saturday night to go ahead and do the full (under serious pressure from my running-turned-triathete college buddy over the last 3 weeks, as she didn't want to do 100 miles alone).  I had a great long ride last weekend, my legs were feeling good, I had new expensive softness for the biscuit, and that meant I could stuff down even more delicious bread with dinner.  A solid win, right?


Stats: 106.4M, 7:32.

The good: I finished.  Before the free ice cream truck left the finish line.  I could still - mostly - feel my hooter.  Fantastic rest stops with great crews.  73 degrees at the start.  I didn't cry, walk my bike, crash, flat, or puke, although I hoped for all of those things at various points throughout.

The bad: Less than 6 miles of flat on the course that my friend called "a little hilly."  Surprise!

The ugly: 20 miles of steep climbs and quick drops on unshaded blacktop, scheduled right at noon when the gray morning turned into a 97-degree scorcher.  And a bastard jackass race director with a nasty sense of humor, tracking a 106-mile course advertised as a 100-miler.

How it unfolded.....

The course opened at 6:30am.  I planned to arrive at 6:00am, to have lots of time to unpack and fuss and check 8 times that I had everything I needed, which meant I needed to leave my house by 5:30am.  I set my alarm for 4:50am so I would have time to eat breakfast, deliver the mail, triple-check my packing and leave.  The poet was kind enough to get up (read: woken up by me crashing around in the dark) and helped me load my bike and bags into the car.  And while I really appreciated the help, it wasn't until I arrived at the start that I realized that by not loading my own bike, I didn't notice the empty water bottle cages and as such, retrieve my water bottles from the freezer.  GAH.  I had one of those heavy metal bottles with a screw-top that I had packed for the car, and I (of course) had a tube of nuun in my purse, so that would have to do.  I ended up leaving some of my nutrition behind, as well, after hearing about the amazingly well-stocked rest stops.  I think I packed 5 Gu's, 3-4 packages of shot blocks, 2 bags of Gu chomps, my bag of pretzels, and a protein bar.  

Gretchen forgot her pump and went back to get it, and it took us a few minutes to rendevous (which parking lot?  this parking lot?  no, that parking lot.  no, the other one.  I can see you!  I'm waving!  you just drove past me!), so we departed the start at 7:00am.  It was cloudy, 73 degrees, and sprinkling a little.  Perfect.  
Ready to roll!

Reston Town Center to Ashburn: 10.1M, 0:38 (split at arrival)
About 10 minutes after we started, a pack of DC Tri folks that Gretchen knows sped past us, and she decided that we should try and keep up with them - I think she was afraid of getting lost.  After 30 minutes of 21-22mph average, I told her that I couldn't keep up with that pace or I'd blow up long before we hit 100.  That group spent less than 30 seconds at each rest stop and was probably home in time for lunch, so I'm glad we dropped back early in the day.  I was also glad that my bike computer was spot-on with the cue sheet.  We stretched a little, I used the porta, had an orange slice and a pack of Gu chomps and we headed out.

Ashburn to Hamilton, 31.7M, 2:03 (split at arrival)
The first 10 miles or so of this stretch were nice.  Some gentle rollers, quite a few stop lights, and we were still in a pretty big pack.  It was cool and breezy, and I felt strong.  We were averaging 17-18mph, but in the pack it felt easy.  There was one left turn not marked, and we went almost a 1/4 mile before someone in the pack turned us around, which added .4 to the bike computer - hurrah!  Math do to all day!  We went down a big long hill, took a very sharp left turn, and the "everything feels great! I am strong!" was over for the day.  This took us up a pretty steep (7-8mph, still in the pack) 2-3 mile stretch.  When we crested, there was little relief, as we spent the rest of the loop doing some pretty serious climbs and flying down steep downhills.  I was pretty grateful to see everyone turning into the rest area, and hoped that meant the big climbs of the day were over, as my quads were feeling trashed.

The Hamilton rest area we hit 3 times, and it was fantastic.  I had some shot blocks during the last stretch, and when we arrived, I had a Gatorade snow cone (amazing), tons of water, 2 pieces of honey wheat bread, some pretzels, and some more shot blocks.  I was so happy to have the bread, as it counteracts the awful stomach feeling of eating only squishy sugar.  We stretched, refilled, and left for the next stretch.
 Gatorade snow cones. 
Fantastic spread.

Taylorstown Loop: 62M, 4:20 (split at arrival)
40M, 2:41 - first caffeinated Gu.
50.6M, 3:27 - right before the hill decision.

The loop was really tough.  It was still fairly cool (high-70s), and we were blessed with some rain, but I overheard enough conversations about how much climbing was on this loop (the general consensus was 3000 feet of climbing, according to the Garmin people) to finally understand what I had gotten myself into.  Honesty time: if I had known how challenging and hilly this course was, there was no way on this green earth I would have done the full.  No possible way.  I'm a pretty new cyclist, and I love it, but all my long training rides have been on fairly flat terrain, and while I've done Conte's hill workout pretty regularly, it doesn't even come close to what we encountered in western Virginia yesterday.  

Gretchen rides a tri bike and has about 10lbs on me - I couldn't even begin to keep up with her on the flying downhills.  However, I have thunder thighs and a road bike, so I'd mostly catch her on the uphills.  During this loop, we had to choose a "more hilly" or "less hilly" route about halfway through.  I can't imagine what kind of ridiculous sadist thought that we needed this choice, or that we wanted MORE hilly mileage (the "more hilly" course added 3.2 miles).
Hill decision time.

The split happened at 50.6 miles and I'll tell you what - if what we took was the easy split, I can't imagine how anyone survived the hard split.  This was the worst part of this loop, and maybe the worst climbs of the entire ride.  I saw a LOT of cyclists walking their bikes up hills, and a lot of cyclists on the side of the road who yelled "cramps!" or "just puking, I'm fine!" when I yelled "are you ok?"  No shame here - I was dying for a cramp so I'd have to stop for a break, and if I thought I could have safely unclipped during a 4mph climb, I would've done it and walked too.  As we headed back into the rest stop, the sun came out.

South Loop: 82.8M, 5:54 (split at arrival)
A bunch of lying assholes in the rest stop told us that this loop was softer and easier than the last loop, so we took a quick break for bread, cookies, bananas, Gatorade, and Gu and headed back out, saying to ourselves, "It's just 20 miles, then another 20, then we're done!"  The only thing that was better about this loop is that it was shorter.  This was the worst 20 miles of my life.  The first few miles went through a little town, and then we hung a left into serious back country, identical to the previous loop, except there was no shade, we were on blacktop, there was absolutely no flat road, and my bike computer reported 97 degrees.  This is where I started to get really and truly pissed off.  I wanted to do the metric.  I didn't train for the full like Gretchen (who is in 70.3 training).  I didn't know what the course was like because I had the metric cue sheet.  If I had done the metric, I'd be home by now.  I hate everyone.  She called me a chicken and made me do it.  She told me it was pretty flat.  I hate her.  I hate my bike.  I'm going to stop and throw it into a bush and walk home.  

I spent at least 5 miles writing the speech that I was going to shout at her as soon as we stopped.  I spent another 2 miles writing the speech that I was going to shout at the race director, because YOU KNOW I was going to track his ass down and let him have it.  I passed Gretchen on one climb and yelled "FU@K" and she yelled back "WHAT" and I yelled "I SHOULD HAVE DONE THE G@DDAMNED METRIC!"  For some reason she didn't pass me again, choosing instead to suck off my 3mph wheel until we pulled over at a gas station about 2 miles out from the rest stop.  I can't imagine why.  When we stopped I looked at her and said "I hate you right now" and she said "think of how good you'll feel when we're done!" and I said "SHUT UP WITH THAT SHIT ALREADY" and stomped into the diner to beg for ice water.  The only thing that made me feel a tiny bit better was that she toppled over at a stop sign and lost almost all of her fluid at the front of this loop, and while I was too focused on being pissed off to drink anyhow, I did think "HA!" over and over again in my little rage because she DESERVED to not have any fluid.  

(Note: of course this was just my anger talking, I love her again today and want her to always be hydrated.)

The last 2-3 miles of this loop were on the W&OD trail coming from Purcellville (the end of the trail) and they were paved, shaded, and flat.  Relief.  Of course there was one last climb up to the rest stop.
I'm not smiling, I'm gritting my teeth in rage.

Hamilton to Reston Town Center: 104.5M, 7:32 (split at arrival)
We did a very quick stop, mainly because we were in the "I just want this to be over" mental state.  The bad thing about this is that I don't want to eat or drink or stretch or pee, I just want to get to the end as quickly as I can, which is really dangerous during endurance events.  It was tough to eat and drink at the water stop, and even tougher to eat and drink along the way.  There were a few climbs during the first 3 miles of this loop, but we hit the W&OD trail - familiar territory - and I started to count the minutes until we were done.  Gretchen's phone rang a few times, and the last time she stopped to check it about 10 miles out (she has a little kid & always wants to make sure it's not an emergency, which I respect), I just kept going.  I knew if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to get started again.  The W&OD has some easy rollers, but generally a complete lack of shade.  I was boiling the entire way and had to make a huge effort to eat some shot blocks, some pretzels, a Gu, and drink during this stretch.  Right after I left Gretchen, I tucked in behind a guy who I had seen several times during the day and hung on as long as I could.  Our speed varied from 14-15mph to 19-20mph, but I just stared at his ass and focused on not stopping.  I'm sure he appreciated it.  

The cue sheet had the ride at 105.6 miles, and our turn off the W&OD trail was marked at 105.3.  Since our wrong turn had added .4, I spent most of the last hour staring at my bike computer, watching the .1s click by and counting down to 105.7.  5.3 extra miles is a long way on a bike after 7 hours of tough riding.  I hit 100 miles at 7:05, and thanked all of the higher powers for getting me that far, then went back to cursing the race director because I was done my mother-effing 100 miles and wanted to stop in the middle of the road and sit down and CALL HIS MOTHER.  

So I'm watching the .1 click by, and after 100, I can't do anything.  Around 103, the guy I was tailing had a water bottle drop off his bike and he rode over it with his back wheel and crashed.  I yelled "are you ok?" and he starting ranting and raving and cursing and yelling, but I heard someone yell "go ahead" so I didn't stop.  If I was that guy, who crashed (and maybe bent his wheel and couldn't finish) at mile 103 of a 100-mile ride, I would be PISSED.  I found another batch of tired people to suck on and went back to watching the .1 click by.  105.5.  105.6  105.7.  105.....8?!?!?!?!  

Imagine this.  Imagine running the longest, hilliest, worst marathon of your life.  P.S., the longest you ran in training was 15 miles.  It's 97 degrees out.  You're alone.  You see mile marker 26 and start rejoicing because you are almost done.  And then, you think, "this .2 feels long," but you keep running because it's all your brain can do.  And then imagine that you see mile marker 27.  That's how I felt when my bike computer kept clicking.  My splits had been perfectly aligned with the cue sheet all day (minus the .4 from our wrong turn).  We didn't turn off the trail until 106.3.  

I rode through the party and back to my car, knowing that if I got off my bike to eat or drink, I'd leave it there to find its own way home.  It felt amazing to put on flip-flops, to take off my bike helmet, to pull my bike shorts out of my diaphragm.  I met Gretchen back at the party and had a small plate of food, but I was done.  I got my free ice cream treat and we headed out.

I drove home and had enough strength to put on my bathing suit and lie on the floor while I waited for the poet to get home and take me to the gym for hot tub soaking.  But by the time he got home I couldn't imagine leaving the house, so I soaked in a hot bath, then a cool one, then took a shower and climbed into bed.  

My body has no idea what to do.  Last night I felt feverish and nauseous and ached all over.  I managed to lay my calves on top of some ice packs for a while to try and avoid the charley-horse alarm clock, and drank glass after glass of water.  I had a big bowl of ice cream, and the poet brought me McDonald's french fries - the only thing I could think of that sounded good.  I didn't sleep well last night - I was hot and sore, and woke up early.  I still have no appetite (although I ate a big breakfast) and am drinking lots of water, but I feel much more human, and might do something like take the dog out for a walk today.  

Would I do it again?  Well, of course.  This is the kind of physical and mental challenge that I've been missing all these months of not running (very much).  But it's also always good to be reminded of how important proper training is.  I know that I was prepared for the mileage, but the elevation and the heat made it a totally different ride.  I heard varying tales of elevation change for the whole ride, varying from 3500-4800 feet, but either way, it's very different from the 3-5 feet of elevation change that's been in my long rides to date.  A great step for me as a cyclist and as an athlete both - I feel like I learned a lot about mental toughness on this ride, as that's what got me through the last 44.4 miles.  I don't think it's something that you can work on like you can go to the gym and lift, but I think events like this show you what you're currently made of, and I was grateful to find that while I may not yet have the strength or speed I need to really excel at this, I have what I need mentally to not give up.  To do what I always want to be able to do: never stop fighting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

random friday facts

1. I cannot wait 2 more weeks until just before vacation for a bikini & eyebrow wax.  I'm going insane here.

2. Still having problems on the bike with a numb biscuit.  I'm going to take my bike to the shop today and see if they can adjust the angle of my seat down a little bit to reduce the pressure.  I am not choosing between cycling and sex.

3. When G has to go out during the day, he comes over and sits next to me and puts his head on my leg.  This week, he's been doing it several times a day, but it turns out he's bored and wants to play.  Maybe it's time for him to work on an MBA and have a job.
Do I have to pee or do I want to play?

4. There is no one at my gym before 8:30am.  I love it, but, wtf?

5. I can't wait to carb-load tomorrow night for the century ride.  That's why we do endurance sports, right?  So we can eat pasta.

6. I guess these are not random facts, but more random updates.

7. I am counting the minutes until I go on vacation.  I haven't had a true vacation (more than a long weekend - although this is a long weekend, too) in about 4 years.  And I got amoebic dysentery on that one.

8. I started shopping yesterday for said vacation.  Stores are not my friend.  I would just buy everything online, but I've been living in spandex for the past 3 (ok, 8) months and have no idea what size I am anymore, just that all the clothes in my closet are way too big.

9. I might take a rest day tomorrow, to compensate for the fact that I'm an idiot & forgot the date of the century ride and have been busting ass all week like usual.  But I was planning on pool running in the morning, so maybe not.

10. I haven't been to the hill workout in 3 weeks and felt it a bit this morning.  Too much time on a stationary bike this week.

11. The molding is done and I hung (ok, the poet hung) 85% of the new curtains.  I love my house.

12. That said, my list of things to get done is many, many pages long.  Anyone know an architect?

13. Usually I like Fridays, because my morning is all prep for meetings and meetings, and time flies.  For some reason, I just want today to be over.  Maybe I need a nap.

14. I never like getting up before dawn to ride or run, but I'm always happy and chipper 5 minutes into it, and I never regret going.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

three things thursday

1. This no-running thing sucks a big fatty.  I didn't realize how much 9-12 miles per week was keeping me sane.  And thanks to the rain, 2 morning rides have been rained out this week.  My ass is pretty tired of the stationary bike.  Oh, AND I didn't go pool running this morning because I decided that eating my weight in melted cheese then chocolate fondue and then drinking the better part of a bottle of wine and sleeping in until 8AM (yep, I'm a sloth) sounded like a better idea.  Ugh.

2. I totally suck at reading a calendar.  I did a long ride last Sunday thinking I had 2 weeks to the Reston Century.  I was planning on doing 2 20-30 milers during the week, and a short ride of 35-40 this weekend to let my legs taper just a bit, as my quads are still pretty trashed from the long ride.  Errrm, oops.  It's this weekend.  I'm a genius.  Oh well, FREE ICE CREAM at the finish!  Woohoo!

3. I just realized I didn't have any ice cream yesterday, for the first time in probably a month.  WHOMP!!!  (We won't talk about how this is because of the massive amount of sugar I ingested at dinner).  I'd like to call it a major success.  YES.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wordless wednesday


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PT or I get my ass handed to me

So yesterday was my first day of PT.  I've been in PT enough to basically know what to expect.  When I got there yesterday I bounced happily in the door, confident that my 9 months of lifting 5-6x a week have put me in a good strong place, and I could take whatever craziness was handed to me.

Of course you see where this is going.

There are many muscles in my body that are quite strong.  Quads, calves, tongue, biceps, all tough as nails.  However, all it takes is for one physical therapist to say "push against my arm" and I crumble like a sack of sandwich wrappers.  First, I walked him through my IT band disaster, and then my right shoulder disaster.  He looked at my shoes and watched me walk.  Then he did the "push" tests where I discover that I'm so weak I shouldn't be able to walk and open the door.  The verdict: my hip flexors and psoas are tight, which is royally effing up everything south of my belly button.  He said that my hips don't move when I walk.  Say what now?  The shoulder verdict is more interesting - he said that when I fell, I "bashed my shoulder" up into my body, but that wasn't the main problem.  The main problem is that when I healed from surgery, my shoulder started letting my right trap (up near the neck) do all the work, so I have 20 different kinds of weak shoulder connector things.  Oddly enough, both injuries are on the right side of my body, which made him comment - multiple times throughout the visit - that I must've had a stroke.  Right.

After the evaluation came my favorite part of physical therapy - the grueling painful massage.  Kirstin was right.  I don't think I've ever felt pain like this before.  I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, especially in my legs, yet several times I came really close to asking for a break.  He worked on my hip flexors and the fascia in my hips, which essentially feels like someone is ripping your skin apart.  Then he worked on my IT band, which, after years of this problem, is a pretty tough little motherfucker.  He worked on it long past the point of enjoyable pain, long past the point of tolerable pain, and well into the point where I want to cry and vomit.  Excellent.  Today, it is so sensitive that the act of pulling up my shorts - which caused the fabric to lightly brush the side of my knee - hurt so much that I had to go sit down.

Next came a few minutes on the elliptical, then a handful of exercises, all of which are currently in my lifting rotation in some variation or another.  His parting shot?  No running for 2 weeks.  

I left with my tail between my legs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

fighting the good fight

I'm getting a little tired of this IT band crap.  It's been 6 months full of progress mixed in with huge setbacks.  I'm trying to inch back up to where I was a few weeks ago, but I'm just really tired of having to be so careful.

(whining over)

Friday morning I had a long ride planned, but woke up to thunderstorms, rain, and crazy debris all over the road.  In light of my recent love affair with the pavement, I decided to nix the ride.  However, Thursday night I had eaten a huge meal of bread and pasta, trying to load up my muscles for the long ride.  And then when the ride didn't happen.....ugh.  I felt heavy and bloated all morning.  I went to the gym to lift, and decided to hop onto the treadmill for yet another cautious test run.  I did 2 miles (18:15), walked and stretched, and then did one more mile (8:20).  There was a lot of tightness throughout, and some pain started up near the end, so I quit.  I've been stretching and icing and foam rolling like crazy, which seems to be helping it calm down.

Total: 3.53/33:00/avg. pace 9:20

That still didn't feel like enough to burn off all the bread, so I came back to the gym later in the day and sat on a recumbent bike for an hour while reading.  I never feel like a recumbent bike is burning that much, but I suppose it's better than lounging on the couch.

Total: 14.3/60:00/avg. pace 14.3 mph

Saturday morning I woke up for an early pool date with some running buds at the W-L pool.  I've never pool run longer than an hour, but Tara wanted to do 3 hours to replace her long run, so I hung out for 2.  I usually don't have any leg fatigue after an hour of pool running, but 2 hours made a big difference - my legs and hip were pleasantly tired.  I did some cautious laps in the pool afterwards, both to stretch out my body and test out my shoulder.  I managed 1000 yards before calling it a day.  My shoulder felt pretty good, but later in the afternoon I spent 30 minutes lifting at the gym and it was a bit more cranky!!

Sunday morning I woke up VERY early to make another attempt at my long ride.  The weather was almost perfect - 73* but a bit humid.  I headed up to Haines Point alone and did a few laps before my riding buddy joined me at the 45-minute mark.  We did about an hour's worth of riding down and around the mall and the capitol.  We stopped to refill, and then did a decent 45 minutes of loops of Haines Point - our speed was pretty high but the wind was getting ridiculous!  We stopped at 2:30 for a desperately needed stretching session, and then did a hard and fast 40 minutes.  Our average during that time was all in the 16-19 mph, with several long stretches hitting the 20-21mph marks.  We stopped again to tank and while we were stopped, it started to pour like crazy.  We were both about 5 miles from home, so just decided to keep riding.  We did 2 more laps of Haines Point and then split off for home.  

Total: 62 miles/3:55/avg. pace 15.8mph

Here are my stops/nutrition:

breakfast: protein bar, banana, water.
0:45, 14ish miles: 280 calories - Gu chomps and a caffeinated Gu.
1:45, 28 miles: 200 calories - Shot blocks.
2:30, 38 miles, 100 calories - caffeinated Gu.
3:10, 50 miles, 200 calories - caffeinated Shot blocks.

I also had a pack of little hard pretzels in my bento box that I munched on from the 2-hour point until the end - probably another 100-120 calories.  I started out with both water bottles filled with Nuun and refilled with water twice during stops.

This is definitely the most amount I've ever taken in during a ride, but I think it worked.  It adds up to 900ish calories over 4 hours.  When I got home, I drank 2 glasses of water and ate a PB&J before heading off to my gym to soak in the hot tub.  I tried to take a nap when I got home, but I think all the caffeine was still bubbling around because I didn't fall asleep.  I instead spent the next few hours reading (and icing!), and then got up and did some grocery shopping before we headed to a friend's house for dinner.  I never hit the bonk I've hit before - sometimes during, sometimes after the ride - and despite the longer ride and much faster speeds for several chunks, I didn't have that much leg fatigue.  When I woke up this morning, I was a bit stiff and needed a stretch, but I don't feel the day-after fatigue that I've felt before, either.  I know from all the years of experimenting with my running nutrition how much of a difference it makes when you get it right, and I think I've finally gotten it.  

However, my biscuit is definitely feeling the higher milage, as it felt for the rest of the day like it was still smashed and vibrating on a bike seat, and I've got a pretty numb crotch this morning.  It might be time to invest in better bike shorts - ladies, I'm taking recommendations!!  I also think it's time to start thinking about the rainy fall and winter, and invest in a trainer - again, awesome bike folks, help me out - what should I look for?

Both evening this weekend we got to catch up with some great friends - this is what summer is about.  Lots of motion, sleeping, food and friends.  I'm off to see a PT today to try and straighten out my busted-up bod.  How was your weekend?

Friday, August 13, 2010

random friday facts

1. When I meet people, I always look at the size of their upper arms.  Usually they are much skinnier than mine and I am jealous.  This probably makes me a bad person.

2. If my dog was a person, he'd be a heart surgeon, based on what he does to all of his stuffed animals.

3. I don't like it when the people at my gym say goodbye to me.  But I feel bad ignoring them, so I always turn my music down so I can hear if they say it.

4. I HATE shopping in stores.  I don't like when salespeople talk to me either.  Despite having worked in retail, where I know the sign of a good staff is lots of offers for help, I much prefer stores where people just leave me alone.

5. I realized yesterday that I've biked/run almost 3x as many miles as I've driven in the past month.  And that includes my 130-mile trip to PA.  This makes me happy.

6. I haven't purchased makeup in probably a year.  I'm okay with this.

7. I desperately need a bikini wax, but now that I'm going on a mini-vacation at the end of the month, I'm going to wait until right before I go.  My apologies to everyone at the W-L pool until then.  I much prefer waxing to anything else because I like things that are clean.

8. I am unreasonably excited about getting new baseboard molding next week.

9. I completely sympathize with people who are hermits.  If I could never leave my house, I think that would be okay.

10. My socks almost never match.

11. I've totally checked out of my 2 classes.  Both have about 3 weeks left and I haven't done any of the reading in about, ohhhh, 3 weeks?  At least?  I'm ready to be done.

12. I think it's totally acceptable for a family of 2 to have 6 or more cars.  This from the person who drives about 4 miles per week.

13. Sometimes I play Snood during conference calls.

14. I love the smell of a brand-new shower curtain.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

three things thursday

1. I'm very glad that I drank 3 beers last and decided not to ride this morning, because if I had gotten stuck in the storm that just came through, I would've been hopping-around-pissed-off.

2. The nice people over at Reflect Sports sent me some Hoo Ha Ride Glide to try a few weeks ago.  Holy wow, folks.  I was having some chafing issues in my no-no place, and let me say - this stuff is AWESOME!!!  It's got some peppermint in it, so my crack has an ice-cool feeling to it the entire time I am riding.  I can't really speak to any other chamois creams/chafing creams because I haven't tried them, but I heart this in a big way.  Getting surprised in the shower by stinging skin was NO FUN.  I went out and bought the big huge giant bottle, and I still have some samples hidden in my bike bag (no one wants to get caught with a chafed booter).  I also love that it says "Don't ignore the needs of your Hoo Ha!" on their website.  Hope you're listening!!

To help you give them a try, they set up a discount code for 15% off anything online!  Just enter RTAD1015 at checkout.  Save the Hoo Ha!

3. It's been a very good year.

Stay tuned....another giveaway coming soon!  Squishy sugar nom nom!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

update on all my broken things

Since yesterday's post was more "wordless," I figured I'd post an update today.  Lots has been going on, and I've had my feet pretty firmly planted in denial.

You'll remember (because I'm reminding you) that a few weeks ago, I crashed my bike.  No major boo-boos, just a banged-up hip and a scab that's been fun to watch through the various stages of ooze.  However, a week or so later, I noticed that my shoulder was bothering me.  The same shoulder I had surgery on in March, that I blame entirely for my IT-band injury due to the fact that I couldn't run for 10 days and thus had to cram for the CB10M.  There's logic in there, don't look too hard.  A bit of a recap: I had surgery because SOMEthing was bugging the crap out of my shoulder, to the point where I couldn't swim, open a door, or pick up anything heavier than a piece of paper.  The mystery man Dr. P is "cut first MRI later" kind of guy, and when he went in with his cutter and tiny TV, he discovered 2 things.  Well, 3.  One was a bone spur pressing into my rotator cuff (youch!!), which he sawed off and probably took home for his kids to play with.  One was a massive amount of scar tissue from years of bursitis, which he cleaned out (boogers in the joint!).  The last was I don't entirely understand, but he explained that the muscles of your shoulder make a kind of channel, and mine is too big.  He said that he could've cut it and re-sewed it up so the channel was the right size, but that a) I'd be in a sling for 3 months and b) it would probably end up growing back the way it was.  He said to do lots of the "pushing" and "pulling" lifting, and if it started to bug me, go see a PT.  So it healed up and I went on with my life.  But ever since my fall, it's been hurting me - to the point where I can't sleep on that side, and sitting at my desk all day hurts, and reaching and picking things up is starting to make me wince.  I've been lifting arms/chest 2-3 times a week for 7 months now, so I know it's not because I'm weak.  Swimming has been out for a week now, and hunching over a bike for 20 miles yesterday equaled pain for the rest of the day.  Failed body part number 1.

Failed body part number 2 is, of course, my IT band.  I had a triumphant 4-mile run last Wednesday that left me pain-free and flying high, with dreams of the Army 10M, a winter half and a late spring/summer full twinkling in my little eye.  Of course the universe heard me and made sure to send a major smack down on my ass.  Friday's run (3.1, 27:40) ended up with some tightness and Sunday's run (3, 27:40 - oooh, that's weird) brought back the OMG WTF IS THAT pain that is so characteristic of an IT band injury.  Now, a few things to note.  1. I foam-rolled Wednesday and then not again until Monday night, because I left it here while I was in PA. B. I was running on the really REALLY crappy, old, really bouncy, and worn-out treadmills at my parent's gym, not the shiny new ones here at mine.  III. I didn't do any (outdoor on a real bike) cycling between Thursday morning and Tuesday morning - which is something that I feel is a necessary part of holding off the IT band.  ALSO. The only ice I had was in the slushy mixed drinks going down my graw, not on my leg.  So I took 2 days off, iced/rolled/stretched and offered screaming infant sacrifices to the IT band gods.  This morning I decided to run a mile to test things out: am I doomed or not?  1 mile turned into 2 in 17:15, with no pain but some tightness.  So I'll continue the extra focus on icing and rolling and stretching for the next week or so and desperately cling to the hope that this is a temporary blip, not a setback that will lead me down the path that ends with a knife.  

However, all of this has landed me - for now - directly into the hands of a physical therapist.  Things hurt despite being in great shape, so I'm hoping that a the brilliant master mind Kirstin recommended can help me tweak what I'm doing to move closer to a pain-free life.  My first appointment is the middle of next week.