Friday, October 29, 2010

random friday facts

1. I drink decaf raspberry hot tea every morning in the winter.  Yum.

2. I really hate it when people pop balloons.

3. I get ear infections all the time.  Because I'm 4 years old.

4. I secretly like that I have just a touch of Scary Cyclist Calf Syndrome.

5. I don't think that I look that different despite the weight I've lost.  I'm still all hips, tits and thighs.

6. If I could take a pill that made me feel full, give me all the nutrients I need and not fuss with food, I would.

7. I think I read more emotion off my dog's face than he is actually feeling.

8. Sometimes I ride my bike with BOTH headphones in.  I KNOW.

9. I buy way too many cheap candles. Especially at Target.

10. I don't like gift certificates.

11. Ever since I had surgery, I've stopped missing running.  I think it's because I know I'll get it back now.

12. I hate printers.  And fax machines.  And most things Bluetooth. 

13. I got 4 tiny cavities filled this week without Novocain.  I'm a badass.  

14. It makes me mad that I had cavities at all, because I take really good care of my teeth.  But I grind them, and all the cavities were in ruts that my toothbrush bristles can't reach (says my dentist).  Still.  Mad.

15. I have a really big secret right now.

16. I don't buy presents early because then I just give them to the person.  I can't stand the suspense.

17. I have a work voice.

18. I would rather be cold than hot.

19. I've always wanted a nose stud.

20. I'm wondering if I can learn how to renovate a bathroom by myself to save money.  This is probably a really bad idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

three things thursday

This is a blog about running, right?

1. Like I said, cleared to run.  I only ran 10-20 seconds before having to stop, and my IT has been swollen, sore, and inflamed ever since.  I think I'm going to give it another week (next Tuesday) and try again.  I am not upset about this at all.  It's part of recovery.  And to be honest, I'm not really looking forward to the first week or two back, where I can only run 1/2 mile at a time and my HR is maxed out and it takes me 6 minutes and my heart feels like it is going to explode.

2. Today is 6 weeks exactly since surgery.  Even looking down a long slow comeback, I know I made the right decision.

3. Today is the poet's birthday!  Happy Birthday to a great man.  There is no one I'd rather be walking next to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wordless wednesday

Got cleared to run.  
Attempt #1 only lasted 10 seconds before the pain kicked in, but I believe in the good juju and will try again in a few days!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

weekly wrap & I continue to defy a watery grave

I made plans to swim yesterday with the sweet Amy R. at the awesome and huge Wilson Aquatic Center.  I've never been swimming in a 50M pool before, so I was interested in giving it a try.  Physically, my body seemed to "forget" what to do after about 35 yards - on the first lap, I forgot to turn my head to breathe and then flailed for a bit and sucked some water up my nose.  As soon as I went back to counting strokes and breathing, I was fine.  Interesting, body.  I also discovered that it is MUCH easier to keep track of distance in a 50M pool - every time I reach my flip-flops, I add another 100 to my mental tally.  Piece of cake.  I think it's also good to be swimming longer distances without touching the wall (even if it's only a tiny bit longer) as I prep for the open water.  (If you say shark or jellyfish to me I will cut you).  

However, after about 400 meters, I noticed that every time I turned my head over my right shoulder to breathe, my dull headache shot up a few notches to OUCH.  A few laps later, this turned into a deep-down-in-my-back-teeth kind of sinus headache.  I traded out my swim cap for the looser, crappy one that I bought last week and loosened my goggles, but nothing helped.  After 1000M, I gave up and sat in the whirlpool for a while, then took a long shower.  But the Wilson pool gets two awesome thumbs up, and I can't wait to go back and do a long swim there.

In thinking about what it could be.  I ate a ton of sugar this weekend, so it could be a delayed sugar headache.  I know that I was well hydrated, so that wasn't it.  I had yogurt/fruit/granola for breakfast, a granola bar & some fruit for a morning snack, and PB&J and a cupcake about an hour before swimming, so I wasn't hungry or low on blood sugar.  I've been nursing an on-and-off stress headache for the past week or so, but it super-intensified when I got in the pool.  My goggles have been my arch enemy for a while, as I either spend the entire workout reseating them on my face after they flip when I push off the wall OR I finish the workout with an eye-socket headache.  There seems to be no good middle ground.  So I think new goggles are in my near future.  And maybe an increased focus on work/life balance.

Last week in review:
Monday: 50 minutes lifting (legs), 43 minutes/2000 yard hard swim.
Tuesday: 50 minutes lifting (arms/chest/back), 1:10/20.05 miles cycling.
Wednesday: 50 minutes lifting (L), 1:05/2800 yard swim, 40 minutes/4 mile pool run.
Thursday: 45 minutes lifting (a/c/b), 1:23/21.31 miles of an incredibly frustrating windy ride.
Friday: 30 minutes lifting (L) - reduced for ride prep, 32 minutes/1650 yard swim.
Saturday: 2:49/44 miles cycling.
Sunday: 31 minutes/7 miles recumbent bike.

The milestone of last week?  First time breaking 100 miles (overall mileage) since the week before my surgery.  Progress is as progress does.

And, the puppy party was fantastic but a bit insane.  There was a lot of this:

Some of this:

And a lot of this:

But I think they were friends in the end:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Great Pumpkin Ride: race report

This was just what I needed to clear out my grumpy stressy funky crabby week.

The day before, the same buddy who dragged me through 106.5 miles of ridiculous hell decided to do the ride with me.  We met early, planning on getting an early start to the ride since we both had other events planned for the day.  However, the ride was a mass start, so we ended up just hanging around, standing in the porta-potty line (500 riders, 1 porta-potty.  What?!) and chatting until it started.  It was pretty chilly - 40ยบ at the 9:30am start - and I was one of very few people in shorts because I am still being stubborn about buying winter gear.  
My goose-bump-y legs!

Warrenton to Rest Stop #1 - 12ish miles
A mass start that spends the first 2 miles on a teeny-tiny trail is not what I would call a "good idea."  It was also completely shaded, and I was shivering.  A windy down-to-your-core kind of cold.  Brrrrr.  After the first 4-5 miles, through, the route spat us out onto some less shaded roads, and we started to warm up. 

We had no time goals for the ride.  Gretchen hasn't ridden for almost 6 weeks - since her 70.3 - and I'm recovering.  We spent the first leg chatting and catching up and just generally being social.  It had some very tiny rolling hills, but was mainly flat and scenic, and we weren't working hard at all.  The first rest stop had a very long bathroom line (everyone that didn't want to wait at the start) so we ended up spending about a half-hour there.  All of the rest stops were pumpkin-themed: pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup!  Plus a large bowl of Halloween candy.  Yum!
 I got a lot of comments on my sweet IU jersey!
Gorgeous morning!

Rest Stop #1 to Rest Stop #2 - 9ish miles
This was a quick little trip.  Up and over a few railroad tracks, out into some more open country.  I ate some bananas and more Halloween candy at the stop, and we were off.

Rest Stop #2 to Rest Stop #3 - 14ish miles
We spent this leg just cycling, a pretty decent 17-18mph pace.  I plugged in my (single) headphone, cranked up some tunes and just enjoyed the day.  There was a steep climb into the last rest stop, and I started to feel sore and tired in the IT band.  I had some pumpkin bread and Gu chomps, and we headed out.

Rest Stop #3 to Warrenton - 10ish miles
This was the leg that made me glad I was doing the 44M and not the 62M.  The toughest climbs of the day, which we took slow and easy, but still made me aware of how much climbing strength I had lost of the last 5 weeks.  The riders had thinned out pretty well by here, and we just stayed quiet and climbed.  When I dismounted at the end, I could tell that I was done.  My leg had swollen up pretty nicely, and was a bit cramped.  

This was the perfect ride for me this weekend.  Just a tad longer and a bit harder than I needed at the end, but enough to make me feel like I'm out of rehab hibernation and back in the real world again.  And after the stressful week I had last week, it was exactly what I needed to blow the funk out and clear my head.  I drove home happy, sweaty, and tired.  Perfect.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.  Everything is going wrong, all of my workouts are going badly, and today I had exactly 40 minutes to squeeze in a swim and forgot my fucking swim cap.  And now I get to spend the next 8 hours going "no, I don't know why NOTHING WORKS," but I have to smile and be happy about it.  

That is all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

three things thursday

1. I believe in good juju.  After I had surgery, I got rid of all my bad juju running shoes (donated them) and went out and bought a spanking new pair of Asics 2150's.  Last winter, 3 different running stores recommended them but instead I decided to stick with my Asics Gel-3000's.  I'm an idiot.

Anyhow, I bought the 2150's and didn't bring them in the house for a while.  I wanted the bad juju to clear out.  When I did bring them in, I put them on the shelf with my lifting/gym shoes and my bike shoes.  I hope they are learning the good juju from them.  LEARN THE GOOD JUJU OR YOU'RE GOING IN THE CHIPPER.

2. My mom, a pretty amazing amateur photographer, has let us borrow one of her "bad" cameras, which is why many of my pictures have suddenly become 4000 times more awesome.  The poet has been doing most of the picture-taken, but I've been able to sneak in a few (see: juju shoes) and I love it!  It's makes G look like a movie star.

3. My running/swimming/bitching/cheese-eating wine-drinking sweatpant-wearing old friend is coming into town for the week.  I'm excited. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wordless wednesday

Sometimes you just need your girls.

Also, photo caption contest time:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

odds & ends

We'll call this a Tuesday mash-up!

My IT band is still continuing to heal at a steady but slow (to me) pace.  I spent a LOT of time on my feet this weekend while out at Homecoming, and quickly discovered that I'm not quite ready to be that active and I get tired really quickly - and then grumpy - from the pain.  All part of the healing process, for sure, but it felt like a set-back to me.  Driving was also tough - in a car without cruise control, my leg would get really stiff after an hour or so.  I go back to Dr. P next week for my 6 week checkup, and while I'm dying to run, I still don't think I'm there yet.  

On the flip side, however, is the good news that I'm back on the bike, I'm swimming faster and longer than I have in quite a while, and my leg lifting days are almost back to pre-surgery weight and reps.  I've been focusing more on lifting in the past 5 weeks than cardio, and I can feel - and see - the differences, both the good in my slightly ripped shoulders and the bad in my slightly fluffy stomach area.

October is my favorite month of the year, but so far, it's been the busiest month of the year.  Every weekend is booked solid, all three of us (me, Graham, and the poet) are celebrating birthdays, and school is keeping me a little extra busy this semester.  I love that our lives are filled with all of these things, but I'm looking forward to a weekend with little on the schedule.  Maybe in January?

As far as the overwhelming extra surprise of awesome, we are still talking.  But I've noticed that I feel much calmer and less terrified about the idea now that I've been given the space to figure it out in my head.  All good things.  We have decided to put off the dog #2 decision yet again - I think we have enough going on in our lives right now, and I don't want to bring a puppy into our family until we know that we will have the time to welcome him the right way.

I have a huge house project going on right now that I am very excited about, but the wires and dust and furniture all over the place is driving me crazy.  I think I'm just going to hibernate in the office for the next week until it is all done.

And, to chime in with the rest of the universe, I've been following the Boston drama via FB/Twitter like everyone else.  I am at least a year - if not 2 or 3 or 4 or ever - away from having any personal interest in the race, but I was surprised to see all the negativity from runners yesterday.  If 18K or 20K or even 30K people have trained their asses off to qualify for this race, and then are prompt about making sure they can run the race that they've spent time, money, sweat, and probably tears to be able to run, then GOOD ON YOU.  And if the qualifications end up changing because the gods of BAA decide it to be so, then fine - we'll all train to run a 3:30 or 3:20 or 2:10 or whatever.  Raise the bar, and we'll all rise up to meet it.  Because THAT, more than anything, is what running is about.  Challenge yourself to do more.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

back home again & weekly wrap

 The parade 
My girls 
 Julie rocking the mello
Me more holding than rocking 
Julie & the 26lbs of kettle corn 
 Graham getting in on the IU action

I had an amazing weekend.  I'm sure I can't do it justice, but it was full of good friends, good music, good football, and lots of good eats.  I'm so happy that I had the undergraduate college experience that I did, and I'm so glad to be able to go back and have weekends like this.

Monday: 45 minutes lifting (arms/chest/back), 32 minutes/1500 yard swim.
Tuesday: 50 minutes lifting (legs), 62 minutes/15.1 miles cycling.
Wednesday: 45 minutes lifting (a/c/b), 20 minutes/4.75 miles on recumbent bike, 50 minutes/2000 yard swim, 25 minutes/2.5 miles pool running.
Thursday: 55 minutes lifting (legs), 30 minutes/7 miles recumbent bike.
Friday: Rest day.
Saturday: Probably 2-3 miles of walking spread out over the day.  Also, ridiculous amounts of eating.
Sunday: 12 hours in the car.

I didn't workout at all, really, while we were traveling, so it felt great to be back in the gym this morning.  I'm going to try for 3 swims a week instead of 2, and I've got 2 rides planned this week because I'm doing the 44M Pumpkin Ride this weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

graham is one!

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Graham!

I remember the day we brought you home.  

I wasn't sure about you at first, especially when you immediately tried to pee on the Christmas tree skirt.  
You were so small.

The first few weeks were really tough.  
We had to watch you every single second to make sure you weren't learning bad things.

You had your first bath.

You had your first huge snowstorm.

We took you home at Christmas, where you helped my parents get over the loss of their dog with your sweet face and puppy snuggles.

You also learned some bad habits from them.

You discovered a puppy in the mirror and barked for the first time.

You got bigger.



We got more snow.

You love to ride in the car.

You are so silly.

You didn't get mad when we shaved you.

You made your television debut.

We took you to the dog park many times.  You like people more than dogs.  
You like the water but hate it when your feet don't touch the bottom.

Your favorite thing is the plastic squirrel frisbee that we keep outside.
You pretend you have to pee all the time because you want to play.

You love to perform surgery on your stuffed animals.

Our family would not be complete without you.
Happy Birthday, baby Graham!