Back in the saddle again....

1 week off to get better...6 full days to be exact....with the usual ups and downs.....but i stayed home and rested.....and now Im feeling better every day. Doc says it will be a few more days for the lungs to clear out...but I rode yesterday, and ran long today. and I don't even feel that tired. ahhhhh.....I'm back on!

Today, I got my suits from SPLISH, and they are awesome! Fleur de Lis all over them! I love it. I can't wait to wear one in Oregon next week.



The Pro's and Con's of Endurance Training.

I love to train for the big race, get to the starting line healthy, and have a great day. No feeling beats it. With all the work I have put in, to see the results at the finishline is incredible. But sometimes, in spite of an endurance athlete's healthy lifestyle, the demanding training regimen can put them at risk of catching little bugs and viruses' that can turn into enormous upper respiratory problems. At least that's the case for me. And, after doing some research, I know I'm not the only one.

After this past weekend of long endurance trainig, I awoke to a raspy voice on monday- which i nursed all day since it was a scheduled day off. For those of you that know me, you know i struggle with allergies, so a raspy voice isn't that unusual for me now and then. The issue is to be able to tell allergy from illness, because I can train with allergies. I was terribly tired all day, but hydrated well and was sure to take all my vitamins and eat healthy. I woke up tuesday feeling really good, and put in a 3hr brick in the morning. but by the afternoon, I was sluggish and had a little cough which began to make me nervous. so i decided to skip swim practice that afternoon, and go to bed early.

Then, sure enough, i woke up wednesday morning with a lump in my throat, and a little tightness in my chest. I knew it was time to stop. and this time, I am stopping before it completely stops me.

[[you see, over the past few years, i have been prone to bad chest congestion - one bout putting me down for 44 days in 2006. I dont know what causes it, but it is likley set off by a virus, then made worse with allergies, or visa versa. Plus, i suffer from asthma, like so many others these days, so that adds to complications as well. In the past, I have worked and trained throught the sore throats, and mild coughs only to find myself very ill afterwards - and in need of serious medical attention. --If you have never suffered from the "drownig in your own phlegm" feeling, you will never understand how scary it really is. the last 2 times i was sick, i cried in fear i would drown before the prednisone would work to take the inflammation in my lungs away. I literally have been scared into paranoia about being exposed to illness and germs. and i am even more cautious now about training when tired or not feeling right]]

So here I am, at home for day 2 since my sore throat began. my chest still feels tight, but i am resting well and eating well and spending a lot of time online. What else is there to do??

My college degree is in Zoology, and I know I think a certain way that drives people crazy. I always want to know why stuff happens and am looking for proof of it. Like.... what is it that causes me to be sick? - and why does it go to my chest so badly? and does this happen to others? who? and what can I do to prevent it? is it as simple as a vitimin defficiency??

anyway, in my online endeavors, i have come across an article from the Journal of Athletic Training --


--which explains a lot of the mechanisms that go on during and after extreme training sessions. one thing i have learned for sure, is that if i think i am sick, i need to just stop. before it turns into something worse. it is better to miss a day and err on the side of caution, than to train not knowing -- then have the first line of defense (which lies in my lungs) be comprimised. apparently, there is a 3-hr window after a long training session in which my first line of defense (lots of scientific lingo -i'll spare you) against virus' and bacteria are weakened. so then, if i have a little stuff in my chest already, why would i want to weaken my defenses in my lungs by going out for a run? not! this, i know now, is not a good idea for me. I know there are some people out there that can work through it without exasterbations (lucky!), but if I do, it gets really bad.

It's just one of those things I have to manage. the key is to train hard, then hibernate for a nap for a few hours. and i didnt do that this past weekend....

So, with Age group Nationals just 2 weeks away, and a spot to Worlds on the line, i will continue to rest, and try to get a handle on this thing, and enjoy the timeoff (hopefully without going insane!). after all, the hay is already in the barn....

c ya!


Weekend Double

Heatwave Classic Triathlon 2007 SATURDAY

1st place Overall (male & female)

Jackson, MS Newspaper article:

Louisiana Red River Triathlon 2007 SUNDAY

4th place female
*changed to a Duathlon*

this weekend, Ryan and i did the double. It seems like i do this each year - somewhere in the season, i find two races back to back and race them both. last year, it was the De Gray Lake Triathlon festival in arkansas which included a 1/2 Ironman on a saturday, then a sprint on sunday. I have done that one a couple of times and i love it. This year, i got to do Heatwave in jackson, ms this past saturday, then Red River in shreveport, la, on sunday. Both races would be Olympic distance (or so i thought) with heatwave having a shorter swim.....totally do-able.

This was my first time racing heatwave -- and what a fantastic time it was. from start to finish i had a great day. Ryan and I drove up the night before in time to pick up our packets, eat dinner with other Team Earthquakers, and get to my friend Heidi's house for a good nights sleep. Race morning I was ready to go. After my super charged morning coffee (thanks frank!) and bagel, i slipped on my new psychadelic SPLISH bathing suit, woke ryan up, then shortly headed out to the race site. of course, we were one of the first ones there (not unususal!) so we got set up, enjoyed saying hello to everyone, jogged back and forth to the port-o-potty's a few times to warm up - then made our way to the swim start.
I cant say it enough - from start to finish -- this is one of the best races in the southeast, and im not sure why more people don't come out for it. the swim course is easy to navigate, the bike is fast and hilly with awesome roads, and the run is slightly hilly and mostly shaded on a wooded trail except for the last 3/4 mile. plus.....the volunteers are great, and the overall and age group awards are top notch --all unique handpainted pottery.
I knew i was having a great day immediately in the swim when i was able to get around everyone else in the water. you see, part of the problem for us women is that we usually go in the last wave( and today would be no different) so there a A LOT of weak male swimmers to navigate around and try not to run over. it can make for a difficult swim sometimes if you get caught up in a mass of breast strokers.......but anyway, i had a great swim exiting the water with lots of men and another female only to see her pass her chip off to someone else in her relay. so onto the bike i went. i had a hard time getting into my shoes for some reason, and had to climb the first little hill without them all the way on...but after laughing at myself for a while, i got situated, and took off. what a bike course. i was on.... and just picked off everyone in sight one at a time. after a few miles, i settled in and grouped up with a couple of other guys, and we rode pushing each other - i usually passed them on the uphill, then they would fly by me on the way down. we had a few issues with some drafters, but if they (one guy in particular) have to draft off of a girl to ride fast - well, that's his problem. i was glad to see all the penalties given out at this race. it's my opinion that USAT doesnt enforce drafting enough.
after a great bike - i was off on the run. all i can say is that it was shaded and fast. i had some of the same problem i had in memphis a couple of weeks ago - stomach cramps and side stiches, but they never got to the point where it totally stopped me. i had to run funny for a while, but that's it....and thank God for that! I caught up to Ryan at about mile 5 of the run, and thought I would run in with him since no other woman was going to catch me at this point. but something inside me just told me to keep going - so i did just that and finished a great race against myself.
Post race-- the food was great, but the beer was not-a-flowin'. not sure why -dry county, state park, whatever....but it was a good time regardless. I ended up doing something I only imagined doing one day - and that was winning a race overall - that's men and women. When I realized it, I couldn't believe it, but at the same time i could. This year I have really "leaned" out. I know that I have been training hard, putting more and more miles in, and have been eating healthier than ever, but something like this is truly awesome to me. just one more step in this direction i am going. not sure where I'm going yet, but so far, it's pretty cool......

and then there was the red river......and what goes up...must come down! (that would be ME!)

"It's not how hard you hit,
it's how hard you can be hit
and keep moving forward"

Ryan and I finally made it to Shreveport at around 5pm on saturday to pick up our packet and find a hotel...then crash for the next day. We found out that evening for sure that the Red River Tri would be the Red River Duathlon since the River was runnig high and fast with all sorts of debris in it. so now we were facing a 5k/40k/10k to complete the double. No big deal right? the second day always hurts more than the first - no matter what the distances.
The morning started off as usual, but a lot more laid back since there were no expectations - except to give it what i had and to do my best. then, as soon as i saw a couple of pro's there, and ran into amy simonetta - i knew i would be happy just to finish top in my age group. all of those pro's are awesome runners, and great duathletes, so i knew it would be a tough day to hold onto them.....and it was.
the first 5k started off great. i think i came into transition 5th or 6th, not far behind Amy Simonetta, which surprised me, 'cause that girl can run! on the bike, i just gave it all i had trying to reel the rest of them in. over the 24.8 miles, i moved into 2nd place, but was unable to drop them far enough to hold on for a 10k run. so, on the run, along came kelly handel who went on to win overall female, then peggy yetman came by to place 3rd overall and win my age group....and then i hit my limit. all of a sudden, there it was. the wall. i just fell off in every way, and hoped to make it to the finish line. at about mile 4.5, i came to an aid station and drank 4 full cups of water and had to walk for a while. at that point, i knew that was all the weekend had to give, and i got to test my limits and see what i could do and for how long....and it turns out i could go pretty hrad for a while, but not forever! ....so, i managed to make it to the finish where i drank 4 full bottles of water and waited for ryan. you think i was dehydrated????? ha! Ryan came across soon after me, feeling the same way if not worse than i did. we both just shut down at mile 4 on the run. it's tough to race when this happens to you, but i know it makes you stronger.....physically and mentally. and these races are mental.