CHAOS...but calming down

What a wild year so far. First I couldn't race the Gulf Coast Half because I got overtrained and had to rest, then thankfully I got to do Lubbock and Vancouver....but decided not to do Timberman because of timing, then Sandestin was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Fay, and now Cajunman is out of the question since Gustav will attempt to erase Lafayette from the map in a day or two. I don't even need to check the website to know the race is cancelled. After Katrina, they cancelled it and donated all the t-shirts and goodies to the Hurricane effort....I expect the same thing to happen here.

The chaos began on Tuesday - when Gustav was in Haiti. The local news wouldn't drop it and it was bringing up a lot of buried "katrina stress" in people all around the area. at the same time, most of us were in a state of denial - like..."how could this be happening 3 years later? No way.." Katrina like storms only happen now and again - not 3 years apart - and NEVER in the exact same place. I kept thinking to myself - maybe this will be just a hurricane, with no major katrina like effects. this way everyone will remember what a "hurricane" is and not have Katrina as a baseline. just trying to stay positive while all of the hyp was building...

On Tuesday, I decided to be safe and get a room - just in case. I called Jackson and it took me 2 hours to find a room. Thank GOD I did that. Since then, it has been a sort of scramble. There would be no more groceries as we had to eat everything in the freezer. After a hurricane - we lose power and everything in the fridge and freezer spoils. after Katrina, we didnt even get to the house till a week later - and for others it was even longer - and the foul smell of the fridges? well, i'll never forget it. foul. people just duct taped them and threw them out on the street instead of attempting to clean them. it was really gross. I got a new fridge after that.

So we ate what we could from the freezer, and cleaned out anything that would go bad. Then it was time to prepare - and that takes a lot more time then you might think. I picked up my Granny on Friday and brought her to my house to keep watching the storm and prepare to evecuate. We headed out on Sunday morning at 6am and it took us about 41/2 hours to get to Jackson in the contra-flow on I-55 (normally a 2 1/2 hr trip). It was kinda long, but not too bad. at least it was moving. We made it to Jackson and are happy to be out of harms way.

The hotel is full of evacuees from all over louisiana with all their animals in tow. every time i get in the elevator there is a new pooch just excited about all the fuss. the lobby is like a dog park. big dogs sniffing small dogs, small dogs barking at big dogs. i love it. i'm glad i dont have one at a time like this, but i miss having a dog. i will probably go down there again soon to play!

When we got all settled in yesterday, I decided to go for a run. I initially gave it a try for 20 minutes yesterday (saturday) after my bike, and i didn't feel very good about it. the foot still hurts. But Dr. G said pain is my only limitation right now, so if I can handle it, then run. So I did, but came away from it not feeling very good about things. So, when we got up here to Jackson, I wanted to DO something, and running was all I could do since there is no pool open on Sunday evening and biking - well, I just WANTED to run.

I mapped out a 1.3 mile loop at the hotel that goes around the baseball stadium here and took to it. in the first 10 minutes i was so upset with the foot. it hurt. I could tell I was running funny and was tring not to because I didnt want to make something else hurt. I was about to cry out of frustration.... i just wanted that feeling I get after getting my HR up in a brisk run! But I stuck with it, and then the foot began to feel a little better about 15 minutes in, and progressively better. I could still feel it, but I got my groove on and went for 45 minutes. It felt so GOOD! I felt so good. I was so happy afterwards. It was great. not pain free, but do-able!

After my run, I went across the street to watch the Mississippi Braves baseball game (they gave all of us from LA in the hotel free entry) then it was back to the hotel and to bed. It was nice to get away from the radio and the TV with all the storm info for a while. Granny was up watching TV when I got back - and thankfully it was NOT cnn or the weather channel or Geraldo! We are so overwhelmed with information these days from every angle that I just didn't want to see it anymore...it can't be healthy to watch it that much. fat chance though...it's like that train wreck you can't help but stare at.



things are crazy here. we have boarded up the windows, tied everything down, sandbagged...and hauled butt inland to escape Gustav. here is a picture of our last meal in Mandeville at my favorite place - the Broken Egg Cafe- where they will most likley have many feet of water spilling into it from Lake Ponchatrain in just a day or so....

We made it to Jackson, and now, it's wait and see...and PRAY.





In light of my new foot discovery, I have the urge to protect my foot with a pair of super mack-daddy MIZUNO Wave Creation's . Thanks to Ryan Green for fitting me in these awesome shoes (rumor has it Dr. Groves wears the same shoe!) - they feel great and look good too - plus, I get an extra inch or two in height and a cool T-shirt!

Varsity has been a huge multisport spporter in Mandeville since they opened here and I thank them for their support of this community - and for helping me out in my personal racing endevors.


To The Doctor


I am so lucky to know a podiatrist like Dr. Jay Groves here in Covington, LA. He is the BOMB. Check him out if you ever need foot stuff addressed. He has always taken such good care of me and knows how important it is to keep me running.

So what's the skinny on the foot? It isn't pretty....BUT IT COULD BE WORSE! ( that's my silver lining!) As soon as I got in the office, it was straight to the X-ray machine then that told the whole story. Apparently, I have a Ostracondral Defect in the Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint. Got that? Ha! I don't even know if I spelled that right. It was as plain as day on the X-ray and Dr. Groves picked it up right away. He went straight to the toe that my toenail is all messed up on (i used to have such pretty feet before I began to run) and bent it down, then pushed on the metatarsal and VOILA! OUCH!
BTW...this is NOT my Xray, but it looks like what I saw on mine. see the 2nd toe/foot joint? ooowwweeee!

So what does this mean? First, it meant a big needle and a shot in the foot. Now, it means wait and see. He says I can run this weekend (YEAH! 4 more days) and we'll have to monitor it. will it go away? NO. so it's there for good. Will it always hurt? We don't know. Is it new or has it always been there? we don't know. How did I do it? we don't if anything "caused" it. If I caused it, I am guessing it came from trauma - like that Degray Lake race I did when I lost that toenail and it has never been the same since...or some other stupid run move i pulled to save me from a blister. I remember that race in Arkansas when I was getting a blister on my foot, so I curled my toes under to take pressure off the blister area. This was NOT a good idea after all! By doing that I managed to mess up my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th toenails - the 2nd which is forever mangled.

Lesson of the day - TAKE the BISTER....Save a TOE!


brain adjustment

I get to swim, bike, walk, water run, eliptical, talk, breathe, eat, drink, play, see, hear, rest, relax, get massages, email, sleep in a big comfy bed, take naps, drive, buy gas [at least for now :-) ] drink good wine, laugh with friends, teach, visit my Granny, be inspired, inspire others....and on and on.

so if I can do all of these awesome things, why am I such a crab when i can't run?

Yesterday, I tried the foot out.

3 minutes in, I felt it. but I hoped it was just a ghost pain or something so I kept going. 6 minutes in it was still there so I stopped, turned off the treadmill and unplugged my headphones. It was instinct. I was dissapointed. I walked about 10 steps and turned around and got back on. My mind was not satisfied. maybe I was confused. I waited 10 days. I was patient. I was good. I didn't run, I cold dipped, I massaged...it can't still hurt, i thought. I had been so good. so I got back on. turned it up to 8:00 mile and made it for 3 more minutes, then stopped again. This time I was pissed. I gathered my towel unplugged the headphones and walked over to the eliptical and finished out the 30 minutes. I was so bummed about not being able to run. I just wanted that feeling I get coming off a good hard run. I miss it bad.

The rest of the day revolved around my foot. It didn't start off very well - as I was bent out of shape about the treadmill incident earlier today. angry at the world I suppose - that place we athletes go when we're hurt (where in the back of our minds is that reminder that everyone else we race against is out there ia racing and training hard and leaving you for dead while you "rest and heal". ) it can be a black hole if you don't watch out -and it will suck you in before you know it.

you know that "energy follows thought" thing? it's true. negative thoughts - negative energy. i was trapped in it today. for a while, I was so focused on the foot, that God must have had to send me a gazillion messages that day to remind me about what was really important. (or maybe it was Donnie....). All day, I came across people who are far worse off than me. from friends battling cancer to hearing of others in the hospital. there are people struggling through life and realtionships much worse off than me and facing bigger meaner foe's. I sense perspective creeping in, but the black hole still has it's hold. When we went to church this evening I was ready to pray for my foot (I was still obsessing - sad, i know, but i felt he urge to ask for a little selfish help here ) - ironically, the message at church in a nutshell was about what you do have - not what you don't have. Hmmm. interesting. God sent in reinforcements here. and in my mind it was a full hour of "man, what have I been doing to myself?" I was way off track. OK. I GET IT. By the end of church I got the message loud and clear and chuckled about it. it was back to the good life. and my life is good....it's GREAT! I GET TO DO IT.

so i slipped a little. I'm human. sometimes we struggle to stay positive, but it always pays off. everyting is better with a silver lining.

man, what if I couldn't even do the eliptical? what if my foot hurt so bad i couldn't ride the bike? what if I couldn't even walk? what if I had a cast on and couldn't swim? AGH! thank GOD my foot isn't that bad off. maybe all I need is another week. that's not that bad. what's another week? 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years. in 5 months, it won't matter. ill just swim and ride harder, longer, stronger....ill talk to coach about that...


Earthquake @ Shelley/Hewett Home

Tropical Storm Fay kept us from Destin.....so why not just bring the party home?

We gathered for our usual friday at The Spokesman where we met up with Team Earthquakers from around town - and across the Nation. Missy from Tampa and Jeff and Jessica from Utah came in to visit us here instead of spending a weekend in rainy florida. we had a great dinner at the Shelly's then were up for a ride on saturday followed by a party at Team Hewitt's House in their new pool. We had a late start waiting for some of the late night partiers to arrive and collect thenselves, but soon enough we were off for a good ride - tough for some (you know, hangover's and all) and just longer and mostly solo for me. remember... no running, so I get to put in some more bike miles.

I had to take this great picture with Sondra and Missy who showed up in their matching ZOOT gear!


Patience Please

The foot. A mystery pain in my right foot has me sidelined on the run right now. After 9 days of water running and a little eliptical training, I am beginning to lose my patience. I keep reminding myself that time off on the front end of an injury makes more sense than the necessary double or triple the time off on the back end once the injury takes hold. I know it's the right thing, but that doesn't make it any easier. I think I may give it a go this weekend, but I am still having that argument in my head!

To add insult to injury...rather, to add injury to injury, when I was swimming yesterday I tweaked my hip flexor or some other muscle in the top of my Quad on the other leg. IN THE POOL! that's supposed to be the safest place! So, now I don't know what leg to favor ! Haha! lets hope it was just a muscle spasm....I'm going with that! Maybe it's just a little reminder that I shouldn't run on that foot yet...like I said, I'm still having that argument in my head!

I had my massage guy Mike work on me Wednesday and Thursday to help move all this stuff out. I know I've said this before, but if it wasn't for him, there is no way I would be able to do any of this! He is a life saver and if you do triathlon and don't get massages - you need to. It's like having good management. preventitive maintence keeps the big setbacks from setting in. it keeps you moving.

De Ja Vu

3 years ago this weekend, we drove to Destin for the ever popular Sandestin Tri for a quick sprint race and a pool party that always promises not to be forgotten - unless you had a little too much fun (which usually happens)! For those of you not from Louisiana, this race attracts over 300 athletes from this area alone along with their friends and families to this one resort, one race, and one pool. Just about everyone who lives here goes to Destin for their weekend getaways - as a matter of fact, when you are there, you are bound to run into people from home. Even the Broken Egg Cafe is there! There is one down the street from where I live, and there is one at the resort. you get the idea....

Every year I have gone for this race I have had the best time...until 2005. In 2005, I finally won this race (which is usually fun), and was ready to enjoy the big party and celebrate, but Hurricane Katrina spinning in the Gulf put a crimp in my plans as she decided to change course the night before the race and beeline it straight for home instead of the projected Florida landfall.

Some people left for home as soon as they woke up in the morning skipping the race, but most packed up and left as soon as they crossed the finish line to get home and prepare for the storm all the weather guys said wasn't coming our way 1 day prior. I decided to forego the frantic drive home and stay in Destin until the storm passed which ended up being a good thing for saftey, but a stupid thing to do in every other sense since we still had hurricane conditions there and we lost all contact with home. I felt like I was trapped in the twilight zone since I lost touch with my family and saw the destruction of New Orleans on TV (thanks to Geraldo, who I think made the whole thing worse) But that's a whole other post...and I'll spare you...

So here we are again.

The race was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) and we all got word yesterday (Thursday) afternoon that the race was cancelled because of that pesky little storm FAY that will not die (It's a freakin' rain storm. It's hardly a "Katrina", but they cancelled it anyway)I was soo looking forward to this weekend - getting away and having a good time with everyone (hard to do as a pro since racing is a little more serious and I have opted not to do a lot of the fun little races in lieu of bigger, more high profile races). as a matter of fact, after I got the news I was still going to go just to get out of town. But after a while, sense set in and we decided to stay home instead. what a total bummer.

So this morning I wake up for a cup of coffee and am wondering what I will do today since I will not be spending my day off of training on the beach in the sun (yes, today it's sunny today in Destin). I guess I will go to the gym and do a little cold / hot thearpy on my foot/leg....did I mention I'm hurt?? maybe i did.... still, another post :-) then cook something for the party we will have tonight to make up for missing out on Destin. Poo.


waiting for a lane...

My camera is broken and I am not happy about it. I was getting on a roll with the pictures here and now, no camera...so thats why no more pictures now. I will either get a new one, or borrow Ryan's....
Is it just me, or is everyone pumped up about swimming? I have never seen so many people in the pool at the Franco's in my life on a Sunday morning! It's insane - and it's not just the young kids - all ages. I love it! that is unless I need a lane...
Yesterday I went on a group ride and pushed the 80 miles and felt good. It was a bit uncomfortable out there, but afterwards it was a real confidence booster. I am focusing on the bike for a bit as I feel like I need to get it back up to where it was last year. I miss being able to leave people behind on the bike and I need that advantage again going into the second half of the season.
My run on the other hand has hit a little blip. I have been getting progressively better over the last few months....but I have had a pain in my foot for a few weeks and can't figure out where it originates and what it is. I am afraid of it getting any worse so I (well, me and Coach) decided to take a week off of running and see how it feels after that. Today (Sunday) I usually do my long run, so I opted for a water run in my AQX water running shoes and hit the pool. I am not sure if it will do any good, but I have to believe it will. It's only a week, and I just have to stay positive. My legs are not nearly as fatigued as if I ran normally, but I guess it's better than nothing. after I finished, I went upstairs at Franco's to so some weights and find Ryan running on the treadmill - through a grueling 18 miles. at least the olympics are on and there is something good to watch! He was struggling, but pushing through like a trooper. I felt for him, but at the same time, I wished I was runnig too to get that feeling we are all addicted to when we finish a hard workout. the water running just doesn't do it for me!
So now it's home to dinner and a nice glass of wine (cheap wine, but good - JP "the frenchman" scouted it out for me! He drinks A LOT of wine, and he french, so he knows what's good) and then a day off of training to be spent with my Granny in New Orleans. :-)


Who Has Time for ANYTHING??

it used to be sleep, eat, train, sleep, eat, train, eat....but now it's sleep, turn on the TV, eat, train, eat, watch TV, eat, train...watch TV. The OLYMPICS are wearin' me out, but I can't stop watching it. I was up until 11 last night, and i had to get up at 4am!!! This is insane - and to make it worse, the finals in swimming are on last and I have to stay up for that!
But it's worth it - Like the rest of the country, I'm still high after that 4x100 swim realy. I swam like a beast today in the pool. went under :30 in my 1st 50 of a 20x50 set...the rest were a bit slower (hehe), but i haven't been under :30 in forever. Felt like a kid again.

So, if you are wonderin' where I am, I'm veggin out in front of the TV.....and I will emerge when swimming is over! GO USA!


Second Place....again

Always a bridesmaid....first place loser....whatever you want to call it. I'll call it next to best. Or how 'bout this one - a good race. It seems like no matter where I am in my racing career, in the 6 years I've been doing this race, I can't seem to pull off a win! It's becoming sort of a joke now....Does it bother me, well kind of. A little. But here's the thing- I always fall short to a (different) really fast girl who has a better race than me. It's that simple. This year it was a fellow Zoot teammate Amy Marsh. she smoked the bike...

The morning started off hot, and just got hotter as the day went on. that part of the country is in a heatwave, and in dallas it was 108....and shreveport is just 2 hours east of there. we started off with the swim in the hot tub - the balmy 92 degree water of cypress lake, then we were off on the relatively uneventful bike - same ol same ol - passing a bunch of guys like they're standing still. you see, this race has no pro wave, so I went off with the age groupers 28 minutes after the first wave went off... so there were lots of people to pass along the way on the bike. this year I must say that most of the guys were riding pretty legal and to the right, which is a nice change from years past. usually I have to hollar "LEFT" or "PASSING" the entire way.

I saw amy coming out of the water and when we got on the bike, but that was the last I saw of her since she put the hammer down on the bike and left me for dead. now, I don't think I slow on the bike, but racing against her these days makes me think i'm a slug. When I got off the bike I saw her Scott Plasma racked with the wheel still moving to I looked up to see if she was still around maybe running out of transition - but she was long gone...but since the wheel was still moving I felt a little hope...until the turnaround halfway into the run! I felt pretty good on the run and my first 2 mile splits were 6:18's which I'm glad to see - but but once I realized amy was so far ahead, i realized running her down was probably not going to happen - so i laid up a little and decided to just cruise in. I ran my my friend and sponsor chris boggs (SRS WEALTH MNGT) and pinched him on the booty (he's lost an obscene amount of weight and is looking awesome I might add) and brought it home. Thankfully the run was good and shady so the heat didn't really bite you on the run, but when the heat creeps into the 100's its hard to hide from it. I stopped for some water about a mile from the finish then came across to find i ran a 20:02 5k off the bike- figures! that's what i get for walking thru the aid station! oh well...