9/28/09

Ok, so I haven't been on the racing scene since Timberman....whare have I been?? truth is, I'm worn out. Things have been go go go since way back in 2007...with a few little breaks here and there, but really, not much time for regaining my endurance base. it's all been train hard, and try to peak and get faster at 70.3's...even in the "off season". last year, i was hurt in the off season, which became a limiting factor in the "on season". i made some poor choices in hope that i could just baby an injury and make it through without losing speed and fitness.

well, i proved to myself that I could made it through. but at what cost? I spent most of my year in a plateau. I know that now since i can look back over the year. and, Ahem.. I put on a few pounds too (how is that possible when you put the miles on like i do...well, it is. our bodies will respond to stress...and in a plateau, the leaning out stopped, and the pudgy snuck in). It's not huge, but enough i can tell. and it affected my training...rather, my training affected me :-)

So, The tide has turned. I want to race more as i have an enormous amount of guilt ( that being raised in the catholic church instills in you). I feel like i am letting down my supporters and sponsors. But the reality is, is that we are all human, and have to find our way through the thick and thin - whatever life throws at us. Most of us know that. and most people understand. The hard part is getting MY BRAIN to understand it.

This morning i sat on the porch with Lauren Rolston's mom, Susan, shooting the you know what. It was a good talk..as insignifigant as it may have seemed to her, it was a good moment for me. Lauren is in her 20's and she and her parents are people i have been lucky enough to have gotten to know through triathlon and swimming since i returned to the "active" life. Lauren and her mom and dad were familiar with Donnie long before i came into the picture and knew of his battle with ALS and his death in 2005. Donnie was my first introduction of what a fatal disease can do to you and the people around you. It changed my life forever. The Rolston's are more familiar with neuromuscular disease than most people know. Lauren is in her early 20's and was diagnosed with MS earlier this year....but their knowledge of overcoming obstacles like that goes way deeper than that. I admire them for their attitudes, their willingness to help others, and their perseverence to keep on. I watch and learn from these generous people. They probably don't even know how much their lives influence others. Those are the ones to watch...

So, Lauren is a trooper. taking it all with a grain of salt...and maybe a shot of tequila (oh, just kiddin....i don't even know if she drinks:-). She is flying in from Austin for the weekend for the MS Tour for Cure. She's riding a tandem with her dad for the 75 miles up to McComb, MS. Her mom, who bought a bike to ride the tour, has put together TEAM LAUREN ROCKS and as a team we have raised over $18,000 so far. It's is great to be a part of this team.


Oh wait, i got off track....sort of. where have I been if I have not been racing? I've been training slow - all zone 1 trying to keep my heartrate down. Classic endurance aerobic engine building. I hope to do an Ironman early in 2010, and to do that, and do it right, i need to have a solid endurance base, and a fresh mind and spirit. i am finished racing because i have to, or feel pressured to. i know, i get to. i am able. i am soo lucky, but i want to do better. i can finish anyting i start. i know i can. but i want to win a big race. i want to do a sub 10hr Ironman. to do that, i need to be where i am now - surrounding myself with the people who inspire me to rebuild some of that mental, physical, and emotional base i seemed to have lost a hold of.

9/11/09

Racoon Hunting

ok, now this is worth a good laugh

Since moving into this new house, we have had a few pests visit...i've seen a possum and a black cat coming around to eat whatever food my kitties have left behind...oh, and the black widow and southern brown widow spiders.....but i've never seen the racoon. well, if i've never seen it, then how do i know it's around you ask? well, he's left presents - like poop in out pool. you got it, POOP! and i've seen his little footprints too. sneaky little critter.

so for 3 nights, i have put the kitties in the garage (my makeshift painting studio - but thats another story) and have set the trap with wet cat food in hopes of catching the racoon...or whatever critter continues to haunt my cats overnight. but really, I WANT THAT RACOON. and for 3 nights, the racoon has come and gone eating the bait and eluding the trap door. how is this? Ryan and I thought maybe the trap needed greasing so it would close....so yesterday, i WD-40'd it and set it for te 3rd time with good vibes...but when i got up this morning at 430 am to go swim - NOTHING! agh. and most of the food was gone except for some small amounts slathered to the metal of the cage like paste.

so off to swim i went, letting the kitties out of the garage as i pulled out.

when i got home, after cutting the grass, i walked onto the back patio - and there it was - THE TRAP HAD A CRITTER IN IT! But it wasnt the racoon.....it was Scoots, my garbage can kitty ( i found him in the garbage can in hawaii outside of sears. that cat will eat anything). Tis is the same cat who buries his face into my stinky shoes.

I had to pull myself off the ground from laughing so hard. His meows were so pathetic as he lay there in the trap. too funny

9/10/09

Life has a funny way...

....of sneaking up on you.

sound familiar? ..... Alanis Morissette.....

Since Timberman, I have been reflecting a lot on the past year -the race season and all the other things going on in my life. It's amazing how life creeps in on you and ruins everything - or is it ruined? likely not...

ruined is perhaps a harsh word. things are hardly ruined, but are different for sure. they have surely changed, but change is good, right? things always change, I just need to adapt a little better maybe..

once upon a time, i lived in my little apartment in Mandeville with 2 cats and a really low rent payment. I quit working full time to focus on training and honing in on the things that make me happy - the things I love to do. i changed my spending habits to fit my cut in income. it was simple. it was easy. it was only me. training was hard, but there was less stuff to do in my down time. it was great.

then, i met ryan, and that was great.

it's been over 3 years together, and that's great.

we live in a big house, and that's great. really, it's beautiful.

but man, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, doesn't it? I feel like I woke up and life isn't so simple anymore. (I want to know how those of you with kids do it...)one day and I am so behind on all the things I used to be able to keep up with like my blog, my website, oh gosh - everyhting. I have let it get to me a bit, and really, when i think about it, I wouldn't change any of it for anything. Thank GOD for all the things in my life now.

"Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out "

TIMBERMAN

The race turned out to be more of a great experience...than a great experience, if you know what I mean. Don't worry, I'll fill you in....

The wait to get into the park was really no big deal - once i got in, i set up my stuff in good time and foung myself ready to go at the swim start for a bit of a warm up. then, we heard there was a wreck somewhere in the area, and the cops we needed for the race had to be on scene...so we had a "little" delay. 30 minutes....

as soon as i heard about the delay, i scanned the crowd for a jacket i could borrow, since we weren't in wetsuits (pro's - no wetsuit) and after warming up, i was wet and sitting out in the crisp morning air. a very nice lady let me borrow her rain jacket, and i was in good shape. so we all just hung out chattin' for a while.

just before the race start, Crissie Wellington took the microphone and spoke about John Blais and the horrible disease that killed him - ALS. I lost it. She sprinkled some of his ashes into the water...and I was having a lot of trouble composing myself. I mean, just starting a race at this level is enough to get your anxiety and emotions rolling, but to add to it the memory of Donnie, his disease, his life, his death, and all the amazing things that have blessed my life since I met him...well, that was just overwhelming. the tears were a flowin and my whole face was red hot and swollen...and now, it was time to SWIM! okay...

The swim went off uneventfully - I had thoughts of donnie going thru my snotty head the whole way - thinking to myself how he would love to be out here in this beautiful lake swimming next to the likes of Andy Potts, Crissie Wellington, and Michael Lavato and many of the other amazing athletes racing pro these days....OK, so I wasn't really swimming next to them. I started next to them....but they pretty much left me at about 10 meters or so...it was a nice thought though!

When i exited the water, i noticed i may not have had the best swim ever since there was only one guy around me...and when i finally made it to my bike, my thoughts were confirmed. most of the bike were gone. ok, time to make some time up here.

off on the bike.... i was looking fo someone to catch, to pull in, to let me know i'm making progress...no one. what a long ride solo. beautiful, but long. i tried to catch someone, but all the pro's are pretty much too fast :-) the ride was fabulous. beautiful, hilly, challenging, and fun. i encountered a few mental deamons on the bike since there was no one to focus on passing to distract my attention. man, these thoughts can creep in fast and before you know it, they can take over your psyche. and they did. how did i let that happen?? i dunno. it takes practice to stay focused on the positive and dismiss the negative- maybe i haven't been working on that enough.

so into transition for the run, i was feeling a bit rough mentally and emotionally after chasing and not catching anyone, but my legs felt ok to i was hoping to get a good run out of the day. as i took off, i was pleased to not have any cramping in my legs - something i have had to deal with in races. the legs felt pretty good. But at about a mile in, a side stitch set in and never went away. a miserable run is one where you get a cramp and it stays the entire time. 13.1 miles. i had to keep my pace down to keep moving forward or the stitch was way overwhelming. so I just settled in to a not-so-happy medium. im not sure if its harder to run slow with a cramp, or to run fast with no cramp, just your HR up. the slower option takes a lot longer and seems to never want to end....i think its harder to run funny with a cramp.

During the run, i realized where i was in the mix - 7th. pretty far out of 6th (Terra Castro) and early on i hoped the stitch would go away so maybe i could move up a bit. no luck there...so my goal changed to just push, follow thru, and finish the day without dropping a place. My thoughts went back and forth from negaitve to positive. Boy did i struggle with my thoughts in this race. I am not sure why I struggled so much this day, but I did. I eventually was able to get a hold of them all and remember why it is I am out here....because i get to....

It's not all about winning. Sure, it's nice to win some $$, but I'm not in this sport to get rich! I guess GOLF would have been the better sport for that :-)

So why do i do this day after day - up at 4, to bed at 8, swim, bike, run, repeat? It's about living this life I get to live. It's to toe the line with the best endurance athletes in the world. It's to share my experiences with others so that they can also learn from them. It's to share and help others use triathlon to jump start their passions for sport. It's the mere fact that I have sucessfully pulled myself out of a rut I was stuck in for over 10 years, and have climbed the ladder to be right here - racing as a Professional Triathlete !! So what kind of experience do i want? I have the CHOICE to make it positive or negative. I choose positive.

It's more than a podium and a check that drives my spirit...and I love it!

8/23/09

timberman

it's 5:13am and i have been at a near standstill on hwy 11 about 1.2 miles from the park where transition is. i decided to get my phone out and write a little to take my mind off the incredibly poor parking situation and the possibility that i may not even bet to the park by 6. there are countless cars behind me, not to mention in front of me...with apparently only one way in. i'm not worried about the setup and all (unless i'm out here another 90 minutes....) but the idea of being in a car sitting for over and hour before a half ironman isn't too comforting. surely i will not have the time to loosen up all this stiffness whenever i get 2 the park...i guess it wouldnt matter is i was racing age group with an 8:00 start time, but since l'm pro, it's first wave at 7am.
I've moved .3 mile in the past 10 minutes according to my GPS...man, I gotta pee :-)
more to come post race. lets hope for a good day.
c

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

8/21/09

ok, so my phone died....so the idea of keeping posts up to date -using my phone didn't work so well eithr...

so I made it to NH and had a great night's sleep at my homestay's house in Belmont. then it was up to put the bike together and take a little time for rest. this is the first time since i have been back from colorado that i have actually just sat around and been a bum. i like it..i need it....but now i have an itch to go out and train and do something. i plan to head to Gilford (the race site) for a little swim/bike/run later today to get some blood movin.

the weather here is not their normal summer weather - it's actually humid and overcast today, about 70-80 degrees, which is right up my alley! I was afraid of it being really dry here which does a number on my lungs, but looks good for now. Here's to humidity!

It looks like Hurricane Bill will add some more wind and rain to the race this sunday as they expect it to skirt the coast. that should make things really interesting :-) Let's just hope it stays offshore like they predict it to.

well, gotta go eat some lunch...stomache's growlin'

8/20/09

Off Again...

Ok, now Ilm off to New Hanpshire for the Timberman 70.3 (that would be a half ironman for all you non-triathletes :-)
As I sit in the New Orleans airport sipping my awesome PJ's coffee before I go to my gate, I have come to the conclusion that if I wait until I get the chance to sit down at my computer and catch up on all of my emails, update my blog...and not to mention update my ever out-dated website...if I wait, it will NEVER happen. I give in. I am so far behind on my computer, I dont think I will ever catch up. Not to be negative, just realistic. I think maybe I keep avoiding it since I know how long it will take to do it all...maybe. I dunno. So here I am typing my little texting fingers away as I await boarding. I should have figured this out long ago.
at least i can keep my blog up 2 date
the one thing about using my phone to post on here is that i have limited characters.....so i will have to continue on another post...which i will do today as i continue my travels.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

8/19/09

Maybe I'm not so good at multi-tasking afterall....

that about says it all. i can do a lot of stuff, but i need time to do it all.

i have been non stop since getting back home taking care of many of the things that got away from me while i was gone. and i am truly overwhelmed.

I am flying out in the morning for Timberman in New Hampshire...and just rented a car that costs way too much in my opinion. what is up with all these TAXES. over 60% in taxes & fees. give me a break. im not a fan of raising taxes more. we're already getting screwed. and i dont make enough $$ to really get taxed on my income either and i feel this way....makes me wonder what people r thinking when they say its ok to keep upping the tax. hope nancy pilosi likes her brand new fancy jets and cushy healthcare. must be nice to have all our $$ to spend friviously, and i cant even afford a new plant.

just my thoughts.

oh, and anyone seen my altitude buzz? ive been home since friday and I can't seem to find it. maybe it's in New Hampshire!

8/6/09

MOON SET OVER THE ROCKIES

this was my view this morning as I sipped my coffee before going for a swim...

MOUNT EVANS



WOW! what a day.








Climbed (by car) to the top of Mount Evans today - what a spectacular sight! 14,000 feet above sea level.







here are some pics from the day. as you can see, we saw some creatures along the way, like the mountain goat just hangin' out on a rock...

8/5/09

OFF TO MOUNT EVANS.... This

OFF TO MOUNT EVANS....
This morning we packed the car to head to Boulder for a little brick, then it's off to Mount Evans...

8/3/09

Colorado...week 2

2 WEEKS DOWN, 2 TO GO

I topped off my final week of hard training in Colorado with a solo loop around rist canyon. The 5430 is in a week, so i will have a lighter week coming up, then a few hard rides just after the race -- before i drive home. I did rist last year with Salty and Theresa, so I knew what to expect I suppose. It was great - about 12 miles straight up from 3-4% to 14% - maybe higher at some points, but I'm not looking at the computer when its that steep :-)

I was happy with how the ride went, but after I got my massage, Gary Blackden (my Colorado massage guy -- mucho good!) told me he does that ride about an hour faster than me! OK, bubble burst. I did stop a few times here and there for pic's, and hit the brakes on the way down a lot....only because i was afraid and didnt know where the hairpin turnes were...plus, i still can't breathe well at 7 -8,ooo ft....but an hour? OK, whatever....

After 2 weeks of lots of hills, I am looking forward to a full day off tomorrow. much deserved, and much needed! It's amazing how I can load my training here more than at home in louisiana. Back home, I need 2 full days off when mileage and intensity increase, making it difficult to get it ali in in 5 days. The cooler temps here, along with low humidity, allow me to train more, and recover faster I suppose, so I can handle the load without totally blowin' myself up. interesting...

7/29/09

Does this look familiar??

WHO DAT?
Look what I chased today out in the rain in Boulder. May be no big deal for all you boulder-ites, but for little ol me from po-dunk Louisiana, it was cool.



OK, so I chased him for a little while, but it didnt last. that sucker was smokin! I want a little moped to draft off of :-)


I rode long today in Boulder again at the 5430 course and the rain set in at about 50 miles. we had a late start due to salty's lollygagging before we left - and then i got a flat before the ride - no doubt from all that damn gravel on the shoulders of the roads here. so we got a late start, and i knew the rain was comin... it was a long cold 40 miles after that, but i survived and had to thaw out a bit when i got to the car. how's that? numb toes and hands in JULY??

WEEK 1

Week 1 in Colorado

-12 miles of swimming (thanks to the cooler water temps)
-270 miles of riding hills (thanks to the rocky mountains)
-40 miles of running some of those same hills at any time of the day
(thanks to the less humid drier air up here)
-LOTS of sleep
-LOTS of good fruit and other eats
-LOTS of sleep...oh, did I already mention that?

that about says it all. So far, so good.

7/23/09

Boulder

Day 7:

5430 course brick

We drove up to Boulder this morning to ride the race course and do a little run. what a beautiful course - and FAST! there are just a few turns on the bike and one section that is primarily downhill for oh, i dunno, 6 miles? maybe more. after the bike, i went out for a run on the course, and well, thats gonna hurt for sure. i ran uphill for at least 2 miles in a dirt road, then back. they say it's flat or downhill after that for 4 miles, but im not sure i believe them :-) ....then we do that loop again in the race....yeah!

after that, we went to eat in town then came home to chill and watch the tour. an exciting day in the alps, but i wish lance could have gone off the front with the leaders....

i ended up with a terrible headache and called it a day after that. hit the rack early again.

Days 5 & 6

Colorado Continued...

Day 5:

I have been swimming every day since i arrived, taking advantage of the cooler water temps. Sunday started with a long run in the morning which was very difficult I might say. I didnt feel good to say the least, but i chalked that off to altitude, and continued on to complete my timed workout. The dry air at 5:30 am was almost chilly and comfortable the entire way. I think i sweat a bit towards the end, but my hair and clothes were mainly dry! There was no need to hydrate as much either, but my body is still on auto mode, wanting to stop or slow for water every couple of miles...i need to fix that up here. I guess with the heat excuse back home, i have trained myself to have some bad habits. must fix those....

After my run, I went out for an ez recovery ride with theresa and salty which was supposed to be 2 hours, but a flat and a spare issue cut that ride short to about 1:15. fine by me! then an ez swim to stay loose...

Day 6:

Today was an ez day - got to sleep in and chill most of the day. which transleates to laying around a lot and watching the tour de france. training for the day included weights ans abs followed by an ez 1hr run in the afternoon, then an open water swim.

as soon as my feet hit the water, the thunder roared, so i stood there in the rain instead of getting in the water. call me a wuss, i dont care, but i opted out of the swim at that point. having been too close to call to lightening in the past, no swim is that important to me!

I felt a little guilty about the swim thing, but it has passed. i will be in the water plenty in the next few weeks...so there.

T and I raced home for dinner. I picked up this pizza from Papa Murphy's here in Fort Collins - and I must give them a thumbs up! I've never heard of this concept - but it makes perfect sense. they make the pizza for you right there - fast - then you bring it home and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes and voila! and it was GOOD! faster than anywhere else - and fresh.

7/19/09

13 hours of sleep...

OK, so my first training day here wiped me out! very humbling :-)

I was so exhausted last night, i hit the rack at about 8pm and didnt get up till 9am this morning! I cant remember the last time I slept that long. Today will be an easier day with a long swim and a recovery ride for a couple of hours.

I'll check in later

c

7/18/09

Escape from the Louisiana Heat



2009 Trip to Colorado

Last year, it was a couple of weeks. This year, it's 4 weeks, and not a moment too soon. we have had record highs in louisiana and the ability to effectively train high miles in those conditions just doesn't exist. I have noticed a huge effect on my speed and recovery ability through June - Slow and Long - and realized, I needed to get the hell out of there for a while and get some work done. Heat is one thing. Humidity is something else. and record highs with a drought and high humidity (go figure that one out??) and the morning heat index before the sun rises is in the 90's...and the pools so hot that swimming 2k is all you can do in slow motion because the water temp is 86 or 88....day after day...well, it's tougher than i am. I had to go. Now I realize why all the pro's live in Colorado :-) I never said I was smart ...hehehe

Day 3

I'm starting on day three because day 1 and 2 were driving days and they were pretty boring to say the least. The highlight of the drive was having books on cd from the library, so I got to listen to a really good book by John Grisham, then some smutty piece by some lady author I've never heard of. It's better than a soap opera! I'm not finished it yet, so every time i drive somewhere, i get a little more smut :-)

I was greeted by Salty and Theresa and the bucky and the casey and all the house cats one could want. I immediately unloaded the car in the mid day sun (and I would like to add I did NOT even break a sweat doing that !) ans popped my bike on the stand for a good cleaning. boy did she need a bath. nice and shiny now. it was a laid back evening after a nice swim in the cool water if an indoor pool at the club right by the house. i swam 4k like it was no problem - not once feeling like a slug in mud. it was awesome!

This morning I slept in...something i rarely get to do at home always needing to be up by 4 or 5am. I got up at about 7, and mozied downstairs to catch the start of the Tour and get my things together for my first ride in Colorado. I was a bit weary of it since i live in the altitude of, well, ZERO, and now I am at over 5,ooo - but I have been here before, so I figured I would survive it is I was conservative. The catch was that I have not been riding too many hills back home (that would have required a 3 hr drive round trip - that would be TIME, and a lot of gas $$, both of which I just don't have these days)
So I braved my first solo ride through Horsetooth Canyon, and made my way towards Rist Canyon, but turned around at about 6,400 as the climbing and the thinner air were spiking my HR so high, I was wondering if I would recover to not only finish the long ride, but to be able to train tomorrow too :-) plus, I was alone, and I didn't want to get into any trouble out there in no mans land.
I made it 82 miles, and feel pretty darn good. When I got home, I got to see the end of the Stage today and saw Hincappe almost make it yellow. bummer. I will hit the pool later for a recovery swim of about 3k, then eat a good dinner and see how I feel.
Not a bad day 1 so far. Did I mention the weather? oh, man, it's nice. even when it's hot, it's not :-)

6/22/09

Ryan's B-day


OK, this was a while ago...but I have to post it! for Ryan's birthday, Granny took him to brunch at Commanders Palace in New Orleans and well, he cleaned his plate! It was a lot of fun...

Re-newed

It's amazing what a little break from training and racing.....and a new bike will do for you!

Since my move in May, things have been so crazy that my training got a little skewed, but then, I settled in and the past 2 weeks of trainng have been GREAT!

I LOVE my new bike. In Fact, I AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW BIKE :-) Isn't she pretty?
I have had it for 4 weeks now, and I love it more and more each day.
As usual with a new position, the saddle and I have a few issues, but that alwaws takes a little more time. The first time I got on the bike, I felt like it was made for me - I just molded to it. Oh my gosh, I am so comfortable - and excited to ride! I've beeen RE-BORN!
Training is back in full swing now as I begin gearing up for the 5430 in Boulder in August. That race will begin the second half of the season where I plan to finish it off with an Ironman in November. I am ready to take the bull by the horns - feeling healthy, strong and ready to go!
What a difference a BIKE makes :-)
Thanks ORBEA! the ORDU ROCKS!
later...

6/2/09

Still Alive....and Kickin'


Oh my GOSH...things have been so crazy. I dont have much time, so I'll give it all to you in a nutshell. I've been training and racing- did IMNO 70.3 - did OK, not great, but not aweful...then I did some smaller races locally...then Crawfishman...then Gulf Coast Triathlon....then Memphis in May....then I took a break. I needed it.

But then my break got very busy as Ryan and I moved. what a pain moving is - but it is nice to be in a bigger place. Have not been able to catch up on sleep though as there is always sonething to do. as a matter of fact, i feel like I sould be doing something other than writing on my blog right now....but anyway....

so the last few weeks I have been holding onto my fitness the best I can whils getting settled in and tring to figure out the rest of the race season.

Now, the highlight of the first half of the season you ask???
Well, I won my first Pro Race! Big deal for little ol' me!
ok, well, gotta go....for now


4/1/09

I love a good taper

sleep, eat, sleep, train a little bit, sleep....oh, how much i appreciate some time off!

I was not feeling good at all, but i think the caboose is catching up to the engine now and im starting to feel a lot better. The excitement is building around here. New Orleans is going to be taken over by a bunch of healty triathletes who love a good party. The locals wont know what to think....you mean, you can excercise and have fun too? they will surely be confused.

The weatherman says race day will be breezy with winds out of the south (humid, yeah!) and a high of 80 and a 30% chance of rain. but depending on what channel you are on - that may be a little different. thats the way the weather is around here. you never know what you're gonna get. like yesterday for example - they said bad rain all afternoon and at 3pm the lake was calm and i had a great swim. go figure. no rain, just clouds.

So, things are lookin' good. the race (and air) will be thick with competitors and will be a battle.
Can't wait..

3/29/09


I crawled out of my hole yesterday and met my old college roomate (well, she may be older, but she's not old...)for lunch at an old favorite Port-O-Call in new orleans with her son, her brother and her nephew....a cute red-headed lot, don't you think?


scoots and zoots

somebody loves my stinky feet!!

Yeah, yeah, I know.....I fell off the planet again.

I'm still here, and feeling pretty damn good if I dont say so myself. As most of you know, i have a terrible time with allergies this time of year and I am usually very ill for about 2 months right about now...but thanks to my allergy doc - Steele Rolston - we seemed to have found another way to ward off the bugs - nose sprays! I hate them, but they work, so I love them!

So things have been going on swimmingly - I have had a few little springtime ups and downs with all the little bugs floating around, but nothing that has totally wiped me out. I have been managing my plantar fasciatis with my trigger point stuff and my massage guy mike and it seems to be stabilizing...but still there....other than that, I seem to be trained well for IMNO which is exactly 1 week from today! I am not feeling really fast yet - but if things go as planned, that should start to happen by next weekend...

This morning, Ryan and I woke early to go ride the course and do a little run - or at lease we intended to..... we drove to the lakefront which is about 45 minutes away and we found there to be 30+ mp winds (note : the water had a life of it's own) - and all I had was my disc wheel....so we made the quick decision to call it a morning and head home go back to bed then go to church instead! what a great idea!

So now that my nap and church have come and gone and I was just preparing for my postponed ride when I noticed something not quite right with my fork....so I think i will call it again, and go for a run today instead. I wanted to ride today, but not until i can get this thing checked out. never a good idea to ride a bike with an wobbly fork, is it? I think not.

So, all of you getting ready to head here for the race - prepare for wind! it has been non stop wind and chop here in new orleans which will prove to be a tough race for all of us. I swam the course the other day, and well, i felt slow, and i was slow for me....we'll see what happens in a week!

2/26/09

Back in the saddle again....

Things are lookin' up!
Last week, I took a road trip to Misourri with Ryan since my training was taking a backseat to my breathing anyway - and we needed the time together. We had a good time and it was nice to get out of the pollen here in louisiana and head to the barren midwest where nothing is blooming - yet. we got up there thursday - so I took to the hills on the bike on friday and had a great ride. it was a little tough to get going fast and hard, but it felt great to be out in the country air and climb some hills I dont get to back home unless i drive for over an hour and a half.
Saturday, I took to the run - long and easy (easy seeming to be the theme as of late - BUT easy is better than not at all!!!) and made it - barely. it was tough, but i was glad to have been able to do it at all and it seemed to help me get rid of some of the gradu still taking up residence in my lungs. the weekend went by in a jiff and we were back home sunday night - and i swear as soon as we crossed the border into louisiana, my sinus began to clog again. interesting.
we got home just in time for me to take a few more days off before i could hit any real training again as the fatigue was still following me - and i was going thru a dip as far as excitement for the sport was concerned. this happens a lot to me when i get sick and i am forced to take time off against my will! after about a week, i begin to get bummed and feel like i'm missing my mark and falling behind of everyone else. it drives me NUTS! but the timing worked out well anyway since tuesday was mardi gras!!! needless to say, i hit the streets in new orleans for the day!
so it was back to training oficially on wednesday - and VOILA! I feel great! just when i get a little down on myself, the break does me some good! I had a great training day yesterday and a solid brick this morning and my swimming feels awesome. man i missed that soreness that comes after a hard training session. I love this drug....yeah endorphins!

2/18/09

Hanging in

the past week has been, well, "light" to say the least. I had to take a lot of time off because i got sick, but am now able to do a little stuff, so I am encouraged. I spent the past 8 days either sleeping, organizing my gear, cleaning house, and preparing for the nutrition seminar we did last night at Lakeview. ok, i did a little ligt training in there, but not until the weeeknd really when i could breathe a little easier.
The lecture last night went really well. Catherine Wilbert from The Nutrition Company was a hit. The Nutrition Company is one of my Sponsors and I use a lot of her products because they are all natural and of the highest quality. She is so tuned in to health and nutrition (she's a Neuropathic Doctor after all!) and is such a wealth of information. check out her stuff like the Phytoceutical Formulations Protein Mix's and the Concentrated Superfood - 2 of my favorites among many others.
Anyhoo, just wanted to send a little update. I am hoping to be back on the bike and run by this weekend and then we'll see how well my big base prepared me for this little bump in the road....

2/10/09

Up ALL NIGHT

I turned 38 yesterday....and guess what I got? BRONCHITIS! YEAH! hahaha....

No really, i have been feeling a bit under the weather lately, but until yesterday, I was glad as I seemed to not be catching all the funk going around....spoke too soon, huh?

So, It's 3AM and I've been up since 1. I took some medicine that I should not have taken I suppose and now I'm up feeling like crap instead of asleep not feeling anything!

A little computer time never hurt anyway. Yesterday was a nice day as I spent the bulk of it with my Grandmother at the Dr's office for her check-up's. then we went to lunch at Commander's Palace - YUMMY! I indulged a bit - then did it again last night when Ryan took me out with my Dad and Step Mom where I had the lobster and a brownie sundae- YUMMY AGAIN! I don't think I will be eating again anytime soon.

I am waiting for 5am now to teach my spin class, then I can come home and go back to bed. I will be taking a "sick day" today and am looking forward to it.

BTW, Hank is doing well. He is still in the ICU, but making strides. Please keep praying for him :-)

2/4/09

hey, there's ICE on my pull buoy!!

OH WEEE....it was a frigid morning here. Wednesday morning always starts off with coaching swim practice at 5:30 am followed by my own long threshold swim workout. This morning, it was 20 degrees when i left the house - and i would swear it dropped a bit while i was on deck at about 6 am. there was ice on the pool covers that were taken off the pool just an 1/2 hour before practice started....
you see, dowm here in the south, we all have outdoor pools - you can only find indoor pools at local universities - like LSU or UNO - both of wich are too far away for me to go to regularly. all the other pools around are oudoor, and a handful of them are heated. and thank goodness for that! The water was cozy, but I got a kick out of the frozen banana I had for a sanck and the ice on my pull buoy and kickboard. a bit of a chill between the legs when it was time to pull :-)

1/2 Marathon...

I ran the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon - officially UN-officially. They sold out of the 1/2 when it was time for me to sign up at the las minute, so I was able to get in for the 5k - and I just kept on running. I needed the long run, and I wanted to see where I was since I have only been back to running for 4 weeks since dealing with this heel pain. The pain is still there, not as bad, but still there. I am managing it well and I think i have a grasp on it, but like I said - still there and I am keenly aware of that.

I ran a 1:27 and that's a PR for me. No one was more suprised as I was! I just went out with hopes of pulling off a 1:30, but once I got started, i realized i could just hover right under my threshold compoftably, so i went with it. that, in conjunction with the great cool weather - well, it just was a fast day for me.

So, I'll take it. It was a much needed boost for me as I feel like the training is starting to come together, but I have been doubting my run - not so much anymore!

An update on my friend Hank - He is doing OK, but is still struggling with the up's and down's of recovery. One minute it looks good, the next minute, a new challenge arises. He is still in the ICU and suffering for sure, but he is tough and faithful. He will get through this, I just know it.

Later....

1/31/09

Brief update...God Bless Hank

Oh my...what a crazy few weeeks here. I only have a few minutes here to fill everyone in - so I'll be brief....Last week was my first of the 3-part lecture series on Triathlon and it took a little more time to get together than I anticipated - but it all came together well and we had a great turnout. It's great to see so many new faces around here getting healthy and trying something new like this sport! Putting that lecture together in conjunction with coming off a really hard week of heavy training literally drained the life out of me - and any waking moment i had was dedicated to power point! fortunately, i've had a recovery week this week and I have slept more than I can remember ever sleeping and it has been wonderful! I feel so rested...and looking forward to my next few weeks of killer mileage...
as far as the foot is going - well, it's still there [the foot, that is :-) ] and the pain too....I have been managing it well and dont feel the pain as badly as I did before I took all that time off and started therapy...but it is still there. I call this my management phase. I am running 3x/week and focusing on specifics - and hopefully that will be enough. I am weary of running more as I do not want to make it worse and I seem to be able to keep it under control at these levels - so, it is what it is....and I'll take it because it can alwayd be worse......

last weekend after a long ride, a very good friend and someone i look up to in many ways was hit by a car on his way home from our ride. He should have died on the scene based on the severity of his injuries, but by the grace of God, he is still with us. Hank has been in this sport much longer than me and is ne of the people who has witnessed my transformation over the years. he is a very spiritual and religious man and had always been a big believer and supporter of mine - as he was the first sponsor I ever had!
Hank has been in the CCU for a week now and has had a very bumpy road since his accident. He has undergone many "procedures" to help his lungs as when his ribs broke, they punctured his lungs in so many places that is is impossible for him to breathe on his own. Without getting into the gory details, Hank was hit broadside when he rolled thru a stop sign on the trace and an SUV plowed into him. His injuries included broken ribs in more places than i can count, broken C-7, broken clavicle, collapsed lungs, and a broken hand. I am likely leaving something out - but I can tell you, it was bad.

1/14/09

RUNNING AGAIN!

I'm no doctor, but I think I have figured out what to do to get a handle on this heel pain...and I have to share. Too many of us have gone through the plantar fascitus thing and there will be many more to come so I would like to pass on the things I have learned.


Strangely enough, my "condition" came on in the "off season" after I took a little time off after Clearwater and began back training in late November. I have never really been one for stretching a lot - I mean, would do a little here and there, but not spend more than say 10 minutes a day. The heel just began to hurt, especially after running, but soon it just hurt all the time. I kept running on it thinking it would just go away (sounds stupid, i know, but sometimes little pains DO just go away!!)


It got to the point where I ran a 15 mile race and decided then that it was time to stop running. I mean....I could barely walk after the race and for the next day. I could walk the 2nd day, but I was limping and favoring the outside of my foot avoiding the "toe off" which seemed to hurt the most.


I went to see my podiatrist, Dr Jay Groves ( My Foot guy) and he told me NO RUNNING, gave me a shot on the plantar part of the foot, put me in the splint, and got me on the prostretch. I then hooked up with Mike (my massage guy) and had the foot/calf worked on. Mike began to tear my calf down! At that point we stayed away from the heel because it hurt too much. Strangely, the plantar part of my foot did not hurt, but the heel did. the day after the shot, the heel still hurt a little - I mean, it was better, but it still hurt. then a few days later, i'd say the heel hurt the same as before, if not more. I was worried at this point....so I had an MRI done to settle my mind on what was going on down there - it came back saying everything looked good and in tact, but some bursitis. come again?


So, I started to wear compression socks all the time. Morning, noon, and night - i hear my new nickname is "suzie socks"....cute. anyway - that didn't bother me, it's actually funny! it's like I've told a lot of people, I was to the point where I would strap a dead chicken to my handlebars if I thought it would make the heel feel better! (sorry Tony).


Another trip to Dr Groves, and he said the problem is still there rooted in the calf. I need to loosen it up. No problem, i thought. but the heel hurt when I stretched.....

Then, the breakthrough -- The discovery of the trigger point in my soleus that (according to the trigger point book in mikes massage room) has referred pain in the heel. I squirmed around on the table like I have never done before - but the heel was pain free for the next day and a half (it hurt a little after the massage, but the next morning, i stepped out of bed in shock! It felt normal!). I was on to something. Now, I am pursuing PT and some ultrasound on the heel and soleus with my massage and lots of stretching and I think I have found the recipe for success in beating this.

So I have been back to running now for just over a week. I must say, the pain is still there -- like Amy Marsh said it would be :-( -- but manageable I suppose. It is not as bad for sure. I am a little frustrated, but happy to be running again. I hope I can continue to manage it and keep the training going for New Orleans. I'll keep you posted.....

OH - look what I saw at the Saints Game in the Superdome a couple of weeks ago!!!

1/6/09

On TV....AGAIN!

In Light of my new sponsorship with

Lakeview Regional Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Clinic

(Good timing with the heel and all, don't you think?)

Here's the video from our spot this morning. It was fun...but I still think I look goofy!

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1/5/09

Wishful Thinking

Well, I thought the heel was better...but it's not. I went for my test run yesterday (after 3 weeks of no running at all) and man, did it feel good to run. but the heel....not so good. I could feel it the entire time, but it was very mild, so i just kept on. after that, i went for another easy swim (and i could feel it in the water - hmmmm) then came home to ice it.
I felt it all last night in bed - I even took my splint off since it was making my heel ache with the pressure of the bed. that sucked - but at least i could sleep after i took it off.
This morning, I woke up to the typical morning "owie" of Plantars. I immediately put the shoes on and it seemed to be a bit relieved. and it seemed to loosen up as the mornig went on. I think that's a good sign, since before, it was bad all off the time and never seemed to loosen up as the day went on.
I had another massage on the calf this morning and mike did his usual magic and now the heel feels good. It just all comes down to stretching and blood flow - just like the doctor said! Imagine that!
So, I'm going to try to re-introduce the run slowly here - 3x a week and see how I can manage that. I plan to keep the swim up as I have really enjoyed the extra yardage I have been putting in....who woulda thought that?

1/3/09

A New Development

Yesterday, I was flipping through Mike's (my Massage Therapist) Trigger Point Books - I like to read up on a lot of stuff when I have a weird lingering injury because i always wonder if there is something else going on that maybe we're all overlooking....

Well, I found something. A trigger point in my calf (when I was reading the book, I showed mike what i found...) and when he hit it - it sent me squriming!

Back in Clearwater, I remember having a pain in my hip, to the point where I was ready to stop because it hurt so bad and I had never had it before so I was spooked. It was kinda at the top of my leg in the backside (like the lingo?), but since I loafed around for a couple of weeks after the race, I never had it again. Well, after my library session yesterday in the massage room, THAT seems to be a trigger point related to the soleus trigger point we found yesterday. Go figure.

So, after the massacre on the massage table, I came home to ice and found myself lying in bed the rest of the day foregoing my scheduled swim practice. I felt aweful and I wasn't sure if it was just from the massage (sometimes they make me feel really bad afterwards), or if I picked up some bug at a New Years shindig....anyway, so I crashed for the day, then this morning I woke up and VOILA! NO PAIN in my heel!!! Can you believe it?

So this morning I decided to cross the lake and ride the IMNO 70.3 bike course with GNO TRI. Something new for me as I always ride up here on the northshore. I got caught in the fog over the causeway this morning, so i was running a little late. I parked a little ways down on the lakefront and was able to hook up with the Giro. I'm sure they weren't too happy to see me with my aerobars and all, but after we caught the tri group - i pulled off and rode the rest of the way with them. I like the steady pace of a tri ride anyways - I'm not a big fan of the drafting surge/slow road bike mentality anyway.

The Heel was good all day. No ache on the bike or afterwards - and none in the pool either. I am so excited. I will try to run tomorrow and see how it goes.....

1/2/09

On The News!!!

Well, Here we go...

Lakeview Regional Medical Center here in Mandeville will be one of my Sponsors for 2009 and we will be hosting a 3-part Lecture series on Triathlon starting January 27th. The New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO had me in for an interview early this morning and here it is:

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