Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ow! My Leg Is Hurt!

If there was ever a doubt about how much our toddlers watch and learn from us, this should erase it.

Tonight, out of the blue, Moana grabbed my trigger point set and started attempting to roll out her calf. And she said "OW! My leg is hurt." Then she said, "ooooh.... ouch... ooooh.... ouch" as she moved her leg up and down on the calf roller.

The most interesting thing to me is that I didn't even think she had seen me roll out my calves? I typically do it at night after she is in bed. Apparently they are watching. All. The. Time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Moana Chronicles, March 2011

So here you go... this is mostly for my mom... I swear I used to talk to her all the time and tell her all this stuff but lately I just have not had so much free time during the day and if Moana is home with me she's not such a huge fan of me being on the phone. Speaking of which, I should probably check my plan with AT&T because I'm pretty sure I'm still paying for like 2000 minutes/month when I currently use about 200. Add it to the list.

Anyway, Moana is a cuter version of herself every day. She finds a way to accessorize the plainest of outfits with a pearl/heart necklace and bracelet or fancy shoes... she always chooses a skirt over shorts when offered the choice (who am I kidding? She sometimes flat out demands her skirts and knows how to ut them on herself now)... she loves checking herself out in the mirror if she is wearing a cute headband... and she will NOT wear denim, even if the shorts have a flower on them.

Her hair is getting so long- it's half way down her back! Beautiful blond with a perfect amount of curl... (I'm quite jealous.) She has not had it cut yet and I really want to keep it that way, except on the mornings when she wails like I'm trying to kill her if I'm holding a brush. I swear I try to be gentle with her and her knots are NOT that bad. Most of the time I chase her around like we're playing tag and then catch her (ha ha ha!) and she laughs and giggles and then figures out that I'm brushing her hair and starts wailing. On the mornings that I'm gone before she gets up, you can only imagine what her hair looks like as she goes off to daycare. Let's just say that Scott is very non-confrontational and will not force the issue with her hair. So there she is, wearing some super cute outfit/shoes with hair hanging in her face a complete ragged mess.

I love it that Moana is not even yet 2 1/2 yet she can name and pick out avocado, mango, papaya, and kiwi. I grew up in Ohio and did not taste any of these fruits until I was old enough to vote. So yeah, I think it's cool that when Moana wants a snack she pulls up a chair to the kitchen counter, grabs an avocado, and says, "Mama get a knife I want to eat this avocado!" And the other day, on Sesame Street, Elmo had a kiwi but he didn't know what it was (a furry rock?) and I asked Moana if she knew what it was and she said nonchalantly, "Yeah, it's a kiwi." Like, duh.

Today we were in Costco and we passed a table that was giving away samples of some sort of chicken nugget thing with a sweet/sour sauce. I picked one up for Moana and offered it to her. She looked at it closely like what the heck is this? Then did handed it right back to me and said sternly, "I don't want that!" How awesome is that? She's never had a chicken nugget, or really any type of nasty processed meat and apparently she's not going to start now. I actually sort of felt bad for even offering it to her after the way she looked at me like mom, that is not food. Looks like unless there's some major shift in school lunch policy, I'm going to be packing lots of lunches in the coming years.

Moana is still just as social as ever and loves her aunties... loves going to parties... loves playing with girls slightly older than herself at the playground... Most of the time on Saturday afternoons she's bored hanging around at home and says something like, "Let's go to Auntie's house" (which auntie? There are several that she loves) or the best one last week, "I want to go to a party!" Unfortunately we didn't know of any parties to go to so we had to figure out another way to entertain her. Scott did take her to a party last Sunday though and said she had a ball with all the kids and dogs and a pool. That's like heaven for a social butterfly like my daughter.

Next month she'll be officially 2.5 and hopefully I'll be able to give some news about the end of the diaper days... so far we're just dabbling but I did go buy a whole bunch of big girl underpants for her so we're getting closer...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Endurance To The Extreme

Ironman training is in full swing, as evidenced by the fact that I pretty much have been living in my compression socks and my laundry is dominated by cycling and running gear and my dishwasher is always full of water bottles. Oh, and I'm tired a lot. And HOT. My body feels like it is just radiating heat much of the time. Yes, my friends, the furnace is burning.

What's interesting to me is how I can feel so tired much of the time but yet when it's time to go do a key workout, I can nail it. Man, I love that.

Yesterday I was once again allowed off the leash for my long brick... seems to be the case more often than not lately. I started my long ride with a group of fast riders, did the middle part alone, then finished up with two friends. Interestingly, I found out I have a new max HR on the bike- hit that while chasing a couple of guys in the first 90 minutes of the ride- then continued on at a rather solid effort/pace for 3+ more hours in 25+ mph sustained winds (and rain- ugh- will it ever stop raining this year?). Then I got home and ran. Solidly. I tell you this just to set the scene so you know how thrashed I should have been.

And honestly, I was thrashed. I spent some time on the couch yesterday for sure, but then a couple hours later I felt oddly fine. Though I will admit, the run on my schedule today was daunting and I was not sure I could do it. Ok, let me be totally honest, there was not a single part of me that felt like running today. But I know from past experience that I don't always have to be feeling like a spring chicken in order to have a decent long run, so I put my big girl pants compression sleeves on, turned my brain OFF, and went out and ran. And I negative split the hell out of that 20 mile run.

It's kind of freaky, really, that I was able to do that today. I think it's important, when things are going well, to sit down and figure out why. That way we can repeat these things, you know? I think I do a lot of things right when it comes to recovery- I consistently eat well and at the right times, I stay hydrated, I make sure I go to bed early enough to get a decent night's sleep, I utilize my compression gear, and this year I've found a couple of supplements that I strongly believe are making a significant difference. The first, of course, you all know about b/c I've mentioned it here plenty of times... Recovery e21 is the bomb. The difference in how I feel in workouts from when I take it to when I don't take it is black and white to me. It works immediately which is what makes it so obvious. You know, after that run today, my legs should feel quite achy and sore and pounded because I am not at all adapted to that kind of run mileage. But I do not feel pounded at all. Weird. But I'm guessing the 20 tabs of e21 I took this weekend before/during/after my workouts had a direct effect on that. ;)

The new one I've added to my arsenal is Extreme Endurance. Andrew sent me a bottle to try a couple of weeks ago and I've been taking it regularly. This one you have to take for like a week or so before you start noticing differences, so I was a bit more skeptical of it. But hey, any product called Extreme Endurance is going to be instantly interesting to an Ironman athlete, so what the heck. The bottle says it's certified drug-free, so I started popping the pills. I didn't do any quantifiable tests with power meters or anything to prove that this product is working for me. And I don't even really know how it works. All I know is that I've been taking it and I feel awesome. I'm nailing workouts that I didn't think I could. Repeatedly. That's enough for me. Andrew is sending me more and you can bet I'll keep taking this stuff.

I do not think that supplements make you a better athlete. I think the right training makes you a better athlete. You could take these supplements every day but if you don't put the training in, it will not make a bit of a difference. That said, the more quality training your body can handle and absorb, the faster you will get. So the name if the game is to employ all the tricks you can to speed your recovery (whole food, sleep, compression, etc). And if there is a legal supplement out there that expands the work I can do while staying within my recovery limits, then bring it on! I'm psyched to have found a couple that seem to be working for me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Salt In My Hair

I was on Maui the last couple days... setting up some new accounts there who will soon be carrying some great coffee. It's a tough life, you know, when you have to go to Maui and talk to people about coffee. Poor me.

Anyway, I bounced from account to account to account without taking a breath yesterday... got to today and did much of the same... but all work and no play makes for an unacceptable day in my world, so when I realized the account I needed to call on this morning didn't open for several more hours, I did the only logical thing.

I went for an ocean swim.

There are tons of whales cruising around Maui right now so the goal was to see one. It was not a realistic goal but stranger things have happened. I'll save you the suspense- I did not see one. And let's face it, had I seen this in person there's a slight chance I might have completely FREAKED OUT. Even though I didn't catch sight of any whales, I did hear them singing. So they were nearby. It's pretty cool, actually. Next time you come to Maui in the winter, swim out around Makena and dive down about 6 feet and just listen. The Whale Song. It's pretty cool.

I did see a pretty big turtle. I had to swim fast to get a shot of this guy b/c he was movin'.

And how many people get a glimpse of Haleakala from this vantage?

I finished swimming, skipped the beach park shower b/c I was just too cold (um, yes, it was ~80+ degrees out but the water was not as warm as it looks and I did not swim hard enough to get warm so after nearly an hour my hands were without blood and I was shivering and just let it go that I get cold when it's 80 degrees, ok?)... I called on my next account but am pretty sure the owner couldn't smell the salt in my hair (or if she did, she liked it) because she is bringing our coffee into her shop. It was a win win win for everyone today. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Tired

I could think of a lot of different titles for this post...

End of the EasyLike A Machine... or maybe just I'm Thrashed.

Pick one, they all fit. Coach warned me this type of training was coming and honestly, I'm glad it's here. But let me just say, um, it's quite different than what I've been doing all year so far. The heart rate monitor on the bike now serves to make me push harder rather than to reign me in (I read my workouts now and think, Really? Does he have an idea how hard it's going to be to get my HR up that high AND HOLD IT THERE for 20 minutes?? Answer: He does.) More often than not now, I read the workout, try not to think about it, and just go out and do it. Like a machine- I just program my body to get the work done without letting my brain get in the way. So far it's working.

And my calf has been behaving ever since I had an ART appointment where the guy essentially took a bat to my calves and beat them into submission. It was wickedly painful but I just laid there on the table and grit my teeth like a woman who has been through natural childbirth. I walked out of his office with 3 bruises but it was worth it b/c now I can run. And apparently I have graduated from HR training to pace training on the run so this is very exciting. While the HR training serves a very valuable purpose, it's just not that much fun to actually endure. It's way more fun to read a workout and think, "I'm not sure I can do that??" But then get home and type your notes into Training Peaks and write, "Nailed it."

The cool thing that I notice now though is that my ability to take on and absorb tough workouts is greater than what it has been in the past. I attribute that to 16+ years of swimbikerun training of course, but more specifically, the high volume/low intensity base work I endured for the last several months was really the key. Now when it's time to go faster I find I can do it while not overly taxing myself cardiovascularly. So I can go fast without necessarily going hard. Ah ha! The key to Ironman. I think that coach of mine may know what he's doing after all. ;)

Funny story here... yesterday Tim and I were talking on the phone and he asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was fine. Sort of tired, but not at all near the edge. He chuckled and said, "Oh you're going to regret telling me that..." Indeed. I'm pretty sure a sinister laugh was involved when he wrote my workout for today. But I'm good with that. I like flirting with the edge. I always have. I'm not there yet, but I have a suspicion I'm going to find it here in the next month or so. Stay tuned.

Now, could I please just have ONE bike ride this month that wasn't in the rain?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Climber

Nalani and I had a little pity party via text messaging this morning... we both missed out on a little local triathlon this morning and were feeling kinda bummed out about it. Ok, I'll be honest, I think I was just a tad more bummed than she was, but that's only b/c she couldn't even speak half a sentence without sounding like she was coughing up a lung. Poor thing has a nasty version of the flu that has totally knocked her OUT. So she couldn't really even imagine competing in a triathlon this morning. I, on the other hand, felt fine and would have loved to have been out there. But it just wasn't worth the risk to my calf to try to run fast again so I opted to skip it. It would have been fun to go mix it up with everyone this morning and get the first triathlon of 2011 out of the way, but alas, I'll have to wait. And let's face it, the race was so short... I would have had a hard time finding the speed required to do well in an event like that right now. Such is life when you are training for an Ironman. Moving on...

So instead of racing, I took Moana to the playground. She has some amazing physical skills already. And NO fear. Check this out!?! I tried to go help her down and she was like, "NO MAMA! Go away!" OK then. This scene did make me a bit nervous but I have to hand it to her- she has a great sense of intuition about what she can and cannot do physically. And if she knows she can do something, she does NOT want any help. I love that about her. She has always been a climber, but now she is proving that she wants to tackle the biggest hardest climbs she can find. I wonder where she gets that?

The day ended on a pretty good note. I went out for a run this afternoon and sorted everything out in my head. It was one of those runs where you just fall into a zone and think about everything yet nothing at all... I walked in the door and Scott asked how it went- I told him it was good- and that I hardly even remembered doing it. I love that.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Benchmark

You know how the other day I wrote about that ocean swim... and I said that it's great to train in challenging conditions because then most of the time you can say, "I've been in worse..." Well, today I may have set a new benchmark for myself as far as riding in crap conditions. I can see myself in the future comparing all windy/rainy days to today as my new benchmark for bad.

I will say, the temperature was fine. At least I was not cold. So that was a plus. But that was about the only plus. It was yet another day of howling winds and the squalls that came ripping along the coastline, dumping buckets of rain, were just not that fun to ride through. In fact, let's call a spade a spade. It was not safe. I do think that the planned intervals I had for today made it all the more challenging, because riding fast on very wet roads like that while the wind is trying to blow you sideways off your bike is flat out scary. BUT, I did it. Nailed the workout, did not crash, and am going to be tougher for it. Here's to hoping that the conditions at IMCdA involve 20+ mph winds and dumping rain. If so, I'll be completely prepared.

But oh, my poor bike. She's on her way back to assuming her normal condition of being a dirty mess.

I did part of the ride today with a couple of friends. At a rest stop Sandy and I were in the bathroom together discussing how we treat our saddle sores. Casual. Like that is the most normal thing in the world to be talking about. Don't all women discuss things like this while in the bathroom?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Training... Random Thoughts

Random thoughts... In no particular order...

~I picked up my bike from the shop today. It's got a brand new chain and new aero bars (they said the old ones were so corroded they might just snap themselves off)... and it's so clean... like so clean... I cannot wait to ride it on Saturday! The handlebars turn really easily again and the brakes don't stick when I pull on them. Ahhhh. What a pleasure it will be to ride a machine that functions correctly. Oh, and Ryan said he was pretty sure there was something living in my bottom bracket. He was like, "I don't know how so much stuff gets stuck up in there through that tiny little hole unless something was in there pulling it up?" Lol. Maybe it was a leprechaun. They're known for pulling tricks like that, no? Anyway, I'm pretty sure my bike is a good pound lighter now and probably a mph faster. At least. :)

~This morning I hosted a little ocean swim clinic at the boat ramp in Kailua. There were 7 of us there and it was good fun. Most of them were marines so they are pretty hard core and didn't even flinch when it started raining just as we were about to get in. The sun wasn't up yet, the wind was howling, but they dove right into that white water chop like it was nothing. I love coaching marines. What bad-asses. In the end though, the conditions weren't that bad this morning. I've been in a lot worse. See? That's the beauty of training in tough conditions- most of the time you can say, "I've been in worse". That breeds confidence. And I have to say, while we were warming up I could see the sun cresting the horizon with every breath and it was just awesome. That's the way to start the day, you know? It almost didn't even matter that I swam right into a man-o-war and felt my whole neck and upper back go numb. Welcome back to da ocean, huh?

~The best part of the swim was the ~10 minutes of race pace effort we gave running into the water and swimming around a couple buoys then running out of the water, 100M across the sand then diving back into the water at full speed to repeat the loop two more times... Greg and I were racing pretty good... on each other's feet... trading off the lead on each lap... I felt nauseous starting each loop again after running in that sand but there was no way I was going to let Greg go so I was working my tail off. That is hard, you know? Getting out of the water and running and then straight back into swimming fast again... triathletes should practice that because it's not uncommon to have to do that in races... but yet we almost never practice that and then are shocked in races when it is so hard.

~Speaking of running... did you catch that?? I ran in the sand today. Not only that, I put running shoes on after the swim and actually ran along the road! No pain. Yep. Mama's back in the game. Kim and I jogged together and chit chatted the whole time and before I knew it time was up and it was like this huge sigh of relief that whatever spasm was in my calf has finally been released and I can run again. Cross my fingers I've got this figured out now... all I have to say is that eccentric calf dips are the bomb and I'm doing them obsessively. Because they work. Yep.

~Did you know that calf injuries cause saddle sores? I didn't know that either. But it's true. Injure your calf and sit out of running for ~10 days and you end up with these nasty little sores on your ass and find yourself stealing your not-yet-potty-trained toddler's A&D Ointment. Thankfully I finally had a day away from riding today to let this thing try to heal.

~I am infinitely more effective at work when I have a good training session in the morning. I accomplished more today than I did in the previous 3 days combined. I think if bosses required their employees to start their work day with a solid ocean swim and then an hour of running they'd find their employees to be way more engaged and effective. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Good Day To Fly A Kite

Today would have been a good day to fly a kite. But I didn't go fly a kite. The 20-25 mph sustained winds made for a fun bike ride, but I have to say, intervals in wind like that beat the crap out of me.

I got a text this morning from one of my athletes that said, "I'm scared of riding in this wind. People at masters are telling me I'm going to get blown into cars." Ok. Well there's a time to be safe and a time to toughen up... but let's be honest, while it was windy today, it wasn't like we were in the middle of a hurricane. So I told her she could ride on the trainer if she was more comfortable but that I was headed out the door to ride. Lead by example, right? In the end, she rode outside and sent me a text telling me that she's grown some balls. Excellent.

The winds are supposed to be even higher tomorrow. I heard 35 mph gusts? Nice. And they are coming straight from the east which will make the ocean swim we are doing tomorrow on the east shore really interesting. I'm actually hosting a little swim clinic out there for a couple of my local athletes who are racing a sprint triathlon this weekend... I'm guessing there will be a small craft advisory for the east shore. Perfect. I figure, if they can swim through that, the triathlon swim start should be a lot less scary on Sunday. One of my newest athletes is a strong swimmer but doesn't have much open water swim experience so I'm going to swim right on top of her the whole time tomorrow to teach her what it will feel like in the race. Don't worry, she signed the waiver.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just When It Started To Feel Lighter...

It's been sunny the last few days and I'd say that my mood had lifted... but then I heard the news today about the brutal attack on 2 Lululemon employees in Virginia... the gal that was murdered was the beautiful 30yo sister of an ex-boyfriend of mine... he was the guy who got me started into the sport of triathlon 16+ years ago... when we met at a masters swim workout when I was in college at ASU... and I thought he was too hot to even talk to... and then one of our first conversations went something like, "Hey you're athletic, let's get you a bike!" He was the one who taught me how to change a flat tire and that I had to actually eat something on a 3+ hour ride... we are still friends so to say this news about his sister hit home is an understatement. I am just sick to my stomach for Hugh and his family. Jayna was an amazing girl and this is the most senseless thing I can imagine. Sick. I'm just sick. What is wrong with people??

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Complete Overhaul

The other day I took my bike to Andrew Tanaka at BikeFit808 to see if maybe there was something up with my bike position that might be irritating my calf when I ride hard. He did a retul fit on me, which basically meant that I was hooked up to all sorts of wires and a computer drew out my movements and calculated angles of all my body parts while I was pedaling my bike on the trainer. Pretty cool. I'm not a bike fit expert, so even though Andrew showed me the results and all the numbers the computer generated, it didn't make a ton of sense to me. All I wanted to know was, what needs to change and is it going to fix my calf?

Basically what he did was shift me up and forward so I'm more on top of my pedals, and he dropped my bars down so I get a better back angle and am more aero. I took a picture of my seat post and you can see the changes he made. The electrical tape on the seat post marks my old saddle height, and the grime on the saddle post marks where my saddle used to sit on the rails. Those are some pretty hefty changes.

You know what's funny? While I was there on the trainer Andrew was asking how I felt and I swear to you, I couldn't even feel the difference. I was trying to convince Andrew that I am indeed a rather perceptive person but the fact that I couldn't feel these changes wasn't lending much support to my claim.

Anyway, here's a short video of me riding with my new fit if you care to watch.

I had several hours on my bike the next day and I will tell you, I felt the changes instantly as soon as I sat on my bike outside. My theory now is that I couldn't feel the differences on the trainer b/c I never ride that bike on a trainer. But I do ride it outside. A lot. So once I was in my natural habitat the differences were very obvious. I do feel more powerful b/c I can use my quads more effectively to push straight down on the pedals, rather than using my hamstrings and calves to push the pedals more forward. So I am hopeful this will be good for me.

I have to say though, Andrew cringed when he saw the state of my bike. That's bad, he said, when he tried to turn the bars up front and felt the grinding of the headset. Ooooooh, he said ominously when he tried to shift it into the big ring. He actually went to his car to get some lube to fix it up a bit before I even got on the trainer to do the fitting. Disclaimer: I never said I was great at bike maintenance. And in my defense, there have not been 3 days in a row when I have not been riding that bike so when was I supposed to take it in to the shop for a tune-up?? Andrew said that just about every bike he's had come through his doors has been in a similar state and he is now considering adding a tune-up service to his bike fit process since clearly the need is there. So in my defense #2, I'm not the only one.

Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and took my bike into ITB today. It was time. Clearly. I put my tail between my legs and told Matt (the least judgmental best mechanic anywhere) not to cringe when he saw me walk in the doors with it.  This is not the first time he's seen my bike in this sad state so he took it in stride. I have to say though, the looks on the faces of the three mechanics that stood around my bike shaking their heads and recommending different treatments to fix it said it all. In the end, they decided that it didn't need a tune-up. It needed a complete overhaul. The only appropriate course of action was to completely strip the bike down and build it back up part by part, deciding one by one which components need to be replaced. In good news, these mechanics know me and have been doing their very best to take care of my bike in spite of how I treat it for years now and I know they'll do a superb job. I can't wait to get it back!

Friday, March 11, 2011


This felt like a really heavy week. Not heavy training... in fact, due to several different issues/circumstances it's actually been a lighter week than normal... which actually made it feel heavier. That might not make sense, but it's how I felt. I think I use training to alleviate stress (ya think??) so when I'm feeling stress but can't train for whatever reason (injury, pool closures, day care closures, weather, natural disasters... to name a few this week) it weighs on me.

Calf is still tight. Blah. Nothing in there is torn which is cool but I can't for the life of me get that damn soleus to release. It's like a guitar string. Back to Magic Man again tomorrow. There's a part of me that feels like I just want to start jamming needles in there to get it to release but I'm pretty sure acupuncture isn't quite that random. And while I'll admit that I can be crazy, I'm not quite that crazy.

I still have not been able to shake the heaviness I felt upon hearing about Sally Meyerhoff. I didn't even know her but it's still just a very sobering reminder that everyday that we go outside and ride our bikes could possibly be our last. I've had to actively remind myself this week to not give in and start living my life in fear. That's no way to live. But still, it's sobering.

And of course then there's the earthquake and tsunami in Japan... I started to watch some of that coverage and then just had to turn it off. This week has been too heavy already and I couldn't add that to the pile in my head and heart. And while I know it's good to be 'better safe than sorry', this is the second time in the last year or so that we have undergone all these crazy tsunami warning drills here in Hawaii where the emergency sirens are going off every hour all night long and everybody has to hunker down and get to higher ground and shut everything down for what turns out to be essentially a beautiful day with an ocean that is higher by a couple feet than normal. I did see that the ocean in Kona flowed onto the road, and heard the lobby of the King Kam was flooded, but in no way (again) was it the huge emergency they make it out to be in the warnings and on the TV and radio. And you know what? Maybe one day it will be. I certainly hope not. But it's like crying wolf with these emergency drills and after a while you just get jaded to them, you know? Maybe it's just not in my personality to be an alarmist like that. I would be a terrible Emergency Planner because in my heart I just don't believe these bad things will actually happen. But then look at Sally. They do happen. See? I'm still trying to come to terms with that.

So okay, I just had a full on conversation with Scott about this and we came to the conclusion that there is no other alternative in these circumstances than to plan for the worst, so while logically I understand the reason the state carried out the emergency plan the way they did, my gut just thinks it was way overdone. Maybe I'm just grumpy because I was up half the night listening to emergency sirens.

And then tonight I went to a rather hoity toity event where there was a pig head, more like the whole top half of a pig, skin shaved off, on a deli slicer, being sliced very thin to make some sort of special carpaccio that was a delicacy I'm sure... but it just made me nauseous. I was starving, and totally needed to eat, but there was no way I was going to eat that. I mean, really? Who can look at a pig on a slicer like that and think, mmmm, let's eat!?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Safety Precautions

I woke up to the sound of dumping rain... which is not totally unusual here on the windward side of Oahu. I used to joke that if it's raining anywhere, it's raining at my house. Seriously, sometimes it is raining in this valley but is dry like a mile down the road toward the ocean. Whatever. That's not the point of this post.

Today it wasn't just raining at my house- it was raining all over. This side of the island, at least, was socked in completely and it did not look like it was going to let up. I held out hope that maybe it would change though so I rode my bike to the pool anyway (got wet!) and crossed my fingers that maybe this storm would pass and I could get my ride in after all.

1500M into my swim I was regrouping before starting the next set when one of the lifeguards approached me and told me they were going to close the pool. "Oh no?! There's lighting? I didn't hear the thunder," I told him. Oh no, there's no thunder, he explained to me. It's just that the heavy rain is causing them to not be able to see the bottom of the pool in the deep end so it's a safety precaution and they need to ask us all to leave.



Several other swimmers there were also rather dissatisfied with this decision so we kind of hung out in the shallow end in disbelief for a while... like... are they really closing this pool right now because it's raining? A couple of us discussed the idea of swimming over to the deep end and diving down to the bottom to test out their theory that if one of us were to accidentally start drowning while lap swimming that they would indeed be able to see us go down....

In the end I decided not to be a smart ass and opted instead to stand in the hot shower until the water was no longer hot. Then I rode straight home. Normally I would have gone ahead and done my planned ride in the rain, but today, I just couldn't shake the thought of Sally Meyerhoff who got hit by a truck yesterday and died instantly while riding her bike. After that, the idea of riding in flash flood conditions like those this morning, with very limited visibility and slippery white painted lines, just seemed ridiculous. RIP, Sally.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Thank you all for your support on that last post... I'm not standing on the edge of a cliff or anything so no need to call the suicide hotline for me. Though I will say it's so much harder to write a blog post when you don't have good positive things to say. While warming up for that 10K on Sunday I was already writing the blog post report in my head... it was going to say something about how satisfied I was about running such a solid 10K even after coming off several solid weeks of training in a row... and then I imagined writing about how I capped it off with another 8 mile run and felt fantastic... yeah... well, that obviously wasn't how it went.

I know many of you can relate though b/c running can be tough on our bodies and its not uncommon to have injuries pop up when you're training near your limits. So I appreciate the empathy. I've never really thought I was good at empathy. I tend to think more along the lines of something like, you people deal with your own problems and I'll deal with mine... I guess I'm a little better now than I used to be, but still, I don't typically expect people to cry with me when something doesn't go my way. So forgive me if I'm not going to blather on and on here about my calves and how obnoxious and pesky they are.

One thing I found interesting the other night was that Moana, at 2 1/2 years old, is expressing empathy. I haven't done a lot of research on age appropriate times to show emotions and all that, but her show of empathy caught me off guard. Of course it had nothing to do with my calf- she does not understand that. But you know what she does understand? Intense love for one's blankie. I sat down with her on Sunday evening and we watched Elmo in Grouchland. And when the bad guy stole Elmo's blankie, her little lower lip came out and her eyes welled up with tears and she cried out, "Where's Elmo's blankie?!!? Elmo needs his blankie!"  I held her on my lap through that whole movie until she saw that it was indeed resolved and Elmo got his blankie back. I was hoping she wouldn't have nightmares about that and luckily, it seems she did not. Anyway, I just found it interesting the my 2 year old is better at showing empathy than I am. Once again, I could learn a lesson from her.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Inside The Mind of An Injured Athlete

I don't understand what happened today... I did not see this coming... this calf has been totally fine... not even a twinge since last year... I was wearing my compression socks... I totally should have massaged it with Biofreeze first... looks like there's a little bruise there... OMG what if I ripped it? Maybe that bruise is just b/c I've been massaging it too aggressively all day... I should probably stop stretching just in case... ARGH... things were going so well... I'm so bummed I missed my long run day... I never should have run that stupid 10K... hindsight is 20/20... is it time to ice again yet?... I wonder if Magic Man is going to be able to fix this... how long 'til I can run again?... Will it hurt to ride?... I might go crazy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Removing The Choke-Chain

So today I got to do my first group ride of the year... woohoo! No HR limits- just ride with the group and do what you need to do to hang on. This is the type of training I know... the kind I have done for years... and I like it! I can certainly see how doing it week after week after week all year might just leave you super fatigued and flat, but working these types of efforts in sometimes is fun, motivating, and confidence building.

I rolled up this morning and my friend Mike said something about me being a damn anti-social wench for being MIA so far all year. I took it as a compliment. Maybe you have to know Mike to understand, but yes, welcome back is what he really meant. ;)

So we took off and I was chit chatting with a guy who's about to do his first ironman at St George in 9 weeks... I made the ASSumption that he would be riding nice and steady all day so I figured his wheel would be a good place to stay... but like a mile later we were flying over some rollers, my HR monitor was showing the same numbers as it did last week at the 20K TT... then Spence rolled by and drove the pace faster up the next roller... and my HR came within 1 beat of my max... then Ben kept the pressure on and I was digging and gritting my teeth to hang on and trying not to think about how screwed I was that we were ~20 minutes into this 62 mile ride and I was already working at my 20K TT effort.

The thing was, I didn't feel bad- I felt good- so I went with it... eventually Ben and Spence eased off the gas a bit and we settled in to steady and surprisingly, I felt fantastic. Yay! This was fun. And then it started to rain. First just a drizzle, then a solid pissing rain. Which made the white lines on the road turn into Lines of Death and I just about lost it crossing over one of them once... that was scary. I know how slippery they can be when they're wet but our roads here sometimes have nice shoulders and then sometimes not so we are forced to cross over that Line of Death a lot and it was really scary today. Honestly, I don't know how I kept my bike up that one time- I thought for sure I was going down and it would have hurt b/c we were flying.

Coming home the rain never let up... alternating from pissing to pelting then back to pissing. Potholes were filled with brown water and cars drove right through deep puddles, spraying water on us like Shamu at Sea World. We kept a steady pace but it just felt flat out dangerous to me and I'm glad we made it home without incident. While I love riding with the group, ironically, I think it is more dangerous than when I ride alone. I mean, I had 4 (count 'em, FOUR) close calls today and feel lucky to have made it home without cracking my helmet.

Anyway, part one of my weekend training done. I'm running later this afternoon and then have another 18 miles to get through tomorrow... including a little 10K in the middle of that. Yeah. I'll let you know how that goes. Anyone know how much e21 you can take without an OD?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mama Stay!

So a couple weeks ago (for my birthday!) one of my athletes, Jennifer*, sent me a super cute book for Moana... My First Yoga**. It's got a bunch of animal poses that toddlers find fun to do***. At first Moana was uncertain about these animal poses, but now she asks to do them day and night. I'm not really much of a yoga person myself (though maybe I should be- it might mellow me out- in a good way) but it's too cute to resist doing this with Moana so it's become part of our routine.

This morning Moana woke up and right away was saying, "Mama I be mango!" I had no idea what she was talking about. The she started standing on one leg (it is hard for her to balance but she tries) and clarified... "Animal poses, Mama. Animal poses. I be mango!" Ah ha. I finally got it. She was doing the Flamingo.

The flamingo appears to be her favorite, but the butterfly is a close second. The other morning before Scott went to work she insisted he sit down and be a butterfly. "Daddy come sit down! Daddy be butterfly!" Little kids are good reminders of what's important, even when we are rushing around trying to get out the door to get to work.

She does a pretty mean downward dog when she wants to...

And her giraffe impression is WAY better than mine.

The last page of the book shows Namaste. I triy to model for Moana... sitting cross legged with hands on prayer and saying "Namaste". Moana repeats it back with a smile. "Mama Stay!"

*It's Jennifer's birthday tomorrow (Friday) so go wish her a happy birthday... and wish her good luck on those 42x50's in the pool.

**There's an ap for that!

**I suspect this book was actually a tongue in cheek way for Jennifer to help me refine my own animal pose technique, since clearly I need help in this department.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I had a rather long boring swim this morning and was trying really hard to come up with something fun to blog about. I didn't have any epiphanies but here are some random thoughts anyway.

~I don't love it when I am in the middle of a 1500 straight cool down swim (Yes, my coach gives 1500 c/d swims sometimes) and the guy in the next lane waits for me to get to the wall then pushes off right next to me and sprints for a 50 like we're racing. Please.

~Sometimes, like today, cool down swims involve max effort sprints. I do wonder sometimes if my coach has a clear understanding of exactly what "cool down" means. Though maybe there's no need to cool down when you're just going to go get on your bike immediately after.

~It was raining this morning when it was time to go riding. I kinda had to grit my teeth to get this one done. But I haven't just skipped a workout yet this year and I plan to keep it that way. So I got wet.

~Back to thoughts about swimming... this morning the pool was pretty crowded. Seemed like lots of new people who don't normally swim there showed up. And new people don't really know the protocol, you know? So there's no lane lines, but everyone in the pool is swimming long course, and this old lady gets in at the deep end and started swimming across the pool short course. WTF? This is not Frogger. Nalani and I just watched as the lifeguards scrambled over to stop her. Seems like maybe if you were new to pool swimming maybe you'd take a second to watch what other people are doing? Unfortunately, apparently not everyone thinks like that.

~It's getting lighter earlier and earlier in the mornings. I love that. Reminds me of Honu training the last few years... like everyone starts ramping up and getting ready to race when the sun finally starts coming up before 7AM. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year and I feel like I can smell it right now.

~I like running twice a day. My afternoon runs are pretty significantly better than my morning runs. Interesting. That was sort of an epiphany I guess. So there you go.