Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Times a flyin!

Time seems to be moving faster with each week. The leg is feeling much better, thanks to my good friend Laurie. Laurie is an awesome Massage Therapist who found the knots and really worked them. She also did some cool muscle release stuff which helped to get some range of motion back.

My PT reset my cleats which were way off and put a shim in my left cleat, which helps with my 7mm leg discrepancy. It was pretty cool to see my X Rays today, 7 mm doesn’t seem like a lot but when you see your entire pelvis slanted to deal with the difference, it all makes sense…hip pain, leg pain, low back pain, etc… I also have a cork shim in my running shoe now, I even noticed a difference walking.

I had some great swims this week and it was also a successful bike and run week. I could have gone much further on the bike and run but I played it safe. I have a lot of energy so it’s hard to tone it back, but that’s what I need to do.

I have a solid base, so now is all about just listening to coach D as he guides me to the starting line. I will also focus on my mental game because no matter how rough the water gets or how hard the wind blows, being strong mentally can always pull you through.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

On the Mend!

Hi All,

Well things are going better since my last post and I’m confident that I’m on the mend.  All of the health professionals that I have seen so far have said, “quad strain”.  I have thought that for years, but the big question is why?  Without knowing why it’s happening, I can’t prevent it from happening again.  Tomorrow I will get a leg study X Ray done to get the exact distance of my legs which will help to deal with the discrepancy, I will also get a massage this week, focusing on my quads and illiopsoas (which I have learned can cause quad injuries if its too tight).  I will also get another back adjustment and have a professional evaluate me on my bike.  Its really too late for any big changes in my position but this will help to see if I am doing something in that aspect to cause the strain.  I had the very fortunate experience of getting some advice from Scott Jurek, I have worked with him for years via Brooks and sought him out right away when the strain first happened.  He suggested a bunch of quad strengthening exercises and noticed that mine are a bit too week for the events that I do.  It’s amazing, with all of the running, swimming and biking that I do my legs should be that of a thoroughbred on its way to the Kentucky Derby!  I guess squats and such are also very important as they support the pounding.  Coach D has had me in the gym but I guess I just need a bit more due to past injuries causing additional weaknesses.

I ran twice this week and swam a bunch.  I had tons of energy on my run and felt like I could go forever but I need to play it safe right now so I stopped at an hour.  I will get on the bike tomorrow for 2 hours and maybe a swim too.  I think I will be back into the full training mode by this next weekend.

I have taken this opportunity to work on my mental game as well.  The best race I ever had was the one that I approached the lightest.  Its important to train but its most important that I look at this as an adventure, not a race.  I will  complete the Ultraman and believe it or not, I will have fun along the way.

Thanks so much for your support and your words of encouragement, they have gone and will continue to go a long way.

I’m looking forward to a swim, bike, run, strength, massage , stretching and healthy eating -Ultraman training week.  I hope you all have a great week as well.

See you soon,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life's Little Messages

Life’s little messages can come in many forms.  I received one of those messages disguised as a ripping pain in my quad 5 minutes into day 1 of training in Canada.  It was devastating, I thought to myself, “how can this be happening?”, “I rested the past 2 days”.  After I got over the sad part, I found a physiotherapist in Penticton who worked on my leg and got the knots out.  The next day I was good for an 80 mile ride but then the day after that, the same ripping pain hit the medial side of my quad.  There I was in Penticton, staying at the race hotel, looking at the course thinking, “was the past 6 months of 50 hour work weeks and 20 hour training weeks all for nothing?”  I just broke into tears, then after a long time I thought about everything and really analyzed the situation.  It’s true, I did take the 2 days off leading up to the trip, but what about the weeks leading up to that?  I haven’t been sleeping enough, I haven’t been getting massages, slowed down on my water consumption, I have been rushing through my stretching sessions, etc...Basically, I created this situation and my body thought it would scream at me to get a grip now, 7 weeks out rather then on Day 1 of Ultraman.  For that my friends, I am very thankful.  This was a blessing in disguise, and I won’t take it for granted.

On the way home I emailed Dr Darvish a fantastic ND.  It was Sunday, and her office actually got back to me that night and  made arrangements to see me after hours on Monday.  On Monday night she met with me until 8:00 pm, do YOU know of a doctor who would do that?!  ND’s are great they really care about the person and, there’s no snowballing them. Before I new it, I spilled all the beans and basically explained that I have been training for this crazy endurance event while balancing a demanding job and instead of doing all the right things, I have been not getting enough sleep, water, nutrients etc...  She checked me out and then gave me some homeopathic injections in my leg, nutrients and other muscle healing stuff.  She also noticed that my back was “out” and proceeded to adjust it.  She then reminded me of my food allergies and suggested that it may not be a good idea to ingest things that your allergic to, so it’s no wheat or dairy for me. I took it one step further and gave up caffeine too and I feel better already.  I will have appointments with her over the next few weeks where she will continue to work on my quad and back.

On Tuesday I went to see Neal Goldberg, an awesome PT.   This guy knows how to deal with bull headed triathletes like myself.  He did a bunch of tests and noticed that my right leg is quite a bit longer than my left.  This is probably the root of my problems as my body has to compensate with every foot strike when I run and rotation when I ride.  Most people could get by with the leg length discrepancy, just doesn’t work so well when you’re piling on the miles.  He made a lift for my left shoe and I felt better instantly.

Although I have taken steps to heal, I’m not out of “the body dog house” yet.  After what I have put it through, my bod isn’t going to let me off that easy.  It will be the weekend before my legs are ready for pounding.  In the meantime I have been eating like Richard Simmons (minus all the yelling, jumping and split shorts), sleeping at least 8 hours and drinking ALOT of water and electrolyte stuff.  I have been swimming alot which is cool because if I thought 6.2 miles was long before, actually seeing the lake/distance was an eye opener to say the least.  We ended up driving the bike course and while the climbs are not as intense as what I have been training on, the wind is Hairy Scary!  I learned that we could have a headwind for 50 miles on the bike and it’s not uncommon for it to be 110 degrees.  Its a good thing I had this wake up call, I will need every bit of physical and mental strength to get me through the course.

I don’t really have alot to say about training because its been more of a healing week.  I do want to say something about my “rock”.  Without this rock the hard times would be harder, the fun times wouldn’t be as much fun and without this rock, I wouldn’t make it to the starting line, let alone the finish.  Rob, you’re the best.

Thanks for reading, have a great week!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Need a Couple Days

Hi All,
Thanks for checking my blog!  Its been a crazy couple of days, returning home late on Sunday and getting home late tonight.  I will post a detailed blog of my training weekend in Canada and the scary details of the Ultraman course,(think wind tunnel) on Wednesday.

See you soon!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Voice of Unreason

Training for ultra endurance events can sometimes mess with your reasoning. For example…..I woke up Saturday morning with plans to ride 100 miles. However, after 12 hours of sleep, I woke up exhausted, a bit achy and starving, all signs of not being recovered. I called Rob who was on his way home from Eastern Washington, explained to him how I felt and that it probably would not be a good idea to ride 100 miles, so I would run for 3 hours instead. Now you have to understand, this totally made sense in my mind. So Rob, who is very good in dealing with me, and I do mean very good, treaded ever so lightly and said, “Honey, if you are feeling that bad, bad enough to not ride, do you think it’s a good idea to run for 3 hours?” I saw his reasoning and agreed with him. But then, I had another idea and unfortunately, he was out of cell range so I couldn’t fly it by him….I decided that I could swim 3 miles in Lake Washington instead, after all, I could just float my legs, right? Wrong! It was so rough that I had to kick the entire way and constantly lift my body to deal with the chop. If I thought I was tired that morning, it was nothing compared to that night. It was fun though, my big sis kayaked alongside me and I got a taste of what August 1st will be like.

Swim: It was an awesome week of swimming! I had 2 lake swims and 2 swims in an outdoor pool. My first lake swim was for only an hour, but my second was a solid 3 miles. My pool swims couldn’t have been better, watching the sun rise with every breath, I can’t think of a better way to start the day. If we ever move back to CA or HI, the ability to swim outside all year long will for sure be one of the deciding factors.

Bike: I rode outside all week, totaling 3 rides. For my long ride today, I really sought out a flat to rolling route and it was beautiful! We rode across the Hood Canal bridge towards Squim. The water under the bridge was glass and the views amazing. There were a few climbs but they were long and gradual, not the out-of-the-saddle stuff we have been doing. I was pretty tired at the start but then started to feel pretty good after about 5 hours.

Run: I put off my long run to tomorrow since I bumped my long ride to Sunday. It’s good that I will run on slightly rested legs but the downside is that I will be running until 9:00pm tomorrow night after a packed day at work. It’s the Ultraman/Corporate life balance. Last weeks run happened on Monday as well, but it was a rough one, 85-90 degrees, for 3 hours on very tired legs. It took a lot of mental strength to get through it, and required me to go to that place inside that has gotten me to so many ironman finishes. Positive thinking and believing can be very powerful.

Gear Pick of the Week.
Its been a couple of weeks since I ve done a gear pick ….I ordered a new pair of running shoes last week and just like I always have, I smelled the box as I opened it, after all these years, I still love “new shoe smell”. Most of you know that I work for Brooks, but you also know me well enough to know that I am a very straight shooter. I love the Adrenaline GTS. In my opinion, it’s the best shoe out there. It has the smoothest transition, actually fits a woman’s foot and for those of us who run the distance, it has just enough support to help when your feet begin to break down, but not too much to make your knees ache- it’s the perfect balance.

This Wednesday we will be heading to Canada to train on the course. I can’t wait to bike a couple of those passes and run on the trails. It will give me a good piece of mind for my last 7 weeks of training.

Well that's all for now, hope you all have a fantastic week!

Thanks so much for reading my blog, your support means so much to me.