Monday, May 11, 2015

Catching up....

I started a race report in march, it never got past the initial draft phase! Life has been good, busy, good, busy and a few hiccups along the way. Since i am doing my best to keep my life in balance, my life hasnt been ALL training. I really have been quiet on the blog scene partly bc 1) i got hacked and so i had to change my address so many of you three readers cant even find me 2) I have had alot of soul searching on WHY? WHAT? WHY? Do i want to do this?? And honestly winter or march or even APRIL for that matter in MN arent the best months to decide on your season when its sleeting and 40 and your skin hasnt seen the sun since September.

So if any of that makes sense here is what i have been up to:

Ran a great fun Get lucky 7k. It went really well. My speed work has been nil, a few pick ups here and there and most of my fast runs were done inside on the Hydroworx. So to run even 7k at a good clip sub 7's with ease i was pretty happy. At this point you know things cant last:) I had started to have some lower back pain ( well soreness) in the pool and now i had started to feel it running too. Running with a super powerful JET pushing water at you on a fast Underwater treadmill wasnt good either and i really was sore thru most of march.

Didnt of course think too much of this new issue i had with too much lumbar extension ( ie stand up tall and if you arent engaged in your lower abs you are gonna be in trouble) in the pool and running. I just sorta thought, " huh, i never have back issues." and off to camp i went.

Stacey and I take on Madera. Jen and Maxine were someplace:)
Camp was a blast and it really renewed my love for 1) being WARM, yes 90 deg ++ bring it. 2) for training with fun people 3) biking.

As much as i love to run and swim outside, biking just really really is so awesome. Everytime we all got in safely though i said a prayer, you just never know what people's bike handling skills are and of course what a car may decide to do.

Team Lidocaine had a ton of fun and we laughed alot, ate alot of whole foods and laughed some more.
Team Lidocaine cleans up nice
 My back was sorta sore but ya know sometimes you just forget about the niggles and survive! I came home and the day off in the airport was fine but i was tired. About a week later i got really tired and my back hurt more and my Hammy hurt more with speed and oiy, tune back into the " WHAT WHY WHAT WHY?" Talks  I  was having. A few saving graces:

It was sorta nice out! I mean it wasnt snowing, and the snow was really gone. We had some 70's and some 60's and while we have had our share of wet and 40 to 50 deg its really been OK for MN standards. NOW mark my words i knowwe are never out of the woods till july!

This guy has helped alot too.
My cute man who i am so lucky to have by my side supporting me thru any crazy endeavor i do, and reminding me that worrying is a waste of energy. When you have the worry gene, that is hard to let go of but i am trying. The weekend after camp we escaped to FLA to get our sweat on, see the sights and just relax. My back was really bugging me so nothing like some airplane rides to really let you know that its time to get an MD to check you out. I take any pain as a  "note to self" but back pain the most. Luckily i had no trouble with walking, or sitting or sleeping, it was a pretty specific position and well, swimming! Ack! Swimming is usually good for the lower back but if its not a disc issue ( which i was 90% sure mine wasnt) then unloading the spine doesnt really matter if its a rotational issue. So a lovely fun great weekend, then we headed back to reality.

In the midst of this I was getting in my training, getting needled which gave relief but the soreness just came back esp with swimming. Getting out of Aero to run wasnt great either. The consistent theme here is that the Lats and QL ( lower back) were consistently " ON " and that guarding made me think it was more than a strain. One MRI later and my MD's thought was right. I have some L3L4 facet inflammation, likely due to trying to stand too tall running and losing my lower abs, and likely over side planking. Yup, all our bodies are different arent they? Luckily my discs are LOVELY! And really i am so relieved about this.

MRI and any CT or any of that cues some irrational panic in me from Rich. It is what it is, but whether i am crazy or not i have had a panic attack in or before any of these tests. There were alot of Pet scans. MRI's CT scans with rich and i know i have this non logical fear that i will be diagnosed with this strange tumor that nobody expected. So rest easy i am good. But honestly you can tell me to not worry but...I saw it happen when he was asymptomatic, so heck I still have to have alot of hand holding if i get any of these tests.

Training is clipping along, lots of stretching and core work and a re-training of some TVA in the run and also trying to keep my core engaged swimming. Its getting better though the thought of a 50 M pool in my future and a lake with no flip turns is inviting. I will be getting some sort of injection into the facet joint in the near future. The MD wasnt keen on an oral dose of steroids or NSAIDS bc she said she has seen too many athletes not really know if they are recovered and that it masks/limits your bodies natural inflammation and recovery. Which i knew, but it was good to hear her say " Id get the shot."

Hopefully that will allow for some more comfortable swimming and runs off the bike when the muscle guarding stops. So as this blog is now turning too medical:

I got the rust out and did a TT last week: photo courtesy of PP.

Ruby dug into my mom's purse and tried to chew up her lipstick. She is getting precocious in her old age.
I Didnt do ANYTHING wrong.....

I love these: 

My nephew Joe is an amazing kid. 7th grader who hits the ball like a senior, but he is still just a little boy. Cant wait to see him play more and more and grow into his body!

I am loving the lilacs. Last year they came out at the end of JUNE! no photo its pouring out, but my ride saturday smelled like lilacs the entire time! from lilacs to.....nasty.....

Where is Glen when you need him?
Yes i have had a few of these in my house. Dont ask.

I turned 49 years young and had a really fun night out celebraing. What a special night full of surprises!

I broke up with my Y and joined the Park pool. It was hard. But it was the best thing in the world to do. No more chlorinated sinuses and no more wandering pool temps. This is a solid 81 deg pool. Love. IT.

And the glory days: 
Where's waldo. I Cant get this to turn. State champions 1984. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

100 Things ( #4 is listed twice) LOL not sure why.

1.     I love my name
2.     My name was going to be Sara but my cousin Sara was born 7 mos earlier and got that name, so I became Julia.
3.     I don’t like being called Julie.

4.When I was young I was afraid a lot. I used to sleep with stuffed animals lined on my bed to protect me.
4.     I idolized both my sisters.
5.     My younger brother was a pain
6.     My younger brother is now one of my best friends.
7.     I cant remember at what age I fell in love with tennis but I do know I loved getting new rackets, and I loved playing tennis from the age of 10 on.
8.     I learned to hit a forehand by copying my sister Heide.
9.     We used to take lessons from a pro in La Jolla named Bill Bond. He taught us the EGG backswing. It’s still a topic of family conversation.
10. I ball girled for Chris Evert and I was so nervous I am surprised I even could move.
11. I studied alot. Like at least friday or saturday night. I was called a hermit by many.
12. I didn’t do a lot of social stuff in 7-12th grade
13. Most of my social stuff I did do was with my teams or tennis friends. One favorite was playing tennis all day ( yes really) at my friends house and then going to Dairy Queen and then driving over to stalk her crush Jim Demaies. Funny i remember his name. 
14. I played Varsity Tennis, Basketball and Softball from 9th grade on.
15. Most of my teammates were consistent ( ie the same people)
16. I started at my school in 1st grade.
17. My parents told me they had a surprise for me when I was in public school and I thought it was a new bike or a stuffed llama. It was entry to a different school mid year. I didn’t think that was all that awesome.
18. MY cousin ( see 2) and I used to compete in spelling in 2nd grade, it was stressful.
19. My aunt Marge( see 2) was my 4th grade teacher. 4th grade was the best
20. Aunt Marge died way to young and I miss her.
21. My favorite color was red.
22. My favorite color now is …it dependsJ Aqua Marine or periwinkle blue.
23. I wore a uniform to grade school. Then we had a dress code for 7-12.
24. We wore snoopy/colorful/knee highs to express ourselves.
25. I used to make (paint/ribbons) hair accessories and sold them to a gift shop when I was in 6th and 7th grade
26. I had an avocado plant in my room as a kid.
27. I never liked avocado till a few years ago.
28. I started with guacamole and now I can eat avocado rawJ
29. I used to re arrange my bedroom every few months.
30. I was a neat freak and liked to have all my clothes put away.
31. My car now is a mess. I am not a neat freak anymore.
32. I never thought about what I ate till I went to college.
33. My tennis coach used to weigh us and do body comp testing on us.
34. We had to run timed miles 1x week. I almost joined the track team.
35. My freshman summer I decided I needed to get in shape.
36. Division 1 tennis players are usually already in shape ( duh)
37. I had disordered eating my sophmore and junior years at college.
38. I loved Dartmouth
39. I didn’t really love my tennis coach
40. At Dartmouth I met some of the best people who I am still friends with.
41. I lived in Lyon, France for 3 mos. I didn’t like it.
42. I travelled to the south of Spain and spent a day in morocco. I was terribly homesick and was miserable.
43. When the space shuttle blew up I was sitting with my French family eating dinner in Lyon France and I have never felt so alone and isolated in my life. I wanted to go home.
44. Dartmouth alums talk a lot about their college and their fellow alums.
45. Sorry
46. My favorite job when I was in college was teaching tennis.
47. I almost became a tennis professional
48. I had a melanoma
49. I quit tennis bc I was mentally drained, and I wanted to meet new people
50. I met my husband riding bikes
51. I am still afraid of the sun ( see 48)
52. I love being outside.
53. Often I am torn btwn being outside, sun, skin cancer, And usually go back to the feeling that “ I don’t want to die from being tan.” 
54. I have never been to Las Vegas
55. I am not sure that is a problem since I cant stay awake past midnight
56. I want to go to Bend, Oregon.
57. I don’t know how much longer I can do triathlon.
58. I worked at Caribou before it became a chain that makes so so espresso drinks
59. I never thought I wouldn’t have kids
60. I just never wanted to have kids enough to do it alone
61. I met Rich when I was 40. We got married when I was 43. He died when I was 46.
62. My 40s have still been the best years of my life.
63. Meeting Rich made me a better person
64. Being with Rich as he died changed me forever.
65. Seeing Rich die made me fear death a lot less.  But I still fear death.
66. I don’t think I have any enemies.
67. I really believe in the “ do the right thing “ way of living. Lots of people may give that lip service but they don’t act on it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
68. I have only been in the hospital twice.
69.   After college I was inpatient for 6 weeks bc I was anorexic. I admitted myself bc I knew I needed help. 
70. After routine surgery in 2014 I was hospitalized for 4 days with mysterious we have no idea what is happening Dx. NOS pain. IT was the worst.
71. Hashtags really start to annoy me.
72. When you live with someone fighting cancer you will understand what strength/heart and courage is.
( see 71)
73. Yes I know that I take things personally sometimes and I shouldn’t.
74. I am an eternal optimist
75. I sometimes believe in people more than they believe in themselves
76. I can be stubborn and set in my ways
77. I like sushi. A LOT.
78. I can’t make a good Cosmo anymore.  End of an era  (see I could have hashtagged that)
79. I love Malbec
80. I drink too much Espresso in the winter
81. Becoming a Physical Therapist is the best career choice i have ever made. 
82. Sometimes I think I am afraid to stop swim bike run bc its so hard to start up again
83. I want to play tennis again
84. I am not sure I want to or CAN play tennis again “ Like THAT.” How I used to play.
85. I have a 5 year and a 10 year master plan for my life AND for my active life.
86. I like competing in sports
87. I love playing ping pong.
88. I don’t like cats
89. I am not afraid of mice, or spiders but I don’t really care for snakes.
90. I used to eat a lot of ice cream but now it gives me a stomach ache
91. I didn’t eat meat from 8th grade till after college.
92. I dislike most pasta
93. I really like rice
94. I love my family. I love my extended family. I love my cousins.
95. We have a cabin in northern MN
96. I want to go to Greece someday
97. I eat too much almond butter
98. I want to live in a warmer climate for the winter months  ( ie Jan-March) someday.
99. I love open water swimming and swimming in the USVI and Square lake MN are my favorite places!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is it still January?

Greetings from MN. Its been awhile. Too long actually because now I feel the need to write 5 pages, but I wont and you are welcome. I left off as winter was just starting. I was not running. Life was fine, but not blogging was partly because my life was in flux and well, it was a busy holiday time! Life in flux is good. As I insinuated earlier I needed and wanted to take stock of what had " gone down " in the last 2+ years personally.  You know I see the best in people and the way I live my life is to always always give people the benefit of the doubt. In the short term this is groovy, and fun. For all. In the long term it can mean I see potential in people that they may not or may not WANT to see. I learn the hard way to not be co-dependent and I here we are.

Funny that as soon as I really saw that this summer I grew leaps and bounds. Athletes are usually of the camp that want to glean every bit of knowledge, they have the skill set ( usually) to take what they can use and discard the rest. This usually happens in an open discussion where nobody takes anything the wrong way and we as athletes agree to disagree. Same goes for my work. I work with alot of bright and intelligent health care providers. Discussions may or may not be confrontational but the relationships that thrive in my workplace do so because we mutually respect one another and know that we have the resident or the organization in our best interest.

Relationships dont always work that way. And to quote or misquote one of many instagramm sayings
" Dont let someone try to water you down because they cant take you full strength." or something like that :)

As for life outside of the above, things are moving along. Work is super busy and I am loving every minute. Even if it means i am working more minutes than ever. I have the unique position of being able to work 1:1 with older adults on specific balance and functional skills, but at the same time, get the ear of our CEO as we plan for how we can grow Wellness on all our campuses. Right now we serve about 25k older adults in MN, WI and IA. In 2.5 years we expect to double this. That is alot of people! This isnt directly on our campuses but in communities and outreach programs. This is big and I am happy to say our CEO sees the challenge of behavior change and culture to get older adults moving.

Triathlon. Oh yes, That. I started up wth JH again in January. Its never a smooth ride to begin with for me. I am successfully rehabbing my hamstring and will say that some major form changes, shoe changes, more strength than i have ever done has me running a few inches taller without the aid of a Hoka.  ( that was a joke, get it?) But running in florida in warm and humid is a bit easier than running on ice and snow in MN so i am dealing with some niggles that are from the onslaught of winter lately. Though its nearly 40 today! Why cant i run when its 40? :) I need to be less stubborn and get on the TM when its slippery out but a girl needs her outdoor time. Well I do.

Things will come together. I am not worried and JH has been a saint at re assuring me things are fine. Even though i still have the desire to " hit every single wko in TP" I am accepting that that doesnt always happen, at least to me in January!

Well that about covers some of what I had to say, without 5 pages of babble.

And because pictures are more fun:

This picture makes my heart jump with joy. And yes it makes me want to play tennis even if  I have surely missed my chance to hold my own with my 12 yo nephew. 

Ruby. Ya these are from summer:) But cant have a post without a dog pic:)
more for Ruby's fan club ( ok my mom and ER)
Holiday fun with my Dartmouth bestie

Oh the Gulf even on a cloudy day....

Me and mom, walking on above cloudy day

Sun's out, and i squeezed into my new Betty two piece! 

Some new shoes that no, i cant wear in the snow and ice but i do my strength in them and theyre great!

Looks like summer

Tennis selfies

The "boys" in their new hand me down specs

No comment needed? :) 

All bundled up and nowhere to go....oh but out on the snow to run.  

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Following A New Path

Hello to all of you! Lots has been going on since i last wrote about fall and the TC 10 miler. My last running race and my last running steps to be exact since Oct 5th! Phew, seems like forever but its really only been a month and I am doing fine in my head which usually sets the course for being fine physically. This wasnt without some major speed bumps to get here but as of now? today? I am good!

So in no real order:
Fall is slowly leaving us, the forecast for the next 10 days is barely into the 30's and snow. Boo. Not READY this early.

 I still have a fun time every morning checking in on the zoo in the basment. Luckily they havent gotten upstairs yet and after i had a live one ( that nearly killed ME bc i was crying so hard trying to get it free) I havent even added more PB but they keep coming!

We had a girls weekend in Lake Geneva. We ate a balanced diet.

But since Caroline is having a baby we did get better food than above and we also had a surprise shower for her. JH and some Chicago girls ( and julio!) came up for a visit and we loved every second. I laughed alot, and got some good good advice and discussions, the kind you cant get texting or emailing with your besties bc they live too far away.  Caroline was training for a marathon ( yes she is in her 2nd trimester!) while i stayed in my non run mode, Stacey was in a boot, and sarah said " whatever its off season." Liz was a cross racing nut and left early to dominate ( terrorize) the Cat 4 race and then finally upgrade so she didnt hurt any more juniors. ( just kidding)

 I parted ways with a very nice man that I had the pleasure to get to know over the last year.  It was one of the hardest things I have done but i know what i need in a partner and i know he is out there.

But that didnt mean i didnt get to meet up with his sister and her fiance when they came to town for some shopping. But if you look at the stolen quote below from Bree, that is what I want, and what I deserve. I dont do average well.

And while i have no photos I am about 2.5 weeks into my 2nd experience with PRP. I may write more on that later ( comment if you want the all out PRP report, its pretty cool) , but for now all is fine. I have a big race and a big plan for 2015 but as my lovely coach reassures me. I am fine. This hamstring tendonopathy is one that i hear about alot from many of my friends. They have that dull nag in the insertion and they cant get it to go away. Well I have had it before in my left hamstring and when it showed up about 3 weeks before the TC 10 miler in my RIGHT hammie ( i know, the good one! what???)  i knew. I knew and sadly accepted this was my fate. I also know that it doesnt go away. Rest doesnt make it better alone nor does stretching it ( no-no-no) so before i got the PRP i went into no run mode and some aggressive eccentrics along with deep work on the area. 

When I finally did the PRP the good doctor ( i will hook you up if you live locally, just ask) and I went over the MRI which was pretty unremarkable and went for it. No tears. Just minimal to mild -osis or -opathy, if you will. I am doing some super BUNS OF STEEL and CORE TILL I CRY type workouts now and will start on eccentrics soon. Hopefully can start running in about 10-14 days. My body is the boss but i am optimistic! 

Last in the health section...I had blue light treatment or photodynamic therapy on my face on friday.
OUCHIE. I look like a tomato. I cant be in direct or indirect sunlight till sunday and after that i am told I will peel a bit and look sorta " like i had a bad sunburn." My Derm has been after me to do this and since i grew up in the "SPF 4" era and wore few hats and no glasses playing hours of tennis I am sure my face has some sun damage. While this was like fireworks going off on my face it feels now like i have a VERY BAD SUNBURN. Riding my trainer i had a cold water bottle and cool towel. Ouchie. 

Those of you on FB And Instagram saw this: 

The first one is from EFA and it was labor day weekend before Rich died. The ocean pic is when we were in Florida with my parents i dont remember the year. But what I love about these pics is that I still feel like Rich is right here with me. I know that doesnt maybe " make sense " to you but it does to me. And when i hear someone ( maybe an ex?) say " I dont know if you are over Rich..." I have to step back and think " Do i ever want to get over him? what does that mean?" I know what it means and I know that there will always be a little piece of my heart that is with Rich. This doesnt mean i dont have a lot more heart to give, but best of all after two years I finally feel like i am back to knowing what I need and what I want in a relationship. And most important, what I deserve. And I am pretty grateful for all the people in my life and all the blessings!!! People come in and out of our lives for a reason and i cant wait to see what is next! 

Thanks for reading:) 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

TC 10 mile race report and FALL IS HERE!!

It's been a long time. Alot has happened, and yes there was one more race in there.
I love this time of year, just not what follows, and with our temps cooler than normal ( oh why is that a surprise) other than one week of summer last week...well its perfect running weather!

I love the Twin Cities Marathon weekend. It truly is the most beautiful urban marathon. I have done it once, the only open marathon i have done and likely will do. That day was a day like yesterday yet colder. My finish photo has me in tights and gloves and looking like a cold cold runner. Which as i recall i was due to snow. Yesterday on the other hand was just cold before and after, the conditions for running were perfect.

My goal for this race is to try to always go under 70 minutes. This year we had a bit of a different course due to the summer flooding we had, the normal route was closed. All in all I think it was apples and oranges and Steve in a Speedo has more than enough dialogue on which is easier which is harder where the hills are which hill has more grade. etc. etc. You get my point. Subjectively I felt that sunday was slightly harder just bc we had two sets of steeper hills as opposed to just one longer gradual climb. All ok, not gonna lose sleep and I just made sure to not GAS myself up those hills so i could ease back into a close to race pace run.

Mike was also running and was in coral 3 so we parted ways and i got my warm up in. Before you knew it it was go time. National Anthem, ditch the garbage bag, and the small gun goes off. I was standing next to jenn S and we both decided they needed an IM cannon. I made sure to start my Garmin as i passed the timing mat. It felt like 10-15 sec but later i learned it was 25. That paid off in my timing.

For the last 3 weeks i have been dealing with a too familiar hamstring issue. The dreaded -opathy. This time in my Right side. The GOOD SIDE, as i call it. So that is another blog for another day. But having gotten the green light from more than one medical professional to run, I decided I would run but if it got painful i would jog it in. All the while knowing i was in shape for running sub 7's. I would have to check my ego at the door if that was the case.

So Miles 1-5 ticked by pretty fast. The short sharper hills were tough but i felt really strong, the way i have felt in all my training. JH trained me well for this and I cant say enough about 3 - 4 weeks of training and my speed came back. Super fun ( even if it means i cant run now, i guess it was worth it!) At mile 5 I still felt awesome, working but not in pain at all. As we climbed up Summit i remember reading something that said " remember this is only 2 miles...." and i finally looked at my AVG pace. I hadnt been looking, didnt want to bc I wanted to run by feel. My hamstring started to TUG a bit but it was by no means painful. And I saw that my pace was right at 7:00 as i made it up Summit. When i hit mile 7 ( basically the end of the longer false flat) I was tired but i knew that I was going to  make my goal of sub 7. And at mile 8, I saw my parents and their friends ( so nice of them to come out on a cold morning) and that gave me some fuel to kick it in those last two. You do have ONE MORE incline that isnt really very long, just before mile 9 and that was just fine. I took a glance at my Avg pace and saw 6:56 and was elated. And my Hamstring hurt but I am not gonna pull up now. Off i went and finished in 1:09.16. Super pumped with that. I did slow it down a bit coming down hill into the finish as that is what hurts more, the lengthening of the muscle.

Special thanks to Steve H too, who came out to cheer and anyone else who called my name. I saw my finisher video and i know why my mid back is so tight. I was running like it was cold! Tight in my upper body, luckily my lower body felt awesome:) I waited for Mike to get in and by the time he did i was a popsicle. I had changed but it was cold and we hurried thru to get his stuff and then trekked back up summit to my parents house, with a caribou stop ( oh so warm) i would call the day a 2 mile warmup, 10 mile race, and 2 mile walk to cool down.

Thanks to Terry Lee for the picture: and the nice comment that i was too fast for him to get a better pic:)

SO NOW, you may have heard that the race was short. Ha, so the lead vehicle must have been texting or hadnt had their espresso, so we missed a turn, so the OFFICIAL COURSE ws 9.86. MY garmin though had 9.99 so i am taking this as what it is :) I must have had to dodge a few people ( yes i did) to start! People make errors just too bad it was at the TCM!

I just love this race and walking up summit, despite being draped in two space blankets and with chattering teeth was amazing. I loved seeing the final runnners / walkers for the 10 mile come in, the lead wheelers for the marathon ZOOM by, and to thank the police and the volunteers along the way. I have to admit when iran thru the DELTA airlines water stop at mile 8.5 I had enough filter to stop myself from saying what i was thinking..." WHY THE BIKE HATE? WHY?" but i knew these nice people dont make the bike fare rules so why ruin their day? :) Yes i am serious i did think nasty bike karma for Delta in that last mile.

Since its always a topic....I had two gels with caffeine as my fuel. One pre race with water and one at mile 4.5, with water, that ended up all over me. Other than that not much water it was cold. Mike took the chews i gave him, kicking and screaming that he didnt need them. But he did. and finished strong in 1:30 . Now if only he had trained. Yup, I had to give him some grief for the " OH IF ONLY I HAD TRAINED " comment. We all have lots of friends that would have won if they had only trained, dont we? :)

Stolen pic. The others are messy, too many people to get a good shot. I stocked up on free stuff while i waited for mike:)

So now its off season. Things will be fine. Just gotta step back and heal. I want to do a 2014 recap bc in looking back its been a big wonderful year. Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Square Lake Triathlon Race Report

Well its time for another race report. Havent been too many this summer but that comes with the territory of IM training. I wanted to close out the ( too short) summer season up here with one more race. As much as I loved racing late July I wasnt ready to hang it up in August because anyone from MN knows that we have a forced " end to season " around the corner.

Jen gave me a few leg opening workouts and i did a Time Trial to see if i could shake a bit of IM shuffle out of  my step. I will say that i think i did, but it sure hurt.

The obvious race was Square Lake Short Course. I LOVE me some Square Lake. Its where i swim on Wednesday AM's with my pals and its where i play with Eagles and Loons. Any chance i get to run out there as long as JH doesnt say " FLAT COURSE" i will do it after a swim. Nothing better. Riding out in Washington County is the best too. A few roads need repaving and luckily one big stretch on this race's bike WILL FINALLY get its new surface next summer. Luckily. I am always amazed if i go thru that section and dont flat.

So race day dawned and i racked right next to my teammate and World Champ ( and AG champ) Heather Lendway. Heather is the nicest, most humble champion i have ever known. Her sister racked btwn us and that was fitting for how the race would shake out.

Race didnt start till 8 am so while i wasnt nervous per se for this I did want to get out and get a good warm up. I never am totally CHILL at a race. ITs just how it is. I want to do my best on that day and that means getting a good solid warm up especially when its cooler out. Morning temps were chilly but the air was close to 50 when we started and the water was really fine. Maybe about 70? So i got se up and did a little warm up and suddenly Randy ( RD) said " Elites are starting in 30 sec!" yikes i barely made it back to the beach to do a 180 and start. I got a pretty good start, started next to heather who very quickly pulled away and i know was 1st out of the water in the elite wave. It was a bit choppy but i was still happy with how it went though i felt like 1/2 mile was about when i was getting into my rhythm.

Exited and took the long RUN up the wooden stairs. Talk about HR jump, WHILE playing the wetsuit struggle dance.  I Did have my Garmin on but what took the time ( AS USUAL) was getting the leg over my timing chip. Insert long leg sigh.
I like how this pic makes my arms look big. haha. Yes Jen. I said that.

So i was about 30 sec behind Lisa and way more behind Heather but i got my suit off and into the cool air i went. Ok my arms arent as hulky here. LOL. 
This is a rolling bike with lots of hills and punchy inclines. The surface as i mentioned is questionable on the back half of the course, and for 17 miles i decided i was going to TT it as best i could. A few honks from a minivan mom ( sorry if that offends) on the treacherous road made me move over and back off a bit. Other than that just a solid hard ride.

Funny about this race is that the camera guy ( thank you minnefota moments) sits in the shoulder on a stool and i hope nobody will hit him. ITs sorta funny sorta " um, hello" as he snaps your photo on the bike.  Yay the good shoulders are back! Can you tell i am happy to have some muscles in my arms:)  And the GW tats :) Ok i am amusing myself, now back to the race report. 

I saw Lisa running out of T2 as i entered so i sorta figured I was solidly in 3rd with not much hope to catch a speedy Lendway sister. My toes were a bit numb so i had a harder time putting my shoes on but once i got going i shuffled up the hill and out the park gate. 

I set my sights on some dude's to catch and that i did. A few dudes went by me but I just kept my pace. The run course really rolls as it hits some gravel roads and then you end out back on Square Lake Trail ( where we biked out of the park) and i was greeted by Mike on his new road bike. Super fun to see him and hear him cheer me on. It was his first time at a race. Afterwards he said " Everyone looked in pain. " :) And then he also said the guy in 2nd was super grumpy. Well yes he may have been bc Heather was chicking him. 

Anyways I negative split the run which likely means I decided to not let a few guys go by me, but overall I remembered what a nearly OLY distance felt like. 5 mile run isnt a 10k but after IM training 5 was enough. I ended up 3rd, knowing a few AG Women were fast I was relieved to see nobody caught me.  
Me and the Lendway sisters! Heather WON THE ENTIRE RACE!! #SHEISACHAMP!!!

A good reason to race in MN
 And so there you have it. The week prior I was doing normal stuff like going to the theatre with Mike, who keeps me cultured. And sleeping a bit more, and dragging my feet to get out to ride when its below 50 deg. The indoor pool is too hot and too short ( miss my 50m pool) and its a tough time of year bc summer is all but gone. It's also a tough time of year bc it's Rich's birthday ( August 29), the Anniversary of his passing from this earth ( Sept 28), and also our wedding anniversary ( Nov 7).
Sigh. Lots of fall things that make me love the fall but also a bit uneasy.

Im glad I have a nice guy in my life to laugh and have fun with. And someone that when i start taking myself and triathlon too seriously tells me that he is going to just drink beer and not workout anymore. Its a funny banter we have but i am thrilled he loves his new Felt road bike and is quickly figuring out how to clip in and out. Not bad for a guy who has never ridden a road bike before. Doesnt get easier as you get older!

So that is it for now. I am doing the TC 10 miler if JH doesnt kill me and my hammies dont cry uncle. After that its some much needed time off and a few fall trips. Thanks for reading my hodge podge of a blog update! 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ironman Canada: Run and the End. ( I promise)

I got into T2 and was so relieved to hand that bike off. Sweet. My lowerback was tight! My new bike is a bit more agressively fit so I felt it a bit running into the change tent.  A nice volunteer helped me out and she said she was supposed to race but her bike didnt get here, so she did the swim and then vounteered. How neat is that. First off I sat on my glasses. So i said " your most impt job all day is to get these lens back in." and she went to work.

When i returned home I had a friend request from her, turns out she is a PT and lives near CDA where she had raced earlier this year. I knew i could have hung out in T2 and talked with her. But i got on my way.

Running out was as usual like running on coals. FAST! I had to scale it back and try to slow. it. down.
My legs did feel a bit ( ALOT) trashed from that ride but i didnt spend too much time dwelling on that.I Really had a pretty good head thru this entire run. Yay me running. I honestly was so excited to run:) not only bc i felt PREPARED for it but bc i love to run! My fuel plan was good, and i was ready for some hot running!

Leaving T2

I was thankful for the sunscreen people who made me look like Casper but this pic doesnt even show it! 

So miles 1-13 clicked off pretty good. I was holding around 8:30-8:40 and wasnt in distress at all. Taking fluids each station. I did have a feeling i may need to pee or....and so i stopped. That was good but it took me awhile to get rolling again.It did get hot and yes be careful what you wish for, but i was never OVERHEATED. I Took ice and water mostly, the Perform just was like rot gut especially hot. I stuck to my fuel plan and until about mile 18 that was just fine. 

The course is great. I can only report on what my Garmin said and what my legs said but i did not have more than 1k of climbing. I am reading all sorts of crazy reports but this was not a hilly course. Rolling yes espec around the lake on gravel but that was shaded as was at least 60% of the course. So I did not feel this was a hard run course and there was nothing like Observatory hill where you are really looking UP and your legs are screaming at you. Like Madison lots of pathes and turns and not alot of open road but it was great to have so many people ( ala state street) SCREAMING your name and telling you how great you looked. Even if they were lying it made my day to hear people say " your cadence looks good, your form looks great!" bc as we all know a blank look from someone means we read it as " You look like crap."  ( or they are just tired, which i also get) 

I know was WAY OFF the mark for 1-5 in my AG but i never gave up hope to chase a few down. On the 2nd loop I know i passed a few but at that point compression sleeves and washed off ink make it hard, and is that woman on her 1st of 2nd lap? You sorta just go into your own world. As I said i was good for 1 loop then i got a bit of that tunnel vision. I didnt feel bonky but i did make it my mission to control this and if that  meant slowing at all the aid stations it did. I stopped to walk all the stations and was there 1-2 minutes getting what i needed and then back up and running. I didnt micromanage my watch /garmin and i did stop a few more times at the porta potty but all was fine. When i was running i think i was moving along at 9 min miles. So actually not as slow as it appears. To be honest I havent looked at the results. Its hard for me to see them. Maybe i am just being a fragile ego but getting spanked that bad on the swim and bike was not my plan. But it is what it is and i just decided that i wanted to stay positive about this entire race and experience so why look and get down on myself ? I will look when i am feeling a bit less vlunerable about it all. When i am recovered.

Feeling pretty good here, and you know what? why not smile and wave. I was having fun!

So that last half of the marathon I never really had any LOW LOW I am so miserable moments. I did have some anterior hip pain ( TFL if you care) that around mile23 decided to bark at my ITB and i thought " Hey,thanks for waiting till mile 23 and not at mile 20 like in Wisconsin" and i managed that. It hurt but i ran thru it and honestly? That was it. I was happy with how i finished and that all the sudden the finish chute was THERE! Having no clue on my time ( total time) to see sub 12 made me super happy and i thought i was pretty close to 4 hours. 4:05. Sub 4 is gonna happen as is sub 6 on the bike. Yes I did say that.

Analyzing my form is my fun time, and looks ok. Upright not all hunched over, a bit of lateral whip on the finish pic on my right side but not alot of hip drop. My glutes did their job and i think the ITB thing happens when my glute med got tired. Mile 23 isnt bad afterall. Ok that ends the PT talk.

Am I happy with this race? YES.  And i am happy with how i am recovering. I had such a distorted race and recovery in 2012 that it makes me super happy and also sort of feeling like a ROCKSTAR today, that i feel so good. Then i go " oh ya last time i did an IM my recovery was not really that happy or recovery-esque bc of Rich." and i mean that in a loving way not in a selfish way.

So today to be thinking about another, and to ready to swim biek run NOW ( i am not doing anything hard or formal dont worry) is fun. I dont take any of this for granted and i am super thankful that my body lets me do this.

Do i think about changes for next year? of course. But my number one goal with all this is always to be injury free and healthy. Meaning not to do something that would endanger my overall health. And i think so far I am doing well with that.

Many thanks go to my sister Elizabeth who sherpa'd me like a star. Cant do it without her.
My rehab hands, Heather, Crystal and her team, Kevin my rolfer, Kara my DC who puts my first rib back in place and any other random thorax issues, Christine who is my LMT and of course Jen my coach.
Cant leave out my family and Mike who somehow think I am crazy but love me anyways. And when i asked Mike if i could do another one he said " who am i to say you cant ?" So may need a bit more discussion on that :)

Here are a few more pictures:


Sister time

YUM, lots a fresh berries

crisis diverted. We flew into Rain and 50

Never going to do CDA, 65 deg is my limit.