Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grateful.... and Irongirl Du Race Report

So how do I say thanks? I guess by saying THANKS:) One does wonder at times when you write out a blog post like my last one and then hit PUBLISH POST, if it is the right thing to do. It isnt easy to ask for support or to even share intense or "downer" news. It is tough especially when i usually am a pretty upbeat happy person. Yet there have been times in the past that i wish I had been able to share and ask for support. So I am glad I did, and you people ROCK. I mean it is weird how I dont know many of you ( I mean I do consider blogland to be a nice reality even if Rich wonders at times if I am living my life so i can blog about it...Hell ya, why not??!) ha ha ha.
You are all a part of my TEAM COURAGE. And Today at the race I raced for me being as survivor and for Rich who will BE a Survivor and for all of you who at one time or another will need support.

But seriously it has made me feel so good and so much better about the challenge we are facing.
Thanks for all your support and movie ideas. I think Rich and I both think we may have to stay home much longer than his recovery time to now watch all the good picks we have.
But oh that is right, we live in Minnesnowta, Mother nature may take care of that for us.

So...lets do this, lets just post some pics and I will give you a bit of a race report from today.
Best part of today, seriously, other than getting 2nd OA to the smashingly fast and fabulous Jules Hull...? what can be better than that? Well not crashing my bike for one. But what was best about today was that for a good portion of this race I DID NOT THINK ABOUT the C word.
I did think about it while riding bc I said "I havent thought about Cancer once. this is great!" Then i decided i needed to knock that out of me and ride harder. Negative split that 2 lap bad boy and just hurt. I am happy to say that I did just that. I felt like i was going to hurl on the bike.
Yup. Jen is smiling. Ride harder and you forget all that has brought you down the week or two before.
Below was how I was feeling last week: Yup it was windy. Poor Duck.

Luckily we were able to get to the Duck before the Wind did:
Here is the end of the 1st run. I ran FAST. OMG. It was 2 miles and I ran 6:07's. That is fast for me. Some other gal was right next to me and she wasnt passing me ( then again I was number 820, um that means a long day of passing and trying to stay safe....) so i just kept running...

Wait who is this? I ran it twice? :) No thanks. My sister was in the wave behind me and she was kicking butt sporting the VERVE kit. WOOHOO!

So back to me :) So I get into T1 knowing lady next to me is right there. I get in there and get out ( she is racked with me....dang it. oh yea we are in the same wave and same number group, duy she is racked near you) So i get in and out of there ASAP. Helmet buckle still annoys me but off i go. Feet on shoes and in the shoes bc there is an uphill right after you get out of T1. And then there was a nice hill. I kept thinking she was right behind me, so i just said "race your race not her's" I guess I was fast enough bc Rich took this picture of me:

And I went by too fast. Love it.
There were 2 laps of about 10 miles each. ( Last minute they had to move the bike due to Minnesota's lovely construction season aka summer, that didnt get finished on time) The first lap went something like this : "OH YOUR LEFT....ON your LEFT. ....ON YOUR LEFT...." ok you get the idea. At the same time I had to say thanks when i could and try to encourage the racers, some of whom were there for their first race. I did at one point almost crash into a cone when the riding 4-5 abreast got to me and sadly I did say a bad word, but after that I just tried to settle in and do the work.

Coming into the turn to start the 2nd lap. Cornering Aero is something I think I am pretty good at so i did it as best i could, but the whole concept of "HOLD YOUR LINE," was tough today. Just stayed upright and since there was no sight of "Lady running next to me" from run 1 I was just riding hard. I rode so hard i felt like i was going to hurl. I dont usually feel that way unless I am doing a TT. So i think today TT and Tri met and they duked it out.
So into T2 I went, threw that bike on the rack and out i went. I Didnt feel so hot leg-wise.

but I guess I am smiling and have enough energy to throw my arm warmers at Rich:) I ran fast, not as fast as the 1st run but still 6:33's and finished strong. I mean on a 2 mile run the first mile is super awkward and then the 2nd mile you just go harder. I wish it were a 5k bc then you could actually get into some stride, but still happy to be done. I have a few pics of the finish but it is hard to see so I am sure that the ASI folks will be sending me some deeply discounted pics of my finish. I love those but they can get spendy. First person i see across the line is this fine lad: Sorry honey your eyes are closed, but I think this is a good pic anyways.


We waited for my sister to finish..and Rich snapped this sister hug picture. That is nice. I like this one.

Obviously I am feeling better now and have something to say . Or something(s) to say.
We then bump into Mrs. IronGirl Judy Molner who tells me I got 2nd OA! I said "SERIOUSLY??" And what a nice surprise that was. Yea I know that "EVERYONE" is at Du Worlds ( Yea Kari, Yea Renee) but Jules and Jules were in Bloomington MN today and we did great! We may even try to run together at the TCM 10 miler...that would be fun. At least she wont be on a bike so maybe i can keep her in sight:) hee hee.

And to display that what my 1st grade teachers told my parents was true ( that I dont have a hearing problem I just dont like to pay attention sometimes) here is a picture of me looking at Rich's camera. Yes he did tell me about 15 seconds BEFORE I got on the stage to "LOOK AT ME." Sure honey. whatever you say.
Ok then gotta get ready for a Wedding party tonight. We are calling it a Press Conference actually. About 30 of our good friends and family members are gathering for a pre-wedding party. We decided we needed a party and we need to get together and laugh and celebrate all that we have as we head into our next challenge. Hope you all had a great weekend:)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Title: SCREAM!!!!
Title: Speechless
Title: You have to be kidding me?
Title: We have no real power or control over anything in our lives...really....

I have to say that I have no idea how to title this blog post. But the important thing is that i have wanted to post something for about a week and finally feel ready to do so. A shout out to friends and family and friends i havent even met for you support to this point and I will rely on you more and more each day.

Last week My lovely honey was diagnosed with Colo-Rectal Cancer. I will spare you the details but it was a routine colonoscopy ( PSA, if you are 50 yo get it, dont wait) and he was asymptomatic. My first thought was "so what, you remove a polyp and it is fine. I mean didnt Ronald Reagan have a polyp. or five?" He died of Alzheimers not cancer. ( i think??) but funny what pops into your head. We have a wonderful GI doc that called Rich to tell him the news not 24 hours later and from there the rubber side was no longer on the road. Or the spot of bother became more than a nuisance. I could write a book on the tumor and what they found and the onslaught of diagnostics that he has now been thru, but the take home message really is this:
We are so lucky that from the CT/MRI/Ultrasound there is no metastses. On the cellular level we dont know...we still have yet to meet with an Oncologist. I keep saying that the glass half empty is the aggressive surgery we are 99% likely to have, the glass half full is that this surgery allows for the MOST LIKELY CHANCE that the cancer will not recur. I mean is there no right answer??

In all of this I have struggled with feelings of shock: NO WAY. To denial : Ok dont have surgery the friday before my race, ok? To even telling him: "you know i would not race. that would be ok." to which my loving fiance said "you are kidding arent you?" to which I honestly had to say " HOLY COW, I mean I am still not believing this!!!"

1) The races i have left are FOLLY. I mean really. I feel like i shouldnt do them. But at the next breathe i feel that I should. I can. He wants to watch. He can watch. He feels fine. I am healthy. I can. So i will.

2)Even if they are FOLLY, I need to try to keep some semblance of my normal life. For some a normal life may not be training twice a day. And for some a normal life may not be emailing their coach to talk and ask for support and emailing freinds to go jump in a cold lake in late September. But for me, while we are in this limbo, that is normal. And we may even jump in a colder lake in October. Who knows. When the MD appts call and when he calls I am there, but when I have the time and the presence of mind i have to keep my life as normal as possible. Whatever normal is:)

3) We have no control over anything really. Stay in the moment and enjoy it.

4) One surgeon we talked to replied to a question I had as such "When you have had cancer, you still live in fear of cancer even if it is cured" thanks. And yea I have been looking over and over again at my melanoma site and looking hard at my skin to make sure i dont have anything suspicious. But as some of you may know once your body "knows" for lack of a better term "HOW TO MUCK UP CELLS AND GO HAYWIRE" it could do it again. So i have had to be strong and not get all wrapped up in my own fears of my own cancer coming back. or my mom's. or my co-workers, or...

5)Why do bad things happen to such good people? I mean to a man that if you havent met him is the one that works so hard to take care of people with serious oral /dental issues, that operates on children with Cleft Palate, that volunteers at his church, that is always giving of his time and his presence to his family and friends and of course the most unselfish fiance and friend a girl could ask for. I mean really? And then we return to the shock->disbelief-> denial stages.
And we try not to ask WHY, no risk factors...the surgeon was smiling..." I love seeing a trim person. makes surgery so much easier" which makes you think he doesnt see them too often in cases of colo-rectal cancer. I dont blog i can be judgemental if i want.

6) Our future as ONE is still just that. But the wedding ceremony will be postponed. We are deeply saddened but obviously we have to focus on his health. Hope is there that we can still figure something out and thanks ( even tho they dont read the blog) to those folks that have gracefully refunded the ooodles of downpayments we have made to date. To the others I have not heard from or that say "you signed a contract" I say.___________. Yes. I did. Life is good. I wont worry. It is money. It is just money and you get no more of my energy.

And as I ramble on and on I do ask you this:

Tell me funny movies to watch...we are already planning to watch the BIG LEBOWSKI over and over again. Not sure we can do the White Russians or not...Other ones we like Curb your enthusiasm series, The Office series, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Best of Show....send others!!! WE need some laughter!!!!

Oh and in the mean time I intend to just keep watching the FED hit the most amazing shot EVER and the look on Novak's face. Roger is pure joy!! hitting a CLEAN is such a sweet feeling...scroll down and watch it with me!

Thanks for reading and thanks for lifting us up in prayer or whatever your higher power is. We need the energy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blank Space

I wanted to update but i dont have much to say. I have two more races to go, Irongirl du, where sadly they seem to have some issue each year whether it be no elite wave or this year they shortened the bike. Perhaps it is just the time of year and i shouldnt be doing this race bc my attitude seems sour about it. Think it is me, and that is just my frame of mind lately.
I decided short or long, good road or bad, I am going to do the best i can on that day.
I am racing for Team Courage, made up of racers who have had or are fighting cancer.
I cant say much more about that, but for some of you out there you know what this NOW means to me. More on that later. After that there is the TCM 10 miler. I got in on the lottery, have a 1st corral start, and will run that one up my usual route on Summit then turn around and be glad I didnt just run a full marathon:)

Fed lost too. That was not fun. But ya cant win em all. And i watch his btwn the legs video and i smile!
Instead I think posting some pictures will make me feel good, and yes Lupin always makes me feel good!
Here's Rich doing a TT. Scott Plasma. I think i need to get the 2010 Scott Contessa. I just saw Linsey Corbin's. Love. It.
And one of my favorite Crit pics at the State Fair Crit last summer. Inside position. Riding my neglected Bianchi Liquigas Campy bike. Poor Bike. It doesnt get the love it once did.

Ok have a good week everyone. More later.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do you know how hard this is?

This beats watching 'roid rage and Serena threatening to "beeping shove a tennis ball down a beeping beeping throat."

Ahh gotta love the Fed! Enjoy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Cabin Time!

Well we ventured up north this weekend for some quality nap/forest/Lake Superior/family/hike/DQ time. Yes Dairy Queen:) We had the best weather we have had all summer up there. With Lake Superior out our door it is often 80 in the cities and when you drive over the hill into Duluth you can see the temps drop...digit by digit until it is 60 at the lake front. I was happy that it was warmer and I was able to get in some good runs and bikes and ICE BATH's as well! Gotta love the lake for the best ice bath EVER.

We grilled, we sang, we hiked, we hung out, we napped and yes we went to DQ. Love the Two Harbors DQ where they are always serving the cones LARGE when you order a small. Ok not so good when you are already full, but nobody's complaining.

So here are some pictures, no training photos, these are more fun! I do have to show you some of the hzards of running up north, see this? I didnt get too close but it was humming:)

And the roots are pretty dang big, big enough that i have some really sore Peroneals from rolling on the roots. And this is a groomed trail, the one i was on for my long run kept me humble at about 11 min/mile as i tried to dance thru the OLD trees!
Swim time!

Hee we have our own outhouse!
See this is why i grew up playing racket sports. We spent ALOT of time in the ping pong house and at the courts, I am very good at killing horse flies mid point.

New bridge across the lagoon!
Lower Falls.

I am not a coach but this is good advice for ALOT of things, not just TRIATHLON!

This is at the putting course. I also know this is on the Gear West Du course. Gotta slow a bit when you see this and you are cornering at 25 mph.

And on a tangent.....We also had a memorial for Iona. We cremated her and tho we had spread a few ashes in the river and the Lake we wanted to bury her at the cabin.

We wrapped her in a "kerchief and put a tennis ball with her. We dug a hole and said goodbye.

It was good to get closure, and I feel ok about it. I still miss her and there are times I feel like a traitor loving Ruby so much. I wanted to post a goofy picture from the Ruby Cam but decided this post and this burial was about closure on Iona. My mom and I covered the site with dirt and we put a little cross there. We buried another dog "Mocha" there in 1984 and so I hope that Iona and Mocha are meeting each other somehow somewhere.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Give your Lats a break!

View from the deck monday am at the 50 M pool. 49 degrees air. water can sort of see the steam coming off the water...woohoo...only 2 more outdoor swims. So sad.

I couldnt decide on a few topics to post on...but this one seems to have won. I think next time i should post on hips and perhaps glute imbalances and thrusts and why it isnt really a thrust but more of a tuck and what that has to do with hip and groin pain. See that thinking above makes perfect sense to me, but likely you think i am just delirious.

And to make my delirium worse... the US OPEN has started. Who can resist writing about The Fed and whether he can win again in NYC? I think his posture below says he can!

So even if you cant quite see this image it is an image of some of my favorite muscles.
Your Serratus Anterior. You also have a Serratus Posterior as well. I think often the soreness we have after swimming is mistakenly blamed on our Lats. I hear that alot "OH I LOST MY LATS" or "My lats are killing me." Sure they may be but your lats, compared to your little finger muscles ( SA) are HUGE.

Just for fun...your SA's job is to hold your scapula's ( chicken wing) medial border close to your rib cage. It also helps to protract ( move outwards from the center of your back) your scapula. In more layman's terms it keeps your shoulder blades from winging on your ribcage. I call them the finger muscles bc you can feel them along your lateral ribs (rib 1-9 to be exact..rib 1 is superior, near your clavicle so work down from there) and when they are sore you can massage them very easily. You also may feel some soreness where they insert on the middle border of your shoulder blade. IF you are swimming with any sort of scapular control ( we hope you are!) this baby is working to keep your shoudler blade taut in and in place!

Lats..well....if blogger lets me get the image onthat i want ( thus far blogger isnt in compliance) It is more obvious that your Lats are BIG muscles. Like steak muscles. As opposed to the little SA muscles that line your ribs. The Lats ( along with your middle and lower traps) are critical to your swim stroke also but have a ga zillion origins, such as...
spinous process of the last 6 Thoracic Vertebrae ( who knows how many T vertebrae you have? Damie, dont answer) the last 3-4 ribs, inferior angle of the shoulder blade, the external lip of the Iliac Crest ( yes that is your Pelvis folks) and then inserts on the humerus...on the front of your arm. Whoa that is a big muscle!

So the fact that the lats attach to the pelvis mean they also assist in tilting the pelvis forward and sideways ( ie flip turns) the lats also medially rotate / Adduct / Extend the shoulder joint. This is where we feel it most as your hand enters the water ( medial rotation) and you proceed to bring your hand towards center of your body-adduct ( ie relative to flalling your arms to the side) and finish your stroke...( extend) with the help of your triceps.

Most of us feel that soreness right around our arm pit and maybe even on the front of your arm where this mm inserts on your humerus. In addition your teres minor, supraspinatus/infraspinatus, ( not to leave out the subscapularis) all rotator cuff muscles that are the tiny sized friends of your Serratus, MAY be talking to you more than your Lats, as they are small and have the big job of keeping your humerus stable in the Glenoid fossa while you are on your 20th x 100 yard set and your arms are falling off. Or whatever crazy set your coach has you doing:)

So my PSA for today. Dont just blame your LATs! They have accomplices! The larger team of your Serratus Anterior and the Rotator Cuff that may be making you sore. And what to do?
I use my foam roller on my arms/under my arms and also my trigger point ball against the wall to work on these insertions especially on my humerus ( long arm bone). And since we spend time icing our lower body, what about that upper body? A little ice goes a long way on those shoulders!