Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coach Troy and TRX!

No, not THAT coach Troy. Troy is my TRX instructor, drill master, etc...

All the buzz is about TRX so since it is offered at my YWCA I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. There is a class offered but i knew i wanted to have some 1:1's just to even figure out the "ropes" before I took a class...I am not going to go on and on about how great this is ( it is) and how sore I am ( I could barely roll over in bed for 2 days, much less flip turn after my first session) but I have found it refreshing and fun and scary and hard all at the same time.

So session 1. I keep thinking "yea I have a pretty strong core. I do alot of Core work...I know core" Coach Troy says : "You are pretty strong. Runners have strong legs. Um. Your core...( dot dot dot....) sentence never finishes....Great. Bubble burst.

I am sore for about 4 days. I mean serious sore. Like I was afraid I had Beth's rib issue all from some stupid ropes. ( Coach Troy said " I was corrected by the women not to call them Stirrups." Good idea, Troy.

Session 2, 1 week later. Serious fear. My forearm was sore as well. Great now i have golfers elbow ( medial epicondlyitis) from being in the flexed wrist position supporting my weight. But that is ok if i tape it... all is fine. We focus on glutes and lower body more today. I am relieved that my core is just sorta on fire. My glutes are sore for another 2 days.

Now its a week later ( these are spread by 1 week) and its a Monday. Usually i swim mondays but today i had off so i was bursting to actually have more arm/back/Lat strength. It was perfect since it was the start of the class and I wasnt going to have to whine and feel all wimpy when i couldnt do a push up. At 3:00 i get home and have a message..."Coach Troy is sick..."
WHAT??? Poor guy, but um I am NOT going two weeks btwn TRX sessions bc I can only imagine the hurt locker i would be back in. ADAPTATION IS A KILLER ( or insert your own word to describe it!)

So I get in with Troy for a 1:1 today. And today's comic relief started with me doing some sort of spinal twist where you had to basically hold the handles with one hand and rotate backwards/sidebend rotate etc...while holding on with a straight arm.
Coach Troy: " So you havent spent much time working your "Guns" have you?"
Me : "um, no."

Then we go to a supine "sit up" for lack of better term where my legs are straight I am supine and my heels are in the handles. I have a heavy medicine ball over my head and i have to sit up "vertebrae by vertebrae and reach forward with the med ball and then lie back down in the same manner." This is pilates-esque so i did it last time with no med ball and did fine. Today tho after 45 seconds if i wasnt turning like a top. I would come up slowly and my feet would drift left. I would slowly lie back down and my feet would come center a bit but every time i would come up my feet ( suspended in the straps, but you have to dig your heels) would drift left and by the time i had finished 1 minute i had rotated my entire body about 15 degrees to the left.

Now I am not a TRX know it all, if you are, then speak up but gotta guess that my right core, glute working a bit more than the left, eh? Troy couldnt stop laughing and the more i tried to dig my left side into the handle and squeeze my glute the more i got frustrated with my counter clockwise demise.

Anyways...I feel really lucky to have tried this and coach Troy is fantastic. I am thinking about getting one for home, but it is really nice to have someone tell me what to do and to also not do this at home. IF you have one at home, do you use it over the door or do you risk pulling the ceiling down? Plus Troy is offering a class outside this summer. That sounds awesome.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Outdoor Brick and a trip down memory lane

So saturday I had a 3.5 hour ride on the plan. With a T run. The longest i have ridden the trainer this winter is 2.5 hours and that was ok with a plan. I am not good at watching movies while i ride and to be honest the ONLY thing i can really watch and pay attention to while riding my bike is tennis. LOL. Yes the tennis channel is on at our house alot. Usually Rich says "Who is playing?" And i say " I dont know, doesnt matter."

So earlier in the week knowing it was going to be sorta warm and the roads were in decent shape ( no ice for the most part) I started putting my head in a winter riding mode. Emailed a few winter riders ( hardcore ones that ride in ALL weather I mean 20 degrees is a heat wave to them) and got my confidence up. I dont have studded tires, but I do have a nice cross bike with fenders ( haha you dont need those unless it is actually ABOVE freezing) but I know how to layer myself, how to use the chemical heaters, and that a 3+ hour ride in the winter means you get to stop to warm up and slam a coffee. OR whatever you want to slam for that matter.

So around 9:15 am Rich and i headed out the door. All the while i had said "Ok IF IF IF i get cold then we are looping close to home...." which in my head is a total cop out. As if I Really want to ride outside for 1 hour then do a wardrobe change and ride inside to some dumb TV or worse to Dick Button and ice dancing. ( Ok side slam, not a fan, of it OR dancing with the stars)
So deep down inside i knew that once we were close to 90 min out...hahaha gotta get home now Sucka! ( Me being the Sucka!) Anyways..the ride...all is bliss for the first 30 minutes if you arent going into the wind and your chemically heated toes are all toasty. I also have Lake Boots so those help and even tho they help they are far from windproof so as you turn into the wind or descend you still get that cold toe thing. Hands were fine, which is a first for me since my hands are usually cold. Heaters in Lobster Gloves. IF you really want to ride outside in the winter, pay the $$ for Good Lobster Gloves. Mine are Pearl Izumi.

So for a 22 degree start and no sun I was starting to wonder as we headed west into the wind into Rosemount. Oddly my Right VMO was cramping, and I know it was bc i wasnt drinking.
Oh yea, the bottle froze. Infinit Slushy. I tried to suck some out and that seemed to help.

Here we are about 90 min in, With Rich mixing his $.99 coffee/hot cocoa/vanilla coffee concoction at SA:

Oops, I think he looks COLD!!! I just look like some sort of pinheaded alien with my balaklava around my neck. The lady at the counter was kinda enough to let us loiter a bit while the coffee was consumed, my toe heaters were replaced with a fresh pair, and Rich tried to warm his toes. He didnt use the toe heaters at the start so i gave him some hand warmers and he wedged those in his shoes. Not sure how he did that but it helped. And FYI the toe warmers are flat and have adhesive so they go on the bottom or your socks, and the hand warmers are rectangular and more puffy so they go in your gloves. Fascinating isnt it. The art of heat.
Finally I was getting clammy, even tho we hadnt been there too long i knew the sun was shining and the best part of the day was ahead. Yippee. Sunshine. And Brr....clammy for the first 20 min of the ride. But toes and fingers intact. So win win. And the bag of day old Apple fritters was starin' me down, but i stuck with the Powergel and Luna bar thank you very much.

We looped back home faster than we got down there ( south of our start point) and so we added on some time near home, all in all feeling pretty happy we got outside. End temps by 12:30 were high 20's and the sun had melted my Infinit Slurpee. Actually it was ALOT better in slurpee form than it is at 80+ degrees. Seriously.

Now it was time to run off the bike.

This is what things look like when you have to do a major wardrobe change. Laundry. ( See the evil laundry basket there. IT no longer gets to go down the spiral stair....sorry bud)

My plan was 45 min of Z1-2 and to run how i felt. Feel good, go! Feel tired, dont go. Well I got going and I WENT! Trusty bottle of Infinit there if i needed it i could loop back to get it.

I covered my normal 45 run course in 40 minutes and had some to spare. So another 5 min at tempo and the day was done! Wow, outdoor bricks are better when its 70-80 but i was pretty happy with my outdoor morning and to share it with Rich was even better.
Who, by the way did his T run ( Triathlete in training!) on the TM and got in 30 minutes!
What a stud!

And here is where i landed after the run:

And busted, to the right ( your left) of my cheek marks is where i cooled off some wine for saturday night's dinner:)

So despite loving this day I will admit that when faced with the chance to ride outside again sunday after my long run ( for which i paid dearly for running hard saturday, ughh, talk about molasses on that run) i chose to leave my lovely vehicle to rest another week in the garage. Maybe next weekend, who knows...then again we could get another foot. Please NO!

I was going thru more pictures as i was moving more things ( junk) from my condo. I found these. OMG I think I was late 20's and this was my first half marathon. And it was hot. That was when we used to have summer up here. I think this is in Mora, MN home of the Mora Korta and Vasoloppet. North of the cities. Great race!

And for the total laugh and for me, the "Oh I miss those courts, and I do miss tennis...outdoors!" here I am serving and walloping and forehand. Look at the all cotton attire ...way before the days of wicking fabrics:) And obviously not wearing a visor till i was 39 yo was not a good idea when melanoma came knocking at my door. Oh well. Cant see the ball on your serve or your OH when you wear a hat or visor. Funny how that was such a big deal when i was in high school and college. Guess you are smarter as you get older.

This concludes our weekend in review. And boo hoo. They tore those courts down for more field space. We won 5 straight MN state high school tournaments using those courts.

Ahh, memories.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mo Jo

Ok i dont have much to say, in that it's monday, i worked long and hard today and swam and got in a TRX session. Yup, exciting. I just need to update the blog bc everytime i see that Darn SPIRAL stair i get freaked out and i need to up the mojo of the moment of patience and humor.

Patience bc I know its only february, and while I am usually pretty patient I also am a scheduled gal and when my plans get messed up by something, especially something that was my fault, it takes some forgiveness of myself to move on. Granted it's not that big of a deal, just that as the owies on my back scab up ( as i felt them painfully today in supine at TRX) I know that I have to keep being patient. I seem to remember this last winter. Like the more i rest the worse i feel.

My ankle is feeling better, still a tinge yellow, but my other shin hurts now. And my wrist hurts and...I mean really? Whack me with a stick and wake me up when I am in Tucson. ( someone pack my bike ok?)

Me and Ms. Bradbury stylin the pink recovery sox!
Days are getting longer and on sunday Rich and I declared winter over. To which mother nature handed us another 4 inches of snow. Ok. We get it. You win. We laughed at our thought that we could somehow control this.

But i still told Coach Jen to write in outdoor rides for me. This is the longest winter ever and unlike winters past ( well only 2 winters bc I havent been riding that long) I have been out on my cross bike, in snow and ice and whatever there was to offer. Not Sub zero mind you, but above 18, yup, gotta go out. But this winter i got soft. The snow and ice came early. I got cozy with my trainer and my new Ipod docking station and some good tunes. But now I need to get my mo jo back and get outside. Lake Boots ready, Cross bike ready ( always dirty of course) and rear tire not to full PSI, perhaps only to about 70, but ice will tell me what to do on ride day. Loops figured out so i can stay relatively close to home and a phonecall away. I dont do well with flats in 70 degrees, and changing a Cross tire in sub freezing isnt gonna happen.

Last year, look at how clear the road / path is!

Another funny comment i heard today from KJ one of my bandit masters swim-mates ( we say that bc we all go at 6:00 am bc who can wait till 9:30 am for masters, i mean really? it works for some but not for all) she told me her 15 yo said "Mom why do THEY put potholes in the road?" I told her she should have said "Job security for summer construction." But with the snow we have had the roads are in poor shape. Good thing i have thick tires!

I am loving the TRX and signed up for a class. I am kinda scared bc I have gotten so sore plus my accident prone-ness lately, but I am trying to be patient and look long term. Long term says I need some more meat on me, and I need to work at this gradually over time and not sink all my hopes and dreams into EVERY single race i do. It is so tempting and easy to get caught up in the moment, to get obsessed with the NEXT race, whenever that may be. But for me, the real challenge is staying the course, not letting a result get the best of me, bc as I have learned FOR me, it is all about the journey and when you get to race day, if you did this right and you did your homework, its all about letting fear go and doing what you know how to do. Race from your strengths, and respect your weaknesses. Ok wasnt trying to get all Hoosiers on you:)

I want to do an IM and I know i need to be stronger. Have more power. Get some shoulders:)! Ha! ( Mom/Dad, can you do something about the Ectomorphic gene pool here?)

Well my sister in law can help i know...what? This isnt good recovery food:)! Hee.
See Molly, all the food in my pantry isnt healthy. But you are right, these dont stick around too long!

Have a good week. Watch out for laundry and stairs. ( and slippery socks)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Down the Spiral Staircase...

And no this isnt Marla Maples and a guest blog post by Alfred Hitchcock or Nancy Drew.

I wish it were. Instead it is the "Case of the Newleywed...throwing herself down the stairs bc the household chores were too overwelming." Ha NOT. Just me being a klutz.
And to be frank, Lets set the scene a bit more. I had just done TRX the night before. I was feeling it when i woke up, and my Ab's, Ribs ( was thinkin about Beth!) and all Thoracic muscles and intercostals were AWAKE. Even before i woke them up again.

So to set the scene...What do you get when you take this:
Exhibit A: Spiral


Rubbermaid Home Products White Laundry Basket - 1.25 Bushel by Rubbermaid Home Products

Plus+ (that would be slippery socks, I just picked these bc Cancer Does Suck)
Pink Ribbon Cancer Sucks Socks
No that is NOT my ankle. Some of you have no.
ankl-sp4.jpg (14615 bytes)

My backside btwn T 6-L1/2 looks like George Burns put his cigar out on my spinous process'.
Lovely. I actually hit the stairs and then rotated so the "cigar burns" are lateral to the spinous process themselves, and my right paraspinals are so tight today is the first day i felt like i could actually stretch them out a bit. Dont look at the next picture if you get grossed out easily, but you will see that they really do look like Cigar burns...Or what i would imagine those looked like.

And, the best of it ( ok real sarasm now) is that my 10 mile race is NOT happening saturday. I am extremely bummmmmmmmmmmed. Not for what you may think, i had no goals to run sub 70' ( i did that already when there wasnt ice everywhere) and i had no time goals really at all. I mainly wanted to run and see what was in these legs and GET OUTSIDE. It is peak time for SAD in my body and the last few weeks has been REALLY drudgery with the snow and cold and ice underfoot. I am also not getting out to ride like i did last winter. Partly due to common sense and partly due to just poor roads and even poor bike paths and then the common sense thing says just ride indoors, and dont worry about the ice, staying upright ( hahaha, ok i took care of that myself) and I also like to sweat. So indoors it is. Thing is, being clipped into the bike has its issues with calf and lower leg/ankle with all that Dorsiflexion ( pulling up) and sometimes what I really need is a longer ride with the abiltiy to coast ( horrors) and change position ( ie climb out of the saddle) and just move around. Riding the trainer after this voyage down the stairs hurt nearly more than running.

alas, it is mid-February and my prudent and supportive coach reminded me to just chill. But I am a schedule freak and i get it in my head and it is hard to let it go. Alas I am also smart enough, and have learned my lesson in the past, to not try to be a champion in January or February. My swim buddy Steve said " ease over this speed bump Julia, so you can HIT the gas on the other side." I like that advice. I have still had a hard time forgiving myself since, yes, this is the 2nd time i have taken the laundry leap. You just didnt hear about the first time.

But when it comes to my aqua jog saturday I am gonna be jogging with the pool noodle ladies, and I plan to try to just chill out and not have to beat them to the wall. Plus i have to get ready for another "AKW" on monday. That would be an AB KICKING WORKOUT = TRX on monday.
Maybe i shouldnt be so sad about missing this weekends run:)

And this picture makes me want to really try to stop the pity party. I have alot to be thankful for, and Roger in Ethiopia seeing the kids that are benefiting from his foundation makes me realize that a few weeks not running isnt that big a deal. ( And yes Roger seems to be finding his way into all my posts, bc he makes me smile!)Or to clarify, his tennis makes me smile, just want to clear that up. He is married you know.

P.S. We have an icicle garden at our house. At least i didnt fall and impale myself on one of those.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Team Shack

TDF 2010, here they come!
Looks like Tucson, doesnt it? I was waiting for Jerome and Jen to come out of the "trunk!"
Bjorn Selander is from Hudson, WI woot woot!

Monday, February 08, 2010

10 things that make me happy. Unique i know.

In no particular order and bc, well, its early February and not alot going on other than...we interupt this post to give you the latest....

LAUNDRY report..." I did 3 loads and only managed to put cashmere in one of them. My coach thinks i need to work on the T time from washer to drier, but i am afraid of going right from the washer to the drier without first dropping it all into a basket to sort it out." Yea you get my point.

FASCINATING stuff going on at my house over the weekend.

Ok here goes: In no particular order:

1) Mr. Fed
* Ha i bet you knew he would be #1!

Yes this is a Federer beany baby. My nephew gave it to me. It's genetic. The FED LOVE, I mean.

2) Dartmouth....another duh. Some Dr. Seuss for ya.

Go Big Green!
Human dog sled race, during Winter Carnival

3) Biking:

Even when it does this to me:

4) La Jolla California
Specifically the LJBTC. Lots of memories here, court 2 to be specific! And runs and walks to the pier up the public beach below Scripps back and forth to the Marine room. Ahhh.....I am relaxed just thinking about it.

With dinner HERE to follow:

5) Golden Retrievers

RIP mud puppy Iona!

Who has the longest tongue ever? Ruby does!

6) My family: With Hubby taking top honors!

7) CABIN!!!

8) Summer Summer Summer AND swimming Open Water!
with my friends!!!

9) Seafood
Especially GOOD big shrimp, not those little fishy canned things, but this is the best salad bc it has mango ( another top 10 item i love that didnt make the cut!)

10) Watching tennis!!!! Playing tennis, being around tennis, smelling new tennis balls...!

Well there ya have it...have a great week!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What's in my pantry?

Ok not sure why but my Google likes to play font games with me, so sorry bout that. Read on.

Wow you know that life is boring and it is snowing outside when I decide that this is a fascinating blog entry! But in truth, we all know that what we eat before and after we workout is not only a hot topic but we all like different things:) Isnt it fun to be unique and actually like things that are hopefully good for us? Yes!

In the last month i have been working hard to improve my eating. And like any good athlete raised in the 80's and who competed in sports I have eaten my fair share of white pasta. To be honest I cant really stand the stuff now. We dont really eat it. It isnt that i wont eat it. I will, I just think its pretty funny that the stuff i ate in my college years is pretty much what i eat now, with a few tweeks.

So what is in Julia's pantry? I would bore you to death if you saw it all, so this is just a peek at what i tend to go towards on a daily basis.

yum yum yum. I could eat Cheerios/Oatios all day long everyday. Yes maybe it means that i secretly wish i had a toddler who would eat them with me at a tray table. You Freud's out there decide. I will just keep eating them. Steel cut oats too. Yum. Make a batch for all week, heat em when you want em.

Cinnamon. Yum again. On pretty much any of the above cereals or on top of the next food love: see below:

Recovery 101. Rice cake. Insert as much nut butter as you can handle, i use the packets for travel or portion control ( if you see me licking the wrapper just know i really like this stuff!) but you can use Salted Almond butter from Trader Joe's too, and then you get the benefit of licking the spoon or knife when you take too much:) Top it with some nana slices and a liberal dousing of cinnamon. Go to it.

I like the Ezekial breads as well. I tend to use them instead of a bun for burgers or just for open faced grilled cheese, etc..I havent put the nut butter on it, but hmm...not a bad idea.

Kefir and Greek Yogurt, Check. Topped with fruit.
OR Cottage cheese is pretty good too.
I am not a huge Lara Bar fan, they are ok. I buy em bc i try to really like them, but so far I really just like the TROPICAL flavor. And the Powerbars I really like bc they are like candy bars in disquise:)
More yummy recovery items: nuts, dried fruit and string cheese.

And below, the latest craze in my world:
Chocolate and Vanilla Milk.
For those of you that know me, you know that ( cuckoo, cuckoo, you say) I dont really "HEART" Chocolate. I mean if it is oversweetened syrupy chocolate anything ( syrup, ice cream, milk) I will happily say no. So imagine my surprise to see that i really kinda like THIS brand of milk. The Vanilla milk is awfully good to. And yes I am a huge black licorice fan.
Twizzlers are great too, but the black licorice is like the DARk chocolate to me!

I also take some supplements.
And since my computer seems to be playing weird tricks on me, you may think i have bad eyesight but i see it too. Sorry.

The regular culprits, Ca+, Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamen. Probiotic,D, and Fe.
Sometimes i forget and sometimes i take the Ca+ with the FE, which is a nono, and if you dont take the D with a fatty source it doesnt absorb and... can i quit my job to make sure i time this all right?And no i am not underlining this to make you pay attention!!

Around our house you can find me with my hand in the cookie jar below. Usually with a bit of pudding as well.

Snacktime? Ok I love pretzels. Bring em on! Pretty much the saltier the better, and Newman makes a good salt and pepper pretzel too.

In case you think that all is healthy here, Moose Drool is quite tasty, give it a try.

and what pray-tell is that?
When your mint crop comes in this summer, drop me a note. I will send you the bootleg recipe for the best and most refreshing drink you have had in a long time. You can soup it up with your choice of gin or vodka or...but they are darn good without that stuff as well.

So If you think that all I eat is snacky stuff know that i was going to spare you the turkey, fish, salmon, grass fed beef, greens. BEETS!!! YES! , and all that. Dinner can be a huge counter filling of all the veggies and all the rice/quinoa/beans or homemade pizzas we make. But it all gets eaten and no matter how many times i tell Rich " I really cant cook for 2" the large quantities of fresh veggies and other stuff ( plus good bread, gotta have that good crusty bread) seems to disappear!

SO....Thanks for reading my fascinating post and...

As Julia would say in her thick accent "Bon Appetit!"

PS I hate tomato aspic and I do admit to being a Lobster killer about 2 x year.