Sunday, February 27, 2011

And Behind Curtain Number 2 we have....

one long blog entry:)

I am uncertain what to title this post or if i even felt like blogging, but since i had some thoughts in my head, why not write em down. I was encouraged by another blogger buddy to "let it all out," but i had to figure some things out for myself before I did.

This past weekend, and actually since wednesday of last week has been a huge learning experience. Uncomfortable at times, but none the less something i hope to gain strength from in the near and distant future. To back up a bit, I was doing pretty well with my life/work/snow depression/training. Somehow after a roof leak monday that led to nearly 4 hours of raking the roof ( see last post) and my husband ON the roof most the night and in the early morning with his makeshift Pick Axe, we got the leak SORTA under control. I wont go into the science of ice damns, but there is a science to it, which is annoying in and of itself.

So Tuesday I did a nice swim wko, lotsa IM, and it was good but i wasnt dead at all. I do remember in the last sprints that i did think to myself that my legs felt TIRED! You do use your legs kicking HARD When doing 25's and 50's, at least i do. So I got home and had a "snack" more on that later, and went to do my strength work. I was doing awesome, it was by no means a brutal wko, it was good, I was being cautious, I was video taping myself to check my form and doing the 1 leg piston squats with the TRX on the 2nd to last of the set my R quad SEIZED. I have NEVER had that much pain or that feeling of SPASM EVER, well maybe once after my very 1st 40k Time Trial when i seized up and couldnt GET OFF THE BIKE ...but that was different. That was an hour of sustained riding, this was, bodyweight being too much for my Glute and Quad to hold. O.K.

I ignored it, rubbed it, tried to stretch it out, but no go. It was done. I was done. I hobbled up the stairs unable to put weight on it, and then put ice on it afraid i would soon see some streaks of blue or black or something that meant i had really torn the medial quad. Nothing, thankfully. But i sure was scared, mad, afraid, sorta like "this did not just happen?" that was really my thought. I must really have a problem with lunges and squats. But I watched the video. Form was good. No valgus at the knee, etc...what gives?

Fast forward to Friday when i can finally START to go downstairs without maximum assistance of my arms to lift me down. I Can finally sleep thru the night without waking to a cramp on my medial knee ( VMO) when i straighten my knee in my sleep, and i can finally laugh.

What i find interesting and what is my learning experience from this, and i am sure there will be more, sadly, but that I have been working myself into a BALL of Stress. Not just related to all my little tweaky injuries ( which i really dont call injuries, they are more like setbacks) but related to the winter we are having, worrying about aging parents and friends, and just some other little annoying personal things that sorta eat away at you. Sometimes it feels like TOO MUCH. But i know we are all in it, nobody has a life free of stress. IF you dont have kids you have parents or other people you are caring for. It isnt like " Oh you dont have kids, life must be great." Um, yea sorta. And the big thing i have really really been observing and figuring out for myself is surely not "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME.." bc we all know stuff happens.

But more "WHY AM I REACTING THIS WAY?" meaning to me, why am i having a tizzy and also really really being emotional about some minor setbacks? Why am i crying that i cant ride my bike, inside, in the winter? Why am i crying that i feel like its MY FAULT I Cant do that? And why am I taking this SO Seriously? It's February. I am a PT for God's sake, I know how to lunge and squat.

Coachie Jen hit the nail on the head with that last blog. I sorta thought she would be putting me in the header as the poster child for February breakdowns. And while I cant say i sit there looking at all the Hawaii and Cali blogs feeling inadequate, I know that locally there are people that are travelling to train and people that are on their bikes and TM's for hours on end. In January. And I wonder..." really? I dont need to do that do I?" And so it does seep into you, that wondering if you are behind, feeling like you have to catch up to ??? someone else. Even if you have no idea who that person is. So this past week? After tuesday's little QUAD massacre, We pulled the plug. I actually didnt really have a choice now since i couldnt walk. I also pulled the plug in some FB updates, and even some blogs, sorry folks if I dont comment but i needed an intervention.

And I have thought alot about WHY i was reacting like i have been. I did think it was hormones. I did think maybe i needed to check and see if i was in perimenopause. I really didnt think i was, but at that point what else could make me SO CRAZY and so emotional? I can laugh at it now, but about 3 weeks ago ( the initial Lunge strain to my adductor) I started crying watching Forrest Gump and i dont think i stopped for 2 days. I have had nothing to drink, it wasnt alchohol that was making me depressed, nor was it likely hormones as i got my period a week late but it was there nonetheless.

I was concerned about myself, not in a OMG i am going to hurt myself manner but concerned that there was something amiss that was causing me to get injured doing nothing. So i went to my MD and they checked out a few things to be sure i wasnt anemic, I wasnt overtraining, and that my thyroids and B12 were all ok. I found out that I am normal. ( ha!) and other than my iron being on the low normal side ( which it usually is) I am fine. Nothing in my blood says i should be hurting myself. And I talked to the best support I can think of about my diet. Beth Shutt, and she noted that I am snacking too much and am missing a full "meal" most days at lunch. Kinda funny that i can get as many Kcal as i do, and be missing a main meal! On paper it's obvious, and i wont go into the entire diet but I do eat a lot of greek yogurt, nut butters, fruit, oatmeal, and eggs and granola. But i have not been getting in that MEAT at lunch. And since i drive around for work over the lunch hour its sort of a graze as you go all day long after a breakfast and then by dinner all is fine. But I think that I have been deficient in Kcal over the last 1 mos or more and that likely that didnt help with the issues.

And the crying and emotions ? I chuckled when the MD said " I dont think you are perimenopausal, and being late for one cycle isnt a big deal, so if you keep having mood swings when they DONT coincide with injuries, we will do another blood check but for now i dont think its hormones." Bingo. Isnt a sign of overtraining loss of sense or humor, over emotional response to nothing:) and things like that? And that isnt to say I was overtraining physically I think it is/was hopefully past tense a case of February and mental overtraining:) That is what i am calling it. Bc its true. I didnt have crying spells when i was out running my long run on a 20 deg day, if anything i had fits of joy and laughter, so either i am manic depressive or mentally fried. I am going with curtain number 2 and the mentally needing a break option. Keep your opinion to yourself if it's different :)

So what gives? My Ego is what gives. I have put so much pressure on myself to DO IT ALL RIGHT, and to make 2011 as good as 2010, and to do my first IM and as i told Jen " I AM NOT WALKING THAT MARATHON." saying things like that to myself over and over are really not doing me any favors. Last season was a total joy, but did i plan for that? NO. WAY. Did i think in April 2010 when i lined up for my very first M Dot race in Texas, that i would go on to have a really really successful season? And actually get awards for racing? NO. WAY. But the reality is, if i had still raced like i did last season and NOT gotten awards, would it have been a NON successful season? NO.WAY. I have some of the nicest girls I race with, and now they are my teammates at Gear West. Sure there are some women i dont really care for, but whatever, we dont all have to be friends. And at the end of the day my biggest fan and my best training partner ( Well on the bike for sure, bc that is where you spend most your time!)is my husband, and he loves me no matter what i finish. I know that sounds sappy but its true.

So this weekend has been Operation Remember why you do Tri. And remember what matters, and remember that your EGO has to be a 2nd class citizen bc in my opinion if you are ruled by your ego, and you know, we all have them, even if you dont think you do, you do:) And that made me realize too that I am the one with my swim group that brings the wko, I am the one that leads the lane, calls off the interval times, gets things moving. Heck. I need them ( well there is only like 2 of them, lol) to take the lead here for a bit. Let me be the one who shows up and says " So what's the wko?" Of course my swim wko's are the BEST and i meant that so what i am saying is that I need to go to Masters a few more times ( even tho its a long drive in the opposite direction from my work) the pool is cold and the coach is awesome. I love the fear of not knowing if the wko is easy or hard, and despite that we swim less yards than JH's swims I alwasy leave feeling tired and like i learned something.

So as i sit here having just raked the roof again, and having done no real wko's since tuesday...other than two short swims, no clock, no intervals, nothing....I feel pretty good. The VMO is behaving. I can walk. I dont have too much soreness and i am ready to soft pedal a bit, and hopefully get my Newton's on again this week. But more important is that my mind feels like its in a better place. I have to keep taking the pressure off myself. I cant do that to myself, bc I am afraid that we are going to have more leaks, more snow, and more headaches and i cant let training be my only stress outlet. I have to keep letting myself not be perfect at training. And Lord knows i cant control the melt we are going to have so i am glad Rich has his kayak in the garage, we may need it.

And Yes i GET to go to Tucson in about 4 weeks. In whatever shape I am in I will go to camp and do the best i can do. I am going to the elite camp which scares me, but then i realize that alot of the folks going are also coming from winter climates or have had interruptions to training. Nobody wins camp. ( well Jerome does) And as for races this season? I have signed up for ONE. That is it!!! There is a skeletal plan, but every so often something comes up that makes me alter that plan, the latest being there is a bicycle ride across Co and my good friend lives near Snowmass so we may try to catch part of that since we are not doing the Triple Bypass this year. Who knows. I will figure it out. Just maybe not today. For now i want to dream of this:

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Just when i had talked myself into a Happy Place....

You know what? I am done with this winter. I had talked myself into a nice happy place but now I am right back at the John McEnroe version of " YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS?!!!" on winter. And if you have never used a 15 foot snow rake on a roof then you really havent lived and you really havent had a core wko, standing in snow up to your waist or higher.
And you thought i was writing about something fun, like a run or an outdoor ride or a slamfest in the pool. Sorry. Not today.

Yes this is our front door. No, We dont use it.

You see i cant reach all the really important snow, but i sure can try and i sure can work in a position that is OH SO NOT GOOD for your shoulders.
Below you can see our yard, or maybe you cant.
Elizabeth the bear and i want to just cover our eyes, and please hope that this all ends soon.

Oh and the sound you hear?
"Drip Drip?" Yes that is our roof leak in the office so i had better go back to the raking even if i cant seem to reach the highest spots where there is the most snow. We may have steamers in our future. Lovely. Just Lovely. I kinda feel like EXCESSIVE SNOWFALL should be termed a natural disaster just like a hurricane or a flood. I had better wait on that bc i think the floods are next. Sigh. I want to say onward and upward as KG says but i just cant do that right now.
Better go rake again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Outdoor Ride of 2011

And hopefully not the last ride of february, 2011. Got out for a 90 min "spin" in the fog and 100% humidity on thursday. It was 41, holy moly, a heat wave. And it was wet. The watery roads have now re-frozen and we have snow in the forecast for this weekend, but in the mean time i am happy, hungry and ready to go out again and climb some hills on the full fendered cross bike. I do think that last winter all the outdoor riding i did helped with glute firing and getting the body ready for runs and of course, outdoor riding in the spring. Sitting on a trainer is fine, but you really do not use your body ( ie core) in the same way you do outside with little and big hils.
So my email to coach reads like this " When the temps decide to hover in the high 20's and 30's and the wind is negligible, you can find me riding in circles up the hills by our house instead of climbing in the basement to Coach Troy going up Lemmon to Windy Pass and Summerhaven."

"You want to quit, but you dont HAVE TO...."
"Comeon, Comeon, dont lose my wheel. Comeon."

Ok that was Troy, not me. IF you dont know Troy he says the above ALOT.

And when in the pool today i had a Phil Ligget-ism as my shoulder was ready to pop:

The elastic has snapped."

Since we are on the subject of riding and i seem to have gotten myself all excited for the TDF which is a mere 6 mos away, here are some other faves:

  • "There's no reason to rush into hell." Commenting on a slow moving Paris-Roubaix Peleton. I think this is more a commentary on the annual LT bike test.

  • And so the first pedal has been turned in Anger...
Oh and here are some photos where i promise you there was no Hell and no Anger:

"hmm maybe i should stop, as i feel a bit like i may drop a glove."

"yup lotsa lotsa ice still on the Miss."

I usually run up this, its about a mile and its got a nice grade from about 2-4%.

Likely the best investment I have made in a good sturdy bike. Full fenders pretty much stay on this baby all year round.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

And Then the sun came out...

Thanks for the nice comments. I seriously am not a complainer and even tho my coach may think i really love emailing and talking to her like 4x day i prefer to be under the radar. So thanks Jen for your concern, thinking i may jump. I can say that sometimes your cognitive brain KNOWS you are overreacting, but you are still upset and you cant shake it. That is scary. It made me really feel for women that get real PMS or have other mental health challenges. I cant put my finger on it for sure, but i know that i spent some time talking to the best husband out there and looking at the pressure i put on myself and trying to look, objectively, at my motivations for why i do Tri.

It's so easy to get caught up in " better, stronger, faster " and we are fooling ourselves if we dont often look externally for that "magic" to get us there. I know i need to keep on looking internally and trust myself to make decisions, maybe even mid-lunge, about the workout and not forge on thru just to GET ER DONE. I am still working on not beating myself up on this but as we know, how many of us in our professional life have said " Do as i say, not as i do." I have an uncanny ability to guide and coach others with physical therapy and biomechanical challenges, but when it comes to me, that logic often goes right out the window into a snow bank.

So as i said, the sun has risen. I am fine. Life is fine. My adductor is doing better, i can walk now and my PT said its just a strain and she gave it some MFR and TLC. ( Myofascial Release) and you all know what TLC is. You dont actually have trigger points in the belly of your adductors so foam rolling more than the insertion medial to your knee hurts like hell and i found that out after 1 second.

Other than that hubby worked a bit late last night Valentine's night, and we had celebrated sunday so i was expecting nothing. He walked in and brought me 12 red roses, raspberries, and a great bar of 70% dark chocolate by BT Mc Elrath, a local Chocolatier. That is the kind i go "oh that's too $$ i will buy the lindt." so what a treat. He also brought sushi ( grocery store) but still the thought that counts. I had eaten. and so he said "Oh good, i wanted the sushi!" Ha, classic.

Again, thanks for your support and I do mean it when i say that even tho i dont know some of you, i didnt bat an eye when i wrote that blog bc I knew i needed some other people at my pity party. Party over, back to postive thinking:) Hope i can return the favor if you need me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hitting Reset

I just typed that wrong and wrote "Hitting Rest." I sure hope that helps. Rest i mean.
But I also have had to hit the reset button this past weekend. I Was going to title this "keeping it real." Because those of you that know me, or even know me from my blog, hopefully know i am not a person that gets down or in a depressed mood about too much for too long. This weekend has been different and i cant quite put my finger on why, but I am going to take a shot.

Dont worry i DO NOT wear that color eyeliner.

The reason it's "keeping it real," is that sometimes we go thru rough patches, and sometimes we just want to have a pity party. Really I dont like having pity parties, and so to keep it real I am gonna be honest. I feel really really depressed right now. Like I take 2 steps forward and then 3 backwards. And the worst part is that you know who I am blaming?


Blame is a bad word. I know that. And what, may you ask, did I do? Really nothing that at the time didnt feel right. Friday it was -5 out. I dressed for it, I did think it would be better to be running short hills outside than on the TM. There is something pretty unnatural about hills on a TM if you ask me. I Did the run. I felt good, Yea it was cold but it was more the " I Cant breathe with my balaklava over my face, or I cant breathe bc i pulled it down and now the air is SO. DARN. COLD." feeling. I Got in and went right into some strength work. That was what was the kicker. Lunges on cold legs with more weight than i had done previously. But. You know what? I kept going. I knew i was tired. I fell over. But i laughed. Kept going. By that night, after sitting for a bit to watch a movie i knew i was in trouble. I couldnt go up or down the stairs and it wasnt even 12 hours later.

So. Yup. I wish i could just stay where I am. And not keep pushing to be a better "me." Seriously ( ok I will limit the self abuse here, but ...) I was doing JUST FINE with my PT, and then i decide i need to be doing more. So i add in all this strength. That yes. I do think i need, but perhaps I need to think again that I may not be able to do what everyone else is doing:) And i need to step back and realize that if i cant even get out the door to train ( well um, remember my consistency talk last post? well that may be on hold here for a week) I am doing myself no favors.

I have been trying to be happy. I really have. But I think that anyone who has been battling injury for awhile ( insert your own time frame) sorta wants to give that comment " oh be happy" a shot of cortisone to numb it. In the bigger scenario, yes, be happy is really an important thing to remember and my only take home for me, bc this is a post for me, is to remember that I owe nobody anything. I havent signed up for one race yet. Other than IM Madison. And ya know, there are many many doubts in my head. Just being honest. Other than feeling like i will have donated enough cash to feed a family of 4 to M-dot, ya know, if i never do an IM, am i a loser? Um no, i dont think so.

I am trying to keep the faith, trust in myself, but at some point i needed to hit the "reset" button and start to think about what is best for my head, and hopefully my body, and that means forgiving myself and not being so dang stubborn about feeling like I am somehow letting "someone" down.

Maybe Angela got me thinking about all this stuff, and being pretty honest on the blog, and hormones and all that. I dont know:) But lets just say that its 45 out and i hope all the snow melts fast, even if anytime i say that people look at me and say "OH NO, we cant have that bc that means it will flood if we have a thaw like that." Like i have ANY control over it anyways!
I Still hope it all melts. FAST.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The ups and downs of testing

Well I am still dreamin of spring. It was wrong but i had a touch of jealousy for those getting a blizzard earlier this week. Of course when its snowing its fun, then after it stops and you realize your city is paralyzed, and you can barely drive down a 2 way street bc of the poor plowing, then you realize that staying inside for 24 hours wasnt really worth the headache you now have.
We still have that in the city, the snow just paralyzed us and so for those that got hit last week my sympathies. At least it wasnt in Dec and hopefully it will all melt quickly:)

Ok enough weather talk.

Things are moving along well here, training wise, work wise, family wise. I can actually say that as much as i have been tippy toeing around some injury issues since the fall, that i "Think" I am past the injury phase and into the "muscle recruitment" phase where things are just getting used to working how they should. This is a good thing and overall I feel pretty happy that despite being very afraid at times, I have gotten ALL my wko's in! I am learning as i did last year to not take it all apart and overanalyze each step and each stroke and each pedal stroke, just to get it done to the best of my ability and to the guidelines that the workout outlines.
Some days ya got it, other days you dont, but I do believe the consistency is the key.

That being said, gulp, next week has some testing in it. In the past the bike test in particular has had my undies in a bundle. This time I know that it is going to hurt like a Mother. It isnt fun and i will procrastinate a bit before i get on to warm up:) But I think it is what it is. Last year at this time ( dont worry, not comparing my fitness) I had been riding outside mulitple times. You just cant simulate an outdoor 3 hour ride on the cross bike on your trainer. So even though I know its gonna hurt I Am not settling for anything less and I wont take NO for an answer if my body says NO. And trust me at about 9 minutes in my body will be shaking it's head "NO."

Sometimes as i get into that 2nd 10 minutes it helps me to put my head down and visualize Time Trial courses I have done over and over, or stretches of road that i know challenge me.
It helps me also to think about my cadence and to use that as the Governor, not trying too hard to control the Power and obviously just letting the Heart rate go where it has to go. Gotta have some good warmup and and for me, as i get older the warmup is far more impt to the cool down.

As for the swim test, well...I sorta hoped i would get a "get out of jail" free card since i did a swim meet last weekend. But no such luck. I dont mind the swim test. Really I Would do that twice over the bike test. Our pool is hot so what I dread more is the 84 deg heat. Last week i wore the two piece swimsuit. Ya winter white at its best. But ya do what ya gotta do.

And last but not least, the run test. Not sure when this will happen, and to be honest I am fine with that. I have been running consistently and with a bit of speed but i am not ready mentally to do a threshold test on the TM. The Road wouldbe fine but with iffy temps and iffy footing I think we may wait a week or more for this. No use in messing with this just for some numbers this early in the season. And really, its not even the season despite what Phil says. And he was likely covered in snow so that is why he had no shadow.

This post is really saying nothing i dont know, or you dont know, so maybe i am writing it for my own good. I just know that testing is testing. And it is more than just data, its about wrapping my head around hurting and not being afraid to fail. And If i do fail, then getting back up and continuing to be consistent.

My 8 yo nephew played in a tennis tournament this weekend. He played in the boys 12 and under. Yesterday he won 2 matches, including beating the 1st seed. Today he lost 6-1, 6-2 and he was so upset with himself. He cares SO much. I know my brother is so proud of him and realizes he has to let him be upset for a bit, and then tells him to snap out of it. I told him I am proud of him bc everytime you step on the court you put yourself out there and more so in tennis, ME versus YOU....somebody wins, somebody loses. With Triathlon you can hide a bit in your own goals but deep down inside you know if you won or you lost, no matter what your placement was overall. And that is up to you and your coach to decide how you are going to define winning and losing.

In other fun less introspective news, I tried the Newton Lady Issacs. Liked them.

IF you have any comments on them, let me know. I am not a chronic heel striker, but i did feel that i was heading there after this injury. As i scan back to some race pics from last summer they look solidly like i am a midfoot runner, and the newtons run very similar to the Kinvara's which have a very similar profile. But unlike the Newton's I found the Kinvaras to be a bit flimsy after a few wears.

Have a good week and hope your team wins:)