Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comme Ce Comme Ca

That is how things are. Not better not worse. Thanks for all the good vibes. I will let ya know how the pilot study for the 2 week taper is. Perhaps I am on to something that we can learn from:) All in all I am trying to pull my head out and not let the worry settle in my piriformis. I have all the best PT knowledge and then some ( thanks Libby!) working for me.

I found some pics from the Square Lake Tri, thanks to Minnefoto Moments. I can see why i nearly drown. Nearly ran over the photopgraher who decided that sitting right in the middle of the shoulder while the roads were open, was a good idea, and thatI am getting some shoulders. Finally. ( oh and JH says "Barely"...haha, camera adds 10 lbs really? not on my shoulders, that is real muscle!)
La dee dah, 5 more minutes....5 more minutes....freezing in the mean time.

While we were getting the " just 5 more minutes," for the 3rd time we were asked to say hi. that is me with the big old wave.

And now that is me using that butt to kick people off me. I think i am that half submerged red cap near the front. Being used as a bungee to propel someone over me.

Alas i survived, and was able to hit the road to try to take out the photograher. Can you tell i am like "dude, you are taking up the ENTIRE shoulder!" His car was parked there too. Hmm.

Exiting T2
Finish. I am not sure why i was running past the finish line???

And this gives me hope that yes i can run. I can do this. And I will do it! My butt will be ok, and I am doing everything i can to get across that line healthy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hang in there....

Those are words to myself, and words from coach and others. I was gonna be done after AG natz. That was this weekend. Congrats to all that raced in hot temps in the armpit of Tuscaloosa. Ok i have no idea, i just listen to my friends talk about Crimson Tides, and stuff that being a small college gal up in the northern parts i have no idea who is who. Anyways..In what seems to me to be ideal weather ( haha i know i know., i am running races in 50 and dry up here and Pr'ing ...that would NOT BE THE CASE in Alabama....) my bud's did great.

But I am not done.

Apparently my A$$ wishes it was done. The combo of the great track wko, TRX, some more outdoor rides and runs = LOCK down on my piriformis. The Deep 6 and the Piriformis went on strike sunday. I managed thru my long run ( in 40 degrees to start, double shorts and compression socks) but when i got done IT was done. HOUSE ARREST.

My A$$ was putting me on house arrest. I have one of those little bracelets that Lindsay Lohan has. I cant get near my bike or my run shoes till i am 95% or the bracelet sends coach an email and she promptly flies up to spank me.

It's doing better today, i learned that the ice baths are NOT gonna help loosen up those muscles that are SO tiny and so tight. And that hopefully they will let go so that my femoral head will stop feeling shoved into my labrum and the hip socket. And if you have no idea what i am talking about google Piriformis Syndrome and Deep hip rotators. I dont feel like explaining it.

So I am on opearation ARRIVE in one piece for BOUS. I am gonna wait till this sucker calms down and if that means a 12 day taper, then lets go for it. Hopefully the lockdown will ease up each day and i can get back to some run and bike by the weekend.

Congrats to all that are done, and my lovely husband has graciously offered to eat all the cookies and drink all the wine and caffeinated bevies i am avoiding till Oct 10, at 9:20am PT.
Hopefully when i will be DONE!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Workout of Truth

I was trying to come up with some other clever title that was close to THE RACE OF TRUTH. But since i am not talking Bike TT's I didnt want to use that phrase. And since i am not really racing at the track ( unless you count me racing the junior high kids that were warming up today while i was smack dab in the THICK OF IT) then i am not racing anyone but the clock.

Hence, the run or workout of truth.

Last time i went to the track the wind was 30-40mph, and it was quite iffy whether i could make the workout worthwhile. But since it was 400s and it wasnt super rainy, coach and i decided i would just go give it a go. The interval was challenging but i think well within my reach, on a GOOD DAY. With the wind it made for some interesting challenges, but lets just say that the 400's where i finished WITH the wind were executed with a bit better form than that ones where i finished into the wind.

Training this late in the season for me is weird. I am really doing ok with it, after a hicup around labor day when i was DONE. It got cold, it is dark, I wanted to be done. I started racing in April this year, and that was after an intense 3 weeks in Tucson in March, so if i do the math its gonna be Oct before i am done.
That is about 7 mos of pretty hard core GO GO GO.

But Fall. Ah Fall. I love Fall. And today at the track i had a flashback to fall tennis. The cool mornings the crisp but sunny afternoons, and the sun at an angle where no matter where you threw the ball on your service toss, the sun was there. I thought to myself " I can do this fall stuff. Fall is tennis time. I did this for how many years in highschool?" And then in college? We played 2 seasons and fall was always better weather, fall tennis was much better than our spring season!

So fast forward to today. Forecast is for winds of 10 mph by 9am, and sun! Yes!It was about 48 when i got to the track, about 52 when i left and a breeze but nothing like old man wind above! Coach is really smart ( in my opinion) with how she gives me track workouts. I am not a spring chicken despite seeing a workout on paper and thinking it looks tame, i know how the track, like a time trial, can humble you in a mere 3 minutes.
So today was 6 x 800 with some warm up and cool down. The interval she set looked ambitious, but then i remembered i had run a 5k this past weekend and kept an average pace of just about 15-20 seconds above this pace ( extrapolated) so i thought...ok, this looks AWESOME. See in my opinon you want a track wko or a bike TT to kick you around but not DESTROY you. I may be seeing double at the end, but i dont want to see double on the first interval or throw up until i am done:) But really I have never thrown up after a race. Great now i likely have jinxed my luck.

I hit the first 800 5 seconds faster than my starting goal. OOPs. I figured it would just have to be a "well lets see how this goes." 2nd 800 is 4 seconds faster, on purpose i held back. And i was feeling good.
3rd 800 I am descending now and it is starting to H-U-R-T. Rich was there too, he was doing some post ride running, and he cheered me on. What a fella. I was trying to take them in 2's. So after the 3rd 800 I thought, OK you are half way done! This is where the breathing and the pukeing starts to be a challenge.
4th 800 I am going strong and then i see them. The junior high boys are headed out for PE and they are warming up on the track. I figure I have about 200 yards till i either plow right into them or i start some fancy footwork. It's their track, and i am a guest, so i do the fancy footwork and dodge the boys. Rich said there a draft effect when i went by, they tailed onto me and sped up until they lost the draft:) I hit that interval about 15 seconds faster than the intial goal time. Yikes. This last one was gonna be a sufferfest.
I was needing to walk a bit before my easy jog and i knew i had to finish with good form and without throwing up on their track, now that i had the teachers and the kids out there.

Last 800 was just perfect, 2 seconds slower than the "dodge a kid" 800 but spot on and it hurt.
This is what i imagined myself doing:

Carrie Tollefson

Light on my feet, arms pumping, and trying to steady my breathing. NO matter what the 400 is hard and after that it just gets harder. I dont care if its 800's or 1200's or 1600's for me i have to steady my breathing and focus on my form or the aftermath isnt nice.

So what is my point to this post? Just that as much as i love time trials I love the track. There is just something so simple about it. Either you make the time, or you dont. I also get to wear my racing flats which i dont wear other than racing, so that is fun bc they are pink:) simple pleasures. And i get to take an ice bath. See life can be so simple with these little joys!

And at the same time i have huge respect for the track bc i know it can do harm if i am not healthy and orthopedically secure. So each corner i round and each kid i dodge, i do with gratitude that my body is letting me do this. And thanks to a coach that doesnt give insane volume at the track. For me at least, that is a recipe for self destruction. My mantra for tennis used to be "one more." This meant alot more than one, in most cases, serves, forehands, backhands, overheads, whatever it was the perfectionist wanted to finish with the perfect hit.
That doesnt really translate so well to the track:)

Stop while you are ahead, is my mantra for the track!

For all you people who are racing cross and / or doing one more tri or du, good luck! For those of you who have eased into some off season time, I am on my way! Happy Fall Solstice!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Two-Fer post

Part 1, an email my mom sent me: remember my parents are in their 80's so i listen to their advice:
Q: Doctor, I've
heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this

A: Your heart

only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise.

Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you

live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster.

Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I

reduce my alcohol intake?


No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled

wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of

goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom


Q: How

can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you

have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two

bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What

are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise

A: Can't think

of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't

fried foods bad for you?


YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil.

In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting

more vegetable be bad for you?!?



sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the

A: Definitely

not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be

doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is

chocolate bad for me?
A: Are

you crazy ?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable!

It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is

swimming good for your figure?

A: If

swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is

getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey!

'Round' is shape!

Well... I hope

this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and


And remember:

Life should NOT

be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an

attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways -

Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up,

totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"


For those of you

who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health.

It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional


1. The

Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer

fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of

and suffer

fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little

red wine
and suffer

fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red

and suffer

fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot

of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than


CONCLUSION: Eat and drink

what you like.
Speaking English

is apparently what kills you.

So what do you think i do when i read this?
Believe it?
Decide to start speaking French?


I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin, 2011. But i am not speaking English on 9/11/11. Ok?

Ironman and have a few things to learn about how to best process 1000 hits in 1 second, but other than that stress, and feeling like i had the same nervous stomach pre sign up as i do pre race I felt ready. I knew that after the site went online it was out of my hands and if i didnt get in, well that was meant to be. But finally on wednesday i got in. And thursday I woke up with a hangover( not a real hangover) and a "WHAT DID I DO?" And a groan. Then again i think that was bc coach had assigned a challenging trainer wko for the day AFTER the sign up and i was not recovered enough and was scared of it. I think coaching protocol should change so that the day after sign up you get a recovery day. Just sayin'....Hear that coachie poo?
But in all seriousness, i mean this is a serious topic. NOT.
I know if i trust her, I will get to the finish line. End of story. There is plenty of time to think about wheels ( do i ride sewups, can i change a sewup,) and technology ( i dont have a Garmin, do i need a Garmin?) and all the other one million and three questions i have for all of you.

So I cant possibly post all the thoughts that have gone thru my head but the bottom line of signing up for an Ironman is that in my heart of hearts I know i can do it. I am excited to train and i am excited to expreience the highs and lows that day will bring. I have already started apologizing to my family. My family gets it, I am not sure if my inlaws will but here is what my mom and dad said:

Mom "As long as you can come to the family reunion in Iowa in August that is fine. You can bike down to Iowa, get there in time for the ice cream social."

Dad " Is that the thing your sister did in Hawaii?"
* here is studly sister last year in she reminds me " i did IM / Kona BEFORE GELS were invented." And actually that is pretty cool, i think!

Me " Yes dad but i only have to go to Wisconsin."
Dad " Oh that sounds better."

When i asked Rich to remind me that i can do it, ( meaning when i am crying on a 100 mile ride and whineing next summer) he said "You can do it." NO I dont need you to " ecoutez et repetez" now i mean when it counts! I know i can do it NOW, but when i need you is later, like in March when i have to ride 100 miles on my road bike. To which Rich says " Ok, but can we stress about some other stuff first?"
Ha, how well he knows me.

And you see, I am familiar with this position after long rides. I am READY!

5 x 5k relay tommorrow with some fun Gear West Bike and Tri teammates. I have to take photos and will hope its above 50. We have had an abrupt start to fall. Not at all what i want right now. Other than our pool is 59 degrees. Free ice baths, if you live local, come on over!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lessons Learned

This is actually a race report but i decided that what i took from this race was more education than anything so why not blog about it! I have very mixed feelings about this race. Some of it was the race itself, some of it is that I am ready to be done with my season and start planning for 2011!

Sept 11 was the Square Lake short course. As you know Square lake is the lake that i swim at weekly. IT IS LOVELY! ...usually....

Saturday it was a bit angry but it was by no means the worst i have seen it, temperature wise OR wind wise. So I was confident since we got to wear wetsuits that i would be just fine. Actually I was hoping friday night that we would have an angry lake. Bring it on!

Having never done this race before and knowing that at times the organizer has struggled to get enough help I made sure to have my course knowledge down and to know exactly where i needed to go, etc.. I felt pretty confident in the bike course and knew it was punchy with some tricky cornering and an infamous covered bridge that drops you down into Marine on the St. Croix. Having raced my bike on that course i knew that when its wet under there you have to use caution otherwise...ruh roh. So i felt ready for that.

The run is fun, lotsa gravel roads, some punchy little hills and then some longer ones to the finish. Yeah, lets RACE!

Race day turned out to be warmer than I thought. IT was about 53 when i got up and when i got to Square it was misting a bit and the roads / T area was very wet. Bummer. I racked, and pretty soon that got to be a mess bc they dont have Elite racks so people were just putting their bikes wherever. That is ok. I just figure you gotta be able to get in and out so i tried not to let it phase me. I got warmed up, got my wetsuit on and went down to the beach around 7:45 to get a warm up swim in. The race was SCHEDULED to start at 8am. OR so that was the plan.

It was cold! I Got in but since sometimes these races dont start on time, and another guy got in and said he was freezing now ( tick tock) i didnt really do a good warm up. That may have come back to haunt me, i am not sure. So when we finally got to start Wave 1 was ready to go.
"one more minute!" was shouted about 3x, sigh.

And when we finally took off it was the ELITE men and women. AND....
Men ( boys?) under 30 yo ( say that bc i talked to at least 3 high school boys)

Ok that must have been the biggest wave i have ever been in for a beach start.
And yes I Got hammered. I was good for about 150 yards and then all the sudden i had a BIG person on top of me. Not just clawing at my feet, but literally in a bear hug around my midsection. Ok my core may not be too big but since this wasnt going away I made the FIGHT OR FLIGHT decision to leave a mark, and I did the strongest kick and body thrust with my core that i could muster and ya know what? bye bye leech. Of course i was quite pleased with myself but at the same time the huge adrenalin rush left me gasping for air. I thought of Kari. ( sorry Mayhew) and i pulled up and did some breast stroke. I thought " can i keep going?" I saw a person doing backstroke right ahead of me. Seriously? how far back am i? And so i just did breast stroke, then some easy free, then some breast stroke. and some easy free. I started to feel better and told myself that i can swim as EASY AS I NEED to. Just keep moving forward.

Funny, tho in hindsight where did the BIG LEECH go? I mean nobody went by anyways when i was nearly at the turn buoy ( swimming Clockwise, rectangle) to head back across the lake i started to feel ok and started to pick it up. I swam strong and started passing people and passed a bunch of people as i headed back into the beach. I came in with another gal, that was funny bc Laura and I swam eye to eye for about the last 300 yards ( it was a 1/2 mile swim)and we got out together and said good job. I think there was one elite woman ahead of us, but then it was Laura and Me. I saw no other women as we ran up the steps ( long steps!) and went to our bikes.

I got out of T1 fast. NO messing around. I was on the road and didnt see Laura and didnt see anyone else anywhere near or behind me. I was flying and having a good ride. But i looked down and had blood all over my aero bars, and my water bottle. Red, goes with the GEAR WEST colors at least. I am not sure how i got that but i had a pretty good cut on my left hand. and it was just bleeding like there was no tommorrow. Whatever. I did a quick check to be sure that was the only place i was bleeding and it was so i carried on.

There was a bit fo wind, but nothing that was really upsetting me, and i passed the elite woman who came out of the water first. It was hard to tell since there were relays in there and our calves were just marked with our ages so i have no idea if the guys were AG, relay or Elite. Anyways..I felt good on the bike and thou little punchy hills made the spedometer say 16-18mph i also had some good stretches were the disk was carrying me at 24-26mph. I passed a few guys, and was passed back by a few guys as well. With only a 16.5 mile bike i was feeling pretty confident. At about mile 12 I got passed by the Jenny and another guy. We all came into T2 pretty close together, though the guy stopped about 100 yards from the dismount ?? not sure why...

I decided early on not to wear arm warmers. I just figured this was practice and it would be good to see if i could do it and still shift. I was fine. My Kiwami gear dries in about 3 minutes, so i was just fine, not cold at all and my fingers worked. The sun wasnt even out so i felt lucky.

My feet, on the other hand...I did lose some time in T2 bc i couldnt get my right foot into my shoe bc i couldnt feel my feet. It was a bit humerous bc i was dancing around with 3 toes in and 2 toes out and couldnt figure out why they would not go in easily. Then my braids got stuck on the aero bars, so bye bye Herbal Essence hair endorsements:) But i ran out right after Jenny, and did my best to keep reminding myself to run hard, practice my nutrition, and keep #2 intact. Plus an old adage from bike racing was " You never know what is going on up the road," as if you are dropped from a pack and are riding solo or with one other person you never know what is going on up there, so you always need to keep your plan and dont give up. That is how i ran, i figured you never know what the person ahead of you is doing.

It was a good run, i felt fast and i felt light and i felt like i had a good pace that i could have carried over for another few miles for a 10k. I did a track wko earlier this week which was short but hard, and i really have been so pleased with how my run speed is improving.

I got 2nd OA and had the pleasure of seeing some gals from my Y that were doing the race. KJ won her AG ( 45-49) and Amy did her very first Tri, in rough conditions. Her son was so amped that he said he is doing it next year as well. I stayed till the very end, even tho i wanted to go home and see my family and to get some coffee to warm up, bc I wanted to see if i could win something as Gear West was generously there giving away a wetsuit, and a knapsack and helment and lotsa neat stuff. I was super close to the wetsuit number and so wanted to get it so i could give it to rich ( and then convince him to do more Tri's!) but another gal was closer.

So Lessons? Did i forget the moral of the story? :)
1) Never give up on the swim. Do whatever you need to do to keep moving forward, and know that you are ok. I have a harder time in cold water, I am not sure if that mattered or not, but likely it did. So i need to get a better warm up and also try to seed myself a bit better. But in a wave like that? I mean?? and also i know that the 70.3's i did ( KS and TX) were deep water starts. I loved those. Wish we had more here.

2)Be proud of my bike no matter what. I am used to being the RABBIT, Bonny and I do alot of TT's where she is chasing me so i am not new to that position. I need to keep that TT mentality for 4 more weeks! I rode really well today. I have no regrets.

3) Run! Oh how i love you my run. and how i love my kinvara's and how i love my PT who has helped me be able to run injury free, and my ART doc, and my coach for putting my rehab in my TP plan and of course i love myself for doing the exercises:) You may not know that but when i first decided 2+ years ago to start doing more Tri after tennis/bike racing, I couldnt run more than 3 miles without pain and injury knocking at my door. I would do 1 race a summer ( usually Waconia or IronGirl Du ) and i would be sore for at least a week from the run. I still have a great respect for the run, but to have a coach that knows my body, yet pushes it appropriately, and to have the last 2 years that i have had running injury free makes me feel like a frickin rockstar! I love it. I want to be 45 yo and run faster than i did when i was younger ( ok fill in the blank, i am not picky.) 44yo will do.

4) And last lesson, is that this Tri thing is bigger than I am. That is good to know, and good to remember. I am not curing Cancer. I felt a bit like a Bridesmaid AGAIN yesterday. Its like WIN A RACE, would ya? But then i realized that i am winning everyday.

Last year i did my first half distance race. Liberty Tri, June 2009. I remember emailing my coach and saying " I think i should wait till August for Pigman, I cant do a Half in June." I think this was in like february. Ha! She set me straight and i did great, i had a ball. I loved it. I did what i should for that race. I raced cautiously but with a smile on my face and came across the line in 5:06. I was amazed. 1st AG.

As cliche as that sounds. I would think i was a Tri bridesmaid if i didnt have the most wonderful husband in the world, and a great balanced and fun life. I am SO lucky to be where i am today! And very grateful for all the friends, family, work, my health, wow so much to be grateful for!

And of course i cannot leave out Ruby and Ruby's pal, Henry. Dogs really do make the world go round. Oh, or was that LOVE that makes the world go round? :)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Cabin Bears!

Weekend started with a drive up north friday afternoon and then fish tacos chez cabin with the folks and my honey. Saturday dawned and we were off to a chilly and challenging double brick on the Grandma's course. Lets just say that we waited a bit, 9 am to be precise, to start since winds of 15-20 mph and a temp of 44 was not what i wanted. It was our weekend and we decided that other than a 4:30 pm party at another cabin and the lodge picnic we had all day!

The brick went well, windy, hard, honey was a trooper and stayed by my side as we loaded the bike in and out of the car for my 1st T run. It was cold. I had forgotten that "quads feel like ice picks" feeling. Toes cold and the reminder that my patients/residents with neuropathy have this every day. So i sucked it up! The 2nd bike was shorter, but harder, and off we went. The wind was there, but it really was just There and we both decided we were going to ride thru it and not let it bother us. Victory! After the 2nd run we headed back to the cabin as my sister had brought up a growler...of COLD PRESS!! ha! IT was delish. hot or cold, cold press is wonderful.

The rest of the weekend was spent napping, eating, resting, reading, hiking, visiting with family and friends, and running Ruby in and out of the Lake. There were a few ice bathes taken. And MY O MY, the river has cooled off significantly since august. I didnt dare go to the lake as i could tell from Ruby's temp that it was way below ice bath temp necessity.

We also found some new friends:

Our new bear "Elizabeth." Ok that isnt really her name but it's funny and is a dumb story so i wont tell you all. ( Eliz is my sister)

And as we left to head home, somebody was very sad to see us go:(
I got in a good hard swim at the lake today ( the lake meaning SQUARE LAKE) and yes indeed the temps there were dropping as well. I Didnt wear a wetsuit but if i hadnt been doing starts and sprints i would have needed one. My cool down was just that....a COOL DOWN and i was happy to be done.
Happy week to everyone and good luck to you all racing in Madison. You are gonna do great and I cant wait to cheer you on!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Moving On

Thanks friends. Enough of that, go back and read the MG tri report, its far more fun than the recent post. Sometimes things just get whacked. For the record i had no evil or mean comments. For all of you thinking that, I appreciate your willingness to defend, guns ( pipes, biceps) drawn.
I wish that was all it was. Anyways...Life is good, go out and enjoy it.
And send some Flushing Meadow love to Rog. We want another Open title.
Have a great week!