Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swim Test...And.....

I knew that would grab some attention when really what I will talk about is my day AFTER the swim test. It's funny how TESTING in the off season has so much power over our psyche. If you really think about it its 15-20 minutes. That isnt THAT much time, in my opinion.

Of course its 15-20 minutes of Pain and Suffering but its hardly an hour:) So try not to let those tests get your undies in a bundle. I know i am not letting them get me down or up. They are what they are!

So the swim test went fine. Pretty much the exact same T time as last year. ** Cheryl you are right i should have just told coach Jen a time and not done the test, hee hee. The excitement of the pool was that after i got out ( early) my mom comes to an aqua class around 8 am. I was well on my way home to pick up Rich to take him to his chemo cocktail day, but she emailed me to say they had found an ADULT feces in the pool and it was closed. Seriously nasty. I mean WHO does that? I told my mom she needed to do a complete investigation of her class and figure out who it was. They had already had some fun saying they were going to require immodium before the class and of course i had to add that if the pool was colder there would be less relaxation of the "sphincters" that allow this Shit to happen. ha, sorry i had to say it.

Anyways. Thanks for Chlorine i seem to be doing just fine other than i may need to start doing some Walk abouts before i get into that pool anytime soon.

So off to Chemo we went. And....a long day it was.

We had suspected this but after chemo we went across the streeet to United to get an ultrasound to see if Rich had a blood clot. Winner winner chicken dinner. He does. So, other than being fascinated with the ultrasound itself ( pretty cool if you ask me) we headed back to the oncology clinic and got to close that place down. Rich is now the proud owner of a subclavian clot ( where his port is) and a bit of clotting in the innominate veins. It's pretty common for chemo patients to get clots, so we are just thankful we "pretty much knew" that was it. Otherwise we were going to be much more worried. Ive seen DVT s in the legs but not the arm, and his distal veins were fine so we are lucky we caught it as the subclavian goes right into the Superior Vena Cava then the Heart ( anatomy review) and that's not where you want an emboli. ( or anywhere for that matter)

Oh and the swim test? what swim test? It was the same as last year. Just as hard, just as hot in that dang pool area. So jealous of you peeps that swim outside year round, even if your air is 40 degrees!

We are hanging in there~~  We are uplifted by the love and strength we have from our friends both near and far, blogland and real. Keep it coming!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I am not usually a bullet point blogger but since there is no calm and normalcy to my world right now this seems about right. If I didnt have ADD before now I think i have a good case of it:) Still sleeping well, and other than the "Forces of Evil," that have reappeared in our lives ( and no this isnt the cancer) we are doing just fine.

So here we go:

I have been loving making all sorts of squash and root veggie dishes. This is a ginger curry squash soup. I used Butternut squash and its divine. Just enough ginger to give it some tang and some zing.

I added some of this to the soup. Ever since we were in Aspen and i had this on some eggs I have been loving it. Just a touch goes a LONG way. But we have been eating tons of eggs and I love adding in a bit of heat. So good. I saw they have one with lime in it, may have to go searching for that one too.

When at Sam's this weekend buying Lamb I came upon this. Congrats to my fabulous coach (and of course Jerome), and friend Jen . I am proud of her that she HTFU'd, as she deserved a dream race and she got it yesterday. Now I am not sure it was her dream race but on paper to those of us in the snowy tundra, it looked dreamy:)

Ruby looks quite interested in me. I think this was taken when i asked her if she missed Uncle Rich.
She did.

Still figuring this out, but here is the latest cockpit. I have yet to ride a CT wko and not have to get off for some mechanical or likely "user error" issue. I suspect that in 15 years i will figure this out but in the mean time i dont trust this thing and cant figure out how to get the HR alarm to stop beeping. Hence i am using the Power tap. Andtill i have tested that PT wheel is staying on. I used to have to test every other week when i was just riding my bike. So i guess doing 1 test a year isnt that bad. But testing 2 x month broke me.
And what do i swim for?
I swim for Nina's coffee cafe. I am going to put them back on my Race Kit in 2012. They are too good to me and i am really realizing that i may not have a Powerbar/insert fancy big name here/Cyclops/Saucony etc etc...sponsorship but i want to keep giving back to the local people that have supported me, even with great foam, or with just a pat on the back. So for 2012 NINAs and Folske Spine and Rehab are getting a place on my kit.

Other than this stuff you know, its business as usual. Work, snow, hoping snow melts, looking forward to thanksgiving with family, being grateful for all I have, and especially being grateful that no matter what, Rich and I are blessed with friends and family, some of you who we dont even "know," who are pulling for us. No matter what others are thinking we can only control our own attitude, and so during thanksgiving keep your good graces on the front quadrant and remember that even if you think your life isnt ideal you have so much to be thankful for! 
Happy Thanksgiving :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Race Report...and an offseason comment!

How Clean Should Your Colon be?

Did that get your attention? I will get to that in a minute. First of all lets talk about a race report.
I did a little ( well it wasnt little) almost 6k 5k saturday morning. It's called the Diva Dash. I had it on the radar last year but that day it snowed about 8 inches and since its about a 40 min drive from home i knew this year i would pre register and pray for no snow or rain. The day couldnt have been better. ( well it could have been 70 but i dont live in Florida)

Long story short i had hopes of using this as my run test. Usually my run test ends up being on the TM of sweat bc our roads are slippery and its too cold to get my HR above 155 and my HRM freezes anyways. So i was praying the Garmin would not go wacky in the cold. When i was warming up it was jumping around doing its usual "I am cold and cant get a good connection" telling me i was running my warm up at 180bpm. Lovely. "dear coach, my HR max was 220. I am in an ambulance now with tachycardia." Can we use this data?

I knew the course was long, but i didnt care. I would rather run a long 5k than one where i run 17 minutes and know i didnt get that time. When the gun went off ( we were following the 10k) I was towards the front and pretty much held that position. I was next to two girls i know, one a runner and one a fellow triathlete. By mile 1 they had dropped back and i was running in 5th, behind runner people. Around mile 2 I caught the #4 woman and i really felt good. I sorta was watching my Garmin but i really dont think its good (for me) to be focused in that. I would glance to be sure i didnt go out too fast or take a corner too fast, but since the course had a few turns and some paths, gave some time to watch your footing and not get too carried away. I knew it was long bc at around 3 miles i was starting to feel like i had run HARD. And I knew we had almost a half mile to go. I was right on the heels of the teeniebopper younger gal in front of me, but she heard me and gosh darn it if that last 25 yards she was able to outsprint me. I still got 4th OA, and won my 40-49 AG so i was pretty happy.

Mostly i was happy bc I can use the data for my Run Testing for this year and I actually RAN FAST! I really had doubts having done NO speed work. I did some pick ups in Aspen but that felt like i was running at 8000 feet, Oh I was. Not exactly a confidence booster. I won a cool mug and i won a $20 Gift Cert at a running store. And I won some confidence as well. That is priceless. ( and yes I know that isnt as good as the commercials you hear on TV)

Then it was so nice out ( and so windy) that i went for a ride with my buddy Kyle. Kyle is 6 foot 6 and super draft-off-able. He has been a valuable friend as we go thru this cancer stuff, and I cant thank he and his wife, Shelley, enough for their love and support. Not to mention that he will usually go ride anytime and do whatever wko i suggest:) Gotta love people that will just do MY wko, no matter what.
And come to think of that i usually have that with my guy friends. Hmm...

After the first "Double" in a long long time was done i was pooped. It's super dry here so i had a wicked sore throat and since i am not a a puker when i run, i tend to think i didnt run hard enough:) Sorry Coach. But i do breathe hard and i usually get a good GI upset. I sure had the "Asthma, i ran hard" going but no GI issues. I have a new pre race nutrition deal i have been trying so sometime i will share that with you. And while we are on that subject, lets get back to my lead in link....

If this turns into a RANT style paragraph i am sorry. But what is up with the Off Season "lets do a cleanse" thing? I cant say i know all about Colo-Rectal stuff but i know enough about it to know that unless you have any of the noted "diagnoses" and i do know that some people have Crohn's or Celiac Disease, then yes by all means listen to your MD and do what you need to do. The rest of us that are bored, feeling heavy, feeling depressed bc the Vit D isnt cutting it and you are used to being outside 5 hours a day, read up on what your AMAZING BODY does for itself! I am always giggling and then feeling a bit disgusted, that people actually think that the walls of your small intestine get lined with "Crud" ( to be a bit more PG here) and that somehow its like you need to clean em off by doing some sort of "Cleanse," natural or not!

Ask any MD that does colonoscopies for a living, they have you do some prep work of course, but its not like there is grafitti all over the inside of your small intestine. And as for the Liver Cleanse...unless you are really drinking up a storm, or as i said, you have some diagnosed situation, your liver isnt like the ohio river.

To be honest i nearly didnt write this, bc I dont really care. I thought to myself "why do i care if people are doing this?" and the reason i did write it is that even if I dont care I know how easy it is to be "swayed" into thinking that someone has some great idea and i dont want to miss out on it. Here is my idea: If you want to be obsessed with food, go on some restricitve cleanse. Spend alot of time shopping and worrying when you "cheat," as defined by ?? you or your source, and then in the mean time, be tired, and cranky, and your loved ones will thank you for that since they felt they had just gotten you back after all the summer months spent training. Or on the other hand you can just enjoy the off season, move your body some, suck wind big time when you have to do a test on the run swim or bike, eat well, but not so well that you miss out on the things you love, love your family and enjoy them, and wake up knowing that you are not in as good of shape as you were but you can get back there when the time is right.

And now that sounded a bit like we should be sitting in a bath tub overlooking a mountain view, doesnt it.

If that offends anyone, sorry. But I walk a fine line somedays with wanting to tell every one of my readers, that if one day out of nowhere you were told you had 12 mos to live, would you worry about how pure your diet is?

Thanks for reading the ups and downs of my journey:) and my rants.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Two Years:)

Wow, when rich and I were in Aspen this past weekend we laughed bc we realized that our two years of marriage, felt like WAY more than that. But not in the "ball and chain" way you may think:)
I had known rich for about 2 years, gosh maybe more, before we got married. We actually got engaged on Nov 7, 2008 and were married a year later, on Nov 7, 2009. The same day my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  This makes life MUCH easier for my siblings, bc they only need to remember one date. You are welcome:)

Here we all are that great weekend in Georgetown ( D.C.) as we were at my cousin Christina Ritchie's wedding. What a great weekend, getting engaged at her wedding, but wanting to stay quiet till the next day so i didnt steal the show. ( not that there werent like 200 people there, but you get my point)

 My mom looks happy:) And just a note, she got new sporty glasses and has the best wardrobe in the world. I need a few lessons.

This weekend was great in Aspen. We had some major weather issues getting into Aspen, but once we were there ( circa Planes Trains and Automobiles) we were good. It was blowing snow and COLD when we arrived. Welcome to winter. So that wasnt too exciting for me, but we had a lovely hotel to stay in, with a fireplace, lots of nice people waiting on us, and a lovely comfy bed.

Going to Aspen in the off season has its perks. We got a great deal, had the hotel to ourselves ( so it seemed) and never a wait at a restaurant. Thanks to Jen Cunane we ate at some wonderful restaurants, and were I a true foodie, i would have taken pictures. But i didnt. But we were wowed a few times, oece with Lupe De Mer ( Rabbit of the Sea...really, never heard of that before and i thought i knew my french) which is Sea bass, the BEST brussel sprouts i have ever eaten ( and i like em even mushy), wonderful Lamb, and some to die for homemade mushroom ravioli. Then another day we were just wowed by the best, sweetest espresso i have tasted in a long time. Those of you that know me, know i cannot stand a bad Capp, and the Caribou's here continue to underwelm me. So this was fun. Then a homemade greek yogurt ( full fat) with lemon verbena flavoring and fresh fruit. Youmay also know i do not like oversweetend yogurt, greek or not. So this was a total leap of faith. IT was worth it. Subtle and wonderful:

Last on my non food blog, but attempt to tell you we ate well...a visit to the best sushi place i have eaten at since...well Philly, well Chicago..hahaha i like Sushi. matsuhisa
It was monday night football, so you have to get there early, and they have some specials and 1$ bud and bud lights. I really think there were not too many people watching football:) And the food was great. I had never had a hand roll before, and it was divine:) ( I never knew what it was, as i thought all rolls were hand rolled:)LOL

So that ends my attempt to write like those of you that food blog, which maynot be any of you. needs pictures i think:)

Oh and this place was good too..Peaches

I love good BF burritos that arent all tortilla, and this one didnt disappoint, more eggs and veggies than wrap. Nice:)

Ok so pictures of the outdoors took precedent to the food, here ya go:

Kevin O'C owns GWB and Tri.

ICEY SLIPPERY ROADS, glad its not MN:)

I ran up this trail, the RIO GRANDE, the day prior, it was a lung buster!

Roaring Fork River

So, we got outdoors, i refused to bring my boots. I am glad i didnt, but i wish i had:) ha!
Thanks for all the Anniversary wishes on FB. We have had a wild ride, our first 2 years, but the great thing is that we loved every minute of it. The beauty of our love is that though from the outside looking in it seems like we have had very little time that hasnt been dealing with cancer. Pre wedding and into our first year, Rich had alot of physical challenges. And now, here we go again. But to us, while it isnt fun, what stands out for me in these two years isnt cancer. It isnt sickness. It's health! And all the fun stuff we have done, on and off our bikes. So we are so blessed to have this time, and so appreciate all of you that are helping us and praying and pulling for Rich! Thank you!!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Lets talk training!

Not Cancer!
So training is going along pretty well. Fall has been good here. Meaning we dont have snow yet. That is pretty much all i need to have in order to keep me on the roads biking. I did get a CompuTrainer and it has not been used. I sure should get on it and figure it out, I have it set up, but i am not in ANY hurry AT ALL to get on that thing. Like many winters of past my goal is to get outside as much as i can to ride, and even if you think riding a trainer is harder than riding outside, I will beg to differ when you are riding a heavy cross bike with full fenders into a headwind up a hill:) Luckily the winter ride is still rusting in the garage and my road bike has been getting lots of action.

Running has been great. I have a bit of a sore butt, and since i had to see my MD ( non surgical ortho) for something else she suggested i get a trigger point shot into my piriformis. Btwn my schedule and the injection specialist i wasnt able to schedule till mid November. Sorta frustrating but at the same time its getting better with the non invasive therapy I am doing ( ie stretch, some strength, some heat, massage, etc..) so i am hoping i wont even need the injection. At the same time it goes into this weird spasm so i may get it anyways. No radicular symptoms so i know that the nerve is fine, so its mostly just literally a pain in the A$$ when i run!

I am going to do a 5k in about a week. I am super excited. I wanted to do the 10k but then i realized that i havent done a 5k since last fall and with all the IM training I really felt SO STRONG running but not FAST at all. Since IM legs have come and gone i do feel i am gettting some speed back. Not expecting a PR since my 5k PR was when i was in my 20's and was something silly like 19 minutes. But ya never know, I hope to come in 20:xx but i will take what the day brings. Last year at this race they had 9 inches of snow, no PR's that day.

Swims are awesome. As long as i am in the pool that is cold. I have a few pools I use, the one that is my membership is HOT HOT HOT. the air is hot. the water is hot. I did a set yesterday with 4 x 300's w/ the first 100 FAST and i nearly PASSED out in that last 200 of the piece. I wear a 2 piece suit to that pool. That stinks getting into it when i am cold and its 6 am but then when i enter the pool deck it feels like mexico, so i am relieved. The other pool , the cold pool, I pay $5 for but at this point i would rather pay $5 and not feel like i was going to die in the water. This begins my winter of swimming:) And why do i stay at the hot pool? Its my Y and its a nice community to belong to. And its across the street from the best coffee house/breakfast joint/ they know how to make a cappucino post swim reward EVER.

So ...I have had a few people ask me my plans for next year.

I have one race for sure and that is IM Wisconsin. I have lots of thoughts and lots of "maybes" but it all depends on how Rich is doing, and even Madison is a maybe. I cant be planning races right now and the good thing is that no matter how he is doing, or how I AM doing, there are so many short run races at home that i really am not worried or stressed about it. If it's a year of short and trying to be fast for 46 yo fast then that is just fine. In the last month doing runs of 45-60 minutes and rides under 2hours has felt downright EASY. I know the efforts themselves arent easy but when its 30 minutes into a 50 min run and you realize you are more than half way done, its sure alot less "UGH" than being in hour 1 of a 6 hour ride.

So that's all i have for ya right now:)
We are off to CO for our 2nd wedding anniversary. I am pumped. Yet not pumped for snow. I just cant get my self ready to even step foot in that stuff, even if its not on my doorstep.