Wednesday, July 08, 2015

In a nutshell…..

 Hello faithful readers. Long time no talk. I have so much to say but so little to say, if that makes any sense at all. I have never used this blog as a personal platform to be anything but myself but this past month has had me literally choked up.

So for today. I will make some comments, post a lot of pictures and maybe get into some details if it feels right. For many of you its a triathlon catch up blog. So lets start there. I am doing Ironman Wisconsin. I am training. Its been pretty ok, a few things here and there but physically, as related to training, and the basic athletic movements of SWIM BIKE RUN and repeat. Its all been pretty ok.

I raced a Half. IT was likely the toughest half i have ever done, and that had nothing to do with the course, the conditions or my fitness. That i managed to even show up was the hugest victory and that in and of itself got me moving one step at a time, minute to minute, just like any endurance event. You don't think too much about what is ahead, you just stay in the moment. I have pics but basically i swam, didn't have a panic attack in the water, biked pretty good,  it rained, what is new for june, and i ran a so so half on a tough course. I wasn't destroyed the next day or the next week, physically that is.

So one half and that maybe it. Here are some pictures of fun stuff:) I can talk about the not fun stuff in a minute.
BEST EVER, I am sorry chocolate milk but no thanks. TART cherries are where it's at for anti inflammatory properties, READ ALL YOU ATHLETES OVER 40…. 

Secret weapon, LCM

Rode around in here, Rich and I used to ride here. me and the crows. 

Beaver Bay, just off the lake, THE LAKE. SUPERIOR, 

FUN with my nephews on the 4th. 

ACE ( giant dog) has separation anxiety when my brother leaves, Ruby is a bit less needy.

Who doesn't like a lady in the lupine? 

Does this even need a caption??? YOU KNOW HOW I GET WITH SLAMS

The Mairs men

So thankful for my sisters, we are so different in many ways, so alike in others. 
I have the best friends!!! My own personal Cop to ride with. 
 My new phone screen

This isn't about me. I love all that is crazy/messed up/ about me, luckily i didn't have a  twin or the world would be in trouble. 
I was blessed with Rich in my life to help me learn to love my inner monster and that we all deserve love and that until you love yourself nobody else can love you. Or do that work for you. I had a good teacher. 

This is stolen from Angela, but this pretty much still a work in progress.
every single day!

And while this Ironman training, and family time, and the best friends ever near and far support me i am walking thru the last month without a close friend i loved. I am still not sure what happened and i don't think he is either. It happened abruptly and with no personal contact and while i can say I hate how it was handled I don't hate him. That isn't how i live my life and I know whatever pain i am feeling his has to be deeper. I hope he can figure things out as he deserves someone like me in his life, I just think i deserve better:) And I know we all have our inner demons I am just used to working those out with someone not being shut out…., its just been super hard. And while i am resilient and i am an Ironman and i bad ass and i am all this stuff with all this super human powers i am still just a girl who wants to be loved. ( WAIT, WHAT MOVIE IS THAT FROM???!!!!) sorry i had to throw that in there, its too true.

So that is about as much as i will say. And ya that empathy gene of mine needs to be tamed doesn't it:) nope its what  makes me who I am.

More training updates to come i hope and thanks for reading my babble.

AND OF COURSE GO ROGER!!! Stan is next in my line up for winning but, wow i have a huge tennis post to come.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Catching up....

I started a race report in march, it never got past the initial draft phase! Life has been good, busy, good, busy and a few hiccups along the way. Since i am doing my best to keep my life in balance, my life hasnt been ALL training. I really have been quiet on the blog scene partly bc 1) i got hacked and so i had to change my address so many of you three readers cant even find me 2) I have had alot of soul searching on WHY? WHAT? WHY? Do i want to do this?? And honestly winter or march or even APRIL for that matter in MN arent the best months to decide on your season when its sleeting and 40 and your skin hasnt seen the sun since September.

So if any of that makes sense here is what i have been up to:

Ran a great fun Get lucky 7k. It went really well. My speed work has been nil, a few pick ups here and there and most of my fast runs were done inside on the Hydroworx. So to run even 7k at a good clip sub 7's with ease i was pretty happy. At this point you know things cant last:) I had started to have some lower back pain ( well soreness) in the pool and now i had started to feel it running too. Running with a super powerful JET pushing water at you on a fast Underwater treadmill wasnt good either and i really was sore thru most of march.

Didnt of course think too much of this new issue i had with too much lumbar extension ( ie stand up tall and if you arent engaged in your lower abs you are gonna be in trouble) in the pool and running. I just sorta thought, " huh, i never have back issues." and off to camp i went.

Stacey and I take on Madera. Jen and Maxine were someplace:)
Camp was a blast and it really renewed my love for 1) being WARM, yes 90 deg ++ bring it. 2) for training with fun people 3) biking.

As much as i love to run and swim outside, biking just really really is so awesome. Everytime we all got in safely though i said a prayer, you just never know what people's bike handling skills are and of course what a car may decide to do.

Team Lidocaine had a ton of fun and we laughed alot, ate alot of whole foods and laughed some more.
Team Lidocaine cleans up nice
 My back was sorta sore but ya know sometimes you just forget about the niggles and survive! I came home and the day off in the airport was fine but i was tired. About a week later i got really tired and my back hurt more and my Hammy hurt more with speed and oiy, tune back into the " WHAT WHY WHAT WHY?" Talks  I  was having. A few saving graces:

It was sorta nice out! I mean it wasnt snowing, and the snow was really gone. We had some 70's and some 60's and while we have had our share of wet and 40 to 50 deg its really been OK for MN standards. NOW mark my words i knowwe are never out of the woods till july!

This guy has helped alot too.
My cute man who i am so lucky to have by my side supporting me thru any crazy endeavor i do, and reminding me that worrying is a waste of energy. When you have the worry gene, that is hard to let go of but i am trying. The weekend after camp we escaped to FLA to get our sweat on, see the sights and just relax. My back was really bugging me so nothing like some airplane rides to really let you know that its time to get an MD to check you out. I take any pain as a  "note to self" but back pain the most. Luckily i had no trouble with walking, or sitting or sleeping, it was a pretty specific position and well, swimming! Ack! Swimming is usually good for the lower back but if its not a disc issue ( which i was 90% sure mine wasnt) then unloading the spine doesnt really matter if its a rotational issue. So a lovely fun great weekend, then we headed back to reality.

In the midst of this I was getting in my training, getting needled which gave relief but the soreness just came back esp with swimming. Getting out of Aero to run wasnt great either. The consistent theme here is that the Lats and QL ( lower back) were consistently " ON " and that guarding made me think it was more than a strain. One MRI later and my MD's thought was right. I have some L3L4 facet inflammation, likely due to trying to stand too tall running and losing my lower abs, and likely over side planking. Yup, all our bodies are different arent they? Luckily my discs are LOVELY! And really i am so relieved about this.

MRI and any CT or any of that cues some irrational panic in me from Rich. It is what it is, but whether i am crazy or not i have had a panic attack in or before any of these tests. There were alot of Pet scans. MRI's CT scans with rich and i know i have this non logical fear that i will be diagnosed with this strange tumor that nobody expected. So rest easy i am good. But honestly you can tell me to not worry but...I saw it happen when he was asymptomatic, so heck I still have to have alot of hand holding if i get any of these tests.

Training is clipping along, lots of stretching and core work and a re-training of some TVA in the run and also trying to keep my core engaged swimming. Its getting better though the thought of a 50 M pool in my future and a lake with no flip turns is inviting. I will be getting some sort of injection into the facet joint in the near future. The MD wasnt keen on an oral dose of steroids or NSAIDS bc she said she has seen too many athletes not really know if they are recovered and that it masks/limits your bodies natural inflammation and recovery. Which i knew, but it was good to hear her say " Id get the shot."

Hopefully that will allow for some more comfortable swimming and runs off the bike when the muscle guarding stops. So as this blog is now turning too medical:

I got the rust out and did a TT last week: photo courtesy of PP.

Ruby dug into my mom's purse and tried to chew up her lipstick. She is getting precocious in her old age.
I Didnt do ANYTHING wrong.....

I love these: 

My nephew Joe is an amazing kid. 7th grader who hits the ball like a senior, but he is still just a little boy. Cant wait to see him play more and more and grow into his body!

I am loving the lilacs. Last year they came out at the end of JUNE! no photo its pouring out, but my ride saturday smelled like lilacs the entire time! from lilacs to.....nasty.....

Where is Glen when you need him?
Yes i have had a few of these in my house. Dont ask.

I turned 49 years young and had a really fun night out celebraing. What a special night full of surprises!

I broke up with my Y and joined the Park pool. It was hard. But it was the best thing in the world to do. No more chlorinated sinuses and no more wandering pool temps. This is a solid 81 deg pool. Love. IT.

And the glory days: 
Where's waldo. I Cant get this to turn. State champions 1984. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

100 Things ( #4 is listed twice) LOL not sure why.

1.     I love my name
2.     My name was going to be Sara but my cousin Sara was born 7 mos earlier and got that name, so I became Julia.
3.     I don’t like being called Julie.

4.When I was young I was afraid a lot. I used to sleep with stuffed animals lined on my bed to protect me.
4.     I idolized both my sisters.
5.     My younger brother was a pain
6.     My younger brother is now one of my best friends.
7.     I cant remember at what age I fell in love with tennis but I do know I loved getting new rackets, and I loved playing tennis from the age of 10 on.
8.     I learned to hit a forehand by copying my sister Heide.
9.     We used to take lessons from a pro in La Jolla named Bill Bond. He taught us the EGG backswing. It’s still a topic of family conversation.
10. I ball girled for Chris Evert and I was so nervous I am surprised I even could move.
11. I studied alot. Like at least friday or saturday night. I was called a hermit by many.
12. I didn’t do a lot of social stuff in 7-12th grade
13. Most of my social stuff I did do was with my teams or tennis friends. One favorite was playing tennis all day ( yes really) at my friends house and then going to Dairy Queen and then driving over to stalk her crush Jim Demaies. Funny i remember his name. 
14. I played Varsity Tennis, Basketball and Softball from 9th grade on.
15. Most of my teammates were consistent ( ie the same people)
16. I started at my school in 1st grade.
17. My parents told me they had a surprise for me when I was in public school and I thought it was a new bike or a stuffed llama. It was entry to a different school mid year. I didn’t think that was all that awesome.
18. MY cousin ( see 2) and I used to compete in spelling in 2nd grade, it was stressful.
19. My aunt Marge( see 2) was my 4th grade teacher. 4th grade was the best
20. Aunt Marge died way to young and I miss her.
21. My favorite color was red.
22. My favorite color now is …it dependsJ Aqua Marine or periwinkle blue.
23. I wore a uniform to grade school. Then we had a dress code for 7-12.
24. We wore snoopy/colorful/knee highs to express ourselves.
25. I used to make (paint/ribbons) hair accessories and sold them to a gift shop when I was in 6th and 7th grade
26. I had an avocado plant in my room as a kid.
27. I never liked avocado till a few years ago.
28. I started with guacamole and now I can eat avocado rawJ
29. I used to re arrange my bedroom every few months.
30. I was a neat freak and liked to have all my clothes put away.
31. My car now is a mess. I am not a neat freak anymore.
32. I never thought about what I ate till I went to college.
33. My tennis coach used to weigh us and do body comp testing on us.
34. We had to run timed miles 1x week. I almost joined the track team.
35. My freshman summer I decided I needed to get in shape.
36. Division 1 tennis players are usually already in shape ( duh)
37. I had disordered eating my sophmore and junior years at college.
38. I loved Dartmouth
39. I didn’t really love my tennis coach
40. At Dartmouth I met some of the best people who I am still friends with.
41. I lived in Lyon, France for 3 mos. I didn’t like it.
42. I travelled to the south of Spain and spent a day in morocco. I was terribly homesick and was miserable.
43. When the space shuttle blew up I was sitting with my French family eating dinner in Lyon France and I have never felt so alone and isolated in my life. I wanted to go home.
44. Dartmouth alums talk a lot about their college and their fellow alums.
45. Sorry
46. My favorite job when I was in college was teaching tennis.
47. I almost became a tennis professional
48. I had a melanoma
49. I quit tennis bc I was mentally drained, and I wanted to meet new people
50. I met my husband riding bikes
51. I am still afraid of the sun ( see 48)
52. I love being outside.
53. Often I am torn btwn being outside, sun, skin cancer, And usually go back to the feeling that “ I don’t want to die from being tan.” 
54. I have never been to Las Vegas
55. I am not sure that is a problem since I cant stay awake past midnight
56. I want to go to Bend, Oregon.
57. I don’t know how much longer I can do triathlon.
58. I worked at Caribou before it became a chain that makes so so espresso drinks
59. I never thought I wouldn’t have kids
60. I just never wanted to have kids enough to do it alone
61. I met Rich when I was 40. We got married when I was 43. He died when I was 46.
62. My 40s have still been the best years of my life.
63. Meeting Rich made me a better person
64. Being with Rich as he died changed me forever.
65. Seeing Rich die made me fear death a lot less.  But I still fear death.
66. I don’t think I have any enemies.
67. I really believe in the “ do the right thing “ way of living. Lots of people may give that lip service but they don’t act on it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
68. I have only been in the hospital twice.
69.   After college I was inpatient for 6 weeks bc I was anorexic. I admitted myself bc I knew I needed help. 
70. After routine surgery in 2014 I was hospitalized for 4 days with mysterious we have no idea what is happening Dx. NOS pain. IT was the worst.
71. Hashtags really start to annoy me.
72. When you live with someone fighting cancer you will understand what strength/heart and courage is.
( see 71)
73. Yes I know that I take things personally sometimes and I shouldn’t.
74. I am an eternal optimist
75. I sometimes believe in people more than they believe in themselves
76. I can be stubborn and set in my ways
77. I like sushi. A LOT.
78. I can’t make a good Cosmo anymore.  End of an era  (see I could have hashtagged that)
79. I love Malbec
80. I drink too much Espresso in the winter
81. Becoming a Physical Therapist is the best career choice i have ever made. 
82. Sometimes I think I am afraid to stop swim bike run bc its so hard to start up again
83. I want to play tennis again
84. I am not sure I want to or CAN play tennis again “ Like THAT.” How I used to play.
85. I have a 5 year and a 10 year master plan for my life AND for my active life.
86. I like competing in sports
87. I love playing ping pong.
88. I don’t like cats
89. I am not afraid of mice, or spiders but I don’t really care for snakes.
90. I used to eat a lot of ice cream but now it gives me a stomach ache
91. I didn’t eat meat from 8th grade till after college.
92. I dislike most pasta
93. I really like rice
94. I love my family. I love my extended family. I love my cousins.
95. We have a cabin in northern MN
96. I want to go to Greece someday
97. I eat too much almond butter
98. I want to live in a warmer climate for the winter months  ( ie Jan-March) someday.
99. I love open water swimming and swimming in the USVI and Square lake MN are my favorite places!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is it still January?

Greetings from MN. Its been awhile. Too long actually because now I feel the need to write 5 pages, but I wont and you are welcome. I left off as winter was just starting. I was not running. Life was fine, but not blogging was partly because my life was in flux and well, it was a busy holiday time! Life in flux is good. As I insinuated earlier I needed and wanted to take stock of what had " gone down " in the last 2+ years personally.  You know I see the best in people and the way I live my life is to always always give people the benefit of the doubt. In the short term this is groovy, and fun. For all. In the long term it can mean I see potential in people that they may not or may not WANT to see. I learn the hard way to not be co-dependent and I here we are.

Funny that as soon as I really saw that this summer I grew leaps and bounds. Athletes are usually of the camp that want to glean every bit of knowledge, they have the skill set ( usually) to take what they can use and discard the rest. This usually happens in an open discussion where nobody takes anything the wrong way and we as athletes agree to disagree. Same goes for my work. I work with alot of bright and intelligent health care providers. Discussions may or may not be confrontational but the relationships that thrive in my workplace do so because we mutually respect one another and know that we have the resident or the organization in our best interest.

Relationships dont always work that way. And to quote or misquote one of many instagramm sayings
" Dont let someone try to water you down because they cant take you full strength." or something like that :)

As for life outside of the above, things are moving along. Work is super busy and I am loving every minute. Even if it means i am working more minutes than ever. I have the unique position of being able to work 1:1 with older adults on specific balance and functional skills, but at the same time, get the ear of our CEO as we plan for how we can grow Wellness on all our campuses. Right now we serve about 25k older adults in MN, WI and IA. In 2.5 years we expect to double this. That is alot of people! This isnt directly on our campuses but in communities and outreach programs. This is big and I am happy to say our CEO sees the challenge of behavior change and culture to get older adults moving.

Triathlon. Oh yes, That. I started up wth JH again in January. Its never a smooth ride to begin with for me. I am successfully rehabbing my hamstring and will say that some major form changes, shoe changes, more strength than i have ever done has me running a few inches taller without the aid of a Hoka.  ( that was a joke, get it?) But running in florida in warm and humid is a bit easier than running on ice and snow in MN so i am dealing with some niggles that are from the onslaught of winter lately. Though its nearly 40 today! Why cant i run when its 40? :) I need to be less stubborn and get on the TM when its slippery out but a girl needs her outdoor time. Well I do.

Things will come together. I am not worried and JH has been a saint at re assuring me things are fine. Even though i still have the desire to " hit every single wko in TP" I am accepting that that doesnt always happen, at least to me in January!

Well that about covers some of what I had to say, without 5 pages of babble.

And because pictures are more fun:

This picture makes my heart jump with joy. And yes it makes me want to play tennis even if  I have surely missed my chance to hold my own with my 12 yo nephew. 

Ruby. Ya these are from summer:) But cant have a post without a dog pic:)
more for Ruby's fan club ( ok my mom and ER)
Holiday fun with my Dartmouth bestie

Oh the Gulf even on a cloudy day....

Me and mom, walking on above cloudy day

Sun's out, and i squeezed into my new Betty two piece! 

Some new shoes that no, i cant wear in the snow and ice but i do my strength in them and theyre great!

Looks like summer

Tennis selfies

The "boys" in their new hand me down specs

No comment needed? :) 

All bundled up and nowhere to go....oh but out on the snow to run.