Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brain dump

A collection of completely unrelated thoughts

  • I drive by a chocolate factory on my way into work.  The delicious smell is bad enough most days, but pure torture when I've been to swim before work and am starving.
  • Speaking of starving...I've been trying to clean up my diet in order to get to 'racing weight' before the half iron in September.  But with the increase in training comes an increase in hunger and I haven't been very successful.  I mostly want to eat whatever I can see.
  • The entire month of July has been unseasonably cool here.  One of the news stations said it's been the coolest July on record.  Fabulous for doing workouts, but not so great for getting ready to race in the heat.
  • This week the personal trainer had us workout on a gravity system .  A whole new method of torture. Ouch.
  • My hip seems to be mostly healed up (knock on wood) with just some residual tightness in the hamstring.  No pain after long runs, up to 9 miles so far, so that's a good thing.
  • I'm considering an investment in race wheels.  Okay, not so much an investment as a 'just for fun because I want them' kind of purchase.  Stimulating the economy and all.  They'll be my birthday present this year for the "big" day.
  • I've been craving diet Pepsi lately.  Not so many years ago I was a "one a day" drinker.  I've virtually eliminated it now, but as my friend Jolynn tells me: "Your addiction was just in remission."  Hmm, seems sad but true.  So far I've only caved once.  I think my body is needing the caffeine right now.  Okay, maybe not needing, but wanting.  Need....want....same thing, no?
  • Jeff and I are starting to feel the need (again, need/want) for a vacation.  We usually plan something for the fall, but it looks like we're both going to be super busy at work this fall, so will probably put it off until spring.  Maybe Belize.....ooooooh, whale shark diving. Yes please!  Research is needed.
  • A few times on our evening dog walk we've seen the most adorable Doberman puppy at the park.  Which prompted me to check out the NorCal Doberman rescue group.  You know...just to look.  And although they have some great looking/sounding dogs and I'm tempted....I don't think it's fair to bring a new dog into the house right now.  Bam is pretty satisfied with not sharing it seems to me.
  • I'm planning to drive out to the race site of both my next races this weekend for my long ride/short run.  It seems like a bit of a waste to drive more than I'll be riding (2 hour drive each way, 3:30 workout), but I think the experience of having seen the race course is worth it.
  • A week from Sunday is my second to last tri of the season.  It's been a great year so far, so I'm hoping to finish up the year in the style to which I've become accustomed. 
  • I plopped another 10k into my schedule in October.  Why not?
  • The offices on either side of mine are empty.  People like to go into them to have 'private' conversations.  I should probably tell them that when they face my office and talk I can hear everything they're saying.  Yeah, I probably *should*.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find some Diet Pepsi and a snack before I wither away. *snort*

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Five years

    Five years ago, in February, my uncle was diagnosed with leukemia.

    One day, more out of a sense of helplessness than anything, I signed up with Team in Training to run the Nike Women's Marathon.

    In something of a miracle (or so I understand), my aunt was about as close to a perfect match as you can get for a transplant.  I had a vision in my head, naive to be sure, of my uncle recovering from the transplant and being at the finish line when I crossed it in San Francisco in October.

    Five years ago today I received a call from my grandmother telling me that my uncle had passed away. Admittedly I'm fuzzy on the details.  Once I heard the first part, everything else was just.......noise.  I think that there were complications from his treatment, either radiation or chemo, that damaged his bone marrow in such a way that the transplant couldn't take.  And he just couldn't recover.

    To this day, I think I can very safely say, we all miss him.  We're a small family and he was a very large personality in that family....extremely intelligent with a fabulous sense of humor and wit.

    Everything I've accomplished in the last five years, athletically at a minimum, can be pinpointed back to that day five years ago.  A couch potato signing up for that first marathon with TNT, determined to finish.  And now I've done everything from 5ks to marathons.  Sprint tris to Ironman, including Kona.

    And while I've been known to say that I wouldn't trade my Kona experience for anything....well......let's just say I wish he was still here.

    I'll have to make do with my hope that he would have been proud of what we've accomplished.  Because it's not just me.  Many of my family, my brother, my aunt, my cousins, and friends of ours.......we've all pushed ourselves to feats that we might not have were it not for the inspiration of my uncle's memory.  So today I look back with sadness, but also with gratitude, for I can truly say that my uncle helped make me the person I am today.

    Monday, July 05, 2010


    This was the week where my workouts started to get a bit longer.  Over an hour of running at a stretch, a bit longer swims, and on Independence Day I celebrated with a 3 hour brick (2.5 hours riding, .5 running).  

    Seeing that 3 hour brick on my schedule, I pulled out my long ride/run nutrition plan that Heather had put together for me last year for Kona.  I had forgotten just how much planning there was involved in this.  And totally forgot how I was able to carry enough water/sports drink on my bike to meet my 'sweat challenging' needs.  I decided that I may be able to tone down the fluids a little since I planned to hit the road before it warmed up too much.  Yeah, global fail there.  I seemed to also have forgotten just how long it takes to get all the various bottles, computers, etc loaded on the bike and get ready to roll.  In retrospect it's probably a good thing that I couldn't work out plans with any of my go-to riding partners since I was so late getting moving.  It was about 9:30 before I actually pushed 'start' on my Garmin and hit the road.

    It was a beautiful day out there and I felt great just pedaling along.  I headed out Niles Canyon, which didn't have too much traffic, probably due to the holiday.  Or maybe people were at church.  Either way, I was glad.  That curvy, sometimes too narrow, road tends to make me a bit nervous when there are a lot of cars.  Most people are pretty aware and courteous, but several times I feel like I've been 'buzzed'.  Kept going out towards Calaveras, planning to turn around before I hit the real hills.  I had just turned around to head back for a loop through Pleasanton when I felt something a little off with my bike.  Sure enough, a not quite flat, but seriously deflated rear tire.  Pull out the spare tube, CO2, and pull off the rear wheel.

    The Calaveras Reservoir area is a hot spot for cyclists here.  So while I was riding on my own, there were lots of other cyclists out there on pretty much all the roads I was traveling.  I'm not sure how long it took me to change that tire, probably longer than it should have, but I wasn't really hurrying either.  So it was no surprise that probably 6 groups of cyclists passed by while I was standing there changing my tire.    What *did* surprise me was that the majority of them made sure I had everything I needed and that I was okay.  Some of them yelling as they went by, some actually stopping to make sure.  It was nice.   My first thought was, "Wow, chivalry isn't dead after all."  It didn't occur to me until much later on the ride that perhaps it was because I looked like I had *no* idea what I was doing and really needed help.  Either way I managed to change that tire all on my own and got back on the road to finish up my brick.  The next hour and a half passed by uneventfully for the most part.  I took in all my fluids, nutrition, and even remembered my salt sticks this time.

    Pulled into my driveway, hopped off the bike.....and realized my T2 was going to be a bit long.  I forgot to put all my running stuff out.  So I scurried around gathering stuff while Bam looked at me like I was crazy.  And I finally headed out for a short half hour run....and wow, it was toasty.  Even though said it was only 78 when I finished up, it sure seemed warmer.  If my half iron is 10 degrees (or more!) warmer than that, I think I'm in trouble.

    I finished up and grabbed my recovery drink (chocolate milk mixed with almond milk) and sat down to figure out my fluid balance.  I had remembered to weigh myself pre-brick, weighed myself post-brick, and the difference was......down 1.5 pounds.  Yikes.  I guess I shouldn't have tried to dial down my fluid intake from my IM plan after all.  *sigh*  I plugged the numbers into the sweat rate calculator Coach Liz sent me and sure enough......if I had taken the amount called for in the plan, I should have been right on the numbers.  Something to work on for sure.  It does get challenging trying to figure out how to carry that much water around on the bike tho.  But it's good to find out now what I'll need on race day and get my body used to taking it in.

    Just over 8 weeks until my big race of the season!  And coming up this weekend....10k time.  And I signed Jeff up for the 5k.  Hopefully he won't have to wait around too long for me to finish.  Especially since I'm hoping for a new PR.....even with the hills.  Fast feet, fast feet, fast feet!