Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year In Review

2009 was an incredible year for me personally. I turned 30 and accomplished two big goals - a sub 4 hour marathon and an Ironman finish. It is easy to lose perspective when you are living this lifestyle -- at least for me -- and I sometimes have to take a step back and remind myself of the awesomeness of the feats I tackled this year.

The good thing about perspective is that is keeps me humble (I hope!), reminds me not to rest on my laurels and in the grand scheme of things, reminds me that these endurance sports I enjoy so much are hobbies. I know that I am not curing cancer or inventing something that is going to change the lives of millions ... but I am changing my life and hopefully setting a good example for my boys.

So, as this year draws to a close, we will be celebrating the end of a memorable year and toasting to even better things to come. The best to you and yours for 2010!

Mileage for 2009
Swim: 286,862 yards or 163 miles in 116:09:00 -- approximately the distance from Houston to Austin. 3x the volume of 2008!
Bike: 4058 miles in 240:14:00 -- approximately the distance from Houston to Lake Tahoe and back! 3x the volume of 2008!
Run: 1451 miles in 219:38:00 -- approximately the distance from Houston to Baltimore (I could have run to see Trishie!). A 60% increase from 2008!

Total Time: 577:33:00

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Off the Bench and Other Musings

Good news: I was partially released from the PT to do everything ...

Bad news: ... but running. I am out of my running shoes until January 9. In the mean time, I think I am going to have to start a love affair with the Elliptical machine.

With my new freedom and my PT's blessing, I hit the pool this morning. It was my first time in several weeks to swim and as such I thought I would feel phenomenal, gliding through the water after coming off a week's rest.

Umm, no.

The good news was that I had not forgotten how to swim, but I definitely didn't feel like a fish. It was a good reminder to me on why I don't take time away from the pool. I have decided I need one of these to keep me motivated in the pool.

I did hit the deck and do 5 sets of 10 push-ups immediately after my swim ... the pool was empty, otherwise, I probably would have been too intimitated, but I was really happy with myself afterwards.

With my second season of triathlon behind me, I want my focus this upcoming year to be on getting stronger (hence the push-ups) and ultimately working smarter, not necessarily harder. Goals/resolutions for 2010 coming soon ...

Mileage for Week Ending 12/27/09
Swim: 0 yards in 0:00
Bike: 16 miles in 1:00
Run: 16.4 miles in 2:30[2 workouts]
Total Time: 3:30

And for your reading pleasure, How to Train for Triathon without Getting a Divorce ...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On the Bench

Despite some improvements, my PT put me on the bench Wednesday. To his credit, we tried active recovery. I am just not improving enough and as I overcompensate, I am feeling pulls and strains in other places, like my calves (really, the soleus muscle). The last thing I want to do is get a season ending injury before the season starts!

I have been ordered to take a week off of EVERYTHING. No swimming, no biking and definitely no running! They really don't want me to do anything that engages my legs. They almost begged me to just take the entire week off (no yoga, no pilates, etc) and to just do the excercises they gave me.

Rather than being frustrated, I am going to enjoy the time off a la Steve in a Speedo and spend the quality time with my family. I will do the strengthening exercises and stretches and maybe some core work and push ups, but that is it. I am confident that if I am good for this week that when I go in for my evaluation Tuesday morning I will be cleared to at least swim and bike again. I have a feeling that they are going to suggest additional time out of my running shoes though ... (let's face it, I am really only doing 5 days of nothing as it stands since I biked Wednesday at lunch before PT).

So, how do I feel about all this and what does it mean for the Rocky Raccoon 50?

I have mixed feelings, to be honest. I worked extremely hard for nearly 2 years straight to get to Ironman. I got there injury free and had an amazing race. I can see the big picture and I am not going to be selfish. Being an athlete means respecting my body, and as the PT reminded me, this is not my source of income.

I still really want to do the Rocky 50, but I will not be broken hearted if I have to miss it ... definitely not like I would have been to miss Ironman. It is all going to depend on how much time I have to take off and the improvements I make in that period. There will be other opportunities to do an Ultra and the practical person in me is happy because I haven't actually registered for the race yet (I was waiting to see how my recovery progressed).

Gluttony, here I come! Good thing New Year's resolutions are around the corner ...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recovery Week

Ahhh ... recovery week. I would have loved to do some swimming or biking this week, but I just couldn't find the time and I didn't want to break my no doubles rule this month. I find it funny that I couldn't find the time, when in reality, that really means, it just wasn't as important to me this week as was sleeping in, the demands of my job and Christmas shopping! I really am trying to take this off season stuff seriously!

I am looking forward to having some time off from work in the upcoming weeks so my big running weeks won't feel so demanding. I have also not been as respectful to my body as I should be -- no stretching, foam rollering or PT this week. I am working on my resolutions for 2010 and this will definitely by one of them. You have to take care of the body that works so hard to deliver the results you demand from it. My training resolutions for 2010 will definitely center around that theme.

Mileage for Week Ending 12/20/09
Swim: 0 yards in 0:00
Bike: 0 miles in 0:00
Run: 38 miles in 5:45 [4 workouts]
Total Time: 5:45

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And the verdict is ...

Tendinitis of the anterior tibial tendon in my left foot.

What does that mean? It is likely an overuse injury, but the podiatrist was not overly concerned. A prescription for an anti-inflammatory and directions to heat, rub, and ice [repeat] later, I was out of the office within 10 minutes. Note, he was specific that I could continue running. He said that while it might hurt, I was not going to cause any long term damage by continuing to run. He said I should be mostly better in 3 weeks ... the count starts now.

I am also battling a case of what may be piriformis syndrome (per my PT). Again, likely from overuse, but the right combo of stretches and massage seem to be doing the trick.

Note for the record - I am committing now to seriously cut back on my running after this ultra (which will put me in the range of normal for most triathletes!). I think that will make a big difference in how I feel as I start the tri season.

Keep moving forward ...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Am I the only one?

I am the antithesis of the person who ignores symptoms for weeks or months on end and finally ends up at a doctor because things have gotten so bad they can hardly walk. I feel a pain once and I immediately make a mental note. If I notice it for more than a couple of days or a week (depending on the level of pain), I am seeing a doctor – period.

Doctors love to hate people like me. They love me because, well let’s face it, they make money off of people like me. They hate me because I am high maintenance, especially if they tell me something I don’t want to hear, not that anyone has yet. Hey, that is what second opinions are for. Okay, I am joking about that part. Sort of.

Good news – I am back up to full running mileage this week (according to my ultra plan) and my long run of 24 miles this week was not too painful. My average pace was 9:12, faster than I needed to be running, mainly because I was running with a group I don’t normally run with because my training partner was out of town. I did have moments of pain, but nothing consistent and the stretches and manual manipulation that the PT is doing seem to be working. Side note – my hubby thinks it is funny that every time I talk about what the PT does with his hands that the conversation is full of double entendres. See above sentence as an example. It makes me giggle.

So, why the post title? Well, first I am currently seeing a PT. That in and of itself should be enough said. However, a new pain has snuck up on me as well. It is on the top of my left foot where my ankle/leg hit my foot. Interestingly enough it doesn’t really hurt while I am running, but afterwards and in regular shoes. The pain is not intense either, but annoying enough that I notice it, so I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist this afternoon to get some answers. I have a feeling he is going to laugh at me, but better safe than sorry! Side note 2 - I told my hubby I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist this afternoon, and he replied, “why?” My answer: “Because my foot hurts, why else would one go to a podiatrist?” He laughed.

For the record, my training partner thinks I am crazy for going to the doctor all of the time – what do you guys think?

As you can see from my weekly numbers, I am taking the off season seriously and actually skipped the pool altogether this week – for the first time in 1.5 years!

Mileage for Week Ending 12/13/09
Swim: 0 yards in 0:00
Bike: 12 miles in 0:45 [1 trainer ride]
Run: 56.5 miles in 8:45 [5 workouts]
PT: 2:00
Total Time: 9:30

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rev3 Codes Are Now Available!

Come on, I know you want to try out a Rev3 race!

These races are put on BY triathletes FOR triathletes. They pick the best, family friendly and spectator friendly venues around, plus offer great schwag to boot! They are passionate about offering a phenomenal race experience, you will not be disappointed!

If you have been debating pulling the trigger on signing up for one of these races (any of the distances), now I am giving you an extra incentive. $10 off! Who doesn’t love a bargain?

Use code Trakkers102 when registering on to get your discount.

Here is the Rev3 Race Schedule:

Knoxville – May 8 & 9: Choose from OlympicRev or HalfRev
Quassy – June 5 & 6: Choose from OlympicRev or HalfRev
Cedar Point – September 12: Choose from HalfRev or FullRev

They are also working on LittleRev races for the kids -- this company really is super family friendly!

Monday, December 7, 2009

One month post Ironman and the Sunday Report

I can't believe it has been a month since Ironman! I guess that is one thing you can always count on - time passing.

My post-Ironman glow has not yet faded and I am happy to report that my fortune (see the acutal fortune in my blog header) still rings true for me. "In dreams and in life, nothing is impossible." It is such a great reminder when things get tough, especially after a long run that felt harder than it should have, for example. I don't think I could even think about attempting an Ultra if I didn't believe it to be true though ...

The weeks post-Ironman have been spent in recovery and slowly ramping up my running mileage, along with visits to the PT office.

Sunday Report[s] -- I really missed riding this week!

Mileage for Week Ending 12/06/09
Swim: 2000 yards in 0:55 [1 workout]
Bike: 0 miles in 0:00
Run: 48.5 miles in 7:35 [4 workouts]
Foam Roller and PT: 1:00
Total Time: 9:30

Mileage for Week Ending 11/29/09
Swim: 2500 yards in 0:55 [1 workout]
Bike: 40 miles in 2:30[5 workout]
Run: 34 miles in 5:20 [4 workouts]
Other: Hot Yoga in 1:30 [1 workout]
Total Time: 10:15

November Totals

Like most things post-Ironman, I am playing catch-up.

Here is the month in review:

November's Totals:
Bike: 16h 31m - 275.5 Mi
Run: 15h 30m - 97.5 Mi
Swim: 5h 37m - 15,336 Yd

Total Time - 37h 38m

My goal for December -- no two-a-days! There will be plenty of time for that once tri season starts in the Spring.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Say It Ain't Snow!

I can hardly believe it -- but it snowing right now in Houston, TX and it is supposed to snow all day!

Those of you in the Northeast, Midwest and Great White North will get a kick out of this ... schools were released before Noon, my doctor called to cancel my afternoon PT appointment and even my office is closing at 12:30 due to inclement weather!
We are going to play in the snow this afternoon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The #1 Question

Can you guess what the #1 and #2 questions that I get asked post Ironman Florida are?




Have you guessed yet?




Drum roll … the #1 question that I get asked now that Ironman Florida is behind me is, “What’s next?” This is usually followed closely be the #2 question (often before I have answered the #1 question), “Will you do another Ironman?”

I will start with the short answer. Yes, I plan on doing another Iron Distance race. I have caught the fever, love the lifestyle, enjoy the training (most days at least) and am looking forward to watching my endurance base grow with time.

My “A” race for 2010 will be the Rev3 Iron Distance Race at Cedar Point on September 12. This is a Trakkers sponsored race and I am really excited to meet the rest of the 2010 team, meet some of the new incredible sponsors including First Endurance and Tri Swim and of course, race with a Trakkers device!

Rev3 prides themselves in putting on family and spectator friendly events, something that is important to me, and because the races are put on by amazing world champion triathletes, you know it will be top notch!

Ok, so back to the #1 question, “What’s next?”

I should be focusing on my weakness, the swim, but the thought of spending endless hours in the pool this winter is, well, to put it nicely, m i s e r a b l e. I actually do enjoy swimming, but I have to drive to the pool and I can run from my front door and bike at the gym at lunch at work, so swimming takes more effort. I will definitely swim during the off season, but I will spend the majority of my time doing what I love – running. My training partner and I are 85% sure that we are going to do the 50 mile Rocky Raccoon trail run on February 6. This will be my first Ultra.

I am currently ramping back up my mileage while also trying to respect the recovery process. I have been visiting with a Physical Therapist for some deep rooted dull aching in my Piriformis that I experience while running and twinges of knee pain I experience while cycling – both started after Ironman. My current diagnosis is nothing serious … simply that I am super tight and have a slight muscle imbalance on my right side

So provided I continue to heal, recover from IMFL and ramp up my miles, I will do the 50 mile trail run. With Rocky Raccoon and Cedar Point as the anchor dates on my calendar, I am working to fill in the blanks between the two events and for the Fall after Cedar Point. I am not used to my last A race of the season being so early in the year!