Monthly Archives: July 2006

7/31/06 Foggy Head (356)

Monday. Oh boy, not a good weekend at all. I did nothing. I have not been able to get my head off the pillow all week. My sinuses must be infected or something. At this exact moment I am having a moment of relief (hopefully sign of it being over) but so far I have not had more than 15 minutes of relief at a time. Every time I think I will be okay, I fall back down. My head just feels like it is full of pudding. I think I am now immune to SinuTabs because they don’t seem to be working.

The weather has to have something to do with this. It can’t be a coincidence that it has been so hot and humid and my sinuses going berserk. This is sooo frustrating. I managed to haul my butt to the gym on Saturday afternoon figuring I could do stairmaster for 1/2 hour. Ha! I made it through 14 minutes and thought I was going to pass out I got so dizzy. I managed to stay on for 1 more minute and then moved over to the eliptical thingy with the arms. Not any better on that. Lasted 15 minutes at a slow pace making my priority to just not fall off. Then I did two ten minute sessions on the rowing machine — that actually seemed a little better. Maybe because I didn’t have to worry about falling off the rowing machine.

Yesterday I spent the entire day negotiating with myself. How about the pool? Even if I could get my head off the couch, I don’t think I can swim and the idea of going into that water where 5 million kids had been swimming for the last couple of days just didn’t sound appealing. (Coming from the woman who has swum in the Hudson River how many times?) Just get on your bike, please, ten minutes. Yes, Yes, I will do that as soon as I shut my eyes for a few minutes. 3 Hours later after coming out of a coma — let’s just try to read for a few minutes. Eyes can’t focus on a page. Let’s just shut my eyes for fifteen minutes. And so the day went on. I couldn’t even go to my friend’s get-together. The idea of getting out of my building and into a cab seemed more monumental than an Ironman. Ironman — oh that thing I’m supposed to be training for. Lord, Buddha, Mohammad — whoever might be listening — please help me get out of bed.

Finally at 9 p.m. I took two Tylenol Cold nighttime pills and went to bed. I woke at 6 a.m. with a sinus headache. This is ridiculous!! What would I even say to a doctor? My head is stuffy and I can’t think? Sinus stuff is not helping? I can’t get my workouts (or work) done? C’mon, buck up. Lisa is trudging through the dessert with a sprained ankle AND a torn quad and you can’t get your head up? Not very Ironman-like qualities. I couldn’t even get the energy together to boil a pot of water to soak my head. I did try using the neti pot every day but that doesn’t seem to be working. It almost seems to be making it worse or maybe my sinuses are so bad I need something more powerful.

Okay I don’t want to waste my 15 minutes of energy. I’m going to set up a head steam. Maybe this is on the way out and I can actually get to the gym and do SOMETHING today. I’m drinking soy milk for the first time — avoiding cow’s milk as I read that can aggrevate sinuses. I have been eating so well all week. Only good thing I can imagine coming out of this is I think I will lose a pound or two by week end because I’m too tired to cook or even eat.

I think I’m feeling a little better. Better take advantage of this. Now the big question is how to deal with guilt? How do I tell my coach that I didn’t do my workouts because I had a stuffed up head? How do I tell her that while she was running 300 miles in the dessert I felt it was too hot outside to get a workout in? Guilt, guilt, guilt. I must exercise my forgiveness muscles…

Namaste

I’m too tired to think of a quote…

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7/29/06 R&R (358)

Saturday. I’ve been a loaf all week. I have been sleeping all day — more like in a coma. I think I had(have) a cold or something because no sooner would I wake up then I would have to go to bed again. I remember waking up Tuesday in Lake Placid thinking I wasn’t feeling well — too tired to do anything. I just figured it was too big of a weekend and maybe a wee too much wine. The drive home from Lake Placid was all I could do to stay awake. As soon as I got to CT I fell asleep — in a coma. The next day I wanted to leave early but I couldn’t stay awake. Finally around 3 p.m. I was able to get myself up and drive back to NYC. Thursday and Friday I couldn’t do anything — basically just slept. Yesterday morning I did play tennis (badly) and went to my WW meeting (was up only .8 which is not bad for the amount of eating and drinking I did for the week). I had to get some work done yesterday so I pumped myself full of sinu-tabs and managed about 3 hours of work before I collapsed. I went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up this morning at 5:30 — with a cold. Finally something I could deal with. It’s a cold, nothing more than a cold. I hate mystery symptoms. A cold I know will be gone in a couple of days, pop some echinacea, vitamins, extra iron.

I was feeling a lot of guilt about not having enough energy to work out. But I believe you have to listen to the inner voice too. I think my body was saying “enough, I’m run down and tired, leave me alone.” So I left her alone for a couple of days (actually for almost a week). Today I have to play tennis again. I guess they are short on hitters because they were pleading with me to come hit with a guy today. I told them no serving/no games/ just hitting. Yesterday I was pretty pathetic.

It is definitely time to say adios to tennis. It just too hard to keep my head on the court. I just kept thinking of the “REAL” workouts I was supposed to be doing. I remember when a game of tennis was my real workout. But, everything is relative. I remember when I first joined the club one of the tennis pros was going to workout in the gym. I remember thinking “six hours on the tennis court is not enough of a workout?” The guy at the desk said “they don’t really get a workout teaching tennis — they need to go to the gym to keep in shape.” I remember thinking that was very strange, but now I get it. If you just keep doing the same thing over and over, your body gets used to it and accomodates. I can get the ball over the net without doing perfect footwork. My body knows how to minimize the effort. I’m not poog-poohing a competitive singles match that goes on for 2 hours but when you are just out there hitting a ball right to someone that’s a different story.

The last two days I’ve done very well keeping on the core plan. I woke up this morning feeling significantly lighter. I was probably a little bloated coming back from Lake Placid. It felt good to be filling up on fruits and vegetables although I am shocked at how much I can eat when there are no fillers like bread in there. Even more interesting is when I add up the points of eating all of this unadulterated food it comes out to less points than when I am doing the Flex plan.

I have to say I am really looking forward to the month of August. I have the MS bike tour on one weeked but that should include quite a bit of exercise so it should not have a negative impact. Also have the Manhattan half marathon. Just a nice quiet month when I can concentrate on my training, diet and taxes. July was just a chaotic month and I’m glad it is over.

I’m supposed to do a big brick tomorrow but they are predicting thunderstorms so I’m mixing up my workouts. Today I’ll play tennis and do my stairmaster/rowing workout. Tomorrow I’ll do Friday’s swimr/rowing workout that I didn’t do if I feel okay I’ll also do some of the one legged drills on my bike that I missed. Monday I’ll do my brick. It will work out somehow.

Right now I think I need to go take a nap. Very tired. Maybe take some cold medicine.

Namaste

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7/28/06 Let the Countdown Begin (359)

Friday. I apologize that I did not post my news sooner — with all the traveling it has been hard to keep the blog up to date. Bottom line is — I’m IN! The Lake Placid Ironman sold out in 90 minutes. Michelle and I got in line around 8 a.m. along with a bunch of other people. We both got confirmed numbers. I’m number 415. I also saw a couple of guys I know from Disney Half Ironman team signing up.

I have to say I am more than nervous about it. Stephanie and I rode the bike course on Monday and I thought it was hard. First the never ending downhills on the first part (made worse by my bike wobbles). Then a terrible stretch of what seemed to be the worst headwind I have ever experienced. (It didn’t help that I was tired and dehydrated, but nonetheless I think it was just plain hard). The course ends with a series of hills that honestly would not be that bad if you hadn’t just fought through those headwinds. I realized why so many people do not make the bike cutoff. It’s not easy. I also realized why so many people experienced cramps on the bike — a lot of hard peddling going on.

But nonetheless I am registered and I will do this. I have one year to train and although the rest of my friends start training in October, I start now. I am focusing on my half ironman in September. Right now I make that my goal — get through that. I have been reading some good reports about that race — it is a race to PR with so I am looking forward to giving that a try. The good thing about doing an 8:40 in my 1st halfiron man (I believe the winner of the FULL Ironman in Lake Placid was 8:49!) is that it will be hard to NOT have a PR!

I am returning to the Core plan on Weight Watchers. I just haven’t been tracking so I’ve been slacking. I’ve gotten away without gaining too much weight just due to exercise, but I’ve not lost anything in awhile either. So I made a huge order from Fresh Direct and made up menus for the coming week. I have everything I need to give myself nourishing meals. Now all I have to do is chop and cook.

I am strangely exhausted. I don’t know exactly what is wrong but I’ve been tired since the Ironman. Maybe I caught a bug or something. I seem to need to sleep, sleep, sleep. I’m thinking I’m having some allergies that are making me tired.

Today I have to play tennis (I know I’ll be hanging up my racquet soon). Then I have a big swim workout and I want to do a little bit of the stairmaster workout I missed on Wednesday due to traveling.

I’m ready to get down to work. I know this will be a hard, hard year, but I know I can do this with the right attitude and training. Next year at this time I will be celebrating. Right now it is time to hunker down and train.

(Will post more pictures and commentary about the ironman over the weekend)

Namaste

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”
Lao Tzu

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7/22/06 Weebles Wobble.

Saturday. (how’s this for a scary picture of my in the NYC Triathlon? Actually I like it because I look mean and filthy!)

Saturday. I’m in Lake Placid. Feeling nervous and excited. Oh man, oh man, what am I getting myself into? This is badass stuff. I was whining last night about something and someone yelled out “Badwater” and I started to laugh. (Remember a couple of days ago I said if I’m ever caught whining that just reminding me of the effort Lisa Smith-Batchen is going through doing the Badwater Double Trouble would make me shut up. So I laughed and shut up.

What was I whining about? Well I went on bike ride yesterday. I thought I was riding the bike course, but as usual I went the WRONG DIRECTION (insert joke Robin telling me ‘go under the overpass, go under the overpass.’) I was supposed to go east on rt. 86 and I went west. What a shocker — I got lost. I always get lost. Given the opportunity to pick left or right, just go the opposite direction I say and you’ll get there faster.

About 2 miles into my ride my bike had serious wobble. I just knew something was really wrong with that front tire. At the bottom of a big hill I pulled off the wheel and tried to reseat it. I couldn’t see what was wrong with it. I climbed back up the hill to the bike shop and had him look at it. He reseated the tire and told me to go try it out. It felt a little better but there is still something wrong. Will have to bring it in for fixing.

After fixing the bike I started to ride again. I rode and rode and rode and at first it was very scary because I found myself riding down a several mile steep series of hills on a very craggy road. I was so nervous and my bike was wobbling. MAJOR stress. Eventually I found myself going by some cow pastures. At 25 miles I knew I was in the middle of nowhere and lost. I called Stephanie and she drove out to meet me. By the end I had done 35 miles and was thought the terrain was fairly tough. This was no St. Anthonys.

On Friday night we had a wonderful dinner prepared by Donna. We invited over all of our friends who were doing the race (and supporters). A good time was had by all and the food was amazing!!! Will post photos later.

More later

Namaste

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7/19/06 Every Picture Tells A Story

I had a good laugh yesterday. They sent me links to my pictures from the Bronx Half Marathon and I broke up laughing. Of all the races that was my most miserable race. I walked so much of it. I was crampy and felt terrible. The pictures they took show me running or smiling. Hysterically funny.

(I can’t even believe my foot is off the ground. This had to be the one second in the race when I was actually moving…)

(This had to be taken within the first two minutes of the race. I’m fairly certain after that there were no smiles on my face at all.)

So all around funny. Beware of pictures they don’t always tell the full story!!

I’ve been hearing from more and more people that I absolutely should have taken an extra shot or two of abuterol before the run on Sunday. One of my friends ACK is a very good runner and she said she takes it before hot and humid runs and on Sunday had she been racing she would have taken two sprays before the swim and two sprays before the run. Darn, I wish I could go back and do it again. The New York Times had a big article in today’s paper about running in the heat and how hard it will be the for the marathoners in Beijing in 2008. It seems this is a hard thing for everyone and maybe there is hope.

Played a little tennis this morning. Wow, I’m pretty rusty but it was nice to just hit a few balls. This summer is flying by already and I’m sure I will be putting the racquet up on the shelf for awhile.

Feeling good. A little rushed to get all my work in before leaving for Lake Placid. Will be doing some good workouts up there with my friends and looking forward to it. I can’t wait to watch the Ironman. It is going to be so exciting.

Namaste

As Rod Stewart says “Every Picture tells a story don’t it?” The bigger question is whether the story is true…..

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7/18/06 Golfing

I think the journey to the ironman is a lot like playing golf. You get hooked on the sport with a couple of initial successes — it feels like the first time you sink a 20 foot putt. Wow!! This game is great, can’t wait to play more. Then you get sucked in. Soon, you play your first 18 holes on a course with a narrow fairway and spend more of the afternoon in the woods than on the green. Then, each week you get worse, not better. Every lesson leaves you with more things to correct. Instead of seeing a promising future, you see endless Sundays lined up with futilely chasing a little white ball around in a cart. Where’s the fun in that?

Then one day you are out playing golf and ready to call it quits. You can’t get rid of the slice and you are shanking every other ball. Enough already, this sport is more torture than fun. Inevitably on the last hole before your retirement you pull out the 5 iron one more time, you release all expectations to the universe and with almost no effort take one final swing. You paid for 18 holes so you are going to play 18 holes. That is always the swing that is followed by an unmistakably unique thwack-crack of a perfectly struck ball. You and all your friends cup your eyes with your hands as you watch your ball go sailing perfectly straight a hundred and seventy-five yards into the air and land squarely on the green. Someone whistles. Not a hole in one, but a well executed shot that keeps you out of the woods and on the green. Perfectly set for your two putt and par. Just par but nonetheless you are damned because now you have no choice but to return the following Sunday for another game.

That is how I feel about my race on Sunday. Not a perfect game but just enough of a good shot to put me back in the gym today to keep on training. I’m sure it is some big joke being played on me with the triathlon Gods “ah, c’mon let’s throw her a bone to make her think there is a shot in hell that she’ll do better one day.” Not a great race, but a good race. Unfortunately a good race is all you need to want to come back looking for more.

So today I get an easy day swim and yoga. Tomorrow back in the gym with a bigger workout. This weekend, Lake Placid to cheer and practice on some of the course. Then Monday is registration day and the year count down to Ironman 2007 begins. Deep breath, head down, swing.

Namaste

Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears. Bobby Jones

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7/16/06 A New Day

Had a much better day today during the NYC Tri. My final time was 3:28 which is a PR for me (although there are some caveats).

Swim was 22 minutes. Not to be compared to other swims because there was a strong current. But to compare it to last year when I did it in 27 minutes I think that is better (no coughing because now I have the abuterol). I do think I swim a little crooked because I look up and see I’m a little off course and had to make little corrections every time. 22 minutes seemed to be a common time so I really think it was a matter of the current controlling the outcome.

T1 was 8:14 because we had 3/10 of a mile run from swim exit to transition area. I just did a powerwalk for that to get my legs going. Last year was similar.

Bike was 1:34. Not my best time on a bike, BUT I really worked hard and it was 9 minutes faster than last year (last year I did 1:43). NYC is a hilly course and except for 2 little stops (once to fix my saddle bag because it was falling off and once to check my tire because I though it was coming loose – it wasn’t), I was at a strong effort the whole way. I thought for sure I was at 1:20 or so but I guess the hills were harder than I thought. I looked up some other people’s times (who I know are close to me) and their times were slower than usual too. I was passing people the entire time on the bike. When I started my run people were passing me and giving me a lot of compliments on my good bike ride. (Although a 1:34 is not that great, I guess it was better than they did.) I felt good about that result and knew I tried my hardest on the bike. I was in aero position for 90% of it (some of the hills were too hard to stay down in aero). The only way I could have been any faster would be if I were lighter – which will be the case for next year. (I did talk to the bike shop guy and told him that something feels loose on my bike when I get over 30 mph. A couple of times on some downhills I knew I could do 40+ but the bike is shaking and it feels like the tire is loose so I slowed it down.) Never happened on my old bike – he told me to bring it in and we would look at it.

T2 was 2:32. I don’t know what I was doing for 2:32 – seemed like a quick transition to me but that’s normal.

Run was 1:19. Actually was 2 minutes slower than last year but really I was at max effort. It was about a 13 minute mile because I was power walking all the hills. Even power walking I was breathing hard and I was by no means the only one out there walking. I ran the flats and downhills and as much of the uphills as I could before I was sucking wind – then I power walked. I never really caught my breath and had difficulty breathing. I ran the last mile and a half because it was flat or down hill. Even though the weather forecast was for high 90’s there was no way it was that hot. It felt NOTHING like last weekend in the Bronx. I found quite a bit of shade on the first 3 miles and even those miles 2 and 3 were hilly, I never felt like I was going to pass out. The last ¾ of a mile was probably 150% of max heart rate even though I didn’t feel like I was moving (probably because I wasn’t). But I couldn’t get any more oxygen in there. My lungs were holding me back, not my legs.

Nutrition wise I felt good. Before the race I had bagel/almond butter/banana and a bottle of heed. I drank Heed on the bike (about 80 ounces in total). I did not use the Hammer Gels but went back to Enervitene (had 2) and one pack of the Sharkies (good). For the run I froze two 10 oz bottles of heed the night before and stuck them in my pockets. I also brought along 2 Enervitene packs and took one at mile 1 and one at mile 4 on the run. I didn’t want to wear a fuel belt but next time I bet I could do the Nathan bottles as I was carrying that around with me the day before. I did grab water from the water stations but I did not stop. I also froze two 10 ounce bottles of that recoverite and drank that when I finished the race along with a banana.

I felt no energy dips, no muscle or knee pain or fatigue. The whole time I kept thinking “thank God, this is nowhere near as awful as the Bronx…” The only reason I couldn’t run more was my lung capacity. I was really breathing hard. Unlike the Bronx where I felt I couldn’t run due to heat, hills and stomach and knee pain. I simply could not suck in enough air on the run. I’m wondering if I should ask my doctor if it would be okay to take another shot of abuterol right before the run. I felt like my lungs were full of gunk and I just couldn’t get enough air in there. As long as I kept it to a slow jog I was okay, but the moment I tried to pick it up my lungs just went on revolt. I was really breathing hard and coughing a little. That was the ONLY problem during the entire race. No broken toes, no flat tires, no knee pain, no stomach cramps, no back pain, no burning anything. I ran/powerwalked as hard as my lungs would let me.

Oh and NO WATCH – didn’t even bring it with me to transition – left it at home on my dresser. It was weird at first but then I just didn’t even care. I thought my wave went off at 6:44 and when I crossed the finish line it said 4:25 so I though I had done my usual 3:40. But my friends were at the finish line congratulating me – I guess they were tracking the times with accenture and Michelle told me 3:28!! 3:28!! (My best time to date is 3:39). I guess my wave went off late but since I wasn’t wearing a watch I didn’t notice. I think she was more excited than I was.

Compared to the nightmare of the Bronx – this was a dream!! Compared to the hell of the Disney half – this was heaven.

Namaste

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