Monthly Archives: September 2006

9/29/06 The Blog (or is that Blob?) is Back

Friday.  My sincerest apologies everyone for the long delay in getting the blog posted.  I have been writing, just unable to post.   It appears blogger.com was not allowing me to post to my own site, nor was it allowing me to transfer my blog to a site managed by them!  So am moving over to wordpress not so much as a vote of confidence in them but a vote against blogger.com.  For right now it appears I have lost the historical entries to the blog (don’t worry — have them safely tucked away on my website).   If you are looking for old links or pix they will be added back in as I find the time.  Anyway, this is all stuff nobody cares about.  How’s the training going?!?!?  That is what is on everyone’s mind  (okay not everyone’s but a few loyal readers and I appreciate your tracking me down and keeping me on this task of tracking my way to the Ironman.)

 Okay let’s see if I can do a recap since Firmman.  Celebratory eating and no exercising.  Guests in from Austria.  More Celebratory eating and minor exercising.  Came to London (where I remain) for my birthday and my brother’s wedding.  More celebratory eating, pretend exercising, lots and lots of drinking.  Did I mention a lot of drinking?

 Okay.  I know what I’m doing.  It is my last hurrah before official training starts on Tuesday.  Nine months of having my arse kicked all over New York and I guess this is just my way of saying farewell to my friends wine, cheese, more wine and more cheese.  Official practice starts on Tuesday.  I figured not only would I not show up in ready-to-train-for-an-Ironman shape, but I would add an extra ten pounds and instead of running down Cat Hill I would just sit on my bum and rolllllllll……. Ooph.

Okay I have done SOME exercising while here.  A lot of powerwalking in the beginning.  Had about 4 days straight of walking everywhere.  Did one day where I walked 1 hour at top speed (Londoners looking at my like I was nuts) then I did a bike ride for 3 1/2 hours around the city.  That was the one day I managed to get on my bike.  Not because bikes are not available, they are EVERYWHERE, but I’ve been sidetracked with helping my brother move apartments and get married in the same week!!!  So one day I lifted boxes for 3 hours — that counts as something right?  Squats maybe?

I have been doing situps, 150 every other morning.  (So far have done that 3 times).  The 15 pushups I’ve done twice.  The 150 jumping jacks — nada.  The flat I am occupying is really old, I think a couple of good jumps and I could pull the whole place down.  Haven’t pulled up the courage to start jumping up and down in the car park.  Everyone looks at me suspiciously as it is.

 I’ve been having fun exploring a new part of town.  My brother has moved to an area called Clerkenwell which is kind of like NY’s Murray Hill so I’ve been learning my way about there.  I’m staying in the old flat in Hoxton which is more like the East Village.   So two different tastes of London and I’ve been enjoying myself. (Although I think I might actually be on the verge of liver poisoning I’ve been having wine every single day.  I might be going for a world’s record here.) 

Thursday 9/21:  Arrived tired from flight.  Did little to nothing.  Spent the day getting acclimated.

Friday:  9/22 Beautiful day.  Explored the outdoor markets.  Had lunch with family at outdoor restaurant.  More shopping.  Had dinner at brother’s apartment with friends. 

Saturday:  Did 1 hour power walk and 3 1/2 hour bike ride.  Held promise for a good week?  Saturday night had dinner with friends at my brother’s new apartment.

Sunday:  My brother and bunch of his friends and I roamed the “antiques” (read junk) of Brick Lane and stopped and had some beers outside along with 10 million other Londoners because the weather.  More walking stumbled on a handbag store called Mimi.  I fell in love with a bag called “Otis.”  Otis is coming home with me to America.  Considered him my birthday present to myself.  After further walking ended up at my favorite local spot Cru for wine and tapas.

Monday:  Moved my brother’s stuff from the storage into new apartment.  Boxes, boxes, boxes.  That had to be worth some kind of workout.  I was sweating!  We needed a lot of wine that night to rehydrate.

Tuesday:  My birthday — 47 woo hoo.  Big deal, not even a new age category.  What’s 47?  That’s such a tweener age.  Didn’t feel it was anything big to celebrate.  Went to Covent Garden for shopping.  Went out for Indian food with family.  We decided to have some Indian food delivered for the wedding party on Friday night.   Our theme would be international.

Wednesday:  Big shopping day.  Had to get stuff for our big party coming up on Friday night.  Wanted to go to Harrods because I haven’t been there in a hundred years.  Now I know why.  OMG that place is huge.  I was lost within twenty minutes.  The food court alone was a city.  Took the elevator to the 4th floor found myself in the middle of a restaurant.  Saw they had a nice terrace.  Decided to treat myself to a “high” tea.  Two glasses of champagne, some salmon on latkes and my book.  Was one of the highlights of my trip.   I was wearing jeans, sneakers and my NYC Marathon rain jacket.  I looked a mess.  They treated me like the Queen of Sheba.  Was just what I needed.  Considered that my birthday present to myself.  Later that night met up with family and friends at the Vietnamese restaurant and we decided to order some Vietnameses and Japanese food to round out the menu.

 Thursday:  Shopping.  Do you see the theme here?  This time I did the Regents Street/Oxford Street thing.  Shoot me.  Haven’t any of these people heard of online shopping?  The streets were mad, insane, crazy!!  It was like Times Square on New Years Eve and it was just Thursday during the day.  I found a Starbucks on the second floor of Esprit.  (In all the years Starbucks has been in the States I’ve been there about 3 times!)   Actually had a fat free capuccino and a nice transition.  Then I recharged to tackle the Oxford street portion of the race, er I mean the shop, er whatever it was.  Forget swim training — I think they should have us try to get from one end of Oxford Street to the other.  People are crazy out there.  They refuse to make eye contact, that way if they knock you over it was “accidental.”  Worse than a mass swim start I tell you.  You know that cliff bar video of the guy simulating a mass swim start by having his buddies  slap him around with oars?  Oxford street is like that! 

Friday:  Wedding.  This afternoon we have the ceremony and then the reception for 30 people at my brother’s new apartment.  We’ve been going crazy all week getting everything ready.  I think it will be fine. 

I swear Saturday and Sunday I’m going to Richmond park for some bike riding.  All of the festivities will be over and I understand Richmond Park makes Central Park look like a park bench and they have plenty of bicycles to rent.  I brought my bike shoes with me but couldn’t get the pedals off so I think I’ll just ride the old fashioned way and get time in the saddle.

I fly back Monday.  Tuesday night is our first run practice, not sure if I will go or will be too jet lagged.  I haven’t run since Firmman and even then I wouldn’t call that running.  But maybe my legs will be nice and rested (nice fantasy).  On Thursday we begin our 220 mile ride to New Jersey.  I think I’ll consider that the OFFICIAL start of Ironman Training.

So that’s the recap.  Hopefully that has brought you all up-to-date.  I have not been treating myself too healthily, but I am also not going to beat myself up about it.  Will try to make a few healthier choices whereever possible and realize that today I rise to try again.  I am not too worried about my lack of workouts.  Something tells me I’m going to be making them up REAL FAST.

Namaste

“I can resist anything but temptation”  Oscar Wilde

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9/12/2006 Awards Ceremony

Tuesday. Feeling okay. Have definitely felt much worse after some of my races. Have some sore muscles but that is to be expected. The back pain is definitely my lats — have no idea what I did to them, maybe something in the swim? Maybe I spent too much time in aero position? Is that possible? I felt comfortable on the bike but maybe I was stretching out too much? Not enough? Anyway it is not too bad and I’m sure in another day I’ll be bouncing back to normal.

I was reviewing the results page yesterday (yes, I know they were not up for hours and I think everyone on the planet was dying to see the results — we must have been crashing their poor website). First thing I noticed is that there were no where near 900 participants. It was more like 550!! If I had known that ahead of time I definitely would have thought twice about signing up. So I’m glad I didn’t know.

For those of you who do not race in triathlons I figured I would explain the grouping. You compete overall (first place to 550th) put you also compete against people in your own gender and age group. So I do not compete against a 30 year old male. He competes against other 30-34 year old men and I compete against other women 45-49. EXCEPT if you also want to compete in a category called Clydesdale (for men) or Athena (for women). Clydesdale men weight over 200 pounds and Athena women weigh over 150 pounds. In the larger races you can compete Clydesdale/Athena AND age group. Then I would be competing against other 46-50 year old women who weigh over 150 pounds. In this race, however, there were only 10 women who signed up for Athena because it was a small race. So I only get to compare myself to those women regardless of their age.

Of the 10 Athena women, I came in 8th overall. Hey it’s not last and I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with coming in 8th in the Athena swim, that’s pathetic. I came in 7th on the run which is probably wrong because I think one of the women had her bike and run time lumped together. I can’t possibly believe 3 women had worse run times than me. But the really great news is I came in 3rd on the bike!! That’s really good and I’m very happy with that. (Okay, if you compare me to my age group it is not that great but compare to other Athena’s it is.) See this is a numbers game. Slice the pie enough times and you get a piece you like!! I got third place on the bike in Athena and I’m taking it home!!! LOL

Look, the reality is we are all competing with ourselves. We just want to do a little better, go a little farther, hang on to our dignity a little longer. If we don’t set goals and have something to shoot for, life can become a drag. It is the hope for a better tomorrow that gets us up and out the door. At the same time you need a little pat on the back once in awhile to say “Hey, good job, you are improving.” Everyone needs that. Whether you are a 30 year old male who finally conquered his fear of the swim or a 61 year old woman who blasts past a 46 year old Athena with a smile on your face. (Yes I was the 46 year old Athena who got blasted!) It’s great for everyone to walk away with a little something. Because somewhere, somehow, every single person is a winner.

I like the fact that everyone gets a medal at a half ironman. The medal is not just for finishing. It is to cover whatever special obstacle you have overcome to get there. For some having the courage to even sign up and show up to the start line merits a medal. For me my medal means that I did the race I thought I could and now maybe I really can do the Ironman (with lots and lots of training!!!)

I think we should start giving out medals to everyone. Here’s a medal for taking on a full-time job and going to law school 4 nights a week. That deserves a medal. Here’s a medal for raising four kids a husband and taking care of your parents. That deserves a medal. Don’t people who have fought in the battle against cancer or another disease deserve a medal? What about someone who had the courage to leave their job and start a new life? What about someone who has the courage to stick out a job for 40 years?

I want to give a medal to the check-out clerk in my Food Emporium because she never ever fails to have a smile and kind word for every single person that comes into the store (in New York City that deserves a BIG medal). I want to give a medal to the guy who holds the elevator door when he sees I am going to just miss it instead of letting it slam in my face. I want to give a medal to those two little girls who went out of their way to find a Lynrd Skynrd song for me during the race. Oh and can I also give a medal to that guy who filled my water bottles at mile 100 in Vermont?

My friends deserve countless medals for supporting me in all my events. Melissa drove 3 hours, six-months pregnant to come cheer for me (and then drove 3 hours back). That deserves a medal. My Rumble Girls, Stephanie, Michelle and Donna flew to freakin’ Florida and booked hotel rooms to watch my first half ironman and stayed out and baked in the sun for hours — that deserves a bunch of medals.

In Weight Watchers we get little silver stars that say Bravo on them when we have some kind of achievement. It doesn’t have to be weight loss — it can be exercising or shopping or doing something that was hard to do. Something that required a little effort. I think it is a great idea because everyone needs a little acknowledgement that they are doing a good job.

So to all my friends who read my blog (and to those who don’t as well), I want to say Bravo and congratulations for a life well-lived. Congratulations on stepping up to the plate. Whatever your personal challenges and goals are, kudos to you for keeping going. One foot in front of the other, step by step, we’ll make it through this crazy race we call life — together. Medals, Silver Stars and Bravos all around!

Namaste

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Buddha

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9/11/2001 Results are In (314)

9/11. In remembrance.

**Note. This is my race report and it is going to be long, so fill up your coffee jug.

Well it’s finally over. The end of my triathlon season for 2006. It was a long hard year with every pitfall I could imagine. My seat nearly falling off and a nice broken toe during St. Anthony’s. 3 flat tires and ten zillion degree heat at Disney. The beginning of the wobble terrors on my bike at NYC. I trained a lot over the summer and hit a mental wall a couple of weeks ago, depression, fatigue, whatever. I was not really looking forward to FIRMMAN half Ironman (swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles) in Rhode Island because I just thought it was going to be another opportunity for some debacle and I just didn’t think I had it in me to go up against another race filled with mishaps. I have to admit I started that race with no small amount of dread. Did I have it in me to face another race with three flat tires? What if my wheel starts wobbling down the hills? Are my knees going to give out? The possibilites for disaster seemed endless and exhausting.

Cat and I drove up Saturday morning and the drive was a breeze. We made it in 3 hours including a stop. We made it in plenty of time for the first race briefing. It was actually a good briefing for once. He told us about the swim and that the buoys were only guidelines and you did not have to swim farther out into the ocean. The only rule was the first buoy and the last had to be on your right shoulder. Noted — swim closer to shore-side of the buoys. He also told us about the running through the wooded path entrance which helped me later on (I heard several people cut their run short by 2 miles because they did not go through the woods). So good meeting — good long-sleeved t-shirts. And it turns out that Hammer Heed was sponsoring the event. My coach has had me using Hammer products all summer so I was happy to find out the Heed (their version of Gatorade)was going to be given out on the course. They were also selling the Hammer products and I bought a bunch of the Almond bars my coach had me eating and I decided those along with some Sharkies would be my fuel for the bike.

Then we drove our car along the bike course. Ooph. It was MUCH hillier that I had expected. The first 16 miles were okay, fairly flatish. Not pancake flat but nothing that would have cause for worry. But then when we got off the highway we started climbing, climbing, climbing. This section they call the stairs because you go up, level off, go up, level off, go up… you get the idea. Cat and I were looking at each other thinking “oh boy, this is not going to be fun.” The roads seemed very choppy and very winding. But at the end it would dump us out on the highway again and we would have another 16 miles or so of relatively flat riding (again not pancake but nothing too bad.)

Then I found out there was an 8 hour cutoff and I started to get nervous. At Disney I thought even if I had not had my 3 flat tires I was probably not going to have finished in under 8:10. This was a small race with less than 900 people in it. This was also a half-ironman so I was not going to be in the field with a bunch of first-time triathletes, I was going to be out there with people who knew what they were doing. I was nervous that everyone would be long gone home by the time I crossed the finish line. My friend Melissa had driven out from NYC to watch and cheer so she assured me that even if everyone else went home, she would stay.

Later in the afternoon, Cat and I did a practice swim. The water was cold and choppy and my wetsuit was sticking to my knees. We swam out to the first buoy and I thought “Oh boy, this is going to be a long swim….” I suddenly rued my missed swim practices over the last couple of weeks. But I had to remind myself that I have done long swims before and just put one arm in front of the other and you’ll get there. I was already preparing myself for coming in last because I figured with this kind of chop I was going to have a pretty long swim. They assured us in the morning the current would be going with us instead of against us, but I have learning that race directors are often more optimistic than accurate. (When a race director tells you a course is flat, expect rolling hills. When they say rolling hills, expect hilly. When they say hilly, expect mountains!)

One of the big thrills for me was to find out that team Hoyt was going to be in the race. For anyone who does not know who they are, click here for their website. This is a father and son team. The father carries the son during the entire race. The son is put in a boat that the father pulls for the swim. Then he had a special bike that he rides with the son in the front and then he pushes the son in a cart for the run. It’s just an amazing tribute to love and perseverance. To finally get to see them in person was a big moment for me. To see them on the course with me was a great inspiration. It definitely made me try a little harder.

Race Morning. Cat and I got to the race early in order to get a good parking space. This was Cat’s first half ironman and I’m sure she was more nervous than I was. I was more like the prisoner walking towards their cell. I knew what was coming. She was more like someone waiting for the verdict. I knew I could do this because I finished Disney – how much worse could anything be? And, I guess I was anticipating it to be as awful as Disney which is why I had been dreading it so much.

Melissa met us bright and early in transition area. This is not a big race with tons of security or anything. People freely walking in and out of transition. We didn’t wear id bracelets or anything. So it was fun to have Melissa in transition with us. Cat and I were both racing Athena so we set up our bikes right next to each other so that was nice.

As we walked down to the swim we stopped to put on our wetsuits. It was fairly chilly at that hour of the morning on the beach so I wasn’t worrying about overheating. This time, however, I plastered my entire body from chin to ankle with body glide. (usually I just do my wrists and ankles because I’m lazy). This time I did my entire leg INCLUDING lubing right over my tri-shorts (never did that before). I did my entire arms, my entire neck. Any nook or cranny I could find I did. The backs of my knees, my elbows. We even put some on the outside of our wetsuits to help get them off faster (I don’t think that works, but hey it was an idea.) Wow, what a difference! My wetsuit felt actually comfortable! I could move my arms much better and instead of sticking to my tri-shorts, it moved right up over them. Cool. I will over-lube forever.

We jumped in the water to try it out. Thank goodness it was slightly warmer than the ice bath of the day before. The current did seem to be going in the direction of our goal and there was only one wave line breaking at the shore. So the water looked okay to me. Just had to get through the 1.2 mile ocean swim and that would be done. I was not looking forward to being swum over by the three waves of men behind me, but I just figured it would be what it would be. It was not like this would be the first time I was kicked, pushed or swum over and it wasn’t going to be the last. Just get through it.

The swim went okay. Actually like Disney, I thought I was brilliant until I got out of the water. It was a little difficult to sight in the ocean as the buoys were the small round ones (instead of the big triangular ones) and if you looked up there might be a small wave in front of you preventing you from seeing the buoy. But one time I looked up and saw the farthest buoy lined up between two brick buildings and that became my sight line for the rest of the race. I rarely saw the buoy again. I just looked for the two brick buildings and kept swimming.

Once I was out in the ocean I realized why I like triathlons so much. The swim is just so fantastic. I was out in the ocean, farther that I could ever safely swim out by myself, and just a full mile to stretch out and swim, swim, swim. I love it. I think it is the greatest feeling. I kept thinking, this is the Atlantic Ocean. I’m swimming in it and I don’t have to stop at the end of twenty strokes and turn around. I meditated for a moment and thought “this is peaceful, this is a really beautiful moment.” I think this is where I forget I am racing and just swim. This also might be part of my problem of why I don’t have good swim results. I forget to race. lol

I thought I was doing well although I was aware of the men swimming past me quite fast. They seem to skim the top of the water and I seem to bounce up and down in it like a cork. Nobody kicked me – one guy crossed in front of me, but he was heading out to sea so I figured too bad for him. I just kept looking for my two brick buildings and I thought I got to the final buoy fairly quickly. Then I rounded that buoy and we had swim back a bit against the current and that was hard. The final little stretch to the shore which seemed so short, was in fact, endless.

I wasn’t coughing very much (3 shots of abuterol) but I was breathing hard after fighting my way in, so I just walked up the sand. It was not very far and I really didn’t think the extra minute I would take would effect my overall time that much. (It wasn’t like the NYC tri where you had to run a quarter mille to get to transition.) When I crossed the transition mat I looked at my watch and it said 48 minutes. WHAT?!?!?! Ripped off again. Just like Disney where I thought I did so well. 48 minutes? That stinks. I wore a wetsuit this time AND I had a current. What’s that about? But Okay, okay. (Later when I was telling Melissa about it she laughed as said “Yeah, it’s like would you rather think you look really good but don’t or think you don’t look good but do?” I thought about it last night and decided I’d rather think I look good but don’t.) It’s all in the attitude. Maybe my swim was slow, but I truly enjoyed all 48 minutes of it. (Okay, 47 minutes of it, I didn’t enjoy the last minute trying to fight my way to the shore.)

When I got into transition I changed quickly and got out on the bike. The bike was pretty much as I had expected it to be from my ride with Cat. I think knowing the course ahead of time was a huge help. Just being able to visualize in my head where we were helped me pace better. I knew once I exited the hilly section that I could pick it up a little as the last sixteen miles were fairly flat. I actually tried to stand on a couple of hills (I need MUCH work on that.) The hills were hard. I need to be lighter and stronger to do more standing climbs for those. But overall I think I did as well as I could on the bike. My final time was 3:26 on the bike and for my present level of fitness and for that course, I think that was the best I could do yesterday. It was about 10 miles of hills. I was probably going about 10 miles per hour vs. 20 miles per hour on the flats. That takes up time. The downhills were good but a little winding. But I kept thinking that this was a more realistic race. A little bit of everything. Some flat, some climbs, some wind. It really gives you a chance to see what your strengths and weaknesses are. Most important is that Tina (my bike) did not have a peep to say about anything. Nothing went wrong. I held my breath at mile 52 to see if she was going to blow a tire. Nothing. Her chain did not fall off, the seat did not slip, the saddle bag did not fall off. She was quiet and just did her job. I was suspicious about why she was so quite because usually she is quite the Prima Donna. I decided that Embert (the bike Mechanic) had said something to her. He was quite emphatic when I picked up the bike that she was going to perform really well. I wonder what he said to her? She seemed reluctant to misbehave…..

At about mile 12 on the bike I realized how much I love to ride my bike. I thought this is so cool to be out on this open road and ride, ride, ride. No stopping for anything. Just let your legs out and let ‘em rip. It’s a wonderful feeling. I realized at that moment that I was actually having a good time. OMG, was this awful, dreaded race actually turning out to be fun? The weather was gorgeous, nothing was hurting, Tina was behaving, I had made it through the swim. So far this was a good day.

On my descent of the stairs I ran into team Hoyt starting their stair climb. I had to swallow hard. I barely got my own body up some of those hills. How is this guy going to get him AND his son up those hills on that bike? I don’t know how he did it. It seemed impossible to me. It made me ride a little harder when I passed them yelling “Go Team Hoyt!”

I switched quickly to the run. I slathered tiger balm all over my legs and popped two more Aleve (total of 4 for the race day). I didn’t want to carry my fuel belt but I grabbed one of the bottles of Heed they were handing out and I decided I would carry that with me until I didn’t need it. Ironically that bottle stayed with me through the entire run. I still grabbed heed and water from the tables but it was nice to have something to sip on in between water stops.

Almost immediately I knew I had to walk. My left calf was cramping. (I don’t think it was from the bike, I think it was from the swim because I had to kick to get into shore.) So my first two miles were a weird mish-mosh of running/speed walking/ limping. Then I made a HUGE mistake. At mile two I stopped to go the bathroom. I got into the Porto-John and as soon I bent my legs I got a HUGE cramp in my quad. Ouch. I got stuck for a second in the Porto-John and thought “Oh great, this will be my claim to fame, the girl who got stuck in the Porto-John with a leg cramp.” I got out alive but my left quad was actually spasming and I had to stop for about thirty seconds to massage my leg. Then I started to walk it off. (Note to self — wait until about mile 4 to go into a porto-john by then your muscles have transitioned).

Very soon my back went out. Not my lower back (which used to happen), not my shoulders, my mid-back. I didn’t even know I had a mid-back. I’ve never felt a pain there in my life. But the entire mid part of my back was in a muscle contraction and total pain. I couldn’t run and hold my upper body – it hurt too much. All I could think is that I had an upper body massage on Friday and maybe my muscles got a little out of whack. My legs felt fine (that massage had been on Wednesday) so I just kept power walking. “Just walk as fast as you can, don’t stop and it will go away.” People were passing me, but I noticed that they were not getting that far ahead of me. I was going at a decent clip. Every once in awhile I would try to run but I really couldn’t get my mind to escape my crunching back. I really wanted to get down on the ground and do a shoulder bridge – I thought that would help but the thought of emptying my pockets and finding a place to do it and, and, and…. Oh for goodness sakes just keep moving!!!

If I hadn’t been powerwalking I might never have noticed what an absolutely fantastic day it was. I’m guessing a cool 72 degrees. Not once did I feel like I was overheating or searching for shade. The sun was out but I had my hat and sunglasses and although I was breathing hard as I was trying to powerwalk as fast as I could. Before I even knew it I was passing mile 5 marker and I thought to myself, “can you do more than double that?” No problem! Came the voice in my head, “we got this.” I kept looking at my watch thinking ‘this can’t be right, if I ran the whole thing I would be way under my estimate. But I wasn’t running so I just kept pumping my arms (to the back not the front) and concentrating on moving my feet as fast as they could go.

About midway through the run I was about to descend a small hill (not the mile 10 hill a smaller one). There were two young girls (about 11 years old) sitting in a couple of old beach chairs in their yard with an old plastic radio tape player between them. The player was obviously was on max volume and you could just about make out the music – some pop tune from a boys band or something. The girls were just hanging out, slouched in their chairs, not saying much, clapping now and then. I yelled to them “listen I’ll be coming back this way soon and I need to hear some rock and roll when I come up this hill, no pop music.” They yelled “okay!” They were behind me as I yelled “Like Lynard Skynard” as I started jogging down the hill. I was sure they couldn’t hear me say that and then I chuckled to myself, OMG, it is quite possible that those girls parents don’t even know who Lynard Skynard is – I am old!!!

Okay. Here is the highlight of my race. I made it down that hill, through some neighborhood cul de sac and through some trees (no kidding you had to run through someone’s yard or something) and then back up that hill. I had a little WOG going (walk/jog) and then I saw those girls still sitting there slouched in their chairs like they hadn’t moved. Then all of a sudden I heard diddle, dit, de, diddle, dit, de, diddle dit de. It couldn’t be. Sure enough right as I was nearing the top of the hill the words “Sweet Home Alabama” come sailing out to me. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at these girls, they didn’t move one inch of their slouch and they had big grins on their faces. I screamed out to them “I CAN”T BELIEVE IT, I LOVE THAT SONG!!! HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!?!” They were laughing and I actually started running for a little bit and waved to them as I shouted “THANK YOU!”” That kept me going for a good two miles. How the heck did they do that? What happened? Had they run inside and asked their father who Lynard Skynard was and he said “I don’t know, go ask your Grandfather?” Then the Grandfather might have handed them an old cassette tape? Did they blow on the tape to get the cobwebs out? That honestly made my day. I couldn’t believe those two little girls who were probably sitting there talking about Justin Timberlake actually did that for me.

I was aware that the day was getting progressively more gorgeous. Although I was in pretty bad back pain, I felt as long as I can keep powerwalking and the day is nice, what do I have to complain about? The Hoyts were out there struggling more than I was as were others. I was passing a lot of people who had just stopped and were limping. Most of the people I was passing were walking but they weren’t power walking so I said, “just keep going.” I kept saying to myself “faster, faster, faster.”

When I hit the turnaround and the woman said “five miles from here.” I couldn’t believe it. I thought. 5 miles? What’s that? That’s nothing. I can do five miles in 1 hour if I was running. I looked at my watch and it was only 6 hours and some minutes. Something’s wrong with my watch. At this point in my mind I was just trying to break 8 hours. I wasn’t even looking at my watch to try to do my 9/1 run/walk it was more like 1/9 run/walk. I was okay though, the day was soooo gorgeous and I felt lucky to be out there and healthy enough to be able to do this much.

Around mile 8 I picked up my first injured runner. He was trying to run but couldn’t and was walking. I said “walk with me, c’mon.” After about 5 minutes he said “I can’t walk that fast, let me jog.” I laughed. We did one mile with me power walking and him jogging next to me. Then we caught up with another walker, a woman named Vic. I told her to come with us so she started to pick it up. Then we hit the mile 10 marker and the guy said “3.1 miles, I’m going to try to run it from here.” he thanked us and took off. Now Vic and I were power walking and she was trying hard to keep up but her knee was killing her. We exchanged muscle complaints. Then we saw the Hoyts coming – they were heading out for the turn around. “Oh boy, we better get moving, they will be on us in no time. Father Hoyt was BOOKING!! Man I could never run that fast, never mind push my son in front of me for the entire race. We didn’t mention our pains to each other after that.

Vic and I hit the mile 10 hill that we had all been dreading. “Okay, Vic, we are doing this hill for my friend who has cancer. She’s going through Chemo and I promised we would do this hill for her. Let’s do it!” So we started pumping our arms and powered up the hill. When we got to the top the guy said “wow, you gals did that faster than the runners!” We were really smiling at that and gave each other a high five. Then he told us “Just about two miles left Ladies” and we said “no problem!”

Right about then a guy went sailing past us walking. I couldn’t believe how fast he was speed walking. That has to be a ten minute mile! Right then I decided I want to learn to do that. Maybe I’m never supposed to be a fast runner, maybe I’ll just speed walk my way through races. He was passing all the remaining runners. It was so impressive I couldn’t believe it. I’m not sure he was actually in the race though because he was walking on the opposite side of the road and he was wearing a non-tri looking outfit. So maybe he was only doing that for a mile or two but nonetheless it was very impressive.

Then my friend Mellissa found us. Just shy of two miles from the finish and we told her to walk with us. She’s six months pregnant and in non-pregnant state a very good runner. I know she can power walk too and the three of us (me, Mellissa and Vic) headed toward the end. We hit a downhill and I thought I could jog a little. I told Vic to go ahead because she was a faster runner. Melissa and I did a jog/speed walk toward the finish – she went around to the finish line and left me to do my finish in the sand.

Okay the sand finish. Nothing short of cruel. Deep, deep sand. Impossible to run through for more than five steps. But I kept trying because I really wanted to finish. I promised my friend Missy that I would run the sand for her (it was her birthday). So everytime I stopped I said “okay for Missy, for Missy, and started up again.” (So Happy Birthday Missy!) I would guess it was about an eighth of a mile or so. Not really far but just enough to be totally mean. You had to run by everyone sunbathing. Almost all of them clapping as I went by. And then I hit the plastic boardwalk to run up to the finish line. The announcer yelled my name and I saw Melissa there with her camera, jumping around just like the New York City marathon. As I crossed the finish they handed me medal and I glanced at my watch, I thought I saw 7:32 but I wasn’t sure.

Hugs from Melissa. I was really happy. 7:32? Really? How could that be? I walked pretty much the entire run. I felt really good. The weather was perfect, I had tried my hardest, fought through 13.1 miles of back pain and still managed to come out better than I thought I would. Imagine if I had been able to really run it? I might have been able to cut 13 minutes off! (I don’t think my run is actually much faster than my powerwalk but it is a smidge faster.) But who cares? I finished it and I was one hour and ten minutes faster than my half ironman in Disney!!!! Who can complain about that? And I wasn’t last, there were at least a dozen people behind me (not sure if they all finished because some of them looked like they were really hurting). I was way ahead of the clock cutoff. I finished even before the awards ceremony (which is always a bummer to hear you have crossed the finish line and the awards ceremony is already over!)

Interestingly my legs didn’t give me a bit of a problem. Who ever thought my back would give out? But nonetheless I did a lot of things right for a change. I did my nutrition correctly. I was efficient in my transitions (relatively). I had a good, constant effort through the entire race. But most important, above all else, I had a good head through the race. I can’t stress how important that was to me to actually enjoy the process. To be out there and think, “hey, I’m actually having fun!” I had a big smile on my face throughout the entire race and I truly, truly enjoyed myself. That is how I wanted to end my 2006 race season and launch my official ironman training, with a good head.

I feel good. I feel like I got the end to my summer that I wanted – finally a race that wasn’t some form of a disaster. I highly, highly recommend Firmman as a race to do. I will probably never do another Florida race after experiencing what I think racing should be all about. A hard day, but a fun day. It shouldn’t be torture. I respect the Firmman course but at the same time I feel the conditions are fair enough to let everyone have a shot at having a good race. And isn’t that all we want? A shot at a good race? Not spectacular, just very solid. And, in my world, very solid is a good thing. It’s all I really want. I don’t need to be the fastest out there, I just want to do it with dignity. I want to know I tried my hardest and that I didn’t give up. So in that respect I did great! Very happy. I feel very blessed to have good friends and the health to continue with this quest. I live to fight another day!

Namaste

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

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9/8/06 Race Ready (317)

Friday. This will probably be my last blog until after the race. For those of you anxious to see if I finish and what my results are, I will give you the website address here but I’m not so sure they are high-tech so it may be awhile before results are posted. Firmman Website.

Of course if given a choice of feeling not so great pre-race and feeling great during the race vs. the alternative I think we would all opt for pre-race aches and pains. I had a massage on Wednesday and it left me kind of stiff and my knees were definitely hurting. I have nothing but the greatest confidence in my masseuse and I know she really gave me a work over so by Sunday my muscles will be ready to go. She did say my Achilles tendons and my IT bands were really tight so she suggested I get some of those thera-wraps and wear them. I went to the pharmacy and bought a huge supply of pain reliever stuff. I was like a kid in a candy store when I found the pain reliever aisle. I’ll take this and this and this and this. I just filled up my basket with everything!! LOL The only thing I’m missing is a morphine drip!! (hmmm…. morphine drip…. let me check the rules….)

A lot of people have recommended Icy Hot but my masseuse suggested I get tiger balm. After reading all of the labels it appears menthol is the big “active” ingredient in a lot of these muscle rubs and most of them have 5%. Tiger balm has 11% Menthol and 11% camphor. I figured I would rub down my legs the night before and race morning with tiger balm. It also comes in a tiny little tub that I could bring with me out on the run. I also found a spray analgesic called “Stop Pain” which I thought I could have in my transition station to spray on my legs before I head out on the run. (I don’t think this race is going to be as fancy as Disney half ironman where they had a man out on the course spraying you down with analgesic spray if you wanted it.) Yes, yes, I am aware that this might sound a little strange that these are races where pain reliever is built into the race plan.

The other handy little pain reliever I picked up were some nuprin muscle and joint patches. I wore them on my calves and my right IT band yesterday. Today I am wearing them on my Achilles tendons and my left IT band. (Yesterday my left IT band was fine, this morning it was hurting). Basically I think my muscles are all just finding their way back into place. Today I have another massage but today we are only working on upper body. We decided to just let my lower body rest and repair on its own. I need to free up my shoulders and back for the swim and bike so that will be today’s emphasis. I think I’ll buy a few more of these Nuprin patches (active ingredient 5% menthol) and bring them with.

I also bought a bunch of peppermint candies. My coach had mentioned that she has felt good running with peppermint candy. I mentioned this to my masseuse and she said it made sense because both peppermint and eucalyptus help open up the bronchial passages. Hmmm, I thought, perhaps that would be a good thing to have in case I have an asthma attack. Of course I will be taking my inhaler with me and will definitely need to take three shots of Abuterol before getting into cold water, but just in case I start coughing on the bike or run to have a couple of peppermint candies in hand might be a good idea.

I dropped Tina off at the bikey parlor for her “pedal-cure” yesterday. I normally would not use a new mechanic, but this “stylist” Embert came recommended and he was able to take my bike yesterday and will have it for me by 5 p.m. today. (My other bike shop makes you leave it with them for a week!) I told Embert I want my bike race-ready and he promised me I was going to fly! Of course I couldn’t help but think of the old joke when the man goes to get his flu shot and says to his doctor “doc, will I be able to play tennis after this shot?” The doctor replies “of course.” The man says “that’s great because I’ve always wanted to play tennis!” Barump bump. Embert may make Tina race-ready, but can he do anything to help me?

I have my WW meeting this morning and I am sad to report that I know I am up a couple of pounds. I’ve been eating too much lately. It is so easy for me to put on weight it is not even funny. I realized that I had not been keeping my food journal so when I wanted to look back and see the items that I had overeaten I didn’t have it, but plenty of items popped into my head — bagels, sushi, carbs, carbs, carbs. “You’ll burn it off this weekend” is only a small condolence because I assure you I will want to eat after this race. Monday back on track. Today I’ll try to gather motivation from the meeting.

I have a race consultation with my coach at 1 p.m. We’ll go over my race plan and checklist. I’ll have my nutrition plan laid out in advance as well as my race strategy (which quite frankly has one line “don’t give up!”). I am certainly not at the level where I can plan different pace per miles. I will incorporate whatever Lisa says about run/walking, but right now my plan is — move forward no matter what. Drowning, falling, stopping — bad. Moving forward — good.

I am a little worried that this is not going to be a large race — about 900 people. So that means by the time the run comes around I’m going to be running alone a lot!! I was thinking that maybe I would bring my mp3 player with me, but when I checked the final rules and instruction sheet they have in big red box “No audio equipment of any kind!” Pshht. Just me and my off-key mental singing.

I have a massage at 2:30 to work out the kinks in my neck and shoulder. Then at 5 p.m. I go pick up Tina from the bike shop and pack my bags. My pre-race checklist that I have been building over the years is pretty complete so if I just go down the list I should be fine.

I pick Cat up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and we drive to Rhode Island. There we have to pick up our race packets (they give us our race numbers, timing chips, final instructions). We have a race meeting at 1 p.m. where they tell us everything like you can’t draft, you can’t let anyone outside of the race help you and they’ll be pulling the finish line down at a certain time so move it!!!

I have two simple goals for the race.

1. Finish. No matter what keep going. Even if I get three flat tires again, just keep going (and make sure I have tire levers with me this time). I’ll be disappointed if I have to deal with flat tires again but I know can fix a flat and still finish. My knees are going to hurt. Slab some tiger balm on them, take some Tylenol and keep going. No matter what.

2. Maintain a good head. Even if I am the last person coming over that finish line, the fact that I got to the start line is great. Every ooch and ouch is a reminder that I am alive and have the capacity to feel pain. Feeling pain means I have the capacity to feel joy as well. I’ll choose joy. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

So my plan is to take care of what is in my control and let everything else just happen. I can make sure that I have all the right food and drink I need with me. I can make sure that I have lube and pain relievers and sunscreen. I can control that. I can’t control the hills, the wind, the chop in the water, or the temperature (which I hear is supposed to be good!) Even my attitude is in my control. Tonight I am going to be working on my visualization. I do believe I can improve my outcome by visualizing it. Strong and healthy, strong and healthy.

Race Ready? I’m not sure I would go exactly that far but let’s just say I’m Race Resolved.

Namaste

For the want of a nail, the shoe was lose; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.
Franklin, Benjamin

lol, I like this quote because I can revamp it for a triathlon: For the want of a tire lever, the tire was flat; for the want of a tire the rider was slow, missed her cutoff and they pulled the finish line down, all for the want of care about a tire lever!! ROFL!!! Moral of the story, carry a tire lever!!

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9/6/06 ‘Big Confidence’ (319)

Wednesday. Extended Labor Day weekend in to four days. My real Labor Day is coming up in four days. FOUR DAYS!! Yikes, how did that happen??!?!?!?

Saturday I did a run in the rain storm. I think I needed a break from the gym. Did the first 40 minutes without a problem and then some knee pain so I went into my race/walk mode. After about 20 minutes the knee pain went away so I did another 15 minutes of running. Not sure the casual observer would necessarily notice a speed difference between any of the three legs! Sad but true!

Sunday Cat, Michelle and I decided to practice putting three bikes on my car and head up to Westchester for a bike and swim. Mother Nature had other ideas. The previous day’s storm had torn up the beach and left too many fallen trees on the roadways for us to do a good bike. So we did about 40 minutes of riding and then headed to City Island for a grease fest at the lobster shack. Ugh, can’t believe I ever liked that place. Too much grease. My stomach hurt for two days!!!

Monday, my riding partner who will remain nameless, cancelled on me due to a late night out on the town. Considering I had just committed the same offense on Thursday, who was I to criticize? Since it was Labor Day and nobody was around, I figured if I was to ride my bike solo, I might as well do it in a pretty area and visit my family at the same time. So I jumped in the car and drove to CT.

I rode Sylvia for 2 hours in middle chain ring at high cadence. I only averaged 16 mph but I figured it was more important to just keep the intensity really low and high cadence. It was actually fun to ride a different route. I knew I was feeling better because at no point did I want to stop and turn around. In fact if it had not been so late in the afternoon, I might have opted for another hour out there. Instead I came home jumped off my bike and ran for 1.4 miles (to the end of my street and back). Yikes, might be a better plan for me to speed walk the first 10 minutes as I was REALLY creaky for the first ten minutes. The last bit before I got to my driveway my legs let me try to reach out a little further. Sunday will be interesting if nothing else!!!!

Had a chance to watch a little tennis too. Very interesting lesson relearned while watching Amelie Mauresmo beat Serena Williams the other day. In their previous 8 meetings Amelie had beaten Serena only once. But Serena had been injured this year and has been making her way back. The first set Amelie won and looked strong. The second set Serena plowed through 6-0. Whoa. Amelie had let her head get in the way again but she reclaimed it for the third set to win. Okay, big deal, that happens all the time in tennis, what’s so interesting in that? The stats from the match — that’s what’s so interesting.

Look at these stats: Mauresmo 1st serve 57% Williams 70%. Mauresmo Aces 1, Williams 7. Double Faults Mauresmo 5, Williams 3. Unforced Errors Mauresmo 25, Williams 31. Wining 1st Serve % Mauresmo 57%, Williams 70%. Total Winners, Mauresmo 11, Williams 23. And the biggie: Total Points Won Mauresmo 66 Williams 74.

WOW. On paper and paying attention to Stats you would think Williams should have won that match. But the big lesson here is WHEN and HOW is just as important as WHAT. In tennis we always talk about critical points. It’s one thing to win a lot of points but it matters more to win the right ones. This often separates good players from champions. I know I have eked out more than one match against a better player because they might choke on the important point. I have lost many a match against a theoretically lesser player on those same points. Knowing when to peak and go in for the kill is an important lesson to learn in tennis, in racing and in life.

We got the wave starts for my big race this Sunday. Looks like a small race because there are only six waves. I’m in the third wave with all the under 49 year old women. (Never thought I would say ‘oh to be 50!’) But there are only three waves after us (all men so we’ll be run over during the swim). I think I may have to stay a little to the outside ’cause I guarantee that three waves of men swimming over me is going to be cause for some goggle knocking.

I am looking forward to remaining open to the experience on Saturday. I’m not nervous, exactly, because I know I am going to finish. The part that remains the unknown is how will my head be? I am fairly certain I will have some knee pain. How will I handle it? My goal for the race is not even about time. My goal is to be happy and joyous. I want to run with my head up and even though it will be painful, I want to compete feeling blessed to be able to do this. Am I going to close this season with a winning match?

Of course I have silly dreams of finishing in a ridiculous time like 7 hours and 30 minutes which is probably not going to happen. I will really be happy with breaking 8 hours. I think I should finish the swim in 50 minutes (round that to 1 hour with transition). I should finish the bike in 3 hours 30 minutes (of course I would love that to be 3:15 but I hear it is hilly), say another 10 minutes for transition and then the big mystery will be the half marathon. But, I figure, the Nike Half Marathon I ran in total pain and did it in 2:55. So I think how much worse could I feel during this half marathon? In a way, maybe Nike was preparing me for this half marathon. I now know how to run in pain for 2:55 so why not be able to do it again this weekend? Although my legs were killing me, my attitude was great and that is what I want to replicate. That feeling of no doubt whatsoever. So 7:40 on paper but lets say things happen and anything under 8 will be just fine. Heck, anything over 8 will be just fine too as long as I cross that finish line.

So here we are. End of summer. Last race of the season. Time to put it all out there. There have been a lot of miserable races this year. Races with broken toes, loose saddles, flat tires, extreme heat, too few Gus, too many GUs, falling saddle bags, wobbling wheels. I’ve had them all this summer. What a year. Now wouldn’t it be a hoot if I have one race where everything goes right? Like two years ago at St. Anthony’s? (That was my one race where everything went right.) Now wouldn’t it be great if I have an Amelie Mauresmo kind of day? Pull it out in the third set. Hit the right shots at the right time.

So that’s it. Today Short Run, Pilates and a massage. Tomorrow a short spin on Tina. Friday another Massage and a strategy call with my coach. Saturday we leave for the race. We’ll take a dip in the Ocean and see how everything feels. Then Sunday RUMBLE, GIRL, RUMBLE!!!

Namaste

Interview with Amelie Mauresmo after winning Wimbledon

Q. Does this feel any more special than Australia?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don’t know. It’s really — I still can’t believe it, like, you know, it’s still really not there.

I did not really expect coming here, you know, I wasn’t feeling great. But then, you know, all of a sudden, everything came together playing again on grass, and especially here at Wimbledon. Then, you know, I find myself winning finally that semifinal that I struggled in the last few years, and then the opportunity to go for the trophy.

It feels great. I mean, it’s just as I was saying yesterday and couple days ago, it’s the most prestigious tournament in the world, and it really is a special moment for me. Also having to wait so long in between my first and second Grand Slam final, and then having two Grand Slam in the same year is kind of great and really the work has been paying.

There were some tough moments, but I always thought I could make it, you know – and the people around me, also. That’s important, and today helped me a lot because she was playing great in the first set, and I was not feeling so good. My serve and volley was not working – missing quite a few volleys. Then I was really able to pump myself up right from the beginning of the second set, and then was totally different match that started.

Q. Amélie, your devastating serving down the stretch of this match, the last couple of games, particularly in the deuce court, is that of the special things that you’re going to remember about this tournament?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably I think especially in that last game. Two aces on key moments, that’s always very nice and very comfortable to feel and to think that you can rely on this big weapon, which, you know, couple days ago did not work so well in the middle of the match. But then today, you know, was able really to come up with probably my best service games in the last set. So that made, of course, life a little bit easier on the last game.

Q. What’s the most gratifying aspect of your performance today?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably the way I turned things around. You know, you’re 6-2 down against Justine in the final of a Grand Slam. You not in such great position at the time (smiling). You feel like, Okay, what do I need to do? What am I going to do? How am I going to change things around? How am I gonna just make it go my way?

Again, I really felt I pumped myself up. I let it out a little bit. I yelled a little bit. I was much more aggressive right from the beginning of that second set.

Q.What does it say on your T-shirt there?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It says ‘Big Confidence’ from Reebok. They already made the champion’s T-shirt.

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9/2/06 Muscle Misery (323)

Saturday. All better. Feeling really good. On Thursday I went for a massage with Leslie (the massage I was supposed to have BEFORE the half marathon). I told her how my legs were hurting more than usual during and after the half marathon and how my quads/knees and front of my calves were killing me from step one. She worked on massaging the opposite muscles which was good because I think if she had touched my quads directly they might have snapped. So many things were going snap, crackle and pop that I thought I was in a Kelloggs commercial. About half way through I said “I think I feel better.” I have never said that during a massage. It was so dramatic that I could feel it. She said she could feel some of my muscles spasm during the massage.

The truly miraculous part of the massage, however, is that after the massage my depression was totally lifted. 100% gone. For two weeks I had been feeling blue. After the massage I felt fantastic. It was not a little difference — it was a huge difference. Like someone had lifted one of those lead x-ray vests off of my chest. I felt totally renewed. I felt like I could breathe. I felt like my quads were smiling if you could imagine such a feeling. So renewed I went out to meet some friends at a bar and stayed out until 2 o’clock in the morning and drank a ton of wine.

I didn’t get mad at myself for drinking so much. I was feeling so good I really wanted to celebrate and I just gave myself permission to go have fun and not worry about anything. I felt so good I wanted to buy everyone drinks because I had been so miserable for so long. It truly was amazing. I also got to watch Agassi win his second round of the US Open and that was great. I was definitely drunk when I went home but every moment of the evening (even stumbling the two blocks home to my apartment) I felt like my feet were two feet off the ground. I was not going to beat myself up because I went off plan and drank too much. I was not going to beat myself up for staying out too late. It felt so good to be released from my misery that even I couldn’t be mad at me.

Of course yesterday during my Pilates session I wasn’t feeling that well, but I made myself go despite the booze whooze. I wasn’t going to get mad at myself for drinking too much but I would have been mad if I had to blow off a Pilates session because of it. Even though I was a little nauseous, my muscles were really happy. There were some twinges when I did a few moves, but I couldn’t kick the good mood. Even this morning I woke up thinking “Man I feel Fantastic!!” Today I even wrote down what I had for breakfast and lunch. I actually opened up my tracker and wrote down what I ate!!! And, get this; I took my vitamins and my liquid glucosomine!! Yep, putting the vitamins in the bathroom was a brilliant idea because they look so out of place that I notice them. In my kitchen they just get lost with all of the other stuff. So I am feeling just fantastic.

It’s pouring out. My assignment for today was sympathetically downgraded to an easy 1 hour run. I think I’m going for the original 1.5 that had been assigned before my coach felt sorry for me. I think I’ll put on a rain poncho, hat and my mp3 player and just go run until I don’t feel like it any more. I may not even bring my watch. Just run for fun — what a concept!!! Who wrote that?!?!

So I think I learned something really powerful about the connection between the physical and mental. My unprofessional diagnosis is that my Qi (pronounced chee) or energy had been blocked — that’s why I was feeling so miserable. Bad chemicals or bad energy or something had been locked up in my muscles and that massage released whatever it was that was poisoning my mood. It was so immediate and so dramatic that I can’t think of anything else it could be.

So my new routine for when I start to get depressed will still include my magic elixir of a Generation Sensation with a shot of energy from Juice Generation but I will also add a massage into the formula. My masseuse also recommended that instead of just using the rollers (and I was trying to use my foam roller to stretch out) she said to try also add using the tennis ball or some other small ball and roll it around to get into the tight corners. I am also going to try to get a weekly massage once Ironman training starts. I think I have to.

So I’m off to do a run now, but the amazing part is I am looking forward to it. Rain or no, I think I can have a nice easy run and not feel in excruciating pain.

Here is a picture of me with two friends at the NYC Half Marathon. Don’t let my smile fool you — I was just happy to see the finish line in front of me! Today I have a real smile on my face.

Namaste

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

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