Sunday, August 26, 2007

Little of this... little of that...

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I have posted. I guess while "in training" I had a lot more to say. Or, writing was a way of expressing all of the thoughts accumulated during 20+ hours of training per week... I'm not exactly exercising that much right now :-)

So, here's my ramblings of the past week, in no particular order....

After the race I was extremely sore. Sore like, marathon type sore. Like hurts to sit down, then try to get back up. Add that on to my shoulder issues I've been having, and I was one roughed up girl. I even paid a visit to my buddy/PT Matt to try to help me out. I woke up Monday, basically unable to use my right arm. And, that WAS my good arm. Something happened on the road trip home from San Diego that completely locked up my right side. I'm not sure it was my best idea to go see Matt when I was so flared up, but I was feeling desperate. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot he could do to ease the pain, but he is pretty convinced my pain is not a swimming/shoulder issue. He thinks it's coming from my back/neck.

So... a couple of days later. Several icing sessions, and foam roll uses and paying a LOT of attention to my posture while at my desk.... My right arm was much better. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out what is going on and get it to a point where I can get back in the pool!

I met my friend Sara for lunch on Thursday. She's a nurse practitioner and pretty much knows a little bit about everything. She asked me if I was willing to see a chiropractor. They recently brought one into their office and she said he is amazing. Works mostly on athletes, and has helped a lot of her patients. For some reason in the past I've been scared to see a chiro. I guess I have just always gone to a physical therapist for my back and other issues, and the thought of someone cracking away at my body parts kinda freaked me out. However, I'm starting to feel desperate and really eager to find out what the heck is going on with me.. I'm hoping to get in with the Dr. next week

Next week momo & I are heading to Toronto for some work training and meetings. It's a lot of travel for just a couple of days, but traveling for our work isn't so bad. Since we work for a top notch luxury hotel chain we get to stay in the best accommodations I've ever experienced, eat great food and do some training runs somewhere different! I checked and it looks like Thursday & Friday am lows are like 58. It's going to feel like heaven....

I do however, hope that my travel experience goes a little bit better than S's. Poor guy went on a last minute trip to New Hampshire to surprise his Grandma for her 80th birthday party. He had a connecting flight (Thursday) in Chicago... and well, I'm sure you all know about the conditions in that part of the world are. I'll let him fill ya in on the haps, and mishaps of the adventure, but lets just say he didn't exactly make it to NH on Thursday. I think he also might have a better appreciation for traveling with me and all my "stuff" that I must have at all times (Purel, handy wipes, snacks, Airborne, etc....)

Saturday morning momo & I planned a long run that would be a good training route for St. George. I picked her up at about 5am and we drove a ways to park my car. The route would give us just over 15miles of gradual downhill. We could not have picked a better day to do this run. It was stormy further in town, but we just had cool temps (79degs!), cloud cover and a nice breeze. It was a really good run for both of us. ~15.5miles, under a 10min pace, and my HR avg was only 146! I far cry from my experience in San Diego last weekend... My legs were STILL sore from last Sunday, but overall it was a great training run. Also, very nice to have some company. I can't believe this is the first time we've run together since Ironman!

Next week I will have my first 20miler. I'm not sure I'm going to have any company, so I guess it will be a tough mental training day.

Yesterday I got pretty spoiled! We had planned a girls get together to celebrate Sara's birthday. Momo called me shortly before I was going to head down to meet everyone... Her & Big J had been out and about all afternoon and she asked if I could be her chauffeur since she had had a few drinks already. I wasn't sure how long everyone would want to be at the wine bar, but I figured it wouldn't be a late night with a couple of the girls doing their bike rides in the am, and I would only be able to have a little to drink and still drive home. Shane is usually my chauffeur :-)

So, she said big J would make us dinner or take us out after we got back. Well, that was kind of an offer I couldn't refuse. Big J is a great cook and he always chooses great restaurants, so either way I was going to be eating well! We hung out with the girls for about 2.5 hours, and although I could have stayed and gabbed forever, it was getting late for dinner so Momo and I were the first to take off. The other girls were going to hang out for a while to make sure they were ok to drive home. We met Big J at an Italian restaurant I had never been to. It's always so fun to try new places!

He was patiently waiting for us (we were late, of course) with a bottle of wine already picked out. It was a fun night, sharing stories, FABULOUS wine, food.. and Big J even got me to adventure out of my shell a little bit.


Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was knowing we were at a really good restaurant.... or the fact it was cooked and sitting in garlic butter... Maybe it was PEER PRESSURE. I don't know, but I did it. Big J says the look on my face was pretty funny, but he should be proud of himself AND me for doing it! I am, you know, the world's pickiest eater. I'm not sure it's something I'd do again.. Not because it tasted bad or anything, BUT it's a SNAIL for Pete's sake.... That's about all I'm going to say about that!

Best part was Momo finally 'came out' so I didn't have to worry about slipping up and talking about CDA. Good thing Big J never asked me... no way I could of lied! I think he might ask directly from now on though... Honestly, I think he knew all along....

So, it was a pretty great weekend, ending with a special treat dinner!! I'm very lucky to have such good friends surrounding me. Made it a lot easier to be without my man for the weekend.s gone... Now I just wish he would call me so I could tell him all about my big adventure! I'm looking forward to him getting home. This house is awfully quiet without him, and the dogs are beginning to take over his side of the bed! It should be an interesting night.... I wonder who will win?

Monday, August 20, 2007

cycling newbies

Need a good laugh? Go check out my friend Stacey's blog on our website . Stacey is documenting all of the do's and don'ts and learnings as she and her husband Dave begin their cycling career....

If you haven't already signed up for your free membership, just provide you email address & you can access all the info, including the blog!


America's HOTTEST City Race Report

So, I thought 3rd time would be the charm. I've been over to San Diego for this race 4 times now.

The 1st year, my IT band locked up after all the downhill at like mile 5. It was a painful day, but the scenery, etc made up for it. My friend Natalie had been telling me about this race, and how great it was and how the weather is perfect, and the temps are usually in the mid 60's to start, low 70's to finish. Also, cloud cover all morning a key.

So, what happened year 1? Record Heat temps, 100% humidity and a Personal Worst half Marathon of 2:14 and some change...

I sign up again...for year 2, however my IT band injury prevented me from even starting the race. Instead, I brought my bike & rode around the course cheering everyone on. It was a beautiful day. Cloud cover until late am. Mid 60's temps, still high humidity but not enough to damper performance as almost everyone PR'd on this day. THIS could have been my day....

The next year... Well, I didn't do it the following year because I was training for my first 1/2 IM.

Year 3... I went for an all girls trip. I was somewhat just along for the ride. I had just completed another 1/2 IM mid July, and had been training solid since January. My body was ready for some time off. Again, the weather was perfect. Cool start, cloudy morning. Unfortunately my body did not cooperate and take advantage. I wanted to quit at mile 6. I had it all planned out in my mind. My HR avg was in the 180's. I somehow pulled a 2:08 out of my a@@. It felt like I had been out there for 2:45. I hated every minute of that race. Hated it.

Year 4. Race 3/4....... I decided to do this race again, because it would be good training for St. George. Lots of down, lots of up... especially from miles 10.5-12.5. I've heard St. George has a hill around mile 16 or something. This would be good practice.

Most people had other commitments, so it was just going to be Shane & I heading over to San Diego Saturday am, doing the race, then heading back Sunday afternoon......

Saturday morning we left shortly before 8am for San Diego. The road trip was pretty uneventful, just long. It's hard to decide if you want to drive or fly these days. Flying saves so much time, but it is really nice to have a car there. Especially for Shane when he wasn't doing the race.

I found out that our friend Mike was doing the race, so I asked him where he was staying and booked a room at the same place. It was a small little Inn only about 5miles from the Host Hotel. We arrived and it was clean, newly remodeled. Nice enough to stay for one night, but nothing to brag about. It was fairly inexpensive for being right on the water, so I was happy with the decision.

We were all checked in and kinda restless after the long road trip, so we walked next store to a local fish market/restaurant for a snack. Shane got a BIG beer and we both had a cup of chowder. We sat outside along the water enjoying the nice 80+temps and breeze coming off the water...

Now, let me back up a minute. As my normal routine I was obsessively checking for the San Diego race day forecast. It was pretty average, however more "sunny" than I was hoping for. 75high, 68 low. 80ish% humidity. I figured even though it was hotter than I would like, it was still a far cry from what I've been running/training in (83low/110high, anywhere from 30% -75% humidity)....

This assumption was my first mistake....

A phone conversation with my good friend Natalie on Friday night before we left.

Natalie - "How are you feeling, are you ready?" "What kind of time do you want to do?
Me - "Yah, I feel ready. My runs have been going GREAT. My legs are rested, I feel more ready to do this race than ever."
Natalie - "I'm sure you will do awesome, You can break 2hrs. I just HOPE the weather cools down."
Me - "What? It looks like it will be nice."
Nat - "Well, there has kinda been some weird weather here. It's been HOT. Like, unusually hot. Like, even the water has gone up to 74degs."
Me - "OH...... Great.... Not, ANOTHER year like the first time......"

Truth be told, I kind of just forgot about this conversation..... even as we were driving into town and 20 miles outside of San Diego the temperature reading on my car was still saying 98degs - i still refued to believe I would have bad race conditions. I was feeling to good about this race to let the weather dampen my ideas of a PR. It did slowly back down to about 80 as we reached town, BUT, it was also mid afternoon. My rational was we'd already be on our way back to Phoenix by this time... it won't be this warm during the race....

I had made reservations for Mike & his wife Susan, Natalie (she was in town with her family, only was unable to meet us) & Shane and I at this place we have gone every year in Little Italy.
Trattoria Fantastica. We were seated right away, had a glass of wine, salad and a great Pasta dinner.... We were finished with dinner and back at the hotel by 7:30.

I started to get my race stuff ready, and was easily asleep by about 9:30 pm. I slept pretty well until like midnight, but then, as usual when not in my own bed, I just kind of rested, not really sleeping from 12-4:15 when my alarm went off.

I woke up feeling great. Drank my spark, ate a half a bagel, then got dressed and ready to head up to to Balboa Park where we had to take a bus ride up to Cabrillo National Monument.

Shane, being the good race sherpa drove Mike, a fellow runner we had met at the hotel, and myself up to the park. We hit the parking lot at the PERFECT time, about 5:15 as the lines were minimal and we were on one of the buses within minutes.

Mike & I actually passed up the first available bus, because we would have been in the back and lets just say I don't do so well on buses... or back seats of cars... or a lot of moving vehicles for that matter.... So, we hopped on the next bus and were able to sit right up front.

The buses are necessary to get the runners to the start of the race, as you can not drive up to the National Monument. It's an absolutely gorgeous race start. You are up at the top of the cliffs overlooking the ocean, with the sun rising right before you.

The first thing I noticed as we got off the bus was that the air temperature outside was actually warmer than the bus was.... Like, I could actually compare the temperature to how I have felt starting a couple of my runs in Phoenix when it was a little cooler out.

The race start was pretty uneventful. I had to use the porta potty before the start, so unfortunately I ended up pretty far back from the start line. Like, once I actually hit the star line the clock already read 7:xx... Man, that means a lot of people were already way past mile 1.

The course starts out with a nice up hill.... like half a mile. I felt great. My legs were so fresh from resting, my music was set and I was in a great mood. A far cry from how I felt last year when I started the race off feeling bad....

The only challenging part right now was trying to get around all of the people I had started behind. There were a few fast people, but mostly it was slower runners lined up solid, walkers, and they were not about to get out of my way. I spent the first 3 miles weaving in and out of people. My legs really wanted to go flying once the down started, but I tried to hold them back some. I think I hit mile 3 at about 25something.

I noticed all the people around me already stopping to walk, and more people than ever stopping at the first aid station for water. I noticed how red-raced and sweaty everyone was - so shortly into the race.

Then I started to watch my HR. Even though I was feeling great, my HR was about 10beats higher than I felt. In the 170s. I didn't' want to slow down because everything felt so good....I know, from past races I can hold my HR high for at least 2 or so hours so I wasn't worried. More surprised than anything because my HR had been so good during training.

The race support was great, however I think they were a bit overwhelmed. It was a record high participation this year for the 30th anniversary of the race. 7750 people registered. As I mentioned above, I've never seen so many people at the aid stations. Usually the first couple aren't very crowded, but this year everyone seemed to be standing there waiting for the water cups to be filled because the volunteers could not keep up....

I had worn my fuel belt, so I was able to bypass the overly crowded stations....

After we were down from into Point Loma & heading our way to Shelter Island Marina for a nice out & back flat area of the race the temps really started to pick up. My pace slowed down from around 8:30's to 9:30-9:45ish. I was anxiously looking for Shane here as he said he would be at the corner so he could see me a couple of times. Somehow, I never saw him. He never saw me... In fact, he didn't see Mike, or my friend Shari, or Lito....... He spent over an hour standing there and didn't see any of us!

Around mile 8 I really started to feel the heat. My HR monitor had stopped reading right, probably because it was soaking wet, and moving around my chest. My cloths began to feel SO heavy. I pulled my tank out from under the fuel belt and away from my skin to get a little air in. It helped a little, but only for a short time.

After the out and back portion of the course, the route takes you threw the rental car return part of the airport. There is NO shade, no breeze, and a lot of people confined to a small amount of space. This was a really rough patch for me. I was trying to go to the furthest point, even outside the course cones to get away from all the body heat. It gave a little relief, but not enough. My pace was slowing even more, which was frustrating the hell out of me, because for the first part of the race, my AVG pace was going to put me well under a 2hr mark..... then it slowed to more like an 8:55... but I could tell it was getting even worse now...

My breathing felt great, lungs great, legs great.. but my body was so hot I felt like my head was going to explode.

Finally, at an aid station around mile 10, I did the unthinkable. I stripped off my shirt and left myself baring my white, not so in shape belly & sports bra. My shirt was Soaking wet and so heavy. I wanted to just toss it away, but it was one of the new shirts, and after all I went through to get them printed I just couldn't bring myself to let it go. So I wrapped it around the fuel belt, and carried the extra 5lbs the rest of the race... Well almost all the way.. but I'll get to that in a minute...

I started noticing how badly everyone around me looked. I've never seen so many girls sweating like this. Water was literally pouring down there backs, their legs... Everyone looked like we just got out of the water. Once we hit downtown, heading our way to the infamous 2 miles of uphill, there was brief period of shade that really helped. Unfortunately it was VERY brief, and as soon as we turned a corner and began the uphill, the sun was really beating down.

I started to feel some twinges in my calves. I had apparently lost too much sweat/salt, something and my body was paying the price. I had chills a couple of times... I was frustrated. I could see my 2hour mark fading away as I slowly ran up the hill. I did much better up that hill than years past, but not enough to make up for the rough patch I had between miles 8-10.

So, now my mission was just to get to the end, without letting this hill get the best of me. I stopped once. There was a woman on the side of the road that had a cooler with ice. I saw someone in front of me stop.. so I did the same. I took a handful of ice and put it in my sports bra. I'm not sure if this was helpful, or hurtful as after stopping in the middle of the hill, it was VERY VERY hard to get back going....

Finally after nearly 2 miles of climbing, I was rounding the last corner for the final stretch. I started to feel suffocated with the restriction of the HR monitor strap, so I grabbed it and pulled it off. Now, I was half naked, my soaking wet 5lb shirt hanging from my fuel belt, my HR monitor strap in hand.. I'm sure I was quite a site.

I was looking around for Shane. I finally spotted him walking pretty fast to the finish line, so I yelled out to him. He spotted and cheered then I said - hey... HERE, as I threw the HR monitor & disgusting shirt to him.

Even through my headphones I heard a "EWWWWWWWWW".... I just laughed.. then felt a little guilty about leaving that with him. Like I couldn't of carried it the next 200yards I had left. But man... were those 200yards of less weight nice :-)

I finished the race and stopped dead in my tracks. Looked at my watch... 2:06. I new it was closer to 2:07 because I remembered seeing 2:06 earlier.

My head was pounding. I was claustrophobic with all the people standing around. I just wanted to get some ice water, some salt and some shade. I had my chip cut off, and headed to get some water. Even the water at the finish was warm, just like the aid stations. I guess they couldn't even keep up.

As I walked to find Shane I really started to cramp. My calves and my quads. This has never happened to me. Shane came up behind me & handing me my baggy of salt pills. I had 2 of them.

He started describing to me how badly everyone looked. I told him I had seen 2 people on stretchers during the race...

We walked around a little bit. I was hoping to get some Aquafor samples like last year, but no luck. None of the post race food looked appealing either...

I spotted Mike and then my friend Shari.... We all just kinda looked at each other like, Man... that was HARD. And we thought we came to San Diego to get a break from the heat...

I started to see stars. The heat had gotten the best of me. I abruptly left my friends, grabbed some water & sat down on a curb with shade.

Have I ever meantioned how bad I do in the heat? I was reminded once again that I do not think I would be capeable for training for a fall Ironman like Wisconsin or Florida because I can't handle the heat (training)? The race is pure evidence of that fact.

There was a man lying on the grass next to me. Shane was asking if he was ok. He sat up & said yah.. just cooling down. It was this man's 22nd time doing this race. So, trying to make myself feel better about only doing a little over a minute faster than last year when I felt so horrible compared to this year, I asked him - "so, of all the 22 races how did this one feel?" He said it was the hottest year ever, and that he had his worst time out of 22.

I immediately felt better... I guess I felt like I needed some sort of reason for not doing as well as I thought. I usually go into races with a very realistic expectation. This year, I had slightly higher, but very doable hopes of a 1:58-2:00 race time.

My final time 2:06:53.

My recovery.... Lots of salt, 6 hours in a car. 2 glasses of wine, bed by 8:30......

My post race day thoughts:

Sore like you wouldn't believe. My quads, my glutes, my SHINS, my biceps...... I'm tired and feel like I've been through the ringer.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. People think this race is easy because of the downhill. I think this race is extremely challenging. On a great day you could PR. But you just never know what the "Finest City" will bring you come race day.

One of these days has got to be mine, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Restless Legs

I go through some periods of sleeping really well, then having trouble sleeping, or getting to sleep. A couple of years ago when I was still recovering from surgery I really struggled getting to sleep. I was uncomfortable, and not physically tired...

I started noticing EVERYTHING. Sara (the dog) snoring. So loud sometimes I'd have to put her bed in the dog room (God forbid the dogs sleep in their room) because I couldn't stand the noise. I'd hear cars drive by. One of the most annoying things? Shane would twitch like every :20. NON-STOP. ALL.NIGHT.LONG. I'd just start to get to sleep, when sure enough his tourette like movements would sure enough wake me right back up.

I'd eventually wake him up to stop the twitching, only to be yelled at or receive a child like temper tantrum...

Little did I know his condition was contagious. Really... I thought it was just him, but now, now I am thoroughly convinced that this has moved on to everyone in this family.

Shane, me, Baxter, Abby & even Sara....

During Ironman training Shane would end up waking ME up saying I was kicking him or twitching, or whatever.... Of course I wouldn't believe him, after all - he's the one with Touretts!

BUT, now, now we're experiencing a whole new situation. Shane is recovering from surgery. No activity = no tiredness = less running for dogs = crazy dogs = crazy Shane = Crazy DOG MOM!

What makes this worse? Me tapering for a race this weekend = less running = less cross-training = less dog & dog mom activity = RESTLESS LEGS!

I swear it's true. I've been laying on the couch at night, watching TV, drinking a glass of wine.. the usual :-).... and my legs just can't sit still. I'm rested. I'm bored. I'm ready to do this race & then get home so I can get back on my schedule.

The dogs are bored, especially with only one of us to run them lately. Abby is feeling better so she's reverting back to her puppyish ways.

Baxter has gotten into some great doggy-running shape & he is reverting back to puppy like ways. He's actually ACTING like a dog and playing with toys, antagonizing the other 2.... looking for trouble.

Guess he's bored too.

See what I mean. 2 crazy dogs + 2 crazy Ironman + not enough exercise = ONE RESTLESS HOUSEHOLD!

Did you know there is actually a "Restless Leg Syndrome"?

Check it out.... I think I can verify each and every symptom.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Then and Now

I don't know what made me think of this... or why I'm writing about it. Other than the fact you should all be laughing at me right now, that or you can relate....

Let me start with a timeline of my endurance 'career'

In November of 2001 I ran my first marathon - Monaco Marathon. This is where Shane & I met.

Within 24 hours of the finish, about 10 of us decided to also run the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon, June 2002.
Then, after this mighty race, I became BROKEN. This is the race that put me into a 3 year world of hurt...

It would cause me to do a 2hr first half of the marathon, and a 2:30 2nd half.

It would cause me to start training for the 2002 NY Marathon, only to realize I was too hurt to finish it.
It would cause me to train for my very first triathlon. (sprint)....
How do you train for your very first triathlon? Well, you can visit our new website, http://www.allthingstriathlon/ for lots of tips, race reports, stories, etc (it's building daily)... OR you can do what I wouldn't recommend - see below:

Buy a bike:
Buy a Hybrid bike because you have no idea what you are doing, and aren't sure if you will even like this sport, and at least with THIS bike, you could just ride it for fun....

Train:- or... try to figure out what you should do to be able to complete this race.

Ride 1-2 times per week, 1hour to maybe 90mins.

Swim 1-2 times per week. About 30mins at a time

Run, up to 30mins, because after all.... It is the distance of the race. And, I'm STILL injured from above mentioned race.

So, there are like 6 of us that go to Vegas to do this race (Shane, Erin, Mindee, She-ra, Myself & the infamous Daniel). One of us, Daniel, is the only one who has ever done a triathlon.

Guess what... he's the only one who did not end up doing the race (are we surprised?). He said something was wrong with his stomach..... Had I only known his pattern of habit THEN......

Pick out Outfit:
2 piece swimsuit
Pair of Running shorts to wear OVER said swimsuit
Running Singlet. To act as a parachute on those hills in Vegas

What does this lead to? 2 Layers of elastic binding to aid in chafing of bikini line while biking in 100 degree temps. Need I say more?

I wish I had some pictures to share with you all, but I'm assuming you can come up with your own image.

Not only was I dressed all wrong.
And Trained all wrong....
I didn't even know how to shift my gears.
I had no idea what my legs would feel like when I got off the bike, because "what is a brick?"

They don't have the race results available, but I'm pretty sure I can sum it home with a good estimate:

Swim (600meters) - ~15:00
Bike (~12miles) - ~55:00
Run (3 miles) - ~32:00
So, that was 5 years ago....
Where am I now?
- Finished my first Olympic Triathlon in June 2003 (after buying a road bike)
- Finally got to NY Marathon, November 2003 got engaged....
- A couple of painful half marathons, still injured
- A handfull of Sprint Triathlons
- Finally fixed my injury via surgery in October, 2004
- Went back to first triathlon venue to to the Olympic Distance, September 2005
- Competed 1st Half Ironman October, 2005
- Back to Vegas for new Olympic Race, April 2006 Finished 2nd in Age Group (1st Triathlon Award!)
- Completed 2nd Half Ironman July, 2006
- and..... need I say anymore???

Have you ever been asked how or why you got to the finish line? Well... that was my story :-)

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's all in the cake....

Yesterday, while I was sitting in my exciting class of Real Estate, I started CRAVING sugar.

And, sure... I could have gone down to vending machine, but I kinda vowed off those when I left corporate America. Not that I was ever a big vending machine groupie, if you will, but none the less I could see how people were addicted to them...

Then I started thinking of ideas for dinner. I wasn't in the mood to cook. Or make something elaborate anyway, so I just kept going back to the sugar.... And then, wah lah.. it popped in my head. Safeway's Chocolate Cake. It's rich and light and fluffy all at the same time.. I HEART IT!

Since we have no groceries anyway, I needed to stop at the store so guess what the first thing I put in my cart was. Yep. Chocolate cake by the slice. Then I picked up some french bread, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms & pizza sauce. Wah-Lah. Pizza boats & chocolate cake.

A CARB-O-LICIOUS delight. And that's what it was. Paired with a glass of red wine, I was one happy camper. I don't think Shane was too upset either. You know, since he's been training so much lately, he needed the carbs as well. Recovery needs fuel, right?

Today was "just" a 10 mile run. Since I'm doing the AFC Half next weekend, I decided I shouldn't stick to my marathon plan this week & next, and lighten it up a bit.

I decided on 2 different 5 mile loops. The first one I would take the dogs, then drop them off, refill my water & head out. The sun was still behind the mountains for the first loop, so it wasn't too hot. Compared to last week, it was "nice" Nice being relative to 90deg starts with 80% humidity from last week.

The first loop was good. Pretty flat for the most part. Abby did good, I made sure to give her lots of water. We're still waiting on her medicine to be delivered, but after a couple of weeks on that she should be back to her self.

When we got home I put their leashes away, took a gel & started to refill my bottles. Baxter got all excited & started jumping up and down. AND SMILING. Yes, my dogs smile. I grabbed their treats and headed back to put them in their room, and Baxter didn't move. He stood in front of the drawer where I put their leashes in waiting, or expecting rather, round 2.

He hasn't done 10 miles in a while. He's surely capable of it, but.... I wasn't sure. Then I looked at him. There was NO way he was letting me say no. So, I put the other 2 dogs away & grabbed his leash.

We headed out for one of my favorite 5 mile routes. It heads up North a little and adds a little hill. It's a half mile up maybe 50-75feet. Not too bad, but a nice hill. He was panting pretty hard between miles 7-8, but then sure enough when we hit the hill he was ready to power up it. He LOVES hills.

He was smiling the whole way. I was talking to him off and on. Hopefully not too many people heard me :-) It was a great 10 mile BUBBA day. We both felt GREAT, and princess Abigail got her own little mini Bubba Day as well.

And, I finally broke a 10min overall pace on a long run. First time in oh... I don't know, FOREVER (like my earlier post of the shorter sub 10min pace, I've been VERY slow for a while). It was a 9:50 (yes, barely) 153bpm hr avg.

It MUST have been the chocolate cake.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


That is what my, oops, I mean Shane's Garmin read after my 5mile run this am. I've been hijacking his Garmin for my speed runs so I could measure the distance of my repeats.

Prior to the hijacking, I was purley guessing, and I imagine slacking off. I would base my intervals on an 8:00/mile pace. But, if I was feeling tired, I think I would slow down... So, I put the Garmin on and Wa-la... I really was running an 8:00/mile. Sometimes 7:30, sometimes 8:30. But, I think having the speed knowledge is making me go a little faster. How do I know this? Well, because I've been pushing my HR higher.

See, a while back I used to go to track workouts with a local groups. My 400s would range anywhere from a 1:40 (ALL OUT) to a 2:05. That's where I came up with the 8:00 pace. Thing is my HR used to get up in the 190's during those workouts. Now, I know that after a couple of years with the Mark Allen training I have only seen 190's a couple of times, so I must just be getting more efficient.

When I wasn't wearing the Garmin I would see 177 and think I was dying. Somehow, magically WITH the Garmin I was able to push it into the low to mid 180s, dropping my speed significantly and what would you know... I didn't die.

With Shane out.of.commission, so to speak, I've taken the speed workout-garmin-hijacking to a whole new level. I've been wearing it on ALL my runs. I love it. I wish it were MY birthday coming up NOT his so I could get this as a gift..... Unfortunately, I've got a few months before my big old 3.0. b-day and I don't know if I can wait that long!!!

wait - did I just say UNFORTUNATELY it's not my 3.0. yet. what am I thinking....

Plus, then I wouldn't have it for the marathon... so, hopefully my hijacking status can remain in tact.

Now, why not go buy one you might ask? Well, they are $250 and as I mentioned before this girl spent like 2 years worth of exercise budget over the previous 3 months heading up to IM. So, I'm trying to be frugal.... I haven't even had a pedicure in 5 weeks. My feet hate me right now. My poor blisters are starting to build up.. and I really need to go get them pampered.

Also, even though I am 'small' per say, I'm not skinny my any means, but I have freakishly small wrists. So, this Garmin is like as big as my fist when I have it on. I have it on the smallest notch to prevent it from sliding down my arm. What I'm thinking is, this model (Garmin 305 Forerunner) has been out for over a year, and I'm really really hoping that maybe they'll come out with a new one soon. Soon like as in tomorrow. A smaller one. For little people like me. Or, short, chubby people with small wrists. THAT would be perfect.

For now, until Shane is up and atom, I'm going to continue 'borrowing' his toy... his toy which I bought him as a gift... which he later had to replace because he left it on the roof of the car after a bike ride and it was later smothered all over the road by numerous cars. And so far, I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Today the kids and I ran 5 miles, 9:36 pace, 153avg HR. Do you know how long it has been since I have seen a sub 10min avg pace. Yah, me either cause it's been FOREVER. Like, last weekend my long run pace was 10:41/mile avg, 151 HR.

Oh, and a little update. Yes, I took BOTH Baxter & Abby this am. Abby has been running around like a puppy on crack, so I guess she was feeling better. I decided to take her. She did GREAT. She pooped out the last mile, but was trying to pick up the pace before that. I'm still waiting the call from the vet. I talked to them yesterday and they hadn't received the titer count, which is what determines the levels of Valley Fever in her blood. They did get a "positive" on the Valley Fever which we already knew. Just need to know if the levels have increased & if we need to put her back on the medicine. For now she is ok. And much more calm.

It's scary how much these two dogs are just like Shane and I. They NEED.TO.EXERCISE. Ask Shane. He's been bouncing off the walls. I was ready to kill all of them yesterday. It was a threesome of A.D.Dness in this house. Maddening, I tell you..... At least I'll only have one of them to deal with tonight. Soon he will be exercising again. We are all counting down the days..


I just got a call from the vet. Abby's blood work is complete and, despite her newfound energy and fantastic run this am, her valley fever levels are back. Her "titer" is reading 1-64. Last time we had it down to 1-4 for over 6 months. So, she's back on the medicine, fluconozile for 3 months until we'll recheck her. Poor thing... She's had this for 6 months, and most likely will for the rest of her life.

Here's a little description of what a "titer" is or measures.. and an article describing more about Valley Fever for anyone who is interested, or curious.

"Most cases of valley fever do not need to be treated. 30-60% of people in areas where the disease is highly prevalent ("endemic") - such as in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California and south-central Arizona - have positive skin tests, most of them being unaware of ever having had valley fever until they were skin-tested for the disease.
People with disseminated disease need to be treated with medicines. Dissemination - spread of the disease from the lungs to other sites in the body - happens because the individual's infection-containment system is not adequate to suppress the infection and keep it from spreading.
One measure of the infected individual's ability to deal with and contain the infection is the "complement fixation titer" of the valley fever blood test. This titer is determined as follows: a small amount of the infected person's serum - the clear part of the blood from which red and white blood cells have been removed – is diluted with an equal amount of salt solution and tested for valley fever. The serum is diluted more and more (one part serum to 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc. parts of salt water) and tested at each dilution until a positive test for valley fever can no longer be detected. In general, the more dilute the serum ("higher the titer") the more severe the infection.
When the body develops immunity to the valley fever fungus, the titer falls and the valley fever skin test becomes positive. High titers (1 to 64 and higher) indicate more severe disease and lead doctors to consider prescribing anti-fungus medicine."

Full article HERE

Monday, August 6, 2007

A little bit about ME

Well, this is kinda cool. Rather than try to gather my 8000 different thoughts into a potentially book sized post, I get to just fill in the blanks to answer some questions. Pretty easy and fun I think.

Tagged by Andra Sue...

Jobs I’ve Held
Retail - Sears, Bath & Body Works
Customer Service Agent - Pitney Bowes
B&B Works
Student Rec Center, gym
post college - trying to grow up
Accountant - Convenience Store Chain
Category Analyst - Convenience Store Chain
Category Analyst - Pet Supplies Company
Competitive Intelligence Analyst - Pet Supplies Company
Underwriter - PBM
Marketing database Consultant - Luxury Hotel

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over
there are only a few. I don't like to re-watch very many...

Clerks & Clerks II
Chasing Amy... Ok, anything Kevin Smith
Garden State

My Guilty Pleasures

Red Wine
Rice Krispy Treats
Coach Purses
Saki Bombers
Massages, although I don't know if this really should go here as I feel they are NECESSARY
Running Apparel - right now I'm in love with Nike's newer style of Tempo Track shorts. They fit so much better than the old ones.
Sunbathing... I know, I know...

Places I Have Lived (in order)

Spokane, WA (born & raised)
Pullman, WA (school)
Lake Stevens, WA/Seattle (summer internship)
Chandler, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ

Shows I Enjoy
this is bad people. I like BAD TV

ER - I have been watching this FOREVER
Desperate Housewives
American Idol
How I met your mother
Lost (well, just starting season 2 on DVD)
Dr. 90210
The Real World
Anything "E-True Hollywood Story"
I'd have to go look at the Tivo for the rest...

Places I Have Been on Vacation

Camping was vacation as a kid
New York
Sonoma, Ca
Puerto Penasco, Mexico (Rocky Point)

Favorite Foods
Berries, particularly Raspberries
French Fries
Anything Peanut Butter and chocolate
Potato Chips

Websites I Visit Daily

Lots of blogs

Awards You’ve Won
Ok, so I am not really sure how I got this one, or how I even just remembered. I think my mother must of had something to do with it, because I have absolutely NO artistic abilities whatsoever.

2nd place city wide M.A.D.D (Mother's Against Drunk Driving) poster contest
1st place State wide " "" "" ""
I think a bunch of nerdy academic awards when I was younger, but I honestly can't remember any of them!

There are only a few so I can remember! In order:
2nd place F20-24 South Mountain 20K
2nd place F20-24 Rocky Point 10K
2nd place F20-24 Greyhawk 10K (My PR!)
2nd place F25-29 Rage in the Sage Olympic Distance Triathlon

sure was a lot easier in the 20-24 age group!

Nicknames You’ve Been Called
I don't think I have any???

Now, I guess I get to tag 5 more people:

Shane because he doesn't post enough
because I think boys should do this too.
Nytro - because I can't get enough of her humor
Di - because she is such a GREAT comment poster
Momo - because... well, it's MOMO and even though we spend so much time together whenever I read her blog I find out more and more new and interesting things...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Bubba Day

Today is the LaPan's self titled "Bubba Day." What does that mean, you might ask? Well, I'm about to tell you.... Sit down, this might be a long one - it's been a few days. Also, if you aren't an animal lover and think I am absolutely crazy for obsessing over my 'kids' so much, you might not want to continue with this post....
A while back we started running with Abby, A.K.A "the puppy." We first tried to have just me run with her, and Shane take Baxter. But, Abby was a nightmare. No leash manners, random surprise bolts to the side to catch that bird, or that bunny...or that tiny little ant she saw...
Then we also realized how difficult it was fo us to run on different days, taking different dogs. They would give us these looks of complete and utter disappointment and disbelief that we would even consider leaving them behind.

So, we started to take them both at the same time. We'd try to adjust our schedules to run on the same day. This still turned out being difficult because neither dog would like to be behind, and unfortunately for Abby I run slower than Shane, so she was CONSTANTLY pulling me to catch up to her big brother. And, even though he would never admit it, Baxter LOVES his puppy, and would be turning around like every 5 seconds looking for us to catch up. Ok, he was really looking for Abby, because him & Shane have left me in the dust PLENTY of times before...

Next trial was for one of us to carry both of them at the same time. Usually Shane, because well... he would be up front and faster. Funny thing. They both started behaving. They just liked running TOGETHER! All they needs us for was to be their water biatches and pick up their poop. They had each other to run with. Little bastards....

Well, after several months of this Abby FINALLY decided that we were pretty cool. Up to this point she wasn't the snuggly velcro dog that I was expecting after having Baxter. She was pretty independent. Well, she was suddenly really starting to like us. She would nudge her way over to us on the couch, get jealous of Baxter getting attention. And, God forbid we even PET Sara and not her....

So, Baxter sees how much attention Abby is taking away from him and REALLY starts to get annoyed. You could see it in his face. He would look at Shane like, come on Dad, do we REALLY NEED to take that puppy with us tomorrow? What about the good old days when just you & I would run? Huh, Huh???

So, Shane started declaring the "long run" days as the official BUBBA DAY! You think I'm kidding when I say Baxter totally understood this, no? Well, I'm not! The second he would hear Bubba Day, his tail would start wagging and he would get his "I'm so GOOD game on." He would follow us around not letting us out of his site. As soon as the alarm would go off in the morning, we could hear the "swish, swish" of his tail wagging. He knew what it meant. It mean... Long run, like more than an hour.. usually 9 miles. Then, lazy, recovery afternoon full of naps and snuggles and oh yah GOODIES!!!!

Oh how he loves these days.... He would spend the whole day thanking Shane (Like I had nothing to do with it!) for taking him on such a fun fun fun morning run.

Well, as you all know S is in recovery mode. No running for him, despite Baxter's numerous attempts at convincing him that he is FINE... that surgery, smurgery.... it's been over a week now damn it, YOU.ARE.NOT.HURT, now take me for a run biatch!....

So, Baxter has had to resort to doing all his runs with me, and the dad.... It's been fun for me, having some company on my runs, especially with Momo out of town and no one to do my long runs with, but in the past couple week things have gone down hill.

Abby has been shall we say, hitting a wall. It started out that she couldn't go the normal 90mins. Then it turned into at 45mins she would slow down...but after 5mins she's pick it back up. Then, this last week... we had two episodes where I had to walk nearly a mile in each of the runs because I thought I was going to KILL her.

Now, I know hot as hell here right now... but, this sudden decrease in her stamina had started to concern me. So, I made an appointment for the vet. Both she & Baxter are on the "wellness plan" at Banfield Pet Hospital. It works out great. I pay a monthly fee, and all of their shots are covered, all office visits are free, yearly extensive exams, oh and the Health Certificates I have to get them to go to Mexico are free as well. Now that is $60 a pop by the time you get out of there.

I had received a reminder in the mail that their yearly exams were due, so I decided to take advantage & get them in. Plus, with Abby's decrease in energy (most would be thrilled, I was worried) I wanted to get her "Titers" checked. Titers are what they measure to determine the amount of Valley Fever. Poor Abby was diagnosed with it when she was only 6 months old. We caught it soon enough that after only 3 months of medicine her levels were fine & she was back to being a normal crazy puppy. I was worried the levels had gone back up and were effecting her...

So, I made the appts for Friday afternoon. I was also babysitting my 4.5 year old niece that day, but figured she'd love to come along & help.
We had a couple of outfit changes... Notice the straps of her dress, or NOT because she insisted on tucking them inside the dress so hers could be like Auntie Sisas....

The exam started out fine, and I had them cut both dogs nails. After they brought Baxter back to me I was checking out how short they got them and noticed a red, swollen area on one of his paws. I kinda freaked. As soon as the Dr. came back in I had her look at it. She said, oh yes... I didn't even see that (Really, THEY are the Dr.'s.. they JUST took him back and clipped his nails, not even a cm away from where this "thing" was and they didn't even notice it???).

She said they would need to try to squeeze some of it out & look under a microscope. They didn't have time to do it while I waited, so they asked if I could leave him there and as soon as she saw the other patients they would get to him.

Ugh... Ok.... I guess... I can leave him with you....
For those of you with kids.. imagine leaving your kid at the first day of Kindergarten, or with a babysitter for the first time. This is how I felt as they DRAGGED him down the hallway, him fighting to get back to me the whole time.... I nearly cried..

This was at 11:30. It was 2pm and I still had heard nothing. So, of course... I called. The nurse told me the Dr. just looked at it and it seemed to be "JUST A CYST." JUST A CYST... what does that mean? What kind of Cyst.... why does he have it... what is it from...

Yes, I was being THAT person. They told me the Dr. would call me back at like 3 to tell me more details.

UGhh, so another hour I wait. At 3:15, phone in hand, it FINALLY rings. It's the nurse. She says the same damn thing. Cyst.. not a mass... good news.... But, he will need to most likely have surgery.. which we can do when he is under anesthesia for his DENTAL, which he REALLY needs.....

What, surgery? Dental? This is MY BOY... he's perfect. There is NOTING wrong with him.....

I said, "gh... how much is this going to cost?" - "We can have an estimate for you when you pick him up."... "OK, I'm on my way."

So, Taylor (my niece) and I hopped in the car to go pick him up.

I don't think I've ever posted about how unorganized this place is. They have people who can hardly figure out how to work the phones, let alone work a damn computer. But, they love animals, and they are good to my dogs so I endure the long wait times.

But, not today. There was NO ONE waiting but me...I wanted my DOG. The poor front desk boy must have thought I was on "the juice" or something, because I stood there staring back in the window at the kennels asking every 10seconds if he could go get me my boy.

He was trying to explain that he had to wait for the nurses in the back to check him out on the computer.

I was trying to explain that I didn't care, my dog had been there in a damn crate for what has now been lie 4 hours and I wanted him out!

I think he finally figured out if he didn't go get Baxter, I WAS GOING TO, and that my friends... would not have been a pretty sight!

So, about :30 later a nurse brings me my dog. My beautiful PERFECT Baxter. I immediately drop to the floor to apologize for putting him through this trauma, but all he cares about is getting out that door as FAST AS HE CAN!!!

Baxter is ~70 or so lbs of SOLID MUSCLE. Can you see what is going on now? I'm sure it was quite funny to watch.
FINALLY the Dr. comes out and explains that as for as she could see the "thing" was just a benign cyst, just happens when cells form into a mass. It should be nothing, she didn't see anything to be concerned about when she looked at some of the "stuff" she secreted out of it under a microscope. BUT.... plain antibiotics or squeezing it out would probably not work it out, and it would most likely come back...

So, I'm still waiting for the estimate on how much this is gonna cost me... But, I see it as if it were something that would prevent Shane or I from doing what we love, would we chance it and go the cheap route, or GET IT TAKEN CARE OF? ...... Exactly....

So, after picking out a special treat for Baxter at the PetSmart, we were on our way home. Where I spent the rest of the evening spoiling him rotten, and telling him how tomorrow (today) was going to be BUBBA DAY!!!!

And, it was.... Baxter joined me, without the puppy, for the first part of my long run. All I can say is thank God he was there. It was 90degs and about 75% humidity when I walked out the door. I literally felt like I was walking into a sauna when I opened the door. I almost turned around after the 1st mile. But, like I said... Thank God for Baxter. He was so happy to be out there with just me... after such a traumatic day, that I trekked on...

Shane picked him up about 7miles into the run. I wished for him to be with me for the next 10miles.... It was a very very tough day for me. But, when I got home and the dogs were so happy to see me, it made all my aches and pains go away!

And now.. now it's time to continue the Bubba Day. I better get off this computer and go snuggle on the couch with him :-)