Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Running Scared

It's been a while since I have done this. I did it for 3 or so years, not including 2 years after surgery.

Always wondering how long the leg would last.
How would today go?
Would I be hurting the rest of the day?
Should I be wearing these shoes?
I wonder if I need different insoles?
I shouldn't run right here, it's slanted?
I can't do that race... it has too much downhill...
I'd love to do that race, but I don't know if my leg will hold.
I don't think I'll ever do a marathon again.
Oh... I wish I could just pick up and go run at anytime.
I'll never get back to my 8min/mile race pace, when I can't even run 10 mins without pain.
I wonder if I will EVER even run again...

Well, I finally got rid of all those thoughts. I carried them with me from June 2002, until about April 2007. 5 years those are the thoughts that went thru my head every day. Every time I ran, or even thought about running.

I had some brief moments of thinking I'd never have to worry again. I started training for Ironman. My mileage increased and I had no pain. I started to get a little faster. I started to get stronger, and more confident.

Then we did the infamous Ragnar Relay. After my second leg, where I missed my 10k pr by :30, my foot got a huge blister, and my 3rd leg was one of the most painful runs I've had in years. My left IT band was shot. I had the 'stabbing' pain that I had come to know so well. I slowed to a 10min pace for my 4miles.

I cried. While running.

I had each and every thought above enter my mind again, only this time worse. I thought my 'good leg' would now haunt me with everything I'd already gone through, all over again.
Could I do Ironman. Could I really put my body through 112 miles on a bike, AND THEN run a marathon....

Fortunately, I came back. I rested a week or so, and my IT band was fine. Of course I know what to do now. Ice, foam roll, stretch, DON'T RUN.

Slowly through the IM training I completely built my confidence up. I didn't worry anymore. If I could ride 100+ mile in a week, and run 30+ miles with no problems... I was healed. I am fine.

Then I did it. I became an Ironman. I held back on the bike to save my leg, only to find out my leg was 100%. I never had ANY IT band pain. I REALLY was fine.

So, I did the unthinkable. I signed up for the St. George Marathon. A net DOWNHILL Marathon. The Marathon I was trying to do 3 years ago only do be denied by this injury.

I rested, then trained, then ran and conquered this marathon. I PR'd. I got rid of the ugly thoughts that I was NOT a runner.

Then, a week after the marathon they call came back. I tried to run. I pushed through 5 miles, 2 in pain. I was stubborn. I thought, it can't be....

I tried again a few days later, only this time to be stopped only 3 miles into the run, and walking home...

Another week later... 2.5miles into the run. I was once again, walking home.

I've spent 3 weeks icing at least 3 times per day. Stretching 3-5 times per day. Rolling on my foam roll 3-5 times per day.

I quit riding my road bike. I decided not to do the bike race.

So, today after 4 days of no leg work and all the therapy and babying of my leg, I went for a run. I went to my old stomping grounds and ran on the canal. Soft dirt, flat as a pancake.

I ran out 11 mins, and back 11mins. Then out again 4 mins & back another 4 mins.

I ran scared. I ran scared that I would once again feel the pain. That I was going to be denied again. Denied what I have worked so hard for. Denied what was already once taken away from me.

Each step I wondered when 'it' was going to happen. When the disappointment would set in....

It was some of the longest 30mins of my life. I didn't' get to let my mind wonder, or enjoy my music, or daydream..... All I thought of was the "what if".....

And finally.... I am happy to report that I survived. That my 30min run went amazing. That I stopped with no pain. That I feel great right now. That maybe, just maybe I have finally won.

I know it won't be easy. I will most likely always have to baby this. Never take advantage, never slack on the stretching and rolling and STRENGTHENING.

For some of us, these things just don't come easy. They are a challenge. They are more of a challenge than it should be...

At that, is why we do it.

If you know me, and especially if you knew me during the years that I struggled so hard with this injury, you know that I didn't' just stop and feel sorry for myself. That I didn't quit.

I have to admit, this time.. with this scare.. I wasn't sure I could do that all over again. Be that strong. Survive and conquer that disappointment again....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Catching Up

Well, first off I just wanted to congratulate all of the athletes that came out to race Soma. Not only did they survive the infamous Tempe Town Lake, but they survived our 90degree temperatures.

It was hot, it was stagnant... it was miserable. And, they all ROCKED it. Although Shane & I didn't get to be quite all over the place sherpa-ing with Momo & Stronger, we did get to cheer pretty much everyone on. Hopefully most of you saw us and heard us out there. We were the two fools with the big dogs in 90degrees for 7 hours.

I tell ya.... if you want to tire out two crazy energetic dogs. Take them to a race. You would think they participated. We got home about 2:30 and I don't think they opened their eyes until Monday. For reals....

Anyway - Congrats again to you all. It was a blast having so many friends out there to cheer for! You all rock. Just one question.... are you gonna do it again???

............................................

After this weekend I came to decision to not race in the Tour de Tucson. I've been pushing myself pretty hard to get the miles down on my road bike, and it's hurting me. I've been struggling with some ITBS in both legs. More so in my left, AKA my GOOD leg, non-surgery leg. I've been icing, and rolling and stretching and resting. Yes, I know what to do. I had 3 years of this pain in the ass injury.

I can only blame this on my road bike fit. Ever since I got, and started riding mini-me, I realized how much my road bike did not fit me. Although it's only a 50cm, it's a cannondale, and at that time even the women's specific ran big. I now ride either a 47" or a 49"... and it fits like a gem. I think the furthest I rode on my road bike was ONE 4 hour ride when I had some issues with my tri-bike. It was miserable. I was sore, slow and not happy. After that, I pretty much just rode it for workouts on the trainer and shorter 1-2hour rides.

Just before the St. George Marathon I increased the mileage to I think a 3hour ride. A couple of days before the marathon I felt a little bit of tightness in my left IT, but it went away with a little stretching. Then, after the race I felt it a bit more. Again, no big deal.

After I got back from Utah and recovered a little bit, I did a couple of big rides, including my last ride of 70miles. I played with the saddle a bit, changed it out.. then had to adjust the height and position. First I felt too stretched out... so I lowered the saddle. Then, I had no power because it was too low.... I thought I had it just about right for my last long ride, but it may have been too late...

I've tried running 3-4times now. I had one good 5miler, with a little pain. Then 2 attempts at 4-6miles where I ended up walking home after about 3 miles due to the left IT pain.

I was running 25-35miles per week for the marathon, including a lot of downhill with NO pain. As soon as I've increased my cycling mileage, the problems started....

So... I've reached the decision it's just not worth getting that 80miler in this weekend and doing the race. I missed out on 3 years of running because of this injury, and I just can't do it again. I can't.

So, I'm still stretching, icing, rolling...... I feel pretty good today. No more hip soreness. My left IT band is a little tight, but much better. Without a bike ride in there, I'm hoping to get a couple of runs in this week... One tomorrow or Thursday, and one Saturday or Sunday. The first one I will just try 3 miles.... then see how I feel later that day..

I am going to Seattle on the 23rd to support my friend in her first race, the Seattle half marathon. I am registered as well.... I just hope I can get this injury cleared up first. It certainly won't be a PR race, but I'd like to run it none the less....

.......................................

One last update is on my neck. I had my second epidural injection last Wednesday. It went MUCH better. By Friday I had the same relief that I did the last time... on Friday, only that injection was on Monday. I still have had no arm pain. Still some tightness on my right side, but worlds better than before.

I swam yesterday. And, unfortunately I wore my watch. I have lost ~6 seconds per lap. I supposed that isn't that bad considering no swimming since June, but still a little frustrating. Either way, I'm happy to be in the pool, again...with no pain....

My 3rd and final injection is next Monday. After that I will have a post op appointment with the Dr and go from there. Most likely some PT (the story of my life), but hopefully this will keep the inflammation at bay for a while.... get me thru CDA training...

And most of all... I can't wait to get back to some sort of normalcy. You know, my constant being COLD vs hot. Sleep. Sleep would be nice. Not feeling like I could run a marathon at any moment of the the day (injury aside). Stop being a complete and utter Crack.Head. Oh, I can't wait!!!!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Redeemed

Well folks... it worked. I'm living proof that shoe therapy worked.

Yesterday, I went out and redeemed myself. I went out Tuesday and made up for my wimping out on Sunday. I rode this course. 69miles 4:30mins. The pace is certainly not impressive, but I did it. It's the furthest I have ridden since IM. It gave me a little more confidence for this.

Most importantly it made me feel better about backing out after only 40miles on Sunday. Well, that and I just had my second epidural injection in my spine this am, so I know I won't be able to work out for a few days, including no riding this weekend...

You know, I'm not even sure why I'm doing this race. It's not like I enjoy sitting on my road bike for hours on end. I guess it's just one of those things I would like to say that I did. I'm pretty sure you won't see my becoming addicted to it like IM, or running...

I certainly won't be as prepared as I am for other races. I've really only done 2 long rides. One ~60miler & one ~70 miler. I hope to get one more long ride in next weekend, hopefully 80-85miles.

I am not very impressive on my road bike. It doesn't fit me all that well (Shane & I REALLY didn't know what we were doing when we bought these bikes). My HR is on average 10bpm higher than when I'm on mini me. My legs get weird soreness, pain.. and my saddle sores.. well that is a whole other story.

But, in 4 weeks I will go down to Tucson. I will try to find some big dude to draft off... And maybe, just maybe I will surprise myself.

And, hopefully after all of this effort on my road bike. Which, btw, is is like 10lbs heavier than my tir bike. Hopefully after all of this, I will get on mini-me and see that all that effort was worth it. That my legs are stronger, and like before, riding her will be almost effortless.

She sits hanging on the wall in my office every day, longing for me to use her again... And soon.. soon I will. And she is not going to know what hit her!

I can't wait!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shoe Therapy

It REALLY does work.
So, to make myself feel better after my horrible ride yesterday... I bought me some of THESE




Last weekend S & I went on a shopping spree. FOR HIM. Yes you heard it right... he got 2 new pairs of shoes, like 10 new shirts & two new jackets...


Macy's was having a really good sale. And, while we both LOATH cloths shopping (shoe shopping is an entirely different story), he was in dire need. So we stocked him up with some new duds, and I of course felt compelled to buy me some new shoes... after all, I did spend like 2 hours in the mends department with him.


Including the men's shoe department. Which, by the way is so not the same experience as the ladies shoe department. It, in fact was not fun at all. Painful in fact. So much that as soon as we picked his shoes, we ran out of there before the sales guy could get the credit. Not because we are mean, but because he was THAT BAD


But, anyway, back to the story of how I scored me the above beautiful shoes.


I found them right away. Right away meaning before Shane even got to the mall to meet me, and again, after his 2 hour escapade in the men's department. Of course when I finally asked to try them on they only had 2 sizes. A 6 and a 10. I really didn't see it possible to put my 7.5 foot into that...


So, while I didn't end up with the polka dot shoes.. I did get a cute little gray pair of gray patent leather mary jane heels. Which, I must say are not only adorable with jean, but also hella comfy! Cute & Comfy and a steal at 60% off.


Again.. back to the above shoes. I couldn't stop thinking about them. Some people obsess over cars, or desserts (ok I do that sometimes too)... I obsess over shoes, if I find a pair that I LOVE. And especially if I find a pair I love and I can't have.


So, I searched the internet. I found them... only they were full price. No sale.. and not too cheap. Well, I did find them for 45% off, but not in my size. Of.Course.


Then, magically... when I got home from the HORRIFIC bike ride yesterday. That same website that had them on sale, not in my size.


They had ONE 7.5. Perfect. Ordered. in less that 5 mins.


So yes, now I am obsessively checking the shipping status. So I can know exactly when the stork, I mean UPS man will bring them.


What horrible, worse bike ride of my life?


Shoe Therapy. It works. Try it. Live it. You won't be sorry....






Sunday, October 21, 2007

I hate my bike


Ok, that's pretty dramatic, but today.. I hated my bike, I hated my legs, my hips, my knees. And most of all I HATE WIND!


I had planned out a great route that had a group of 7 of us meeting at various places and times with those of us training for Tour de Tucson getting in about 65-70miles. A much needed training ride for me. But, lets just say things didn't go as planned... for some of us.


As I was checking weather.com yesterday I saw that evil "windy" sign starting at about 12:00. Prior to that the wind showed like 15-18mph. I decided to keep this to myself so no-one tried to bail on the ride. Particularly a certain someone who decided to make this her first ride back since CDA.


I knew it was going to be a struggle when I was woken up (not that I'm sleeping much lately anyway) sometime in the middle of the night with the wind smacking our sunshade against the sliding glass door in our bedroom. I have NO idea how Shane slept through all of this. Must.Be.Nice.


I actually started to think, maybe it was a good thing. Maybe the wind storm had come early & would be gone by the time we started riding.


NOT-SO-MUCH


As I started to walk out the door I could see that the trees were being blown south, so the wind was coming from up North. Too bad 50% of the ride had us first CLIMBING up north. I yelled back inside that he should give us an extra 10mins before meeting us (he was meeting point 2 for a shorter route).


The first 10miles was pretty good. Of course I was heading South. I felt good. My legs felt good. I was rested. My neck was hurting a little bit, but all in all I was hoping for a good day. Until we turned NORTH. We were going about 13mph. Finally we got to turn East. We were going like 14mph. We usually go 20+ on this road.


This is going to be a LONG day.


We finally got to Shane & Momo about 10mins late. On top of the extra 10mins I gave us anyway.


I have to admit I was totally impressed she came out. She showed up for her first ride back. In this CRAPPY weather. I don't know that I would have shown. Especially knowing now how bad it was.


As we headed further up North, my body just started to give up. I was struggling. I went from pulling the group to the back of the line. My hips were throbbing... I had nuthin. I got a bad attitude. I think I had made a bad decision the night before to lower my saddle. I recently put a new saddle on and when my IT bands started hurting (last week) I was hoping for an easy excuse and blamed it on the saddle being high. I think all moving the saddle position did was take away some of my power & make me kind of scrunched up. Bad move. The saddle is so going back up, and I am SOOO going back to evil.trainer.Daniel.


I was wishing someone else would say they didn't want to do the hard part I had mapped out. I wanted someone ELSE to be the one to quit. To turnaround early. Unfortunately THAT didn't happen... Even AFTER I suggested it. However after a little break heading further East, followed by the last turn before the big hill I had planned, we were going 9MPH heading North. And this was considered the FLAT part of this portion...


It didn't take long for 4/8 of us to agree to call it a day. To bag the challenging part of the ride and take the easy way out, heading DOWNHILL with a tail wind....


Guess which 4 bailed? The 4 CDA IM finishers. 2 of which were 2 time IM finishers


Guess who rallied up the monster hill? The guy who did a 70mile Bike race last week, our friend Matt. AND, our good friends Stacey & Dave who have only been riding since January.


I just couldn't do it this time. I couldn't pull the IM card. Or, maybe in a sick twisted way we did pull the IM card. Maybe this time instead of pushing ourselves, we used it in the opposite way by letting ourselves off the hook....


Usually I would be mad at myself, or pissed off about quiting. Not this time. I actually think it was the best decision for me. I was hurting. Not just in an out of shape way (cause I just ran a marathon for Pete's sake, I can't be out of shape!). My neck was throbbing.. my legs, everything. I actually listened to my body.


Maybe I am getting smarter? Or maybe it was just an off day...


Either way, please stop by & give our newbie friends props for their achievement today. If they survived today's wind (25mph, gusting up to 35mph, and HARD hills) & ~70mile ride, they are superstars!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What a ham



Because the LaPan house just wouldn't be the same if we were all healthy at the same. Cause, well... that's just not how things work around here.

So, Baxter decided to join me on the "broken" list.

Actually... it's all still from that stupid cyst he had on his paw. He had surgery to have it removed the same day I had my epidural injections, last Monday.

He was really good with it at first. I think he was still drugged up though. Then, of course he just couldn't leave IT alone. He had to lick it. Constantly. And pull a couple of the stitches out. And STILL not leave it alone. Even when we drugged him...

So here he is, on his 3rd re-wrap from the vet (5th if you count the 2 that Shane & I tried to do), with a special little note to him on it.



And they told me he was an absolute ANGEL, and that he just sits there and lets them bandage him up. Which is SO not what happens in this house.... when he acts like we are murdering him when we tough his puppy paw.

But, anyway... he's going to be fine. I have to take him back in 2 days, for the 4th time, assuming he doesn't get this bandage off as well... He'll get it cleaned again and the stitches that held taken out.
I just hope it's fast. Like really fast. Because do you know what life is like with an unexercised Vizsla... and Weimaraner?

Best decision I ever made. Wellness Plan. All office visits included.....




Monday, October 15, 2007

Could it be true?

So I actually put a swimsuit on... drove to the gym.... put my swimcap & goggles on... got IN the pool... and swam a few laps!

I have not done this for over 3 months.

Let me digress.....

Since my epidural injections on Monday, I've had an interesting week. As I mentioned in my last post, I hibernated for 5 days. Friday, I finally decided enough was enough. I went out for a 30min easy run.

Err... TRIED to go out for a 30min easy run. I started, nice and easy. HR 140. Legs weightless... It was going oh, so well. Then Snap. It happened. My legs turned to ichy firey red hivey mess. It started about 6mins into it. I kinda just thought maybe they're itchy cause I need to shave. (this is what happens when you are hibernating, no need to shave).... so, I suffered a few more mins.

About 10mins out I could not take it any longer. I found some shade, stopped, scratched the hell out of my legs... and walked and pouted that long mile back home.

By the time I got home i was fine. My legs were still red, but not full of hives. WTF? All I could come up with was it had to be the steroids they injected into my spine!

Of course it did not end there. I also stopped sleeping. After 3 glorious nights of 8-10 hours of sleep Mon-Wed, I think I have slept all of like 5 hours since. Well, except Saturday night when I drugged myself with the wonder drug Ambien.

I'm wide awake. I'm hot as a menopausal woman in August (hello, I'm STILL, even if for a very short time, in my 20s!). My resting HR feels like it is like 120bpm. And my 70 dog blankets are NOT helping this matter.

Anyhoo... I'm hoping all of this subsides... somehow... SOON!

So, back to my weekend. After a disappointing not so much of a run on Friday, I did not attempt exercise on Saturday, but did manage a 2hour bike ride with Shane, Stacey & Dave. We weren't breaking any records, and my HR was about 20bpms higher than it should have been. BUT, I did it, and my legs were not on fire. Feeewww. Mission Accomplished.

So today, I decided to attempt the swim. My arms have had no pain post injections. I've still had some off/on soreness, numbness & tingling of my neck & shoulder on my right side. Friday it hurt like hell. Saturday, completely pain free.

I don't know how far I swam. I didn't bring a watch. I didn't count laps. I just went VERY slowly, trying not to irritate anything. It was effortless. I had no pain. Afterwards I noticed the same right side stiffness was back, but it's been about 4 hours & it feels ok now.

So, it looks like the steroids, as crazy as they might be making me, are working. I'm waiting for a call from the Dr. to schedule my next set that will happen next week. I'm not looking forward to the side effects, but I am really looking forward to the results....

I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of THIS tunnel..... I just hope it continues on this path!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hibernating

I have not left the house since Monday morning. I know, crazy. It's not that I haven't been doing anything, I've actually been working quite a bit, with momo & the clan out being all "LA" and such (see her future posts for updates). Thing is, I seriously haven't left my house. I haven't driven my car, or run to the store, or run ANYWHERE as a matter of fact. Or biked, or swam..... I've just, well... rested.

I think it was time for a Krista burnout. As you read here in my blog, I'm not good at doing nuthing! I always need to be on the go.... and I don't like to take "time off." I didn't over train for this marathon, I rested when I needed to, and took time off when my body called for it.

I think it was a combination of playing in Mexico the week before the race, combined with a severe lack of sleep the entire week leading up to St. George that put me in my current state. Recovering from the marathon, recovering from the epidural injection, and catching momo's cold....

I did sleep the night before the race, but it was an Ambien induced sleep... I was so worried about being too tired, I actually drugged myself in St. George! And, apparently it worked. Thing is though - after waking up at 2:30am (AZ & Vegas time) to get to the bus loading and race start on time... then staying awake in Vegas until about 12:15 - almost 24hours of being awake (and early for VEGAS!) I was D.O.N.E.

Top it off with a morning Mimosa, split bottle of afternoon wine... and not getting home until 11pm on Sunday night, I was in complete meltdown stage.

I was up by 5:45 Monday morning to drop Baxter off at the vet for her surgeries (HE IS A-OK, Cyst was benign & he has pretty white sparkling teeth now!!), and then on my way to the Dr's office for my 1st of 3 Epidural injections into my C-Spine.

I'm sure I was quite a sight. Still dehydrated from the race, and sore as all get out. They started me with a saline IV (aghh, if I could only have that after EVERY race), then brought me into the procedure room about 20mins later. I was shaking, I was so cold and uncomfortable, I couldn't stop. They also had to give me a step stool to get up on the table becaue my legs were so sore! They do the injections under an X-Ray machine so they can place the epidurals into the perfect spot in the spine.

Once on the table they gave me a nice little "cocktail,", if you will. A mix of Morphine & some sort of sedative. Instantly I felt relaxed and the shaking stopped. I could still feel the injection, or the passing of the cortisone into my system, but just a slight pressure and no pain. SO worth the IV. Which, I was a little gun shy when several other patients weren't taking them....

After the procedure was finished, I had to "recover" for about 30mins. The PA was pretty surprised when she saw I had gone through the entire IV bag. I guess my body needed the fluids :-)

Shane dropped me off at home, where I have not left since! I've at least showered each day, and changed my cloths (er... pajamas).

The first 2 days were rather uncomfortable. Similar to other cortisone injections I've had. Once the numbing medication wears off, my body doesn't react as nicely as it's supposed to. They only way I can describe it is a constant throb, or pressure where the medicine is sitting. With the injections in my hip (bursitis), it felt like I had a brick on the side of my butt. Heavy, hard an uncomfortable. With the knee, the medicine moved down all the way to my calf and THROBBED. That was probably the worst.

With my C-spine, it was just the pressure. From my neck straight down my spine to about mid back The first day I didn't' have much mobility at all, couldn't turn my head from side to side. Each day it got a little better, with the last of the stiffness when I tried to put my chin to my chest. OUCH! Today, I'm happy to report I have FULL mobility, and no stiffness.

As for the results... They say it can take up to 10days for the medicine to work at it's peak. My neck is not in pain, and my arms aren't hurting either. I wouldn't' say I'm "healed," but I do think it has done something. I think after the next round it will have a much bigger impact. Let's hope anyway...

So, here I am 5 days later... still inside my house. In my pajamas. My cold is on it's way out...My neck feels "better," and I'm for sure rested and recovered from the marathon.

I thought about going for a nice 30min run. Or even trying to swim. Still, I can't seem to put the thoughts to actions. It's still early, 7:45... and AZ has finally cooled down so the run isn't totally out the door. As for the swim, I'm a little worried about it possibly hurting and being disappointed so I may wait until the next round of injections. You know, fall off the horse... scared to get back on. It's been 3 months since I have been in the pool.....

So, long story short.. this is where I have been...and what I have been up to. Hopefully, next week I'll be full of action packed posting :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Special offer on Zensah Products!

A few weeks back I was contacted by the President of Endurance Market for Zensah Performance Apparel Company, Lia. She came across my blog and wanted to know if I would be interested in trying out some of their performance apparel.

Of course I do! Cool new stuff, samples, heck yah! So, she sent me a couple of products to try and I'm here to share with you what I thought, as well as give you all an opportunity to try their products at a great discount! The first product that I tried was the Women's Arm Sleeve. The other product they sent me was the Women's Compression Shorts. While I did not actually exercise in these shorts, I only tried them on, I found them to be completely comfortable. They were, well, just simply not a style I wear. The length was too long for my body type, and I prefer a more loose fitting body. However, If you like wearing fitted shorts, these are amazing. They feel like you are wearing nothing. Light, soft & non-restricting. I am thinking about purchasing the tights for the winter running!

They have several other products that I'm interested in trying as well. Some compression tops that would be great base layers for cool cycling mornings, as well as top layers for running.

Anyhoo, here's my official review on the arm sleeves, as well as a GREAT offer for anyone interested in trying out these products:

This offer will only be good for ONE WEEK, so if you are interested, get your purchase in before next Wed, Oct 17th.

Use THIS offer code at checkout for a 30% discount! ZENSAH30

Enjoy, and thanks for reading ;-)

Product: Zensah Women’s Arm Sleeve

Product Replacing or Similar Products Used (if this is an upgrade, or replacement – please briefly describe older product, and the reason for buying the new one):

First time using a product like this. I was sent a sample from the manufacturing company, Zensah to try out. They were described as UV protective, not necessarily “arm warmers” or “coolers”

Purchased at:
www.zensah.com

Purchase Price:
N/A Retail $29.99
Date Purchased:
09/07
Uses:
Cycling/Running

Strengths: I wore these on the first cool morning. It was about 64 degrees when I started, so I put them on with a short sleeve bike jersey. At first they were a little ‘cool’, but after a minute or so it was like they warmed to my body temperature. The sun started to come up & I noticed that it was getting warmer, but I didn’t feel the need to take them off. With my other “arm warmers” they would hold my body heat in, and I would need to remove them to cool. These were just comfortable. I kept them on until the temps reached about 85degrees. I still never noticed a huge difference when I took them off, so I could have warn them throughout the ride.
The material is very soft. Almost like wearing nothing. The elastic is not binding at the ends and you almost don’t even notice you have anything on.

Weaknesses:
I don’t know that I would wear these running because my body heats up so quickly.
Sizing: I wore a Small/Medium – fit perfect.

Overall Rating (1-5, lowest to highest): 4.5

for similar product reviews, please check out the review section of our website:

www.allthingstriathlon.com
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

St George Marathon

As most of you know, I was supposed to do this race 3 years ago. Unfortunately, my IT band had different plans for me, none of which included training for and running a very hilly race. So, after Ironman Coeurd A'lene, and a disappointing NO for the New York Marathon lottery came in, I was in need of a plan B.

In typical momo fashion, she had already entered and been accepted to the St George Marathon lottery. We found out there were a few charity slots left, so I secured one of them, and actually got pretty excited. I downloaded a 3 day a week training schedule from Runners World and stuck to it pretty well. I added in longer bike rides as the cross-training, also in hopes of getting ready for the Tour de Tucson bike race.

My long runs were up and down. Some good, some bad. Thankfully, they ended with a pretty good 20miler to boost my confidence. It was a very hot summer here in AZ, so I was really counting on cooler temps in Utah to lower my HR and help me run faster.

I went into this race with no high expectations. I've learned that anything can happen during a race, and honestly, I was getting sick of disappointments. I used to not set very hard goals. My second marathon 5 years ago, the RnR Marathon in San Diego was the first of many bad races. I was on track, and trained to run a 4 hour marathon. This is the race that injured my IT band. My first half was just over 2hours. My second half 2:30. I finished just over 4:30, :30 slower than my goal.

My next race was the NY marthathon. My injury didn't allow me to finish training that year, and I postponed it to 2003. Although it was my most memorable, getting engaged, it was also one of the most painful 5 hours of my life. I was in complete agony for nearly 5 hours, and for months after. I finished one minute faster than my first marathon, like 4:54 or something like that.

Several more "OK" races, later I did set a good goal for myself this year at the AFC Half. I wanted to break 2 hours. I felt like I was ready, and again, relying on the cooler temps and lower HR to do well. Unfortunately I did not do as planned, and finished in 2:06.

SO, I went into St. George just hoping to have fun, run with Momo, and hopefully come in anytime under 4:30.

The weather was perfect. Extremely COLD in the am at the start. In the 30's I would guess. I couldn't bring myself to give up all my layers before the race, so momo had the great idea to carry one of the drop bags in my coat pocket & we would drop another layer after the first mile or so. It worked out great! I stayed cool enough to wear my "throw away" long sleeve until about mile 5.

We were doing pretty well. Staying with or in front of the 4:15 pacer. I think about a 9:40pace. It was VERY hilly. Shane & a few others that did the race several years ago when I was supposed to warned us, that unlike the elevation chart, this race was NOT all downhill. They were right. There were some brutal hills. Both our HRs were in the 170's. I could see poor M was struggling. She wasn't talking and she just seemed out of sorts.

We started pulling our pace back a bit to lower our HRs. Poor Melisa though, even with some walking her HR wasn't dropping like normal. Something wasn't right. She tried convincing me to leave for several miles, but I wasn't out there to run fast. I was out there for fun. I was out there to have a good time, feel good and enjoy the company.

But, as the time went on, we slowed more and surprisingly my HR was dropping. My legs wanted to GO! I had a lot of energy. I was so worried about leaving her. She finally looked at me at mile 13 and said, "You need to GO!" She wasn't sure she could keep it up, and she knew how good I felt. She was worried we would slow even more & I wouldn't get in under 4:30. We had slowed our pace quite a bit, and at mile 13 we were at 2:15mins.

Finally after a few mins of walking, she convinced me to go. We had already climbed most of the hills (basically 7-11 is UP) so I figured if I could even just hold the same pace for the second half, I could come in under 4:30 and PR.

After the first few miles by myself, I was very lonely. I tried to talk to other runners, but for some reason this was the most UNFRIENDLY group of athletes I have ever come across. If it weren't for the great support at the aid stations, I'm not sure I would have anything nice to say about it. I don't know what was going on. The weather was perfect. The course was very pretty, and we had plenty of room (they shut down the entire road for the runners).

Just a couple of examples:

A saw a woman with an Ironman CDA shirt on. As I finally caught up to her, I started trying to talk - "How did you like CDA? Isn't it beautiful, and such great people?" her response "Yes. It was nice."

That was it. She turned away from me and wouldn't have eye contact. I took the hint. Apparently shortly after, Melisa got the same response.

I tried talking to people about the course - asking who had done it, I heard mile 18 was tough... did anyone know.

All I got was ignored, or complaints. Oh - 17-18 is hard. But so is the rest. It's hard to go down after that. It's just hard.

It was unbelievable, no one seemed to want to be there.

Unfortunately I didn't even have my music on to help me out, so I decided to just make it my own race. Ignore the grumpy people and push forward.

That is what I did. I started realizing HOW many people I WAS PASSING. I'm usually the one that gets passed. I'm usually the one wondering how these people can find energy in the back half of a race and go so fast. It was ME this time. I honestly can't tell you how many people I passed. It was hundreds. Literally. I'm sure I was passed as well, but nothing noteworthy.

The miles started going by SO quickly. The next thing I knew I was around mile 16. I was approaching a girl about my age. We seemed to be about the same pace. I tried to talk. She didn't seem to really want to, but at least she wasn't rude. I made her my pretend-friend. I just kept gabbing until she had no choice but to talk. I told her all about CDA and how I was supposed to do this race several years ago.... I learned she just had a baby 8 months ago, and she wasn't really trained, and she told her husband that it might take her 5-5:30 hours.

That's when I looked down and realized that I had already gained back 4/5 mins we lost with the walking on the hills in the first half. But, what I also noticed, that I was half way up the hill I was so worried about at mile 18. I never had to walk. I just kept going. I even was able to push ahead of my "pretend friend."

About mile 20 I had a man come up behind me and yell - "so is everyone feeling good?" "The quads are still there right?" I said, of course they are - they are numb! Feeling good. He ran up next to me, and said - "I have been trying to catch you for miles." Then he passed me. I said, "what so now I have to chase you?" He said, "Yup, come on.. lets pick it up to the next aid station."

So I did.. And then, then I passed him and never saw him again.

Once I hit 20 I started gaining more time, or loosing it rather. I slowly started realizing I could possibly do a 4:25 as long as I kept a 10min pace, including walking at the aid stations. So I did started clocking my mile splits. I never saw a 10min mile again. I even had one that was an 8:45.

I couldn't believe I was doing it. I started to get giddy. I had the best runner's high. I started realizing that for the first time in a long time, my friends were not going to have to feel bad for me because I had, yet again, another BAD race. I wouldn't have to hear "it's going to be your day this time" anymore. I was going to make this my race.

Finally, I hit mile 24. I realized I was getting close to the 4:20 mark, not 4:25. I forgot about the extra .2, and decided I could finish at 4:22, that was my new goal. I decided not to stop at the aid station at 25. I took a small drop of gel from my fuel belt, grabbed some water, and decided that was it. I was going to to push to the end this time. I wasn't going to let my head get the best of me, or worry about cramping or getting dizzy and having to slow down.

I passed the 25mile aid station so full of energy. I was smiling. I was slapping all the spectators hands as they stuck them out. I turned a corner and saw a kid holding a sign saying 25.2miles. I was at about 4:11. I hit my lap button and just kept telling myself 9 mins. That's all you have left. I had no idea how fast I was running, but it felt like I was flying. I looked at my watch every few seconds to keep myself from slowing down. I could see the finish. It seemed so far away. I had 2 mins to get there. I picked it up. I passed about 10 people. I gave it my all... I watched my HR go from the low 170s to the high 180s.

I crossed the finish line and saw 4:19something on my watch. By the time I hit the stop it was exactly 4:20:00.

I got my medal & couldn't stop smiling. I did it. I pushed myself, I never gave up and I did well. I was sad about not finishing with Melisa, but it was a huge accomplishment for myself. I was proud. I was gleaming.

I saw our wonderful sherpa, Kirsten at the finish. She was going to wait for Melisa & I needed to walk a bit. I went through to the finish food, booths etc. Nothing sounded good. I didnt' know what I wanted. I was standing there by myself, and decided to go back and wait for Melisa. So I did. I saw her cross the finish line. I had been so worried about her. Worried that her not feeling well got the best of her and she may have stopped.

Even with as crappy as she felt she came in just under 4:37. What a champ. She is an Ironman. And even more, she is a wonderful friend. She convinced me to go, convinced me to do this race. She helped me get this accomplishment. I feel very lucky.

St. George might have been the race that finally turned the page in my streak of poor races (excluding Ironman), and it was absolutely the race that has given me my running mojo back. However, it is not my favorite. The course is very challenging. A lot of up in the begining, a lot of hard down to test the quads. And, the overall community just wasn't that great. Maybe it's because I was so spoiled by the support and athletes in CDA. I'm not sure. There was just something missing.....

I'm not saying I won't ever go back, but there are a lot of places I'd go to first....

Back to CDA, NY, and a little birdy seems to be awfully set on MAUI next year... So many possibilities!

I'm feeling pretty good today. I'm still sore, mostly IT bands,quads & hamstrings from the hills. Unfortunately I'm not able to work out the stiffness because of the epidural injections I had yesterday. I'm very stiff in my neck/back and it is somewhat painful so I'm taking it very easy. I'm just hopeful that these help my pain and get me back in the pool soon!

Thanks for all your encouragement & congrats!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I HEART running again!

Well, despite a not very friendly running community, the St. George Marathon helped me get my running mojo back! I wondered if I would ever find it again. If I'd ever truely LOVE running again... If I would EVER get the bad running race monkey off my back.

Well, I did it. I had a fantastic race, a PR & came out injury free!

Full race report to follow, but in true Krista fashion I wasted no time in getting back in the game. I just got back home from my first of 3 serious of epidural injections into my C-Spine. The hope is to calm down the inflamation in my neck that is causing so much pain in my arms.

So, I'm going to go rest, hydrate & hopefully catch up on a little sleep.

Thanks for all of your encouragement & good thoughts!

4:19:56! PR by 11 or so minutes, including a first time negative split!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Could it get ANY better?

Is Mother Nature FINALLY letting me have my day??? :-)





Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This is how we roll south of the border......

So... we celebrated Shane's b-day at our house in Rocky Point.... It was Natalie, Jeff, Baby Kate, Shane, me & Baxter.... The momo clan couldn't make it due to some sick kids... and we only took Baxter to make it a little less chaotic......



We had a great time.... Kate was entertaining and a doll! She woke up every morning saying "Bubba, Buba"... She LUVES her Baxter.... Hopefully his good behavior helped convince her dad she needs a D.O.G. soon!










Baxter absolutely LOVED all the attention. He was well... a little slut to tell you the truth. He felt it necessary to be a 75lb lap dog.








Does this look comfortable to you? Yah, not so much.. but he thought nothing wrong with the situation....








His biggest obsession was with his Aunt Natalie. He HEARTS her more than anything...








Never mind the fact that she is like 30 weeks preggo.... He still felt it necessary to be RIGHT.ON.TOP of her. We think he was protecting little baby "Pedro." He pretty much did not want to leave her side. Now, I know how much he loves her.. but it definitely seemed different this time with a baby in her belly....






We had some of my famous Margaritas....








We had some birthday beers....







and some birthday shots....


what marathon? Well, at least it's a week away :-)







Some more birthday shots...




and I couldn't resist posting this one... Jeff thought my blue fuzzy slippers were the greatest thing ever. So great he wanted to try them on... He didn't so much remember that the next day..




Believe it or not we were actually pretty mellow for a Rocky Point trip. We had some great beach time, some fabulous grilled shrimp, and good laughs. All in all a nice, fun, put too quick of a trip!