Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
that about sums up what i am feeling right now and this, my friends, is why:
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
1) Kuota K Factor SL - although the frame is really nice (full carbon), the components rock and they were going to give it to me at a really smoking deal, the fit is all wrong for me. the seat angle is way too far back for me and i was pretty uncomfortable/unstable throughout the entire test ride. i just couldn't find a good groove any which way i tried.
2) Jamis Comet - i couldn't get past the awful componentry. the shifting was awful, rough and inconsistent. overall i hated the bike the moment i got on it; i was really squished into the frame and didn't feel at all comfortable in any aspect of the ride.
3) QRoo Kilo - full aluminum frame and really nice components make for a pretty great ride. i honestly didn't feel much of a difference, if any between the Kuota frame and this frame. i did however feel a HUGE difference in the ease and comfort of the shifting and handling over the Jamis, which was comparable to the ease of the Kuota. this told me something HUGE: the actual material of the bike isn't as important to me as the comfort and control of the components that make up the bike. i don't know that i am heavy enough to feel the difference of the carbon vs. aluminum edge. all the better for me seeing as how aluminum is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than carbon. so at the end of this test ride, the Roo is at the top of the list...but its a damn heavy bike to carry around!
my second day of test rides was on Thursday and this was my finding (i only ended up doing one):
1) Giant Aeryn - the perfect bike for me! the stretch and seat angle were spot on, the components shifted like a fine tuned instrument (of kick ass metal that i will stealthily make use of on my attacks in future races), and the carbon/aluminum mix of frame makes the bike both light (only 14 lbs) and stable. i loved it! the feel of the weight between my legs, the ease of the turns, the wind in my hair...er, sounds like we're entering into a dirty porn - hahaha. ok, so you get the point, its was perfect. SOLD! i did have them upgrade the front derailleur to Ultergra so all of my components, except the petals and brakes which are 105's, are either Ultegra or Dura Ace. i also had them switch out the factory aero bars to the T2 Carbon...all in all, its a damn sweet ride and i can't wait to get on it and ride like the wind :)
Monday, May 19, 2008
i have no idea what caused this wave of inexplicable nausea, vomiting, dehydration, coughing, 102 degree fever and diarrhea. it's like my body exploded in a matter of hours. i had been to see the sports chiropractor at CSM that afternoon to get some work done on that damned pinched nerve and hopefully get some work done on my IT and whatever else he deemed necessary. he delivered. he worked me every which way and by the time i left, i felt like a different person, well physically anyhow. he gave me strict orders to not do any runs over 6 miles until the marathon especially now that we are on schedule to taper, but that each of those runs needed to be fartlek style and none of them were to be back to back. he promises i won't lose any fitness this way and i will lessen the risk of injury if i keep my mileage down each time but do it more often. so looks like the plan will be a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday fartlek run until race day. i left his office to go test ride my final companion for the next couple of years and then headed home. i wasn't all that hungry so i decided to stop and pick up some groceries at Trader Joe's and see if i felt like eating dinner by the end of it. i sat on it awhile and finally decided that i should eat bc i had been working out pretty hard this week and should be smart about fueling so i thawed out a piece of frozen salmon i had just purchased from TJ's and cooked up some steamed cauliflower and had some root chips to go with. that was at 8, by 11 i was barfing my brains out with a 102 temperature feeling more awful than i have ever felt in my entire life. like someone had come into my room and beat the living shit out of me, left, and then came back for some more. this must have been a 400 pound whale of a man too, bc this thing has laid me out like you couldn't believe. so that's where i've been since Thursday night at 11.
Sunday was the gathering for Coach's dad and although i was still feeling awful, i was better than i had been. i wouldn't have even dreamed of missing this. Coach Gurujan has given countless hours to each and everyone of us who has done a Team In Training event. he has unselfishly given his energy, guidance, support, mentor-ship, concern, comfort and most importantly his love. i can't give his generous nature or my gratitude justice with words. he is a great man who, don't get me wrong, has his own faults like the rest of us, but is so deep in his wisdom and so willing to share it that you just couldn't ask for a better friend on your side in this game of life. so missing this gathering was not an option. i went to church at 9, stopped to get Coach and i sandwiches and headed to the beach to hear him tell stories about his dad, Robert Henry Dourson. it was a gorgeous day, the water was a perfect 65 degrees and the breeze brought fresh life into our tired bones. Coach got to ride for the first time since his hip surgery and then i got to spend the rest of the afternoon listening to stories about his dad as an LA County Lifeguard, who obtained two PhD's - one in Mechanical Engineering and the other in Artificial Intelligence. he was an amazing man. it was great to hear Coach talk about him and it was great to spend the time with him again.
i was disappointed to not see my "old root group" of tri buddy's there. they have, after all, been with Coach as long as i have, if not longer...but i'm sure they all had good excuses for not being there to support him. i'm sure they were thinking about him. a good amount did show and that's what's important. you could see the pride in Coach's face and the gratitude he shared with each of us for being there for him as he has always been there for us. and although i am laid out in bed for another day, i wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
[i should now take the time to note that i don't have the money to buy anything over $15, much less a $2K tri bike, but i cannot stand to not ride anymore. this marathon is tearing up my body and i had no idea how much i had been missing the saddle until i got on the fit cycle...oh man, i need a bike. my credit card company is about to be really happy with me, they may even send me "thank you" flowers.]
now, JT doesn't let people test ride bikes. that's apparently not how his shop works. you fit, you buy, you like...if you don't like, you return and they get you something else. in theory i suppose that could work, but i have never even been on a "real" tri bike. my last two bikes were roadies converted to tri bikes, so this is not a good feeling for me, to blindly buy something i have absolutlely no experience with whatsoever. so i called up Hank and he has me set up to test ride three of his bikes:
i ride at 530 tonight. i will let you know what i think. this is me VERY excited :)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
we shot the shit on the way up, all of us trying not to think about what we were about to begin, our longest run to date - 20 miles. we exited the train and began to make our way through the massive crowd of fellow runners. it just so happens that the TNT RNR team in its entirety was also doing the exact same run, as well as two other run groups. it would be a nice race simulation had we waited to start along side them, but we took off before the other runners had even begun to gather to listen to last minute instruction. it was already 7:15 and we were anxious to get going.
Michael decided to take his own path straight down the coast to add on the extra 2 miles at the end of the run. we opted to tack on the mileage on the front end...there would be no way i could run past my car without veering off to greet it with open arms and impossible to not drive away in it without adding in the final two miles. this decision was the best i would make all day.
Elle, Alexis and I all began the run together and stuck beside each other for the first 4-5 miles or so. as the run stretched on, we broke apart and settled into our own runs and took it from there. i have to say here, thank God for IPods...really, thank you Lord for giving someone the idea to invent them. i know they are a puss way to train, but Lord, thank you...i had already started to hurt pretty badly in the good ole' knees and IT and we were only 6 miles into the run. this was going to be a lllooooooonnnnnngggggg day.
my nutrition was spot on, Accelerade the entire time in my run bottle along with 2 packs of shot blocks that i took about every 20 minutes. i felt great energy wise and cardiovascularly. i was stoked to be running this route but from here it turned into a mixture of complete awe and terror. i can't really go into too much detail bc as i hit Encinitas (the town before Solana Beach where our cars were), which i approximate to be about 6 miles out, i had tunnel vision. i have never in my entire life been in so much pain (read pain as "the most unimaginable struggle between body and mind you could possible fathom"). i had to stop and walk 3 times bc the pain was making me so nauseous. i literally had to walk to settle my stomach. the worst thing about it was that walking hurt almost as much as running, yet i was getting to my destination that much slower! its a crap deal when you know you could keep going at a strong pace, really put in some great miles in good time, but your body just won't allow it. i felt great except for the excruciating pain radiating throughout my lower body and up into my spine, which in turn, dispersed into my central nervous system, to be rerouted to every single inch of my physical being with every single step i took. it was like an electrical shock wave was sent coursing through my body with each pound of the foot. i made it through the last 4 miles in tears and a stream of Hail Mary's running through my mind. it took me just under 4 hours to complete the entire 20 miles (i think i may have ended up running slightly more than 20, as i was supposed to take a turn somewhere that takes you off the coast and shoots you somewhere up a distance or maybe that means i ran less, who knows). it was pure, unadulterated, unequivocal agony...
i've come to the conclusion that i may have a pinched nerve or something of the sort in my sacral area along with the screaming banshee that has been inhabiting my IT. i have an appointment with the sports chiropractor on Thursday. i am praying he can do something...I DID NOT MAKE IT THIS FAR TO QUIT NOW, NO WAY NO HOW!
Friday, May 9, 2008
(just a note: i have a whole other life, a very active and strangely fierce life. in the hours when my eyes are closed, when my body looks relaxed, when i am supposed to be peaceful and serene, i am leading alligator riding expeditions, sail boat explorations in far reaching jungles, free falling jumps off bridges into sparkling lakes so clear you could fall straight through, never reaching the bottom, and see all the beauty the world has to behold on your trip down...to name a few)
...but this dream was a new dream. a dream that in the light of day i would never, could never think might actually happen, but last night...last night it did. there were a group of people surrounding me amongst a larger sea of anxious bodies. my immediate group was strangely compromised of my closest friends from grade school and we were all concentrated on one thing...the gun shot off and so did we, into the green murky mass of water set before us. suddenly we were on land again, like in a time warp, but feeling exhausted as we had been swimming for quite awhile, or so it felt...strangely ready for the next jaunt. i remember seeing my mom there, cheering me on with such a look of awe and wonderment that i smiled dorkily with a thumbs up as she waved me on...when i awoke i could still feel the tension of pure competition running through my veins, the burgeoning feeling of intense pride and no reservation for anything except the daunting but do-able task at hand. when i awoke i realized i was in the midst of completing my first Ironman race
...dreams; they're funny business, especially when they plant seeds of interest, doubt, excitement, fright and possibilities into your psyche. not that i am going to make any plans or do anything crazy...well in the foreseeable future anyway ;)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
1) Monday - rest and attend Sport Endurance Lecture at Coastal with Dr. Martinez; very interesting session where i learned a bit more about how fat is utilized as an energy source in long distance events and endurance athletes and how it is superiorly efficient to glycolisis. other things were covered as well, but this is what has been on my research plate most recently so i was stoked to get information from a doctor who knows what he is talking about.
2) Tuesday - 4 mile run from Fiesta to De Anza and back without the orthotics in (Greg says he'd like me to start doing my shorter runs without them to see how it goes. he doesn't think i really need them, but that just stopping cold turkey might tweak something, so continue with them for the long runs...seems to be fine so far. this was my second short run without them in). Run felt pretty good, but also pretty slow. my energy was lacking. CP2 class: (Clea) A-MAZ-ING hour long sweat session that left me feeling revived and clear headed, not to mention soaked to the bone.
3) Wednesday - CP2 class: (Brad) hour long session, not quite as intense as last night's but still good. i felt extremely tired and completely worn out today, but the class helped me work some of that out. i felt great afterward and ready to get some rest.
here is what is to come:
1) Thursday - i am planning on a short 4 mile run from Fiesta to De Anza again. i am really tired today and feeling like recovery is not coming easily for my body. i think its because of the length of these past couple of long Saturday sessions. i think just running tonight should suffice and then to bed as early as possible.
2) Friday - CP2 class: (TBD)...
3) Saturday - 20 FREAKING, GOD FORSAKEN MILES OF PAVEMENT, FOLLOWED BY LOTS OF DRINKS OF THE ALCOHOLIC NATURE TO SUBDUE THE INEVITABLE PAIN I AM GOING TO INFLICT ON MYSELF...IS THIS THE DEFINITION OF MASOCHISM?! Lord have mercy on my body. please keep my legs long and strong, my mind sharp and focused, my spirit soaring and my sanity in tact...Amen.
4) Sunday - CP2 class (TBD if i can walk) and i am supposed to move today...oy vey in the most exasperating sense of the term
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
it always begins with church at 730AM. i love the priest at this mass and because i can't ever sleep in past 630, i figure i should go take advantage of his fantastic sermons. did i also mention that this quite possibly may be the most beautiful Catholic church i have ever stepped foot in? St. Gregory's; its amazing and i feel closer to God just being there. i should note here that i am not a super religious person, at all, but since the big break, i have felt better going to mass regularly again. i need it. i've always needed it. i was just too busy to notice...
then i usually make myself breakfast after stopping by Starbucks on my way home and read through the bulletin. then Dana comes over and we partake in mimosas (i think we decided yesterday to switch it to Bloody Mary's - more nutritious) and sun bathing by the pool. sometimes Brian is there, but mostly he's not and Dana and i have the entire afternoon to talk or sleep or just be happy hanging out in the silence of the hot sun. we have been known to add fun "field trips" to these laid back Sunday's. Field trip one - La Jolla on Easter Sunday for late lunch/early dinner. Field trip two - On the Border for yummy salads and margaritas (too dehydrating for our liking). Field trip three - adult book store for fun toys. which brings us to this week's Sunday Funday...
downtown to hang out at Nicky Rottens (fantastic ORGANIC food and pretty good Bloody Mary's, although we had to add a good amount of Cholula to our "extra spicy" order). then over to Victoria's Secret where we tried on sexy bras and i had to help Dana find the right size strapless to hold her very voluptuous chest :) if you want to hear more about that fun dressing room rendezvous, you'll have to ask her ;) then finally off to On the Border to watch the Stars game and drink at least 6 glasses of water a piece to rehydrate our parched asses (i don't know that i have ever felt that thirsty in my life. i literally could not get enough water in me).
another great Sunday Funday to add to the repertoire...thanks DanBan :)
i woke up early, got in my morning stretch and core routine and headed out the door; i still had to pick up ice and water before heading down to meet everyone. Abby was slated to do the first 2 SAG stops and then Emma was going to come and meet her at the 3rd and finish it off. BOD was out of town for Wildflower (can i tell you how bummed i was to be missing my all time favorite race?) so i was in charge of the whole shebang. the course was supposed to be chalked for us, but Krista (the office manager of SDRI) called at the last minute to let me know she wasn't going to do it (surprise surprise). it ended up being fine though because i printed out step by step turns so everyone had something to go by during the run. i ended up walking out of the house without my run bottle (oy vey) so had to turn around and get it. i got to the start about 15 minutes late and Abby got to us 15 more minutes after that (thank God MAO wasn't there, he'd have fired us both!). we were finally off and running by 7:32.
the run itself ended up being a really great route. the scenery and breeze off the water made the distance and heat bearable. i decided to stick with Alexis for this run for 2 reasons - 1) i know that she absolutely hates running by herself and since Jenn wasn't there to do it with her, i thought she might need the encouragement and 2) we have both been having gnarly knee problems so i thought we could use each other for support when the run got tough...AND IT SOOOOO DID...
SAG couldn't have been worse. because of the Red Bull Air Races taking place downtown, they had a lot of streets marked off and shut down for automobile traffic. Abby was successful in getting to the first SAG area but didn't make any other ones through the rest of the run. BRUTAL. Alexis and i were seriously hurting with about 6 miles left in the run. i kept looking over at her with a huge smile and yelling "Alexis, we are going to do 18 miles! We are almost there! We're really gonna do this!" silly me, we were still a good 6 miles out. then it hit me in an all of sudden fast ball to the gut. i didn't even see it coming. i had been taking my shot blocks throughout the run (one every 20 minutes or so) plus drinking my Accelerade from my run bottle, but i had been dry for the past couple of miles and WHAM! i could feel the wall coming straight at me. i know most walls don't actually move, but this was a magic wall, with arms and legs and it was making a bee line straight for me. Alexis had been hurting for awhile before i even started thinking about it. she only had water on her the whole run and one PowerGel. i kept telling her that her and Jenn had to get better about nutrition on the course or they would be miserable come race day. both of them have issues about taking in the proper amount of calories on our long runs. i can't really say too much as i was horrible with nutrition before i met paul. i really tried to bring home the importance of it on this run. Alexis' eyes looked sunk in and her spirits were really low. we needed SAG in a bad way.
we came up the hill over by the spot where they have the San Diego International transition area set up and began the small climb over the bridge. out of the corner of my eye i saw Emma make a U-Turn and start heading back down the hill to meet us. i can't quite tell you how happy i was at that moment. i nudged Alexis and pointed. she nodded her head and we continued down the hill towards our soon to be happy place. Emma was out of the car and ready with fresh Accelerade and ice water, Alexis and i were drinking and eating like the poor starved Ethiopian children you see on the Discovery Channel. it was a sight to behold. i think Emma might have had a golden aura around her at this moment because she definitely saved us. the best part about it was that she happened to stop right in front of the Naval Anti Terrorist Warfare Training Center. a naval officer walked out slowly to greet us, gun in hand. so as we are stuffing our faces, this poor guy pops over from the side of the car and is like "you have to move! what are you doing?!" we were like, oh please officer, we have been running a really long time without support (like he knew what that meant) and we just need to refuel. please, we're almost done..." as we continued to rip open bags of this and pour cups of that. it was great. he went on to watch us in amazement and made Emma pack it up and move it out as soon as our greedy little bodies had gotten what we needed. we started off anew and waved fondly at the officer who decided to have pity on us.
the last 4 miles or so were awful. neither one of us could talk. when we finally hit the last mile home stretch, all i could do was concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. i was in excruciating pain. every step felt more than awful. my IT was not just screaming at me, it was taking a knife and stabbing me to try and get me to stop. i learned two things on this run - 1) i have the strength and will of a cougar and 2) it is not wise to have an unreliable SAG-er on an 18 miler.
we were both a little overwhelmed at the end of the very long morning run. we ended up finishing in 3 hours 40 minutes (almost a full hour after the first group of runners) and luckily Emma stayed to the end to see us through. i just have to say thank God she was there. i couldn't stop telling her thank you and how much it meant to have her there. i was delirious at this point and Alexis and i just sort flopped down onto the grass near our cars and miraculously started stretching for the next 20 minutes or so. i gave her some instructions for the rest of the day - hydrate, stretch, hydrate, rest and hydrate...oh and hot tub to get the blood flowing into our injuries so it could start to bring the healing nutrients to the spots that were needing it most.
all in all, not looking forward, not in the least, to the 20 miler next weekend. not one iota...