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Continuing The Experiment and Other Stuff

11 Aug

I started this 90 day challenge. And I WILL FINISH IT! DAMN it’s hard!

Here’s my week, with other “stuff” thrown in:

Monday: I awoke at 04:30 and began my “spit test” as I call it. It was actually the Stress and Resilliance test. It’s supposed to measure one’s cortisol levels at different points in the day. I had to fill a 5cc container with saliva without having drank anything for 2 hours. Yeah, THAT was fun! It took me 45 minutes. AND I must tell you that each time you open the lid, you get the opportunity to smell your own spit. I work in a hospital, and I have to say that this ranked right up there with the patient that had  dripping vaginal boils. Smelling your own morning after the night before spit is just revolting. After all that I FINALLY got my cup O’ Joe!

Then I took my husband back to the Orthopedist (he had surgery LAST Wed.) because his cast became too tight. Then off to the Nazi Hell Hole to work.

Tuesday: Up at 04:00 to be at the gym by 5:30 for the weigh in/body composition and “nutrition” seminar. More about that at the end of the “week”. Then my first training session with my trainer Thomas, after I ran a couple miles.

I kept telling him “We gotta go heavier!” I think he’s afraid I’ll break or something. I’ll admit it, I was a little sore the next day, so it was a good workout!

Wednesday: Another early morning! I met with the Registered Dietician A.M.S. (I didn’t get her permission to use her name, and being that it’s a unique spelling, I decided to avoid it.) We went over the typical “What, when, why and how much do you eat?” routine.  

I’m a little concerned because she alluded to having an eating disorder, at least in the past. It’s kind of like when I met with a therapist for my problem of  eating too much too often. The therapist kept picking at her arms and scratching incessantly. I left, figuring she had more problems than I did.

Okay, back to the Dietician: So, in the hour I spent with her she convinced me that I should be taking an adrenal supplement. Made sense. I bought it. It’s all herb/plant based. I took it.

I got to work and thought I was going to fall asleep. PLUS I was incredibly depressed. I mean, it could have been due to the lack of sleep so far this week. AGAIN, back to the Dietician. The biggest issue with the Dietician is that she didn’t give me any idea of what, when, how much to eat with the exception of “Don’t eat more than 1/2 cup of berries for your fruit. Only one serving. Replace your carbs with good fats. And take the multiple vitamins we recommended.” I decided to look up the herbs/roots/wood in the supplement. After reading several sites I came to the conclusion that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to take it being that I take a statin for my cholesterol and the main ingredient works to detoxify the liver. Statins work through your liver….. not a good combo. 

Thursday: Another fasting morning. But at least I got to sleep a little later. I am back at the gym for my “Health assessment”. A finger stick, blood pressure, flexibility, “walking fit test” and “how many push ups in a minute” deal. 

So, the finger stick STILL hurts! They did an orthostatic assessment of my blood pressure, which apparently I failed. (mine went DOWN when going from sitting to standing), but in my defense, what the fuck do you think will happen when your starving me, making me fast and dehydrating me? 

Then came the flexibility. Sitting on the floor reaching beyond your toes as far as possible WITHOUT a warm up. I’m fifty fucking four years old. I did okay though.

Then on to the “girlie” push ups. You know, the ones on your knees. I did 24 in 60 seconds. I’M FIFTY FUCKING FOUR YEARS OLD. I was “average”. AVERAGE FOR WHAT? 

The “fit test” was five minutes walking briskly at an incline. My heart rate made it all the way to 114. Come on. I’ve been training cyclicly for Ironman distance triathlon for the last 6 years. 

I FINALLY get to have a protein drink that I bought downstairs at Life Cafe, made with “berries” and protein powder. $6.95. THEN I get to go work out with Thomas.

We did lower body. We started with squats and walking lunges. I said “Ya’ know, I usually do these with weights, and I usually am doing bicep curls while doing the lunges.” He finally brought me some weights. Then on to the hamstring curl. Unilateral times 3 sets. In between those he threw in some dead lifts. He hands me about a 5 pound medicine ball. I said “We need to go a lot heavier than that.” He brings me back a 15 pound weight. I said “I typically do single leg Romanian Dead lifts with 15 pounds in each hand.” He brings me back a 40 pound weight. “NOW WE’RE TALKIN!”  I finish 3 sets of each and then move to the seated quad machine. He sets it up for 10 pounds. I’m thinking “Sheesh, this guy thinks I’m a total gray geezer!” After 10 single leg curls I wanted to cry. But I remained focused and stoic. On the second set, at 15 reps he puts his own body weight on the part of the machine resting on my shin. “Don’t let me push down.” This takes up the last 5 reps. We do this on the opposite leg. Then begin the next set with the same ending. He’s finally “getting” it. YAY! 

Friday: I’m a little sore when I get up. Not bad. I get to work, and after all of the protein drinks, water and coffee I’m due for a bathroom break. Damn, when did the toilet get so low? I don’t “sit” on the toilet. I sort of “land” on the toilet. I feel as though I ran a marathon yesterday. My quad’s feel like they are on a steady diet of “Taser”! I try not to look like “dawn of the dead” when I walk down the halls. 

I email my friend Kat and say I will join the group for a run on Saturday. They meet at 05:30.

I text her at 03:00 that I will NOT be joining them. I can barely make it to the bathroom without whimpering. 

Saturday: I sleep in. I get out of bed and don’t feel too bad. I make some coffee. I sit on the couch. “When did the couch get so low?” I wonder. I think that I will “spin” a bit on the bike trainer and try and flush out some of the lactic acid that has found a home in my legs.

My husband mentions that he wants to go with me to take the dog (The Pug Star) to the groomer. Okay. 

Here’s the way it went down: I get the Pug’s leash. She goes CRAZY. She goes in her “house”. I coax her out so I can get her collar and leash on her. I have to get her “house” un wedged so I can close the door.  I go out to the car and open the passenger door. I put her and her “house” in the front seat. I open the windows and close the door. Other wise she will be doing a face plant when the dog crate falls out of the car due to her shenanigans! 

I open the passenger rear door so my husband can scoot himself along the back seat so he can keep his ankle and foot elevated. 

My  husband rides his knee scooter to the kitchen door. The kitchen door has an automatic closer on it. I have to put a door stop in place so it stays open as he does a “nose dive” off the threshold into the garage. It always makes me nervous. He maneuvers himself and the knee scooter into place. He gets into the backseat. I fold the scooter and put it in the back of the SUV. I finally get in the drivers seat. Open the garage door and we’re off. 

I FINALLY find a “handicapped” space. The Orthopedist okayed a handicap placard, and I am ever grateful!
I DID get in 45 minutes on the bike to try and get the lactic acid wrung out of my legs!
Sunday: My BRFF and I finally got our schedules straight and went out for a run today. Of course, living in the desert we have to start before the sun wakes up!

Before the "Heat Lamp" gets turned on.

Before the “Heat Lamp” gets turned on.

A beautiful sunrise along the canal

A beautiful sunrise along the canal

The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself

13 Jul

The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself.

The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself

13 Jul

Maybe the title should read: What do you do when your “ride buddy” calls in sick? 

Yes, I did come up with that title on my own. I wrote it down many years ago when I truly needed a friend to talk to. But, that’s another story.

I have yet to meet said “ride buddy”, but hearsay has it that we ride at about the same speed and have the same goals in place. She is racing Ironman Arizona and I continue to train for any and all possibilities! I received a text message about 04:00 that she was too ill to meet for our 05:30 tires down ride through McDowell Mountain into New River and up 9 mile hill. 

So, off I went. I looked to the East and had Golden Earring’s classic “Radar Love” find it’s way into my head. Particularly “Slip into a nude sunrise”.ImageI took off to the West, I wasn’t feeling so hot myself. My gut was a bit “iffy”. I took a pretty slow ride over to Paradise Valley. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning though. I made it to Tatum Blvd., one of the “crossing” hazards of the ride. Four lanes of traffic plus the suicide lane. Ahhh, but it’s SATURDAY at 06:00 and folks are still sleeping! I had a clear shot.

I knew I needed to get something in my gut, I had another 3 hours of riding to get through!

I searched my bento box for some TUMS, found the little bag I keep them in, but wait! There’s something MUCH better in here! GINGER CHEWS! And it wasn’t dried out either!!!! That did the trick! Thirty minutes later I downed a GU Peanut Butter gel and started the “interval training” for the session. A couple of inclines along Cheney up into “Deep Pockets” and “Fancy Pants” neighborhoods at the foothills of Mummy Mountain and Camelback. I hit my goals AND got some pic’s to share. Side note: I also took 4 date and coconut rolls with me. They were amazing fuel!ImageThis is one of my favorite views headed west on Solano Drive, It’s a flat portion of road, so it lends to a beautiful view if you look up. Locally, we call it Praying Monk. I’m not sure what the real name is. 

I cut across Camelback Road just west of Scottsdale Fashion Square. Again, no traffic light to help me out! But, again, the mall doesn’t open until 10:00! I rode through the wonderful neighborhood of Arcadia. (More deep pockets!) What’s nice about “Old Money” neighborhoods is that people don’t really live there. So the roads are pretty vacant most of the time. At least early morning on the week ends! AND they usually are extremely cautious when driving. I mean, who wants cheap ass bike paint spoiling their Bentley?

There aren’t many cars, but let me tell you: The Tour de France brings out EVERY cyclist within 20 miles in this little area! And all the “bad ass” week end warriors on their bikes with their buddies trying to out sprint each other. It’s kind of funny to watch actually!

I head back into PV the way I went out. Here’s a pic of one of the more unusual architectural “old neighborhood” designs. Appropriately, this is on Casa Blanca Road.

ImageI thought the saguaro was kind of comical looking set between the two minarets. 

Another 50 miler in the books. Not too fast, but it got done!

Keep the rubber side down my friends.

Too Hot to Trot, So I better RUN!

30 Jun
Just part of the 'hood I run in.

Just part of the ‘hood I run in.

Okay, let me bring everyone current with my “oh so busy life”.

As evidenced in the prior posts, I’ve been training again for triathlon. My immediate goal is to finish the Mountain Man Triathlon in Flagstaff in August. A half marathon in November, a marathon in January and then Ironman Mont Tremblant in August of 2014.

My training has being going very well. A few hiccups, mainly that I really have a dispassion for swimming. If I skip a workout, it’s usually swimming. Shhhh! Don’t tell my coach!

The thing is, my last 70.3 triathlon; Honu 70.3 to be precise, went REALLY well on the bike. I held the same time for the distance as I did the last time I raced there, even with the brutal winds this year as I had 3 years ago. AND I had the same swim time as 3 years ago. My run on the other hand, was not so good. That wind that we had on the bike had gone away, and running through the golf course at the Fairmont Orchid, though beautiful to look at, was like running in a steam bath. There is no shade on the course, and the portions that weren’t through the golf course were on blacktop that wound through the lava fields. So, we went from steam bath to bake oven. I finally made a deal with myself: If the wind was blowing in my face or if I was on a downhill, then I would run. Otherwise I walked the majority of the 13.1 miles. It was pathetic. But I finished.

So, today’s schedule was written as a two hour run, building throughout and finish the last 30′ “strong”.
Well, it’s been rather warm here in the Valley of the Sun the last few days. I have to admit I felt rather fortunate that there was a pretty good cloud cover this morning and it was only 93 degrees when I started my run. I’m not sure what the temperature was when I got home. I CAN tell you this much: I weighed myself when I got home and had lost 3.6 pounds of water! That was AFTER I had taken in 1.5 liters of water on the run. If you like to do math, 1 liter is ~ 2.2 pounds. The “finish strong” part….yeah, not really much on the “strong” side.

The “swim workout” (3800 yards) was bypassed in favor of watching the Tour de France and a movie. Again, DON’T TELL MY COACH!
I know what you’re thinking: “Damn, GO swim! Cool off!” If you don’t live in the desert, you wouldn’t know that the temperature of the water in the pools is in the upper 80’s for the rest of the summer, and that “training” for swim is like training for any other discipline. You train to “race”. So, trying to stay “cool” while swimming in water that warm is kind of, well, impossible. You can’t really “sweat” in the water. So, anyway, that’s my reasoning! Oh, and we topped out at 119 degrees, I think that’s somewhere around 45C.

So, where am I going with this? I have NO idea. I’m just trying to get back in the mode of blogging my friends.

Practice Makes Permanent!

14 Apr

IMG_0021

I had a swim coach a few years ago repeat this mantra as we were practicing hand placement at “The Wall” as we “finished” our “race”. I’m such a goof that it never struck me to do it in triathlon for transition. Then along came Michelle Simmons.

My schedule for yesterday (2 days pre race) was to practice my transitions for 20 minutes.

WOW! After going through them once, I began to remember the frustration at ALL of my prior triathlons: “Geeze! I should have put the Chamois Butt’r on BEFORE the sunscreen and ALL of it BEFORE I PUT ON MY CYCLING GLOVES! Now I have all this shit on my hands, inevitably it will end up on my sunglasses and I will have slimy hands on my bars! Why didn’t I practice this last week?!” So, now I have. Even stripping the wetsuit! First I had to call my neighbor “C” and ask her to meet me out front and zip UP my wetsuit. I DO have the most wonderful neighbors! I took a couple laps in my pool to see if everything felt okay, no rips/holes etc.

So now practice “nailing jello to the wall”:Swim cap and goggles off and stuffed down tri top. Unzip wetsuit as I run to T1, peel right shoulder off halfway down upper arm, left side same way but the arm of the wetsuit comes all the way off, now the right arm out and start pulling the wetsuit down to my hips. Once I am next to the bike in T1 I start peeling it down and then stepping on one leg with the opposite foot pulling one foot out at a time. PLEASE LET THERE BE WETSUIT STRIPPERS AT THIS RACE! Throw wetsuit, goggles, swim cap on transition towel. Now for the actual transition practice in T1.

I have practiced placing everything exactly where it needs to be as I apply it. Sunglasses UNDER the bike gloves inside my helmet….no sunscreen overspray onto the sunglasses! My bike helmet with glasses, gloves inside sits atop my aero bars ready AFTER everything on the ground is applied: Chamois Butt’r, sunscreen, race belt,shoes. Hit “start” on Garmin for Bike Leg. Mount Bike, SMILE, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, PAY ATTENTION, SAY THANK YOU! HAVE FUN!

And Off the Bike: Hit “stop” on Garmin. Switch to “run” on Garmin. Helmet off and atop aero bars, gloves off (yes, I once wore them for 13.1 miles. That was one HOT race!) and placed inside my helmet. Bike shoes off, wipe feet while grabbing GU from inside of running shoe (for use as I run out of T2), socks on, running shoes on. Place hat on head as I run out of T2. Race belt is already on from bike. Hit “start” on Garmin. SMILE AND HAVE FUN!

So, tomorrow I race. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THE WATER! Since I am “old” and racing the “olympic” distance, my race doesn’t actually start until 08:15. It’s gonna be a scorcher! They said the water temp is only 69. But the ambient temp should top out about 80-85 during the race, and expected high of 90+ here in the BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF THE SUN!

And yes, I have a nice mix of electrolytes and lots of hydration on the short little bike ride!

For anyone interested the race is Lifetime Marquee International (Olympic). Bib # 977

I’ll give a full race report by Monday. I promise!

D

One Sprint Tri Done, And The Future Is Looking Bright!

8 Apr

Yes, I am back. After months of wondering if I would be able to run more than a few miles pain free, I have realized that sometimes you just have to plan as though everything will turn out okay.

Since my last post I was kind of on a roller coaster of sorts. I was running pain free in December and was fitted for an articulated knee brace to help separate the inside part of my knee and put just a tad more stress on the outside of the knee. The theory being that this would keep any “bone on bone” wear from happening sooner than later. Well, let me tell ya’:  IT DIDN’T WORK!” What it DID do was cause my IT band to become inflamed (On my birthday! ) So, I was out for another 3 weeks, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to pursue my passion.

Thanks to the amazing Dr. Brad Bruns and NSAIDS I recovered and am VERY happy to be competing once again.

The triathlon schedule is the same. I added one as a little “tune up”. The Susan G. Komen Tri for the Cure, which I completed last week end. It was a bit odd, for me, a pool swim of all things. But, it was good preparation for transitioning and letting the horse run so to speak. A very short “sprint”. 400 yd. swim, 16mile bike and a 1.9 mile run. Very odd. But for a worthy cause.

Next week end is the Marquee Triathlon. It’s a bit longer, an “International” distance. It’s really an olympic distance, but the trademark laws are in question when it comes to using “olympic” in the title of a race. So, 1500 m swim in Tempe Town Lake, 28 mile ride and a nice 10k to top it off.  I’m pretty excited about it! I haven’t swam in TTL in over 3 years. Not that I’ve missed the mirky cold water there. I mean, it’s so mirky you truly cannot see your hand as you take a stroke. And the only time you know there’s someone swimming in front of you is you see little bubbles from their kicking….if you’re lucky; otherwise you just get kicked in the head! I do enjoy looking up as I swim under the Mill Ave. bridge and looking at the barn swallows though!

So, I tried on my wetsuit today. Yep, it still fits. And it is still as claustrophobia causing as ever! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I timed myself to see how long it would take to get out of it. 52 seconds. And that was being dry. It comes off a lot easier when it’s wet! So, with any luck T1 will be under 5 minutes. I hope.

I had to change the rear tube on my bike today. As I was letting air out, the valve stem popped out and flew across my car. Why was I letting air OUT? Well, it’s Arizona. It’s 85 degrees, the inside of the car probably reaches 100 easy. SO, if you don’t let some air out in the heat, guess what happens? BANG! There goes a tube! So, it was good practice as the rear wheel is always a challenge for me. But it went without a hitch and I got the gears cleaned up and cleaned the chain too.

So, the training is “in the bank” and now it’s just training mentally. Visualizing race day. The swim, T1, the bike ride, T2 and the run. Grabbing water as I RUN through the aid stations. It’s a 10k after all. Run the whole thing Deb. Run slow if you have to, but run. There’s no place for walking now. I’m a luckiegirl, running is back in my life! Image

Mill Avenue Bridge in the background

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A Different view of Maui

15 Dec

A Different view of Maui

We’ve been here a week tomorrow. It has been a mostly relaxing vacation highlighted by our friends making each day a little more memorable.
Today was exceptionally delightfull when we took a trip up country to visit a friend of a friend who is now the executive chef at Kula Lodge in, well, Kula. It’s on the way to Haleakala. So if you head up or down from that lovely look out, stop by. The food was absolutely unbelievable! The service was exceptional and the views incredible.
This particular picture was taken just before sunset. I was facing west and there is a large amount of cloud cover as well as Vog, so the tree looks almost winterish against the background of filtered sun shining down on the ocean in the background. Not what one would expect of Maui. I think that’s why I like it so much.
After three trips here, I am just now beginning to understand what they mean by “Magical Maui”. It is an absolutely gorgeous land!