Friday, November 18, 2011

600 POSTS!!

It's not like I really have that much to say... But I guess I have had 600 posts worth of stuff.

To celebrate, Ironman FINALLY put together their 2011 Wisconsin 'awards' video. I didn't make this one either (or the TV version on Universal sports), but it's so great to watch and remember that I did that. Twice.

It only seems fitting I post my 600th post with why I started blogging in the first place.

And yes, I got all teary-eyed watching it.

And no, I still don't want to do another one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Yes, I am.

I need to keep to a workout schedule. I really do. But I don't want to. My clothes are tight. I ripped a hole in the butt of my favorite jeans. My new favorite dress doesn't fit any more. The PC and I have goals to meet by Christmas, my birthday, his birthday, etc. But I am still not motivated to keep up a regular workout schedule.

I did go to a total body conditioning class yesterday, and I am pretty sore. And I should have gone to the gym today for some easy cardio/core/something/anything. Instead, I spent my lunch hour researching.

Not triathlon. Not races. Not training plans. Not recipes. But CRAFTS!

See, my mom planted the seed a few weeks back about sewing machines. Not that I should get one, but that she was thinking of getting second one. I said "Of course! My 4 bikes have different purposes, so you should have at least 2 machines for your different sewing purposes". Which got me thinking...

About a year ago, I 'hired' my mom to make cow bags for some of the ladies doing Ironman Wisconsin. In the cow bags were bike/run shoe drawstring bags (so you don't have to throw your gross shoes into a duffel bag/car all gross; the grossness can now be contained).
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I realized maybe I should try to make some of these bags myself. It didn't take long for me to realize how valuable it was to have these types of bags for multiple purposes, and I didn't want to keep asking my mom for new shapes, sizes, and fabric patterns.

After some research, we settled on a nice starter model that should meet all my basic needs. During their visit this past weekend, I received a lesson from my mom and got to work. Needless to say, it's all I can think about now. My first solo project (well, I did have some cutting and pinning help from mom) went well and my new list is growing fast of things I want to make. Many of the items are triathlon related, so I don't want to spoil any surprises by sharing this list. However, some people are in on my new found (hopeful) talent and are already putting me to work. And I am very excited.

But don't worry that the sewing machine is now where the bike trainer was, and you can see 3 of the 4 bikes in the corner. No one puts Blain/Carlos/New Bike in a corner! Well, maybe just for a month or two...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pain in the Park

This past weekend was great. My favorite parents came into town for a long weekend visit. There is always lots of shopping, some touristy stuff, and of course - EATING!

To counter some of the delicious food, I decided to go to Pain in the Park on Saturday morning. My parents and brother were more than willing to sleep in while I went to this boot camp style workout put together by Karen. You remember Karen, she is the one who comes up with things like the 100 push up challenge and other fun off season tri stuff. And this was no different. Lead by Jill and Sandy G, it was very apparent how I have really been enjoying my off season.

It was a beautiful day, but a little chilly without the sun. We started with a little jog (major walk up call about my 5K in a few weeks...) and walking stretches. Which turned into high kicks. Somewhere things turned from stretching to more sweating and the need to keep moving so we didn't get cold. There were mountain climbers/high knees/lungs. There were bicep curls with cords and tricep dips on benches. 50 meter 'dashes' and running backwards for 50 meters. There were medicine ball throws. There were a lot of laughs and yelling at Sandy G and Jill for making us do all this stuff (yes, it was our choice to be there at 8 in the morning, but no one likes to be reminded of that fact).

Finally, when we got to planks and boxing, I just took my aggression out on Jill.
I promptly left before the "abs circle of death" and extra squats. I can only handle so much pain and I had to get back to my parents so I could fill up on clam chowder and Eggs Chesapeake.

Thanks to Karen for organizing (and the pictures), Sandy G for constantly fixing my form to make things harder, and Jill for adding extra core work by making me laugh with your crazy ideas of leap frogs and jump switch leg lunges.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Full Dogfish Dash Race Report

In my earlier post today, I mentioned a little 5K the Personal Cook and I did in September. The more I thought about it, the more I decided it needed a full race report.

Not necessarily because of the race itself - which was awesome. We got to Rehoboth Beach and walked around, played a lot of Skeetball for $0.10 a game, and we camped the night before the race - PS. falling asleep to the ocean is fantastic!

The next morning, we know parking would be an issue so we got up early, tore down our campsite in about 35 minutes, and headed to the brewery. Of course we had some time to kill after the port-o-john line, so I showed the PC a little YouTube video. I really don't remember where I found it, but it makes me laugh EVERY TIME!

This now brings us to why this race was awesome and needed its own race report. I have a new goal for pictures during races. I have never made it a secret that in races, especially triathlons, I tend to run for 3 reasons, and these 3 reasons only. When I see the following:
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Photographers

Fast forward to the race and the gun went off, we started running, smiled for the first photographer, and stuck to the 9:1 plan. Yes, I said run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. All was going well, and during a walk break we saw a photographer, so we had to start running. However the PC said "How about we do the T-1000", and that changed everything. Every other photographer we saw, we tried to capture a different style from the Awkward Runners. Unfortunately, only one picture really shows our dedication to the craft.It was SO MUCH FUN! I mean really, no one EVER looks good in pictures while running, so I might as well try to capture the Geezer or Dandy. I think this shows my skills with the Flightless Bird.

That was a nice distraction as I was HURTING after about 20 minutes. But as I said, the PC stuck with me, kept me running, and got me across the line in 37.01, a solid 2 minutes faster than my last stand alone 5K (not including the Warrior Dash). I beat my all my 'targets', was very happy with my time, and the post race food was fresh fruit with yogurt and granola - and good BEER. Oh, and with the PC. Really couldn't ask for more from a race.

Hi. Remember Me?

First of all, so sorry for the delay in posting. I have had some funny/blog-worthy stuff happen, but I didn't want my first blog post back some random story. I felt I needed a nice lead-in to the next chapter of this "No longer Attempting Ironman..." blog. But that seemed like a lot of work and time, and I am still pretty lazy right now. However it's now November 1st, and I didn't blog at all in October, and I just need/want to start again. I think most of you (all 3 of you) read this via Google Reader, however I think my dad still checks everyday (Hi DAD!!). Thanks all!

So, where to start...

The rest of September was a blur. Right after Wisconsin, I had to go to Indianapolis for work. It was super difficult sitting in a conference for 8 hours, but it was also good rest. I went right to Deep Creek Lake to cheer some friends race in the hardest Oly and Half race EVER! After all that fun, I finally made it back to my apartment in DC.
I then spent a lot of time resting, trying to get the right side of my body back to normal (HA!). This of course included a lot of time doing bicep curls of beer/wine/vodka sodas.
The Personal Cook took a mini vaca to Delaware beach for camping and a 5K, and it was awesome. Once again, he stuck with me (and in real running shorts, not khakis this time) and kept me running to my best 5K time since 2005. I mean really, I was running TO BEER! I highly recommend this race to anyone on the East Coast. I was embarrassingly sore after, but we had a great time.

And October... What happened in October... I am really not sure. There was more drinking. Lots of catching up with my neglected couch. A bike ride and a hike. But mostly trying to find some pattern of workouts and eating. Oh, and actually doing my job.

Overall, I have been very much enjoying my off season. I have no huge desire to get back into sports right away. My right hip/butt is still not completely better; not doing anything didn't just solve the issue.

So I would like to cover a few other topics soon: new workout schedule, diet (including meatoberfest), my opinion of married men who paint their toe nails blue, and a few other things. Hopefully this is enough to keep me on your Goggle reader for a bit longer.

Happy November!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Race Report

There are so many things I have wanted to say about this race, and I have had a hard time collecting my thoughts and actually writing (typing) them down.

The Days Prior.
It's no surprise to anyone that I was not at my peak before the race - physically or mentally. Between the 'big things': not being able to walk 3.5 weeks prior to the event, major hip pain from the 12 hour drive that left biking extremely painful, an unfortunate family situation that kept the Personal Cook from my side the days prior to the Ironman; and some "smaller" not ideal situations: my weight being 7 pounds higher than when I left DC, not receiving the hotel room I thought I reserved, having a CRAP practice swim on Friday.

All the big and little situations left me questioning even if I should bother getting into the water to start. I didn't feel well. I didn't feel ready. I was already an Ironman. So why even bother? I could get drunk, cry, and watch my friends accomplish their goals. I had lost my drive, and it showed. Coach kept calling for me to give him a play by play of my days and thoughts. Toby talked me into having a glass of wine and taking a shower to relax, and not make any decisions. The PC kept calling to check in. AJ was on a flight with Alejandro to sherpa. Erica was driving down the next day. Suzie, Rick and Therese were all coming on Sunday. And of course there were my parents.But Sandy and Lindsey talked me into going to the banquet and dinner. So I went, still in a funk. And something happened. There was Mike Riley, the motivational 9-11 participants, the married couple, the youngest and oldest participants, and a video. One little video with one line that changed everything.


By the end of the banquet, I was so happy to see all my DC Tri peeps and we were ready to CRUSH IT on Sunday.

On Saturday, the swim was under perfect conditions. The bags were packed with the check boxes marked. Blain shifted perfectly before he was racked. Racking was an issue - as number 403 did not have a spot. Actually, 401-410 didn't have spots... But given EVERYTHING else that went wrong, I took this in stride, found the proper place for Blain, and was on my way. I finally felt ready.

Race Day
Erica and I actually got some sleep before the alarm went off at 4:30. She was there in 2008, and commented on how different I was this time. Almost calm - hearing that actually helped. I was calm. I was excited. But I was not nervous. I know I had done all I could do, and the fact I was going to the start line was an accomplishment.

What can I say about a swim with 2400+ people? It's just crazy. The first part started well. Then I got punched in the face so hard I thought I was going blind in my right eye. I didn't bother looking in my watch, I really didn't care. I had a goal time - but not really. A few more punches and kicks, some open water, and a lot of thinking about how to handle the bike. Before I knew it, I was making my way towards the finish. Time - 1:13:23

Emily had an awfully terrible picture of me coming up the helix. It's a combo of "confused/dizzy" and to quote her "you look as if you'd been sleeping for 22 hrs and I just woke up and you're all "Whaaaa? Huh?" ;)" Which is true.
What, you want to see that picture as well? Fine. But it's not pretty! The rest of T1 was pretty uneventful. I just tried to move as fast as I could, but still make sure everything felt right. 112 miles is a long time to not have your socks in the right place!
Time - 11:45

Again, not being mentally ready for 112 miles crushed any confidence I had in my fitness. So when my right butt started to hurt 20 minutes into the bike, I was worried. Then I remembered that I tend to hate the first 45 -60 minutes of every bike ride, so I kept going.
Adam and Jen passed me first. I saw Suzie, Rick, Erica, and Therese 3 times within the first hour. (Erica had my phone and was taking pics and updating facebook. Thanks Erica!!) I think it was Dena and Jelena next. I FINALLY got to meet Stephanie (hi Stephanie!!) for a good 5 seconds as she passed, and I tried to keep up and chat. Becky passed me next. Then I heard Sandy, who just made me smile. And Jenny. And then it was the 3 hills.

At the end of the second one the guy in front of me clipped out and people just started cheering for me, as I was still pedaling. A guy in a full banana suit ran up, and passed me... and a few others in Speedos with flags wrapped around them a la Tour style ran passed me too... And then I saw the lead PRO MALE pass me as if I was standing still. Oops... all those cheers were for him, but I didn't clip out so I really think there were a few in there for me too.

And when the third hill hit, around mile 50, I had a pain in my right side I had never felt before. Almost like a side stitch, but it kept me from taking a deep breath. Not.Good. Alejandro and AJ were at the top with a sign that said "GO BLAIN! (and Amanda too)" - which I LOVED! But I pulled over and started to hyperventilate. My legs hurt, my foot hurt, my back hurt and I couldn't breathe. So I clipped back in and pedaled off to with special needs (mile 58) in mind. Lindsey passed, and Jen passed. And Tammy. I got to special needs and started to stretch. I took what felt like 5-10 minutes figuring out what to do. Motrin, salt pills, sun block (thanks Jen!!! Note - always back a spray, not a tube!) biofreeze (I had been stopping about every 45-60 min to reapply) and Gu. No blocks. No combos. No power pellets (peanut M&M's). No SNICKERS! I know, all the training I did with Snickers - but I did not want them.

I got back on and kept going - seriously questioning why. I passed Erica, Suzie, Therese and Rick and gave them a thumbs down sign. I passed my parents and told them I was giving everything I had. And I was. If I stopped, I would have been happy with what I did. But my favorite part of the course is mile 30/70 - 40/80, so I figured I should at least do that - I was so close. And once I enjoyed that section, I figured the 3 hills were right there, so I might as well try them. Plus, I wanted to make sure there were Hula girls and not Pirates at the 40/80 mile water stop. I was sure Brooke, Diane and ME were dying to know.

On the first hill, my right inner thigh cramped. I had enough time to take a few salt tabs, some combos and a swig of Accelerade before the left inner thigh cramped. Again, all the guys around me were clipping out, but I kept going. I swim through leg/foot cramps all the time, so why not try and pedal through 2 inner thigh cramps. While going up hill... but it worked. And I made it. There was no one was in a banana suit to get me up the next hill - at least in person, there was one there in my mind. And I started talking to a 25 year old who agreed that at every turn was into the wind, or maybe he was a hallucination too... I saw my parents and said "1 more hill, I think I can do this". And no side stitches, no unclipping, I just moved forward. Back to Verona. And back to Madison. As fast as I could, so I would have more time on the marathon. And a slight tail wind helped...
Time - 8.02.40

Once I got into transition, my order and plan was out the window as soon as I dumped my bag. I just wanted to get moving. I forgot to body glide my feet, biofreeze my feet, take off my heart rate monitor strap, and re-body glide my knees for my knee brace straps. (I paid for all of those when I hit the shower...)
Time - 5:29

My plan was to walk the first mile, then try and run:walk. But the first mile is around the Capitol, down state street, people are calling your name and cheering - so walking is hard. But so was running, so I knew a run:walk wasn't going to happen. Option 2 - walk with a purpose. I knew if I did 15 minute miles, I would finish. And I was surprisingly happy... Still not confident I would finish, but I really happy I made it as far as I had.
AJ found me around mile 3 and I told her how my foot was really hurting and I needed to retie my shoe, but was afraid to stop. I eventually found a ledge and kept going - worried about what that 1 minute stop did to me, that I knew I couldn't stop again. Andrea passed on Observatory hill (and I only mention everyone passing me because it was SO GREAT to see everyone on the course. Same with Ellen, Amy, Chris and others I am not thinking of right now). On State street, I heard lots of cheering, people yelling "Go Amanda" and "Woo Hoo!". Normally, I like to ham it up for the crowds, but I was on a mission and needed to get a buffer on my 15 minute mile pace - so I didn't even stop to hug Greta, a college friend from my polo days. She got a quick (sweaty) hug and hi as I kept moving. So when a guy yelled "Hey Baby" and stared to come into the street, I was ready to stiff arm him out of my way and keep going. But to my unbelievable surprise, it was the Personal Cook, ready to get me to the finish line, dressed in khaki shorts and all... He had left the Chicago area after a family wake, with the funeral the next day, to be at my side.

The marathon did not showcase my finer side. There was some yelling, informing the PC that the only answer was "Okay", but not in a questioning way - a firm, OKAY tone, was all I wanted hear. He wasn't allowed to complain (khaki shorts... really...), or tell me to "Never give up, never surrender" as we joked about before. He was to ignore my mantra of "You WILL do this" - which I had taped on Blain and read it over and over - so I had to keep saying it, but he wasn't allowed to say it. However he was also not allowed to leave my side, unless it was State street (tons of people so I was fine), or the Ford motivation mile (thanks mom and dad, I kept Moooooooving), or another out and back where I felt confident. (Side Note - I fully understand that outside help is not allowed in the Ironman. And some people may not think I earned my finish - and to them, f' off.)

It wasn't until I was whining for the 127th time that I hurt and I just wanted to stop moving forward, that he pointed up to the sky at something all a glow - the Capitol. It was so close, and I started to get choked up. I had 1 hour and 14 minutes to do 2.2 miles. I was going to do it again. I was going to be an Ironman, a second time.
Walk - 6:49:37

Nothing. And I mean NOTHING compares to an Ironman finish. Nothing compares to hearing the crowds. All the pain being lifted away. The party. And the voice of Mike Riley.

"From Washington DC, Amanda Chadwick - Amanda, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So, What Are YOU Doing Tomorrow?

Here is my plan.

Wake up at 4:30.
Have some cereal. Some coffee. Eat a banana.
Walk over to the lake, but stop off to pump some tires and drop of a water bottle or two.
Put on a wetsuit with bag balm around my neck and under arm.
Around 6:45, hop into Lake Monona with 2200 of my closest friends. Go for a little 2.4 mile swim. Give some high 5's as I run up a parking ramp. Change in front of hundred women. Hop on Blain and bike down a parking ramp.

Thanks what I know will happen for sure. And I hope I will finish my 112 bike bike ride, full of snacks and no flats.

And I hope I do that fast enough to bike up the parking ramp and start a 26.2 mile walk with snacks.

I am not 100% sure on those last things, but I really hope they come true.

I have been reminded how lucky I am. How many people are pulling for me. And more importantly, how many people love and care for me to tell me it's okay if my body says no - it won't change their opinion of me.

I am finally excited. I am believing again that I WILL DO THIS.

Thanks for sharing in the journey again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Just Don't Know Anymore

Around 8 o'clock last night, my left side started to hurt. In the same SI joint area that was bothering me on the right side. I took some Motrin and tried to sleep with the ice pack.

This morning, it was a smidge better, but not much. Walking was okay, but sitting and bending over was not. When I got to PT and described the pain, my PT tried to stay positive, but I could see it in her eyes. Things are not good. I didn't do anything different, didn't do extra workouts, didn't lift anything heavy - just packed and rested. And that set my alignment off on the left side. The session was spent learning how to self align my pelvis and back. And saying over and over there is still time for things to heal.

But really, 4 days, that's not a lot of time. Especially since I will be driving all day tomorrow.

For the first time, I am questioning if this is all worth it. Up until now I was 100% confident in my ability to start, kick a$$ on the swim, and see what happens on the bike. And hopefully the 26.2 mile power walk. Now, I just don't know.

I sent my Personal Cook a text to which he responded "Never give up, never surrender". If you are a regular watcher of Wipeout, you will know why this made me laugh.

I know I can't go into this already defeated, but it's really hard not to when your own body keeps rejecting everything you are doing.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hi All 9 of you! Or am I at 10 now... :-)

I wish I had something fun to blog about, but not so much. It's been pretty uneventful. Yesterday I got my last week of workouts from Coach and started crying. I wish I had more time, I wish I was faster, but I am also happy to be done. Whoever has my voodoo doll moved the pin from the right side to the left side. So being done with training hopefully means a full recovery.

And I spent today doing my last bike ride in the city. And I started to pack. If you look closely, you will see each bag has a list with check boxes safety pinned to the bag with its contents. There will be 10 bags - Swim, Swim Extra, Swim to Bike, On Bike, Bike Special Needs, Bike Extra, Bike to Run, Run Extra, Run Special Needs, and Extra. It's the only way I feel confident that I have everything. Or know what I need to keep looking for - like my watch...

I also went for an uneventful swim at an over crowded Wilson pool (PS. Just because you swim with fins does not mean you should swim in the fast lane).

This was followed by a quick dinner with Sandy to discuss our excitement for Moo. And more packing...

See, not very exciting. Just getting ready. So ready!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One More KTrain Ride

I can't believe it was the last KTrain ride before the race. I never thought the day would come. And I just wish I had a bit more time. Alas, extra time to heal is not an option.

I am happy to report that today's ride went better than last weeks. I started the ride with some biofreeze and I really think that helped for the first hour. The hill at Old Anglers was much better than last week. Or maybe it was because Sandy rode with me... Either way, the first hour was better, the second hour did remind me that I am not totally healed, but I have more hope. And biofreeze will be in my bento box on the bike, in my bike special needs bag, in the bike to run bag, and the run special needs bag.

I am still worried about my speed, but there isn't much I can do about that now. All I can do is keep moving forward, for as long as I can, in 17 hours.

Thanks everyone for the support. The emails, hugs, voice mails, they all mean a lot and I am sure are helping the healing process.

Friday, September 2, 2011


(Friday's post)

Have you ever just stared into a mirror? I mean really REALLY stared. Past the flaws you see in yourself - like the new zit on my chin, or the fact that my belly is showing the self pity ice cream I have been eating; but really REALLY look at yourself.

Something happened today at the gym. I was power walking listening to my new favorite song, Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap; and I just wanted to run. So I ran. Only for 10 minutes, but it felt so good. And as I stared at myself, checked on form (ignoring the jiggle), I realized I can do this. I don't mean finish the Ironman, there are so many factors that I can not control - the weather is currently calling for scattered showers, people are stupid and might drop a water bottle in front of me, I might get a flat that rips the tire and not just the tube, etc. But this feeling came over me today that I CAN DO THIS! Which is very different than I WILL do this. And it made me smile.

I started to think about the first one. Getting into the water and seeing everyone around Monona Terrace. Running up the helix to the cheers of my family and friends. Seeing my mom on the bike for the first time and stopping to give her a hug. Biking John Nolan drive and seeing Monona Terrace - knowing I would be an Ironman in less than 7 hours. Starting the marathon with my friend Tony. Meeting Gina on the run. When I couldn't feel my legs, seeing my dad, and I suddenly felt light as a feather. Jess not changing her watch to central time and giving me a panic attack (which now just makes me laugh). Rose dancing on the path. Suzie and Rick with their signs. Hear Kristin and Lauren before I saw them. And the incredible, indescribable feeling of the finish.

I am lucky I have had that feeling once. I would love more than anything to have it again. However we all know how the best laid plans turn out... And today on the treadmill, with 10 minutes of power walking, 10 minutes of running, and 10 minutes of power walking, staring deep inside myself, I knew in an instant that I CAN do this. And that means more to me than actually what happens in 9 days.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still Working Out

I am still even getting up at 5:30 to bike. See, that is a picture of the sunrise I took this morning. Beautiful, but EARLY!
Anyway, it was worth it and I was pleasantly surprised to see Karen and Kimberly there. But I was even more surprised with Mary Elizabeth rolled up.
ME and I rolled out first and as we were finishing our first lap, Karen says "come on, interval for 5 minutes".
Me to ME - "Want to?"
ME to me - "Can you?"
Me to ME - "Won't know unless I try"

And off the 4 of us went for a 5 minute interval. I kept up with K squared for about 4 minutes, and I was happy with that fact.
On the third loop (K squared was long gone), ME and I did more more interval set.
Pain free - no.
Progress - yes.
Walking after - we aren't going to talk about it...

But, later in the evening, I had workout number 2 - a swim. And this 2000 meter swim was with 2 IRONMEN - Karen and Janie. AND this was the best swim I have had in weeks. I am not sure why, but I felt so great in the water. Good stroke, proper body position, and felt very comfortable. And the best part, NO PAIN (mostly). YAY!

Tomorrow, PT and if I'm allowed - maybe even a RUN/WALK! Maybe...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I am tired of whining. I am tired of crying. I am tired of having no confidence. I am tired of forgetting how much training I did put in. I am tired of the "what if I didn't go to the Dr. 2 weeks ago" game. I am tired of my butt/hip hurting after 40 minutes on the bike around Hains Point. I am tired of it hurting after walking 2 blocks. I am tired of hurting all the time. I am tired of it all. It just sucks.

So, moving on. The Person Cook shared this via his google reader and I died laughing. I am looking forward to the day where this is my biggest problem in regards to my workouts.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Will Try Almost Anything

At this point, I am very much wanting a magical cure that will fix all my physical issues NOW. However, I know that is not realistic so I am going with Plan B - try whatever my PT suggests. During my session this morning, I explained what happened on the bike and how hills did not go well - and that this is concerning because Wisconsin is a hilly course. She wasn't that concerned, and said I should talk to Coach about having an 'aggressive taper'. Do stuff, but not to the point of pain. Plus, my core work has improved, especially in terms of stabilization. This was good and the progress has been noticeable.

So given all those factors, and 2 weeks to the race, she suggested Dry Needling. I remembered Kelzie having a post about dry needling from SSPT, so I figured why not. I had a bit of a hard time fully relaxing with all the needles in my back, but all seemed to go okay. The back muscles twitched as they were supposed to and I should know in a day or two how successful the treatment went.

And then I went to the pool for my swim - which I was allowed to do. But, dry needling and swimming = a very unhappy back.

Oh well, I will keep trying anything and everything people suggest. And as Dena told me tonight "Things don't often work out as planned, however they always work out as they should".

This Past Weekend

I haven't posted about this past weekend because I don't want to actually write it out. It was supposed to be such a happy day. Karen organized a K-Train Moo Taper ride with a special rest stop. The rest stop idea was scratched due to the weather and a little (let down of a) hurricane that was headed our way. But Bryan, thank you so much for offering up your home, with BACON, and I am so sorry we had to miss out.

Alejandro rode with me for the first part of the ride and it was great to catch up with him. I am SO EXCITED that he will be in Madison to cheer and sherpa and cheer. Karen rode with me the second part of the ride and it was good to hear about some of the off season activities she has planned. Remember, for some reason, a bunch of us do what Karen tells us to do...

Overall, it was about 2 hours and 45 minutes, around 40 miles. The problem? It hurt. It was uncomfortable. Especially on the hills. I kept telling myself they were just momentary moments of discomfort. Cramping, muscle spasms, the pain just sitting on my saddle - they would all just go away. And sometimes they did. Especially after I stretched at the gas station and took some Motrin. And when I stopped riding in aero. But the pain, spasms, and discomfort all came back at different points during the ride. I don't think I went more than 10 minutes where I felt comfortable.

Needless to say, it was a mental blow. I'm having a hard time remembering all the training I have done over the past few months because all I can think about is what I am not doing now.

But all I can say is that on September 11th, I will be in Lake Monona, I will swim 2.4 miles, I will get on my bike, and I will see what happens.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Reason I Am Lucky

About 2 weeks ago, I posted about how lucky I am. I had a little mental breakthrough about my ability to swim/bike/run and how no matter what happens, all will be okay. And I am SSSOOO lucky I had that realization when I did - i.e. before my back/butt/hip/SI went all crazy.

Also, I have very supportive friends and family. And I am not just talking about the support they have shown me over the past week. I have been meaning to post about this for awhile, so tonight just seemed to be a good time.

When Sandy and I headed to Lake Placid, I hopped into her car to start our road trip and she handed me a present.I have felt better ever since!

Also at Lake Placid, Karen gave me a little "Congrats on your LP Half" (before she realized I was 1 mile over and 5 miles short).How cute! And I now have my race day socks.

Finally at Lake Placid, I received and AWESOME sherpa present from Alejandro.
He had such an amazing race and I was so happy to be there for his day. And yes, I know it's not a great pic (of me, Alejandro looks great), but I wanted to get the shirt in, and not just my back. Oh well.

Now we get to my family. The best brother in the world sent me a "You will do great" card. Unfortunately (actually, fortunately) the mail system was a tad delayed in getting me the card. So, he sent another card. They arrived the same day. So, fortunately, I got 2 cards :-) Thanks best brother ever!

And my parents. They have sent me inspirational presents every month. Their constant and support and understanding of my choices for these crazy activities is nothing less than amazing. And your humor is spot on. Thank you. And thank you for more than just the presents.

Tomorrow - I get to ride. Hopefully for 2-3 hours, pending any pain and Irene...

Thursday, August 25, 2011



Okay, I know that doesn't sound too good, but trust me, it was. I crawled out of bed at 5:30 to darkness and the sounds of howling wind. However, I needed to know if biking was possible.

To my pleasant surprise, Kimberly and Karen were both at HP for some biking as well. We all started together and Karen quickly start to CRUSH HP for her loops. This gave Kimberly and I some time to catch up. Which was also a very nice distraction from the nausea I kept feeling. I was trying to figure out what was better/worse - areo or sitting up. It was the same nauseous feeling I had last week with the dull pain down my leg. But I wasn't in pain, pain... Well, I was kind of, but I think that was more my undercarriage not being happy about being on a bike again after a week. Same with my legs in general. I think... Anyway, Janie was also out and when she passed she made a very nice comment about how good it was to see me back on the bike - which is exactly how I felt. It was good to be back on the bike.

I stopped after an hour and now have more hope than I did at 6 this morning.

I am going to take tomorrow off, expect for PT. Hopefully I will get some good news and can bike a good 2 hours on Saturday before we get hit with our next natural disaster...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thanks Girls At The Gym

(Wednesday's Post)

I feel that not many funny things have happened to me this year. I haven't fallen over as much (thank you Power Balance Band - more on that in a later post). Snot rockets haven't been as needed - Allegra works. And this is really my third year of endurance training. Sometimes I forget that I did 2 aqua velo halves (technically 1, but I still biked in a race 56 miles) and one full AV (2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike). Yes, they were all flat courses, but still... This training thing has become part of my daily life, not just a fun new challenge.

But, I can always rely on the gym in my building to provide me entertainment. Especially today.

I walked into the locker room to change, it was around noon-thirty, and a woman was BELTING out whatever song was on the musiac. It Mariah Carey or something. Anyway, she could care less that there were about 7 other women changing. She just got her grove on, actually using her brush as a microphone. You Go Girl!

I got onto a treadmill to start my 30 minutes of power walking. Before I knew it, the other 3 were also in use, and there was a name on the board for the next machine. I am very aware of when people are waiting because I HATE it when people take more than their allotted 30 minutes. I could feel the woman glaring at me from the StairMaster, but the moment my time went from 29.59 to 30.00, I hit stop and got off. She promptly got on (before I could wipe it down), took her hair down from a centered ponytail, and put it into a SIDE PONYTAIL! She then proceeded to set the speed at 6.0 mph, run, and try to fix the SIDE PONYTAIL. I don't know why this struck me as so amusing, but it did.

Thank you Mariah Carey singer and side ponytail girl. You made my day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

That Was Scary

So, in case you were under a rock - a rock that didn't move, we had a little earthquake this afternoon. I have to admit, I did not react well. See my second day of work, when I was 22 and fresh off the boat from the midwest, was September 11, 2001. As a result, my pulse raises a bit when I hear a helicopter, any type of loud bang, and when the windows of in my fourth floor office suite start to rattle. I was very freaked out, thinking it was the worst. We all evacuated the building and it was rumored, and confirmed, it was an earthquake, 5.8. Now I can say I have been through an earthquake. Something I would have been just fine not saying...

After figuring out what to do, a bunch of us just walked around. I eventually made it home and relaxed on the couch. The entire days events shook me (ha) and I just needed to relax. But facebook lightened my mood and if I may quote Sandy without her permission "I don't know how Californians do it. I couldn't remember if I should get into the bathtub or under a table. Instead, I went to secure the wine rack/glasses. I think I need to reevaluate my emergency protocol."

I then realized I needed to tackle my next fear - the bike. I SSSSOOOOO wanted it to feel good, or at least normal. While I can't say that was true, I can say I wasn't in a lot of pain. I have to remember that I couldn't walk on Thursday, my muscles are pretty f'ed up right now, and it's going to take time. And more than 5 days. But hopefully less than 19.

Mental Training

One thing I am really happy about is the fact I kept a blog for my first Ironman. I have the ability to go back and re-read how I was feeling, what I was doing, and how I was reacting during my ignorant bliss phase. I say ignorant bliss because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just read August, and man - there are so many differences and so many similarities.

One thing I have going for me this time around is the obvious. I am already an Ironman. Even if I don't finish, no one can take away the fact that I crossed the finish line on September 7, 2008 in 15 hours 41 minutes and 7 seconds.

Knowing that I am already an Ironman also has a downside - I know the work I put in last time and I just don't think I am there. The majority of the rides I did this time were much more challenging. So my speed is actually about the same, or maybe even slower, but on harder routes. However, I don't have those one or two 90+ mile rides I really needed for mental confidence.

And the 'run'. I don't even want to THINK about how unprepared I am to run/walk a marathon. Last time I had many more 2-3 hour runs. This time, just a few, and they didn't go well. But just as I bike harder courses, I have better running technique. And I am trying to remember and focus on that positive point.

So basically, I am all over the place. This stupid SI joint is causing some pain in my right hip and knee and it's keeping me from doing the training I need these last 19 days. Ironman is SUCH a mentally challenging event, and I know how important it is to stay focused. And I am focused. And surprisingly, mostly positive. But also unsure, and that is the scary part for me. I HATE the unknown - it's why I despise haunted houses, you never know when someone is going to pop out and scare you.

Anyway, I just needed to vent some randomness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Silly Traffic. Silly DC

This morning I had my next SSPT appointment. I am happy to report that my alignment is getting much better. My core is getting stronger. As are my muscles supporting my spine. YAY! I can continue to walk - but not run. I can bike on the trainer - which I will do tomorrow. And I can keep swimming, which I did tonight.

Wilson, my normal pool, is closed this week for maintenance. So, I headed to Hains Point. Which is not accessible via metro. And since I can't bike, I had to drive. Which meant sitting in DC traffic. And I was very close to pulling all my hair. I.Hate.Traffic!

But I got to the pool and it was a beautiful evening. I hopped into Jenny's lane and she told me the pool was only open until 7. However, the Internet (which never lies!) said 8. She informed me that yes, the pool was open until 8, however a master's swim team came in at 7 and we were no longer allowed to circle swim. But the pool stayed open... Yup, that sure makes sense! Even with stupid traffic and silly DC pool information not being 100% correct on the Internet, I managed to swim 2000 meters.

And thanks to Travis for letting me use is FB picture of the pool he took today. He was gracious enough to wave his $350 fee in exchange for my 'sherpatude' at Lake Placid. HA!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So This Is A Normal Sunday

Not biking for 7 hours today left me a loss of what to do. Especially because I had to spend a lot of time sitting on an ice pack.

I watched a few bad movies.

I looked at all the stuff I should have put away, and didn't.

I thought about cleaning...

But the day started off with my core work. Then to the Dupont farmers market with Diane. Man, that has really grown in size! I came back and rested, then made some lunch. And rested. Then headed to the gym to hop on the treadmill for an hour. Not running, just a nice speed walk. Then more time on the ice pack. And some cooking.

And back to sitting with an ice pack. Is this what non Ironman training people do on the weekend? With the exception of the sitting on an ice pack? I have to admit, it was kind of nice. But I would have rather been on my bike...

Oh, and PT tomorrow morning!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Can Still Walk

And that makes me really happy.

And I swam. And stopped after my 2500 meter swim, and didn't do more like I wanted too. Yay will power!

Also, Coach had me look up the Zatopek Effect. Basically how much rest can really benefit an athlete. I don't feel I have fully earned the rest but I am doing my best to stay positive, do what I can, and not overdo.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I walked the 5 blocks from the metro to SSPT, PAIN FREE, so I knew things were going better.

The session went great and I felt very comfortable with my PT. She read my chart, let me tell the long story about what has happened over the past 3 years. She got right to work doing lots of tests and confirmed it was muscle and not a nerve (yay!). AND, she completely understood the need to get me back to training, or at least the start line, by Sept 11. It's like not getting to the start line wasn't an option. WOOT!

Moving forward this weekend - I can do core work. Stretching. AND I CAN SWIM! Maybe even bike on the trainer after my next session.

But I must keep icing, resting, and taking my meds. Not a problem. I will do everything I can (but not more!) to get to the start line. Then I will feel I have a fighting chance to be and Ironman. Again.

AND, when I was leaving PT, I ran into (almost literally, he was on a moped and almost ran me over) SPIKE!
What a difference 36 hours makes! Thanks everyone for the positive thoughts. I know that has helped more than I can express!!!

I Have Never Cried So Much

Last night was awful! Just awful. My ART doctor said I have a very inflamed sacroiliac joint (SI joint) and there isn't much we can other than ice and ibuprofen. He knew right away based on the way I was walking (swinging my leg out because I can't lift my leg) and where the pain was. Oh, and the fact you can feel the heat from the inflamed section of my back. He said that sometimes these things happen, especially if they have been bothering a person for awhile. So he did some electric stimulation and manual manipulation.

After the appointment, I called the Personal Cook immediately after and just started crying. As much as I didn't want him to see me cry and in pain, or ask for help, he met me at my apartment - with fixings for chicken soup. As he was in the kitchen I tossed and turned in on the couch trying to find a position that was as comfortable as I could get. Which just didn't work. I lost it probably about 5 more times. The pain I felt was just off the charts. The chicken soup helped. All the facebook messages helped. But only so much.

Coach called, after I sent him a frantic email, and we are now on an hour by hour, day to day, plan. There is so much unknown right now, and I hate it. I HATE that I don't know what's going to happen and I how I am going to feel in a day in a week in 3 weeks.

I am taking some meds from my back spams and ibuprofen which is how I got some sleep last night. I haven't moved much today and so the pain is more bearable. I have PT in a little over an hour so hopefully that will help too.

I am trying to stay positive and not play the "what if" game. I keep thinking I should have done that extra 12 miles last week or that extra hour on the bike the other day or the extra 1000 meters in the pool or ran a bit harder - anything that would make me feel more comfortable about the fact I can't train right now. Something to hold onto that I can hopefully still Attempt Ironman Wisconsin.

I just don't know. And I hate it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Worse

I am not one to cry because of pain and I have tears in my eyes. I could be frustration. Anger. Being scared. All reasons I do cry. But this really hurts. Every movement I make hurts. And that is why I am crying.

The Personal Cook and I had lunch plans and we decided to take bikes. I figured this would be a good test to see how bad the leg/butt/hip really was. I actually thought I would be okay.

Not so much.

And when the PC saw my eyes fill up with tears over Mike Isabella's chicken thighs in a pepperoni sauce at Graffiato, he knew they were not tears of joy.

I am trying really REALLY hard not to panic. I have emailed my Coach. I am going back to the ART Dr today at 4. I have an appointment with a PT (my normal PT is on vaca until mid Sept...) tomorrow at 3. I am freezing my butt, literally - I am sitting on an ice pack. And I have taken a few more Motrin. I am also thinking about my LAST long ride/run I am supposed to do this weekend. And really hoping the past 5 months haven't been for nothing.


And It Was Going So Well

I was super tired the past few days, but embracing the fatigue. Yesterday's brick was a slug fest and my legs were not happy to be spinning (nor was my undercarriage happy to be on the bike). However the 4:1 run/walk went surprisingly okay. I was happy knowing that I am breaking down my body one last time so I can rest and taper to peak on Sept 11.

Yesterday afternoon I headed to my second round of Active Release Treatment (ART) for my right side issues. My hip, hamstring, quad, etc all on the right side have been giving me some issues. Not too bad, but not normal. I didn't want to take any chances, so I went to my trusted ART Dr. After my first session, it was painful but in that good way. My right butt (or gluteus maximus if you will) was bruised, but again, it felt better. So, I had high hopes for yesterday's session. I have been stretching, rolling on the foam roller, all the things I should have been doing.
During the session, he hit one spot where a sharp pain went straight through to my right foot. It was the pain I had described at the beginning of my session that I felt the day before when I rotated/turned to the left. You could feel 3 knots in my glut. He worked on them and things felt a lot better when I left his office.

Then later that evening I went to bed.

Then I woke up do to pain down my right side. And it still hurts. It's that type of intense dull pain that almost makes you nauseous. And when I move my right leg, it often becomes an intense sharp pain. And I don't know what to do. I sent an email to the Dr. I have taken Motrin. I am icing. But it hurts. I know it's muscle. And this is not good. I'll take today off from workouts and hope tomorrow feels better. But if anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE let me know.

And if you have voodoo doll of me, please remove all the pins until after IM Moo. PLEASE. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Can Still Have Fun

Even though I am in my last build phase.... SCARY!

Anyway, last night was one of my favorite nights of the summer. It was the evening where my favorite band played at Wolf Trap. An outdoor venue for the performing arts (music, dance, plays, etc.) that has a lot of lawn seating and you can bring your own food and beverages. Yes, that includes wine. :-) So the Personal Cook and I got tickets as soon as they went on sale - when I didn't put 2 and 2 together about timing. But, as I have said before, it's all about choices. And in about the past 8 years, I don't think I have ever missed seeing Guster play at Wolf Trap, and I wasn't about to start now.

It just took some creative scheduling so I can get in all (or at least most) of my workouts done. But I'm not worried. Becuase Coach is not worried. AND, he seemed extremely happy with my weekend. He actually said "I think the weekend went awesomely (is that a word?)".

Yesterday was a run. Which I had to do at lunch. It was hot, but not that hot. This morning I swam and I am splitting my bike between lunch on the stationary bike and after work on trainer before I have another appointment tonight. See, creative scheduling so I can still have fun...

I can sleep in 4 weeks.
But I do need to figure out how to get my laundry done as I am out of sports bras. And bike shorts. And my apartment is really starting to stink...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Am Consistent...

Today was my last 'race' before IM Moo. I use the term loosely because it was just a swim. But a 2.4 mile swim. And I was timed. So it counts as a race, right?

It was HarborFest, and I did the DC Tri Club 2.4 mile IronSwim. Kind of a last minute decision, and one I am happy I made. All the swimmers arrived around 7 or 7:30, and the race was supposed to start at 8:15. Mother Nature had another idea and we were delayed about 25 minutes. But, better to be safe. Or, as safe as you can be when swimming in the Potomac... And it gave us a chance to take an IM Moo picture!
(6 of the 15 or so DC Tri club members participating in IM Moo 2011! IN 4 WEEKS!)

We all, tentatively, jumped into the water, and waited for the gun to start us on our 5 lap race. It's always moments like this I am thankful, when you are without a wet suit (water temp was around 82 - so no wet suits) that I can tread water without much effort.

The start and first lap weren't too bad. There were about 40 or 45 people so not too much kicking and fighting for position.
Time - 16.35
Lap 2 I noticed I was 2 other guys pretty close to me. So, I got behind one of them and just drafted. Took it easy, did some breaststroke, tried not to drink the water.
Time - 16.28
Lap 3 I left the 2 guys and took off. Or so I thought I did. I was feeling pretty good, but also noticed I was pulling to the left one side of the course, and to the right the other side of the course. Strange. Also on the way back, I saw my Personal Cook on the dock waving at me. I stopped and said a quick hello, he told me I was looking good, and I said that I had 2 more laps. I had my ear plugs in, so that is what I think we said...
Time - 16.31
Lap 4 is when I realized the buoys were not in a line any more - I wasn't that off on my pulling. The wind really picked up so I am pretty sure that is why. Also, once you were more into the open water, no longer shield by the dock, things were a tad bit rough. It did make sighting a more of a challenge, especially because I was on my own. Another wave to the PC and I was ready for my final loop.
Time - 16.32
Lap 5 was even more choppy, but I just tried to sight the turn buoys and forget the other ones. I did get a bit of a foot cramp, which reminded me that I just don't kick. Ever. But I really tired to push the last length and focus on pulling from my back. PC made the universal "CRUSH IT" pose - which I almost choked on some Potomac water, and I finished.
Time - 16.31.
Total time-ish, 1 hour 22 minutes, 45 seconds. 5th female and 13th overall.

I tend to judge my swims by my placement, not by time. It's really hard to measure a course correctly, and keep it that way for the entire event, so I was very happy with my placement.

As for the time, at IM Moo I will be tapered, there will be more people to draft off of, and I will have a wet suit. So, I am hoping to go 5-7 minutes faster.

But everyone had a great event and hopefully no one gets sick... you never really know about the water quality of, or what is in, the Potomac...

I Ate a Peach

And paid $50 to do so... Oh, and I got some water. And a BUTT kicking cue sheet.

I knew going into Saturday's 'century' ride was going to be tough. In fact, when I told Toby I was planning on doing the ride she made a face. You know, that face that says "Really? Are you sure you want to do that ride? I know you are a bit fragile and questioning your riding, so that might not be best for you" look. So I checked in with Laurel, who also did the ride a few years back and she was nice enough to find me an alternative ride option. AKA, it's a hard ride. But after talking about it with Coach, we decided to treat it more as a mental challenge. Goal 1, don't cry. Goal 2, don't worry about speed and especially speed going up hills.

So I drove up to Westminster, MD, paid my $50, got my cue sheet of 67 miles (there was a 33 mile loop to finish the full century) and headed out with Sandy and Jen. The first 20 miles weren't too bad. I was doing a pretty good job with my hills and focusing on other things than my speed. I got to the rest stop just as Sandy and Jen pulled out, I refilled my water, and headed out myself.
The next 29 were a bit tougher. And not just because it rained. Yes, the temperature was perfect, the overcast was nice, but the rain - not so much. It was good practice, but still... No fun. Another rest stop, more water, and I was off back to the starting point.
The last 20 were more climbing, with one really hard climb (stupid Kate Wagner! That was the name of the road and whoever she was, she hated bikers) 1 mile from the finish. After 2 wrong turns, I finished the first loop around 68 miles.

100 miles was never my plan. 90, if I could make it, 80 would be okay, 67 if my mental game failed me. So, I was feeling okay and went back out for the 12 mile loop. And it rained more. So when I was done, with more hills than I wanted, including Kate Wagner (pictured on the right. It never looks as bad in pictures, but you can't really see the bottom of the hill and you can see a guy walking up the hill), and I was done. And the skies opened up even more so 12 more miles just wasn't worth it. 6 hours, 81 miles. No tears. No being angry at myself about my speed.

And when I got to the post ride food, THEY WERE OUT! All they had was peaches (no peach pie or cobbler, just peaches) and goldfish crackers. I did see a women the size of my thigh with 3 pieces of pizza, however she took the last of it because they were out. I HATE it when races/rides/events run out of food. It feels like a slap in the the face for being slow. But the peaches were pretty good.

I called Karen to let her know she was right and I was fine. I sat in my car and listened to the rain and waited for Jen. When she got back I took off to make sure Sandy was okay. Apparently the sheets of rain didn't hit her so she was fine and also finished the full century.

Overall, I was happy with the ride. I went into it knowing it would be a hard, challenging route. And it was. I would be more comfortable with IM Moo if I was a bit faster. Not a lot, just enough to make me more confident about the bike time cut off. Riding the way I am, it will be close. With a flat, or really bad heat/humidity, or something else - who knows. But I can focus on 1 more build week. And that is what I am planning on doing.


Friday, August 12, 2011


If you read this blog often, you know that calling me moody would be an understatement. Lately, my emotions change as often as a cuckoo clock sounds. I'm in that mental state where I don't think I am doing enough, however I am almost out of time before I start to taper, and I just have to TRUST my coach, and myself - which is just difficult. Every swim, bike, and run just doesn't feel good enough. And that affects my attitude towards pretty much everything else.

But this past week, there have been a few little reminders of how lucky I am.
After an okay 2500 meter swim at Wilson, I heard a very obese woman tell her friend how excited she was that she lost 75 pounds and could now swim 2 lengths of the pool (100 meters) without stopping.
I finished up a ride at Hains Point; which I cut short because I couldn't get moving out of bed and I had to get to work for a meeting, and I was disappointed in myself for not pushing harder after I looked at my very low average HR, knowing I could have done more; and watched a guy get out of van into his wheelchair. He went from his wheelchair to his handcycle, and started his workout.
In the middle of my long, hot, humid run on Monday morning, 4 military gentlemen passed me going the opposite direction, dressed in full fatigues with packs.

I don't know what was going through their minds, their stories, or their reason for doing their activities, but seeing those scenarios this week helped put things back into perspective.

Ironman is just a day. No matter what happens, I have learned a lot more about myself. It would have been nice had I realized this a bit sooner in my training process, but I am lucky I had this moment of enlightenment at all. Most people don't understand what it's like to make your choices for 6+ months for one 17 hour day, when your outcome is uncertain. I may get a rip my tire and not get a new one fast enough, it might be 95 and humid, it might be 55 and rainy - all things pretty much out of my control that would cause me not to finish. But it's just a day.

I am not saying I won't panic a few more times within the next month. I would put a lot of $$ down that I will cry again due to a workout that does not turn out the way I would want. I am sure I will even snip at my friends, Personal Cook, boss, and family because I didn't eat enough.

But I am still lucky I have been able to go on this journey again. I am so lucky that I can swim, I can bike, and I can run. And a part of me is sad that this journey will be over in 30 days. I can only hope my next adventure will lead to more enlightening moments as well. Just maybe with a few less tears.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Month

Until I (*hopefully*) get to do this again!