Monday, June 27, 2016

Final race of the season? Lackluster.....

Not sure why I even blog but I am lazy when it comes to scrap books, photo albums so the blog and facebook are an easy way for me to keep memories.  I love going to facebook and looking at pictures from the past and I like having memories here in my blog. Even if they are scattered and poorly written with spelling and grammar errors but hey these are memories not an English paper.

This weekend may have been my last race of the season unless Noah and I find a race to do together.  This season has been lackluster with limited and unorganized training thrown in.  I very much like to follow a strict schedule when training and if I don't do that, I feel like I am not training.  I also feel like I do not know where my fitness really is.  This summer I started bootcamp twice a week at D1 with Aida which I LOVE.  I have attended bootcamp with her before and knew it was great!  There are times when I think I just want to bootcamp 5 days a week.  I love it that much and it kicks my butt just about every time!  BUT I also love to eat and with a husband training for an ironman and burning thousands of calories at a time and replacing those just as fast, I knew I needed to continue with some swim, bike, run as well or I would gain 10 pounds by his ironman in Sept.  This was really what fueled my training at the start of the season. Then I found with no schedule or coach, I actually enjoyed the training.  I could do the bare minimum, quit when I wanted, and never,  never look at a clock while swimming.  I actually began to enjoy training and racing again with really no plan or expectations.  I usually only raced if Stewart was going to be racing.  I am not going to lie, racing at small local races as a 45 year old woman is not that hard for me.  I am the youngest in the 45-49 age group which really is not that very fast.  I also know that my body does not need much training to perform.  Yes, my goal is to be an overall or master winner but age group is still ok.  After 10 years of racing, I feel like I can do the minimum to maintain, I am not getting faster but I can maintain and still pull off a decent race- sometimes even a good one!  I am an athlete and always have been.  Playing sports my whole life and being extremely competitive, both of these really help to this day.  At least I think so.  So this season has been fun, nothing great but a lot of fun and a great way for me to enjoy it with Stewart.  Even though we NEVER train together anymore, we do have fun enjoying racing together.  We did try swim lessons and I have to admit, I think I am just ok with being a mediocre swimmer.  I realized through theses lessons that some of these things ( body type, flexibility) I just can't change and to make any big gains is going to take more work than I am willing to give.  Stewart on the other hand is ready to keep moving forward so I am leaving him alone in this endeavor.  And my swim is decent for my age group ( I was first in my ag my last tri and 2nd this past weekend)  - The overall girls still kill me in the swim.

Last week I went to the ENT because I am still having issues with sinus and dizziness.  While researching on the internet, I found that chronic sinusitis could last years!!  GREAT!.  At my last visit, my x rays and physical exam did not show infection but lots of inflammation and swelling in sinuses and cavities.  Not sure if this is my normal or I was beginning to get sick.  I do know that Siri Naidu is awesome and spent so much time talking to me about all the options and tests we could try.  He also knew I was so concerned with something more serious such as MS (my sister has)or a brain tumor because of the weird symptoms I was having this spring.  He told me I have no problem doing a MIR if you need it for piece of mind.  He also reminded me  that cancer and tumors don't get better and I am better since this spring so I think the MRI will hold off for a while but love knowing I have a doctor who gets me and it is there waiting if I decide that I need to know more.   Well I got sick and not sure if this was going to happen anyway but anytime I stay with Riley - her dogs just put Morgan and I in turmoil!  So I had a huge week busy week of a college visits with Noah ( draining) and entertaining the kids in Atlanta and Chattanooga all while feeling like hell.  I had ear pain, lightheadness, facial pressure and just generally crap.  The night before the race, the last thing I wanted to do was race but I had signed up for it and just didn't want to not race.  I knew I was exhausted and I wasn't into it. I have already not raced after signing up this year due to sickness and did not want to skip another.  Did not feel that awful so just went with it.  Was really hoping to come around once the gun went off.

First mistake was leaving all my water at home.  Spent the first part of the race looking for water bottles.  Thanks to the generous hearts of triathletes, had that problem fixed pretty easily.  The race started at 6:45 and it was dark so I just skipped my typical pre race warm up.  Not sure what the dark had to do with it but at the time it seemed to make sense.  So I just headed to the swim start.  I could see the river was flowing and my swim was short so this should not have caused any issues BUT right before it was my turn to jump off the dock, I felt tons of adrenaline kick in.  My breathing and heart rate were up, my stomach was off and I knew this was not good.  I hate not being able to get into the water before the swim but due to the current they do not allow a swim warm up.  I jumped in full of anxiety and most likely went out too fast!  Really wanted to use the current and all this resulted was me panicking by the time I hit the first buoy.  Took a minute or so to get everything calmed down and together and then I was just pissed that I wasted what I wanted to be a fast swim time.  Got out of the swim with head in the game and ready to go.  Maybe this panic would pay off!

Got on the bike with a ton of people and made it around them and heard the guy say stay to your right, what I failed to notice in the ton of people was I was suppose to turn left and then stay to my right.  Duh??? why did he even say that?  Well I stayed to my right and took off and saw no one.  Figured I broke through my pack and was waiting to see the next group but then realized two things, I was on the ironman course and there was no next pack.  No signs anywhere showing where I should go or do.  I slowed, looked behind me, looked around and realized I had screwed up somewhere.  Turned around, back up the hill and made the turn.  Saw the police and race director at the turn and was pissed at them for letting me miss the turn but reminded myself that part of racing is to know the course.  I had no one to blame but myself.  I was even more pissed when I hit the one mile mark on the bike and my odometer showed a little over 2.5.  ( grr...)  I was pissed at myself and tried to let this go and get back in the game but had a hard time doing this.  ( surprise says Stewart as I have trouble letting all things go).  It especially bothered me as I saw people on the out and back other side and knew if I stayed on course, I would be there on that side.  The course is hilly tough!  LONG climbs.  The kind you want to just settle in and climb.  Which is what I did and would have been fine if I was doing a longer race but I was doing a sprint and kept reminding myself to attack.  I was catching a ton of people but after my second mistake of the day, I felt my heart wasn't in it and was a little afraid of going too nuts based on not wanting to get dizzy.  The first climb had people around me just falling apart.  I saw a couple of people jump off their bike and stop.  One girl biked over to the guard rail and just kind of fall over and I passed one guy stopped in the middle of the road with his head on his handlebars.  Didn't think anything about it as this was a sprint, had lots of newbies and felt like they were not prepared for the course.  I didn't even say anything to him and just rode by.  Felt AWFUL when I turned around and on my way back saw this same guy laid out in the middle of the course with multiple riders around him, one feeling for pulse and calling for help.  Still not sure if he is ok or what happened.  Riley also witnessed a wreck as she was driving to the race and found out this guy was in the hospital with multiple injuries, punctured lung but would be ok.  He was training for IM Chattanooga which is not good on that front but at least he is ok. 

Got off the bike and started the run which is hilly and you have to run multiple stairs.  The way out I was not into it and actually walked the first hill!  Was so disappointed in myself as this is the same first hill you run in Ironman, AFTER biking 116 miles and here I was walking it in a sprint.  I told myself it was ok because I was pretty sure I walked it in Ironman.  SMH,......   Well the second half was much better, not sure if my gu kicked in or I knew if I hurried I would be done but I finally felt like I was running decently but still ended in a pretty much lackluster run.  I did have a lot of guys tell me at the finish line, they used my suit ( you just got passed by a girl) to stay on my tail and keep me in my sights.  At least I could be of good use for some people.

So a little disappointed to leave the season not at my best but did enjoy a day in Chattanooga which is just a beautiful and challenging place to race.

Woke up this am and wondering what is next?  I do need a goal or something to work towards but not sure what?  Will continue to loosely tri train but think I am ready to add more D1 and yoga into my day.  I did sign up to be on team Hope for St Jude 10k!  High goals I know!  But finally ran 8 miles last week for the first time in months so 10k may be all I can handle right now.  Trying to encourage Riley to do the half marathon in Chikamuga - this I would do with her and may light a fire under me. 

This I do know.. Stewart is about to hit his peak training which means I better find a calorie burn fast!

Happy Training!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Memphis in May thoughts...

It has been two seasons since I have raced in Memphis. Loved seeing all my tri friends!

I was having so much fun talking,  I forgot to even start my watch

For two races in a row and after 10 years of swimming, I can now swim a straight line in a lake

I really love swimming and think i am finally going to take a few lessons and work on technique

Thanks to the girl who ran from the other side of transition and pulled my wet suit off my leg, it was stuck on my timing chip. I think I may have had a dnf right there. Maybe being dramatic but it sure felt like it

I ran the whole run, rumor may have it that I walked at times In the race two weeks ago

To get faster on the run, I really need to add speed work and bricks. Just not sure if I want to

Now is the time to pick up training if I want to do Olympic distance with Stew in Chatt the end of June, not sure if I want to... Let's see what happens naturally

CAN NOT WAIT to start boot camp on June 1- random

Had so much fun pushing myself today, trying to remain focused and motivated when the legs were so so tired

Thankful to be able to have a hobby that I love, that I am healthy and able to do and share with so many

That is it.. Race 200 plus in the books 😊

Sunday, May 8, 2016

So I raced my 170ish race AND it was great!!!!

I want to preface this post with claiming that Stewart has become the old me when it comes to triathlon and I apologize to all friends and family during that time.  Now I know what living with me was like and I maybe was even worse.  If it wasn't for Stewart encouraging me to race with him, I may be playing tennis somewhere BUT I have to admit racing this weekend did kind of light a fire in me and I guess I will never get triathlon out of my blood.

So why do I mention that Stewart has turned into me?  Well the other day, a friend told him about athlinks and how he could look up competition, etc on this site.  He went to it and said did you know that when I typed in Leslie Brahm and Leslie Crais you had about 168 races listed.  I also know that not all my races are listed so I bet I am somewhere between the 175-200 mark of races completed.  That number would become very important to my psyche as race morning approached.

And another tidbit of info, out of all those races I have never had a DNF ( do not finish) or a DNS ( did not start) until last month at Rebelman.  That was a fact I was pretty impressed with.  Even though now I probably jinxed myself to a flat or some kind of mechanical issue.  If I get that, I am a DNF for sure.  I am sad to admit that even after almost 200 races, I know jack about a bike.  I have always proudly waved my damsel in distress girl card.  :)

So back to racing.  We all know that April was medical hell for me and with my overactive imagination, I was sure I had brain cancer, a tumor, MS ( my sister has it), lupus, or some other disease.  After a trip to the ENT, we decided that I was having major sinus issues and vertigo. I am still not entirely convinced because I have been on a boatload of medication and still not 100% but getting there.  A few days ago we have added singular and it too is helping tremendously.  I feel like I should be carrying around a days of the week pill case.  I also have become a huge advocate of the netty pot.  I do it twice a day and it is awesome! 

Stewart had planned on doing Guntersville Olympic race and was encouraging me to do the sprint.  I was SCARED.  VERY SCARED.  I did not want to have a vertigo attack in the lake.  I was nervous about getting one on the bike but the lake scared the shit out of me BUT since the symptoms were better but still hanging around a bit, I figured I might as well pull the big girl panties up and do it.  I do not want to live a life where I let fear get in the way. 10 years ago I did mountain lakes and the swim was 400 yds and shallow and the course was flat flat on bike and run so I kept that memory in the back of my head.  This I would learn would not be the case of Guntersville tri.  It was challenging at best.

My training had been minimal.   I took about 15-16 days where I did nothing and then as I promised doc I would keep workouts to one a day.  a couple of times, I would do a short swim and bike on same day or some weights and a run on the same day but most of the time it was not much. It was all over the place.  One day Noah and I ran 4 miles in 28:20 and then a few days later I struggled through a 6 miler. And for a girl who once ran 36 miles for fun, I am humbled to say that 6 miles is my LONG run!!   One day the bike felt easy and others in the words of Stacey, " I was about to lose a lung".  The only thing that felt consistent was my swim which as always is slow and steady.

Anyway so I told Stewart sign me up on Thursday night.  I know he waited until the last possible minute because Stew does not like to waste money and I am pretty sure he was afraid I would pull a rebelman and he would be out some cash.

After signing me up,  A mantra formed in my head.  You can do this.  You have raced 168 times.  I said that to myself constantly from Thursday through Saturday.  Even though that evil little thought would break in and say " YES, but never having vertigo before"  I just ignored it.  I also repeated this to myself a bunch in the beginning of the swim.

Race sight was BEAUTIFUL and a win win in itself.  The lake is gorgeous and we stayed at the state park lodge which overlooked the lake.  We woke up race morning bright and early and rode all the way down to the race start.  We had tons of time so we had no stress.  It was quite chilly.  My bike warm up consisted of me riding through the parking lot in my hello kitty pajama pants.  I then put on my racing flats and my run warm up was a quick jot to the porta potty.  I am very over the pre race ritual.  I then stumbled upon the young kid and his mom who were setting up in transition next to me.  This was his first race and he was totally clueless.  He had no idea what transition was, what this race number was in his hand, what he should wear to race in, etc.  As I gave him a race belt, explained the lay out, marked his transition with chalk so he could fine it - his mom tried to tape a HUGE water bottle to his bike.  He had no cages.  I was dying but he was a great distraction from my crazy mind and I actually felt oddly calm.  I finished with him and went in search of Stewart.  Found him in the lake and got my wetsuit on and joined him for a little swim warm up.  He was starting before me in the oly race.

Swim was very uneventful.  What I thought was going to be 400 yds was 750 yds but with the safety of my wetsuit, I felt fine.  My only moment of panic was when we got on the floating dock and we were swaying back and forth and I didn't realize it was swaying and thought Holy Shit - I am really unsteady!  Second thoughts were if I don't get off this swaying dock, I am going to be really dizzy.  I think this was one of my straightest swims ever  ( usually zig  zag everywhere) and I thought I was swimming fast but after seeing my time - it was still a slow time but I did swim straight and felt great coming out of the water. They had wetsuit strippers which was amazing!

Bike started with a hilly climb out of the park.  I passed three girls right away and a couple of men along the way. I did have some man yell at me - not sure what but the " You just got passed by a girl " suit never fells.   I never got passed on the bike except from Stewart.  He started before me but had to do two loops of the swim so all of a sudden I felt someone hitting me on the butt.  It was great because I am so use to chasing him, I saw him and I just went but unfortunately I had hit my bike turn around about a minute later.  I knew from the out and back  course that four girls were ahead of me - yes I was out of shape but I am competitive and I am always on the chase.  I caught one girl as we entered back into the really hilly section of the park so I knew I was starting the run 4th women.  I was hoping to catch number 3!  But boy were my legs tired!!!

The run started off flat and then got really really hilly!  I saw number three girl and knew based on how I was feeling and my overall fitness I was not going to catch her.  I actually walked part of 2 of the first big hills until I had to yell at myself and say " GET WITH IT LESLIE YOU ARE DOING A FREKAING SPRINT RACE AND SHOULD NOT BE WALKING"  It worked because I continued to run the rest of the hills and felt like I was in pretty much cruise mode.  I ended up being two minutes off of third overall but even though I feel like I let myself give up a bit - I really don't think I had the fitness to go for it.  Another fun fact is I have developed a rash all over my legs ( being 45 is great) that I think it allergy related but for some reason it flared up and was stinging and the whole last half mile, I felt like a bee was stinging me.  I think this maybe was an incentive to get finished because I did past a few guys.  The best part as I was finishing my run, Stewart was starting his so we got to see each other on the course again.

So - this is what I know.  I raced pretty well.  Not as fast as I would have liked and I definitely HAVE room for improvement but I guess for an old gal who has raced close to 200 times my somewhat fit self can do a pretty good job. I still can manage to pull somewhat of a race together.  Most importantly I had so much fun and I let Stewart sign me up for Memphis in May sprint today!  I do want to race again and I even want to try to get in some training.  Feels good to feel that spark and motivation.  Let's hope it lasts.

The rest of the day, we spent hanging around listening to music and having an eat everything CHEAT day.  We rented a kayak and hung out on the water and Stewart tried really hard to get me to pamper him for the day.  I had to remind him this is no New Orleans.

We had some great food and some good times and even though I missed mom's day as I traveled home, I managed to celebrate it on my own.  My kids celebrated together with my mom which is just as good as me being there.

So race facts - I finished about 40 minutes faster than the race average and 4th female, 1st age group and 16th overall - not bad for an old lady.

Stewart finished 3rd in his age group and 8th overall - he had such an awesome race - if only we teach that boy to swim.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Life in a Tail Spin

What has happened to all the hours in the day??  And how do I seem to use them up so easily??  Back in January when Stewart and I were reviewing our year and discussing things we liked, didn't like, things we would change etc ( we also did this with the kids and related it to our 2 years of marriage and it was so fun) but anyway .... I said that I Just wanted MORE time!  I felt like I didn't have it anymore and could not figure out why?  I was not even training for anything but just felt completely overwhelmed.  We begin to talk about ways I could get more time added back into my day and unfortunately it seems to be going the other way.

My work life is crazy busy - I basically do two full time jobs at once.  I teach PE and wellness classes and coach and then throw in being lower school AD.  I love it but let me tell you there is NEVER enough time in the day.  Each day just flies by and I think to myself REALLY?  We are done?  I try so hard to never bring work home so each day is always an adventure going from one project to the next.

My Life is Crazy busy - hmm.. 5 kids... someone always needs something.  Even my biggest who is out of town.   I often joke to Stewart that the kids are always wanting to be fed, talking, or taken somewhere. I have decided that with Riley's upcoming wedding, Noah's senior year and college visits, and Morgan Hopefully Hopefully making pom that my life is going to be even more insane.  Throw in Richard, Molly and Stewart's schedule and we are on the move.  My van alone drove over 1000 miles last month and most of those were in Memphis!

Then we have my fun life... no matter how busy I  make it a priority to spend time with Stewart, the kids, and friends in extra stuff.  I try to never miss a happy hour with friends or a chance to chill out with Stewart and the kids.  I also belong to book club and Stewart and I belong to a couple's uhm drinking club - lots of fun! I always try to throw some travel in as well because traveling with Stewart may rank up there as being one of my all time favorite things.  I need this time to unwind and relax

So the only thing I have left to try and fit in with all of the above is my training and I have to tell you for some reason it has been hard.  I have never felt so undertrained or out of shape in my life and left me questioning did I even want to race this season. After 11 years of the sport, the intensity and the time I need to spend on it just can't be the same.  I sit in my office  and look at my huge bookcase and wall full of medals, trophies, and awards and just can't imagine being there again.  Then I got sick and let me tell you I was pretty sure I had something seriously wrong with me.  At times, I felt like I was in a middle of a brain aneurasym and the next thing I was going to see was darkness.  Training and triathlons became the farthest thing from my mind.  I think I missed like 10 days of physical activity and never once did I even come close to thinking about my work outs or how out of shape I was getting.  Triathlon and training was the farthest from my mind.  I just wanted to feel and be healthy.  Something that has been missing lately!!

 What I did think about  was how lucky I was. When I was able to get on the bike and ride 3 miles with Noah around a path, I thought about  how lucky I was to have such a great son.  What I did think about as I laid  in the sun and read a book was how lucky I was to be able to get outside and enjoy the sunlight and the day.  Even waking up and going into the kitchen and getting a cup of coffee made me stop and think how grateful I was for all that I had.  I can certainly see how people with major illnesses or accidents get a whole new perspective on life.  I sure did just after spending 10 days feeling like holy hell.  I still have another doctor visit and after scans, blood work, and some other tests not sure what caused what but a lot of my doctor explaining why.  I trust her and believe her so I have to go with it.  Now I am finally feeling better and I realize triathlon is no big deal.  Something I love but If I race undertrained, it is going to be ok because I am out there DOING IT!  If I race with an all time personal worst, it is Ok because I am out there DOING IT!  If I decide I don't want to race at all this year, that is OK too.  This alone has been really hard for me to come to terms with as triathlon has always been such a big part of my like.   For the remainder of the school year, my "training" is going on the back burner.  Workouts will be minimal or non existent. I may even race on these minimal work outs and it will be ok.

As I have searched for time these last few months,  I HAVE realized  is that there will never be enough time.  What I have realized in the last two weeks (when just getting through work and my parenting duties was sometimes too much) is to relish every bit of time that I have.  That all of the above are so important and that I really need to be in the moment and enjoying the moment.  Just like I tell my kids if you are going to take the time to do something, make sure you are doing your best.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Where oh where has my motivation gone??

As I enter my 10th or maybe 11th year of triathlon, I begin to wonder if it is my last.  I know I say that every year but this year motivation is at all time low.  I am just not sure where it has gone.  I sit here and watch Stewart getting fitter by the minute and more and more motivated and I am just blah.  He blames it that I haven't picked any races for the season so I have no goals or nothing to train for.  He may be right.  I do plan to do Rebelman even though I haven't registered for it.  I am waiting to see if it will be cold.  Those days are OVER!  Even knowing rebelman is on the horizon doesn't have me motivated. I have ran 3 miles this week!!  Sunday I put on my running clothes for a long run and wore them all day but never made it out to run.  Story of my life lately. 

The thing is I just can't figure out what to do without triathlon.  I have been doing it so long just not sure what could fit in its place.   I keep hoping that something will come along but not sure.  I also hope that I may race a race and that will be just what I need to light my fire.

Sure I am training some but nowhere where I need to be.  Life just seems to always get in the way and daylight savings has really rocked my world!  Where is the time gone?  The other day I was finishing up dinner at 8:45 and realized that it was not 6:00 like I thought and my night was pretty much over.  And I sure wasn't having a late dinner because I was training!

Track has also rocked me over into a new universe, I am school late and traffic has sucked!  Getting home is an adventure in itself and by the time I get there I don't want to do anything.  I also don't want to do anything before work because it is dark once again in the morning.  Staying in bed has been optimal.   Maybe I will take up knitting. 

Yesterday I tried Bikram yoga.  I was really hoping to fall in love! Unfortunately I did not but I did like it and I will go back.  I do know I am super sore today and for the first time in a week my foot does not hurt and my calf feels loose.  Maybe that has to do with the fact that I only have ran 3 miles but I hope it is the Bikram.  I think yesterday was just a shock!  I walked in and it was HOT!!  My first thoughts were it is hot as a  MF in here.  I am surprised they didn't come out of my mouth.  At first I began to doubt myself and wonder if I was going to make it but I told myself you are an Ironman - you can do this.  That is the great thing about completing an Ironman, I feel like once you do that you can use that to measure up to anything.  I also wore a watch into class which is 90 minutes long by the way!  An hour and a half for the math challenged like me!  When it beeped on the hour I was told by the instructor watches were not allowed.  What??  If I would not have had a watch on I maybe would have had a mental breakdown.  At times I felt like the only thing that kept me going was saying you have 30 minutes left, you have 5minutes left, etc.  No watch is going to be a huge mental challenge but one I probably need.  I am not sure I have ever sweat that much in my life even on a hot July run.  I am going to buy the introductory package so the good thing is if I do get motivation back I will have a jump start on heat training.  And not only is it hot but you can only drink when they let you and you pretty much can't leave.  If you are having issues, they ask you just sit there and breathe which is no small feat.  At times I felt like I was at max running heart rate while laying on a mat!

So - please tell me how do I find this motivation??   I want to race - I want to get in shape but unfortunately I have found laying on the couch wrapped in a blanket or hanging out I want more.
I may toe the line on April 3rd.  I can be over confident and undertrained.  The good thing is I am now 45, I can just use my age as my excuse.

Monday, February 1, 2016

LIFE at 45....

I wish I had something great to report or blog about.  I love to write the blog because it is  like my diary and I love to go back and read it.  I had a blog previously and it had some great entries about my sweet little Zeus, Ironman, Ragbri, events etc and due to ( not sure how I want to word it) unforeseen circumstances these were wiped out, deleted, gone forever and it still really bothers me today.  I am not good on documenting or organizing so I use the blog to record memories and I use facebook to store pictures.  Stewart laughs because I can spend hours going back and just looking at pictures on facebook.  Yes!  These are my family albums and such an easy way for me to keep track of things.  So... yes that does explain why you see countless pictures from me constantly!  Only way to keep them around.

So back to the blog.  I have nothing exciting to say but want to record something as I approach my 45th birthday.  45 as a number seems really old to me, in person I feel really young despite not being able to read and remember things.  I have become that person that has to shine her flashlight on the menu and hold far away to even see it.  I did try on readers the other day and then progressed to the walker and cane just for fun.  I looked like a little old lady as I shopped around Walgreens.

40 was a big shock to me and I felt like I was pretty much doomed.  I never believed in a mid life crisis but after hitting 40, I do believe.  The feeling of anxiousness and the thought of my youth being over was crazy.  Luckily 45 does not feel like that and I have learned to appreciate every day that I have!  Yes, I would like to have a few less wrinkles on my face and maybe that twenty something year old body but those are just window dressing.  I really would not want to go back and live through all that again.  It was a great time but the memories are enough and 45 is going to be great I think.

45 is also bringing some changes... Riley is getting married and Noah is approaching his 18th birthday!  I loved those kids as babies but I have to say I really love my adult kids.  I love the conversations and the times we can spend together.  I can't believe they are getting so big so fast with little priss right on their heels.  I can not wait to go through this Wedding experience with Riley.  She knows exactly what she wants, how she wants it, and wants it all to be perfect.  I am going to just sit back and enjoy the process.  I told Stewart I was not going to offer many opinions as I know Riley wants to do it just like she wants to do it.  We sat down to dinner the other day and the first thing I said was " I hope for your wedding... " and Stewart started dying laughing because he said so much for no opinions.  But the good thing is I don't care if she takes them, I won't get upset but decided it is great food for thought.  We did find a beautiful wedding venue this weekend so Riley will have this completed like by next week.  :)

As for the training front - I am low key and bare minimum and it is awesome.  Not sure what I am racing or when.  Stewart has his whole summer planned and constantly asks are you doing this?  My honest answer is I don't know, ask me the week of?  Everything I am doing is low key and I love it.  I love working out and training but I really love not having to do something, goals to meet, or a race that I need to be training for.  The crazy thing is I am swimming the best I have ever swam.  It all of a sudden feels right and natural and I LOVE it!  I LOVE SWIMMING!  Never thought I would say that!  And I love that I put on my fins and may spend a whole set doing IM instead of actually doing the set to send coach data.

Running has been my least favorite lately and I haven't been doing much of it. I won't lie, I have been spending most of my running training sessions on the treadmill running 45 mins and watching hulu.  I can catch up on the Bachelor, American Idol, Biggest Loser, etc.  It is awesome!  I may never run outside again!!! :)  I did get in a trail run yesterday in Monteagle which about killed me but I have no REAL  ( as in training with an actual goal) races on plan so I figured the treadmill is not bad.  I do throw in some 400's and some hill repeats so it has to be all good.  I may make an appearance at the Mike Cody this weekend for some outside time!!

I am loving lifting weights and going to 9 rounds.  Both of these I could maybe do constantly!  Usually Noah does these with me and getting to spend time with him is great too.  The other day he thoroughly kicked my butt in a " rowing " race at the gym.  Could not wait for him to get to the finish so I could just quit. 

The bike is just the bike... it is one of those things I use to ride.  Sometimes it gets on the trainer.  This weekend Stewart had an easy ride on his plan and I talked him into renting the $8.00 bikes in downtown Chattanooga and we spent all day riding everywhere!  Those things are clunkers and I told him he was getting in some training.  I did have a moment of embarrassment as I walked it up a hill while wearing an Ironman jacket but hey things happen.  Rumor has it that I may do a race in about 4 weeks that involves 45 miles of biking.  That is going to be a fun experience.  I feel like I have years of bike fitness behind me - it can't be that bad..  I really want to do the race but I really don't want to train for it so It will be an adventure.

And I guess I can't end this post without mentioning Stewart.  Not sure what I did to have him end up in my life but if you believe in karma - I must have really good in my past life.  I am not sure I have every met a more moral, loving, caring guy.  I just am amazed everyday by his actions, by his willing to help people, by the way he cares about people and the way he loves people.  Sometimes I feel like I really need to get my act together. Beside he is just fun!  We spend countless hours just acting like kids and playing and he usually lets me have my way which we all know is a big plus!  :)

And the kids... they are great and fun and challenging and loud and keep us busy!  All of them have a million activities at once.  Sometimes I joke to Stewart and say all they do is eat, talk, and want to be driven somewhere but watching them become these little mini adults is so fun!!

So as I enter this 45th year, I can't wait to see what it brings and I have a feeling it is going to be a good one.

Life is good as I enter this 45th year and can't wait to experience it!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Foot....

Oh... the foot.  Not really sure what I can say about this foot.  Years ago, I would make fun of people who said they couldn't run because of plantar or because their foot hurt.  I secretly thought they were wimps and just needed to suck it up.  Well... then karma appeared to bite me in the ass and I found myself walking the walk of shame from Breakaway on Germantown pkwy all the way back to the visitor center at Shelby Farms.  I literally could not run another step because of the pain.  I called everyone I knew in between fits of stomping my feet and cussing to pick me up but no one answered.  Karma was laughing.  It was also laughing when I went from there to a boot. Not once but about a year later that sweet foot ended up in a boot again.  Sigh...

So, fast forward a few years - after  I really  have shown  true sympathy for people with foot issues  I find myself there again.  As Dr. Croft says I spend a lot of time on my feet that I don't consider when not running.  I also spend it in weird combinations of shoes.  You would think working in athletics with work out gear on, I would just wear a running shoe and be done.  Nope, you can find me in keens, uggs, rain boots, crappy shoes, etc.

So... let's go all the way back to April and the Boston Marathon.  I was hurt... surprise... being over zealous and lots of hills tend to do that to me.  I thought I had a stress fracture in my hip ( I didn't) but leading up to the race, I quit running.  I had not ran in about 2 weeks or more.  As luck would have it, I had just bought a new pair of shoes that I had never ran in.  New brand, new type everything.  I figured race day couldn't be worse so I wore said shoes and HATED them!  And FYI - not sure race day could be any worse.  I really disliked everything about Boston.  I use to say Hate but over time I guess I have mellowed.  I returned these clunky heavy shoes and asked for the lightest thing they had and thought I loved them.  I took some more time off to recover from the race from hell that left me for dead and to heal the injury and I started running in these shoes and they were great.  This was around May.

In June, I became sick with pneumonia and was put on an antiobotic that was told after the fact, athletes should NEVER take.  I developed tendonitis in the top of my foot and it hurt like a bitch.  Dr. Croft prescribed my best friend ( a steroid)  but it did not really do the trick.  I was in the middle of Ironman training and I just had to suck it up.  I also made sure I never ran back to back and if I could get a longer recovery time to baby my foot, I could manage it.  Even though it did and still would keep me up off night with pain.  We did spend a TON of time working on my tight calves.  I am sure if the school PT guy would bill me, I would owe him my next two years of paychecks!!

Made it through Ironman, took time off, back to running  - yep pain is still there.  This time we try steroid ( YES) and 3 weeks of vimovo.  First we think it is really working but then not so much!  GRR...  I am now ready to get back at it.  I feel fat, sluggish, and no sense of purpose.  I decide to train for the Wynne 25k in Jan.  I decide to just run 3 days a week, lower mileage - higher intensity.  Sometimes I am not sure if I am going to make it there.  Sometimes I feel like I am one step away from a boot. 

So I constantly think about this foot.  It is always in the back of my head.  My ankle is tight with not much mobility, the top of my foot is painful to the touch, and sometimes just taking my shoe off hurts.  But... I am still running.  I am brilliant - right?  Well, I began to wonder if maybe the medicine was not the problem but the new shoes?  They were kind of close together in time range.  So - yesterday, I had mile repeats.  Decided to go with my racing flats instead of my usual shoes and YES the foot did hurt some, and yes it woke me up last night, and yes I did have to start my morning rolling my calves but it really feels better.  It really feels like the pain is not like it usually is a day after the run.  So I begin to think, could it be the shoes that I have bought 3 times now because I LOVED them and they were my favorite?  Please don't tell me they are the culprit??  Have I spent months on meds and PT and in pain when all I should have done was switch a shoe?  Yep, I am a slow learner so I will hit Fleet Feet before my long run.

Praying that these shoes are the culprit.  Wouldn't that be sweet?  Who would have thought?? I do love a simple solution!

Happy Running!