Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm starving

Somebody tell me why I decided to eat 1800 calories when I was training this fall? Why?

Because now I'm paying the piper. Day 1 back on WW. It's 7:32, I'm OUT of points, and I'm still hungry. This is nuts! I don't know how I did it before. Part of me feels like I need to do something active so I can earn some more points to eat....but the other part says I'm in my PJs and if I suck it up and deal for a few more days, 1300 calories will feel just fine.

So, I was in Las Vegas all week long. I left this behind, from our balcony:

Hubby was very brave and stayed behind, making sure all our belongings were packed and ready to go in case they evacuated us. The fire came within 1/4 mile for 3 or 4 days, but we are finally in the clear and owe those firefighters a debt of gratitude for saving us. I felt bad for leaving, but the fire was slow-moving....and there was nothing to do at home but wait.

Vegas was Vegas. No offense, but I'm not much of a fan. In fact, my Dad calls it the Neon Shithole and I totally agree with him. The secondhand smoke not only took precious DAYS off of my lifespan, it also turned my snot black. Yes, it's foul, but not as foul as the people smoking at all hours of the day while gambling away money they clearly do not have. It is really the worst of humanity.

That being said, I ate some amazing food. Boss is a foodie, so you bet we hit up all the best restaurants in town while we were there. I had the most amazing pan-seared halibut at Emeril's steakhouse, literally melted in my mouth. (it had bits of flash-fried spinach in there, too, on a bed of orzo with a beurre blanc, but whatever--- it was sinful) I had a seafood risotto at Bartoletto at the Wynn (not terribly impressive, but our most expensive dinner). Had the BEST thin-crust margherite pizza at Mario Battali's place at the Venetian....and then had some naughty finger foods (as in, probably not good for you but SO good for you, all at the same time) at Pinot Brasserie. No, I was not a good girl, and yes, I did gain weight.

You will be happy to know that I did run while I was there. We hit the Strip twice for some early-morning runs, and I had to admit they were kind of fun. I never realized running can be a fun thing to do with your friends! My coworker and I chatted for ever and ever, it seemed, and we still managed to come in with a sub 10-minute mile 4 and 5-mile run. I'm almost up to 6 miles....I can taste it!

So there you have it. Typing in lieu of eating.

Why can't we start training again NOW so I don't have to diet again?!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Aftermath

This has been a week of picking up the pieces.

DH is finally home. It's been a rough few weeks on him, and I have to think I've been experiencing many of the same emotions he has. If he followed my cycle, then last week he was devastated and felt worthless. And on Saturday, he was so angry at himself that he could spit. Today? He's calm and at ease.

We will move on. I'm not pushing him to make a choice just yet, but if I were a betting girl, I'd still say there was a pilot in there who may try to continue on. But I am not expecting anything just yet. He's still dealing with the disappointment of it all.

I'm mourning my triathlon season. Work has consumed me this week, and I've not had one spare second to take off and do a workout. Not only do I feel like a blob, but I'm realizing that my workouts were my release from all the pressure. I am going to have to make a conscious effort to stay physical these next few months, as I think it's a benefit to my mental health in addition to my physical health!

We had our end-of-the-season party last night, and the old group had a blast seeing eachother again. It's not that I don't like the newbies....I just don't know them. When I started the program in June, I was pretty upset that there were mostly older women. I'd wanted to make new friends, but just couldn't imagine how I would enjoy spending 18 weeks with housewives, retirees, and working moms who were 10+ years my senior. Funny how triathlon breaks down all those barriers. Last night, we were a giggling group of teenagers again. Chatting about husbands, races, food......but mostly, we were a group of friends who couldn't wait for the next two months to hurry up so we can be together all over again. This was a journey, and it bound us together.

Thankfully, we plan to do workouts together over the next few months to keep us sane and close. Once I get DH straightened out, I'm ready to hit the road with them and get ready! It's all about Oly distance next year....I must push myself and see once and for all what I am made of. I'm aiming for an early-season race, so we'll see how that goes!

Another major bummer about the end of triathlon is the start of Weight Watchers again. Inactivity means I don't have that nice 600 calorie buffer when I go out to eat! Wow, it's crazy how that happens. I really took some liberties with my eating that I will start to pay for if I don't watch out. I mean, I ate a waffle with apples yesterday for brunch. I didn't eat any butter or syrup, but it literally melted in my mouth so it must have been horrific for me. Stuff like that can't happen. This is the return of Egg White omlettes. No butter. No buns. Turkey burgers. Back to being the workplace Food Nazi. Yes, this is how it must be.

So that is the week in a nutshell. Picking up the pieces. And dealing with totally crappy race pictures, where I look pale as a ghost and appear to be tortured beyond comprehension. (Why don't I smile?!!) But here's the money shot, right before I ralphed. Literally, right before.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Subaru Race Report

It certainly feels like it has been a full season, even though I've only been at it since June. After getting sick at Pacific Coast, I really wanted Subaru to be my "A" race, but sometimes life hands you surprises that cut into training time and "taking care of yourself" time. So I came into Sunday feeling healthy, but perhaps not as prepared as I should have been. FYI, hubby failed. He's done. I can't talk about it, but suffice it to say, it certainly weighed heavy on me today out there on course!

I was dehydrated when I woke up, and it seems I just couldn't hydrate myself in the 2 1/2 hours leading up to the race. I got my end spot at the race and I have to admit, it was pretty sweet being position right smack dab between the swim in and bike out. I mean, it was awesome. So I got everything set up, chatted, pumped tires, used the potty, and basically tried to stay calm before they kicked us out of transition. The walk from transition down to the water was pretty rough on the tootsies, and since I had to use the potty again, I missed the whole jazzercise warmup thing. But really, I thought it sounded pretty cool. What a way to relieve some stress! The race start was really emotional for me this time around. Blame it on hormones or circumstance, but I cried like a baby when the Triumph wave went off. I felt such a sense of pride seeing our own cancer survivor teammates start us off in the race. But I finally pulled myself together and got into the water for our swim start.

Ahhh, the treading water start. I initially thought I would enjoy it because oftentimes, in my mad dash to the ocean, I trip as soon as I hit the water and faceplant into the water in front of my entire wave and everyone else who is still watching. So I was excited that today there would be no public humiliation at the start. But instead, there were people who thought they swam fast who got in the very front of the wave and flailed around at the start, proving to be a most difficult barrier to pass!! I got kicked, groped, and grabbed more times in this race than in any of the others this season (okay, just Pacific Coast and Santa Barbara, but still). Instead of "settling" into my swim like I normally do, I tried to push it a little harder than usual. In retrospect, I wish I'd done more, but my body felt a little sluggish out there and I couldn't generate the power that I knew I could in my stroke. I was feeling pretty bad about the whole swim until I hit the blue caps in front of me, then straightened out and headed in to shore. Not having waves take me out on the return to shore was worth the price of admission, that is for sure.

So, into transition I go. Was tired coming out of the water, but it was a good tired. Hit the mat in a decent time, then whipped off the wetsuit and changed into my shoes. Got the bike over the mat and actually managed to clip in on the first try. Now, in other races, I wasted SO MUCH TIME trying to get my feet into the cages....having clips was shockingly easier. And it was only my 3rd ride in them, so imagine my surprise at the ease of getting going so quickly. I headed out on the bike and tried to play with my gears to see what I could push. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to take my bike in for a much needed tuneup before the race (got to love last-minute travel and your company being acquired!), so it wasn't shocking when my bike decided it didn't want to go into the big ring up front. But when it wouldn't even ride in the little ring in back, I knew it was going to be a rouch day. Rather than grind my gears and ruin my chain, I stuck with the gear that provided the most resistance and the least amount of grinding.....and I really could only sustain an 18.5 mph average for the whole race. This was a little disappointing, because this was a flat time trial race and I really wanted to push myself out there and see what I could do. In Long Beach, I was hitting 23 mph on my straights and easily sustaining. Here, I was lucky to see 20 and 21 with the gears I had to work with. All in all, it was an okay bike. I pedaled as fast as I could, but I really felt like I left a lot on the table.

Coming in from the bike, my hands and feet were totally numb. This was an entirely new feeling for me, and so the scientist in me was thinking, "what could this be? Sodium? Dehydration? Hypoglycemia?" I was a little freaked out. So I grabbed 2 shot bloks in transition, sucked them down with some Cytomax, and hoped it was a sugar thing. My heart rate was racing and my quads were a little crampy, and unlike most races where I can usually get the heart rate down while running, I had to walk 3 times in my first mile. Eventually the numbness went away, the tightness went away, and I settled into my run pace. Too bad it took a mile and I'd already blown my first mile ended up adding 4 minutes to my mile pace, so I had to pick it up in the end to try to salvage the race and make my goal time. (You guys have to understand, I am competitive with myself and I set these time goals for me every helps me to not compare myself to the other girls in my age group, and it sets the bar so that I push myself a little more than in training) I sprinted into the finish line after getting my lei from Kelly, and at the end, after the announcer said my name, I lost my Cytomax and shot blocks all over the finish line. It was pretty foul, but they handed me a towel, took my chip, and acted like people throw up all the time--- I hope they weren't just kidding. I was upset, though. I missed my goal time by a minute and a half, and I threw up at the finish line. My moment of glory! It was pretty emotional, and not in the good way.

All things considered, I did enjoy the race. Fantastic venue, awesome volunteers, and totally well-run. Compared to the chaos that was Long Beach (and sometimes Pacific Coast), it was exciting to see another race that was done well.

So can you believe it? After all the worry back in June, with Jynell's ushering, I signed up for Tridivas and I've finished my first full triathlon season. I've found a hobby that I love, met some amazing teammates who I now consider friends, am in the best shape of my life, and can't wait for more! Yes, those starts are brutal on me, but the sense of accomplishment I feel after completing each race more than makes up for the torture beforehand. I needed these triathlons so much this summer/fall. I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing sport. (It really is, I swear.....I was competetitve in horseback riding and tennis through college, and I can honestly say that triathletes are a breath of fresh air)

With that, I'm going to go veg out with some Desperate Housewives and keep drinking.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Just Because

I'm having one of those days. No inspiration. No purpose. Everything I do is....just because.

Hubby did not pass his final exam two nights ago. Today, he had to talk to the chief pilot and basically beg to be given one last shot. He got it-- went promptly into an FTD session where he was drilled for 3 hours to see how proficient he was. His instructor said he was fine and recommended a training session followed by a retest. So we dodged another bullet, until his retest tomorrow night. This is what he's been wanting for 5 years now. The dream job. He even got his dream base, right close to home. (that NEVER happens) It was all too perfect, and it could be over tomorrow night. I'm trying to stay strong for him. To encourage him. To tell him he's going to pull through and it's going to be alright, but doubt is a nagging feeling that nips at me when I try to think past today. My worrying about him has left me paralyzed. Yes, I can work. Yes, I can function. But I don't feel.

There's shit going around work, too. Everyone seems to have cold. I guess they didn't get the memo that I was trying to have my "A" race this weekend. I mean, seriously.....I got sick the day before Pacific Coast. Now I'm getting snotty and I have a fever. Like, 100 degree, not my typical 99. I don't feel anything, though. It's just a number on a thermometer.

So I hit the pool tonight with a few of the slower teammates. It was cold, and I didn't have as much energy as I'd hoped, but it was a good distraction. Coach even showed up in the end to get a little swim in as well. What a hoot she is! We had a great time, but she couldn't resist crossing the line and coaching again. Apparently I reach down too far with my stroke and it's straining my rotator cuff. The correction had me making shallow strokes that didn't seem to get me I've decided to ignore it and deal with it in the off-season. I'm going to tear my rotator cuff up in Mission Bay on Sunday and nobody can stop me!

We spent our night discussing cancer, of all things. Coach is a survivor. One of our teammates is a survivor. A neighbor of Coach's had a double mastectomy this morning. I watched an amazing 2-hour documentary last night called "Crazy Sexy Cancer," about a vibrant young women's journey with incurable cancer. It was overwhelming. Perplexing. Sad. But we left our talk inspired. I guess that made it worthwhile.

So to end the day with cancer really did put it all into perspective. Hubby may be going through a tough time right now, and his future may end up being uncertain if he doesn't make it through this. But in the end, we'll still have eachother....mostly healthy......mostly happy.....and most definitely in love. So we'll get through this and be thankful that we have so much in life. Hopefully we don't dwell on what we don't have.

But that is a topic for tomorrow.

Just because.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Should I? Could I?

Peer pressure is getting to me again. A group of girls are signing up for an event on November 4th, offering both a 5K and a 10K. Silly me says, "since it's JUST a run, why don't we do the 10K?" Never mind I've only WALKED a 10K before. That the farthest I've ever run before was 4.5 miles. No, somehow I have this crazy idea in my head.

Like the good student I am, I immediately e-mailed Coach to see what she thought of this crazy idea. We have a 5K base to start from, but we can't start to train until after the triathlon next weekend, as this is taper week and I don't want to hurt myself before my "A" race. (I'm ready! I am really, really ready and I can't wait!) Is 3 weeks enough time to add the distance? With a walk-run strategy?

Why am I like this?

Did the mock triathlon up in Seal Beach today. Except I refused to swim, because I just really hate swimming at Seal Beach and I was behind on my biking. So off I went when the hordes headed to shore....I hit the trails! I felt like such a bad girl, but whatever. I am following my own training goals, and freaking out about sting rays is NOT one of my training goals this week. At any rate, the Cheeto wouldn't get into the big ring, so I was a bit pissed off. It means I have to take it to the Bike Yahoos AGAIN this week, even though the yahoos aren't even that close to me. And before I get in trouble for calling them yahoos, one of them is not. The store manager. He's the only one who can actually tune a bike for crap. The rest are yahoos. So I need the manager. Desperately!

Regardless, had a heinous head wind on the way out, but on the way back, I took one minute off of each mile. So bizarre. And I only tried to kill myself with the SPD pedals once. I took a wrong turn off a trail and came upon a gate pretty quickly. Forgot to clip out, then had one out, then the body wanted to put BOTH feet down! I will hurt myself one of these days, I just know it.

I also had a most excellent run today. I felt strong, and were it not for the rabid/geriatric/baby squirrel in the road (I couldn't tell which, and after an indeterminable amount of time, I decided not to find out and left him wandering the streets...what am I gonna do with a meandering scruffy squirrel?), I think my overall time would have been much improved. I think my stride rate is increasing, and with that, a wee bit o' speed. Granted, I'm still Granny out there, but I'm Granny hopped up on some major caffeine. Finally, some progress I can feel!!

I was worried that I wasn't working as hard as I did before Pacific Coast and that perhaps my performance at Subaru will suffer, but looking at my times in practice, I'm still improving. I guess that's what a "base" is all about, eh? So here's hoping I still feel this great next weekend and that it'll all come together. I just want to do my very best, and if that means I finish in the middle of the pack, so be it! But I want to peak on Sunday.

With that, I'm off to watch some tube. And anxiously await word on DH. He passed training gate 3 and 7, and tonight is his final proficiency checkride! I'm hoping against hope that he makes it, as that would mean he will be home within a week. I'm going to need him when training is over....I'll be so bored. So, positive thoughts, once again. (Hopefully, just this one last time)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why is Coach ALWAYS right?

It kills me, really. Or perhaps it just gives me more faith in her coaching.

She has this saying, "good form equals free speed." Today, I tried to take it to heart in the pool. We had to do a timed 1000 meter time trial as part of our program for the week, and I've been feeling pretty stagnant in the water lately. People I swim with in the ocean have been passing me in the pool during longer swims, and I have started to wonder if perhaps I was holding back? So today, I really concentrated on my form and pulling with my arms, keeping myself right at the brink of being too tired to continue, yet maintaining a pace that was do-able for the long haul. (I know, 1000 meters isn't really long haul, but today it was!) I attempted to rotate as much as I could while watching that pesky left arm of mine....loves to wander to the outside when it should stick to my side and not cause rotator cuff pain.

I'll have you know I knocked 40 seconds off of my pace! I can usually swim a 100 in 2 minutes and swim forever and ever. Today, I was under that, and I maintained. In fact, I think I did a negative split on the 2nd 500. Yes, I was proud. I had a temperature of 99.3 and my back was aching, but I did it. (no concern about the mini-temp....apparently that is NORMAL for my body and nobody can figure out why....didn't slow me down today, though!) Oh, we'll just ignore the fact that the Masters swimmer next to me managed to lap me close to a million times. But her butt was bigger than mine. ;)

But darn, does Coach always have to be so right?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


That's been the general tone of my week. I sign on every night and glance at a few blogs, but mostly just go right to bed. It's been quite a week and it's not even Friday yet. Yikes!

So, the Bonelli Tri was a bit of a train wreck for our team. We've been training in cool weather for nearly a month now, so when it hit 90 degrees on the run course, the Olympians' bodies started to react differently than they ever had in training. After a 1-mile swim and 25 mile bike, they started their 6 mile runs with everything from nausea and cramps to lightheadedness and even dementia! It was crazy. I apparently broke every triathlon rule in the book at this race, but you'll see why in a minute. ANYWAY, I ended up heading out on the run with one of our girls who asked me to stay with her. She's very strong and usually one of the fastest, so I found this odd and agreed. We chatted briefly about her run, and then she started holding her abdomen. I pushed her to run a mile and a half, and then the pain became unbearable. At this point we'd looped around where we could have been back at the start in a 1/2 mile, but she was determined to continue on. I called our coach at mile 3 to see if her symptoms were sounding familiar and if there was anything we could do to improve them. Coach knew instantly after hearing about what my pal drank and ate before the run that she was having some electrolyte deficiencies and that she overdosed on sugars.

It was the longest 6 miles of my life! No kidding. We got passed by almost everyone, and the volunteers had left their water stations. That's why I don't feel so bad about being with her. if this had been severe and she did have a medical emergency out on course, there would have been nobody there to help her. So yes, I "cheated", but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Like we were competitive, ya know?

At any rate, we crossed the finish line. They were all puzzled why I didn't have a chip, but I just walked away with a smile. She showed such courage making it all that way in so much pain-- it was really inspiring.

I suppose I'd take the 90-degree heat to the heat going on at work these days. Today, our company fired on of the head execs and now MY boss is taking over the entire office. It's huge for us, but I'm kind of pissed that he didn't tell me at dinner last night. (I sort of knew this would happen, but still) To top it all off, they shipped me some help, but there's no office space so she is sharing a cubicle with me. She's nice, but she's literally 3 feet in back of me, ALL DAY LONG.

I could kill someone.

Spin class today was the most bizarre experience I've ever had. Short muscle-man was screaming at us to make our lungs ache and our legs burn 15 minutes into class. Seriously, dude, it's a 60-minute class. Are you nuts? Heck no, I'm not blowing myself out so early. The wackjob would also put his index finger in the air and twirl it when he started sprinting....and he did all sorts of crazy positions on the bike that would in no way mimic race riding. I was beside myself just being in the same room as him. It was a joke! We had to spend several minutes at a time recovering from these asinine all-out drills he was trying to do... I ignored him and pushed the highest resistance I could for an hour--- he was not helping me accomplish my training goals. Anyway, I left during stretching and hopped on the treadmill afterwards. 25 minutes in, my knees ached and I decided I probably didn't need to risk going 5 more minutes.... So, that was my workout.

I ate pizza today, too. But that's for my Weightwatchen page. I'll fess up over there.