Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

I know I promised to update more frequently, but I just feel my life isn't blog-able these days. I'm so boring! But I did have some excitement on Thanksgiving....

So, at 6:30am on T-giving Day, I rolled out of bed and went to my closet.....pulled out my faithful Fiona (thank goodness she still fits!), my compression tights, my sexy Sugoi hoody, and laced up my running shoes. And you know what? I didn't look half bad! Where are those 14 lbs that I've gained?!! I hide them well, I must admit....and all my clothes still fit. Woohoo!

At 7am, after coffee and half a bagel, my little sister arrived, and then we were off to the Turkey Trot. I had sent out the SOS earlier in the week.....anyone want to do a 5K with me on Thanksgiving? Baby has the need for speed!

It was a joke, of course.....but my sister answered the call, thank goodness. So we drove to the site, and walked over to the stadium for packet pickup where I led her through the routine of getting the race number, the chip, and the t-shirt.....and then scoping out all the potties in the vicinity. Oh yes, I was very serious about all of this!

My objective was simply to have a good time and burn some calories. But in the back of my head, I was thinking, if this takes more than 40 minutes, I'm going to kill myself.

HA! I got so excited when the gun went off and we started making our way through the start chute. I'm back! And I had no idea baby was in there at all, even at 18.5 weeks. (Technically in my 19th week, but we won't go into that crazy stuff) We took off at a slow jog and did our best to avoid the baby strollers and joggers with dogs. I was thinking we'd do a 2 min run/1 min walk interval, but I didn't slow us down until 5 minutes went by and we hit our first hill. I was trying to stay aerobic and was talking to my sister the entire time to gauge where my heartrate was, and that hill KILLED me. Granted, I haven't really run in 2 months. I mean, I do the elliptical for 50 minutes 4 times a week, but that doesn't really do the job. We ended up walking more than I wanted to in the first mile, hitting it in 13 minutes even.

Yuck. The second mile was more of the same....uphill for a while, taxing my heart rate. I kept thinking I was killing the baby, so I slowed down and calmed down. My sister was great -- she just let me call the shots and she followed. THEN we hit the downhill section of the course. I gave her my free speed lecture and told her to lean into the hill to let momentum carry her down, but she thought I was nuts. I led the way and tried to make up ground going down the hills, while she moaned and groaned about how we needed to walk. Poor thing -- I was killing her. We hit the aid station and I made her keep going...... at the two mile mark, I hit my 5K PR of 25:52. Ha! It was not so fabulous. My sister kept saying, "keep going without me!" But why would I do that? We were doing this together...and anything less than 25:52 was a disappointment to me, even though I knew darn well I couldn't do it.

So we chugged along, and I tried my best to keep my sister moving. She has exercise-induced asthma but refuses to use an inhaler because of how shaky it makes her feel, so she was starting to get all panicky and was breathing way too much. So I talked to her about beaches. And massages. And Thanksgiving sticky buns. I coaxed her along to the finish line, grabbing her at the end and forcing her to sprint across the line. She said she didn't know she had a final kick in her until I started dragging her! Poor thing..... But she did it. We did it. Baby crossed his very first finish line in 38:56. And he's kicking up a storm, so I didn't kill him. Victory!!!

Now if only people thought I was pregnant and not just slow..... Next month, perhaps.... Am considering another 5K that I can run in my Santa stockings and boxer shorts. I may run it again under my fake name so that nobody can trace my dismal results. They should have a special asterix in the results next to the names of pregnant women. You know, to indicate that our bodies have been taken over by aliens and that we aren't who we used to be?!

So, we had a great holiday and I definitely felt like I had some bragging rights. Of course, when I go to the Dr. on Monday for my 20 week ultrasound (more like 19 weeks 2 days), I'm sure I'll get in trouble for the weight gain. But seriously, I've been eating salads and grilled chicken and Special K with skim milk. I work out more than the average pregnant woman. Throw me a bone here!

I braved the Black Friday crowds yesterday, but I can't say they were bad at all. Got up at the leisurely hour of 9am and then met up with my cousin and her husband for a trip to Babies R Us. We got there at 11:30 and I got their doorbuster $150 glider in espresso -- so the first thing for the baby's nursery has been purchased! Other than that, Black Friday was a bust, but I was pleased with the glider.

And that is about all that's up with me. I'm pretty boring, but I'm trying..... Maybe I'll become more exciting in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's a....

BOY!!!
Well, there's a 6% chance she was wrong, but I saw the bits.

Baby is healthy and busy, hiccuping and twisting all over the place. Has a mild obsession with his hands....they must taste good and look pretty....not that he has his eyes open or anything.

Neuchal fold was 2.5 mm, which is at the upper end of normal, but more normal for a later NT scan like mine.
It was so good to finally see this baby looking like a baby. DH was totally enthralled with it, amazed that we had hands and feet and that they moved like a human. And when he found out it was a boy, I don't think I've seen him look happier. :) Such a relief to know that he finally realized what was happening and was finally "with" me.

Anyway, that's my update! Here's a pic.....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time Consuming New Home

I had no idea how much work was involved in new construction until we finally moved in....to our beautiful, spotless new home that was twice the size of our rental townhome, had no blinds at all, no garage door opener, and dirt for a backyard.

I think I've spent every waking moment unpacking, ordering things, or waiting around for delivery truck drivers. Insanity! Baby is definitely taking a backseat to all of this madness. I am 13 weeks 1 day today, and aside from some obnoxious "stretching" pains, all is well.....well enough that I can help hang blinds and fight with fencing contractors. I tell you what, I'm Psycho Bitch these days! ;) I blame it on the hormones.....

I hate to say that there's not much going on for exercising. 3-4 times a week at work, I jump on the elliptical or spin bike and go for 50 minutes of aerobic work. I watch Caesar Milan and enjoy the only time during the day when I don't feel like crap. I'm still expanding by about a pound a week, and truthfully, I cannot stop it. The weight gain is like a freaking freight train! I'd dearly love to eat healthy, but I've removed aspartame and other artificial sweeteners from my diet...the staple of "diet" food items that I've been living by for the past four years. I also have wrotten acid reflux that prevents me from eating things that are too acidic no matter how low cal they are. AND I have to constantly shovel food into my mouth, because if I don't, the nausea is just as bad as ever. How 'bout them excuses??

Today I should have gotten up for a run, but I am whooped. Absolutely exhausted from everything we've been doing. On the agenda for today? Cancelling the fence contractor's check (he is giving me the heebie geebies....I'm going to write checks to the neighbors instead), heading to the mall to buy some maternity work pants so I don't feel quite so fat, and back to the grocery store to feed my milk obsession. Aren't you terribly jealous of my very exciting day?

I'll update Wednesday after our NT scan. Hopefully all is well and the blob will look like a real baby. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hobbling Along

I'm pleased to report that I attempted to run once more this weekend. The weather has changed here in Colorado. It is cold, and time to whip out the pants and the ear warmers.... Jogging weather!

Unfortunately, we moved into our new house on Wednesday, and each subsequent night we made copious trips to the storage unit. Yours truly tweaked her upper back lifting a 10 lb box out of the car, and every minute since then has been torture.

Alas, I still thought a run was all I needed to feel better.

Wrong! Hey, it was a valiant effort, at least. I went 10 minutes up the road and decided that it hurt too much to hold my arms up. All that jumping up and down really killed my back. So I cried, then walked the rest of the way home dejectedly. (Oh, except when I came within eyesight of my street -- I sucked it up and ran straight to my driveway because I can't have the neighbors thinking I am a walker) Endurance wise, I think I'm still doing fine. Baby isn't making running that hard, and my legs felt strong. I was so bummed that my back of all things halted this glorious potential run.

Today, I attempted to do 50 minutes on the elliptical. Of course, 3 rotations in, I decided that it hurt my back way too much to tolerate, so I headed over to the spin bike and did a solid 40 minutes of intervals. I miss training so much! The only time in the day when I actually don't feel like crap is when I am exercising. I seriously should do it twice a day....except it makes me ravenous!

Oh, speaking of that, I seriously have a major tapeworm. I tried to deal with it today sensibly, but I did the math and it still was an abysmal attempt. I started out the day with a Carnation Instant Breakfast....one cup of milk, one packet of mix, and one tablespoon of peanut butter with ice. Yum!!! Then I had 2 whole wheat mini bagels at work that I shoved in my mouth at regular intervals so as not to yack, along with my 1 cup of coffee with 50 calories of creamer with it. (I'm creating a hardy child here -- no weaning off the coffee for me!) Then I had a string cheese. A 90 calorie granola bar. Lunch was a Weight Watchers ravioli, followed by a small apple sauce cup because I was getting desperate. I ended the work day with a regular Yoplait yogurt (I've weaned off the aspartame -- I'm going for an anatomically normal kiddo)....and then came home and had 3 holes in one! (You know, white bread with a hole in the middle.....cook the egg in it) 3 whole eggs. 3 slices of white bread. Holy crap! That's like.....10 points at least. Not to mention the margerine.

I'm so screwed.

Next appointment is on Wednesday. They switched it from the girl doctor to the guy doctor, so I am a little skeeved out. Thankfully DH will be there so I won't feel so creepy, but I'm still a bit bugged out by it all. And pissed I don't get another ultrasound!

Work is incredibly stressful and I still have a ton of crap to do with this house. I ordered blinds, but they won't arrive for another week. The couch also comes in 2 weeks. Need to buy a new flatscreen TV, since our 32 inch old school TV is pathetic in our huge living room. And then DH started in on the nursery....I never thought he'd bring it up himself, but suddenly he's Martha Stewart! I can see we may have a fight on our hands for the theme.

Oh, to top off all my extreme happiness, we met with the CFO today and my boss decided to tell him I was pregnant. Oh, gee, thanks for offering that little tidbit up. I bet he's really happy to learn about more lost productivity in the company.

Well, with that, I shall take my cranky butt to bed. 8:20.....How sad is that?

Where is this famed 2nd Trimester you all speak of? I'm 11 w 2 days today. Take away my nausea and give me a blast of energy! I'm ready!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling left out

Thanks for the congrats, Amanda and Amelia and Leah! (My only readers...I post for you!) :)

So, the past few weeks have been discouraging. I've been nauseous all day long, particularly in the mornings, so I've been loathe to leave the house to exercise on the weekends. I've been reduced to 50 minutes at lunch on the spin bike or elliptical, a few times a week at work.....and one yoga class per week. Of course, it's regular yoga, so I'm skipping the ab work and also the twisting motions. Once the bump arrives, I fear that will be the end of regular yoga. We spend so much time on our tummies or bending over, I cannot imagine what I will end up doing to pass the time.

On top of feeling like crap, we close on our house on Wednesday AND have to move out by 5pm the same day. So I am a bit of a wreck, trying to pack everything up and place it in storage as an interim holding place. My stomach has been a huge impediment, as I've discovered round ligament pain....it totally prohibits me from lifting anything over 20 lbs. Talk about a bummer. I'm mad!

My rec center's schedule has been atrocious for swimming, so I haven't done any swimming since I volunteered at Tri for the Cure in early August. Thankfully, swimming comes back easily for me, so I'm not too concerned about starting it up later in pregnancy.

I'm still in denial, btw. I think I'll be like you, Leah. Detached until the end. I wish I wasn't, but somehow I still don't believe there's a baby in there. I've just gained 7 lbs for nothing. (Don't get me started on the weight gain....what the hell?!!!)

The prenatal care is also making me nuts. My uber conservative company has purposely excluded genetic testing from our maternity coverage, so the $700 NT scan which tells us our risk for Downs and other genetic disorders (and gives us the only ultrasound in between the Blob stage and the anatomy scan) is out of pocket!! I canceled the test. I can't spend that kind of money right now to be told I have a 1 in 1000 chance of having a kid with Downs. I'm thinking I'll wait until 15 weeks to get the Quad Screen blood test. But I'm still mad about the cost of the nT scan and intend to bitch about it to the Dr. next week when I go for my regular appointment.

I guess that's my update. I'm totally out of shape, too nauseous to work out in the mornings, and panicky that I'll never get back to the way I used to be. All my old friends did the OC Tri this past weekend, and I stared at the results page for an hour this morning, wondering where I would have been last year vs. how pathetic I would have been this year. (Heck, in my condition, I wouldn't have finished!) Pre-partum depression? Yeah, that's me. Or it's just me being stressed and hating the fact that I can't button any of my pants.

Why did I do this again?

Oh, so someone can afford to put me in the retirement home when I turn 90.

:)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Hiatus

I've been gone for about 8 weeks now. Mainly because I haven't been training, racing, or doing much of anything aside from hanging on.



You see, the improbable has happened.


Now, before you go thinking this was an accident, you might be surprised that this was 100% planned. I'm not stupid! (Although I kind of feel that way right now)


Meet the spawn. The parasite. Voldemort. The next member of our family. :) Right now, the blob is 8 weeks, 1 day old.......in this picture, it was 7 weeks, 4 days.


We are very happy, but at the same time, I'm not really the model pregnant woman. I'm thankful to have a healthy baby, but I loathe being pregnant. I hate what it's done to my energy levels. I hate feeling so nauseous all day long that I just want to cry. I hate having crazy food and smell aversions. I hate the extra lbs and squishiness. Oh my gosh, it's torture! Not to mention the skin breakouts and the gargantuan boobs.


My workouts have been pathetic as of late. When I do have the energy for them, it's usually a slow aerobic bike ride averaging 16-17 mph for only an hour and ten minutes. I've got random 20-milers logged here and there. The running sucks pretty bad. I get winded so easily, so I am constantly walking to get my rate of perceived exertion back down to an acceptable range. My rec center pool's swim schedule blows, so I haven't been to the pool yet, either. I can manage 50 minutes on the elliptical at work, but only if I have the time and my boss lets me go over my lunch hour.....lately, she hasn't been so willing. We've been working crazy hours and I just feel myself slipping away.


ugh! Anyway, I struggle every day with feeling so miserable when I should be so thankful. I know it won't have any impact on how I feel about this baby once it arrives, but I still am weirded out by everything. Even hearing the heartbeat was a freakish experience. That's coming from ME?! There's something alive inside of me? Oh my gosh -- so weird.


I'm signed up for next year's triathlon season. I'll be going to swim practices starting in February....so hopefully I'll be in really good shape by the time delivery rolls around on April 24th. But we'll see. I've got my medical deferral to Boulder 70.3 next year, so the goal is to just toe the line the first week in August. Wonder if I can do it?!


We are also closing on our new house on the 30th of September. We've been squared away on the loan side for over 2 months now, but the inspections on the home are insane. I'll be leaving work for a few hours here and there for the next few weeks, but I'm not allowed to take more than a 1/2 day off because we're in the busy season. Lucky me! So we're packing on the weekends and putting boxes into a storage unit. I'm so stressed, but I guess we'll manage to work it out.


So that's my update! Will try to post more regularly now that my secret's out. Still trying to keep it quiet on Facebook while I get over it a little more.....but what can you do?

Monday, July 27, 2009

All Talk, No Action

Saturday night, I put my bike in the back seat of my car. I packed up my wetsuit and my race gear and stashed it into my backpack. I set my coffee machine to brew a nice cup o' joe at 4:50am. I mixed all my nutrition into bottles and stored it in the fridge. I even went to bed early.....

...but at 11pm, I panicked. I had trouble catching a breathe. Breathing deeply was extremely painful, if not impossible. My primary care physician seemed concerned, but decided it was likely acid reflux and that I should take a Zantac and see how I felt a few hours later....so off to the store we went to buy Zantac.

By 1am, I had a fever of over 101. And I still couldn't breathe, which totally freaked me out. Walking around made me feel dizzy and nauseous. I spent the entire night on the couch watching Cops!

Obviously this put to bed any hopes of racing that I had, since I could barely stand up...... At 7am, I woke up DH and asked him to take me to urgent care. We sped off and urgent care did an EKG and chest x-rays...... They couldn't do blood tests or anything else, but they were definitely concerned enough to call me in to the local emergency room for further testing. I was showing all the signs of a pulmonary embolism, and that freaked me out beyond belief.

So off we went to the local hospital. They got me into a room pretty quickly, then proceeded to stick me all over the place to get blood and push fluids. I was FREEZING! Poor DH stole a Time magazine from the waiting room and attempted to spread out reading it for 6 hours. He was *so* bored. They took me in for a CT scan with contrast, and that was the weirdest thing ever. It shoots hot dye into your veins and you feel like every part of your body is on fire for a minute. Wowee! I had a horrific fever of about 103, but they never gave me anything for it, so I shivered for hours under 4 blankets. It was horrific.

So at the end of the day, the general consensus was that I had viral bronchitis.

Huh?!

No coughing. No snotty nose. Nothing you would associate with bronchitis. But I am blood clot and pneumonia free.

They sent me home with an inhaler and told me to keep taking Advil and Tylenol to make the fever more comfortable.

Upon further reading online, I've found that a huge number of people taking Macrobid for bladder infections (I had been on it for 6 days prior to this event....took my pill at 7pm Saturday night) that have had my exact same symptoms! Even this many days into use, they complain of the difficulty breathing and the flu-like symptoms. So while the ER doc says it's Bronchitis, I'm still sticking to my guns that this was a very bad reaction to Macrobid, and you can bet I'm putting that drug allergy all over my charts in the future.

I'm slightly better today. Fever is down 2 degrees. I'm not nauseous anymore. I can actually take a deep breath and not feel like I'm going to die. My coloring is better. DH says I'm like a changed woman. Still not going to work today, but at least I am mobile.

So, what a change in events, huh? Within a 2 hour period, my life changed so dramatically..... People who saw me on Saturday even doubted my story, because I was totally normal! I mean, how bizarre? All this heeing and hawing over the Half Ironman, and I didn't even make it to the starting line. I am beyond upset about that, but I'm very thankful that I'm not facing down a blood clot in my lungs or something more devastating.

Life's bizarre, eh? I think I'm done with the surprises for this month, though..... Off to the couch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cold Feet

Yeah....so.....3 miles into my purposeless run last night, I thought to myself, "what was I thinking?!" 13.1 miles would kill me, I am certain of it.



I'm not sure what I'm going to do on Sunday now. Or what I'm trying to prove.



I hope I figure it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Temporary Insanity

*I* am all clear.

Dr. Asshat said I'm totally recovered. Only 10 degrees of flexion left to regain, but that will come if I really work on it. He said, "Have fun this summer. Don't hurt yourself again."

SO........

I'm going to do something potentially stupid this weekend. Potentially stupid, and potentially impossible. You see, this Sunday is a practice triathlon for the Boulder Long Course. My team is offering 2 options -- the Oly distance and the Long Course. I'm signed up for the Oly, which will be a stretch in itself since I haven't done any of the distances yet in training this summer with the exception of the swim.

But no. That's not the stupid part. The stupid part is I think I'm going to do the 56 mile bike course.

On no training.

Now, before you think I'm crazy, I think it's something I could do. It might wreck me, but I don't have anything to save these legs for. I got denied my chance to do the Boulder Long Course this year, so I feel like I still have a lot to prove to myself. I think if I take it easy, why can't I ride 56 miles?! I'm a strong cyclist. I love my bike. Just give me some buttr and I'm good to go......

But the crazy crazy part? Part of me really wants to do the run, too. Yeah, the run....13.1 miles.....on a long run of 5 miles. With a swelled knee.

Stupid! I know! So incredibly stupid. But when else am I going to have the chance? There will be plenty of other women doing it in 8 hours. Surely I can at least give it a shot? I mean, if I get too tired on the bike, I can just call coach to come pick me up in the Sag wagon. And if I get too tired for the run, I just don't do the run. Or I do one loop. I'll be walk-running it anyway, so what harm can I do?

I imagine this is creating a lot of heartburn right now. But I'm pretty calm. I have nothing to lose. I don't think I can hurt myself because I won't be pushing it. I'm gonna hurt. I'm going to be sore. And I may fail miserably.....but I really, really want to try.

So with that, I'm going to take my slightly crazy arse to bed to dream of 56 miles and what could have been this summer.....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting Back in Action

So, it's been a wild two months. I don't think I expected the whole knee thing to be as painful as it was, but I also cannot believe that I was ever on crutches or even in pain for so long. It feels like a mostly distant memory!

This past week, I've really stepped up the workouts so that I can start to feel like myself again. After our 4th of July trip to Aspen and 6+ miles of hiking, I knew I had no more excuses.

So, 2 days of hour-long elliptical sessions while watching the Tour de France whetted my appetite a bit. Then I hopped on my bike after work and rattled off a quick 20-miler, feeling brilliant the entire time. And then I decided to help my friend run her first 5K *ever* using a 2 min walk/1 min run interval (perfect for my out of shape butt!)..... And yesterday morning, I got up early and drove over to the Gravel Pond for a 45-minute continuous aerobic swim. It was phenomenally gorgeous out, the water was refreshing, and I was so, so thankful to be out there.

Today, I'm trying out mountain biking. Well, trying out is selling myself a little short. I have been off road with my mountain bike a few times, but I am a scaredy cat. I found some open space a few highway exits South, so I'm looking forward to the change of pace. I hope I'm not too much of a pansy!

On the home front, am happy to report that my plot of dirt now has a poured foundation in it! Footers went in 10 days ago, and foundation walls got poured 3 days ago. I expect they'll start framing here shortly, and then the countdown is on. I am starting to get excited, which is bizarre because I really haven't cared so much since we went under contract.

Wednesday is my last appointment with Dr. Asshat. Now, I don't intend to sing his praises, because I do still feel some swelling in the knee, and I do still have a dull pain in the back of the knee where the old pain used to be. It's different now, of course, but it's not gone like I was hoping. Now, I can do more these days than I could before the surgery, but is it possible he operated on the wrong thing? Must run between now and then and see what I think.....

Until then, time to enjoy the rest of the weekend....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!

5 weeks and 3 days after surgery, I can proudly say that I am yet again...

....a triathlete!!


And not just a triathlete who can bike, swim, and walk a run. I was a triathlete who swam, biked, and even managed to do 1 min walk/1 min run intervals! Oh yes, this stiff knee was RUNNING!!! Holy cow, I am still shocked and slap happy just at the memory of it. No, it wasn't easy. No, at the time, running wasn't fun. But I SO did it. Boo-yah!

The race was actually a rehearsal put on by my team up in Boulder. It was incredibly well done, and for all intents and purposes, it was a race....just minus the timing mats. I switched at the last minute to wave 3, which was the 5430 Sprint Course. 800 meter swim, 17.3 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I figured that since I have only swam once in 5 weeks, biked twice (17 miles total for both rides combined), and hadn't run in 12 weeks, that perhaps the Olympic distance wasn't the smartest move on the planet.


So, I started out in the swim and was shocked when two girls went zooming past me. What happened to my beautiful speed? Well, it's gone. But I hung in there and I'm pretty sure that only 1 other person got past me....I came out of the water with two women in front of me, and maybe one off in the distance. (Maybe 50 in the wave?) I walked to my bike, still scared to run, and wanting to conserve as much as possible. I was devastated when I got out of the water and looked down at my watch and saw 19 minutes. 19 minutes!!! I am not that slow, even on a bad day, so either I swam circles around the buoys, or the course was long.....that swim should have had me in the middle of the pack. Not 4th.

Anyway, since it wasn't a race, I answered questions about my knee in transition. Some of my ex-poolmates were wondering how I was doing...very cute. And then a guy from work yelled over from the fence and I was shocked...he was pre-riding the Boulder Peak course and somehow recognized me as I was trying to get out of my wetsuit! Anyway, he was like, "how's the knee?" Ugh!! We'll see.....

Off I went on the bike. I was out of breath and tired. Shocker! But I picked off the girls within reach and then closed the gap on the rest of them. It was a false flat to the highway, and I was struggling to go 14 mph. It was so frustrating! Every time I put the bike into a harder gear, I'd feel pressure behind the kneecap, get scared, and then shift down. I stopped at every stoplight like a good citizen. I played tag with a few women who weren't good citizens. And then when I got on the highway, I managed to pull away from the rest of them. The road back to the Reservoir was a gorgeous, quiet country road that was all downhill. It was absolute heaven and my biker dream....it was just too bad I was too weak to have a good first part of the course. I think I averaged 21 mph for the last 10 miles of the course. Not a person in sight. I loved it!


I came into transition with not a bike in sight. Well, there were 2 over in the Olympic duathlon side, but I was the first in my Sprint section. Woohoo! I grabbed my stuff and ran out, smiling because I was *running.* Don't get me wrong, I was practically moving, but it technically counted as running.

I quickly learned that running for longer than a minute created a little pressure and discomfort in back of my leg, so I forced myself to stick to the 1 min/1 min interval. It worked well for me, as I didn't get stiff until 10 seconds until the end of my run interval! I will admit, I ran about 3 minutes at the end to get to the finish line. I didn't Sprint it in. I just kept it slow and steady and smiled as Coach announced my name with her loudspeaker and congratulated me. I was ALL smiles.


I am not a cripple!!!

I WILL one day be able to run again. Better than I ran yesterday.

I LOVE being back in action. Love it. Adore it. Just thinking about it was invigorating. Yes, I was slower than you-know-what (even with that stellar second half course, I was still a good 10 minutes off a decent time for that bike course). YES, I was racing against women who'd never raced before, so it wasn't a fair comparison. But I was just happy to be there. I *love* this sport. I *love* my bike. I *love* being able to feel that runner's high again. Heck, even 4am wasn't so bad.

I'm back!

(And I am pleased to report that the knee is the only body part today that doesn't hurt......)

I'm now trying to decide when my next "real" race should be. I'm thinking September might be enough time to regain my run strength....gotta find some obscure race so I'll feel better about myself......

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bike to Work Day

I did it!! Woohoo!

A week ago today, I was thinking that perhaps I wouldn't be able to participate. Wasn't sure how things would work out. But today, I got up at 6am, met my friend at 6:30, and off we went on an easy 7 mile ride to the office. I was *so* excited to be out there.

Now, the ride home was a little more challenging thanks to some residual knee swelling, but I still logged 14 miles for the day....the most I have done in over 5 weeks.

Coloradoans hate cyclists, it's the craziest thing. In SoCal, when we rode Santiago, I never once saw any road rage and the drivers were always courteous. Out here, it's like I had devil horns on my helmet. I just don't understand why drivers get so cranky?! OK, maybe I do....I've seen those jerkoff cyclists who blow through intersections without stopping and ride two and three abreast with no shoulder....but my friend and I were signalling, stopping, law-abiding mommas (minus the 1/4 mile we had to ride the sidewalk because the road was too busy and scary for us). Most cars were kind, but a few made some dangerous moves and it really made me mad. My friend is 2 years out from a major accident she had with a bike that went around her and then hit her on a turn. So to see people do similar things to what hurt her was really disturbing.

Come on, Colorado. Share the road. Everybody behave. This road rage is beyond ridiculous!!!

So now, I'm off my soap box. Next step is Sunday, when I do a mock triathlon in Boulder. 1.2 mile swim, 17 mile bike.....and then I'll test out my run! (it's pathetic -- I drag the leg around while going 12 min/mile, judging by my test run out to my car in the hail yesterday)

Progress. It's a good thing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back in Action

Woohoo!! Almost 4 weeks to the day, I am back. In the water, that is. I got off my lazy butt today and drove to the gravel pond, where 3 billion Colorado triathletes converged for an afternoon of "open water swimming." If you can call it that. It's basically swimming in a freezing cool pool devoid of life. No sense of adventure at all.

The hardest part of my swim was the walk from the parking lot in my flip flops, but I managed. Coach didn't seem too shocked to see me. Nor did she look like she missed me much. Downfall of having a coach who works with 500 women... Asst. coach said she could see I was "stiff." Damn!

Anyway, got into my wetsuit pretty quickly and then I hopped in and went for it. No use acclimating....it was colder than you-know-what out there! I thought I had warmed up by the time I had finished, but that was totally not the case. My ears burned for a half hour after I got out. ??!!! Burrrr..... I always used to think that nothing could top the mighty Pacific near Santa Barbara, but I think the icy cold Colorado water MIGHT just have it beat. Either that, or I've lost my nerve.

I think I did the 1000 meter loop. I swear it was longer, but I didn't wear a watch and didn't bother listening when they described the lengths. Maybe longer. Honestly, I was just glad I showed up. I tried kicking a few times, but who am I kidding? I don't kick in a wetsuit! But the little flutters I did manage to put out didn't hurt. Score!

There's another practice out at the gravel pond on Saturday. And then on Sunday, maybe I will see if the hubs wants to take a little stroll on the mountain bikes?? I am not totally comfortable on the bike yet, but he did say I could do it in 4 weeks. 4 weeks is tomorrow. Why not?

On a totally different note, I'm agonizing over DH's bad luck with Xpress Jet. He received a call back in April from a collections agency telling him he owed $600 for a uniform he supposedly received. DH laughed it off and told them they were nuts, as he was never even employed with Xpress Jet. I mean, when he failed his last check ride, they took everything from him right then and there. His training binders and access badge. He never received a uniform! But then a week or so later, we got the official letter from collections in the mail. We lodged a formal complaint to them and to Xpress Jet, explaining why these charges are false and asking them to provide some sort of validation of debt. According to consumer protection laws, they have 30 days to provide this. If they fail to furnish it, then you are pretty much in the clear. But then I hear that this company is contacting people outside of those 30 days and sending brand new invoices to people with different dollar amounts! It's so sketchy. And I am so angry that if I even get one iota of contact from them, I 'm going to pay $600 for the meanest SOB lawyer I can find to fight them. And if they touch his credit report, I'll lose my mind.

Anyway, they received our letter on the 8th of May. It's now June 16. I rush to the mailbox every single day, freaking out. In my heart of hearts, I just know it's going to come back and bite us in the butt. Of course, we've got a committment letter for financing from the bank on our new home, but what happens when we come to close?! I'm just petrified. Angry. Really, really devastated that you can do everything right in life and STILL be slandered by companies like this.

I mean, Xpress Jet already destroyed DH's dreams of flying for a career. Must they destroy his credit as well? It's really, really low.....and they are totally in the wrong here. I'm itching to stick a lawyer on them if this goes downhill.

Ugh!! Anyway, that's my stress. Less concerned with the knee now that it mostly bends....and now I worry about the house. And financing. And credit reports. Man, it sucks to be an adult!

Monday, June 15, 2009

You can't tell I'm a cripple!

Oh yes. Momentous day indeed. Today, I did not limp. In fact, everyone at work had to do a double take. AND I was wearing heels for the first time in 3 months.


Take that, knee! I'm coming back.....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slacker

I am. I really am.

While I have been cleared to swim since Monday, something is keeping me from the pool and the Lake. I can't quite describe it, but I think it's something to do with fear. Fear that when I do my pathetic little flutter kick, that pain I had originally will come back and then the past 3 weeks will have been all for naught. Those pesky rejected insurance claims for stupid reasons might not even be for a surgery I needed. It's a terrible feeling.

This morning, I had planned to do my first open water swim of the season. I had good intentions yesterday morning, but as the day moved on and my leg got more swelled, I just gave up on the idea. My incisions are healing, but they did hurt for the first time in a few days yesterday. A sign? Don't swim!

So this weekend is another weekend of inactivity. I shall sit on the trainer for 10 minutes or so and get the knee moving, but other than that, all I will be doing is walking around. What a life.

On a happier (or is it, freaked out) note, we are under contract officially for our house! Permit application has been submitted, so with luck the foundation will get staked in a few weeks and then we'll be talking dirt start. Woohoo!

We hit the design center on Thursday, and that was an eye-opener. What a shocker that our sales agent at the property undershot our upgrade costs by 50%!!! My poor husband is in shell shock after seeing how much it will cost him to get the home the way he wants it. We are definitely going to be scrimping, and my triathlon-ing will definitely be targeted!

Here's the outside elevation of our new digs. About 2050 square feet, 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath, with study and unfinished basement. I'm more in love with the location than the house....but then again, I can live with any house. I'm a developer --- location, location, location!

Monday, June 8, 2009

130 degrees

Boo-ya!

I had physical therapy tonight, after a weekend on my feet. The limp is considerably less noticeable, although the pain under the kneecap from the swelling slows me down a little bit. I'm finally able to sleep the way I want to at night, without the knee propped up on 2 pillows. And I can shave! Woohoo!

Anyway, back to PT. First time on the spin bike, I got one full revolution....and then I kept going! I did 40 rpms for 5 minutes. No, it was not pleasurable, but I was mighty pleased with myself. Then we headed over to the wall and did a bunch of leg raises to the side with both legs.....and then the weight machine, for leg extensions....and then more resistance training....and then I did the calf raises....

NO PAIN!!!!

I kid you not, before the surgery I was unable to complete 1/2 of these exercises because the evil creature in back of my knee would not permit it. I was literally whimpering in my last session before the surgery.

Today? I didn't even think about it. Felt great. And I did it all, much to my therapist's amazement. He says I am progressing by leaps and bounds....and when we did the flexion test, I graduated from the table and had to move over to the floor. 130 degrees hurt, but I DID IT!

So, there is hope......renewed faith in medicine..... Perhaps I did the right thing by electing to do this surgery? It's been quite a trip, that's for sure. I am going to hit the gravel pond on Wednesday for my 1st open water swim of the season (aside from Lake Las Vegas in the race), so we'll see how that goes. (No worries, Amelia, I will be nearly 3 weeks post op.....no open wounds....in fact, the scabs are falling off! TMI, I know)

With that, I shall return to my kitty. He's been very demanding and he hates it when I blog. So hard to resist the cuteness.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Slowly coming around

For the first time in 2 weeks, I'm starting to feel like I won't have to live the rest of my life crippled.

I am recovering!

Yesterday, I was having a bad morning. Really swelled. Trouble walking. Pain in my quad. I was sitting at my desk, and I just could not pull my leg to 90 degrees. Pain and suffering.

THEN, I went to PT. Since Colorado is a no-referral state, I was able to pay out of pocket and go on my own, against my egotistical orthopedic surgeon's orders. Thank goodness for this.

We started out on the spin bike, where I could make it 1/2 a revolution one direction, and then 1/2 a revolution back. It was pathetic! So off to the weight machine, where we just extended my legs in the seated position. THEN, he had me latch my ankles on top of the bar and start going down..... He was asking me about LIBOR, since I told him I was more familiar with that than single family mortgage rates. Halfway through my diatribe, I looked down and saw I was at 90 degrees and said, "You don't want to talk about interest rates -- you are trying to distract me!" He just laughed. Tricky, tricky.

After the machine, I went back on the spin bike, where after 3 tries, I made 1 whole revolution and then continued spin for 10 minutes! Holy cow! It was like a vice around my quad had released. Even though it felt uncomfortable every single time, I was 100% better than before. In fact, I could see my knee again...the swelling sitting above my knee in my quad just sort of dispersed. It was....magic.

So we went over to the bench and we worked a little farther on getting the knee bent, gently moving it forward and backwards. I measured 117 degrees of flexion, only 3 degrees from where I am supposed to be on Monday! A small miracle.

Therapist didn't want me to walk with a limp anymore. He said even if I have to walk slower than a turtle, it's better than walking with a limp. So I've been grandma-walking for two days now, but I'm seeing improvement!

Anyway, it's all very exciting. And to think my prick of a surgeon didn't think I needed PT?! I'm a pansy....I need to be pushed....but I also needed someone who has experience with regaining range of motion. I'm so angry it's taken me THIS long. I should have been in there last week. Seriously, I've had it up to here with my surgeon's massive ego. I really think he didn't want me doing PT because he thinks he has made my knee perfect and he doesn't want me attributing any of the surgery's success to somebody else. Insanity.

On the home front, we are apparently still under contract. I haven't seen the signed version of this contract, but they have my check. So if all goes well, we should be moving at the end of September/sometime in October!

Time to get versed on interior upgrades and hit up Home Depot for some estimates on things we may want to do on our own.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Slowly Losing My Mind

Day 10.

Stitches came out today. I asked him if it was going to hurt, and he said, "yes." Like I was stupid or something. I was expecting some sort of topical anesthetic or something, but he just yanked and snipped. As the medical assistant left the room, I sobbed. Holy SHIT this whole knee thing really sucks.

Surgeon came in. "Any calf cramps or pains?" No. "Get that sock off. You look like an old woman." Gee, thanks. "Your meniscus was intact. I removed your plica. About 40% of the population have plica, and 2% have problems with it, symptomatic of torn cartilage. I removed it, and your knee looks great." Yes, thanks....I googled it after the surgery. So, when do I start physical therapy? "You don't need it. Do your leg raises. You can start running and biking in 3 weeks. Swimming in one week. I'll see you in six." But what about my knee flexion? How far should I be able to get it now? "Show me." (I show him 75 degrees of flexion, which is pretty damn good for me right now) "That sucks. Get it to 120 by next week. If you can't, call me."

That was it. A-Hole anti-PT left the room, and I was so shook up I left my Blackberry there. I hobbled out of the room and all I could think was, "how in the hell am I supposed to be able to run in 3 weeks? I can't even walk without a terrible limp!" It's true. I walk like a freaking Grandma, with my hand on my hip, my butt sticking out, walking a 60-minute mile. Insanity.

I'm just so exasperated. I have e-mailed my physical therapist, who I am not in love with, but how bad can he hurt me? I don't need a referral for him since he's out of network. But $40 for a 1/2 hour really adds up. I'll see him this week and see if he can help me get my range of motion back. I just really, desperately need the help. And I am absolutely floored that this surgeon refuses to send me to PT! I know he is old school, but he practically wrote the book on arthroscopic knee surgery. He does good work. But how his patients ever recover is beyong me.

His parting words were, "you're a strong girl. You'll manage."

Eff you, buddy! I'm beyond cranky....

And to top it all off, I am sans Blackberry and feel positively naked without it! DH is going to have to go retrieve it before work for me tomorrow. And of course, that's the phone that the home builder has....and we are expecting word on our long-lost contract and the Design Center.

And if all of that wasn't enough, I'm as big as a freaking house and too afraid to weigh myself. I need a WW intervention BADLY.

But until then, I shall continue to suffer through the day. This strong girl just wants to sit on the couch with her leg elevated and have a good cry. 3 weeks to running? If only!!!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Like a Football....

Day 7!

And that, my friends, will be the final exclamation point of the evening.

I've been back to work for 2 days now. At 2pm this afternoon, my foot turned purple and my whole leg started throbbing. My sister, the vet tech who actually knows her stuff, told me to get my bandage OFF and to get home ASAP to elevate it. So I left work a few hours early, put on some shorts, and took off the compression bandage my physical therapist had wrapped.... And my kneecap was swimming in a bowl of goo!! Not to mention the sutures....ugh, the skin was so swelled that the sutures were puckering like the seams of a football. It was disgusting.

So, here I am, laying on my back, elevating, icing, and being a "get me more Diet coke!" kind of person while my family looks after me. I feel guilty about it, since I'm technically supposed to be better. I guess returning to work 2 days early really didn't do me any favors.

On the plus side, I made it half the day without crutches. I am slow, but I try. When the swelling gets bad, I can feel the pain under the kneecap and walking hurts too much, so I have to crutch again. What a pain in the rear.

Am on the fence about work tomorrow. I may bring an extra pillow and see if that does the trick...but if not, 1/2 day for me and then it'll be a weekend on the couch. I'm determined to get these stitches out and walk into the Dr. office on Monday without the crutches!

Aside from that, our offer on the house goes hard tomorrow. Apparently 2 of the 3 bigwhigs have signed it, and the 3rd is just a technicality, so hopefully I'll have it in my hot little hands tomorrow. Part of me just wants it over with. The other part looks at the mortgage rate increase today and wants to cry. DH is over the moon thrilled, so I continue to smile at that thought alone. Now all I need to do is bust some balls at the design center to get what I want!

With that, I'll quit my bitchin' for the night. Day 7 goes to the knee. Here's to a Day 8 victory for me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Things I've done under the influence of Percoset

1. Almost thrown up while riding in the car.
2. Fell "up" the stairs and had to be picked up.
3. Giggled hysterically for 3 days straight when not in excruciating pain.
4. Bought a house.

Ha! Yeah, #4 gets me every time. DH and I went under contract on a new construction home this weekend. I was 12 hours off the opiate, so I wasn't totally out of my mind....but I do have it written into the contract that I have until Friday to get my money back. So far, it still isn't seeming like too bad of an idea..... (Did you see that?? I weaned myself off the painkiller after only 2 days!!! Hurt like hell but I am strong like OX!)
Now, to the guy on the internet who had Plica removal surgery and said he was golfing the next day? YOU ARE A LIAR. Swear to God, he must not have had his knee innerds removed or something, because I have been a swollen (although according to my physical therapist, not bad at all), pained MESS over the past few days. I'm only bending 30 degrees. Shoving my leg into the car is a pain in the rear and hurts, so I dread driving tomorow. Still can't get the dressing wet, so I'm taking modified bathes and washing my hair in the kitchen sink. My back kills from sitting on this horrible couch all day. My Advil wears off like clockwork at 4:00am and then it takes a whole hour for the new dose to work so I can get back to sleep.

What a freaking nightmare this has been! To top it off, everyone says I don't "need" the crutches after 3 days. And while that might be true if all you are doing is going up to go the bathroom, I'm touring construction sites and walking through design centers and asking questions at Home Depot!!! Seriously, my throbbing knee calls it quits halfway through the day and I get so frustrated with my limping speed that I crutch the rest of the day just to catch a break. I know that every day gets better, but I feel sorry for myself.

Physical Therapist who I wasn't supposed to see yet took my dressing off and DH snapped a few photos. Wounds look really good and this morning, the swelling wasn't too bad. Of course, I feel more swelling in BACK of my knee, but you can't see that at all. Here are a few fun ones....skip to last if you get queesy:




Saturday, May 23, 2009

I'm a whiner

Am rapidly approaching the 40-hour post surgery mark, and I am undoubtedly a whiny, bratty patient.

Since I cannot remove my dressing, I have no idea how swelled this lovely knee of mine is. But I do know that every four hours, it starts to throb, and a deep aching sensation overwhelms the joint and then travels up my thigh to my hips. Holy SH*T it hurts! So then I have to take a Percoset. Now, they gave me 3 days worth, assuming I'd take 2 pills every 4 hours. Yesterday, I had to take one every 3 hours....today, I'm hoping to go back to every 4 hours...but we shall see. Instead of getting less painful, I feel like it's a tiny bit worse. My sister says 48-72 hours afterwards will be the worst.... I hope she is wrong! Here's my lovely back-lit knee. And my sexy TED compression socks. I'd wear my Skins, but I don't think I could pry them over these honkin' huge bandages.

I can weight-bear, but I don't like it. It seems to create more throbbing when I finally get back to my spot on the couch. I have NO IDEA how I am supposed to get along without crutches after tomorrow.... I guess I just do what I can, and when it hurts, pull them out for some relief. These are my crutch ponies....I got them from Amazon and they are the best crutch accessory EVER!!! My sister was embarassed walking around with them at the surgery center, but I heart them. So cushy and cute. If you know of any kids stuck on crutches, they make all sorts of stuffed animals for them:


At this point, I don't care about how long it takes to run again. I just want this immediate pain to go away and to regain full mobility in the leg! My hubby asked me if I would do this all over again....and to be honest, I am withholding judgement until I find out that this was the cause of all my pain in the first place. If it's gone for good, then hell yes, this is worth it.

It's only bad every four hours, anyway....

So, I'm a little stank today. Haven't showered since Thursday morning. I can't get the dressing wet, and it's my left leg....all our tubs are "right entry" tubs, so it's not like I'm going to be able to lay in the tub with a leg out. Do you just tape yourself into a garbage bag and have at the shower?? French bath for a week with hair done in the kitchen sink??? We clearly have not given this much thought, but I'm getting a little self conscious and can't tell if the smell is the leftover iodine under my dressing or ME. :)
I guess with that I'll quit my bitching and take my smelly self back to my dizzy happy place. How people take Percoset recreationally is BEYOND me. I cannot wait until I don't need it! As soon as the throbbing disappears, so does this insane opiate that makes me nauseous when I stand up and giggly as all hell. Who wants to laugh all the time?! Ugh. It DID make for interesting dreams after finishing Book 10 of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. Eric and Bill and Sam....so very vivid on Percoset. :)

Thanks for the good whine.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

All done!

So, 20 hours post-op....sitting on my couch with the throbbing left leg up in the air. But I have good news.

My meniscus was intact!!! Total shocker, actually. The PA said that sometimes the MRIs aren't right....that a signal abnormality could be an error in the image. They pulled on the posterior horn and took a picture with the scope, and there was no tear present. ACL was gorgeous. MCL was intact.

But they discovered that I had plica tissue that was absolutely shredded. I have a picture of it and it's really stringy and gross. I guess it's a shelf of tissue in your knee compartment, leftover from fetal development. It attaches to the femur, and my femur was really pissed off at this damaged plica. The surgeon removed the plica and shaved the damaged part of my femur. Stiched me back up in a 1/2 hour......I was his "happy" case for the day.

General anesthesia was a piece of cake. A nice older German lady was my anesthesiologist, and she was so cute and funny. She talked to me about my tooth (bonded, prone to chipping) and decided to put me under via mask instead of intubation. I swallowed an antacid drink that was totally gross, and then they wheeled me in. I remember the surgeon telling me that he heard I was friends with Sarah, and that he had to take care of me....I laughed, then felt the burn go into my hand and knew I was going to be out from then on.

Woke up in recovery, totally fine. I was warm, lucid.....I think it took 10 minutes and I was drinking apple juice and eating graham crackers, in exchange for my 1st Percoset. :) My sister came in to be with me, and then I got dressed and was wheeled out.

I guess this is the best possible outcome for me. He is reasonably confident my issues were caused by this plica, since everything else was fine. I will be on crutches for 3 days until the swelling goes down and it's more comfortable to walk. I'm "weight bearing while comfortable," so I suspect that means if I have to go far, I'll use the crutches.... I go in 10 days from now to get the dressing off and take out the stitches...then I get the "plan."

He mentioned to my sister that it's a 6-week recovery. SO, let's hope he's right!! I suspect I'll get cleared for swimming first, and then biking.... I've gone around him and scheduled physical therapy for this coming Tuesday. I find it hard to believe he didn't let me do it post-op, so I'm paying on my own. My PT wants to do some iontophoresis for pain management and also work on strengthening my quad with some electrode action....maybe look into my range of motion. I do trust him, so hopefully he can get me back into things more quickly than just the surgeon alone.

I am doing okay pain-wise. Every four-eight hours, when the Percoset and Advil wear off concurrently, I get some pretty bad throbbing and wonder why I've done this. But most of the time, it is tolerable and I am glad I am on the road to recovery.

I'm lucid, right? You understand this post?? Ah!!! I love being functional. I was actually hoping the Percoset would knock me on my ass, but this works just as well....

With that, it's off to sleepy-sleepy time. Amanda, Leah, and Amelia, thanks for all the well wishes!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last day of mobility

I'm cleaning all my underwear and moving everything down a shelf so that I can reach it easily. I've positioned the couch so that I can play Guitar Hero comfortably. I even bought 4 books with over 3,000 pages to read, so hopefully I shall be occupied. Work is ticked and tied. My swimsuit has been hung to dry. My beautiful bike sits on the trainer, anxiously awaiting my return.....

I go in at 12:15pm tomorrow for a 2:15pm surgery. At that time, he'll decide if he can do anything at all, repair it, or just shave it/remove it. So I can't really predict what my recovery will be like, since this is exploratory for all intents and purposes. But I'm hoping it's going to be a repair so that I'll have many years of meniscus pounding ahead of me.

Sixtwothreetries, I hope to be one of your comeback kids in 6-8 months!

Peace. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Winding Down

I'm calling this week "A Celebration of Mobility."
Today at work, I made my minions take a 20 minute walk with me. Part of our "go the extra mile" mantra, only I took it literally. Knocked that sucker off the management list....

At swim practice, I'm finishing up training with more marker sets to figure out if I've improved over the past few months. I can now do 10 x 100 on 1:45 and hold it....... I can hold a :43 50. I can hold :20 25s. Slow for most, but an improvement for me. When I started the season, we did an all out 200 to place us in our swim groups. I did it in 3:30. Today, I swam a timed 300 and at the 200 mark, I was at 3:25. I'll take it! I feel like I've worked really hard this winter at my swim, and it seems like such a shame to be throwing it all away. I'm sure I won't be back in the water for at least a month, and even then it'll be open water so I don't push off the wall.....

I look at my bike every morning and feel sad. It's so pretty. They are both so pretty. And I think about how I'd love to call in sick and take a ride in the gorgeous 80 degree weather. This weekend is all about the bike. I am going to bike until my girl parts can't stand it anymore.

And I think on Wednesday, I might cry.

Starting to get scared about it now. I wish it had happened on May 11th, to be honest. I would have been so stressed out about the race and the drive that I never would have thought twice about the actual surgery. Having time is a little freaky. I've never gone under the knife before. Heck, I don't even know what type of anesthesia I should get! So freaky.....

At any rate, on a happier note, I have a few Iron Girl photos with more to come once hubby gets to downloading.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Psych

No surgery today!

Surgeon went to the Bahamas and neglected to tell anybody until late last week. May 21st is the new day.

To celebrate, we drove to Las Vegas and I participated in the 2009 Iron Girl Sprint. (Shhh!! Don't tell the surgeon) I'm somewhat mobile at this point. I can swim without kicking, ride my bike easy, and walk without pain....most of the time. So with that in mind, we packed up the car and drove 13 hours to the host hotel.

I cannot explain what possessed us to drive so far when plane tickets are so reasonable. I guess I just really wanted my bike, and since I'm total crap at assembling it, my choices were limited. By the time I got out of the car, I was hobbling. My knee was a wreck! I honestly thought there was no way I was going to be able to make it to the starting line of this race.

We spent that night catching up with my old teammates and walking around the Loews resort, to see if my leg would feel better. (No chance!)

The next morning, I went to packet pickup. I have to admit, it was a little depressing. All sorts of samples of energy drinks and shot blocks, but since I'm out for the season, there was no point in getting them! Rather than stay for a course talk or check in my bike, I decided we should go be tourists and see the Hoover Dam.

Folks, it's a Dam. We couldn't do the tour, since it involved lots of stairs and I was still crippled at this point. So we walked between Nevada and Arizona in the blazing hot sun, then called it a day. Been there, done that, bought the Dam Mug.

That afternoon, I got my bike in order, took it for a test ride, and then checked it in to the transition area where it would sit overnight. I actually took Jezebel the tri bike with me. Her seat KILLS me, but I figured I bought the damn bike, so I ought to ride it in my one and only 2009 race. Actually, the forward geometry puts less stress on my knees when I ride versus the road bike. Sounds crazy, but I brought the tri bike for sheer comfort to my knee!

After check-in, we went to dinner with friends and then went to my old team's meeting. Oh, how awkward for me! My Colorado team was in Vegas, but they were staying at the Palazzo together, sans husbands. I was with my hubby and staying at the Loews, so I kind of felt a little left out with them. (Not that they didn't invite me to stay with them...) My old team has been somewhat controversial as of late, but I still have several close friends who race with them and I thought I was close to the Coach. I guess I still am, but she had 65 women to tend to on race weekend so we really didn't have much time to catch up and just be "pals." She had the Coach hat on...kind of drove me batty. At any rate, at the team meeting, when she announced who I was, she also gave me a chance to say something, so I proceeded to clear the air about my knee injury because I suspect she has tried to use me as an example of overtraining. Since I have NOT overtrained and became injured just BECAUSE, I thought I should defend myself. So I did. I don't know what she thought of that, but whatever. I am very sensitive about this meniscus problem!

Woke up at 4:30am the next morning, made a few cups of coffee, and then met my friend down in the lobby to go into transition. I set up pretty quickly..... When I pulled out my wetsuit, it was all manky and stiff. I don't think I've used it since I moved from California! I chatted up a few of the girls in my row, then headed back to my room to use the restroom and wake up my hubby. We walked down to the swim start 1/3 of a mile down the road, and I wasn't really all that nervous! I was walking better than I had in days, and all in all, things were good. OH, except my expired Gatorade AM. I was wondering why it tasted so off. I drank 3/4 of the bottle before DH pointed out it had expired 3 months earlier. Oops! I tasted it all morning.

The Olympic waves went off first, and I was relieved that I was not amongst them. I jumped into the water and did 5 minutes of "test" swimming, as I hadn't swam without a pull buoy in 2 months and wasn't sure how I'd do in the wetsuit. Guess what? You don't need to kick in a wetsuit! Thank goodness.

When it was time for my wave to go off, DH asked me to get in the front so he could take photos. I was worried about getting trampled since I was going to be gimping into the water, but I ended up staying out in front! I jumped in, cleared the girl in front of me, and then had a pretty clear path after the first hundred meters or so. A lot of the girls who came out fast faded very quickly, and before long, I was mostly alone. I caught the previous wave at the first buoy, and before the 2nd buoy, I caught the last Olympic wave that went off 15 meters prior. Had a GREAT swim, even though I couldn't kick. Came out of the water in what I thought was a slow time, but it was good enough for 6th out of 115 in my age group! Either everyone else was slow, or that course was loooong. I'm liable to go with the latter. I do better the longer we go.....so this makes more sense.

Got out of the water with little pain. Forgot I was supposed to be resting. Ran to the timing mat. Then I walked up the hill to transition, and DH walked with me. I got passed by quite a few people and it really pissed me off!!! Damn this knee! But I stayed true to my promise to myself, and I walked into transition. Quick transition once I made it to my bike....before I knew it, I was on Jezebel and on my way.

Uphill. Damn, I forgot about getting out of the resort area. 1/2 the race, uphill, miserable. I still passed a lot of people, but it was just too slow. No point in using the tri bike at that point. I was so relieved when we made it to Lake Mead Parkway. I flipped it into the big ring and did my best to crank down the hill to the turnaround. I definitely negative split the last section of the course, but it should have been far faster than it was. Not sure if it was my lack of familiarity with the bike, holding back because I am afraid of hurting the leg, or just lack of fitness....but I was pissed with how slow the bike was. Nevertheless, it was good enough for 12th out of 115, so I'll take it.

I hobbled my way back into transition after the bike ride. Ouch! Running off the bike hurt a ton. Race officials freaked out a little, but I waved them off and went to rack my bike. Another quick transition later, and I was hiking uphill towards the desert.

At this point. I was joined by my hubby, who walked with me as everyone ran past. I was slightly out of breath from my bike, so it was kind of nice to walk at this point. But as soon as I was recovered, I was just so antsy!!! He left me at the start of the dirt trail, and I headed off into nowhere near the front of the pack.....walking like a granny. I really, desperately wanted to run, but I knew that I would swell for weeks if I did. So I behaved. So many people passed me, telling me I could "do it," that they would run with me, etc.... Do you know how frustrating that is?? PSA -- if somebody who is not sweating or breathing hard is WALKING the run, leave them alone!! Say hi. Ask about the weather. Tell them you are jealous of how dry their hair is after the swim. But DO NOT TELL THEM THEY CAN DO IT! I cannot walk. Argh!! Can you tell I've been stewing for days?

Did you know that a 5K is actually a pretty long distance? Man, I had no idea. I thought it might take me 40 minutes or so to walk the 5K, but I was totally wrong. 52 minutes later, I emerged from the desert, completely out of my mind and bursting with energy. My CO team was first to cheer me on and pat me on the back. They'd all passed me on the run, so I'd already said hi, but it was nice to have them there. Then I got the cheers from my old team, although it was really just my old Coach laughing at my granny walk. She was like, "you walked the run and are racing injured and yet you still beat half the field!" That made me smile. I limped down the short hill to the finisher chute, then picked up a little jog while the announcer said my name.

I'd done 15+ triathlons. Nothing can beat the feeling of finishing your first, but I have to say, this one felt DAMN good. I almost cried, actually. I worked SO HARD to get to race day, and even though I didn't make it in one piece and I wasn't able to race the run, I finished the race. I was so thankful to have made it to the finish line and to have that finisher medal in hand. Victory!

(Of course, after finding out that if I had run my usual 5K, I would have come close to hitting the podium, I was a little cranky......but I'll save it)

We unfortunately had to check out at noon, so everything after the finish was a bit of a blur. Had to say goodbye to everyone in a rush and then head to our new hotel on the Strip. But it was nice to see everyone. I miss them. But it was also exciting to be a part of my new team and know that the more time I spend with them, the more likely I'll end up with friends just as good as the old ones. :) Gotta love triathlon.

So with that, I am back home in Colorado. DH started his new job last week....he works swing shift from 2pm to 11:00pm, so unfortunately I won't see him much. But this is good for my blogging. And certainly will be better for my girlie tv watching and book reading.

Am nervous about the surgery next week, but hopefully it'll start my journey back to being 100%. Until then.....have a dam good night!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

May 11th

That's my big day. Surgery day.

Saw the orthopedic surgeon last week, who reviewed my MRIs with me in lightening-fast speed. He flipped through images like a comic book, pointing out structures still in tact and commenting on the lack of a cyst. Then he stopped dead on 3 frames, moving back and forth saying, "mmm hmmm...." My radiologist indicated a "linear oblique signal abnormality of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus," but also went on to comment that she could not tell if it penetrated the articular surface. In case you're not a science geek and didn't spend the last week googling these terms, if it even touches the articular surface, you have a meniscal tear.

Ortho basically said, "well, I SEE it. Don't know why she didn't." He points out the tear on the MRI, indicating that it's pretty deep. So he tells it to me straight:

"Missy, what we have here is a problem, but it's a problem I think I can repair. Now, if you go and do more damage to this between now and the time we go in to repair it, you may have a heck of a lot more than a problem and you're looking at arthritis at 45."

How's that for scaring the pants off of me? SO scared, as a matter of fact, that all I managed to do this week was some weight training and a few hour-long trainer rides. I'm scared!

So, the plan of attack is surgery, the afternoon of May 11th, the day after I get back from Vegas. He's going to attempt a meniscal repair, which involves glycolic acid darts and 8 weeks of non-weight bearing time on CRUTCHES!!! Nightmare. After that, it's a very slow and methodical rehab. Based on what I've read, you get cleared for swimming first (probably not much kicking), then stationary bike, then road biking. Running gets the shaft until 6-8 months out. Since the meniscus isn't highly vascularized, healing, if any, is slow.... So, patience shall have to be my name. Of course, this assumes he gets in there and still sees the tear. If he doesn't, he sutures me back up and back to PT I go....

The bummer about all of this, of course, is my season! I put in for a medical deferral on the 5430 series..... so now I have a credit for when I register in 2010. I've also downgraded from Olympic to Sprint in Las Vegas. At first, I thought it would be impossible to compete, but he DID clear me to swim and bike. He warned me about walking the hilly run course, so I'm thinking I may throw in my first DNF. I just feel like I paid my money and am driving an entire day to get there....I ought to TRY to compete, right??

So here we have the silver lining to DH's unemployment. We get to take one last mobile trip together to Las Vegas, and then he can help me maneuver around whilst I'm crippled for 8 weeks. Cannot wait.

Good thing I bought Guitar Hero. I have a feeling I'll be an expert in 3 months.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Out for the Count

So, MRI came back. While it can't positively diagnose a meniscal tear, I'm about 90% certain I've got one. I meet with the surgeon on Wednesday to discuss my options. Naturally, I don't want to injure it any further, and it's fairly impossible for me to continue my triathlon hobby without substantial pain and recovery that hinders my every day life.

It looks like Iron Girl might be out. If they do an arthroscopy and I have to wait until after Iron Girl, I might entertain the idea of downgrading to the Sprint and just walking the run....but those hills are so brutal that I question whether I'd be able to walk up them at all??? (Of course, the swelling and pain take 36 hours to get full-blown, so by then I'd be out of Vegas and on my way back to CO.....but if I hurt it worse, I'll never forgive myself...)

Can't you see how agonizing this is?

Quite frankly, I'd much rather scrap it all and go on an Alaskan cruise!

Hubby never heard anything. Back to square one. Oh, and get this. He gets a debt collector call from a uniform company.....apparently the airline he never got hired on with (that flunked him out of training on the last day, remember that lovely point in my life?) claims that he received a $600 uniform from them! Of course, rather than contact us first, they send him to collections for something he's never received. Knowing DH, he probably signed some stupid form that said his ordering the uniform on day 1 of training constituted receipt of said uniform. We are BEYOND devastated, shocked, and appalled by all of this. How can you get sent to collections for something you never received?! We're trying to work it out with the airline, but I'm not holding my breath. We were originally going to be having him on our loan application for a mortgage, but now I think I need to take him off while we deal with this disaster. I'm doing a lot of reading....tempted to just hire a lawyer, to be honest. But what a freaking nightmare. I mean, this airline already destroyed his career.....now they want to destroy his exceptional credit? How dare they!

It's just been a fabulous week in our household, let me tell you. If all this weren't enough, we're hit with yet another snowstorm. I've been housebound for 24 hours and am going a little nuts. Fortunately, we just bought Guitar Hero for Wii, so at least we have some duels to look forward to the rest of the day. (Not to mention I ordered Labyrinth on VHS, so now I can go on the trainer and totally jam out to some awesome 80's movies!)

And with that, Pity Part OUT!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Roadblock

It's that time of year, isn't it? When I try desperately to get back into racing form while taking too much time off over the winter, and then I screw something up and have to face down my first race whilst 50%.

Calf problem turned into Hamstring problem, although the jury's still out on what is going on. It's definitely put a damper on my training plan for the past month, sabotaging brick's and shortening runs. I should be lucky I can still do these things, but at the same time, it just gives me this "panicky" feeling that perhaps I'll disappear on the Iron Girl course out in the middle of the desert.

Old Coach and New Coach say I am fit, but that I need to throw the PR wishes away because it's not going to happen anymore. Old Coach says if I downgrade to Sprint, I'll cause even more damage to myself. New Coach, who doesn't even know me that well, pretty much said the same exact thing. I guess they are right. They both think the distance of the Olympic will make me slower and less prone to injury....

I have this long laundry list of things that cause pain these days : kicking in the swim (I have HeMan shoulders now after a month with the pull buoy!!), accelerations from 0 mph on the bike on the highest gear, walking in high heels, walking up hills, and running off of the bike. How's that for a mess?

Tomorrow I meet with an ART therapist who apparently works almost exclusively with triathletes. I have been told there will be tears. I have NO DOUBT that this will be the case.

On the biking front, I've yet to do a long bike outside yet. Yesterday was supposed to be a 30-mile hilly group ride, but when I showed up at the meeting place, it started raining horizontally! I made up my mind not to ride right then and there, but subsequent text messages made it clear that nobody else was planning to ride, either. So I went home, popped in "Naughty Marietta," a 1936 operetta with Nelson Eddie & Jeanette McDonald, and did a pretty hard 2 hour trainer session. I don't think I've ever ridden the trainer so hard in my life! Hubby says the downstairs smells like sweat and burnt rubber...he refuses to come down. Oh well. Wonder if I'll be prepared for Iron Girl on trainer rides alone?!

Oh, and to just kvetch a little bit more, this Colorado weather is killing me!!! Oh, I miss Orange County perfection so much it hurts. I have had more rides in the wind over the past few weeks than I've ever had. I've seen people blown over while clipped into their bikes. I've been pushed several feet in the trail by wind gusts. I've gotten my face chapped because of it. And it takes 10mph away from my speedy flat riding, making me want to cry. I've yet to have an actual time trial with no wind yet.... Right now, I'm convinced I'm the slowest cyclist on the planet. Who happens to be afraid of her tri bike.

On the personal front, my life is still exceedingly boring. DH is still job searching, although he did have an interview last week so we could use all the juju in the world that we will hear back this week. If not, I fear he will be devastated.....and that much farther away from getting him back to being occupied and feeling like a contributing member of the household.

The house hunt is on hold until June. It's hard to sit back and watch properties you like disappear, but it's the right decision for us. We'll be more stable with DH in a job, and the timing will be better to coincide with our lease. I still need to get over the fact that I may end up permanently living in the town I grew up in. Granted, the town has exploded in growth since the 1980's and you no longer run into anybody when you go grocery shopping, but I will know. I guess it doesn't count that I lived in several different states for the past few years.....

With that, I should stop procrastinating and go do my long run this morning. We're going to test out 5 miles today.... I suspect I'll be lucky if I can make it 1 without pain, but we shall see. Now, if only this rain would stop!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I am not dead

I swear!

Just boring, that is all.

Sixtwothreetries reminded me that I've neglected the blog as of late, so I thought I should just get it all out there so that I can move forward.

Two weeks ago, I went on my long run....and half way through, I felt a pull in back of my knee. Because I was out in the middle of nowhere, I continued to run, and then iced when I got home. By the next morning, there was noticeable pain, so I freaked out in typical fashion and got myself a Dr. appointment. Of course, my GP is an idiot and I practically had to twist her arm to get a PT referral, in addition to an ULTRASOUND because she was freaked out that I might have a blood clot. (I know, ridiculous, but it was free so I decided to do it anyway) Well, long story short, it's not a blood clot....it's a strained upper gastrocnemius.

Which meant no kicking in the pool, no pushing hard gears on the bike, and no running! Mind you, Iron Girl is coming up on May 9th. I'm probably supposed to be in the "speed" section of my training at this point. But here I am, convalescing, as usual. Why does the start of the season always end up like this?!

I have a new "Dude," aka Mr. PT and then some. He's part physical therapist, part masseuse, part dietician, and part shrink. He ultrasounds my calf like the old guy, but he's very hands on and this is quite painful..... He's also really into what I am eating, claiming that I could be causing all these injuries by not properly fueling my recovery! So, I'm on a food log to point out my "deficiencies" and also see if we can crack this weight gain code.
FYI, the GoWear Fit lasted a month. Very interesting. But after a month of seeing a 500 calorie deficit AND a weight gain, I'm freaking OVER IT!!!!

Today I got cleared to run, so tomorrow is the 15 minute "test run." I'm nervous, but hopeful I can get back to 6 miles ASAP and then start hitting the hills.

My other big news is that I bought myself a tri bike! Yeah, I know these are rough economic times...that my hubby is unemployed.....that we need to save every penny for a home.... But a girl has to satisfy her needs, right?? No frills here...just a basic 2008 model, but BOY does it fly. I've named her Jezebel, because together, we shall be eeeeeevil on the bike course. ;)



So, that's my scoop. OH! Work. Well, I have a job. I should celebrate that. I just hope that one of these days I can be busy again. After 2 weeks of surfing the internet and struggling for things to keep you occupied, you begin to think you are far too disposable.....

Tomorrow, we run and swim. Sunday, I attempt to ride my bike..... If I'm lucky, the past few weeks haven't caused any harm and I'll pull a miracle out of my hat at Iron Girl and race well.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Little Improvements

Well, just a quick update on the weight loss front. I'm down 0. According to the GoWearfit, I've burned in excess of 2100 calories a day since Tuesday. According to my nutrition tracker at Spark People, I've eaten an average of 1600 calories every day this week. This should equate to 500 calories a day, or 1 lb of weight loss a week.

What the HELL?!!!!

OK, I'm done with my little outburst. I shall continue tracking and see what is going on. It just pisses me off, that's all. It's not like I'm eating ho ho's here!

Training-wise, Wednesday was my 3rd swim practice. The fast girls didn't show the past two sessions, so I felt a little better about myself. Mr. Meanie Pants must have eaten dinner on Wednesday, because he only told me to add 50-meters to each set so that the others could keep up. Either I've fixed my head down problem, or he is over life.

I'm also a week into my personal coaching plan, and that is going okay. I've learned that my running still sucks, my knees get sore easily, and I need more flexibility because things come up with work and life and I need to rearrange my plan! We'll see how coach deals with this.... Still doing Yoga once a week. I can even get into Crow Pose now and hold it, so this is quite a bragging point for me. The swimming is coming along....Wednesday I swam 2500 meters in our 1-hour warmup, and that included quite a bit of time at the wall. I did a KILLER interval session on the stationary bike at work-- I had no idea I could work that hard! So all in all, I'm feeling like I'm making a little progress on the fitness front.

My old tri team in CA is kind of a mess right now. My old Coach decided to do her own thing, so half the team moved with her and the other half is staying with the franchise owner. So, the result is that training for everyone doing Iron Girl in May is slightly delayed. They probably won't get their plans until this week or next......will a 2-week jump give me enough so that I can stay in front of them in Vegas? Well, a girl can dream, right? ;)

We're also looking at house-hunting these days. Perhaps not the smartest thing in the world to do on one salary, but some of the deals out there are quite compelling. Am in a bit of a pickle with our lease and our landlord. He swears he's a broker and wants to be our realtor....I would rather be pampered. Can't get out of my lease before September unless I use him as our realtor. Oh, it makes me so cranky!!! I can't even talk about how I got outnegotiated on my lease extension. Anyway, perhaps waiting until this summer to buy is the smarter thing to do. More money in the e-fund, the foreclosures being held until March will have hit the market and we'll see what they do to the neighborhood prices, and maybe hubby will have a job by then? It's hard to sit and wait when you see massive price drops on houses you'd love to own, but what if they continue to drop? I guess they won't gain in value in the 6 months I sit on the sidelines, so I shall just calm down and study the market hard.

So, that's the update. Fun and excitement. Time for swim practice!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Woe is me!

The scale. It is so evil, and it mocks me daily. Never mind the fact that I haven't had a monte cristo or a corn dog or a brownie for as long as I can remember. Forget the fact that I am exercising almost every day. Forget it all! That damn scale is higher than its been since the great weight loss of 2005.

This called for drastic measures. This called for..... the GoWear Fit.

You've heard of the Bodybugg. That thing the contestants of the Biggest Loser are wearing? Well, a lot of people on my new tri team have been dropping weight like flies and attributing it to their Bodybugg.

Me, loving a bargain, decided that it would be a good fit for me. All the fundamentals are in place, but there's a big question mark in terms of what I am actually burning. I had no idea how many calories I should eat in a day....I just knew that on Weight Watchers, I can only lose wieght when I am eating 1200 calories and not exercising. When I'm more active, I hang on to the weight. So frustrating!

So, I purchased the non-branded version of the Bodybugg, the GoWearFit. Part of me wishes it were more technical, but it's pretty much good enough! I even managed to sleep with it last night, and it told me I'm an 89% efficient sleeper. (I am in bed for 8 1/2 hours, but only sleeping for 7.5 of that -- super cool!) Today, with my run workout, I burned 2150 calories....and I ate 1530...... SO, I'm going to give it a week to see what happens with my weight loss.

If this doesn't work, I QUIT!

Just kidding.....I'm too obsessed....how could I ever let it go??

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

On Saturday, I was filled with pride as I swam my 200 meter assessment in 3:30 and was placed in the "Advanced" swim group with my new triathlon team. Now, I missed "upper" advanced by :15 seconds, but I was still pleased with myself because it meant I hadn't gotten that slow in my many months off from swimming.

Fast forward to last night. My first "Advanced" swim session, at a local community college in a manky pool that smells like....well, it smells pretty gross.

I confidently hopped in a lane with a lady nearly twice my age (okay, maybe early 50's) and off we went on our 7 minute warmup. So far, so good. I was holding my own. Then our coach, a guy who doesn't even introduce himself, started yelling out instructions. 50 meters of "superman" with your arms out and not moving, just kicking. 50 meters of laying on your back and just kicking. 50 meters on your right side with your arms out, kicking. 50 meters to the left, kicking.

What? Did you say, "kick?"

Sorry, but I'm a triathlete. I've spent the past 2 years NOT kicking. You are going to kill me!

So I tried. Honestly, I did. I took on water like the Titanic, though. I was okay and streamlined in the first 50, but on my back, I totally freaked out and struggled to breathe. I hated the backstroke as a kid and consequently have never returned to the position. Last night brought back the very worst memories. And that f***ing lane line! Holy cow, I hate it so much.

Anyway, suffice it to say the first 200 was torture. When I finally got back to the end of the pool, Mr. Coach said, "YOU! You need to keep your head down." I didn't even look at him. Um, excuse me, but how can I keep my head down when I am so out of breath that I have to breathe every stroke??? I was pissed.

"Repeat," he ordered after a minute break.

What? Are you kidding me??

Nope, he was dead serious. So, off we go. My lanemate, Miss Lazy Butt, who only did 1/2 of the workout in the previous set, proceeded to do the same the second time around. She was sitting at the end of the pool waiting for me when we were done with the 2nd 200. I mean, who is she kidding? Does she seriously think everyone will think she did the full set and she was the fastest? Argh!!!!

And again, when I return, same comment. "YOU.....head down even more."

Dude, you gotta think about me here. I've trained primarily in open water. I'm excellent at sighting -- the very best! What is with this head crap?????

Next drill is more torture. 3 strokes of freestyle, then hold the 3rd and kick for 6 beats....repeat. 150 meters. Go!

I was a bit better at this one....but again, Mr. Meany Pants was like, "head down!" Man, I am trying. "Repeat!"

Off we go again. I worked on keeping that head so far down that my head ached. No comment on the return this time.

Next drill was some kind of stroke practice. Lengthening. Letting that first part of the stroke nonchalantly hit the water and extend. I tried to keep my head down. 200 meters. At the 50, Meany Pants was looking down at me. "You are crossing over with your left hand." What?!! No!!!!! So I focus on the left hand. Hard. What is with this? Am I just tired? At the 100, he's there again. "Better. Keep your head down."

Mother f***er. Will I ever get it right?

1000 meters later, I was spent. I felt like crying. Am I such a terrible swimmer that every part of my stroke is wrong? Did I really just drink a gallon of this manky water? Why do I feel like puking? My arms are lead weights!! HOW on EARTH am I going to be able to keep this up every week?

I was just totally, utterly destroyed. My very first swim practice, and I was practically reduced to tears. Nobody else around me seemed nearly as perturbed. Were they used to this dude? Were their strokes perfect? Can they handle criticism better than me? I mean, man, I know I'm not the fastest, but was I not trying to improve?

Triathlon season, welcome back. I have a feeling I'm gonna need to find some big girl panties, and find them fast. Because if this happened on Day 1 of swimming, I don't even want to think about what's around the corner!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Pain that is Yoga

For years, every annual review I've had at work was concluded with "you should really take yoga." Apparently I'm an intense person, and I must stress my managers out. But I *love* stress. Adore it! It motivates me and keeps me entertained. Why would I want to get rid of it?

I've often complained about my flexibility to friends and family. More often than not, their response is, "why don't you take a yoga class?" And I just roll my eyes at them, because they were part of the grand yoga conspiracy, too.

DH has played his part in this, too. Since I can't relax around the house for more than a day, he thought it'd be great fun to have his Mom get me a yoga kit for Christmas two years ago. You know, so I could be all zen in the house? It laid in its original packing materials for two years.

The final player in this great yoga push was my old triathlon Coach. The evil one. She told us it would help us strengthen our core. Stretch our legs. Make us faster. Yeah, you heard me right....faster. So this, I think, was an intriguing thought, but I was not ready to commit just yet.

Until NOW! After 2 months of strength training in the gym, I decided to add another facet to my off season. Something that would help me to stretch out my hip flexors, IT bands, quads, calves, and strengthen that pesky, fat core of mine. Something that MIGHT make me faster when I get to Iron Girl in May, or at the very least, just get me to the starting line injury-free.

One of the accountants at work recently became a yogi and started offering classes on Monday nights after work. Since it was free and in the building, I felt I really had no excuses not to give it a try. Heck, maybe I'll even learn to relax? (Nah! That would be a pipe dream)

So, I've been to yoga twice now, and I have to say, it's quite a challenge! My favorite word is "namaste." I have no idea what it translates to, but it basically means "class dismissed," which also means I made it through alive. I've been quite impressed with my ability to relax in downward facing dog.......sweat like I'm going to die while trying to do slow chatarangas.....show off my good balance to those flexible crazies in the room in tree pose....... My shoulders and back are always sore after yoga, as is my stomach, since we do a lot of core work. How exciting is this??

Now, why people think yoga is relaxing is absolutely beyond me. I shake the entire time. I get hot and uncomfortable. I fall on my head. But darnit, I'm doing it! And boy, can I feel the stretches in my IT Band and hip flexors. If this isn't good for me, then I give up.

So it was with great pleasure that I phoned my old boss last night to inform him that I'm finally taking his advice with respect to our annual review..... I'm taking yoga. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Overbudget

The New Year has brought about a lot of talk in our tiny little household. Not just about the usual mundane issues like paying bills, making dinner, or skiing on the weekends....no, we're talking BIG picture here. New house. Dog. Kids. Huge stuff.

So to prepare for all of that, we decided to do a major budget restructuring. We've been living off of one income for a while now, so I thought it would be nice to actually see our savings INCREASE for once without having to stockpile a bonus or a tax refund. So we have "traunches," if you will, for certain expenses. Stuff that is monthly, like rent, cell phones, and other bills, don't get counted, nor does gasoline -- I mean, seriously, am I going to limit how far I drive? So the obvious stuff was groceries, "slush", and our own personal allowances. Hubs and I are giving ourselves each a little somethin' somethin' each month so that we can be selfish yet controlled.

Unfortunately, we've both opted to zero out our allowances for the next 2-4 months by going overbudget in the very first 1/2 of the 1st month we've attempted our budget! Mine's totally legit, though. I'm getting a month-to-month personalized coaching plan from the head coach of my new team. She only takes 10 people a year, so I snatched her up for the next 3 months to get me to "Iron Girl Redemption." She thinks that I'll need more personalized attention now than I will for the 1/2 Ironman....and thinks the 1/2 Ironman Plan that she's written for general consumption will easily get me to the finish line in August. But kicking arse at Iron Girl is going to require lots of work...and she ought to be compensated for it. ;) Of course, this has put me in the hole. Until May. I have $0 to spend on myself until May, but I also need a bike fitting and new tires. Once that's done, I'll have $0 to spend on me until August. Or worse!

Hubby, on the other hand, after getting his snowboard for Christmas, plus boots and bindings on top of that, decided that he wanted a stupid miniature flat-screen HDTV to go in the "man room" with his brand new laptop! I mean, seriously!!! Would you like some champagne and caviar with that?! I just about killed him yesterday when I saw it, but it was 1/2 the price of my 3-months of personalized coaching, so what can I say?? At least my overage is in pursuit of a better body???

Needless to say, this seriously puts a damper on the "saving for a house" fund. And with his champagne tastes and need for new, I'll probably have to suck it up and buy a new construction with all the bells and whistles. We must get a hold of these "overages" NOW before we end up homeless and penniless.

Why must triathlon be so expensive??

At any rate, that's my rant for the day. If anyone in the Denver area has a job for a pilot, you know where to find me. I've got one you can have. For free! Because if he's busy, he won't have time to buy more "stuff." :)