Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankful

Wow - this month went by fast!!  I started this project on November 1st.  I managed to keep the Thankful Page updated almost on a daily basis.  I didn't do as well updating Twitter.  I was feeling a bit of info overload on Twitter so I decided to take a break from it. 

Without further ado, here are my 30 days of thankful.

********November 30, 2011****************  

#thankful for a night out with friends.  

********November 29, 2011**************** 

#thankful that is hasn't snowed yet.  In the 33 years of living up North, I have experienced enough snow to last a lifetime.  

********November 28, 2011****************

#thankful that the scale showed a 1 pound loss since last Monday.  

********November 27, 2011****************

#thankful for a new yoga instructor every week.   I am still amazed at how awesome the instructors are at the Y.  

********November 26, 2011****************

#thankful for marathon sessions on the couch with my hubby.  We watched season 1 of the Walking Dead.

********November 25, 2011****************

#thankful to have avoided the shopping malls today

********November 24, 2011****************

#thankful for my Mom.

********November 23, 2011****************

#thankful for my CSA chicken & Moveable Feast blueberry pie that we will be eating tomorrow instead of the traditional turkey & pumpkin pie.  #foodthanks

********November 22, 2011****************

#thankful that I didn't have to traipse between buildings for meetings today in the pouring rain.

********November 21, 2011****************

#thankful for the perfect time of day to swim.  6:45AM.  So far, at that time I always have the lane to myself.  It feels so luxurious to have the lane to myself after having to share the lane the majority of the time.

********November 20, 2011****************
 #thankful for warm, instead of cold, rainy days.  

********November 19, 2011****************  

#thankful for all the folks who adopt little kitty's & doggy's from the humane society.  

********November 18, 2011****************
#thankful for Red Wine.

********November 17, 2011****************

#thankful for root canals.  Yes, I know it sounds crazy.  4 weeks of horrible tooth aches & 2 days after my root canal I have absolutely no pain.

********November 16, 2011**************** 

#thankful for bookclub.

********November 15, 2011****************  

I had a root canal today.  #thankful for painkillers. 

********November 14, 2011**************** 

#thankful for WUKY rocking roots

********November 13, 2011**************** 

#thankful for lazy Sunday mornings. Coincidentally after a super productive Saturday.

********November 12, 2011**************** 

#thankful for super productive Saturdays.

********November 11, 2011****************
 #thankful for our Veterans.  11-11-11

********November 10, 2011****************

#thankful for The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).

Founded in 1998, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) relentlessly pursues innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. By working closely with researchers, clinicians and our partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, we helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments are extending lives around the globe.

I lost my Dad to Multiple Myeloma in 2006.  My hope is MMRF finds a cure soon so that no family has to lose a loved one to this horrible disease. 

********November 9, 2011****************

#thankful for Susan Bradley-Cox for teaching me to swim 2 1/2 years ago!  Every time I step in a pool I will always have her to thank.
My first 1/2 mile Open Water Swim August 2009 - GO TEAM

***********November 8, 2011****************
#thankful for kick butt instructors that work muscles you never knew you had!

***********November 7, 2011****************

#thankful for furry friends that keep me warm on chilly nights.

***********November 6, 2011****************

#thankful for beautiful fall days & riding parters

Today Nina & I rode the Jot 'Em Down loop.  Just over 21 miles of relatively easy Bluegrass roads.  The last time Nina & I rode this loop in early May we rode the last 9 miles in a downpour & high winds.  It was one of those rides that test your mettle.  Fortunately, today was perfect!

***********November 5, 2011****************
#thankful for my biggest supporter, my personal photographer, my cheerleader, aka my hubby
He ran in Team in Training tu-tu.  
Reindeer Ramble 2010
 He put together my 40th bday party
My 40th birthday

He always gets up with me at 4AM to watch me do my triathlon thing.
French Broad Challenge 2011

It is for these & so many other reasons why I love him!

***********November 4, 2011****************

#thankful for a full belly & dinner with a great friend & my hubby..

Dinner at Masala with Nina & Steve.  So yummy!

***********November 3, 2011****************

Blueberry Pancakes for dinner
Mine don't look as good but they taste AWESOME!

***********November 2, 2011****************

Today I am thankful for Physical Therapists & their evil torture devices!

Today was week 5 of PT scraping & my leg is feeling so much better.  I am even running a little.   Fingers crossed that I will be able to run the Thoroughbred Classic on Thanksgiving!

***********November 1, 2011****************

Today I registered for my first 2012 race.  This will be the 3rd year in a row doing this particular race and most likely it will be my last.  Which race?  The Atlanta Iron Girl.  Why the last time?  There are a couple of reasons, well, mainly one.  The race registration is $105 for a sprint triathlon.  Yeah, crazy right?!  This year they raised it $10 over last year.  There is no early registration because this race will sell out in about 3 weeks.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is a great race.  I have really enjoyed participating in the event the last 2 years.  This is a ladies only sprint triathlon and is perfect for first timers.  With the exception of running out of food for the finishers last year it is really well organized event.  I just have a difficult time swallowing the $105 price of admission.  Somehow, $95 didn't seem so bad.  If I am going to stay in triathlon for the long term which is my intent I better just get used to it because it only gets worse with the longer distances.

So today I am thankful that I have the means to afford these crazy race entry fees because I so love to compete in them!!
2010 Iron Girl Finish w/Kara
2011 Iron Girl Finish w/Nina & Allison

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoroughbred Classic & Thanksgiving Day Virtual 5K Reports Plus Beer & Food

Pre-Race Turkey
Steve & I started out the day at Keeneland for the 28th annual Thoroughbred Classic 5K.  He ran.  I cheered & got to catch up with some of my training buddies. They had tons of runners this year.  Someone told me this is the 2nd largest race of the year in Lexington behind the annual Bluegrass 10K on 4th of July.  It was so cool seeing so many folks out on Thanksgiving morning!  There were well over 2000 runners this year. 

Heading to the start

And they are off!
Steve has been working on his 1/2 marathon training plan & needed an updated vdot number so he decided at the last minute to run this race.  Had I not been injured we would have been registered at least a month ago.  We worked all day last Saturday at packet pickup & he still didn't register.  He waited until Tuesday night to register & by then they were out of race T-shirts.  We did get volunteer shirts which are identical to the race shirts with the exception of the word 'volunteer' on the back of it.

Doing good on the first mile
Steve started off awesome.  He first mile was a sub-7 minute.  I was pretty surprised at how far up front he was when I saw him shortly after the  1 mile mark.  The wheels fell off the cart shortly after I saw him here.  He says he got a side stitch going up a hill.  His second mile was a full minute longer than his first mile.  He did manage to work out the side stitch & recover some time in the last mile.  His finish time was 22:09 & he came in 9th in his age group & 150 overall.  Not too shabby for an old dude!
Big sprint to the finish
I spent most of my time hanging out with my training buddies.  I must say, I miss them so much!

Treacy & Me 
Shannon, Treacy & Leila
Christine, Julie, Shannon, Me, Treacy, Nina & Mary
Here is Nina & her friend Molly.  It was Molly's first 5K!  Always fun to see a first timer finish!

Steve won a big tub of pretzels in the door prizes awards.  They are even in the holiday shapes...BONUS!
After we went home & ate pancakes it was time for me to do my Thanksgiving Virtual 5K.   Steve & my Mom walked with me.  After such a crappy weather week it was great to see the sun!  By noon it was sunny & low 50's.  Perfect day for a slow TENZ walk.  

This is a funny picture.  My Mom does not like here picture taken so she was trying to hide behind me.  I love the look on Steve's face.  Not sure if he is making fun of me & my virtual 5K or my Mom's silliness.  Either way this picture cracked me up!

My goal was to walk without pain.  If I did feel any pain I would just turned up the juice.  We walked from the house to the Arboretum & back.  It would be about a 3.3 mile walk.

When we got to the arbo we stopped to check out the new memorial for the victims of Flight 5191.  It is a beautiful sculpture of 49 silver birds taking flight, one for every life lost that day.  It was the first time I had seen the sculpture & was so moved that I forgot to take a picture.  If you are interested, you can read more about it HERE

After checking out the sculpture we continued on our way. No PR's today.  Just a nice, leisurely pain free walk.  My 5K time was 1h01m28s.  My total time & distance:  1h5m47s, 3.34 Miles.  Below are pictures of my fabulous splits. 

After we finished & showered we got busy drinking and a fixin'.  Yep, my cooking always takes better when everyone is drinking!   Instead of a bunch of snacks, we tried out a couple of Chocolate Stouts.  Surprisingly, we all liked them.  I knew I would & I had a feeling Mom would but I was really surprised that Steve liked them too. 
5% Alcohol by Volume - My Fav
10% Alcohol by Volume - Mom's Fav

Instead of the traditional Turkey we cooked one of our CSA chickens on the grill.  For sides we made Ramon Noodle Cole Slaw, Mashed Potatoes & Stuffing along with some Malbec wine.   Everything was delish! 

We aren't done eating yet!  For dessert, we have Blueberry & Pecan Pie.  Yummy. 

Today has been the perfect Thanksgiving.  

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!  Gobble, gobble 'till you wobble!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It seems that Random blog posts are in this week.  

Rambling #1 - Run with Jill is holding her 2nd annual blogger gift exchange.  Last week I was pretty excited about exchanging cards with fellow bloggers & then this week I saw Jill's post about a blogger gift exchange.  Who knew exchanging cards & gifts with virtual friends could be so fun?!  Interested?  Check out Jill's post HERE

Rambling  #2 - Interested in a holiday run challenge?  Then check out Runners World Run Streak HERE   It starts on Thanksgiving & ends on New Years Day.  Run at least 1 mile a day & tweet about it using hashtag #RWRunStreak.  I soooo wish I could participate! 

Rambling #3 - Today I read about the 100 mile swim club over at average girl doing average things.  Since I can't do #2 above I thought this may be exactly what I need.

Thinking it through I did a few quick conversions.  100 miles = 176,000 yards, every lap is 25 yards = 7,040 laps.  I typically swim 60 - 80 laps (1500 - 2000 yards) per swim.  So, on average it will take about 100 workouts to reach 100 miles.  Considering I only swim 2 times a week it will take about 50 weeks to swim 100 miles.  If I start this Sunday, 11/27, I would be swimming mile 100 sometime around November 12, 2012.  3 times a week has me swimming mile 100 around July 20, 2012.  Even if I swam a mile every day it wouldn't be until around March 7th that I swim mile 100.  Shit.  Really?  Not exactly the challenge I was looking for.   Right now I am more suited to an 'eat a 100 cookies' challenge.  I could have that hammered out in like 2 days tops.  Maybe even 36 hours.

Rambling #4 - Interested in joining a team in 2012?  Then check out Team Tough Chik HERE   This team is open to all women.  You can sign up now through January 1st.

Rambling  #5 - As of right now, I am still planning on participating in the Virtual Thanksgiving 5K. I plan to walk hooked up to my TENZ unit.  Fingers crossed for no pain! You can still sign up HERE

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Electrifying Walk

Last Friday I asked my Chiropractor if my TENZ unit would help with my Piriformis issue.  TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation & is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes (thanks Wikipedia).  My actual unit is called TENZ, I guess the company is trying to be hip or something.

My chiro said it couldn't hurt & showed me where to put the electrodes.  He then told me to try a 30 minute walk with the electrodes in place & as time went by keep cranking up the intensity.  He also said if I felt any pain to turn it up even more.

Saturday morning I decided to give it a shot.  If you haven't already figured it out, I will try just about anything at this point.  My TENZ unit has 2 sets of electrodes, 2 leads each.  

My Chiro told me to put one set on my groin & hip.  The other set was put on my right butt cheek (or as my chiro likes to call it, 'my brain') & the top of my hamstring.

Top of my Hamstring
My Brain

My Groin & Hip

Once the probes were attached & my gear was on I headed to the basement.  I set the treadmill to 3.6 mph, set the TENS unit to about 2 (out of 10) & started my 30 minute walk.  Unless you really like the feel of electrical shock you need to turn up the TENZ unit slowly.  The unit makes the muscles feel twitchy/tingly.  After a few minutes you get used to the sensation so it is good to turn it up every 5-10 minutes.  After 20 minutes I had the unit turned up to 5 & was feeling some serious muscle contractions.  If my muscles were hurting the pain was masked by the TENZ unit.  With about 5 minutes left in my walk I turned off the unit to see how my butt & leg were feeling.  After about a minute I could feel my hamstring a little bit but not nearly like I felt earlier in the week when I tried a 1 mile walk.  I finished off the walk feeling pretty good.  

Afterwards I headed to yoga class.  At the end of class I still felt pretty good.  Most of the day my pain level was around a 1 out of 10.

The next morning I didn't have any pain in my butt, hip flexor or hamstring but one of the muscles in the front of my leg was really sore.  It was the same muscle that was really getting juiced during the walk.  I took the rest of the day off from any exercises.  The pain level was between a 0-1 all day.

Overall, I think the test was a success & in a couple days I will give it another a shot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding My Inner Yogi

Five weeks ago I wrote the Feeling Optimistic post and at the time I was.  Yesterday, I just felt frustrated.  This morning I went for my 7th physical therapy session & basically I have the same pain as I did 5 weeks ago.  Fortunately, the pain hasn't gotten worse it just hasn't gotten any better either.  Part of my frustration is because for a couple of weeks I thought it was get better but as it turned out the pain was masked by large doses of Ibuprofen.

5 years ago all I did was Yoga.  I loved Yoga.  It made me strong.  In 2008 I started spinning, in the spring of 2009 I started jogging, in the summer of 2009 I signed up for my first triathlon with Team in Training and all of a sudden Yoga took a backseat.  I barely practiced.   I was in the pool 3x a week, riding 2x, & running 3x.  I didn't have time for Yoga.  In September 2009 I became a triathlete.  I fell in love with the sport.  I couldn't stop researching races, reading magazines & books.  Along the way I have met some awesome people who I now call friends but I turned my back on my yoga practice.

I do miss the 2+ hour workouts, the sweating, the feeling I have after a really hard workout.  Crazy, 5 years ago all the training didn't seem appealing to me.  Since I have quite a bit of spare time these days, I have been reading several blogs.  The story is the same for running & triathlon blogs.   Somewhere along the line you decide to sign up for a triathlon or running race.  Maybe you finally decided to lose the weight once & for all.  Maybe someone told you you couldn't do it.  Maybe it is the only way you can honor a loved ones memory.  You have never done something so crazy before.  Heck, I couldn't swim when I signed up for my first triathlon.  You put in hours & hours of long, hard work & in 14 weeks time you are a triathlete.  When you crossed that first finish line you realized that if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything.  That, is an amazing feeling.

I decided late last week that I would go back to doing Yoga several days a week.  This weekend, I went both Saturday & Sunday.  At the end of yesterday's practice the instructor read this quote from the Dalai Lama “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 

Today I read Katie's post over at Will Run for Carbs & it made me laugh.  It resonated so well with me because it was so true.  I do feel like every post is about my injury (which it is) & I do feel like I am whining a lot (which I am).  I realize that this will soon pass & in the meantime I need to re-adjust my expectations. 

It is so silly for me to be frustrated with not being able to run or ride.  I mean really, I can still do so many other things.  I will still post about my recovery not to feel sorry for myself but to document the progress I am making.  In the meantime, I am going to do as many Pilates, Yoga & Strength training classes as I can fit into my schedule.  I am also going to walk a few 5Ks just for fun. 

Thanks for reading!  Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Blogger Fun

Here are a couple of cool bloggy things to get involved with over the holidays.  Neither of them take a bunch of time but seem like cool ways to virtually meet & get to know fellow bloggers.

One is the Holiday Card Exchange hosted by (Just) Trying is for Little Girls.  Getting/sending cards from/to perfect strangers?!  How fun!  Seriously, I think it sounds cool!  Not only does it give me an opportunity to get introduced to new bloggers but my plan is to create a cool card that showcases Kentucky, running/triathlon & the holidays.  I am not sure how I will do that but at least that is my plan!   I admit that it has been a few years since I sent out Christmas cards.  Not sure why other than I got lazy.  Maybe this will motivate me to dust off my old Christmas card list!

The other holiday blogging event that I am signing up for is The Thanksgiving Virtual 5K hosted by Daily Vitamin F.  I had planned to run our local Thoroughbred Classic 5K on Thanksgiving but considering I am still not running & I don't feel like paying to walk a 5K I decided to volunteer at the race & enter this free virtual 5K instead.  You can get your 5K in anyway you see fit as long as you do it on Thanksgiving.  I will be walking it, hopefully with Steve & my Mom who will be here for the holiday.

Are you ready for the holidays?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Recovery - Part 3


It seems when you cannot run you see runners everywhere.  Last night on my way home I saw hundreds of them.  It made me sad, mad, frustrated all in one.   Being injured can be so trying on your mental state. 


Today was my 6th visit to my physical therapist and we had a bit of a set back.  Since my last visit my pain has actually increased.  It dawned on me over the weekend that I may have been inadvertently masking the pain.  You see, about 3 weeks ago I had some dental work done.  They replaced some old silver fillings & a week later one of my teeth really started hurting.  After some adjustments to the tooth my dentist had me take Ibuprofen for the pain which helped immensely.  She started me at 3200mg a day which after a day I dropped to 2400 mg / day...still a lot!   I started to drop down the dosage last Thursday which coincided with my last PT visit.  I continued to drop the dosage over the past few days which at the same time my pain started to increase. 

I did ride on Sunday which didn't help my physical pain but sure did wonders for my mental state at least temporarily.  I took Monday off from running & only did stretching along with the PT exercises.  This morning the pain was minimal & I didn't feel any pain during Pilates either.  At lunch time I went to PT & she did the deep tissue massage & scraping.  She also had me do some stretches & reformer exercises.  The pain was definitely there during the session.  At the end she told me to take the week off from the walk / run but that I could try water jogging. 

My biggest fear is that I won't be able to run or cycle again without pain.   At least I can still swim.  Tomorrow morning I will do a 1500 swim + 15 minutes of water jogging. 

Maybe next week will be better....


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