Saturday, April 21, 2012


Last week, we were in Boston to cheer on our friend Kris, who was running in the Boston Marathon. She qualified at Grandma's and this was her first time in Boston.

I've never had the desire to run a stand-alone marathon. While I really like running as part of a triathlon, I don't particularly like the act of running itself. Sure, I do it because I have to, but I don't exactly see me wanting to run a stand-alone marathon anytime soon.

Then I was in Boston.

In addition to getting to see a lot of things with T's college campus (Boston University) and parts of the town I have seen and not seen before, we also got to witness the most coveted marathon on the planet. And I'm not going to lie, there was a part of me that wanted to be an athlete running in the event, not just cheering on.

Which made me think about something. As an athlete, do we have the right to be envious of others' achievements? I mean, certainly our community is one of supporting each other, but it's also an ego-driven community. If it wasn't, you wouldn't see people wearing Boston Marathon jackets, Ironman visors (guilty), various tattoos of all sizes and achievements, medals hanging from the wall (guilty), race bibs, and the list goes on and on and on. Most athletes need to have their egos filled from time to time.

When the marathon was going on, I was cheering nonstop for an hour. I shouted words of encouragement to runners passing by. One guy came over to me and asked if I could level the course next year, another waved when I shouted "Ironman Family!", and more just smiled as they knew that total strangers were supporting them. I remember last year doing Boulder 70.3 and hearing lots of support from both athletes and people on the side of the road, smiling at the encouragement and knowing I would do the same thing someday. At the time though, I didn't wonder if any of them envied me.

Now I wonder.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Crashing One's Bike

If you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (@hockeyspiral23), you saw that on Easter Sunday, I crashed on my bike. I was just about six miles into my ride, on the Cherry Creek Trail portion of Cherry Creek State Park. I was tired and it was a little windy and maybe I should have just sucked it up that day and ridden on the trainer, but I didn't.

I rode outside. And I crashed.

Obviously, I don't 100% remember what happened, but I'm pretty sure I went to swerve around a runner, in aero, probably going 15-20 mph, rode off the paved path just enough to spin out and crash. I remember starting to slide and then being on my back, with people around. I don't think I remember getting off my bike at all ...

I remember getting my phone out so I could have someone call my husband (Brandon). I remember being super glad my phone wasn't broken again so I didn't have to replace it for the third time this year (new 3Gs because of a hardware issue, then a new 4s because of a cracked screen). I remember asking someone to help me get my cleat covers on my shoes.

I remember the paramedics. I vaguely remember being put on the stretcher, but I remember the stretcher going into the ambulance. I also remember the paramedics bringing Bob along with me to the hospital. I called Brandon again and left another message (he was flying). I also called my manager, knowing there was no way I'd be making it into work the next day. I knew my name, and my social security number, but I could not remember my address (remember, I moved about four months ago). I called my parents, too, telling them to meet me at the hospital.

I got to the hospital. I had CT scans, x-rays. I learned I split open my eyebrow and punctured my temple. I fractured my right orbital bone and thankfully, won't need plastic surgery. I got my first ever stitches. My hands, particularly my right, are hamburger and I have some sweet, sweet road rash.

I'm glad I didn't end up signing up for that 5K in Boston on Saturday, because there's no way I'll be able to run it, given the concussion. I'm just glad I'm allowed to travel at this point. And type, although typing this doesn't feel all that great. But I'm stubborn, and I want to feel as normal as I can, even though I have to have Brandon sponge bath me and I'm paying my hairstylist $10 so she can wash my hair for me tomorrow, since I am unable.

My helmet looks all right, but it's blood-spattered and I will undoubtedly be buying a new one before I ride again. My Zeals (sunglasses) are destroyed; one stem gone, the lenses screwed up. Bob's aerobars are scratched to hell, he's got blood splatters himself, and I'm pretty sure that the back brake is bent. (He came out of this better than I did.) My Columbine Primal Wear jersey now has blood stains and my beautiful brand new tri shoes may need replaced, as the right one is scraped to hell. My RoadID may also need replaced, as its metal face is also super scraped up.

But that stuff is all physical. It can be replaced if need be (and most of it needs be). What matters is that I'm okay. That Brandon's company let him come home early so he can help take care of me. That my manager's main concern is me getting better and that she got all my shifts covered this week.

Training will come back. Probably running first, then cycling (trainer first, though) and then swimming. Gotta let all these wounds heal before I want to think about exposing them to ouchy, stinging chlorine. BolderBOULDER goal may not happen, but I'll let that slide for me coming back healthy. Hopefully I can still race this summer; if I can't, though, I'll be thankful I'm okay.

This hasn't derailed IMAZ 2013 plans; it's made me, if anything, more determined to do it. I can survive this; I will come back from this. And I will be stronger.

(and what's an injury post without gory photos? stop reading now if you dislike blood and ickiness.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Working out with a purpose

I saw a thought on another blogger's Facebook profile the other day that intrigued me. He was talking about the amount of miles he's put in over the year and he mentioned that not all his miles have been working out. I thought that was interesting, and then I got to thinking.

This season, without a specific race goal in mind, I'm not going to have a specific training plan to follow like I had with the 1/2 Marathon, the 1/2 Ironman, etc. This year I'll just be grinding it out out there on the road and in the pool. But if I'm just putting in the mileage without a specific goal, will I grow long term?

I know one of my goals is to shed some poundage this year, so obviously working out will help with that. But being that I want to get faster, I need to start approaching my workouts with specific goals in mind. Every time I hit the pool, the bike, or the road, I need to make sure the workout has a purpose. Am I riding to build endurance? Or am I riding to fire up my fast-twitch speed muscles? Am I trying to swim farther and get my muscles used to distance? You get the point.

Each month at the beginning of the month, I have been doing The Pain Cave training DVD. In January, when I did it, I read my training log and realized that I barely survived the DVD. February was a little shorter in terms of distance but according to the log, I was stronger and did better. In March, even better. And today, April 4th, I did the Pain Cave again, and for the first time all year, had to actually dial up the intensity a bit. This is a sign of growth and this is why I'm doing this. In May, we'll see where I'm at again.

Every workout must have a purpose. Whether it be weight loss, gaining speed, endurance, or just to clear my head.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Recap

After two disastrous months in terms of working out, March got me rebounding nicely. While it didn't have incredible volume, it did see me working out much more consistently. Lot more running, cycling rebounded, and my swimming really took off.'s the numbers:

- 5,850 meters of swimming or 3.63 miles
- 61.7 miles of cycling
- 31.64 miles of running
- 5 lifting sessions or 2 hours 12 minutes of strength training
- 55 minutes of yoga, or one session
- 2 hours of timed walking (was probably more, but regardless...)
- 70 minutes of geocaching

Now, here's the important part of my month. There were only 5 days truly taken off. That's right, 5. And in reviewing my training log, I saw that 4 of the 5 were due to needing a rest day from workout fatigue. There was only one that was in there due to letting time slip by.

Also, I feel better about how I look and feel. I know there's still a long way to go, but the foundation is starting to get built.

April is going to be a tough month in terms of how I'm going to be on myself. I want a lot more running and cycling, because come May, the foundation better be there.