Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cheering at Chilly Cheeks: Part Two

Since I was pretty much out of commission all last week with shingles still (grrrrrr ...), I don't have a featured workout post, unfortunately.

However, last Saturday was the third in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series (remember?) and I went and cheered again (this time with Brandon). Jeanne didn't race, but Kristen and Jenna did.

Had I not gotten shingles, I may have actually raced this one. Weather was warm-ish ... but it was super windy by the time the race started, so who knows.

In any case, we had fun walking up to the park and cheering on all the athletes.

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Kristen in the first wave of athletes.

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And Kristen is off!

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Jenna waiting to start, rocking her new Hammer Nutrition kit.

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Kristen coming back in off the bike, into a nasty headwind.

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Jenna after hammering the bike leg.

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Jenna starting the run leg.

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Brandon waiting at the finish line.

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Waiting at the finish.

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Jenna finishing.

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When your first thought is to collapse after crossing the finish line, you gave it your all.

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Group shot! I look awkward because the herpes side is the side near Jenna - can't get too close. Hurts too much.

Chilly day, but a lot of fun. Hopefully next time I'm at a race it's to actually, y'know, race though ...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Things I Love: RoadID

As a reminder: I am not sponsored in any way by RoadID (though if they want to change that, I'm all for it). I just love their product and pimp it out whenever possible.

If you're an athlete reading this blog and you DON'T know what a RoadID is, FAIL. GIANT FAIL ON YOU.

A RoadID is, simply put, what it says. An ID you wear while you're on the road. Or at work. Or sitting on the couch. Mine has my name, year of birth, place of residence (city/state/zip), two contacts (my mom and the hubby) and a motivational phrase ("the only way out is through." duh.). Brandon's has his bee allergy. The one I bought for my dad says he's allergic to sulfa and has sarcoidosis (although I should get him a new one that says he's got heart issues, too).

I wear one because I run and ride and put myself at risk (crashing occasionally). While I don't often ride alone, I do run alone quite a bit and if something happens to me, I want people to know who I am. I don't want to be some random Jane Doe; I don't want my family to worry about me.

I bought one for my dad because he walks a lot. Yes, he usually brings his wallet, but what if that got stolen? Dad has a drug allergy - if something happens to him while out walking, I want medical personnel to know that about him.

We put on Brandon's that he's allergic to bees because he is - quite allergic. If he's on the ground puffing up, we want people to know that a bee sting might be the reason why and to get some epinephrine in that kid, stat.

RoadID has a somewhat cheesy tagline (well, their new one, the one they've had for a few years now) - It's Who I Am. Thing is, it's not cheesy; it's true when it comes to us.

We wore ours on our wedding day:

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Cutting the cake, the safe way.

They were, predictably, present at Ironman Arizona:

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Matching wristbands AND RoadIDs. Gotta always wear the RoadID to athlete check-in to make sure the bracelet fits around it.

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In the background on the box on the right, you can kind of see the old slogan - Be Seen Wearing It.

As you can see, my red one is scratched up (but still legible) from my bike crash. I wear it to work every day - I get some crap from it, but there's always the off chance, what-if - what if I'm driving home and I crash and my purse goes flying and the RoadID is the only way of IDing me? Okay, chance in a million, but who knows, right? I also joke that since I've fainted at work before, it's necessary. I also get asked about it enough at work that I find it worthwhile to wear it so I can tell people about how handy it is.

I wear it always when I travel (you can wear it through security!). It really, truly is who I am.

And if you're an athlete of ANY sort reading this - or someone who loves an athlete - please, please consider buying a RoadID for yourself/said athlete. If you have a detailed medical history or a lengthy list of allergies, RoadID sells interactive ones that have a log-in code where paramedics just have to go to a Web site and all the pertinent information is online, right there at their fingertips. You will get treated properly and, most importantly, your loved ones will know you're safe. If you don't like bracelets, they have dog tags, ankle bracelets, shoe pouches/shoe IDs ... check out the site, and you will find something you will like.

RoadID. It's who I am, and it should be who you are, too.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Out of Commission

WARNING: GROSS PHOTO AHEAD

Yes, I know I missed Monday's blog post. I was going to use today's content for Monday, but I was kind of in too much pain to really do anything (work has been hell the last two days).

The reason for this?

Shingles.

Yep, body herpes/adult chickenpox. I had chickenpox when I was a kid - about 10 spots; out of school for two days - and have seen all the commercials about shingles, but it's typically an old person disease (50s/60s). The two main reasons anyone gets it are (1) high stress; or (2) a weakened immune system.

Life hasn't been really stressful lately and yeah, I've felt like crap recently (see: last Wednesday's post), but I feel like I've had a weaker immune system before and this hasn't popped up before.

In any case, it started off with random skin tingling. I hesitate to use the word "pain," but it felt like there was something on my side to cause the weird feeling, but when I looked, nada. Then, late Thursday night, I noticed a few spots. I don't know what made me think "shingles," but I started looking it up. Friday, the few spots turned into many ... and they spread from my side to my back. I called and got a doctor's appointment. Saturday, it started getting worse, but I still felt okay. Sunday ... it started escalating. I also missed my Sunday swim/lift workout for probably the first time this year.

Sunday night I slept like crap because I could not find a comfortable position. I was miserable Monday and that afternoon, I officially got diagnosed - yep, shingles. I got prednisone - a steroid (which I swear I'm on at least once a year - get it for death plague, too) - and Valtrex, the herpes medicine (because yes, I have a form of herpes now. blargh.).

The meds helped enough to let me sleep Monday night and nap a whole bunch Tuesday afternoon, but the downside is that I slept in such a way to make my back hurt.

Since shingles essentially affects a nerve in the core, my back and abs are KILLING me. It feels like I've done hours and hours of core work and I haven't; it's just this damn virus. Thankfully I got Lyrica (yay more drugs. I hate drugs) which helps with nerve pain and I was able to sleep in a somewhat normal position last night AND wake up and not be in miserable pain. Seriously, I broke down crying yesterday a few times thanks to the pain.

When I read up on shingles early on, it said that many people often describe the pain as "excruciating." I thought to myself, "Oh, this sucks, but it's not that bad."

Yeah. No. "Excruciating" is a pretty damn good word to describe this hell.

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Taken this morning.

I'm dutifully taking my meds, because this seriously sucks.

Other Training News:

- I missed my swim Sunday because while I'm not technically contagious, I can spread this crap through water. Unfortunately, until it clears up, I shall not be swimming. Boo.

- Last week just might have been my first three run week since pre-IMAZ. The weather finally turned nice for a change and I was able to get out three times - a hopeful harbinger of the future ... but body herpes is having something to say about that. Dangit.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2/3-2/9: Resting Up

Last week was not a good week in terms of working out - I was, quite literally, a weekend warrior. Yep, Monday through Friday, my view pretty much looked like this:

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Except not always with the husband in the background.

I don't entirely know what happened, but I do know that I had no energy last week. I spent a lot of time wrapped up in blankets on the couch, or snuggled up in bed either reading or on my computer. A few possible factors:

- It was ass cold out. Pitiful excuse, I know, but when the temperatures are single-digit to negatives, motivation for someone who has nothing to train for is non-existent.
- Diet went to hell. And, as we all know, what we put into our bodies makes a huge difference in how we feel. I eat like crap? I feel like crap.

But, most likely, body went into self-defense mode. A few times in the past week, my orange juice has tasted a bit funky. Usually when that happens, that's a sure sign I'm getting sick. However, death plague has - to this point *knocks on wood*/*crosses fingers* - not made an appearance. Therefore, I'm going to thank my body's built-in survival mode to not want to weaken my immune system any more by working out in the cold.

Five days off right now aren't a bad thing if they end up preventing two or three weeks of crap workouts due to plague (I've gotten death plague* quite a bit over the past few years and therefore know the cycle).

So, featured workout for last week? Was an internal battle inside making me hibernate so as to not get sick.


* death plague - also known as cold that typically turns into a sinus infection and/or bronchitis. Had it last January. It's awful.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Things I Love: Body Glide

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In this, the second installment of the "Things I Love" series, I give you ... Body Glide.

I don't talk about it often, but I have stupid feet. I have hereditary bunions - bad ones - on both feet. That, and an allergy to my own foot sweat (seriously, I know) means I tend to get blisters a lot - especially when running. Type of sock really doesn't matter - I get hotspots and blisters.

However, since discovering Body Glide a few years ago, my problems have been a lot less. I always take the few extra moments in transition to Body Glide my feet and I had all the above-pictured mini tubes of the stuff in all of my special needs bags at IMAZ.

I apply some to my feet every time I run and in certain spots under my race kit. I know there are other brands out there, but I've always had good luck with Body Glide.


REMINDER: I am not sponsored by Body Glide (though if they'd like to change that, I'm all ears. *wink*); I just use and love their product.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Being an Inspiration

Recently, I've been in contact with a (former) crew scheduler at Republic named Brenton, who learned I did Ironman Arizona.  His intrigue about the event is refreshing and it gives me great pleasure to fill him in on the events that took place nearly 3 months ago.

I've never thought of myself as an inspiration.  I'm just me.  A regular butter/corn/milk drinking Midwestern boy.  Loyal to my Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota State Fair, I'm a simple guy.  I am not used to the burden of being an inspiration; yet I'm also finding it to be refreshing and humbling.

So it got me to thinking: what inspires me?

I think the answer lies with guys like Brenton.  People who are impressed with what I've done and who I am.  People who are proud of me.  

I vow to continue doing good things, so that others may be inspired as well.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1/27-2/2: Out in the Snow

It's cold pretty much everywhere in the U.S. It's snowing in many, many places. We all kinda hate it, but we can't avoid the polar vortex completely when it comes to training.

I don't get on my bike outside - wee, trainer - but since I'm not back into full training, I'm not going to run on a treadmill.

So, Saturday the 1st, I got outside and I ran.

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It was cold, and I only ran about two miles, but it felt really good to get out in the cold and run.

Monday, February 3, 2014

January Round-Up

Okay, we're a few days into February and since this weekend was kind of odd given the Super Bowl (#FailuresInOrange #UnitedInMisery)(yes I'm a Broncos fan) ... I'm copping out on the Monday post and doing my monthly round-up. No, I don't particularly care.

Anyway. January's numbers:

Running: 15.47 mi
Swimming: 5900m (3.67 mi)
Cycling: 65.22 mi
Lifting: five sessions (1h55)
Other: six stretch sessions (1h10), two walks (55min), ice skating (45min)

Nothing earth shattering, but I'm getting back into the groove of things.

Speaking of which ... let's do a goal check:

Did I hit January's goal of 10 minutes a day? No. I had three off days. All three were time management fails combined with exhaustion. Two of the three days were the last two days of the month. I got a bit beat up and my diet went to hell which obviously means no motivation. Sad, but unfortunately true.

That being said, the whole point of January's goal was to get back into the habit of working out, which I definitely am. I'm excited to move again. I'm also not going to beat myself up for an off day here or there. I probably should take more, but be smarter about taking them.

Did I do something not S/B/R related? Yes! I got back on ice skates and it was fabulous.

Am I strength training regularly? Yes! At least once a week right now. Ideally I'd like to do more, but if I have 52 sessions due to just one lift a week, it's still "regularly."

Am I injury-free? So far, so good. *crosses fingers*

February, I'm hoping for strength. I want to continue to build the base and add in a little intensity - some harder trainer sessions, for sure - but continue to do a bit more. I'm not necessarily going to care if I do something every day, but I'd like to at least do as much as I did, numbers-wise, in February if not quite a bit more.