Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More Road Blocks

Just going to cut and paste this whiny diatribe from the BT Blog...

With one comment - Randy Pausch stated in his inspriational video on youtube - "Roadblocks are there to test your committment to your goals."

1:30pm Ugh. I am always so tired on Wednesdays. I went to bed latish after volleyball last night (11:30), then woke up feeling crappy in the middle of the night AGAIN. This is really start to annoy me. (Maybe it's because I had a clubhouse at the pub for dinner? I dunno...) Anyway, I was awake for close to an hour then felt better and went back to sleep. Had turned the alarm off the day before and forgotten to turn it back on so woke up with a start 20 minutes late. Had to get ready and leave in a rush.

I am SUPPOSED to run right after school - calves are aching where they were stripped yesterday. They hurt to touch. Not sure how the run is going to feel. Plus it looks like rain.

I am also SUPPOSED to swim from 5-6pm. I hope I can make myself go....


3:00 PM

Run - 14:00min 1.65 kms 08m 29s/KM

Well my run sucked. As soon as I put my shoes on, the top of my left foot hurt a lot, even with the orthotics removed. I walked for 4 min and all the while, my foot was killing me. I could barely stand it. I knew it was going to be bad when I started running and I began to worry that I might on my way to stress fracture. I did 1:00 run and owie in the shins AND the foot. Walked a bit, then another 1:00. Still hurting. Next interval I went longer thinking maybe I could work it out. Everything felt a teensy bit better but still pretty bad. At 7 min decided to turn around. Did 2 more 2:00 intervals on the way back and then walked. Insert swear words here. Iced my foot and shins. Try again another day. %#^%$#$

6:00 run
14:00 total



I am so PO'ed right now. I finally made a very hard, what I thought was well-informed, decision to get the PRK laser eye surgery next Tuesday. After I got home from work, they called to go over some 'details' and make my final measurement appointment. This time they informed me that, because of my high prescription, they will be doing the surgery in two phases, about 4-6 months apart. The short story means - it will take 4-6 months for my vision to stabilize and I will have to wear glasses all summer. Then I will have to go through the whole procedure again - the week of pain and/or discomfort. The 4-5 days off work. The week or so without driving. The months of eye drops and artificial tears. Then finally, the 1-2 months of adjusting to monovision. In other words, if I get the surgery on Tuesday, I won't have 'normal' vision until next Christmas.

I have to make a new decision by tomorrow.

• go thru the whole procedure twice
• wear glasses this summer, can't wear sunglasses like I wanted
• spend $3800
• chance of infection
• time off work twice, no swimming for two weeks twice, no driving for a week, twice

• Whether I do it or not, I will still have to wear glasses this summer
• my temporary glasses will be much lower prescription, cheaper, more style choice with lower prescription, may not have to wear them all the time
• I can get prescription goggles that are my actual prescription
• I will have better vision this summer even if it isn't as good as I had expected
• I will be glasses-free by fall/Christmas.
• I get a week off work twice.

I am still so angry about the fact that they did not tell me this in my consult that it is clouding my judgement. DH thinks I should probably go ahead with it but I just don't know right now. Urgh....

And now, I missed swimming because I was too upset to go....

I should just go to bed and start again tomorrow..... Frickety Frick Frick.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

End of Week Seven (Feb. 17-23)

Well it was yet another up and down week. I wonder if I'll ever had a week where I actually do everything I intended AND feel good doing it?

Overall, I am happily surprised that I have had the energy to do most of my workouts each week because before I started, I was usually so tired and sleepy after work that I couldn't imagine working out. However, not surprisingly I guess, exercise seems to give me energy and I usually have no trouble being motivated to get out here and do it.

The highlight of this week was my PT appointment with Roy on Tuesday. I was actually there for 2 full hours although admittedly some of it was waiting time. We had a long talk first and he did some initial checks of my legs, hips, shins etc. Then he had me go out onto the track and run a bit. He got me to loosen up my upper body because I carry my arms too tight and he also noticed that my knees sometimes bump when I run. This is consistent with what the pedorthist noticed when she videotaped me running. Once in awhile, my foot crossed over a bit and landed in front of my body instead of straight in line. Roy thought this could be adding to my leg problems. He thought that I could probably correct it just by the simple awareness of it. I did try to keep it in mind during my runs later in the week but I guess I won't really know unless I get Erik to videotape me again sometime in the future.

Anyway, after the run, we talked a bit about the squats and he watched me do double leg and single leg squats. Again, my knee was pronating (?) inward a bit and he thought that I probably need to strengthen my abductors, just like Erik, so from now on, I am going to do squats with no weights, but with a band around my knees to hold them apart. The one-legged squats hurt my glutes and they were sore for a few days afterward...

After evaluating me, he told me that he believes my orthotics are doing their job, I don't seem to be pronating and that the pain is likely because the initial injury never properly healed. Since rest (for months) didn't help, he did not think any further rest would be of any advantage so he encouraged me to continue my walk/run program and to listen to my body as I always do and cut back if necessary. Then he had me soak in the hot whirlpool bath for about 15 minutes and then stretch my calves on the leg press. After, I had to lie down while he tried to work out the knots along my shins by digging his knuckles into the sore area and rubbing firmly up my leg to 'strip" the knots out. It was supposed to be very painful but I did not find it too awful. He did both sides until they were pretty warm and red but they did not feel too bad. We decided I would go see Josie the following week and have it done again, and then again one week later. If I do not see reasonable improvement in that time, he thinks we should consider doing acupuncture although he admitted that it would be fairly uncomfortable.

By the time I left, it was too late to go to the gym but I had a plan set in motion.

1. Run as usual. Listen to my body and adjust as usual.
2. Do the calf stretches on the stairs every day.
3. Make two appointments with Josie to strip my shins again, one week apart.
4. Do the abductor exercises with the elastic band.
5. Adjust my squat exercises and use the elastic band as well.

My calves were really sore to the touch for the next 3 days and I had to adjust my workouts a bit but I did do my planned runs as usual. I did not do any squats on my next gym day though.

• I had two good swims this week (Mon and Wed) and I did go to the gym on Thursday.

• I did all 3 of my runs this week, running about 3.6 km each time with 13:00-15:00 of running over 30:00 total. Did more 2:00 run intervals.

• Friday night we had a late steak dinner and I woke up feeling sick in the middle of the night. On Saturday I did my morning run, had an appointment with the financial planner so had to skip my swim, and then went out for our first outdoor ride of the year! Did 1:45 on the mountain bike. I worked fairly hard but my Garmin battery was dying and HRM data was not accurate so it's hard to say how I really did. My overall avg speed was terribly slow (18 kmh) but we did do some toodling and some hills in the neighbourhood... But even on the flats, I only avg about 24 kmh.

It took me 5:39 to go up Gordon Hill. Last year, I did it in 6:00 on the MT Bike so this was an improvement I guess. I was not trying super hard though. Before and after the ride, I still felt a bit off, and then we went out for dinner at a friend's and I ate a lot of rich, heavy food, which again did not agree with me over night. Today I am feeling a bit nauseous and tired and have not yet gone to the gym OR ridden the trainer. I'm not sure I will either. I think I just might have a nap and do some stretching... So - I'm not sure if I have a bit of a bug, or if it's just the bad food that I'm not used to... I tasted good though. :)

On a personal note, I balanced my cheque book and paid all my bills today and found I still had money left in my account! What a great feeling! I have enough to pay for my laser eye surgery next week and will only have to dip into my savings for my new bike. I also learned that I really can retire at 55 which means only 7 more school years to go!!! Erik should be able to retire in 2 more years.

Plan for Week Eight (Feb. 24-Mar. 1)

Sun - gym and trainer? (Probably not)
Mon - run 2:45, (dentist 4:00) swim 5-6pm (assuming my tummy troubles are gone)
Tue - gym 3:00, massage 4pm (volleyball 8pm)
Wed - run, swim
Thu - (staff meeting) gym in evening?
Fri - rest day (or gym if I didn't go Thu)
Sat - run, swim, bike

Plan for Week Nine March 2-8

Sun - gym and bike
Mon - run, swim, (volleyball meeting 6:15)
Tue - massge 9am, laser eye surgery
Wed - rest
Thu - rest? (easy trainer?)
Fri - rest? run?
Sat - See how I feel.

No swimming for two weeks....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

End of Week Six (Feb. 10-16)

Well overall, this was a great week! Apart from my relatively crappy runs on Monday and Wednesday, everything went pretty smoothly and I was able to do all of my planned workouts with the exception of the gym on Thursday (Jesse's dentist appt conflicted). I am optimistic that I will begin to solve my calf problems by cutting out the squats and should start to see if that's the case by Wed/Thurs.

Plan For Week Seven

This is supposed to be a rest week but I am loathe to cut back since I've missed workouts on an ongoing basis the last week few weeks. I think I will listen to my body and if I'm tired on any particular day, I'll cut back mileage or intensity, or just skip it.

Sun - gym this morning, easy trainer this afternoon
Mon - Run at 6am if I can, or in evening. Swim 5-6pm.(eye appt at 3pm)
Tue - PT appt at 3:15. Gym after if I can fit it in.
Wed - Run 2:45, swim 5-6pm
Thu - Gym, easy bike if I feel like it
Fri - rest
Sat - run, swim, bike as usual

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Trying to solve the leg problems

I've been trying to figure out why doing squats hurts my quads so much, when in theory, they should be the strongest part of my body. After my 2nd run this week (Wed), my calves were hurting quite a bit again and I was getting frustrated. I know that doing squats doesn't hurt my shins per se, but it does tire my legs in general and I can't help that it all might be connected.

My quads may tire more easily than I expected because I run one day and go to the gym the next day and repeat this, with swimming thrown in as well, then on the weekends, I ride the trainer. Pretty well all of these activities work my quads, and affect my calves. Every day it's a different exercise but there's no real recovery happening.

So, I've decided to try something. For the next two weeks, I will not do squats at the gym. I'll do the upper body work and the leg press, which feels good but doesn't hurt, and I'll do all the stretching. I will continue to run and bike and swim but I am hoping that without the extra 'squats" stress, the legs will get more of a break on T and Th and I might find a little relief from the leg pain. This is turn might help calf and shin pain when I run if I don't work my legs much on the days in between runs.

So, let's try it and see.

I did not go to the gym today because Jesse had a dental appt and it's Valentine's Day and we're having a special supper, and most of all, I'm so tired, I could fall asleep sitting up. :)

Here are my running times for the build up. Let's see if there's a pattern.

Week 2 - Jan 6-12
- 1X - 3.1km - 11:00 run - 27:00 total (1:00/1:00)

Week 3 - Jan 13-19
- 3X - 9.5km - 42:00 run - 74:00 total (1:00/1:00)

Week 4 - Jan 20-27
- 3X - 10.4km- 44:30 run - 82:00 total (1:30/1:00) pain

Week 5 - Jan 28-2
- 2X - 4.8km - 19:00 run - 39:00 total (2:00/1:00)

Week 6 - Feb 3-9
- 3X - 9.1km - 32:00 run - 79:00 total (1:00/1:00)

Week 7 - Feb 10-17
- 1X - 3.8km - 13:00 run - 30:00 total (1:00+1:30/1:00)
- 1X - 3.8km - 13:00 run - 32:00 total (1:00+1:30/1:00) pain
- 1X - 4.0km - 15:00 run - 33:30 total (1:00+1:30+2:00/1:00)

- 3X - 11.6km- 41:00 run - 95:00 total

Sunday, February 10, 2008

End of Week Five

Well I already posted about the changes I'm making so there's not a lot more to say about this week. My workouts yesterday went great - I really like Saturdays. I went for a careful run in the morning, a long swim at noon, and a medium but easy trainer ride in the late afternoon.

Run - I woke up with sore calves from the teensy bit of running I did at the orthoped on Thursday. I massaged them a bit, put the heating pad on them a bit, stretched a bit, then went out for my run. I kinda of felt like once I started the kinks would work themselves out and I was right. I walked for a full 4 minutes before starting to run then I did 1:00 minute intervals for a bit, then 1:30, then one 2:00 just to see how it felt. All that time I had minimal or no calf pain. Often I felt like I could just keep running but again, I resisted the urge. That is a big challenge for me. I ended it with 4 minutes of walking and did a 30 minute total time out there with about 12-13 minutes of running. Sunday morning, I'm felling good.

Swim - I made sure I was at the pool right at 12 so I could get a full hour in. Managed about 55 minutes by the time the kids were out of the pool. I downloaded a slightly harder swim workout that was 1400m in total and I did the whole thing as closely as I could. I find the drills kind of hard to do as far as technique is concerned so I worry a bit that I'm practicing bad habits, but I really do feel my freestyle stroke is coming along well and I felt really good swimming yesterday. I was easily able to do the 100m sets with :30 breaks and the 16X25m with :10 breaks. I will check out the schedule and see when I can fit in 1-2 sessions with a private instructor again. I don't care what it costs.

Bike - It was late and I was a little tired and lazy. Couldn't bring myself to do a hard ride today so will have to do it Sunday. I just sat there and spun for 52 minutes, zone 1.5 most of the time avg HR 125.

Orthoped Appt Recap

I guess I should talk a bit about my visit with Kirstin, my orthoped on Friday. She had me run again and we watched the videotape together. She said I was still pronating (is that a verb??) a little on the right foot but not enough to cause the pain I'm having so she referred me to Roy Gillespie, the PT at Pinnacle. It'll take me 10 days to get my appt and then I'll go back to see Kirstin again in case anything needs adjustment. I told her about the irritation I'm now feeling on the top of my left foot but we decided not to deal with that until I've seen Roy. So she faxed off my info and I made an appt for Feb. 19th. Looking forward to it. I must admit I still have some discomfort when I wake up (because of my sleep position I guess) and I do still have to 'click' my lower back into place 3-4 times a day, so that is all connected.

Here's the plan for the coming week.

Sun - hard trainer (I hope) and gym
Mon - run and swim
Tue - gym (and volleyball)
Wed - run and swim
Thu - gym (bike in evening??)
Sat - run, swim, bike

Can I bitch about the doing squats for a moment?

I am somewhat confused about my inability to do squats without pain. When I started at the gym, I was pretty out of shape in that regard with the exception of my legs which are pretty strong given all the biking I've been doing for the past 3 summers.

I have been trying to follow Joe Friel's Triathlon training plan as closely as I can, taking into consideration what he says about beginners, and women, and people my age. He suggests that I may choose to stick with the AA stage of the strength program the first year because I'm new to multi-sport. That makes lots of sense so I figured I would. However, I did think that I may be able to venture into the MS and MT stages for the legs portion because I am relatively strong in that area and definitely not a newbie when it comes to cycling. Well amazingly enough, it is that specific area where I seem to have the most trouble. I have had to cut back my reps/sets/weight for my squats several times. Some days I do the workout and feel fine and other days, my quads are hurting for a day or two after. According to the schedule, I am to do 3-5 sets of 20 reps with 40-60% of my 1 rep max. I calculated my 1RM to be about 75 lbs when I started. The bar a,one weighs 45lbs and I just didn't find I was able to handle it comfortably and it was always busy so I switched over to hand weights instead. I tried 2X15 and that was too hard to went down to 2X10. That's quite a bit less than the 45lb bar but maybe holding hand weights is different from holding a bar on your shoulders?? I dunno. After a couple weeks, when I bumped everything up to 4 sets, I found I was unable to keep that up with the squats. And then I when my legs were tired, I dropped down to 15 reps instead of 20. I seem to be going backwards. And what's really amazing is that in the MT and MS stage, I'm supposed to be able to do 3-6 squats with 1.3 times my body weight!!! That's about 150+lbs. Bwwwahahaaaha. I don't think so.

Anyway, I'm going to keep slogging along with whatever seems comfortable, but it sure seems like an anomaly and I'd love someone to explain it to me...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Woman's Perogative....

Who says I'm not flexible??

OK, I changed my mind about the Masters Swim Cub after all that hemming and hawing. It's kind of funny really. I left the first Monday swim feeling good - confident, a good workout that pushed me, people were nice enough etc - so I was going to start going on a regular basis Monday and Wednesday nights and do a swim on my own on Saturdays.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, I got to thinking. 8:30-9:30 is a really hard time to make myself get up, drive 20 minutes, and workout. Although the workout was good, and the coach was nice and showed me how to do a lot of stuff, she emphasized that this was a general swim club and that the emphasis would NOT be on freestyle. I had figured - that's fine, I don't mind learning mew strokes and time in the water is always good right? But at the same time, when I was swimming nobody was correcting my stroke or giving me any feedback. They are busy, they set up the program, they watch people in general, and they teach you how to do things, but they don't give one-on-one feedback. I started thinking that if I don't get much (or any) one-on-one feedback, and I have to practice a lot of strokes that aren't specifically helpful for a triathlon, and I have to go at inconvenient times, is this the best plan for me?

Now that I've found the swimplan website, and I've had a taste of a swim club format, I think I can probably work out on my own and get a lot out of it. Erik pointed out that I AM very disciplined when it comes to my training and it's likely that I will work just as hard going on my own. I decided I would also pay for a private swim coach periodically to get specific feedback on how I'm doing, and then work on those things on my own.

So yesterday, I went to the length swim from 5-6pm and did the swim plan from the website. I added 300m more of additional work because I had time and felt good. By going on my own, I have many more options to swim so if I'm tired one day or can't make it for some reason, I can always go the next day. And it costs about the same amount. I will have to pay extra for a swim coach once in awhile, but that's worth gold if you ask me.

Change Number Two

I'm looking at my schedule.

Going to the gym 3X a week sometimes just isn't feasible. If I'm too tired, a gym workout is the one I'm willing to drop. However, it usually means the Wednesday gym workout because that's the hardest one to attend. That leaves me with two times at the gym that are awfully close together (Fri and Sun). I was thinking more and more about making FRIDAY my rest day and moving my gym workouts to Tuesday and Thursday (eight of which I can drop if I don't feel like it). Then I would run and swim on Mondays ad Wednesdays which make for some consistency. My weekends would stay more or less the same. Since I play volleyball already on Tuesdays, it isn't really working out to be a rest day anyway so I may as well go to the gym that day.

I need to run this past Erik because he does the gym with me, but he's pretty flexible and would probably be willing to make the change.

So the new adjusted schedule might look something like this:

Sun - gym, bike
Mon - run (2:45), swim (5-6pm)
Tue - gym (3-4), volleyball
Wed - run (2:45), swim (5-6pm)
Thu - gym (3-4) maybe easy bike in evening
Fri - rest day!
Sat - run, swim, bike

See, I AM flexible! I think I need to realize that I'll always be adjusting and tweaking the training plan to see what works best for me.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Week Five Plan (Feb. 3-9)

This will be a tough week because there are many interruptions.

Thursday and Friday are parent teacher interviews and I need to get ready for them on Mon-Wed. I won't be able to go for a run on Thursday because I have an eye appt at 4:10. The only way to fit it in would be to go in the morning. I will consider that.

s - gym and trainer (recovery ride)
M - run (20 min only) and swim (5-6pm on my own, or masters at 8:30-9:30)
T - rest (volleyball)
W - gym and swim (5-6pm on my own, or masters at 8:30-9:30)
T - run in am or rest day
F - gym
S - run, swim, trainer (45-60 min)

End of Week Four

Well, it was an interesting week. I started off tired and was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to complete my workouts I had planned. It turned out that it was mostly my wasp allergy shot and the antihistamine I had to take on Tuesday, coupled with playing volleyball with tight, sore shins, that made Wednesday a bad day. By Thursday, I was feeling better mentally and physically.

I drove to the gym on Wednesday, walked in, then turned around and walked out. I was just so tired and I realized that the gym workout is one I can skip since I really don't HAVE to go three times a week. I wanted to save my energy for swimming that night instead. SO I went home and had a 30 minute nap, ate some dinner, but by 7:30, I was still so tired that I couldn't bring myself to drive down to the pool for my first night with the masters. It would have to wait.

Thursday, my legs were still still tight so I did stretching and massage and had a hot epsom salts bath and then decided to hit the pool from length swimming since I'd missed Wednesday. If I couldn't run, I could at least swim.

Friday, I went to the gym as usual, doing 4 sets instead of 3 now. Felt fine.

Saturday, I did my usual triple header and felt great all day. I was busy in the morning and ran out of time so I could only do a 15 minute run. My shins were still sore so I walked for 5 minutes, then did 1:00 minute intervals. The first minute hurt a bit but then I worked it out and my legs felt fine. It was probably good that I could only run 5-6 minutes total though. I stretched when I got home too. Sunday night, my legs are still feeling ok so hopefully I can run tomorrow.

I had a great swim on Saturday afternoon. I did 250m warm up kicking with the board, then stroke work for 250m with the fins, then about 750m of freestyle. Most of the time I needed to rest every 50m, but after 1000m, I felt better and decided to try for 100m straight. Did that in 2:30. Not bad since I can't do flip turns yet. Then I thought I'd do another 100m but felt so good, I just kept going and did 200m in total. I could have gone further but I was getting sloppy. 40 minutes swim in total.

Later in the day, I did a 45 minute ride on the trainer. 15 minutes easy, 15 min hard, 15 minutes easy.

Today I went to the gym. Cut back on the squats to 15 instead of 20 because my glutes hurt. Other than that, did the regular 4 sets in 50 minutes, then 20 minutes of stretching. Great!

In the late afternoon I did a 30 min recovery ride on the trainer. Almost all zone 1. Watch the Food Channel again. :)

I am really happy about the swimming. I really hope I can make myself try out for masters this week. I will try hard to make myself go on Monday.

I am really happy about the calves. Maybe I just have to cut back again and work up even more gradually. Ugh. I am impatient.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Here's a fun picture - facebook has an app that lets you put your own picture on a magazine cover. Naturally, I chose Sports Illustrated (I would have preferred Bicycling but it wasn't available....) So this is as close as I'll ever get to being a famous cyclist.