Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vacation Time!

I spent the last 2 days packing and getting my stuff organized to camp in Osoyoos for a week. I use the word "camping" loosely since we'll be staying in a private campground with flush toilets, hot showers, electricity, and even a fridge at every site. True, I'll be sleeping in a tent, but it is 10X12 and has enough headroom my 6'1" hubby to stand up in. Not what I would have called "camping" when I was a kid, that's for sure.

I'm looking forward to spending the week with my son, and with Erik's brother and his wife, and just hanging out on the beach. I do plan to follow my training plan fairly closely since this is my last week of hard training and I look forward to an opportunity to get in the water every day and to swim in new surroundings.

Lucky Erik gets to head out tomorrow morning on his bike at 7am and will take about 6 hours to ride the ~120km to Osoyoos. I will leave around 9am, pick up my 10 year old son from his Dad's, drop off the dogs at the kennel, and pass Erik somewhere along the 2 hour drive to the campground. I'd love to do that ride too, but I wouldn't want to do it alone, and SOMEBODY has to get all our our stuff there. (The van is packed to the gills.)

This week I hope to climb to the lookout on Anarchist Mountain a couple of times (see the picture at the top of my blog) and beat my previous time of 48:30 from the campsite (36:15 from the windmill - on my old bike, and hungover I might add.) We also plan to ride up to the top of Richter Pass which is the first big climb in Ironman Canada as well as do a few other easier rides around the area. I figure I'll get in one 5-6 km run and swim every day. I've also got to fit in my pushups challenge on M, W, F and do my physio and core work on Sun, Tues, Thurs.

Naturally, I'll also be working on my tummy tan challenge every day as well as building up my tolerance for Sangria and Margaritas...

The only blip in an otherwise perfect week is an incredibly irritating but I suppose necessary 'procedure' I must have at Kelowna General Hospital on Wednesday morning. I hesitate to bring up this rather delicate subject in my blog, but since other runners read this, I think it could be relevant. After my last two long runs (8-9km), I've had some rather unpleasant GI side effects. How to put it tastefully? I suppose just keep it in medical terminology - blood in my stool. Enough to concern me. I googled it and learned that although this can occur in long distance runners, I really should have all the serious stuff ruled out before I toss it off as minor. (Found this link to a similar problem which led me to this link for an interesting response.)

Naturally, when I mentioned it to my doctor, she was concerned and anxious to get me in for a sigmoidoscopy asap. Geez Louise. I am going camping for a week! Not in the middle of my camping trip! But then I realized that it could have been worse, it could have been the day before my triathlon! So I'll keep the appointment.

So on Tuesday afternoon, I am going to drive 2 hours back to Kelowna my myself, drink 150 ml of citromag, skip dinner (aaack!!), try to get some sleep, endure two even less exciting preparations in the morning, and be at KGH for my 'procedure' at 9:15 am. Hopefully, I'll be on the road by 10 and back at the campsite by noon, none the worse for wear. Now I know this is all for naught because I have zero other symptoms of colo-rectal cancer. But ya know, it would be so incredibly stupid to ignore what can be a fairly serious symptom. How many times have you heard the line - "if only they had caught it in time!"? We'll I'm never gonna be one of those people. This trip will definitely be one of those wasted evenings, but it'll be worth it to be certain that nothing serious is wrong with me.

Now if they actually find something and want to do surgery before my triathlon forget it! I do have my priorities!! LOL...

Anyhoo, back to our regularly schedule training spiel.

This week has been awesome. I have been out in the lake a couple of times and tried skipping my usual swim/stop/swim/stop warmup and just swimming slowly for 200m then continuing on to do 750m without stopping and it worked fine! I didn't have to stop to catch my breath at all. My overall time slows down a little (19:30) because it takes me about 7 minutes to swim the first 250m but I can work on that I think. I figure even if it takes me 19 minutes to do the whole swim, it'll be worth it if it's less stressful.

My second accomplishment was an excellent brick workout yesterday. Erik and I rode 13km down to the tri route and I rode one 10km lap really hard. I did my best time climbing Knox in 2 minutes, which is 20 seconds faster than my previous times. Erik was tired from a long ride the day before and couldn't keep up with me (W00T!!). I had to stop at two lights, slow down for 5 stop signs, and stop and wait for a bus that pulled out in front of me, but my overall time was the same as last time - 20:50, 28.7 kmh. I'm sure I can go faster if I don't have all those stops. I think 30 kmh avg is do-able.

After my ride, we stopped in the transition area and I changed into my runners and hat (Erik was carrying them in a back pack for me, the sweetheart) and I ran a shortened route of the tri run route while he babysat my bike. It turned out to be exactly 3km and I felt super fast (considering I was running after the bike.) I'm sure I could run faster if I was in a race too. I did the 3km in 17:11, which was 20 seconds faster than last time. My first km was 5:34 (saw that and slowed down, yikes!), second two km were 5:48 and 5:49 which is about what I was aiming for. I think I'll aim for 5:30-5:40 in the race but who knows? Maybe I could actually do a 5k time of 26:30? That would be cool.

We sat around and I rested for a bit, then we rode home fairly slowly. I started the inevitable coughing and was fairly hoarse for about an hour afterward. Next time, I'll try my ventolin between the bike and run as well.

I'll be offline for the rest of the week but will add a note to my blog on Tuesday night if there's anything interesting (imho) to report.

We won't know the results of the flex sig until after the August long weeknd I assume.

Only 22 more days - OMG!!!!!! I get nauseous just thinking about it now...


MarathonChris said...

Have a great vacation! Wish I was going :-)

I once had problems, years ago, with blood in my stool when working out. I would have a great workout, then after I stopped would have severe cramps, with episodes where I would nearly faint, followed by extreme exhaustion for the rest of the day (no fun at all). When I saw the blood I finally went to the doctor.

First they did a sigmoidoscopy and they found part of my colon was irritated and bleeding. Just to be sure, the doctor followed up with a colonoscopy (the first test can only test a portion of the colon). By the time they did the colonoscopy, the area they found the first time was healing up nicely and there were no other irritations.

The doctor concluded that I had eschemic colitis. When you exercise, it takes blood away from your digestive system and sends it to your muscles. This can irritate your colon and cause it to bleed.

I wasn't sure what to do. Ending exercise seemed silly, but I took it easy for a little while. I haven't had the problem since.

But since then I have found something else that may have contributed....I have several food allergies. This was found through blood test by my chiropractor/nutritionist. I have a pretty severe allergy to egg yolk (and have always loved that part!!). I think the allergy weakened my colon and the exercise did me in.

I haven't had any issues since - that was about 15 years ago.

Just a data point for you. Have a great vacation and have a sangria or wine cooler for me! :-)


kara said...

Love your header image!!!
Sounds like you're going to have an interesting week...
Have fun and keep safe.