Thursday, March 26, 2009

My body says I'm getting older...

Wow, life moves by so fast the older you get. Not that I'm ancient, but between time flying by, short term memory loss (or simply too many things on the brain), and realizing that my body requires proper stretching and recovery maintenance I am feeling a little bit older these days!

These past couple of weeks have been jam packed, but before I get to that, I must put out my first THANK YOUs to those who have already donated to the Wounded Warrior Project through Ironman's Janus Charity Challenge. My goal is $2500, and thanks to some of you wonderfully generous people, I am already at $780!!! THANK YOU! Still lots of time to fund raise, so you have plenty of time if you are interested in donating (I have until 2PM the day before/of--I have to check--race day!).

So, what training craziness have I seen. Well, I had an 18 mile run on the 15th that was one of the most epic that I have had! It was a cold day for here--tights and jacket and beanie--but I was feeling well and headed out into the cold and wind. I had decided to try Infinit (a liquid nutrition mix to get me the calories I need--I use it on the
bike) on the run. Let's just say my body didn't really care for it, and by about 6-7 miles into the run, I knew I couldn't ingest any more of it--and that was after only a few small swigs. I did have a back up in the form of GUs (energy gels). I took one at the 8 mile mark, but it didn't mix so well with the Infinit, and that was the last nutrition I could take on that run. I had hardly had anything, maybe 250 calories, and I had 10 more miles to go...I didn't do what, in the triathlon/cycling/running world, they call "bonk," but I came close!! I was already 9 miles out so I had to finish up the distance. The last two miles were SLOW, and I'm convinced if I had to go much further I might've started having tunnel vision or something bad! Lesson learned--play with nutrition on SHORTER runs!

After that debacle, I had a decent training week, but had to cut a run out cause my left hip flexor was a little bit sore, and I didn't want to cause an injury. I seemed to work it out with some stretching and some self-massage. We had a four day weekend this past weekend because the Commanding General said so (and I'm not going to argue!). On Thursday night a college classmate and her family were passing through town, so they stayed at my place. I am blessed with a nice home and enjoy hosting people, and it was great to see her. I started Friday with a nice run, and then had breakfast with my friends that were at the house.
Then, I headed to a local lake for my first "open water swim" (OWS) of the year in my new, full sleeve, triathlon wetsuit (Zoot Zenith that I got for an AMAZING deal). It was a sunny day, and the water was chilly, but not too bad. I did about 1700m and my left calf cramped up on me.
Grrrr. I hate that so much, and in fact, my right had done that to me earlier in the week as well. When that happens, my calves seem to stay tight and feel bruised for several days. The swim, overall was good, but I did have the cramp and getting used to the new suit and poor application of Body Glide to the neck left me with a little chaffed neck spot. I then went and joined a couple of friends down the road for a 28 mile bike ride. It was, again, a beautiful day--some wind yes, but not as bad as usual. We were 14 miles into the ride when, as I was going up a hill (not too steep) my front tire caught some loose gravel and CRASH I went down on my right side. I wasn't moving fast, so it wasn't too bad--but I did scrap up my forearm and had some minor road rash on my right hip. The bike was fine (which is important), and I continued on the ride without much issues. I actually think the scrap looked worse a couple of days after the crash!
So, now I've got swim bite on my neck, and road rash on my arm and leg. On Saturday I made my way to Liberty Hill to ride an organized bike ride with some of my friends--it was long ride day. We did 88 miles in the hill country and it was TOUGH but GOOD!! The second loop (two 44 mile loops) the wind kicked up a lot, but we still did well in knocking it all out. I was tired, but feeling well. Sunday came along, I went to church, headed home and got ready for my 20 mile run. I was sore, but not too bad...the worst was that both of my calves were still pretty tight. (This is where the "I'm getting older I must stretch more" lesson comes into play). It was REALLY windy and the first 5 miles were a doozy, but I was feeling alright, just slower due to soreness and winds that were literally pushing me off the road. But, around 7.75 miles that tight right calf started getting tighter, and more sore, and miles 8-10 were little a walk/shuffle home. My calf hurt. I wanted to cry. I iced, and iced, and I was so worried, the push off motion is what was hurting the most. On my own research, I thought it was a calf strain. An ART chiropractor in Austin and the Physical Therapist here at Ft. Hood agreed--but neither felt it was a very serious case. I've laid off running since then, have been doing self massage, got a massage with the entire focus on the lower body, and have been icing a lot. I can bike and swim, so I'm doing those, and will see about maybe testing the run this weekend. So yes, this past week I got beat up from head to toe by swim/bike/run: Swim=neck chaffe; bike = road rash; run = calf strain! Haha!

Yes, the lesson learned is, I need to stretch more and take care of those tight muscles or they may not be to the level I want them. I should be good for the Lonestar Half-Iron, and then it'll be Boston. I would like to race Lonestar, but simply "run" Boston, soak it in, and have fun.

In other news, I finally decided that, while I could pick up clutter around the house, I just couldn't keep it clean, do my job, go to church, play with my dogs, train, have a semi-social life, and sleep in there. So, I hired a cleaning service. This Tuesday I came home to a very clean house. It is still clean, and every couple of weeks it will be clean...and I won't have to do it. I finally realized that I make enough to afford it, and with my schedule, it's worth it. So, it's a luxury I am allowing myself at this time.

To end the post in an absolutely wonderful way, take a look at my nephew--is he not the cutest baby!?!? I'm a proud Aunt! ;)