Thursday, May 26, 2011

busy bee


i think my little challenge (read: misbehaving glute/hammy) is behind me for the most part, no pun intended. thanks to Andrew, my ART guy, who has worked magic in just 3 sessions, i am able to run again. it is slower than i like but i'm so happy to just be able to get out in the morning before work and clear my mind. i will say that i feel somewhat spastic the first mile or two and then settle in but something has changed and what that is, alludes me. it also seems to have created a change in how i'm feeling on the tri bike. i'm very uncomfortable but i'll save that story and issue for the next blog post (hopefully it won't take me 2 weeks to write up another post, which seems to be the trend lately).

i've had this partially started blog sitting in draft since Sunday ..shame on me. i haven't been "feeling" the blog thing lately ...meh! not sure if it is out of laziness or b/c of just plain old being too busy. maybe a little of both. i've been getting in a lot of saddle time though, which makes me happy. of course, with all this time out and about on the bike, you meet some pretty cool folks along the way but sometimes you meet a few pests too. this brings me to my story. a story about a guy with many monikers. none of them good.

he kinda looked like the picture above but with a different kit on.

anyway, I've been meaning to write about this very annoying character we have come into contact with 3 times in less than a year. the last time being last Saturday on the Suncoast Trail, an awesome 41 mile rail trail. i'm sure many of you can relate and probably have a similar story of your own and please share it if you'd like. first let me tell you about the first time we encountered this freak-a-zoid. It was last summer and it was a group of about 6-8 of us riding. we were doing a 100 mile ride as part of my 140.6 training so we thought it would be nice to change up the route a bit. somewhere along this trail, a cyclist on a Kestrel roadbike, wearing a black Cadillac jersey and black cycling shorts, joins in out of nowhere and starts mixing it up. by mixing it up, i mean he just cut into our paceline and then everytime we got near a section with a climb, he would sprint to show everyone up and then he would rudely cut back into the middle of our paceline. it didn't take us long to figure this boy out. he obviously has some mental issues. he thinks he is 20 but he's going on 70 (at least he looks about that old) and he is one can short of a six pack. the other problem we have with this jackwagon is that if he doesn't cut into the paceline, he will ride next to you as close as he can get and he looks at you and sneers and does some kind of strange movement that can be interpreted as a challenge, as if he is saying, "c'mon, you wanna race?" ( i am not making this up). he rides so dangerously! needless to say, he did this one time and the boys in our group caught on and everytime we got to a climbing section, they would all take off and beat him up the climb. the only reason we were finally able to rid ourselves of this menace is when the trail ended and we went in a different direction. ever since that first encounter last year, we came up with a lot of names for him, such as, King of the Suncoast, Suncoast Stalker, a-hole, and douchebag to name just a few. our second encounter was 2 weeks ago. it was less of an encounter and more of just a sighting. he had his sights on a different group of cyclists so we were able to escape his crazy wrath. last week's ride was another story. he was waiting for us like a thief in the night, like a stalker. he did his usual, cut into the paceline and invading everyone's personal space but we were ready for him this time. he got his ass handed to him on every climb by at least one person each time he pulled his shenanigans. it was so funny to watch. i did not get involved because i was too busy writing this story in my head as it all unfolded ahead of me. the best part was the last climb ...he took off and the j-man looked like he got shot out of a cannon. he blew by this whack job and when j-man got to the top of the climb, which is the end of the trail, he raised his hands in victory, like the winners of a stage in the tour de france. it was classic and i wish i would have had a camera or video cam with me. of course, i had to get the last word in, so i told the guy as i went by him that he just got schooled AGAIN! we all agreed next time that we aren't playing that game again and we will kindly tell him that he is not welcome to ride with us. end of story. my question is this ...what is this guy's problem? obviously, nobody wants to ride with him because everytime we have seen him, he is alone. ok, that's all the press he is getting on this blog. maybe he will stumble upon this blog and recognize himself.
the best group of cycling buddies out there. thanks Linda M. for taking this pic. we just finished 85 miles and look how happy we look! even after the encounter with the Suncoast Stalker.

huge shout out to Jeff, Shann, and Bob who kicked Ironman Texas ass this past Saturday. they are warriors in that heat and humidity. i know i've already told each of you all this but i will say it again, i'm so proud of you. it was so much fun stalking them on the IM website.

i'm heading out on a bit of an adventure this weekend and will update when i get back. until then, i hope everyone has a wonderful, long holiday weekend. be safe!

much love and peace out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

i'm done hiding

a lot has happened since i last blogged a week and a half ago. i was in the thick of physical therapy and was hopeful that my pain would get better. i was given the go ahead to do a light run on sunday, which was may 8th. i was very excited to see how i felt. i even bagged out of the usual saturday routine of a long hill ride just so i could keep the legs fresh. i ended up doing a 20 mile ride on the trainer, a 3000 yard swim, and the elliptical for 8 miles. i rested the remainder of the day, stretch, did the tennis ball, golf ball dealio, iced, etc... woke up on sunday excited to run. i already decided 2 miles would be my limit no matter how good i felt. felt great for about 1 minute and the rest of the entire 2 miles (which i pretty much forced myself to do) hurt a lot. very discouraging. i got home and the j-man asked how it went and my exact words were, "it was horrible, not good at all." i felt it as we did our 50 mile ride and the worst pain was when we were done and i clipped out of the pedal. that inward hip rotation about made me come out of my skin. i felt like crap the rest of the day and then on monday as i was sitting at work, in pain, i had a light bulb moment. something made me think about ART (Active Release Technique). i remembered reading about other bloggers and some friends on facebook having had this done. i immediately started googling and researching about it. i asked friends on facebook and dailymile what their experiences were with ART and if they recommend it. i received nothing but positive feedback and everyone pretty much said, go for it. i quickly cancelled the 2 physical therapy sessions scheduled for tuesday and thursday and found someone in my area who does this specific therapy.

meet my new best friend Andrew (the ART guy)
here is the readers digest version: i called him on monday from work as i was writhing in pain and we made an appointment for the following day. i ended up calling him back on my way home to see if he still had the opening for that evening and he did thank goodness because i don't think i could have waited until the next day. that is how bad i felt. i got there at 6pm and we started right on time. yes it was painful, but OMG it worked. i literally walked out of there with about 75% less pain than when i walked in. i went back on friday for round 2, another hour of pure torture and pain. this time it was even more painful but amazing how it works. in a nutshell, it works by breaking up scar tissue and adhesions that have accumulated and i obviously have accumulated a lot. damn those swim fins! round 3 is on thursday.

my other best friend, the foam roller found on clearance at TJ Maxx. i don't leave home without it.
i was supposed to race this past saturday but with this injury still lingering, i thought it would be best to not jeopardize the healing process. i also found out that the race director announced (only 4 days prior to the race) that the run would be on the beach unlike last year when it was on the sidewalk. looking back on the decision not to race, i'm glad i didn't because i think that the resistance of running in the sand would have set me back.

as for upcoming races, i'm still not sure about the 70.3 in Clermont coming up in less than a month. i'm not sure that i will be ready to throw down a decent 1/2 mary. we'll see! the good news is that i ran 3 miles yesterday. even though it was slow, i was running and i felt a lot less pain. i still have tightness but it is sooooo much better.
one last update before i sign off. the website i used to log all of my workouts and races on for the last four years, crashed.  as in, all of my data and everyone else who used buckeye outdoors, lost all of their history. it made me feel nauseous when i read what happened. apparently, all of the terrible tornadoes that swept across Ohio, wiped out the servers and the backup. they were unable to restore any of it, so for about a week, i felt lost ...i couldn't run and had lost my log, could it get any worse, LOL! i'm now logging my workouts on dailymile. many of us bloggers have connected on there already but if you are on dailymile, please come by and say hi. you can find me HERE.  

to all those who raced this weekend, i am slowly making my way to reading your race reports. congrats to all of you who raced!

much love and peace out!

Friday, May 6, 2011

get me off this rollercoaster NOW

i love this blog. i love writing it. i love the people i have met through it. my goal for this blog was and has always been to keep things light, fun, positive and more than anything else, keep it real. i hope i have done that up to this point. so even though being injured isn't exactly the most positive thing to blog about, i need to write about it because it is reality and eventually we all find ourselves in "time-out" so to speak and it isn't any fun.
LOVE = running on my favorite trail at sunset
i will be the first to admit that i'm addicted  in love with running. let me clarify. it has nothing to do with weight control or exercise addiction but more from a sanity aspect. running is the one thing that centers me, calms me, creates a peaceful, easy feeling (cue up the Eagles), you get the picture, right? no amount of biking or swimming can create this same effect so when i CANNOT run, i get super cranky and emotional, just ask J-man. poor guy has had to deal with my crabby ass for the last 2+ weeks. here is an example of a conversation we had as we were heading out for a ride recently:

j-man: stop, there's a car coming (as he is waving the car to go and says out loud to the car to go ahead or something like that and i thought he was telling me to go, so i clip in and go ...yes, i proceed to take off in front of the oncoming car that the j-man is waving on). thankfully, the car stopped and let me go across.

j-man: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? i told the car to go, not you. your head just isn't in this today.

me: i'm not riding with you today. i'm turning around and going back home!

j-man(says nothing while looking back to see if i was really going to turn around).

ok, so i didn't end up turning around only threatened to, but looking back now, the conversation was kinda funny. i was super frustrated that day more than ever because i had constant pain the whole day and nothing i did helped ease it. let me rewind now and tell you what the problem is. as you may know from reading my last post, i have had chronic piriformis issues for quite some time. for the most part, the pain is totally manageable with proper amounts of stretching. i had a nice, long 4 1/2 year stretch with very little pain. however, i recently tweaked it (swimming with fins!) again and it has literally stopped me in my tracks. i really can't run and lord knows i have tried and when i try, i pay for it the rest of the day. i can really understand now, how people who have chronic pain can get addicted to pain medication. who wants to feel pain all day? i sympathize with those people. i'm not sure if i am fortunate or unfortunate that i cannot take most pain meds because i am severely allergic to them, so i just deal with it the best i can.

i want to sincerely apologize for not being a good blog visitor lately. between work, fitting in the physical therapy and fitting in some kind of training, it has left me exhausted mentally and physically. oh yeah, and staying up way past my bedtime to watch the Lightning sweep the Caps didn't help either, LOL!

i won't bore you with too many more details but i will tell you that the physical therapy seems to really be helping me strengthen my weakest link which is my hip/glute area. the pain seems to be subsiding but it is hard work. this lovely physical therapist who put humpty dumpty me back together the last time, is helping me again. she also noticed that my left leg is shorter than the other! now the mystery about why all of my injuries have been on the left side has been solved. i'm hopeful that with all of the strengthening exercises, stretches and a heel lift will get me back to where i was and quite possible even stronger. as for the triathlon next saturday ...up in the air. i will make the final decision to do it or not at the last minute. my PT thinks i can do it but i will see how things go over the weekend and next week. i will NOT do the triathlon if i'm half-assed (literally and figuratively). yes, i will be bummed to not be able to do it but i have to look at the whole picture here and the big picture is ironman florida. nuf said!

i want to say thanks to all of you (you know who you are), who called me, texted, emailed, and one person even sent me a card via snail mail to wish me fast healing. you all are just awesome and i'm so blessed to be surrounded by such positive people, even if most of you are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

also, if you haven't had a chance to check out the latest edition of The Athlete's Plate at Cook|Train|Eat|Race, then you really should. it not only made my mouth water but it brought tears to my eyes. again, just another example of the awesomeness of blogger friends. thank you Jason!

i hope each and every one of you has a fantastic weekend, whether racing, tapering or training. enjoy and be safe. i will be playing catch up on my blog reading and commenting.

much love and peace out!