Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not feelin' too "hip", just one hip right now...

We were supposed to do a 12 mile run today. That's what the training schedule said. I really wanted to run 12, but my hip was on fire from the beginning. I settled on 10. I'm okay with it, but this is getting pretty frustrating. I mean I've had aches and pains before, but this feels serious and I'm reduced to taking my own advice (which I don't normally do). I told Chris that I hate it when I'm right and he agreed! I just have to back off a little. Which I've done and it's better, but I will probably never take more than a week off. Massage seems to irritate it, probably because it is so inflamed. I did take a cold bath after the run. I always tell people to do that when they are feeling achey and gimped up after an activity. I've only done it a couple of times before during a four day, 325 mile, 20,000 ft. of climbing ride called North West Arkansas Challenge and it really worked. Another friend told us to try Epsom Salts. That's next. We're supposed to go mountain biking tomorrow so we'll see how that goes and the swimming is really the only thing that is giving me a good cardio workout right now. Thank goodness for multisport and cross training. I guess I'm going to go conform to the couch and watch a movie for now. Dang, recovery sucks!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Baby love and the "Functional Season"

I have a friend and a past client who has just had a baby – McKenna Lauren. In fact I got her in shape and fitting nicely into her wedding dress a little over 2 years ago. I also worked with her for about a month toward the end of her pregnancy. We had decided that Madame M (as I have deemed her) thought that her mother’s ribs were like monkey bars because she always seemed to be “climbing” into them during the workouts. Well, about 3 ½ weeks ago, Madame M made her debut and mamma is finding out how challenging it is to be responsible for a little princess. I liked the first text message she sent out after she had given birth. It ended with something like “I can’t believe how much I love her”. I thought that was the sweetest thing I’d ever read! She apparently has long hair already that she loves to have washed. Daddy says it’s an early sign of high maintenance – a certain payback if you will! I recently sent an email to ask how things were going and she replied that they were surviving, but McKenna had started crying more (another sign of high maintenance?) and “woo – this is tough stuff”. My response was:

That's what I hear about babies! You think you know 'em, they're all quiet 'n stuff then - !WHAM! - they start crying like somebody set their feet on fire or somethin'. Woo is right!

I did get to babysit my 1 y.o. nephew, Reid, for a few hours recently and I gotta tell ya he is the BEST baby. He's usually smiling and when he's not, he's asleep. The child will eat ANYTHING you set in front of him and A LOT of it! I gave him some bread with peanut butter on it and you would have thought he hadn’t eaten in days; his eyes got really big and he was reaching desperately for the rest of it. Chris and I are fully convinced we can turn him into a pro-triathlete. He is so much different than my other nephew, Graham. He's 5, a little taller than waist level on me (yes, that's tall for a 5 y.o., no short jokes) and weighs about 40, maybe 45 lbs. at the most. He is a string bean because he's a very picky eater. He will eat oatmeal, mac-n-cheese-spaghetti-o’s, chicken nuggets and chocolate milk and he loooooooves mochas. In fact his Thanksgiving dinner was spaghetti-o’s and chocolate milk. Aaaahhhh to be 5! Then you have my brother, James, and sister-in-law's, Lisa, child they just adopted from China, Avery. She is 5 as well and even taller than Graham. My sister, Terri, said she walked into the airport on the night they arrived and saw Lisa’s entire family hovered around the screen that shows the escalator in the Starbuck's cafe. Apparently they were a little eager to meet Avery because no one was speaking to each other. They all swooped on her when they arrived. Terri said Avery just kind of tucked her arms in really tight and braced herself. She recognized Terri and Lisa's sister, Suzanne, from pictures. At least she had a couple of familiar faces. I got to meet her on Thanksgiving; the first thing she says to anyone is “Hi! Bicycle.”. All she wants to eat is watermelon and Pringles (although she is expanding her diet little by little) and detests brushing her teeth. In her defense though, I'm pretty sure that tooth brushing wasn't encouraged in the orphanage or her foster home. Lisa has told her that the only way Santa will come to their house is if she brushes her teeth. Obviously she wants a bicycle for Christmas after seeing Graham’s and now she is brushing her teeth about 15 times a day.

I haven’t been blogging lately partly because of being busy and partly because I’ve been battling a hip issue. The last time I ran was over a week ago and it’s absolutely killing me, but it kills me more if I try to run. Chris and I tried yesterday and oooooh-weeeee, it hurt. I’ve been doing a lot of swimming lately, but it seems to be working just as well. I just love to run and when you aren’t able to do what you love it’s like someone has you tied down. I’m going to try again tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it goes.

So now it’s the season of giving. Giving rude people the finger in traffic, giving up your sanity when you know exactly what you want in the store and there are people standing exactly where you need to be not moving when you say “excuse me”, giving stuff you have around the house as gifts because you don’t want to leave your house (just kidding about that one). I like Christmas, I just hate traffic and don’t really care for crowded stores. Thank goodness for online shopping. I don’t like the whole gift exchanging idea though. I always have a fear that I will open a gift and have “that” look on my face. I know you know the look I’m talking about. I suck at buying gifts so I have a tendency to buy people what I would like to receive - functional and practical things (I’m pretty partial to pens and paper). Not because I want them to think of me each time they use it, but to make their lives easier. If your life is made easier because of something that is as simple as being easier to carry then that makes you just a little less stressed. A little more happy even. Happy is gooooood! I’m very into making people happy and being happy myself. Of course you can’t be happy all the time; you would lose appreciation for the times when you are on some level. I personally like running the gamut of human emotion and it seems like I run through them all at some point every single day. I like to think that I am happy for the most part, though. I had a friend tell me that they had told someone that I laugh more than anyone they know. I think that was one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten.

Well, I’ll get more into training and really make an honest effort to blog more often even if it’s just a paragraph. I know, I know! Promises, promises! People start to talk about you if you have a blog and it lays dormant for awhile. I just never realized that my life was so darn fascinating. I just appreciate that people like reading my blog and find it interesting. Come to think of it, I really like reading other’s blogs and I’m sad when they don’t update it. I think that’s part of my problem. I’m so busy reading other blogs I run out of time to blog. Maybe I’ll just take a speed reading course…

Friday, November 7, 2008

Zone 5 Heart Rate Training

I had a bit of an adventure this morning. I usually start work at 6 a.m. at the gym, but I had a client that had cancelled so I didn't have to be there until 7:30. Well, I had already had coffee and about 20 oz. of water so needless to say, I needed to make a pit stop before I started work. The bathroom in is the common hallway shared by the businesses in the building. The past 3 mornings I've tried to get into the bathroom and it's been locked - at 6 a.m.! No one else is in the building that early in the morning besides the fact that the door automatically unlocks when you turn the handle. It's almost impossible to lock yourself out of the bathroom, but nothing is totally foolproof. Amy had told me a couple of weeks ago that there was a way to unlock the door if it ever happened. Again the door was locked so I once again used the men's bathroom. I walked back into the gym and asked Amy the magic door opening trick. Of course it involved an Allen wrench; I should have known. I go back out into the hall and proceed to unlock the door. I thought it was weird that it was fully locked so I knocked before I opened it. No answer so I turned the knob and started to push on the door. I was having a hard time getting it open - I was really having to push hard. I looked up and thought maybe the hinge at the top of the door was stiff from the door being locked for that long. When I looked down on the floor there was a soda can and at the same time the door gave suddenly. I saw someone move behind the door and the lights were out! I felt all of the blood rush out of my extremities and I was sure that everyone could hear the pounding of my heart. I released the door and walked back into the gym probably as white as a ghost. I looked at Amy and said, "I think there is a person sleeping in the bathroom". Amy's client looked at me and said, "I can see your heart beating", they were about 10 feet away from me. It turns out that Amy has had her suspicion about this homeless woman using the bathroom to at least clean up. I guess since it's gotten colder outside she must be using it as a hotel room as well. After I could feel my toes and fingers again, I started trying to find the humor in the situation to further calm myself. I said, "Well, she didn't have the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the doorknob. How was I supposed to know she hadn't checked out yet?". A client I relayed the story to later in the day said, "Well she must have forgotten to set her clock back and she's over sleeping.". I mean I know homelessness is a terrible and serious thing, but with the recent events (Ann Presley) everyone is on high alert and afraid. I'm just glad that it was a live person on the other side of that door. I refuse to be terrified and tortured by all of the horrible things that go on in this world today. As long as people are living in fear, the bad guys win. Don't get me wrong, I am not invicible or untouchable and if something happens to me I know it was meant to be. It will have nothing to do with what I was wearing or that I invited it in anyway. The only pain and torture I invite are the pain and torture I inflict upon myself in doing crazy events where I push my body to the limit. My friend David has a t-shirt that reads "Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body". If that's the case, I'm pretty darn strong and I know I can and will get a lot stronger!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall rides, good friends and bad runs

Not too much going on lately, but I thought I'd try and keep my promise to blog more. Even if it's not "wow" material.
We did go to John and Diane's again this past weekend. We got there about 8:30 Friday night. It was Halloween and we usually just turn the lights off, hide upstairs and pretend not to be home. You never know who's going to be on your doorstep these days. Now THAT'S scary! Diane had made this awesome Tamale Chili Pie and it was soooooo yummy. Perfect for a Fall evening. We visited for awhile then made our way to the "Love Nest". I can't remember the last time I slept so hard. It's also really weird for the sun to be up before I'm up. We suit up in our cycling gear and head across the street to have a light breakfast. I think I eat more for breakfast than anyone else I know, even with the understanding that after our ride we'll have bacon, eggs, toast etc... Everyone else had toast while I had cereal with a banana and toast. I just couldn't help myself and I know I'm going to probably use up most of that fuel anyway, so it doesn't bother me. We had a pretty relaxing ride even though there was some climbing involved. However, this time I hadn't run 14 miles the previous day, so of course it was easier - DUH! The Fall color was good, but we agreed that if we had ridden a week later it would have been absolutely bursting with color. Mother Nature is truly on her own schedule.
Here's my missed photo op from the Longhorn 70.3. Pretty sure I didn't want to get close to this big fella though. He probably would've used me for a hood ornament!
We finished up our ride and we all felt great. I'm really starting to enjoy the social rides. Chris and I headed back across the street to gather our stuff so we could come back and take advantage of the outdoor shower because it was really nice outside. I started up the stairs and looked up and I was in the middle of a swarm of red wasps! Of course it didn't take long for me to warn the tribe with my battle cry. Nor did it take me very long to get inside. Even though the door wasn't open for every long, we ended up letting about 10 wasps in. I'm pretty sure it was the warm temps outside that brought them back out, but I'm also sure that there were some already inside the "Love Nest" (now known as the "Wasps' Nest"). We grabbed ALL of our stuff and made a mad dash out the door. I wish I had gotten a picture of my Knight in shining armour armed with a fly swatter in each hand! We told John about it and he said that he would go over and take care of things. Meanwhile, I was enjoying the outdoor shower and heard the screen door open out to the back yard and turned to see John pouring out bacon grease and as he headed back inside he said, "Don't worry Rebecca. I didn't look...much". The thing is that now I am not even close to as self conscious as I used to be. It just made me chuckle. What's a little outdoor nakedness between friends, right? We had "breakfast" and decided that a hike might be nice. John started some pork tenderloin on the smoker and we set out once again. The colors and views were awesome. Zulie (sp?) is a really great dog and climber. Not sure she knows she's a dog though.
I especially liked the Mt. Dew hood ornaments. Very classy!
We went back to the base camp and I proceeded to make the most divine cookies on which we would all make ourselves sick before and after we had the awesome pork tenderloin. One thing I can say about John and Diane is these people know how to cook and feed their guests well!
After dinner we watched the Texas and Texas Tech game. Okay, I watched the back of my eyelids more than the game - major sugar crash! We braved the "Wasps' Nest" and still slept pretty good with one ear open. We left about 8:30 (yipee for the extra hour) and Chris went on a mtn. bike ride in Cedar Glades with a group and I went for a 10 mile run. The run went pretty well and I managed an average speed of 8:53. That was one Roctane and about 20 oz. of fluid. I followed that up with these new little cookies from Fig Newton. They are not very sweet and only have 100 calories and about 2.5 grams of fat. They sit well in my stomach, too.
I worked chest/back/abs on Monday and we went for a 30 minute walk that evening. I did intervals on Tuesday afternoon on the bike then went for a very painful 2.5 mile run and when I met up with Chris I walked the other 1.5 miles. I worked legs/back/abs on Wed. I went for a 3.25 mile run this morning and it was a bit better. Leann came and worked on my legs and got most of the hip pain and shin splints calmed down. I'm feeling pretty good right now!
I should probably wrap this up; got a client in 30 minutes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yada Yada Yada

I have to once again pre-empt this with the fact I started this blog about a week and a half ago. I think my promise in the new year to myself (I don’t like to call them resolutions) is to keep better track of time and try not to take on so much. Don’t get me wrong, I like being busy and active, but the everyday stuff just piles up in the meantime. We always have an excuse to let things fall by the wayside.
Zheesh! I think I even needed recovery from my Longhorn blog. Time just gets away from us and before we realize, it’s been a week or more since we blogged. I try to keep it up, but it seems that I have too many Irons in the fire (pun intended). Anyway, I’m just going to hit on some highlights from the past month or so in this blog. I know myself well enough that I have a very short memory and, at times, questionable about details of things that happen. So I have to either write it down or relay it immediately to someone else. My poor husband is the recipient of a lot of these stories and gets a little frustrated with me if my story is too long. So in respect to that, I have learned to condense things a little more and just relay the important happenings. Not to say that I don’t still get a bit wordy at times. My friend Sarah once commented on one of my blogs that I can be as long winded as I want to in my blogs, because they are mine! So true, Sarah!
Chris and I went to John and Diane’s river house in Heber Springs in late September. They have a barn on a separate part of their property in which the second floor is a small living space, sort of an apartment. Diane refers to this as the “Love Nest”. This is where we and all the other guests who will be there more than one night stay. I have to say it’s pretty groovy and it comes by its name honestly! I won’t go into detail about how I know such things. Anyway, Diane was getting ready to do her first triathlon the next weekend. We did an abbreviated race rehearsal to give her a feel for transitioning and she really wanted to ride the bike course to see what she was in for. It was a pretty good course with a severe climb right before the turn around. Coming back down was a little sketchy around a certain switchback that brought back memories of descending Mt. Nebo. She did great and was really glad she got a preview, but unsure that she was fit enough to complete the whole thing. I, on the other hand, was 100% sure she would finish and she would be hooked. I’m psychic like that. Or maybe that’s psychotic. We took it easy for the rest of the day and even helped clean up the yard a bit while John was getting ready to start dinner. We had a fish fry that night and Jo and Matt joined us. We had a great time! The next morning we walked over from the “Love Nest” and we all went for a run. John says he’s not fast, but he was really moving. He was talking and didn’t seem to be out of breath. I, on the other hand, was gasping for air. When we finished our run, we had a little breakfast and were slotted to go floating before we left to go home. I’ve never been floating and was curious to see what’s involved. I’ve heard, on more than one occasion, that you should, under no circumstance, get into a canoe or kayak with your significant other or best friend. It can be the cause of great friction in a relationship. So I got into the canoe with Diane and Chris and John were in separate kayaks. Diane has been teaching people to canoe and kayak for about 12 years so I was fairly certain that I would be enjoying my drift down the cold, but calm waters of the Little Red. Chris sort of looked like a deer in headlights because he was so afraid of tipping the kayak and dunking himself the 54 degree water. I can’t say I blamed him. There were several flyfishers out with a fog hovering just about the water. It looked like something out of a photo or painting. We did get to see a beaver out for his morning swim. He just swam right through the middle of us like we weren’t even there. We really enjoyed ourselves and John and Diane are great hosts.
Okay, I have to tell you about my sweet, new ride! I can’t even believe she’s mine. Chris and I were on our way back from Austin and I was emailing back and forth with Pat about my new tri bike. We thought (hoped) it would be in before the ½ Ironman, but it was probably just as well that it wasn’t here. I wouldn’t have ridden it anyway, I don’t like to change stuff right before an event, it’s just taboo. It’s a Guru and I am in looooove. Most people say that climbing is difficult on a tri bike. I didn’t find that to be true. We did a ride that took us over Wye Mtn. last weekend and she performed beautifully. Although I’m having to get used to a standard double up front. I had to stand while climbing for the most part. This weekend we are supposed to go back to Heber Springs to John and Diane’s place to do a Fall Foliage ride. It’s a pretty hilly course so I’m sure I will have an even clearer picture of how she performs.
Friday of the week following the Longhorn, I accompanied my sister and nephews to the pumpkin patch. She had volunteered to be a chaperone for my nephew Graham’s class field trip and needed someone to watch my other nephew Reid. She gave me the option of either watching him at their house or going with them to the pumpkin patch. No way was I going to miss the pumpkin patch; that seemed like too much fun! We arrived and the first activity was the pig races. I think this was more for the adults than the kids. It was really funny. Then we went on a hayride, pet some goats, played in the haystack and had lunch. I’m glad I opted for the pumpkin patch!
Last Saturday, Chris and I ran the Soaring Wings ½ marathon in Conway. It was the best run I’ve had to date. It was in the low 40’s when the race kicked off at 8. Quite a difference from the upper 80’s of the Longhorn. Chris wanted to do a sub 2 hour race and I just decided to use this for a marathon training run, but if I could do it in less than 2 hours that would be a nice perk. It was rolling hills pretty much the entire time, but no severe climbs. I stayed with the 2 hour pace guy until about 2 miles out and decided I was ready to take off. The last downhill was pretty painful, but I rounded the corner and saw, guess who….No really, guess! Yup, you got it, Mr. Christopher Irons! All I could think was, “Did he finish or did someone pick him up and bring him in?” I’m so proud of him; he finished in 1:56:24! I finished 1:59:30 and was really pleased with that. I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Between the event about which ended this blog some other things have happened. I’ll try to catch up in a day or two (weeks). Rrrrrriiiiiight!