Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glimpses of White Lake

TG40, Bart and I arrived at White Lake late last night (or really the early hours of the morning). Despite the fact that we made our reservations for the same beautiful lakefront condo we stayed in last year, last week we were "upgraded" to our new accommodations. Apparently, the condo above the one we were to rent had a major water leak and caused water damage in much of the rented condo. Thankfully, however, the owner of our condo had a back up plan, his brother-in-law's double-wide.

The tail lights on our house.

I was petrified at first. I'm not one for the rustic things in life and many of the trailers we had seen lining the lake last year were scary.

Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised. While not the Ritz, our double-wide is nearly lakefront, has a cute front porch, is comfy and even has cable. The furniture is an eclectic mix of leather couches, some 1970s decor and my favorite, some silk covered small slipper chairs. It has a shortage of wine glasses (none) and an abundance of bibles.

Today schedule consisted of resting, catching up on FB, eating, a 20 minute easy run, a 30ish minute swim in the beautiful lake and a drive of the bike course. The lake temperature is perfect and the bike course still as flat and boring as I remembered.

Tomorrow is race day minus one.

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This week has been all about healing. Bart laughs at my efforts to try anything to heal my hip and my entourage of healers, but hey . . . why pass up something that might work?

Starting with last Friday, I have been to Dr. Green three times for ART to my hip, heat and ice treatments and the beginnings of physical therapy. Each time, the ART has gotten progressively deeper and the range of motion in my hip before pain sets in greater.

On Tuesday, I visited Keith Bell, LAc for some acupuncture treatment. It was by far one of the most unique experiences I've ever had and, in my opinion, very beneficial. I was nervous before the treatment - needles and I are not friends. I'm one of those patients that can't look while giving blood and have been known to get woozy at the thought of a needle. Thankfully, the treatment doesn't hurt at all, and I was able to close my eyes so I didn't have to see any of the acupuncture needles. He did two treatments - one with me face down and one face up - and he treated me for my hip, right plantar and my usually inflamed digestive tract. While I was face down, I had a few needles up both my spine, in the left hip and lower back area and on both feet/ankles. While I laid there during the first treatment, I could feel the energy running through various places in my body and warmth. I was amazed. For the second treatment, I laid face up. This time I had the needles in my feet and one on my left wrist. I could feel the points furthest from my core the strongest. This time the energy flow was different - and I wasn't warm, but cooler. Soon enough, it was over and I was on my way. All afternoon, I felt energized and at various points during the day, felt the energy still flowing through my body. Keith indicated that it would take 24 hours for the treatment to fully integrate into my body but almost instantly, I was positive that it was working.

My workouts since Friday have been pool and bike based. I've swum a ton of laps - at hard pace (Monday's workout was 15 x 50s) and long pace (lots of 1000s). I've also spent a lot of time in the deep end of the pool water running. If you see me there, please don't laugh but please come and say hello. I am bored out of my mind and feeling silly running in circles.

Tuesday evening was my first attempt on the bike. Bart and I ventured to WC despite the stormy weather for our easy spin with our race setup. Not a good idea. The wind howled (aka aero position was difficult), the rain pelted and the temperatures dropped quickly. I tested my hip out - it felt fine at easy pace in easy gears, but as I pushed the gears and pushed a hill in aero, I could feel it twinge. After about 30 minutes, I was cold, grumpy because my hip wasn't better already and I convinced Bart to return home.

Last night's bike was MUCH better. I had a 60 minute zone 3 ride that I was only allowed to push if I had no pain. Work kept me later than I would have liked, so I rode on the trainer at home. I had NO hip pain this time either during or after and I was able to push the entire ride. Progress!

So where does it stand? Stairs no longer hurt, biking no longer hurts and plain old walking no longer hurts. My hip has bruises all over and it is still twinges when I stand on one leg and use all of my stabilizer muscles, but it is showing signs of significant improvement. Still no running outside for me this week but hopefully, with all of the healing this week, I'll be ready to go next week. Coach Michael promises I'm not losing fitness, but I'm still nervous.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Taking a Step Back to Move Forward

Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of my triathlon race season. My new race flats are screaming to be run in and my body is ready to peak for White Lake. All my training is pointing toward a great race and in particular, I've really made strides in my run and was looking forward to pushing myself on the final 10K of my warm up race - the Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic.

Unfortunately, my left hip has put my race plans for the weekend to a screeching halt. Its been tight since racing Shamrock and after long runs or bikes, I've had trouble climbing stairs. I had a few massages to try and loosen things up and in general was just training through it. Face it, with the recent level of training, everything in my body has been achy and tired. It wasn't hurting during the run or bike, so I kept moving on. After Sunday's threshold run, the tightness was worse and I could feel it during the run for the first time. I still wasn't too concerned on Sunday night -- this week is a recovery week leading into the race this weekend, and I figured it would work itself out with a few days rest. It didn't.

Monday and Tuesday I could feel my hip with every step and going up stairs hurt worse. I pushed through my brick Tuesday evening and my run still felt pretty good. Wednesday I flew to Chicago for work for the day and it throbbed. My hip was no longer just workout sore, something didn't seem right.

So. . . thanks to Endorphin's amazing team doc, Dr. Herring, I was seen right away on Thursday. Thursday's doctor's appointment wasn't encouraging -- it was either a inflammation in my hip rotators and glut medialis or a stress fracture. Between leaving Dr. Herring's office and my 5 pm MRI, I prayed hard. Inflammation, I could deal with, a stress fracture was an all too different story.

Thankfully Dr. Herring's call last evening reported good news. My MRI was negative - no stress fracture. This morning, I was squeezed in to see another fabulous team doc, Dr. Green, for some ART, heat and ice and massage. This afternoon the docs and Coach Michael conferred and discussed my plan to recovery and racing White Lake. So while there is no race for me this weekend, if I follow the plan, I should still be able to maintain my fitness and race hard in two weeks.

My new plan includes lots of pool time this week - a combination of water running and hard aerobic and anaerobic swims. I'm also allowed to bike this upcoming week at tempo pace and below. Next week, I should be back on the road to test out my legs again pre-race. I still can't say enough about how thankful I am to have such great team docs and a coach who work together to get me race ready.

Even Tina's on board too. I've got Omega 3 supplements and anti-inflammatory vitamins and shakes added into my plan for the next week and she's reworking my nutrition plan to make sure I don't gain back weight after I finally reached my White Lake goal race weight this morning. To top off the plan, I'm going to try some acupuncture.

So shoes . . . don't give up on me. . . . we'll race hard in two more weeks. In the meantime, Bart, Deanna B, Jill, Jennifer, Moose, Greg and Rob race fast tomorrow! We need a new round of PRs!