Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Foot Update

So in 2012, I had the Great Hip Blip.  I haven't decided what to call 2014 and the foot injury, but I will come up with something.

I had my 8 week visit with my orthopedic last week.  The good news is that the foot is healing and is exactly where it should be.  I can add some elliptical to my workout routine and see how it goes.  I asked the doc about riding my bike out on the roads. He was a bit hesitant, but said that I could ride...if there as little to no traffic.  And.  There were no hills.  And.  It wasn't windy.  Basically, he didn't want me to have to worry about putting my foot down hard unexpectedly or have to peddle with a lot of resistance.  My response?  Nevermind, I'll keep spinning.  For now.

The bad news, other than the fact that the foot is still broken, is that I still can't run.  And, I get to continue wearing my sexy shoe and running shoes only.  At this rate, I won't be back in my hills until 2015...so much for sexy strappy shoes at those holiday parties!  But, when I go back in mid-October, he will re-evaluate and maybe, just maybe I can start some run/walk workouts.

All in all, this hasn't been horrible.  Unlike the hip, I know that my bone will heal and I will be running within the next month or two.  And, I am able to do sooo much more that I could with the hip issues.

So what have I been doing?  Hmmmm....let's see:

  • Brazil Butt Lift from Beach Body  - I can't do the lunges in the 1st segment of the Tone workout, but I can do the last two which consist of lots and lots of leg lifts.
  • P90X - Obviously, I'm not doing Plyo or the other cardio workouts.  But, I have been alternating between the Chest and Back, Shoulders and Arms and Chest, Shoulders and Triceps DVDs.  Oh, and of course I've added some Ab Ripper X in there for good measure.
  • Swimming - This has been my go-to workout since about 1 month post injury.  I've gradually worked up the distance and can comfortably swim 2,500 for the first time since Oilman training last year.  I'll keep building up the distance and will hopefully be ready for IMTX training in January.  I was swimming only with the pull buoy (no kicking) until last week.  I feel pretty comfortable with a little kicking now, but need to keep adding more as the foot continues to heal.
  • Spin Bike - I've been a little lazy here, only because I am finding it hard to get to the gym for more than an hour at a time.  I did spin for about 1 hour 15 minutes last week, but I could (and should) be doing more.  I guess the best solution would be to dust of the trainer and bike at home, but I really, really hate my trainer!
  • Elliptical - I've only had one opportunity to get on the elliptical since my appointment.  I rode the spin bike for an hour and then used the elliptical for 20 minutes.  I probably should have only done 10 minutes, you know, to ease myself into it.  Unfortunately, the foot was a bit sore afterwards.  But only a little.  I'm going back to the gym tonight for more!

My new friend - the elliptical

My doctor explained that it would be much easier to just tell me to do nothing until the foot was completely healed.  He also said that he could tell me to go run, but that my foot would not heal and I would end up being in a great deal of pain,  However, he knows want to stay active and he's trying to work with me and give me some things I can do, which I really appreciate!  So, I'll follow doctor's orders and take one day at a time.

Some days, my foot feels great and I am tempted to do a little more than I should.  But, I have to remember the ultimate goal - IMTX 2015.  I want the foot to be ready to go in January, so I'll do what I have to do...even though it sucks!

On the upside, I can spend more time with these silly guys....

Enjoying having lunch with my silly kids!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summertime…

Is it just me, or did the summer just fly by?  It’s so hard to believe that summer is over! 
 
I decided that this year, I was going to do my best to make it really feel like summer at home.  Traffic is lighter, so I decided to let the kids sleep in a little later than usual.  And, I attempted to take a day off each moth to do something fun with the kids.  Plus, we tried our best to do some fun summer activities - spending time at the pool, going to baseball games, etc.  We managed to see the Corpus Christi Hooks play the San Antonio Missions, plus we went out to Constellation Field to see the Skeeters play.

Hanging out at the neighborhood pool....
The kids enjoying a Hooks game!  Who am I kidding, they're enjoying the popcorn more!

In June, I took a day off from work to see Big! The Musical at an outdoor theatre. We had lunch downtown, explored Houston’s tunnels, ate cupcakes and just had fun. 


Checking out the skyline, providing child labor at my office, checking out the artwork downtown

At Hermann Park, after the show

The July outing didn’t happen, but I did manage to take 3 days off in August for some summer family fun.  We headed to the neighborhood pool, saw a movie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), stayed a night at a local resort (think water slides, lazy river, s’mores, dive-in movies….) and checked out the Downtown Aquarium for the first time ever.  Not exactly a Disney Cruise like last year, but still a much needed break from the daily grind.

On the Ferris Wheel at the Aquarium...don't worry, the Munchkin is just being silly.  He's actually having fun.  Really.
 
Rough life, right?  Having fun on the lazy river at the resort.
 

So now what?

Well, I am still patiently waiting for my broken foot to heal. The good news is that I can walk (or hobble) more now without pain.  If I overdo it, my foot does ache, but it’s nothing like the pain I had the couple of weeks following the break. That.was.brutal.

I had my 4 week check-up and things seem to be progressing.  To be honest, I thought my x-ray looked pretty much like the original one.  But, the doc said it is healing and is exactly where he expected it to be at 4 weeks. 

Here's the lovely pic of my 5th metatarsal with the break....
 
As for the workouts, I had already been swimming for about a week, but the doc said I could now add the stationary bike, spin bike or trainer to my routine.  However, I had to promise not to make the tension too high…in other words, no simulating hills.  Yeah, I got it.

My friend Jill and I headed to the gym last weekend and rode side-by-side stationary bikes for an hour….Jill is recovering from a nasty fall off her bike.  It’s funny, because swimming is not my favorite activity at all, but while swimming that first 25 yards, I swear I had a HUGE grin on my face.  I was just so stinking happy not to be working out in my living room (no offense to Tony Horton or the guy on the Brazil Butt Lift DVD).  I felt the same way about the stationary bike…I was sweating!  My heart rate was up!  It was AWESOME.  Since then, I've been visiting the spin room a couple of times per week.  Not exactly exciting, but whatever.

Dark room, no a/c...riding nowhere fast.
 
I guess I’m learning to appreciate the little things. J

So, from here I can start attempting to transition to wearing my running shoe.  The doc was very adamant about this being a very gradual transition.  I was supposed to wear my shoe for 1 -2 hours each day for awhile and then wear it longer if there was no pain.  Last weekend, I wore my running shoes for about 6 hours and was okay…so we’ll see what happens.  I have my 8 week appointment next week, so keep your fingers crossed.  If I’m lucky, I might be able to graduate to the elliptical!

(Did I mention that I hate and despise the elliptical?)  (Maybe by then I will be so desperate to do something other than swim and bike, I will love the elliptical?)

So that’s where I’m at.  I’ve worked my swims back to 1 mile and some change, I can sit on the spin bike for a little over an hour…I’m getting there.  And, I am trying to do strength training a couple of times each week, too.

Still, I’d rather be running!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Progress....

Finally!  I feel like my foot is getting a teeny bit better.  I've was able to walk a little more this week and without too much pain.  Yippee!  I even braved a couple of stores this weekend with the kiddos for back to school shopping...something I wouldn't normally do during the Texas tax-free weekend.  But for the past two weekends, I just could not get out and do much walking.   I was beginning to feel very behind schedule on the back to school shopping!

I also braved the pool for the first time since breaking my foot.  The Kiddo and I went early on Sunday morning in order to beat the crowds and pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.  I was a little hesitant to get into the pool.  I sat on a lounge chair, removed my orthopedic shoe and then very carefully moved to the side of the pool.  I managed to slowly lower myself into the pool and land on the good foot.

Turns out that this is my happy place right now!

I used my pool bouy, so that I wouldn't feel compelled to kick and off I went.  I managed to get in 1,000 yards without much more than a bit of achiness in the foot.  Of course there was a bit of chatting with the Kiddo and watching her swim (and do handstands) between the laps.  But overall, I am so happy to be doing something other than crunches and weights in my living room!  Honestly, and I never thought I'd say this about swimming, it felt great!!!!  In fact, I may or may not have had a smile on my face as I was swimming that first 25 yards.

The kiddo gave me a high five after the first lap, which was priceless.  She swam 500 between her handstands and "surfing" on the kickboard.

My little fish and big supporter

Getting out of the pool was a bit trickier than getting in.  I pulled myself up onto the side of the pool and just sat there for a second wondering, "what now?"  I was thankful that we had the pool to ourselves, because I kind of scooted closer to the lounge chair, grabbed my towel and shoe, dried off my foot and put the shoe on.  Then, I was able to stand up.  It was interesting to say the least!  I guess I could have hopped up the stairs in the pool, but then I would have had to hobble my way over to our towels.  I'll have to plan this part a little better next time.

So, there's been some progress.  It's not biking or running, but I'll take it!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The B Word

Not the one you’re thinking of…

Thinking back, the year has been an interesting one.  Off to a great start with the Goofy Challenge in January.  And not just the Goofy Challenge, but the Goofy Challenge with the Hubs by my side the entire way!
 
Fun at Disney!
 
And then, I completed my first trail race.  Sure, I could have done the 10K as my first ever trail race.  But no, as usual I had to jump in with both feet and register for the half marathon.  It was a blast!  I loved it.  Well, except for the bad fall at the end that resulted in a mighty fine looking shiner.  But still, no regrets. 
 
Doesn't look too bad...but a few days later, I had a lovely black eye! 
 
 Most of you don’t know, I’ve picked 2014 as my year to get all those pesky dental issues taken care of.  Soooo….a couple of root canals, some old fillings replaced and an extraction (and prep for an implant) later and well, I’m still in pain.  I’ve been taking ibuprofen on a semi-regular basis since late May.  Definitely some regrets here.  Don’t worry, I am seeing a DIFFERENT dentist very soon.

And next – the dreaded “B” word.

Broken.

As in bone.

My foot.  My 5th metatarsal to be exact. 


In case you were asking yourself, "Where's the 5th metarsal?"

How, you ask?

Stupid story. Three weeks ago, I thought I was going to have boring evening at home – the Hubs was out and the kids were at the Grandparent’s house.  At the last minute, I texted two friends to see if there was any chance at all they could meet up.  It was highly unlikely, since they also have kiddos and busy schedules, but I figured why not.  And much to my surprise, they were both available…score!!! 

So, we were out having dinner and while walking toward the back of the restaurant, I managed to trip and fall.  I’m quite sure I looked very graceful.  Honestly, it didn’t seem that bad.  I was more embarrassed than in pain.  Dinner was great, conversation with friends was great...overall, a great time and no idea that I had really injured my foot.  However, the next morning I knew I had more than a bit of a bruise.  The Hubs and I went to the Woodlands Fit annual pace placement run (I watched) and I had to hobble to the start of the run.  On the way home, we decided that I would go to the nearby urgent care and have my foot checked out.

Here is the result…

Lovely purple toes....

My very fashionable orthopedic shoe!

So what does a triathlete do when they break a bone? 

Ask how quickly they can start swimming, biking and running, of course.  The doc at the urgent care was hesitant to give me a timeline, so I was off to see an Orthopedic who specializes in the foot and ankle on Monday.

His prognosis?

Yep, still broken.  I can swim as soon as I feel comfortable…my foot has been sore so far, so I’ve been scared to even attempt to swim.  And, I am scared to death of slipping on the slippery tiles surrounding the pool at the gym.  I will get there eventually, but until then I will do some strength training.

I can bike in a few weeks (I hope).  Only on a stationary bike or trainer, but it’s better than nothing.  I am hoping that in another week or two, I will be brave enough to get the bike shoe on my foot and ride.  It seems really unlikely at the moment, but I’m trying to be optimistic.

And running? Well, running is the wildcard.  At first, I was told that at around 6 weeks I could start walking for exercise and very slowly try adding in the running.  Later, I was told 3 months. No questions.  And, that was IF my foot was healing properly.  Sigh.

What does this mean?

It means that you have a very sad, depressed TXRunnerMom at times. 

It means no races for the rest of 2014.  No Cypress Triathlon this past weekend.  No Towne Lake on Labor Day.  No 10 for Texas in October.  No OILMAN 70.3 in November!  That last one was the toughest to swallow.  I was really, really hoping to be able to do this one again in preparation for Ironman Texas.  Besides, November seemed so far away.  I’m not sure what this means for the Aramco Houston ½ Marathon in January just yet.  We’ll see…

What else does this mean?

Well, for someone who doesn’t train for marathons and triathlons, it sucks.  It’s an inconvenience – walking the dog is impossible, going to the grocery store is difficult, going up and down the stairs is a challenge. 

For someone who does (constantly) train for marathons and triathlons, it sucks even more.  It means not doing that 56-mile bike ride, going stir crazy from watching too much HGTV and DIY TV while sitting on the couch with your foot propped up (something most of our kind is not used to doing).  It means that instead of going into IMTX training feeling strong and fit, you hope that you can at least not lose too much of your swim and bike endurance and hope to have a little bit of a base built up on the run before IMTX training starts in January.
 
I am trying to look on the bright side…

I was afraid of getting burned out by January, especially after all the training that Oilman would have required.  Guess I don’t have to worry about that.

So far, I’ve been able to sit my arse of the couch in front of the TV.  Believe it or not, this is something I have occasionally wished I had time to do.  Of  course after about an hour of this, I begin to go stir crazy…I am not good at sitting and doing nothing.

Taking a break from all the HGTV to watch some Harry Potter
 
I do get to spend more time with my Hubby and kiddos.  I am bummed that some of our summer activities will need to be postponed…there will be no going to Wet n’ Wild (I can imagine hitting my foot going down a waterslide), no going to Space Center Houston (way too much walking), limited time at the pool, etc.  But, we can still do some fun things together – movies, making tents in the living room, etc.

And think of all the money I am saving on race entries, coaching and nutrition!

So that’s my update.  I figure that if I can at least get some swimming and biking in over the next few months, I will only have the running to worry about.  If I truly can run in late September/early October, I can start building my base between then and January.  I have to believe that it will all work out.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Holy Sh*t!

It occurred to me that I never came here to share my news....

Know what this means????
 
 
How about now?

It means I'm in.  I'm doing IMTX 2015!!!!

The enormity of this whole thing has not hit me yet.  I tend to be one of those people who just doesn't think about it.

Much.

I still have either Oilman 70.3 or Austin 70.3 in the Fall (with a few sprints between now and then), then the Houston 1/2 Marathon in January.  And then, the real fun begins - IMTX training!  Until then, I will just focus on my next race.

:0)

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Funk

Sorry for the long hiatus, it seems that I’ve lost my blogging mojo. You see, I like this blog to be positive and uplifting, but over the past year or so, I just haven’t been feeling all positive and uplifting.


I’ve been in a bit of a funk.  I’ve had a few family issues, I’ve changed jobs, and while I’ve had some big accomplishments (my first 70.3 and the Goofy Challenge), I’m not where I want to be physically.  I’ve let social media get to me…you know, seeing everyone’s “perfect” lives online, when you’re life seems pale in comparison.  I’m envious of the “Hooray for summer!  We finally get to sleep in, no more packing lunches….” Yada, yada. 

For my family, summer doesn’t really change anything – I still have to get up at 4:00 AM to workout, the kids still have to be out of bed by 6 AM to be dressed and out the door by 6:40, the Hubs and I will still be packing lunches daily.  The upside?  No homework or projects…well, that’s something, right?  I’ve just grown so tired of the daily hamster in a wheel, rat race – the early mornings, the commutes, the rush to fit it all in.  I’m not sure how to shake it off, but I am working on it.



I heard the perfect quote the other day about social media, something I definitely need to keep in mind, “You’re comparing someone’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes.” So true!
 
 

So tell me, do you struggle with “the funk”?  How do you get out of it?

I had an excellent day with the kids yesterday.  We spent time together at the neighborhood pool and went to the movies.  My youngest, the Munchkin, declared while swimming, “I think we need to come to the pool every time it’s sunny on a Sunday!”  Dude, I totally agree!  Let’s do it.  On the way home from the movies, the kids and I had a very deep, compelling discussion about…The Avengers and the ties between all the movies like Thor, Hulk, Captain America, etc.  Very deep, indeed.  Suddenly, I felt a little better.  I felt the spark…the little spark that has been missing for quite some time.  Of course facing Monday morning and the re-start of the rat race diminished that spark a little, sigh.  But it’s reassuring to know that it’s still there.
 
 

Let's face it, being a parent is hard enough.  Add in a full-time job, a commute, kid's activities, mommy/daddy activities and it's that much harder.  But the spark still exists.  Whew, I was starting to get worried.

Friday, May 09, 2014

CB&I Sprint Triathlon - Race Report

Wow, it’s hard to believe that I actually completed a 70.3 just 6 months ago.  I’ve continued to run (obviously, since the Hubs and I were training for Goofy), I’ve biked some, but I hadn’t been swimming at all.  I felt so out of practice for tri’s…the bricks, the transitions.  With CB&I on my radar and the Hubs no longer working out of town, I was able to get back to the regular tri-training that I was accustomed to starting in late March / early April.  Finally! 

Pre-Race
For CB&I, I checked my bike in the evening before the race.  I had finally ordered an OutRival team kit and was so excited to pick it up earlier in the week, only to discover that the sizing is really, really small.  There was no way in hell I was going to squeeze myself into it and actually race in it.  So, the day before the race, I borrowed a friend’s kit from a couple of years ago.  It was a completely different brand and thankfully, it fit well.  I know you’re not supposed to wear something you’ve never worn before on race day, but CB&I is pretty short and I decided I’d take my chances. 

That morning, I ate my regular breakfast and headed to the race.  About five minutes into my drive, I’d realized I forgot my phone.  Ack!  I parked and hiked over to the race start and set up my transition area.  From there, I said hi to a few friends and attempted to find a few others in the dark (without my phone, lol).  Before I knew it, it was time to head to the start.  I was a bit worried, because the Hubs hadn’t arrived with the kids yet.  Then I remembered…Saturday morning - the kids could be hard to get out of bed so early.  They had a talent for taking forever to get dressed.  They probably wanted to stop and get donuts.  They had to make the trek from the parking lot to the race.  Yeah, they’d eventually be there….and they were.  They arrived about the time the men’s waves were starting.
 
Pre-race with Woodlands Fit peep, Kate.  This was her first tri and she rocked it!

Getting a good luck smooch from the Hubs

With the fam...so good to have my own personal cheer section!
The Swim - 12:40 (500 m)
Finally, it was time for my wave to start (45 minutes into the race).  I decided to wear my wetsuit..the air temp was in the high 50’s (maybe 60?  I dunno, but it was chilly) and the water was somewhere between 72 and 74 degrees.  Not bad, but what the heck. 

Honestly, it took me awhile to really find my groove during the swim.  I inadvertantly started in the middle of a pack of women and couldn’t find my place or pace.  I stopped for a second and realized that not many people were swimming on the inside, closest to the buoys…so that was where I stayed.  Finally, I got going and found a bit of my mojo.  The swim went by pretty fast.  The sad thing about this distance, is that I finally managed to really get into my groove at about 300m…by then, the swim is almost over!  Before I knew it, I was at the shore and climbing out of the water.

Waiting for the race to start...
T1 - 2:24
I started unzipping the wetsuit and took of my goggles and swim cap as I ran.  For some reason, I felt a bit discombobulated (is that a word?) in T1.  I almost walked past my row and when I got to my bike, I managed to get my wetsuit off pretty quickly, but I just seemed to take way too long getting into my bike shoes and getting my helmet on.  I ran with my bike to the mount line, then had trouble getting my right foot onto the pedal.  I swear that I wasted HOURS getting on my bike and going.  Okay, maybe not HOURS, but I did waste precious seconds!

BIKE - 34:14 (10.59 miles / 18.35 mph)
FINALLY…I was on my bike and pedaling.  It always takes me a couple of miles to find my rhythm and get my heart rate under control.  The bike route was shortened from 15 miles to just over 10 miles due to local construction.  The ride went by pretty quickly…the route is a great, flat out and back.  My only complaint was that with the new route, there were two no passing zones.  I wasn’t 100% sure where they started, so as the road narrowed a bit I decided to be cautious and not pass.  Little did I know, just down the road, there would be a woman waving a flag telling us when the no passing zone started.  Dang!  I could have passed back there!  Naturally, I was stuck behind someone going about 14 mph.  When we could finally pass, I did.  Then, on the way back – same thing, no passing zone behind someone going 14 mph.  Ack!  But, once we were out of the no passing zone, I was able to make up for some of the lost time.  The breeze must have been working in my favor, because I was reaching 22 and 23 mph in some spots.  Luckily, the dismount went more smoothly than the mount and I was back in transition in no time.

T2 - 1:34
Nothing unusual here.  Just exchanged the bike shoes for my running shoes, grabbed my Garmin from the bike, my visor and race belt and headed out.

RUN - 27:03 (~2.89 miles / 9:21 pace)
The race directors are kinda mean when it comes to the run.  You exit transition, make a right hand turn and immediately start running up a bridge.  So, here you are, trying to get your pace and heart rate under control coming off the bike and you have to start a little climb!  I was happy to have the bridge behind me and then turn onto a dirt path.  I felt like my pace was good, my breathing was good…all in all, the run felt good.  It wasn’t as fast as I had hoped, but faster than the last time I did this race, so I am happy for that!  This course is also an out and back, so you have to finish the race by running over the bridge again.  (Mean!)  There may or may not have been a few seconds going up that bridge that I wanted to throw up.  The run was supposed to be a 5k, but it seemed to be a little short.


See?  I look way to happy here...of course, this is at the beginning of the run.

Me and the hubs!
 
The Take-Aways
Like any race, there are definitely things that went well and things I could have done better.  I try not to dwell on this too much, but instead, try to remember them for the next race.  Here’s what I took away from CB&I: 

Swim:  I am extremely happy that I held the panic back.  As you know, my swims are not usually calm and relaxed.  I used some tactics in Oilman that helped at CB&I, too.  The swim was calm, so I am happy!  However, I think I need to just deal with the fact that in a tri, people are going to be all around you.  I should not need to stop to figure out what to do.  I need to swim and strategize instead.

Bike:  I know I could have been faster on the bike.  First, I need to mount and go much faster than I did.  This is easy to practice at home and I intend to do just that.  Second, knowing where the no pass zones were would have helped a lot.  Third, for a 10 mile ride, I think I could have pushed harder.

Run:  I am super happy that my pace was faster than last time.  But,  I was too comfortable (well, after getting over that bridge).  I *think* I could have pushed a little more and gotten closer to a 9-minute pace.  That’s what sprint distances are kind of about, right?  Sprinting?  Pushing more than you would on say, an oly or 70.3?

Transitions:  Seriously, this should be the easiest part of the race.  T1 needs to be faster.

So that’s CB&I.  I plan to do it again next year!