Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday 13

1. I am trying something new this week and bringing the 'Thursday 13' to my blog
2. After 4wks of rest I think my foot is ready to try a little running again.
3. And if I still wasn't suffering from a migraine from putting my head into the pavement last week, I'd go run tonight.
4. I'm thinking of going out of town IM weekend so that I don't have to see all the athletes reaching there IM goals, while I am sidelined as a failure.
5. This weekend I'm headed out climbing for the first time this season.
6. Wyatt's FINALLY back in town for a few days. :)
7. And in honor of that, the dog got his teeth brushed and a bath
8.He was thrilled.

9. Tomorrow is going to be a 12+ hr work day. Boo!!
10. For lunch I had the second half of the best grilled cheese I had ever had.
11. It wasn't as good the second time.
12. I'm hoping for some quality motorcycle time this weekend.
13. It's hard to come up with 13 interesting things....


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Friday, July 24, 2009

I quit.

All I wanted to do was get on a bike, go for a ride, and have fun. Seriously. No training goal, no pace, no hill repeats, just fun.

Wednesday I decided to head out with a coworker of mine, Julie, for a post work ride. She's speedy lady who takes her riding pretty seriously, but as the plan was to do a loop on the Cap City Trail (a paved ~30m bike path) I was feeling relaxed and excited. That relaxed, excited, fun feeling lasted all of 2m....maybe that.

Coming around a slight bend in the path keeping a nice pace and KA-BLOOEY! Like pistol shot I( suspect the elderly lady up the path thought she was getting shot at) ,my rear tube flatted, exploding the tire off the rim, kicking out the read end of my bike and careening me directly into the pavement. I slide on the top of my helmet a bit, snapped my left cleat in half (I can only assume it happened sometime between my flails to unclip and my foot hitting the pavement), took a healthy gash out my elbow, and road rashed myself up nicely. F*ck that hurt.

Almost in one continuous motion I was back up and pulling my bike off the path. After I realized nothing on me or my bike was broken, my next thought was I cannot change my tire here, there are too many mosquitoes. Seriously, those buggers were vicious. So I schlepped my non-rolling bike probably a 1/4m to the nearest street and proceeded to pace, slap, and scratch while changing my tire. All while blood was running down my arm an leg. Probably my fastest tire change ever.

Tube changed, tire back on, CO2'd up, back on the bike...ish. This is the point I realize I'm not going anywhere. The wheel would sort of go into the dropouts, but not quite. I look down to realize it is bent to the point of hitting the chainstay. AH*&(^#O(*!!!! My hopes of limping my bike back to work and calling it a day where going to be more complicated than anticipated. So now I am left to stand, nay pace, up and down the mosquito infested sidewalk while Julie makes the couple mile trek back to the office to pick up a car.

As soon as I was alone and the adrenaline stopped pumping, I realized not only was I in pain but I had demolished a wheel. And so began the tears. I left Wyatt (who's RAGBRAI'ing it up this week and generally incommunicado) a tearful message which I realized after leaving was a poor decision. Seriously, what good, other than inspiring panic, would my tearful message do? So I followed up that voicemail with a flurry of text messages. Note: there are some times that my phone privileges should be revoked.

The aftermath....I hurt. Kind of a lot. As my usual protest of the medical field goes, I opted out of a trip to the ER. I don't think anything's seriously damaged. Except for the dizzy nauseous headache that won't go away... Oh and there is that bruise in the shape of my PT CPU (which was in my jersey pocket when I landed). I am in need of a new helmet (and am sooo glad I was wearing one), new cleats (somehow in my tumble I snapped one in half, strange) and a new wheel. My poor wheel....

Here's where the bike and I slid on our side.

Here's one of the distinct creases in the rim.

And here is the noticeable S-bend in the rim.

I don't know if I in the PT and the CPU when I went down. I didn't even check that out before boxing up the wheel. Only time will tell.

I'm not able to sleep because every time I move/roll/breath it hurts. I brought myself to tears yesterday when I sneezed. And please do not make me laugh, because, well, that hurts too.

Just another day in paradise...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I am not meant to ride a bike...
There are various other bloody apendages and sore parts to go with the knee. Not to mention a rear wheel that is no more, a snapped cleat (wtf?) and a helmet that should prolly not be used any more.
This is just NOT my season. :(

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wait, does hiking count?

This past Sunday was pretty awesome...admittedly it was an attempt by someone to make amends for being a wee bit too hungover to follow through on our plans from the day before, but I won't dwell on that...much. Anyways.

We took the motorcycle up to Devil's Lake, which was a beautiful ride. Except for the ferry. I HATE ferries. They terrify me. I can't explain why. I can swim and I actually really like boats. But I will avoid ferries at any and all costs. I mean seriously, build a friggin' bridge!

Me...pouting on the ferry. Hot, right?!

At the lake we opted to just lounge on the South Shore beach and relax. It was sunny and beautiful out. I really wanted to go for a swim (I even had my suit, goggles and cap), but decided against swimming across the lake solo. We did, however, ventured about knee high in the water.

After that we headed over to, as Wyatt would say, Parfait Glen. Better known as Parfrey's Glen... Round trip it was maybe a mile hike, so nothing major, but I really dig this little natural gem. What I didn't know until getting home and checking out the WI DNR site is that Parfrey's Glen was closed for almost 11 months following all the rain and flooding spring 08. We noticed that it looked like there had been more bridges and man made features (for viewing and such) but I couldn't recall as it had been a few years since I was there last.

Giant boulders and moss covered rock formations.

And the little bitty waterfall at the end. Total worth the hike. :)

The ride home was as pretty as the ride up, but not nearly as comfortable. Turns out that the little bitty "padded" board they call a seat on the back of the bike is NOT comfortable for long trips. So worth it tho....I'll take a sort butt any day if it means I cruising around on country highways on the back of a motorcycle with a cute boy! ;)

The epic day ended with a little Tour de France viewing and grilling action. All in all, a perfect Sunday.


None to speak of.

That's right. My IM training has come to a complete halt.

Walking's sore, running HURTS, cycling isn't pleasant (flats are bearable, but torquing up hills is painful), and swimming is manageable.

I am in a constant state of frustration, crankiness, and usually near tears. This is not how this year was suppose to go. And I certainly do not have the level of fitness to do minimal training for a month and jump back on the bandwagon before IM WI. Sigh...

We had a conversation the other day that went something along the lines of "Katie, are you having fun? Are you enjoying any of this any more?" and almost instantly I responded "No." Training isn't always easy or fun, I get that. Working towards your goal isn't always easy or fun. That's the facts. But being in pain (at least for me) is never fun. Pushing through the pain has left me unmotivated and frustrated.

What's next? How will things work out? I don't know.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our hike to "Parfait" Glen aka Parfrey's Glen

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Senor Queso Strikes AGAIN!!!

***Staring Señor Queso***
(names have been changed to protect the not so innocent)

So let me tell you a little story about my road trip to get my bike fixed....

I seem to have the WORST luck with bike mechanics. This could be in part to my overly picky nature. Ok, I'm sure that's part of it. Since moving to Madison I have had nothing but bad luck with my bikes. If you had encountered some of the janky work I have you'd be picky too. But I digress...

I sort of luck out that one of my favorite people (and good friend) happens to be a ROCKSTAR bike mechanic. Only unlucky part is that now that I am in Madison he is close to an hour and a half away. Sacrifices must be made for quality, so it's totally worth the drive.

After yet another bike mishap or two, it was off to Milwaukee I go. Admittedly one of the issues was no one's fault. Spokes break. But the other was definitely much more questionable.

I made plans to meet my mechanic of choice at 7pm at the shop. I roll in a few minutes late (how was I to know there was a Brewer's game???) to find out he's not there. Hmmm. I call. I text. No answer. A fellow employee of his and friend of mine, Matt, calls. He texts. I chat and hang out to pass the time. I pace the store. I clean up displays and straighten clothes.... Señor Queso is MIA! Just shy of 8pm Matt decides to try calling the house line. Wouldn't you know, Señor Queso he fallen asleep!! Matt had grandma wake up him so that he could get his butt in gear. HE HAD FALLEN ASLEEP!!! WTF!?! Strike 1 Señor Queso!

Meanwhile, the poor store manager, who I know well enough I suppose, is now dealing with a panic-y starting to cry girl in his shop. He volunteers one of the other guys to take a look at my bike for me while we continue to wait for Señor Queso...

Almost 8:30 now and who strolls in? Señor Queso. Finally. Yeah, the other tech got things taken care of on the wheel front, but there was still the matter of my jacked up drivetrain. That's right Sleeping Beauty, get to work! Lucky for him, Señor Queso has some MAD bike skillz and my bike up and shifting soooo much better pretty darn quick.

After the bike drama was repaired and behind us, we headed out for a quick bite to eat to before I drove home. It was spose to me Matt and his lady friend, Señor Queso and I. Or so I thought. We get to the restaurant to discover that I am, in fact, the 5th wheel on Matt and Señor Queso's double friggin date. Really boys? REALLY? In addition to this little awkward suprise, our quick bite to eat turned into a really loooooong meal. And it's not like there were multiple courses, those 4 just took their sweet time doing everything. By the time dinner was done and Señor Queso drove me back to my car it was after midnight!! And I still had almost an hour and half drive home! Strike 2 Señor Queso!

One more strike and YOU'RE OUT Señor Queso!!

You may remember Señor Queso from past posts such as The Biking Debacle Part I and The Biking Debacle Part II.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


That's right. I have officially come to a training ROAD BLOCK!

After finishing KS I noticed that my right foot and ankle was really sore. Like can't put weight on it sore. I chalked it up post race soreness, iced and elevated and assumed in a day or 2 it would feel much better. After all I didn't remember anything happening to hurt it....

Well a week and a half goes by, still swollen, still sore, still not good. I finally break down and go to my doc. Well, turns out, general med dr know squat about the musco-skeletal system. Without every touching my swollen ankle/foot she decided it was probably something with the ligaments, or maybe the muscles, or something, and just stay off it. what about the fact I can't really put weight on it? It hurts enough to keep me up at night? Oh, well ice and you should start some PT before you do any more training. Right.

Nothing for the pain, no brace of any sort, NO REFERAL TO A DOCTOR WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING?!?!

Needless to say I am looking at find a new, non-useless, all purpose doctor.

Anywho. That was 2 weeks ago. I tried to get in to PT, but couldn't see anyone until the end of July because I'm a new patient and I'm not refered from one of the sports med docs. So I rested, iced and elevated for the rest of that week. I eased my way back into swimming, relatively pain free but low effort and yardage. I've been doing some cycling...which hurts. Especially on longer rides or torquing up hills. And running, well running makes me think my foot's going to EXPLODE!

Last week I did a 2m treadmill run, ~10min/miles jus to see how it would feel. ABout 1/2m in I started to get stabby searing pains. Not good. I iced, elevated, and rested.

Last nigth I decided to say screw it and go for a lil pavement run. I did 3.1m in about 29.30, sp [retty darn slow. And once again, about 1/2m in I thought my foot was goign to fall off. WTF?! I do not need this right now.

I don't know what's wrong with my foot/ankle. My doctor's an idiot. My training is non-existent. I am in trouble....

Thoughts...suggestions...magic cures....give me what you've got?

Like ATR? Where in Madison can I find this and would it help? Is it convered by insurance?
Anyone know of a reputable nice dr that can help me out (and that I can somehow get a referal to)?
Home remedies?


Monday, July 6, 2009

A little more KS

Here's a few post race pics from KS...
Fellow finishers Meghan...

and Taz!

Edde (in from NC!!)

Coworker Ron (made it out in time to watch me finish)

Wyatt (my SAG wagon and Cheerleader extraordinaire)

Lady-like consumption of a post race chicken sammich

Classy post race recovery...PBR and a hotel garbage can ice bath!

Compression socks, PINK Newtons and trail mix...traveling home in style :)

All in all KS was a fantastic experience!! I would go back in a heartbeat and highly recommend this race to anyone. Here's to schooling my time next year in KS!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto....Part 2

4am came way to fast that morning. I think that I actually had a pretty solid night of sleep despite it all. Just the same it was early, and not all of us are morning people...
If you look closely you"ll see it says 4:55...we'd been up for almost an hour. Does he look thrilled?!?

Breakfast of champions! Water, Coke, 1/2 a bagel with PB and a nanner. I am normally a big BIG fan of breakfast (and I LOOOOOVE brunch) but race morning eating is always a struggle for me.

We were packed and out the door and on the road by 5am. Woah. Talk about efficient in the morning. We had about a 5 or so minute drive to the park....that got much much longer as we got to the park entrance along with hundreds of other participants. Crap! I had not scheduled this into my morning routine. Yes, I had plenty of time, but even little things like this are enough to send me into a complete meltdown on race morning.

Finally there and parked, time to set up T2. I met up with Taz and Meghan here,and it's a good thing I did because I was quickly becoming a nervous wreck. When Taz tried to re-body mark me (yes, yesterday's body marking came off in the shower) I was shaking so hard she had a hard time writing. She tried joking with me to relax me...something about having written the wrong number on me...but that just started the first round of pre-race hyperventilating and tears. Opps. What's odd is that this is far from the first race I've done, and yet I always, no matter the race, no matter the distance, no matter who I'm with, get this freaked out nervous. This is something I need to figure out...

From here we headed down to T1 to get set up there and ready for the swim. The mile walk down to T1 helped calm me down a little. I got down there and found my bike only to find that the girl on my left had racked her bike on the wrong side and had taken up my transition space. Grr! This was another one of those race morning mishaps I could have done without. But I figured it out, condensed my transition area and made do.

With the transition area set up there was nothing left to do but stand in the port-a-potty line and suit up. While waiting to go to the bathroom, I ran into Robert, who was looking annoying calm and perhaps still half asleep. We chatted for a few minutes, before it was time for me to get in my wetsuit and make my way towards the swim start.

Yeah, I'm going to need that back now...

By the time I was suppose to head to the chute with my swim wave I was starting to cry and hyperventilate again. I wasn't sure where Meghan had disappeared to (she is a very popular lady), which meant I had to head over and line up myself. I asked Wyatt if it was too late for me to decide not to race, he said yes and that if need be he would throw me in the lake....ok, looks like I am doing this thing. I walk over, in tears, and wait with my wave. The same chick that racked her bike on the wrong side and stole my transition area ended up waiting by me and trying to settle my pre-race nerves, so I forgave her for her earlier indiscretion.

Surprisingly, once in the water, I was quite calm.

The swim start was uneventful and all in all pretty mild. With a hundred-twenty or so ladies in my wave it wasn't too congested or wild. I was able to find a line pretty easily and make some headway. And the most shocking of all, I was able to swim fairly straight! This NEVER happens. Every 200y'ish there were big buoys that I was able to sight off of and use to keep my self moving in the right direction. I felt slow and steady in the water. My breathing was calm and my stroke was strong. I could've pushed harder, but wasn't looking to over do it, so I kept to my slow and steady routine. About the time I had to round last corner buoy and head for the finish, the front of the wave behind us (Men 40-44 I believe) had caught up and swam straight over me. I hung in there and kept moving, despite a pretty vicious elbow to the right kidney. Before I knew it I was coming out of the water....almost 5mins before I thought I would!

I am just not graceful coming out of the swim....

My swim to bike transition was slow, but to be honest I wasn't in a hurry. I had a hard time getting my wetsuit off my arms as it was getting caught up on my watch and wristband (I never swim with anything on my wrists....). I took the time to be heckled by Wyatt (and secretly I loved the attention, it's nice to have someone who cares about you there cheering you on) and get myself together.

(One of many shots of my butt.)And go!

I knew more or less what to expect on the bike. There were some long hills, but nothing too steep. It was overcast and looking like rain, but the temperature was perfect! Overall my ride was pretty uneventful...pedal, grind up hills, coast down hills, repeat. I was happy with how much water I was able to comfortably drink, and I was even able to do some eating on the bike (a chocolate Gu or 2, some watermelon Luna Moons, and a few strawberry Clif Blocks). My biggest mistake, I think, was deciding to drink some of the orange Gatorade Endurance they had on the bike course. I think it was just too sweet for me and left me feeling queasy and crampy with 10 or so miles left in the bike. Despite the upset tummy, I was happy to see that I had paced myself well. I had kept my power at a manageable and consistent level, my cadence was steady (and not quite as masher-esque as usual), and I even kept up a decent mhp.

So as I was fighting through starting to just feel gross and outright puke-y on the bike I reached the 50m mark. I was feeling pretty good about things. My time was ahead of where I thought I would be, I still had legs, and water was starting to settle my tummy. Now I mentioned in my last post that I got us a little lost while we were pre-driving the course, and because of that we didn't drive the end of it. Well what I didn't know, because of that blunder, was that there was an absolute calf-burning never ending hill with like 3m left. For real? I was feeling ok, but I did not have the stomach or the legs to push it here. Damn it! Eventually I hauled my tired self up that one, and as I approached the 55m marker I got NERVOUS. If you recall it was at this point of the Pigman last year that I decided to go body first into the pavement. Right. All I wanted to do was make it safely off the bike and this race would be a success! On this course, thankfully, the roads in the park were closed to traffic, so I had no cars to contend with. What I did have at mile 55 was a nice downhilll and another quick uphill....but I was so terrified of a Pigman repeat that I rode the brakes down the hill and had to pedal myself up the hill. Grr. Oh well. I was stoked to see the bike finish. And wouldn't you know, right as I was finishing the bike the clouds broke and the temperature instantly skyrocketed like 15+ degrees. Just my luck. Oh well. Off the bike, let the running begin!

Side note. Saddle # way too many is not so much better than any of the others I've tried. So while I was able to tough it out through the 56m I was SORE when I got off. Like super sore.

Into the giant sea of bikes and to my rack. As I was running, and I use that term very loosely, up to my gear I saw Wyatt walking along completely oblivious that I was off the bike and transitioning. I was about 10mins ahead of my estimated time. Score!

Another slow transition for me. Again, I wasn't in a super hurry, especially considering I was not feeling good at this point. In my not feeling good haste I completely forgot I had Tums in my bag for this very reason....grr! I also forgot to put on my Garmin, so I was running without any idea of pace. Double grrr!

Shoes and race belt, check!Hat, and GO!

Oh the run....the run was miserable. I was insistent that I was going to run. i was tryign to channel my inner Hillary Biscay and stick to her "no walking in Ironman" rule. But who was I kidding?! I am no Hillary Biscay. I managed to keep my running up for the first maybe 2m. Every step left my stomach in turmoil. About this time I saw Edde out there cheering us on. I think I may have started to cry a little...Edde had gotten up at some silly early hour to drive from NC to KS to see us ladies race!! I asked him what to do and his words of advice were to walk and stay hydrated. So I conceded to walk and tried to get my stomach under control. The first time I saw Wyatt on the run course was probably 3 miles or so in. I was just about in tears. I remember telling him that I was miserable and to get the camera out of my face. He ran with me for a bit and told me that it was almost done and to keep going. I was so upset. All in all I was having a great race (for me). Both my swim and bike went better than expected, and here on the run, the part I thought was in the bag, I was falling apart. I wanted to quit. Why was this happening? I kept watching all this people pass me looking strong and great, and all I could do was trudge along and try not to puke. That's when it occurred to me. I was capable of finish, that wasn't the question. I wasn't going to finish in the time I wanted to, but I was going to finish. So it came down to finishing with a bad attitude and being miserable or making the most of my day and enjoying the accomplishment.

So I decided to keep moving, smile and cheer for all the incredible people out there. I cheered for those people zooming effortlessly by me. I cheered and encouraged those feeling like I did. I walked and chatted with the other people struggling. It went from "get the camera out of my face" to this:

I talked with a collegiate athlete from the Chicago area who was pushing through calf cramps. I saw Robert on the run and comiserated on stomach issues. I walked with an elderly gentleman from TX who was frustrated with having no legs left. Near the end there were 3 of us that challenged ourselves to push through two minutes of running alternated with one minute of walking. Even though I had a major attitude adjustment and was actually having a pretty good time, I was still excited to see the run come to an end. With a about a half of a mile left I was able to run out the rest of it. It wasn't fast, but it was steady.

I ran down the yellow brick road to an official Ks 70.3 finish of 6:58 and change!