Back At It

March 26, 2009

Well my back pain has persisted this week although not without some relief.  I saw the doctor yesterday who has referred me to a chiropractor because I have a joint out of place in my upper back.  In the meantime, the anti-inflammatories have taken away most of the pain and swelling so I am feeling much more functional in the world.  I took yesterday off but got back in the pool tonight with no discomfort whatsoever.  I even cranked out the set of 6 x 200 fly with no pain, so things are looking up!

Still no running and cycling but I’d rather take it slow than make things worse, so I’m gritting my teeth and dealing with it.  Only nine days until GB arrives thus beginning my two week break from work and two weeks with my better half!  It has already been six weeks since we saw each other, so this next week will make our longest period of separation thus far.  Needless to say we are counting down the days!

Tall People

March 22, 2009

On Tuesday I did something to my upper back while lifting my bike.  This is a sure sign that either a) I need a lighter bike, or b) I need to work on my core strength.  In my defense, there was a full waterbottle and a very heavy bike light rechargable battery on the bike but still….that’s pathetic.

So I have spent the rest of the week bonding with my foam roller and stretching to get this thing worked out.  Thankfully swimming doesn’t seem to bother it, so I did manage to squeeze in antoher 11km this week.  Sadly I haven’t been able to run at all and I have had to take it easy on the bike, but I’m relieved not to have had to take a complete break.

This weekend has been insanely busy and a lot of fun.  On Friday we had our staff appreciation dinner for work and I managed to stay there until nearly midnight – which is unheard of for me!  Then on Saturday morning I went to a triathlon clinic with Brian and Becky Lavelle.  The weather wasn’t great so not many people showed up and I had an opportunity to shoot the breeze with them for a while.  I usually try to stay away from people that tall who make me look like I am still waiting for my teenage growth spurt, but I made an exception for them.  They seem like really down-to-earth people and it was fun to get to know them a little.  After the clinic I went to work at my triathlon store job where I got to rub shoulders with even more triathletes.  And then last night it was the annual triathlon association dinner at which Becky was the speaker.  Still more triathletes.  Of course I ended up at a table with two couples who were all close to six feet tall (once people get above 5’10 it’s really hard to tell from down here how tall they actually are!).  They are among the island’s fastest, so I am hoping that between them and Becky and Brian, that some serious speed rubbed off on me yesterday!

This morning there is a duathlon, which sadly I am not doing because of my back.  Instead I’m going to ride down there and watch.  It’s a rainy day so certainly not great weather for a race, but hopefully it will clear up soon as it so often does.

Hot Tub

March 17, 2009

Well, I was really happy to swim last night since I was unbelievably stiff yesterday from my weekend racing, and I figured the water would help to loosen me up.  I was  right, because the water was NINETY-FOUR DEGREES!  Is that legal?  Is that safe???  At least the pool is outside so the air was cool.  There were definitely moments when both my lanemate and I were feeling woozy from the heat and so we threw our bodies on the deck a few times to cool off.  In spite of the heat and my very sore legs, I was really feeling strong in the water last night.  It’s amazing how one 12km week in the pool can boost my swimming to another level.

Today I have a ride (and bike commute) and a running class in the evening.  My lanemate looked at me like I was a little crazy when I told her that.  She gave me the “don’t you already understand how to run?” look.  I know how to run, but I don’t know how to run fast.  I’m thinking of joining this running group to help me with that little problem.  I’m sad to miss swimming tonight but I’m well aware that my time is better spent running when it comes to my triathlon performance.  Hopefully by Wednesday the pool will have cooled off a little!

Awesome Weekend

March 16, 2009

One of the things GB and I have always done best is weekends.  Especially weekends in Spring.  We seem to cram in the most amount of laughter and fun that is possible for 2 days.  So needless to say, warm, Springy weekends apart make us miss each other terribly.  With that in mind, I jam-packed my weekend so I wouldn’t have time to get mopey and it worked.

On Friday night I volunteered at a kids’ running race which was very, very entertaining.  Watching twenty-five four year-olds sprint around a track is pretty funny.  They don’t even look like people.  They look like little bugs running so fast on their short legs, it’s hilarious!  Anyway, that was cute and kept me busy until way past my bedtime.

They I dragged my tired self out of bed on Saturday morning to do a local fun run.  I met up with three of my kids from school (2 of whom did the run on their bikes and one who walked) which was very cute since they were super shy to see me outside of school.  I was very pleased with my run and found some girls who were a little faster than me and literally breathed down their necks for 7 miles.  They did not let me outsprint them at the finish (and rightly so, given that I had let them drag me the whole way!).  We all introduced ourselves at the finish and it turns out they didn’t know each other either so we had just formed this clump of random women for the entire race.  Pretty cool.  I saw a lot of people at the race from my days of racing here over fifteen years ago and I will say it’s nice to be getting reconnected again if I have to stay here for another year.

On Saturday afternoon I went in to work for a bit and then tried to rest my legs for the inevitable pain on Sunday.  Sunday was the final hillclimb of the series and after babysitting until midnight on Saturday and having run VERY hard on Saturday, I will tell you that my body did NOT want to get out of bed.  Since I am one of only 2 women who attended every hillclimb I automatically got a trophy for series points just by going to the race.  So on Sunday I was laying there in bed saying to myself : “you are probably the only person on the planet who will get a trophy just for getting out of bed this morning so GET UP!”  Eventually I did manage to ride the 90 minutes to the race and had a decent climb in spite of some very toasted legs.  I then did the post-race group ride and stopped at a friend’s house for coffee before riding the 90 minutes home.  By the time I got home my legs were totally worked and I was exhausted.

GB and I talked for ages on the phone last night and were both in great spirits.  We were talking about how in three weeks we will be together again and living it up here on the island for a week.  We both have a week off (I have two!) and a friend is going away so we will be housesitting at an awesome house with an ocean view from our BED!  After our tropical vacation we are both flying back to Minnesota for my last week of break so I can see the dogs and we can have one more week together.  Then we will be in the final stretch before we are together again for the summer!

So now I just have to figure out how to fill my next two weekends…

Rubber Arms

March 13, 2009

Well I am having what must be one of my most solid training weeks ever.  Yesterday was a light day and I had a recovery swim on the schedule.  I was pretty sure my lanemate had said she wouldn’t be there on Thursday so I thought I could have a nice easy swim without her (don’t get me wrong, I love having a lanemate, but I needed to recover, not push the pace).  Just as I started my warmup I saw a shadow looming and realized it was her, so I knew I was doomed to a faster evening.  We said our quick hellos during which I used the word “recovery” about 46 times for emphasis and off we went.  Thankfully she was tired (this maniac has two young children and still kicks my butt), so the agreement was that we wouldn’t push it.


We had completed what we thought was the mainset (6 x 200IM) and heard this:

“100 fly”….

“times 12”

I stood there squinting into the setting sun doing the math over and over again.  We were both silent.  Finally I squeaked out “as in 1200 meters FLY?”.  “Yes”, laughed the coach, “1200”.  So that was the end of my recovery and the end of my useful arms for a few days.  We cranked it out, although not without our fair share of groaning and moaning.  Thankfully we didn’t go hard, so I’m not feeling too bad this morning.

This weekend I’m doing a fun running race on Saturday  morning, working at the triathlon store on Saturday, babysitting on Saturday night, and doing another hillclimb race on Sunday.  So needless to say, I have a busy weekend ahead.  GB and I have both been so busy that we haven’t talked on the phone in days.  I got an email after my Richard Simmons post that said this: “You are so busted.  I do read your blog, you know”.  GB was referring to my endless mockery of her having become injured doing a Richard Simmons video.  The major complaint was that I had not explained that this was a mandatory work exercise during which staff have kids doing Richard Simmons as some sort of consequence and the staff do it with the kids.  That’s one heck of a consequence for behaving badly!!!


March 11, 2009

Apparently GB's new workout partner.

Apparently GB's new workout partner.


At last I have a lanemate!  For years I’ve been either swimming alone or swimming with people who are not my speed.  Thankfully, at the swim club I joined, there is one other adult and she happpens to be a perfect speed match.  On Monday I climbed out of the pool completely exhausted and worked from being pushed harder than I have in a long, long time.  Then last night we were both tired and achey from Monday so I thought “awesome, and easier day today if we’re both hurting”.  Well, neither my coach nor my new lanemate seemed to be thinking about “easy”!  I have been a swimmer for almost my whole life and I have never had arms this tired from swimming.  I can’t believe what a difference it makes to have someone to work with and race against in the pool!  Even though it’s not on the schedule I desperately want to swim again tonight, but alas, I will spare my poor shoulders and give them the day off they deserve.

It seems my sinus infection is long behind me and I have done more training in two days than I did all last week, so things are looking up.  Amazing how much you appreciate training when you have to take a forced break!

Not much else to report except that on the phone last night GB reported getting injured doing a Richard Simmons video.  This does leave a huge question mark in the air for me about why GB was DOING a Richard Simmons video!  I swear, I leave the country for a few months and look what happens!  I’m not sure I even want to get to the bottom of this one!  But you can bet it is now open season on GB.  I may be thousands of miles away, but I can still make fun!

Taking it Easy

March 8, 2009

After a long week of not feeling well, I am finally medicated and on the mend and I think this sinus infection is nearly behind me.  I trained very lightly this week, mostly out of necessity and partly because I was trying to be smart, and it seems to have paid off by allowing my body to get back to health.  Today I braved another hillclimb time trial which was a good time except for the coughing fit that ensued.  I was very restrained afterwards and despite the excellent weather, I caught the bicycle train home and dropped off the back, not going for the full group ride which I figured would take it’s toll.  Tomorrow I will attempt a swim in the evening and see how I feel.

This weekend we had the first spectacular weather since I’ve been here.  I took a few pictures, as you can see, which barely do the weather justice.  I’m sure, however, that they will manage to spark either vicarious joy or envious anger in my friends in less-warm climates!sunnyday-0011

In the style of Bree Wee, I present to you a hibiscus.

In the style of Bree Wee, I present to you a hibiscus.