Saturday, October 30, 2010


Wow, was that a pleasant surprise this morning. I went out to my ride this morning planning to ride around 16-18 miles and relax this morning. I showed up at the ride and my partner told me that she was going 27 miles and my only other option this morning was a longer ride than 27 miles. I chose the 27 and forewarned my group that I would drop back on the hills and meet them at the top and recover. I don't normally ride this late in the year. Today's ride equalled my latest ride of the season, which was in 2005.

I haven't ridden further than 18 miles since the surgery on my right knee in Mid-September. I knew just from looking at the cue sheet that it would be a very difficult 27 mile ride for me. Hills are not really my friend right now, especially since I tore the scar tissue. I have one hill that has beat me every time in the last two weeks. I am starting to get mad about that. We only had a small group of 4 riders on the 27 mile route this morning, 3 women and one man. I had made it 16 miles in, including being chased by a particularly persistent dog. This hound chased me for close to a 1/4 mile. I was in the wrong gear, had forgot my dog spray at the house and finally just yelled at the dog to go home in my best alpha human voice and he actually listened. Only problem was that I was standing on my pedals in the wrong gear, going uphill and could not escape this dog. When I could finally drop gears and spin, I was really hurting!!! My quad was screaming. I stopped further up the road and stretched and was good to go again. Now, about that hill. This hill is a bugger for me normally even when I have a good base. The grade kicks up halfway up the hill and starts beating me up. Considering the previous 16 miles and the dog chasing me, I was toast halfway up. I had to stop. I stopped for a minute or two, caught my breath, stretched the quad AGAIN and hopped back on. My buddy Joe asked if I wanted him to help me up the hill and push. The last time I was pushed up a hill was 2005 and I told him the following, "I haven't been pushed up a hill in 5 years and don't intend to start now!! Thank you, but at this point, it's a matter of pride and I refuse to walk up a hill or be pushed up a hill that I know I can make it up.". I know that by November 20, I will make it up that hill without being pushed or having to stop partway up and recover. The huge plus of the month of October is that with a 9 mile ride tomorrow, I will have my first 100 mile month all year. I have only ridden about 270 miles this year and 91.78 of those miles have been since October 1!! It is nice to ride and not feel my patella rub on my femur. The last two cycling seasons have been very painful and I am ecstatic to go into next season for Triathlon and cycling pain free!! I may finally be able to ride my Century and ride it pain free.

Last but not least, I should be hitting the pool in the next week or two and planning to pick up my wetsuit hopefully in February and start the open water training in late March or early April. Still walking instead of running, but that is right on track, so no worries. I'll post my October distances tomorrow night and update the November plan tomorrow night!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good or Bad

Yay!!! Back on the bike this morning after a week of resting and healing. I didn't realize how painful torn scar tissue can be. I rode today with a very good friend. We always try to push each other as well as encourage. I so enjoy riding with her that I hate being off the bike. Today's ride was a series of good and bad moments!!

The route today has one one of my least favorite climbs. It has a great downhill run into it, but the only problm was that as I geared down going up the hill, my gears wouldn't drop. So I had to stop on the uphill to fix the gears. I climbed back on the bike and started climbing and had more gear issues, nearly falling. Off the bike again and fixing gears, back on the bike and I can't get clipped and still in the wrong gear. Off the bike, drop all gears and back on again, finally moving forward, but couldn't clip my left foot because I was going so slow that if I sopped pedaling to clip that I would fall over. I was praying that my left shoe wouldn't slip off the pedal because I would be in just as much trouble. Finally crested the hill and recovered while spinning. After that we only dealt with one idiotic dump truck driver who passed us quite irresponsibly and nearly had a head-on with the SUV coming toasted us. Thankfully the SUV driver slowed down or it could have been ugly. We had a great tailwind for a good portion of the ride. The headwind was pretty gnarly at points, but we still made it and had fun.

The knee and quad are still pretty sore and more so following the ride and having a little fun with Sandra. We were kind of racing to the last hill and finish and I came out of the saddle and the area where the scar tissue tore told me that it was not a good idea to continue that course of action. I let Sandra go and took it easy at the end.

It was great to be on the road again, despite the discomfort and soreness. Tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random thoughts and questions answered

Since I am still resting following the torn scar tissue, I figured I would answer some questions!!!

As a mom, I understand that trying to fit training in with my mom, wife and work obligations can sometimes be like herding cats. I have to first of all thank my wonderful husband!!! Without him, I would be unable to fit as much training into my week as I typically do. He is definitely a partner and my ultimate fan and cheerleader. We've been married for over 16 years and together for 18 years. He has always supported me in whatever I've done. There is no finer man or husband alive.

My ultimate fan (b) is my reason, motivation and inspiration for what I do. My daughter is the best nurse, cheerleader, critic and snuggler. I love to hear her little Minnie Mouse like voice while cycling or racing saying, "Go Mommy Go!!!"
She even does it while I am riding my trainer during the winter. She makes me want to do better for her. When I became a mother, It was very quickly apparent that I needed to be a good, healthy and strong role model for my girl. I want togive her a good example to follow as she grows and matures.

So, moving from there. I've realized that in order for me to be a good mom to my girl, I had to be good to myself as well. So many women lose themselves in the role of mom and forget that they are a person as well. If you don't take care of yourself, you are of a reduced value to your family. As a parent, a mother and a woman, I realize that this is MY RESPONSIBILITY!!! Not anyone elses.

So how do I fit training into my life along with mom stuff, wife stuff, church stuff and MS stuff. First of all, I do not set distance goals, I set time goals. I find it is a lot easier to fit in a 20 minute walk or 60 minute bike ride. I have found that it is easier to fit 20 minutes vs. trying to fit 1-2 miles in. It's the same for the bike. I plan out my bike time and see how far I go. It helps that I have the support that I do from my family. My parents help, my hubby helps and it makes it easier to me to plan and train without worrying about where my daughter is, who she is with. Thanks to everyone who helps in whatever way they can.

Last but definitely not least, my teammates. They push me when I need it and pull me when I just can't go any further. The fellowship of having such a great team and great friends is awesome.

Okay!! Hit me with your best shot. What questions are you just wanting to ask? Post them in the comments section or end a FB message. Enjoy your weekend and remember, You never know until you tri(y)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Well CRAP!!!

So today was supposed to be my last therapy session following my knee surgery. Everything was going great until the third set of my last exercise. I had done the most intense therapy session I have ever done and was excited that things were going so well. I made it through 2.5 laps of step lunges, but on the first lunge of the return lap, I had my right leg back as the trail leg, dropped into the lunge and felt something pop.... quite painfully so!!! I stopped there, went to my table for ice and to talk to my physical therapist. He believes that I tore some scar tissue, we won't know until we see how the knee and quad reacts. I am praying that it was only scar tissue because I would be really bummed to have to back off the training I have been doing.

Unfortunately, I am in quite a bit of pain. My therapist has eased my mind a little bit. He said scar tissue like every other tissue has a blood supply and nerves. He would be surprised if it was anything other than scar tissue. As I type this, I am sitting on the couch with the inverted margarita machine running and elevated on the leg ramp. What sucks is that we had family plans for this weekend and those are now in doubt. We had planned a trip to the zoo for Saturday, but that's a lot of walking, so if my knee swells or the pain doesn't abate, we aren't going!!

I was able to get two 15 minutes quick walks in today. Training plan only called for one. I also was able to get an upper body workout in prior to PT and one heck of a lower body workout at PT. I'll be sore tomorrow, but worse than that, my right quad/knee is questionable. Say a few prayers everyone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Additional rest day and iMapMyRide+

Considering everything that I did this weekend with my husband, then working the fair booth most of the day today, I decided to rearrange this weeks training schedule. Today was an additional rest day and I will do today's walk tomorrow. Considering what I have gone through health-wise in the last couple of months, I need to be aware of and listen to what my body is telling me. I am enjoying seeing the physical changes, but I need to be careful not to screw myself up again.

Some people have asked me how I map and track my rides. I currently use iMapMyRide+ on my iPhone. I have a couple of complaints about it.
1. Battery Life - This app drains my battery life on the phone QUICKLY!!! Any more than a 1 hour ride and my battery is dragging the bottom of the barrel. This is a concern. God forbid that I ever actually need to make an emergency call, it sure wouldn't last all that long.

2. Tracking - As a woman, I am not too keen on people being able to track my ride in progress and have set my settings to post on completion of the ride. At the same time, I need my husband to be able to track me in case of emergency. I always tell him where I am riding, which route and when I anticipate being back from my ride. So do I err on the side of caution and keep my ride private until I finish or make it public so he can track me live. This is why I am praying that I get the Trakkers sponsorship. He would be able to track me and I'd feel more secure despite riding solo a lot.

3. Notifications, phone calls and texts. While you can turn off the Notifications from various apps, you can't hibernate the phone calls or text notifications. What does this mean?? If I am out for a ride and someone calls or texts, the MapMyRide will stop tracking my ride. If I don't hear the phone or text alert, I will completely miss out on tracking part of the ride. I like to use it for speed, distance and compare to a previous time on that same route.

I'm not saying that I don't like the app, I really do, I just hate to lose ride data. It is frustrating. I like to see how fast I took a climb, or how slow I took it. My slowest speed ever on a climb, while actually riding and in the saddle is 1.08 miles per hour. Hehehe, surprised I didn't fall over on the hill.

Well, tomorrow is once again a busy day. I like busy days, they keep me moving and no thinking.

**** small fair update***
trying to eat smart at the state fair is HARD!!! Too much blessed fried food!! Two days of working at the fair and I would say that I am doing great managing my intake and what I eat and drink. I have seen lots of people I haven't seen in a while. Great times!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Celebrations abound

Hello friends, family and facebookers.

I have recently begun to notice some subtle body changes courtesy of picking up my training and correcting my dietary intake. I have never been the healthiest eater, but I am making some "colorful" changes to my diet. No, I am not dieting, I am changing what I am eating and how much of it. More fruits and veggies and smaller servings of other things.

So with the cooler weather, I have broken out the jeans I have worn the last couple of years and would start moving around the house and have to head back to the bedroom to get a belt. My pants were falling off!!! WOW!!! For me, that's insane. But what makes it more interesting is that I have had this belt for a number of years. When I fastened my belt, not really paying attention, I realized that more of the belt extended beyond the belt loop on the belt and on my jeans... by 3 whole inches!!! Are you kidding me!!

My knees continue to improve, I am getting stronger and healthier than I have been in several years. I am looking into increasing training this week with the walk, still cycling and will soon be adding some swimming. My goal is to head to the lake and start working on my open water swim. Neoprene will definitely be a must, but I also plan to have a safety plan as well, hopefully in the form of a friend in a kayak.

I must admit that I was a little disconcerted earlier today as I weighed in at the gym, which I haven't done for a couple weeks. My weight was still the same but my clothes are getting bigger. Following some research and a visit to my favorite triathlon site forums, I feel better!! What this all means basically is that I am losing fat.

So, tonight for my rest night I enjoyed a movie and time with my hubby, while inside doing the "Happy Dance!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

recovery ride update

Okay, following 17.38 miles on a great route, I feel great. I felt strong and fast today.

I did better on the one major climb, I know I was faster on the section I tanked about 11 days ago. I also made a great stretch down towards the end of the ride. I know we were making great time and carrying a decent pace, but right now the new is kind of making me mad. I was trying to show my husband my improvements, and just couldn't. Have to log out and back in.

My right knee is a little sore today, but no additional swelling or pain.

Night all.

Recovery Ride

Okay, so I woke up today feeling something I haven't felt in a while!! SORE!!

It's nice to feel sore rather than pain. I did my ride yesterday, fatiguing my quads and hips. My physical therapist (physical torturer) is working both legs and hips to strengthen them and get me ready to really start running again. He held off going this far while rehabbing the left knee because we didn't want to flare the right knee. Now that both are repaired, we are tackling both legs at the same time. Catching the right leg up with the left and pushing the left to do new exercises as well.

This morning was interesting as I haven't experienced that level of soreness in quite a while. It was that good workout sore.

Today I am headed out on a 17.5 mile ride to a friend's house. She is leaving her house at the same time, we are meeting along the route and then heading back to her house. This is a similar route to my first post-op ride 2.5 weeks ago. We'll see how well the quad and knee do on the bugger hill and go from there. From the 10 mile mark to the end, the route is flat to downhill, which will be a nice end to the ride. I'll follow up and post stats later. BTW, my therapist is quite happy with my progress to this point and has decided that he will continue to push me until he is ready to release me. YAY!!!! I like it when someone aside from me kicks my booty.

Pics later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

YAY!!!! Multiple celebrations

Okay, if you have gone back in the history and read my blog archive, you will already know that I am not a runner. I was in high school and quit after a knee injury at an indoor track meet my freshman year. I stuck to softball and swimming and just never ran for fitness or fun after that.

Softball is not the best sport for knees, add the positional factor as a catcher and you know my knees were royally screwed up from so many years of catching and the up/down and dropping to block the plate and wild pitches and everything else. My knees have always been a mess. I had my first knee scope at 17 years old. I just had my 4th scope on my right knee four weeks ago and 6 months ago, I had the first scope on my left knee. After a small patellar tendon tear last summer, I walked my triathlon in October and at a followup with the Orthopod, he looked at my left knee for the first time and commented that my left knee was actually WORSE than my right knee. (WHAT????) My good knee is actually the bad knee??? WOW!!!

So I haven't been able to really throw myself into the run training for a triathlon ever because of the pain in my knees when I run.

Last night, I went for a walk that was part of my training plan for White Lake Sprint in May 2010. I decided to see how it felt to jog part of the route. OMG!!! I didn't need my flashlight last night because my smile was so big. I was able to jog, let alone downhill without pain. I was so happy that I actually went further than I planned so I could jog a little more. It felt awesome. I couldn't quit smiling last night.... I think I was even smiling in my sleep.

This morning, I had planned to go out and do a gym ride from my old gym (no membership necessary for the ride.) I woke up with a crick in my back and after many failed attempts on my own to realign it, decided that I'll go ride and it will work itself out later. I pulled in, did my basic ABC check for my bike, clipped in and off I went. For those not aware, an ABC check is Air, Brakes, Crank. Full tires, brake calipers closed, crank looked good, so off I went.

I am admittedly a hill slug, especially at this time of year. It's late in the year and actually, prior to tri training, I would hang my bike after Bike MS and look at it adoringly all winter and then pull it out in April. Today was actually my latest ride ever. I couldn't miss an 80 degree day for a ride. So we set out and knowing at least part of the route has some buggers for hills, (especially post-op) I warned the group that I would be granny-gearing up a couple and that I'd see them at the top.

I finished the ride with 17.49 miles, avg speed of 14.5, max speed of 33.1 and finished in 1 hour 13 minutes and 9 seconds. My speed in the last year has really picked up despite not riding this year like I have in the past...(I don't get it either.)

So, I am celebrating jogging for the first time in 18 months, my latest ride of the season and my furthest ride following surgery. PLUS!!!! I have crossed the 50 mile mark post-op. I am planning for a 100-150 mile month. Well, off to PT to share the celebrations with the man who has gotten me back to this point. THANKS MARC!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

WOW!!! What a weekend already!!

I have to say it again. WOW!!! What a weekend!! And we still have another day to go.

I was able to get my 10 minute walk in yesterday afternoon, and then attended the le Tour de Femme Ladies Night at Cycling Spoken Here. If you aren't aware, Tour de Femme is a women's only bicycle ride in Cary, NC. The ride benefits the LIVESTRONG Foundation and The Angel Fund at Rex Hospital. This is my second year cycling in this event. Last year I rode 15 miles solo, (no teammates.) I had a race the next day and didn't want to burn my legs doing too many miles in too high of a gear to stay with my teammates on the 32 mile route. It was the right decision for me as I was able to hammer the bike leg at my tri, cutting six minutes off my bike split from the previous year and then gave nearly all of it back on the run, ( which I walk).

This year, I decided on the 15 mile route for several reasons. One of which being that I consulted with my PT regarding distance to ride. I am almost 4 weeks out from surgery and while yes, I am back on the bike, my quad still hurts and the knee will swell like a balloon if I am not careful and overdo it. The second reason was that I would be attending the NC State football game with my bestest cycling buddy, Miss Sandra. Sandra always keeps me in stitches and to see how far she has com as a cyclist in the last two cycling seasons is AMAZING!!!

On our ride today, we had pretty much dusted the rest of the riders on the 15 mile route by 2 miles in. Upon closer inspection, I checked our speed in that first 3 miles, (a good chunk of that downhill,) and realized that while I thought we were booking, I didn't realize just how fast we were going. The stats from MapMyRide on my phone showed a downhill speed of 37.6 mph. OMG!!!! Really??? My fastest dowhile speed was achieved this year on a NICE downhill in Harnett County. I believe that I topped out at just over 42 mph.

Today's ride with the weather (cool and kinda chilly) with little breeze and a great route, were highly beneficial. After finishing the ride, I had some ART (Active Release) and some Acupuncture. After that, we (Sandra and I) changed into football watching clothes. After parking and then speed walking from the van to the stadium, we made kickoff with time to spare. I am counting the walk from the van to the stadium as my training walk for today.

I got my 10 minute walk in yesterday and previously (Thursday) I had my PT session and he kicked my butt hard. I needed it though.

Tomorrow is a fun day, early wakeup, volunteer at a triathlon and then breakfast with one of the ASP staffers from his past summer. She is in town to visit family and a couple of other ASP Staffers. One lives here and attends NC State, while the other is volunteering with AmeriCorps and leaving NC tomorrow or Monday.

Tomorrow is technically a rest day, but Sandra and I have decided to ride out to our course spot if we end up marshaling the course. LATER!!! Just keep moving!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Double Up

Today was a busy day!! After getting squirt on the bus, I settled out for a bit of relaxation then went for my walk. Walk was planned for 15 minutes. I walked 13.5 minutes which is the same loop I did Sunday with a 4 minute improvement. After that I headed to the gym for a quick workout.

I spent 10 minutes on the bike at the gym, then did some upper body lifting. More reps, less weight. Gonna try to change things up a bit. Something else I'd like to do is some boxing intervals, see if I can talk the hubby into a set of mits and gloves. 5 minute round and then a 2 minute rest. I know I'm not a boxer or mms fighter, but boxing is a great cross-training workout.

Let's see what happens.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday and best laid plans

Well, today's plan was for a 10 minute walk. What's the saying about best laid plans??

My mom was in an accident a couple weeks ago and had to drop her van at the body shop and pick up the rental. I ended up watching my niece from 9:15-1:00 pm. After that, ran final donations for Bike MS to the MS Society before the 5pm deadline today. Then following that I came home, sat with hubby for about 30 minutes finding out about his day. I then headed to the arena for my CPR and AED class tonight.

After spending the night up and down, kneeling and doing CPR compressions, my knee is a tad swollen and painful. I had to move the 10 minute walk in the attempt to prevent additional swelling. Fortunately, I have the ability to move the walk schedule around to fit better.

So, tomorrow has already fluxed as well. I was asked to substitute at Mae-Lei's former preschool tomorrow, so, Mae-Lei will ride the bus tomorrow and after the bus leaves, I will do my walk, shower and then head to work. After work, to the gym for the stationary bike and a little lifting. Double it up and make up the walk. FLEXIBLE!!! Something I learned from my mission trips the last couple of years.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday - Rest day

Well, after a rest day that didn't feel much like a rest day, the run training officially begins. I am using the Conservative Couch to 5k plan from

This conservative plan is a 7 month plan and actually times out really well for my first triathlon in 2011. Essentially, you start out walking and the first week works out to 40 minutes. The plan for this week, is the following

Monday - 10 minute walk (for my neighborhood, probably closer to 13-15 with the route and no squirt with me.
Tuesday - No walking planned, but I am planning to lift at the gym.
Wednesday - 10 minute walk (again, closer to 13-15 minutes.)
Thursday - No walking planned but a 60 minute rehab ride after taking my daughter to school.
Friday - 10 minute walk (actually 10 this time)
Saturday - 15-30 mile bike ride in the am and 10 minute walk in the evening with the family.
Sunday - Rest day.

My husband is going on the walk-to-run journey with me and as it usually happens, he'll pass me about 4 weeks in. That's okay though because I am still rehabbing the left knee from surgery in March and the right knee is only 3 weeks out currently.

My new favorite thing is google calendars. I have posted my training plan for the triathlons on there and have been able to merge my training calendar with the family calendar and work calendar. It is free on google and you can make it public or private and if you are training with a group, you can share the training plan.

I have merged two plans from beginner triathlete into the plan and have tweaked them to fit my schedule and my goals. Rather than going for distance at this point, I am going for time. All of my plans are in minutes vs. miles. It is easier to fit into my schedule and see when I need to take a day off either for health or schedule conflicts.

My sister and my friend are part of my training group. The hope for me is that with three of us, all using the same calendar, we can start tracking our progress and encourage each other. I am at somewhat of an advantage because I have done triathlons previously, but at a disadvantage with the rehab and recovery. I normally couldn't run because of my knees but I am hopeful that with the problem fixed in both knees, once I am fully healed, I can actually run again. I used to enjoy running in school and then as my knees got worse, I grew to HATE it. I have walked the run portion of every single tri I have done.

Now here is where it gets interesting. I am not one to just waiti for New Year's to set my goals. So, without further ado, here they are. Order is not necessarily priority. I am just putting them out there so you can see them and I can see them.

1. Ride a Century
2. RUN the RUN portion of a triathlon (walk/run is okay)
3. Complete three triathlons this coming year. (With a top half finish in Athena in 1 race.)
4. Continue to inspire, motivate and mentor new cyclists with my team.
5. Break through the 170 lb. barrier. (I've been stuck at 173 for almost 4 months.)
6. Run the Quay 5k time sub 40 minutes ( 36 minute goal)
7. Complete my first OWS (Open Water Swim) in a race.
8. HAVE FUN!!!

So there they are and they may change as time goes. Life is fluid, I need to be as well. God will put me where he wants me to be. I am just along for the ride.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trakkers GPS

Hello all, just a brief update.

Two years ago, I applied for a team sponsorship for The Spiritual Spinners and unfortunately, I didn't even make it past the first cut. Last year, I missed the deadline and so couldn't apply. This year... I MADE THE DEADLINE!!!!

I am hoping that I get the sponsorship and even better would be the team sponsorship. How many of my teammates would love to have a GPS they could wear and the family could track you on a ride?? Especially those long solo rides where you are just out beating yourself up.

I am really hoping for this sponsorship. I think it is a great product and while right now there main athletes are triathletes (yes I know I am a triathlete) I think distance cycling and multi-day tours would be huge. I have been at Bike MS and many times wondering where my teammates are who did the Century. Wouldn't it be nice to go out and find out that they are 23 miles from the finish which, depending on their average speed gives you at least an hour and no worries about missing them finishing??

Anyway.... wish me luck, hope and prayers. Also, I need to update... most recent weigh-in was 173 lbs... still maintaining down 20 lbs from the start of the year and hoping to break through the plateau that seems to have me stuck.

Just Keep Moving and remember... You never know until you tri

Long Layoff

I honestly had to step away from all things exercise related for a while. It was hard for me to want to work out and cycle and do the things I enjoy and not be able to do them. I am still fighting some health issues (undiagnosed) at this point, but Dory is becoming my friend. I do what I can when I can and rest when I have to. Sometimes it seems like I do more resting than anything else.

New Bern... I made it and was able to complete 50 miles on saturday and I sat out sunday due to some dizziness (again... undiagnosed cause.) I had my right knee fixed on that monday. As many of you remember, my recovery from the left knee surgery was long and torturous. The right knee has been the polar opposite. I am already back on the bike, crutches were gone after 3 days and I am looking forward to training for my first triathlon next year.

I am planning on doing the White Lake Sprint with a friend. I have already laid out my running training and cycling training... the pool will be difficult as my gym does not have a pool and I am trying to figure out how to get swim training in, let alone for a 750 meter swim in open water. I am really looking forward to this and hoping that I can keep pushing through whatever is going on physically.

I also know that when the body says no, sometimes I just have to listen. I have a S L O W training plan built or should I say very conservative. The run plan is a 7 month (28 weeks) plan. I start with walking and slowly progress to walking and jogging/running. I'll see how the fixed knees do and may return to strictly walking. I would like to do well with my White Lake Tri as it will be my 5th tri and my first at a lighter weight than I have been for the last several years.

Stay with me y'all. I am on the rebound and plan to just keep moving!!!