Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleep-Walking & Eating My Veggies...

I have really felt good that I managed to finish the SLOW SALTY DOG. That was an accomplishment. How many people can say that they've swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and run/walk 13 miles in one day? Well, maybe there's quite a few people that could claim that but not everyone...

That's a full day! Whew! And here I am, still feeling that full day three days later. I feel as though I'm sleep walking. I have this overwhelming tiredness that just won't be shook. I have had to cancel doing things with friends, and I haven't even began to see about a swim, a run, or a bike ride. I'm dozing and about drooling at my desk at work. Why consider anything else?

I went to bed by 8:30PM last night. That's something that I haven't done in a LONG time. I tend to stay up until 11-12 midnight then turn around and get up at 4-5AM. I don't really sleep. I'm always going and going and once in awhile darn it I HAVE to rest in that furniture that's called a bed. Okay, I'll say it... I'm an insomniac!

But none of this has prepared me to be almost the complete opposite which has now happened since the Tri. How many days does it take to get back ... 3, 4, 5? I hope soon! This rather feels like that first day of Lent when I give up the coffee, chocolate, and caffeine. But I've been enjoying all of that good stuff since the Tri. Or it kind of reminds me of that last bit of lingering mono that I had years ago. It's like my giddy-up and go has gone kaput! What's up with that?

I've been eating more balanced meals with vegetables and salads since the Tri. I also have tried to consume more water too. But any of you that know me know that I'm rather picky when it comes to veggies and I consider a salad okay but given the choice; no thanks. I've never had what most people would consider a well-balanced diet. Gee, I'll consume a bag of microwaved popcorn as lunch, and would consider that a meal. I always just figured that was why vitamins were created. I know that's really bad of me.

That could maybe explain why I might not have done better on the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri. Though, I did consume plenty of simple carbs the night before, AND water. In my defense, I will say that in the last couple of years, I have added more veggies, fruit juices, and even some fresh fruit to my diet. Yep, I was the kid that sat at that dinner table all night because I didn't want to finish those soggy peas and I couldn't control my gag reflex to consume any of that liver...Ugh! Thus, the next morning, I was still seated at the dinner table. Some might say I was a bit stubborn. Hmmm? Maybe so, or I guess I could be called a stubborn picky eater. I'm not sure how my mom ever put up with me! Sorry Ma! I was a real pain; wasn't I?

Well, either way I hope to shortly get back up to my normal pace of life of Go! Go! Go! Until then I guess I'll be the reitred Go-Go-Girl....?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Still Among the Living...

I’m happy to announce that I am still among the living upright. I survived the SLOW SALTY DOG Triathlon yesterday. It was quite the ordeal, and this morning I’m really feeling the effects. In fact, I think that a 93 year old woman could outpace me on a walk right now. Most of my muscles are Stiff with a capital “S”.

Yesterday, the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri started at 6AM at the swimming pool. Diane and I found ourselves waiting for the doors to be opened along with several other early morning swimmers. By 5 min. after the two of us had claimed a lane and were off. The swim really went well. It only took me 1 hour and 7 minutes to do the 1.2 miles. I really surprised myself, and felt good afterwards. I finished almost 3 laps in front of Diane, and Sofia who had arrived late was still swimming as I headed off to Diane’s house. Maybe I was going too fast? I know that I’ll probably over analyze everything over the next few days.

The bike which we started at 8AM from Diane’s house. Nice; I had about 45 minutes to dry my hair and put on my bike gear. It gave me a chance to partake a second granola bar and a second GU packet. I periodically forced myself to eat and drink during the whole event. My fellow bike club member Ron was waiting for me to begin. He had emailed that he wanted to ride along with me on the bike portion of the Tri; the sweetie.

Diane had arrived after a bit and told us to go ahead; Sofia would still be a bit before she showed. Off Ron and I headed north the route which would later be the run portion of the SLOW SALTY DOG. We took it at a mild easy pace of 13-15 mph. I wanted to ensure that I had something left over for the run. At about mile 18 into the ride, Ron had a flat. We pulled over to repair. As Ron was repairing his flat and I eat another granola bar; the gals (Diane, Sofia, and Kim) passed us. I told them to continue on, and that we would catch up.

Oh, those famous last words. The tire changed; Ron and I stepped up on the speed to try to catch up with the gals. We picked up the average to 18-20mph. But we never did see the girls. We got down to Draper Park, the southernmost part of the route, and stopped for a few minutes. I finished a water bottle and refilled it. Then off back we headed to the north. We had figured by this time that we must have somehow passed the gals and kept an eye for them heading south as we were headed north. But we never did see them. As we got closer to Diane’s house we were a bit short on mileage so we looped around through some neighbor hoods to get the needed 56 miles.

Finally, at Diane’s house, I thanked Ron as I put my bike in the back of my car. It was really nice to have someone to talk with during the bike ride. Now came the running part and I found myself alone. As I changed at Diane’s house, I had some peanut butter, a GU packet, and a granola bar. Oh what a combo! I put on my head phones; a water bottle along with a couple more GU packets in my fanny pack, and off I went.

I walked the first blocks, and then I tried to run. I say try because I was starting to feel everything by this time. My arms and legs were feeling heavy. What I was doing was a “wog” as Diane and I had called it. It’s kind of a fast walk- slow jog type of thing. I managed to do almost 5 miles of this total during the whole run portion. Otherwise, I just did a brisk walk.

Almost 4 miles into the run I saw Sofia and Diane. They were a part of the route that I had all ready done. We waved and I yelled that I think I would be doing more walking than actual running. They laughed and said that they would probably just walk most of the thing also. I continued on but thinking back now I should have gone over and joined them for the rest of the event. A couple of miles later, I stopped at a Shop-n-Go. I purchased some Gatorade and water. Up towards the University of Utah I went, with busy traffic of a football game in process. This slowed me down quite a bit, and at one point I was going opposite of all the foot traffic. It was an upstream battle, and I was losing. I had a few guys carrying cases of beer stopped me and told me to turn around to join them for some pre-game fun. I smilingly thanked them and continue on.

With about 3 miles left to go, the heat of the day and the ordeal really started to wear me down. My pace slowed. My feet were really starting to hurt. I concentrated on one foot in front of the other. At a mile left, I sent a text to Diane. I turned the last corner and there was Sofia and Diane all ready done with their medals on. They had arrived about 15 min. before I did. How did they manage this when they were almost 2 miles behind me? They had been able to change up the run course because they had their GPS wrist watches on. They kept to shadier flatter streets, and had even taken two laps around in an air-conditioned Albertson’s grocery store. I’m sorry but I just thought that was totally wrong! Lapping around a grocery store as part of a Tri? I could even imagine them enjoying ice cream bars while they did it! Gee maybe I was doing it wrong? I should have driven over to the air conditioned mall and joined the mall walkers? I will admit that I was a bit frustrated when I heard all this because I couldn’t have done this. I had no GPS or device to tell me how far I had gone. Thus, I stuck to the original route.

I could barely manage to move when I arrived at Diane’s house, and meanwhile Sofia was almost bouncing around like a cheerleader. I found this very irritating to say the least. From talking with Diane she said that Sofia was getting peppier as the event went on. Strange, and very annoying! Gee, I guess I didn’t get this gene. Darn it anyway.

I was SO glad that I had gotten a hotel room for the night. There was no way that I could have made it up the three flights of stairs to my apartment. I managed to eat a couple of brats and drink a diet coke. I was off to the hotel. Shortly after checking in I took a long hot shower; then, down to the hot tub to soak for a soothing two hours. Just when I thought I would be a cured prune for life, I got out and went to the hotel restaurant for a late dinner. Then it was off to bed by 9PM--- a VERY early night for me.

But as I think on it this morning, I find myself asking questions like—what I should have done in the training? Am I just not cut out for this type of endurance stuff? Then I think--- well, I only did have three months in which to train for this and considering that it was amazing that I finished. So take it easy on yourself! Now to make arrangements for a full body massage…. Ahhhhhhh!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Park City's Iron Villa Cook Off!

What does a half hour, one chicken breast, a LARGE zucchini, a bottle of salad dressing, and a secret ingredient have in common? Well, the short answer is the Iron Villa Cook Off. The long answer... read on....

The Marriott where we are staying in Park City has activities that they put on. Earlier in the day yesterday, Laura pointed out one of the activities as the Iron Villa Cook Off. The activity involved picking up a secret ingredient at 5PM and then returning with a cooked dish at the clubhouse to be judged. The winner got a bottle of wine. She said that I should enter it, being that I like to cook. I was like that's nice but I'm on vacation and that sounds like work.

We did a little sightseeing over in Heber in the day. Then came back to our hotel room. Laura laid down for her afternoon nap and I managed to get a little oil painting in. Well, shortly after 5PM, Laura wakes up. "So did you enter the cook off?" She asks as I'm sitting reading a book. To which I had to respond as the smart alack that I am,"Do I look like I'm cooking?"

She calls down to the activity desk and asks if there was anyone who entered the cook off. There's one other couple that has entered the contest. Laura hangs up and says that I should do the cook off just to give the couple a chance to compete. She said consider it a service project. I laugh," A service project?" Sometimes, she's a little TOO much, if you know what I mean.

Well, she has decided to run down to the Clubhouse; which I have to give her directions to. (She has the highest IQ of anyone I know but she could get lost in a paper bag.) Well, shortly afterwards, I get a call. The secret ingredient is rice. Do I want to give it a whirl? And could I give her directions back to our room? As I'm laughing I say,"Sure."

It is now 5:30PM when she gets up to the room. The other couple have a whole half hour ahead of us, and all that's in the refrig.---a uncooked chicken breast, a zucchini, and a bottle of Cheddar Chiptole salad dressing. Well, there's no time to run to the grocery store that's six blocks away and cook up something. So I guess I'll have to wing it with what I have.

I start some water on the stove for the rice, but I have found that at this higher altitude it takes FOREVER to get water to boil. I say to Laura, I wish I had some salt maybe this water would come to a boil faster. Before I knew it she was out the door. I assumed to the front desk to see if there was salt packets some where. In a few minutes while I'm sauteing the cut up chicken breast she returns with a palm full of salt. I look at her questioning.

She went out to a steak restaurant near by. She walked in, and said," Quick! Odd question. Can I get a teaspoon of salt?" And held her palm open. The host who was on the phone, opened a lid to a salt shaker and poured salt into her open palm. I can only imagine that he stood there perplexed as she immediately turned around and headed back to the hotel. Then, she gets back to the front desk and asks for directions back to our room.

Under stress, and desperate to have a good presentation for our recipe. I allow Laura to cut up the HUGE zucchini, core it out, and microwave it. Even though she had all ready made one zucchini explode the night before in the microwave. What can I say... I was desperate! While she is doing that I'm cutting up smaller pieces of the zucchini to add to the dish. The water is finally boiling and I add the rice. I take the chicken out of the pan, clean it and put the chopped up zucchini in the pan with a bit of salt.

As that going on, we have decided to make a boat for the dish with the HUGE zucchini. Laura has cut it in half and cores it out. Then puts it in the microwave for a minute at a time for it to cook. Amazingly, no explosion has occurred! I add the chiptole dressing and the chicken back to the pan, and allow it to simmer. Check the rice that's almost done.

With less than 10 min. left, I add the rice, and a little more dressing to the dish. Transfer it to a covered dish to transport down to the clubhouse. Laura finds a serving platter in the cupboard that will hold the HUGE zucchini boat. Quickly, I grab my camera, room key card, and the covered baking dish.

We race down to the clubhouse. It is now 5 min. till the 6PM deadline. The other couple is there, calm and with a glass baking dish covered with aluminum foil. The judge, Jennifer--activity director, is laughing. "So, you talked her into it?" Laura quickly explains that we only had a half hour in which to create our dish. Meanwhile I'm carefully putting the chicken chiptole rice in the zucchini boat for the presentation.

Jennifer, gets paper plates, and forks. Everyone tries a bit of each others dishes. Jennifer is put in a tough spot. Both dishes are pretty good. She says both are winners--- our for creativity, and there's for taste. She hands them a bottle of wine, and we get a bottle of sparkling apple-cranberry juice. We end up talking for a while afterwards, with the nice couple from Illinois. Jan and Ron are taking an extra week out her after visiting their daughter that lives in SLC. Photos are taken and Laura gets their email before we head back up to our room. I'm still laughing about the whole experience!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Down Time in Park City

Well, this morning I'm enjoying a cup of joe up in the beautiful area of Park City and enjoying a little vacation before the SLOW SALTY DOG. Saturday afternoon before we drove up here we went to an Art Sale down in Lehi. A friend bought a couple of lovely paintings. Then a group of friends went and had dinner at the Olive Garden. My friend Jean is engaged and moving to Washington State. Lucky gal! I wish her the best and I'm hoping to be going to a wedding in the Spring. She's pictured here enjoying her wine during dinner. She LOVES her wine!!

Yesterday, I wondered around with my friend Laura at the Silly Sunday Market that takes place on the lower end of Park City Main Street. I took a ton of pictures and bought a wonderful loaf of cranberry walnut bread that I'm enjoying with my coffee this morning. Oh, the life! I wish I had more vacation days in my life. I think we all deserve more vacations! Well, anyway, here's a few of the pictures that Laura and I took (also the photo at top)....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Heading Down That Home Stretch...

It's about 1 week now until the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri. Now it's down to a point where I hope that I've trained enough to survive the event. I've got a little more training planned for this weekend but after that it's all about tapering off, and resting.

Last night, Diane and I were out figuring out the last little bit of the route for bike and the run. I think it's a good course with some nice scenery through the Salt Lake Valley to enjoy as we do the event. There are plenty of access to store stops and parks with water and restroom facilities. I'm planning on having my cell phone with me during the event just in case. But now we are heading down that home stretch, details have been taken care of as much as possible, and it's time to start taking it easy. The end of the road is in site, and I find myself getting a bit nervous.

As of Saturday afternoon, I'm treating myself to a little vacation time up in Park City. Some down time and relaxing sounds good. I'm hoping that the higher elevation will help me on the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri. Higher elevation and thinning air and all? I'm not sure what effect if any it will have but hey I wouldn't complain for any little bit of help that I can get.

I'm also hoping that a little vacation time will help take my mind off the upcoming event too. A little bait-n-switch for the mind? We shall see if this works to help keep my nerves in line. It's not as though I'm frazzled but this kind of feels like the day before my first century on a bike. (A friend had talked me into the century the day before.) It's that anticipation working on me. It's like before Christmas with that anticipation where you worry if you got the right sweater for your Aunt Betty. It's that mixed feeling with a bit excitement and a bit of fear but you've put thought into the sweater, and you hope it's her favorite color, and you hope it fits just right. It's sort of like that, and this may not be the best analogy but you kind of get the picture.

So tomorrow morning, I'm planning an easy going 25 mile ride then one more long swim. Then Sunday, another 20 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run. Then I might do a little walking/sightseeing around Park City, and of course, a bit of leisurely swimming and hot tubing. Ahhhhh! Now that sounds real good!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rest, Thoughts, and Swimsuit Contortions....

It's raining and my bike is in the shop so I feel justified in taking a night off from my Tri training. I'm enjoying a day of rest; a whole day off. Not that partial day that Diane is always teasing me about where I still get in a 11 mile bike ride in the early mornings. She refers to them as "Jeanne Day's Off" versus everyone else's day off. I will admit that I push myself a little too hard sometimes. I'm convinced that it is genetic. This last summer my mom was supposed to be recovering from foot surgery. She painted the entire outside of her house, and planted a new tree in the backyard. What can I say---"It's in the genes!"

But I am learning. (Or at least trying to...) One thing I am learning through all of this training is that you need to listen to your body. Respect it and it'll work well with you. Don't respect it--- and you can be in a world of hurt. Though, I know that there's some hurt that naturally comes with this type of training. I can't help but feel (or imagine) that after the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri that I'll be in a whole world of hurt. I'm going to feel like dog meat that's been put through the grinder. The amazing thing is that this is a "grinder" of my own making. I'm purposely doing this to myself. I REALLY must have one twisted mind!

As I'm thinking these twisted thoughts last night, I remember that I got my new swimsuit in the mail yesterday. I need to try it on. I had a plastic hook that broke on the old one. It was almost 8 years old. It was time for a new swimsuit; anyway that's my excuse. It's not as though I don't have a couple of other swimsuits. It's just that I don't feel that a tropical print bikini, or a black monokini are appropriate for lap swimming. ( Some more twisted thinking?)

So out comes the new swimsuit. It's a ClubSwim Lycra one piece (pictured above). Right away I notice that it doesn't have the plastic hook. A good thing, I think. But it is then that I 'm standing with suit in hand trying to figure out how to get this small Lycra one piece on me. At least with the plastic hook I could figure out how to get the suit on. Now in the back there are solid straps that don't move. I look at the tags attached to the suit in hopes of some kind of hint or at least a suggestion? Nothing on how to put the suit on but plenty of directions on the care of the article. My mind is boggled! We live in a culture where there are directions on how to open cereal boxes but not even a hint on how to put on a one piece swim suit.
Well, I guess it's trial and error time. First, I put my feet through the lower back and pull up the suit. Okay... I've got the bottom part on. Now to figure out the top.....hmmm. So I decide to bend over as much as possible and put my head as close to my waist as I can in hopes of fitting my head through the same hole as I just put the rest of my body. Nope! NO CAN DO!
Okay, I think to myself. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I take the suit off and decide to put the top part on first through the same hole in the back. Okay, the top part is on.... now the bottom half, hmmm? I lean against the wall and raise one leg to put it through one of the leg holes. I'm sure this is some kind of yoga position where your foot is close to your waist and your holding your ankle there to hold it. Meanwhile, my knee which unfortunately is not double jointed is as far from my body as possible and at almost a 90 degree from my waist. My balance is terrible and I'm leaning more and more on the wall. I catch myself before I almost fall. This is not working! I take off the suit and look at it.
And then the light bulb goes on! I, of course, am calling myself an idiot by now. Gee, what about the top hole you dummy! Amazing! I pull the straps off to the side and slide my feet through the holes at the bottom. The swimsuit pulls right up. Then I loop my arms through the under the straps, and tad ah! The swimsuit is on! WOW! It looks good!
Not one of my brighter moments... and maybe I shouldn't be sharing this with you and the whole wide web world. But you know we all have are moments where we are just plain IDIOTS! And well, that was mine. Hopefully, they are few and far between.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Scenic Ride This Last Weekend...

AND one of my best Swim trainings this morning. I managed a mile this morning in about 53 min. Yahoo! I'm really hoping that this continues on the swim trainings. Because that SLOW SALT DOG Tri is coming closer and closer...
Here's a few shots I took during a scenic ride on Antelope Island this last weekend... (It was BEAU-tiful!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To Lance or Not to Lance?

That's the question, as I sat Sunday afternoon on my love seat staring down a couple of good sized blisters on the bottom inner insole of both my feet. OUCH!

I did 11 miles-- 8.5 miles running and 2.5 miles walking on Sunday morning. I felt really good during the run except for this darn feeling that I had a pebbles in my shoes. At mile 6, I took the shoes off and looked for those darn pebbles. It was just a mild irritant and I could not find any pebbles--- so, on went the shoes and the running, then walking continued.

You know it's rather funny. These blisters did not actually hurt until after the run when I took my shoes and socks off and discovered them. Is my brain short circuited? I should have maybe been screaming "Bloody Murder" all along the run? Or was I just so high off of the exercise endorphins that I couldn't feel any pain? Hmmm, that's some food for thought at the very least.

So any way, when I got home I immediately got my Home Remedies book out, and looked up blisters. Well, this is where I ran into the question--whether to lance or not to lance the blister. It turns out that there's some controversy on whether it should be done. And I couldn't even remember the last time I had a blister. Years in which I forgot what to do. So I try to call some friends that are runners, and various others with some degree of medical knowledge. I was having a hard time because it's Labor Day Weekend and mostly everyone I knew was out of town for the weekend. So, I turned to one that I KNEW would have the answer. MOM!! Mom's have the answers and I knew that they never steer you wrong.

The verdict? LANCE! These blisters were large enough. I guess that size really does matter! The smaller blisters you allow to heal naturally but the larger ones you lance. Mom told me to get a nice clean needle or pin, make sure it's dipped in rubbing alcohol, and prick the blister to drain it. "Make sure you have a clean cotton ball or towel handy to absorb the liquid, " Mom emphasized," and don't prick it on the edges keep it to the middle." Another thing was to leave the "roof" as it's referred to; that top skin of the blister intact as much as possible. This promotes the growth of new skin cells, and keeps out infection. That's good to know.

Before I lanced or pricked, I decided it was best to treat to a good dinner before being stuck not wanting to walk. So I did some take out at the local Olive Garden. Yum, yum! After dinner, I got all the supplies and well, did the "deed", and I lived!

Shortly after that, I received a call from a friend that was a former runner. They suggested future ways of avoiding blisters--- because let's face it, I still have almost a month more of training. There's a couple of options---Vaseline smeared lightly all over your feet or foot powder on you feet and around inside your sock.

Today, Tuesday, my feet are doing much better. Thanks to some extra cushioned socks, and foot powder; I'm managing through the day in my comfy Disneyland Crocs. The blister on the right foot, which was a bit smaller--1"x.5", is almost totally healed. The blister on my left foot, which was larger--2"x.5", is healing nicely, and almost there. Early this morning, I managed through a swim training. It's rather nice; don't need to worry about being on the feet for this. The real test will be the bike ride up Emigration Canyon tonight. Yah, I'm crazy!