Friday, June 26, 2015

check lists

There sure is a lot to think about when traveling for a triathlon…

When I’m packing to run a marathon, normally my check list looks something like this:
Regular clothes for however many days, spare contact lenses, glasses, toiletries, running shoes, running tights, sports bra, socks, t-shirt, KT tape, BodyGlide, a water bottle, a few packets of chews, gu’s and/or waffles, sunscreen, hat, The Stick, phone charger…  and I’m good to go!

Packing for this weekend’s triathlon, I’m taking all of those things….
Plus a bike, bike shoes, helmet, bike tools and spare tubes, C02 inflator and cartridges, pump, bike lock, a few more water bottles, chamois cream, a wetsuit, tri-suit, goggles, spare goggles, swim cap, towel, wet wipes, sandals, race belt, transition bag and…  ?? 

Have I forgotten anything?

Darn it, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

Monday, June 22, 2015

taper time (freak out!)

This will be me.... all week.

Tread softly...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

thoughts about swimming and my dad

This morning I drove out to meet a couple of friends to try my hand at the 1 mile open water swim at Lake Holiday. The OWS that all my teammates completed a few weeks ago...

I had not had the opportunity to try swimming in a wetsuit, as until recently, I could not get the sleeve up my arm without tearing open the stitches in my elbow. So this was my first open water mile, and my first swim in a wetsuit. It was windy and the lake was a little choppy... so, lots of challenges.

I learned that although the wetsuit makes you more buoyant, it also changes the angle at which your head enters the water. And, it made it very difficult for me to swim freestyle. The sleeves are very constrictive.

When I had my fall, I not only opened my elbow... somehow I managed to displace my scapula, which has impacted the movement of my left arm.

Mid-way through the swim, I had to remove the wetsuit as it was unbearably uncomfortable. Although the stitches are out and the wound has healed, there are points around the elbow which are still very tender to the touch, and the constant squeeze of the wetsuit was hitting all of those points.

The rest of the swim was slow and steady. My friends finished the mile a good 20 minutes ahead of me... but I did it.

When I called my dad this evening, to wish him a happy Father's Day, he asked me how my training is going... and reminded me how far I've come since he came to visit in April.

Dad and I went to the pool together one evening while he was here. And he gave me several pointers that have really helped me out. Notably to slow down. He used to swim competitively when he was a teenager, long distance lake swimming, where slow and steady is the way to go...

A couple years ago my dad started having seizures, which wound up being a symptom of an enormous brain tumor. One that had evidently been growing for years. It caused his skull to bulge until it could bulge no further outward, and was now putting pressure inward, pressing on the main artery (which was causing the seizures).

Fortunately, the tumor was benign. Unfortunately, the trauma of the surgery resulted in impaired motor function on the left side of his body. So he has not been able to be active. But in the pool, swimming for the first time in a couple years, he was liberated... It wasn't smooth, it wasn't pretty, but he did it... And it made him feel good. You could see it written all over his face. It made him feel mobile. It made him feel in control of his body. It made him feel like himself.

And I was so inspired and motivate by that. By him.

Today, when I was swimming in the lake... it wasn't smooth. It wasn't pretty. But I did it. And although it wasn't liberating for me, it made me feel capable.

That is not to say that I'm not nervous or anxious... but I am capable.

One week from today, I WILL complete the Philadelphia TriRock Olympic Triathlon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

triathlon training interrupted due to accident

so, i've had a week off training because i had an accident last Monday. how's that for timing? after being so elated from my Sunday night swim, i was feeling invigorated and enthusiastic and raring to go with the next few weeks of training.

no, i did not get hit by a car, or fall off my bike. i did not trip over a root on the trail, or have a close encounter with a snake in the lake (yeah, freaked me out when i learned there are snakes hanging out in the lake)....

i injured myself whilst out walking.

yes, you read that correctly.

my triathlon training has been temporarily derailed because i fell over one of my dogs and split my elbow open... received a tetanus shot, some stitches and doctor's orders to stay out of the water for a week, and out of the lake until after the stitches come out (4 more days!)

we had a mini practice tri on Saturday in Leesburg, and that was the first time i'd done anything other than fall over in a week. all things considered, it went pretty well!

the arm is still black and blue and sore... and there is some limitation on range of motion, but i still managed the 500 metre swim (in the pool).

then a 10 mile ride and a 2.5 mile run and it was great!

Sunday morning we had an open water swim scheduled, but as the doctor (and my coaches) strongly discourage me swimming in the lake with an open wound... I just took pictures of my teammates and their remarkable efforts.

I'm really sad that I was not able to participate, but I will try my hand at it next weekend, as long as the doc that removes my stitches gives me the go-ahead.

2015 summer Tri Team In Training participants doing open water swim

Our race is less than 3 weeks away... starting to get excited!

I'm still about $250 shy of my fundraising commitment, and $650 shy of my fundraising goal. so if you're feeling flush and want to make a donation... please follow the link to my fundraising website (located in the upper right corner of the page).

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

racing toward that cancer free finish line

My friend Jeff, who I've mentioned in previous blog posts, is currently getting the last of his ducks in a row before starting the process of getting a stem cell transplant. He will be writing about the experience as it progresses... So, if you're interested in reading, you can do so right here 

My teammates and I are all rooting for you, Jeff!! When we're digging deep on race day, looking for the strength and energy to keep moving toward the finish line, we'll be thinking of you and taking inspiration from your strength and determination to reach your own return-to-good-health, cancer free "finish line"!!

This season alone we have raised over $100,000 to sustain the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society... to fund life saving research, and to maintain patient support programs.