Monday, November 4, 2013

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years Lyrics

Thursday, January 5, 2012


For the Fools 50K Run ... my first ultra! Thanks to Mike Rosenberg for the suggestion, and for joining me - but likely running it faster than me - for this adventure April 1st!

That's 31.07 miles folks! WOWZA!  Ran yesterday, felt decent but it stirred up some residual GI issues that kept me from spin class. But no worries, because there is another this Saturday and I'm prepared to get my ass whooped then!

Today's agenda: more mileage on the 'mill. And I'm needing some good trail shoes. Never bought trail running shoes ... Any suggestions?  I typically run in KSwiss and Ascics and have a neutral shoe. No pronation, no supination, and not a heel-striker, but a mid-ball strike runner. I have a review of trail shoes in my latest Running magazine issue, but I need to get up to Achilles and try them on - you can't just buy shoes without trying them on when it's something this new and different. Maybe I'd try it with a KSwiss trail shoe via Zappos, but I think I'll give my business to Achilles to keep it local.

I've got a lot of running to do ... (runs away to get another cup of coffee so I'm adequately caffeinated for this morning's run ...)

Peace out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Forget the Jumper Cables ... I Got a New Furnace!

Things are looking up!!

Sooooo... again - or more accurately: "Still" ... struggling with my focus and training :/  New year often is a great time to "turn the page", and of course, I tried this.  The down side is the gym is PACKED with newbies also trying, but good for them, and may they stay on track and remain motivated and committed to their goals and resolutions.

But for me, the new year started with ... the flu. Husband woke up on his 47th BD with the flu. In the six years I've known him, this was the sickest he's been. And for the longest. I suppose timing could have been worse, though. While we question whether this is a sign of what his 47th year will be like, (hoping it's not a prognostic indicator!), he was on the front side of a 4 day weekend. Yes, all 4 days were spent with two "sickies" in the house! Thankfully, no kids. While I didn't get it as bad a he did, I still felt pretty wiped out and lethargic, along with that fun GI crap that goes along with the flu.

So Tuesday, January 3rd comes along, and I have high hopes ... but I'm just not there, physically, or emotionally.  I DID make it to the CTC Polar Plunge, and that was fun, but it really kicked my ass in terms of energy expenditure. Pitiful!!! I went home to bathe, nap, nap, read, and nap. Rinse and repeat.  Tuesday I had a house call and figured I'd head over to the gym ... but the GI started acting up, a snowstorm was brewing right over Beachwood, and those two excuses were enough to have me head home. I was optimistic about 3-5 miles on the dreadmill at home, but nope, nada.  Instead, I did some house cleaning and research on Continuing Education for my vet license. I was happy to find that I could avoid OVMA this year, and all the expenses that go along with that 4 day conference in Columbus, by taking a 4 week course in Endocrinology, a 3 part course in Immunology, and a Flea seminar, with the latter two being free, and the Endo course being less than $200!!! Woot, woot!! So, that's good news! Plus, I used to LOATHE Endo, but now, with the 'betes, and teaching Pharmacology and Medical Terminology, I've learned so much about it, that I really think this advanced course will be interesting and useful for me!! So, I'm stoked. At least I can muster up enthusiasm about that little nugget.

But I digress ... At the end of 2011 I reflected. 2011 SUCKED. Sucked ass (sorry for the cuss, but it's just who I am!).  It sucked on SO MANY LEVELS, that it made 2010 look "amazing"! So I began to figure out how I can make 2012 NOT SUCK? Well, part of why 2011 sucked was due to my races and poor performances, barring the Musselman 70.3, where I literally pulled a PR out of my ass.

I began to plan a race calendar for 2012 that I would be excited for. AND, I had an epiphany - or an etiffany, as I sometimes call it.  I created a group, a website, for athletes with diabetes. I nailed a cool name: "Athletes with the 'Betes"  Cool, huh??  So far, people have been pretty receptive!  I created a website (  (Note: Site still under construction, but open to suggestions, recommendations and constructive criticism), and started to spread the word to my 'betes friends. I have a calendar there, and my hope is that people will post the races, games, events they are doing (not JUST triathlon!) and we'll have a nice idea of who is doing what, where. We'll begin to have a PRESENCE and people will see that WE CAN be competitive!  So, that got me excited!!

My race calendar looks good. Real good. I'm excited about it! Also, one of my 'betes friends, in New Zealand, is putting together a team to do IMNZ in 2013. I was invited!!!  I feel honored!  My first question: what's the fundraising obligation? Now, as you know, I've done that. Triabetes - I raised 3,500 with the generous help and support of all of YOU!! That's partly why 2010 was so amazing for me! But fundraising is HARD!!! And in this economy, it's even harder each year. I am struggling with my own finances, so a fundraising obligation is not something I want to tackle at this point in my life. Those of you that follow me on Facebook know about my flooded crawl space and drowned furnace. Well, that set us back PLENTY!!  (Huge thanks to my plumber/heating & cooling guy, who did a super job at helping us get things resolved and at a very fair, reasonable fee!!! Cleveland peeps needing a referral, please hit me up - Dave D'Amico has been very good to me over the past 8 years!)

Okay, okay ... not only am I an "interrupter", I am easily diverted to a tangent topic. Yes, one of many character flaws!  So, the fundraising obligation? Zero. Zip. Nada. My favorite flavor!! The fees will "just" be registration and of course, getting to NZ. But I have over a year to plan for that.  So, I'm tentatively in for this! Registration is in March ... need to get the registration fee lined up and then present my plan to my hubby. I've merely mentioned it in passing ... we've been planning to go to Hawaii in Dec. 2012 for our 5 yr anniversary, for some time, so I need to find a way to do both. Plus figure out if "we" would be going to NZ or if I would go solo, to race, then return.  Gosh, who knows what I'll be doing in March 2013!!  New job? School? Same jobs? So much to think about!

So, that stuff is all good. Exciting. And TODAY - January 4th, I feel good! I will be getting on the treadmill this morning. I will do a core workout today. And if my stamina can hold out, I will go to a spin class tonight, where I will very likely work so hard I will feel like vomiting. Oh, I cannot wait!!!  Usually, once I get started, training becomes self-inspiring, self-motivating, self-perpetuating ... I have a strong endorphin high, and it actually feels good to "hurt"!

Maybe I need a transplant ... head? Body? Core? (definitely!), or maybe there is enough juice that I just need the jumper cables ... I hope so!  Not unlike my furnace, that struggled to work, I think I just need to clear the cobwebs, clean the chassis, and replace the oil, to get this engine going again.  I'll tell you what ... if I don't get some serious yardage in the pool soon, Durno will drop me like a rock in the 10,000 yrd swim at the end of January, and I'll be sick as a dog trying to keep the pace. We were something like 3 minutes over ... I want to say 3 hrs?? Like 3:03. So of course we want to go sub 3 this year. But Durno is lean, trained, fit and in the best shape of his life, even after just having knee surgery. Me? I'm doughy and sluggish. And I hate it! So, I need to stop whining about it and get my ass out to spin class, on the 'mill, and in the pool. No excuses! Flu is over. I WANT to do this!!  I have so many motivating people in my life, there just is no excuse. I should be on week 2 of my training plan for BR100, so I have some ground to make up. I will do it wisely and without causing injury by being an idiot.

I am surrounded by people who inspire and motivate me. I know that I can lean on them for support. I know, also, that part of this, hell MOST of this, is a personal journey. 2010 was driven by a need to feel valued, channeling pain and frustration, and carrying the weight of being a Triabetes Captain, and all that came with that commitment. When those things were gone, I fell off track and struggled all year with trying to make it a priority to get back on track, but with different motivation. I know that being healthy, as a Type 1 PWD, it's CRUCIAL that I remain fit, active and keep my weight down, my diet healthy. I should be doing this because I MUST! I know those things. I just need to work on my self-discipline. As I struggle with career challenges, I'm using that as an excuse sometimes, to not do what I need to do. Well, I can say with absolute certainty, that things are always - ALWAYS - more clear to me when I'm in the zone, training with regularity, purpose, and have a goal in mind. I am, very admittedly so, a goal-oriented person. I need that to fuel my drive. So, in struggling with career decisions, I've allowed that to derail my focus and commitment to training, which is totally ironic, because when training, things are so much more clear to me! I think more clearly, I see my problems and challenges, and my options are more clear. I can ride or run or swim for hours and think through what's wrong, what I need to do to get it right, come up with ideas to improve my quality of life, weigh out my options, feel excited about the future and end with a feeling of accomplishment, euphoria and success. This is a no-brainer! I am happiest when I'm training. I am least happy when I'm not. How much more simple can that be??

So, my next post WILL be about how good things have been going. I am going to work hard to get over that initial start-up hump, and move into the zone, so that I can blog about how amazing I feel! Plus, people want to read that so much more than whining. I do, at least. But here is place I can be honest about my struggles, successes and failures. Let's be honest, most people see FB posts and think my life is carefree and easy (okay, the flood/furnace/mud spa was obviously challenging, and I did vent there ... but otherwise, it's not an accurate snapshot of how things are going for me!). My closest friends, and husband, are aware of my struggles - personally, professionally, and these five people have been super supportive with listening, not judging, allowing me to speak honestly about the challenges I face right now. I am grateful and blessed. It gives me warm fuzzies to know that I have unconditional love and friendship from them! But there comes a time when you've got to be done talking about it and begin DOING things to change it. I am ready for that! I am ready to take action now, and not be just "wanting to", but instead "doing it"! I've been there before and I can get there again. It'll be different motivation, but hopefully, the same outcome: Pride in my effort. Pride in my work. Pride in what I'm doing. I'm ready to feel PROUD!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jumper Cables Anyone??

Wow, it's been a while since I've blogged ... that can't be good!  It's not, really.  So I just reviewed my last post ...and I need to rewind and tell you about Rev3 ...  I had a fabulous time at Rev3!!  Truly! It was such a fulfilling weekend in so many ways for me, despite pulling out of my race.  I got to reconnect with three FABULOUS friends, fellow Triabetes peeps! I got to cheer on so many friends from CTC and Grunt Girls. I was race sherpa for my peeps with the 'betes! It was actually a bit stressful!! I was responsible for 3 diabetic athletes' insulin, insulin pumps, and CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors - Dexcoms) and 2 were doing the half, one the full. I had to be sure to keep their stuff separate, and get it from them as late as possible before they went off, then be down to hand it back as they exited from the swim!  It was really very challenging!!  I had a bike jersey on, by design, as it had 3 pockets, so I was sure to keep everyone's stuff separate.  Then, I - very literally - ran up and down that beach - FAST! - 3 full times!! It went "kinda" smooth, just a tiny hitch as I missed Andrea's exit :(   But wait - it was because the Muscle Milk balloon was deflating and falling on us!!! We were trying to hold it up for the athletes.  Fortunately Andrea's uncle was a suit stripper, so he told her right were I was - just a tiny hiccup, but I felt terrible!! Otherwise, everyone got their accoutrements and had a good to great swim! The water and weather conditions were FAB too!! 

I found out early how tiring it is to ironfan! I wasn't even drinking :)  I got up at 3:30 with the rest of them ... I forgot sunscreen. I had a backpack and water - boy did I go through the water that day! I also had cowbells. Now, I'm here to tell you, I love a cowbell when I'm racing ... but being the cowbell ringer?? NOT SO MUCH!!  First off, people hate you. Not the athletes, but other spectators. You're annoying!! Second, those damned things are brutal! I literally had cowbell injuries!! My fingers got beat to shit. I started with my index finger, after that was sufficiently bruised, moved to my middle finger, and so on. By 11 am my hand was beat to hell and I was DONE with the cowbell!  

One of several highlights was Ed Slovenkay's super speedy half!! He was on fire!! I was worried his wife and kids were going to miss his finish, so I sent some texts to let them know how quick he was chunking off the miles. He got first place in his AG!!  Very well done, and a super finale to a super season for him!! He worked SO hard and really is quite an amazing athlete!! He is a friend to Triabetes (his step-daughter was my triabuddy!) and he also very generously lent his back up bike to Annie Bacon, who was doing the full. Also, not to be forgotten, John Norris - a virtual stranger to me - stepped up and lent Andrea his back up bike so she didn't have to ship hers from Hawaii!!  How amazing is THAT???  I'll tell you ... it's touching and amazing and I am blessed by the support of this amazing club!  Not to be left out, Bike Authority was beyond generous in helping to fit these ladies to their respective lent bikes!!  Huge, huge shout out to Sherm, Doug and Sean Gilbert!! Sean did most of the fits, and Doug ... Doug saved our butts by allowing Ed's bike to come out of transition with Ed (not Annie) because he knew the entire cast of characters, including Ed's bike! That saved us a trip back to CP on Monday and we were immensely grateful!!  (Boys got some Christmas Ale coming your way!!)

I met a new friend - Miss Laurie Perduyn, who I spent quite a bit of time getting to know as we watched friends race. We found out we knew several people in common and that six degrees of separation thing was going on! She was a cool chick and it was very nice to have company!!  She's quite the athlete, I can tell, and is a "go big or go home" gal ... and she can pull it off, I have NO doubt!! I look forward to seeing her again  ... maybe Rev3 2012???  :)

The rest of the day was tiring, but really very fun! I have to admit that after the 70.3 peeps were in, I was bottoming out. I hated to whine, as I didn't even race, but it sure the hell felt like it!! I realized I had forgotten some meds due to the schedule so I was a hurting pup by evening. Fortunately Annie was on fire and had a super 140.6!!  It was awesome to watch!

We headed back to the hotel (I had made 2.5 more runs down and back the beach, in addition to the morning runs, so I'm pretty sure I did several miles that day!!) I DROVE to the finish so that Annie wouldn't need to walk back to the hotel. I remember when I finished ... I was kind of bummed to learn I had yet one more mile to walk to get back to my hotel, but with Ted and Liz for company, it wasn't as bad as I thought ... but I feel like I can officially add 142.6 to my mileage for that day (morning walk to weigh in and drop off special needs bags).

We had fun at TGI Friday, where we - 4 diabetics, one a vegan, essentially - proceeded to drive the staff crazy with our requests for carbs! Whip out the Calorie King and we were crunching numbers like accountants in April!!  Let the carbs flow ... and push the insulin!!

That weekend was sort of an epiphany for me. I had a "reset" about a lot of turmoil that was going on in my life at one of the places I worked. The toxicity and negativity I was experiencing there was really so incredibly hurtful and uncalled for. I felt like I was in a major drama battle, and it was taking it's toll on me, and my BFF. This weekend gave me perspective to see myself from a positive light, and remind myself that I am better than the crap that was being flung my way!  I didn't deserve it - it came from a place of immaturity and insecurity, but unfortunately, those in power were unable to see everything and I ended up swallowing down a lot of shit, resulting in stuffed anger and resentment.  When someone attacks your reputation, and slanders you, spreading toxic untruths, and acting like the nasty clique in middle school, it tends to foster a lot of anger and resentment. And depression!! I didn't realize just how much this was eating at me. To have to defend your character, your reputation, without an justification, any hint of truth to what was being said, well, that left me pretty emotionally battered. It lead to my decision to pull out of Rev3 Full, (among other factors) and feeling pretty bad about my decision to work at this place.  In addition to all the bullshit I described here, I truly WAS over-extended in my course load. I was in way over my head!! The ONLY thing that was really GOOD about that time? I got to work with my BFF 2 full days a week and we did an amazing job teaching our group of students to be better surgical techs! We did awesome! No one can take THAT away from us! The students flourished, they had positive things to say, and ironically, I had many approach me and thank me for coming back. I suppose I will remember that much longer than all the negativity.

Anyhooooo... this weekend - Rev3 - gave me a lot of perspective, and I made the decision that I was likely going to return to relief work with Lighthouse and go back to that, while still keeping my courses at Lakeland Community College - which I love, by the way!!
I've had many wonderful relief stints, and I think it's a good fit for me! My employers are awesome, I am on board with their mission, and I do my best to assimilate into a practice and I get to meet new RVTs, staff and docs! I did a lot of emergency work over the summer and I remember how much I enjoy that!! Yes, it can be stressful, and physically taxing, but, in proper doses, it's really, really FUN!!  I think I'd like to relief one weekend a month in an emergency practice! It's just good medicine - fun and challenging cases, but also, often sad. The lack of closure can be difficult, but you get used to it.

Next up for me was a trip to KONA, Hawaii!!  Ted and I had a 6 day vacay - far too short, but that's all we could do for now. It would be our first trip to that island.  I volunteered for the World Championships Ironman race, where I would know 3 athletes - 2 very peripherally, and one very well - Vic Kinnunen!  It was such an amazing experience!  I got to hang out with Andrea (who lives in Oahu!!) and meet her new BF ... who, I think, got bit by the triathlon bug while we were there!! Nice guy, Chris! And I was grateful for the opportunity to stay with them the night before the race. We - Ted and I - had a condo about 40 min away, so he'd have to drive me in at 3:30 am and pick me up ... well, somewhere near midnight! Ted doesn't roll that way, and frankly, it was a lot to ask!  I was happy to grab some floor space and crash in Andrea's room for a day, and use it as a "home base" throughout the day. Boy, was it a fun day!!   All my peeps did AWESOME!!!  And I'm looking forward to watching it when it airs in December. I didn't get to see too many pros, but I DID see some!! :)

Upon return from a beautiful haven, I had to quickly shift to MIDTERM MODE!  I gave notice that I would not be coming back to previously-described "house of toxicity", then proceeded to foolishly make 140 question midterms. For all 4 classes. To be hand-graded. OMG - worst decision ever!!!  I will be embracing the scantron system for future exams!! That was BRUTAL!! When I finally finished - this past Sunday at 4:30 ... I was out of steam and pretty down. 

I'm struggling right now ... with my direction. With my schedule. With what fulfills me. With motivation. With loneliness and isolation. It's difficult to not have a training buddy to be accountable to!   Oh, I had missed a key event in the rundown of the last 3 months: Columbus Marathon.   Was I "trained"? Nope! But I knew I could finish (like Akron - which I'm kind of proud of, given the lack of training and preparation, and the hilly course!), and I do love the Cbus Marathon!! It's a chance to visit with the bro and his family. My kids love visiting, too, and they came along! Ted stayed home this year, because after missing a week of work, he felt kind of panicky himself, and that extra time to stay late, go in on the weekend, and kind of decompress from traveling was what he needed. The only problem that posed for me was the drive home. Now, I cannot fully explain just how difficult driving over 45 minutes for me is. I have been struggling with Narcolepsy while driving and it's SCARY AS HELL!  And I had my kids with me!!  This began over the summer, and I actually pulled out of the Champ Monroe Falls Tri due to 4 episodes of falling asleep at the wheel on the way down. I've found no correlation to the 'betes and this, and it's not a regular occurance, but certainly after a big race it is.  Well, Cbus was a fun weekend, but let's just say that race day did NOT go well. GI Revolt. Let me say over 60 minutes spent in over 7 portopotties, and ejecting at mile 10, and leave the remaining gory details left out!!  It wasn't good. I was SICK!!  A friend was prepared to get me, but I'd essentially crawled to my car and was headed back to my brothers. I walked in at 10:30 and he said WOW, that was fast!! Apparently he didn't read my FB posts. You know it's bad when you are in a POP long enough that you start to FB!!  Seriously though, I needed to let friends and family know I was DNFing, and essentially okay. Yes, I know it's gross. Everything about that day was disgusting. I've since given my phone a very good disinfectant wipe down.

I napped for a few hours then around 3:30 decided to head home, not too optimistic. I got just north of Cbus, in the Polaris area, and I knew I was done. We stopped at several hotels - but I was looking for a deal!! I was NOT going to spend $100 on a room for us. We kept heading north and the next exit, bingo! Hit the jackpot with $69. It was pretty nice, too!  So I went to bed and let my kids go all Lord of the Flies. How much trouble could they cause??  Sent S and J to get food (for them, no way I was eating!) and, frankly, my kids behaved very, very well for me. They KNEW I was very, very sick and they put themselves to sleep. I was out by 5:30 pm.   We got up at 5 am and headed north. Still struggling with narcolepsy, especially as I got onto 271 North. I had a very scary moment so we stopped and I threw back 2 espressos, which did the trick!  Got them home, to school, and had some time to nap before my classes.

So, here I am. Nothing on the race calendar for the foreseeable future. Kind of lost. In limbo. Lost that eye of the tiger ... that drive I had. I've put on weight. My eating has regressed. I'm struggling!!  It happens. I'm trying to think of how I can pull myself out of this slump. I don't know exactly what will do it for me.  One thought is to finally study for the HFS certification exam (I've taken the classes, just need to sit for the test) and get that designation. I think that would make me feel proud and promote a "walk the walk if you talk the talk" attitude adjustment.  I'm just kind of ... LOST.    Another idea I have, which will go off next Wed. is a "spa day" with Elizabeth! She took the day off and we are going to LTF and spending the day doing a spin class, running, swimming, hot-tubbing, then grabbing a healthy meal at the cafe. Liz is so inspirational - I think that will help a lot. I would also like to get back into the gym more regularly. I just am not going. Lack motivation and drive right now :(   I was recently talking with Ted about this year and I called it the year of SUCK ... because I barely raced, trained, and I kind of lost my way. I hate that!!!  I don't want to wax and wane, ebb and flow. I want to look forward to my workouts again!! I feel tired too much lately ... that's possibly something medical, but also because I'm not exercising as regularly as I should, as I WANT to. I'm just at a low point.  I see my endo this week - I dread the A1c :(  I know it'll be higher than it was last time (last time it was good!)   Also need to avoid Halloween candy, closet eating, and not let cravings get to me. I have been having food issues of late, too. Couple that with far less exercise and you have someone transforming into a slug. I don't want to be a slug!!!   I want to feel better, set a goal, and work toward it. And I'd really like some friends to train with. I know that there are GG and CTC training stuff going on all the time, but it's FAR from me!! I need some local peeps to connect with. An occasional jaunt out to the west side or CVNP is fine, but I should be taking more advantage of NERC! There's no reason why I'm not, I'm just not! 

So... jumper cables. I need them.  I need the juice!!  I am hoping to find it within - because that is ALWAYS more effective.  But I haven't found it yet :/   Soon, I hope!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sights on days beyond 9/11/2011

Given the sadness I'm facing with pulling out of Rev3 full,  I thought I'd try to focus on what's ahead for me. I'm definitely a goal-oriented athlete and find it hard to train without a goal. Honestly, it's IMPOSSIBLE to train without a goal! Why bother??  ;-)  I know a lot of you can go for a run, a ride or a swim "just because" ... and I wish I was programmed that way. But I'm not, so let the re-focus begin:

Sept. 18 Portage Lakes Olympic Triathlon (tentative at this point)
Oct. 16 Columbus Marathon
March 17 St. Malachi 5 miler
April 14 Tough Mudder with CTC peeps
April 21 Dakota's Dream Run 10K (tentative - working to create this race!!)
April 28 Hermes 10 miler
May 20 Cleveland Marathon
July 15 Musselman Triathlon (70.3)
July 28-20 Burning River 100 miler
Nov. 3 IMFL (tentative, assuming I can get a general entry spot)

This is plenty to focus on. This gives me some long term goals that I can plan for. I will also reassess the credit load I'm carrying ... It may just be too much for me, or, I may find it manageable, as I get used to the courses and build the classes. It may just be NOW that is so overwhelming, but once I get used to it, it could be totally manageable. Time will tell. All I know is that I WILL make my racing calendar a priority. It affects all that I am and all of my relationships. Having no clear direction is not good for me mentally and emotionally. So, I'll be reassessing my options as I focus on the above tentative schedule.  I suppose it's not the end of the world ... worse things can certainly happen. I will work hard to put this into perspective and move forward with positivity, resist the urge to wallow in sadness and self-pity.  I know that a reality check is all that I need right now. I will work hard to embrace my mantras: "An attitude of gratitude" and "I want to be amazing!".  Pulling out doesn't negate my accomplishments or even any of the training I did over the summer. While this season was disappointing, I still DID PR at Musselman, and podium finished a few local races. Time for an attitude adjustment!! :)

Thanks for all of your support! It really means a lot to me!!


Well, I've told a few people, only, but might as well make it official here. I'm pulling out of the Rev3 140.6 Ironman, sadly, :(    I've been struggling with this decision for a few weeks. I missed a much needed key training weekend a few weeks back and I've fallen behind in training since then. Much of it - most of it - mental and emotional.

I'm healthy and uninjured, but I'm stressed more than I've ever been in my life.  I could rattle off a list of my stresses, and much of it would apply to each and every one of you who try to juggle family, job and training. Now toss in some personal baggage and then a dose of depression to boot. Paints a not real pretty picture of what I'm drowning in right now.

I had initially planned for this to be a Team Triabetes "vindication race" for some friends who struggled at IMSG, and, for me, a chance to race a familiar course with a goal other than "to finish".  Somewhere along the line things started spiraling out of control ... One Captain dropped from the race. No explanation. Another dropped to the half. Another dropped out. I don't have the heart to tell the remaining single full-course athlete that I'm bailing ... I'll need to wait to see her on Thursday, when she arrives from California.  I feel like a heel. :(  I want to support her as much as I can. I am excited and enthusiastic to be cheering her, and so many CTC peeps on. I am trying to mentally shift from competitor to spectator.  It's hard.

School is back in session. I teach college courses.  I am teaching NINE courses, at two different colleges. It's crazy to try to stay on top of all of that - and I'm spread pretty thin, feeling very anxious about missing something, or being unprepared. Plus, I care about these students - I do my best to help them learn the respective material. Some of them are great and it's very rewarding! But there are one or two that just perceive me as Satan, and want to fight over everything. It's simply exhausting! Thankfully my Program Directors are very supportive, at both institutions!! It makes my job a lot easier.  For this, I am grateful! The other issue has been dealing with the single, most unprofessional veterinarian I've ever encountered. This vet is publicly slandering me, to co-workers, colleagues and yes, even STUDENTS! It's my reputation on the line, and I am angry! I have been reasonably tolerant of this, but I'm a hairs-width away from filing a grievance with the OVMLB. I'll need to send her a Cease & Desist letter to stop her slanderous talk. How the hell is this person allowed to get away with this??  Needless to say, it's quite upsetting, but I'm trying to get through the quarter, and then I will deal with this. It's shit like this that makes me angry and takes away from all that I love about my job at this particular school.

My kids are in flag football. We chose this league because it is just a fun, rec league. Last season they all had a single 1 hr practice during the week, then 1 hr game on Saturday mornings. The fact that my girls were on the same team was a bonus! Well, this season they are on 3 separate teams. But, my youngest and oldest have the same coach.  This guy has them scheduled to practice FIVE hours during the week!! Then the hour game play on Sat.  That makes for a hell of a lot of shuttling around!! I am not happy! The kids aren't too happy about it either.

My house has been sorely neglected. It's not had a good cleaning in months.  This weekend we made a decent dent in that, as I'll be having house guests the next two weekends.  The kids have been threatened with life-long grounding, and physical violence, if they don't do their part to maintain the little progress we made here this weekend.  And, I am desperately in need of an electrician to do a few electrical jobs for me! I need to get a new light/fan fixture in the kitchen, as the light chain broke off and I cannot reattach it, leaving us in the dark all the time.  And the kids' bathroom needs to be addressed - a few electrical issues there. When do I think I have time for an electrician to come?  Beyond me!!

I have been having to turn down housecalls. I just cannot fit them in. This is not good for business!! But when someone calls and requests a euthanasia, and I cannot fit it in - at all - for many days, well, I understand the need for a more timely appointment. Unfortunately I cannot help.  This further adds to my stress. :(

I miss my friends. Specifically, a few of them are going through some difficult times. I wish I had more time to talk, be there for them. I feel like a crappy friend.

So, you can see that I am very much over-extended. With each missed work out, I just felt worse and worse about myself. Then I'd turn to food to comfort myself. This has resulted in weight gain - wonderful!! And my BG? Pretty much sucks!! No surprise.

So, pulling out was the right decision. I no longer felt guilty missing a training run, ride or swim. I need a break. I'm going to take it. I have been "98% out" for about a week now ... still having that "maybe on race day I'll just DO IT" lingering in the back of my mind. Then this weekend I got sinusitis, so that kind of sealed the deal.  What will I do on race day? Well, cheer on my peeps, of course!! I hope to have a wonderful day, despite not racing.  I've toyed with the idea of running the marathon leg ... you know, just to do a marathon. My next agenda is Columbus, so I could use a nice long run!!

Oh, did I mention I signed up for BR 100? Well, I did!!  So, I'll take some time off here, and focus on keeping up with the bazillion things that I need to do. I will be going to Kona for IM World Championships, and I'm volunteering at transition in the morning and I'll be a catcher at night. I'm pretty excited about this!!  Plus, Ted and I really need this time away - it will be good for both of us.

After that, I have a plan.  I'm going to try to get into IMFL for 2012.  Not sure I can pull it off, but I'm going to try. I'm HOPING a certain SOMEONE will join me!!! Hint hint! You know who you are!!

This has been a rough year. I can't go into details about all the variables that are leaving me calling 2011 pretty much a crappy year, but, in terms of triathlon, it really was a crappy year!!  Let me take a bit of time off, regain some control over my life, and we'll see what I can do for next season.

If it hasn't been made clear: I am immensely bummed about this decision. I wish I was at peace with it, but I'm not.  I wish things were different, but they are not. I need to get my "house" in order ... and not just the one I live in, but the entire scope of what impacts my stress levels, my schedule, and my relationships - all of that - to be able to regroup and refocus and reassess, so that I can have a rewarding tri season next year. Triathlon is so very important to me! It serves as my sense of self-worth and self esteem. Not doing tris or races is not good for my mental health.

So, that's my news. I'm OUT. I'm sad. I wish I could honestly say I wasn't, but I am.  But, I'll live. And, soon, things will be better - I believe that!!! Or else I wouldn't step back here, but I'd push ahead.  The hope is that I chose the RIGHT thing, and in the end, it will reveal itself to be the right decision.

Guess that's it ...
Peace out peeps!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Biking with the Mikes

Greetings peeps!!  So, yesterday (8/26) was my century ride, as many of you know if you follow my obnoxious posting on Facebook (Yes, I AM a FB whore!). I had this planned, and was lucky to talk Mike Rosenberg into joining me, for what would be his first century ride! The promise of "time in the saddle" versus a hammerfest (me? Hammerfest?? Never!) I think was what made Mike more confident tackling this. I've ridden with Mike over the past few years, and I've got to say, he's really becoming what I'd say is a "strong cyclist"!  He rides up every single hill ... while I dismount and walk (of shame!). 

I've done this route in the past and am familiar with 3/4 of the area. The region from 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock is my unfamiliar territory. Couple that with exhaustion and fatigue and I'm usually a whiney, sobbing mess by the time I arrive there. I had decided to reverse the course, tackling the unfamiliar part first, when I felt stronger. But when Mike Mayer wanted to join, I was happy to go back to doing the loop counterclockwise so we could connect in Lakewood.

Mike R. and I met at North Chagrin, although we parked .75 miles away from each other. We connected and head north at 9:15 am. It wasn't too long before I was in familiar territory and heading west on Lakeshore, into downtown. I'll say it again: N. Marginal Road BLOWS!!! Maybe next time I'll try S. Marginal road. Anyone know if it's any better??  Ugh, headache from the rough road set in. Anyway, we got to the Browns stadium in 1:15, not bad given the traffic and lights. I was feeling AMAZING and, as always, thinking to myself: why don't I do this more often? I really enjoy it! (pretty much up to 60 miles, at which point I quickly deteriorate into a wuss!)

At the stadium we texted Mike M. and we weren't too far away, so another 10 min heading west, and we were all together. A leisurely pace to Edgewater to use the bathroom, then head out to Sweetwater and hit the Metropark Parkway. By this time, I was more "ebb" than "flow" and we all kind of spread out a bit, collecting at various points.  The first of the "darkness" set in around Strongsville. We had planned to stop at Seneca Golf Course, where Mike Mayer would turn around and ride back to Sweetwater, and Mike R. and I would continue on with the loop.

I had totally "forgotten"-  or had selective amnesia - the climbs through that area.  OMG was that hard!! I dismounted for one long climb and walked, the walk of shame. Some leg cramping was starting. :(  I was in a pretty bad place physically and emotionally. Oh, and I should mention that on my way out to start the ride, my insulin pump became "occluded" - first time ever, OF COURSE!! Was this a sign of things to come?  I literally cycled the whole day -10.5 hrs - without insulin or a CGM. I had a glucometer with me, but I opted to bury my head in the sand and "just ride". I was taking in gels and Amino Vital, so I was likely running "high", and not low, but we'll never know.  So, back to the darkest hours: the 10 miles before Seneca Golf Course.  I got dropped - no surprise. They knew where we were going, I knew where we were going, so it wasn't an issue for me at all.  The Mikes are stronger cyclists, and as I've said, I'm okay with that!! After the worst of the climbs, after Bennet Rd, and before Ridge Rd., I had the single, most painful experience of my life!!!.  My quads started to seize. BOTH of them!  And not mere "cramping" but ROCK HARD, spastic seizure. Enough to pull my left knee cap off track. I got off the bike as soon as it started. I was in the middle of the car lane, there was NO BERM. I leaned on my bike and screamed with the most guttural scream ever - the kind you hear women doing while giving birth.  I've had 3 kids, and passed 6 or so kidney stones ... this was worse.  I could not lay down the bike, it was all that was holding me up. I was FROZEN.  This lasted for a good 60 seconds, which felt like 5 min. I actually prayed for a car to come and hit me!!  Or maybe just HELP me.  My group was long gone, and I was totally, utterly "stuck".  I heard a car approaching ... I looked back: It was a park ranger!!! THANK YOU DEAR GOD!!!  He parks and starts calling into dispatch and I'm screaming "can you come take the bike??"  (Along with some other choice words, which clearly were not meant for him!). He came up and I just said "please, just take the bike". He did. I reached down, flipped my kneecap back on the groove and collapsed with my legs folding under me. Sweet relief, instantly. Did that just really happen, or was it a nightmare???   Within a minute I was able to get up and take the bike back. I thanked him profusely, and assured him I had a phone, money (for a cab he said! Ha!) and some peeps ahead. He let me go on, and I walked for about 1/4 mile, and ultimately, climbed back on my bike. I got into granny gear and spun as fast as I could. My thought process was to flush out the lactate and spin out the cramping in a low gear. I took water, salt tabs and finally, at the top of the next hill, collected with the Mikes. My first words: "you will not believe what just happened to me!!"    Ugh.  Onward....

Finally we arrived at Seneca golf course and we went in, and snarfed down tons of calories and fluids. My order? A coke, a poweraid and a water.  I WANTED a muffin, but I could just visualize it sitting in my gut, and ultimately being thrown up!! So I passed on the muffin.  We took our time, chatted,  and started to feel better. It was probably a full hour before we got back on the road, Mike M. heading back to Lakewood, and us continuing the Emerald Necklace loop.

We came to our first closed road, which meant getting out the iphone and re-routing. I had some idea of where we were, but we needed to get back on track. It wasn't too long before we found Chaffee Rd. and were back to the route.  Finally, entering Bedford reservation, we stopped to use the bathroom and check in with our respective peeps. It was 4:30pm and we were supposed to be done, but, we literally had 30 miles to go :(   The iphone helped a lot along the way and we - or rather "I" - ebbed and flowed with energy again. Mike was holding strong, and had already determined he was going to run afterward!! Me? NO. WAY.  We caught some good rollers - I love those!!  But then there were some great descents, that were so, so fun!  As we stopped to check the route, I was commenting on how fun that descent was. Mike says "you know what that means, don't you?"  Ha! Yes. I. do.  More climbing!!!  So, we get down to Chagrin River Road - I'm finally starting to get excited b/c we are almost home! Until ... THE DETOUR.  Yes, Old Mill was out at the bridge, heading east, and there was no way to get out of the valley without climbing the long, steep Old Mill up.  Mike was off! I just tried talking to myself, to remain calm, and try to get as far up as I could.  I think made 1/4 of a mile, tops. The rest was a long, lonely, dark haul up the road. Mike was at the top sitting down.  He later said he wanted to descend it, and ride it a second time, but was afraid I'd be mad! No way!!! - if you are feeling the energy to repeat that, HAVE AT IT!!  I know my physical weaknesses and I'm okay with them! Next time he wants to do that, he's got my full blessing. I would not in any way feel like he's showing me up! First off, he's a humble guy. Secondly, I'm really at peace with my lack of cycling strength, and especially climbs! He's significantly younger, and stronger than me - and getting stronger with each ride!  I'm fine with doing whatever you need to do to make your ride fulfilling for you! I'm just happy to have some company!

At the top, we were ALMOST there. Mileage: 94 miles.  We got to Mayfield Rd., and while Mike wanted to avoid traffic, I just wanted to be DONE.  It's after 7pm by this time!!!  So Mike conceded, and we went Mayfield Rd. to SOM Center Rd., and back to North Chagrin. Ending mileage at my car: 99.94 ... no way was I ending on that number! Little bit more to flip the odometer, and we ended up with 100.11. And I was DONE!!

Home, shower, coma while watching the Tribe play, ejecting in the 8th inning for bed. I slept like a rock and, surprisingly, woke up to very little soreness at all! How is that possible???

Glad to have it done. Off to do a run today.  Had to bail on John Mack and riding 60 miles today ... way too ambitious for me! Plus, me and Felicity need time away from each other. And she needs a bath!!

I'm struggling. Rev3 ... do the full? Drop to the half? Defer to next year.  I think today is the last day I can change it. We'll see how the run goes. I'm not near where I was last year :( I need another 6 weeks!! But, it is what it is, and I'll just need to decide and go with it. I suppose the answer will be clear for me here soon. I hope so!

Peace out!