Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Several Updates

Okay, I have a lot of updates for my readers, here goes...

Had my first ever Master's swim practice tonight. Karen met me at 5:30pm for a lesson, then talked me into swimming with the Master's group. Pretty intense. I think my brain hurts from all the information I got in those 2 hours. Karen really helped me out with my stroke. I feel like I made huge gains tonight. I'm swimming only catch-up stroke for now, until I get used to all the changes that she made to my stroke. And, I never thought I could do this without drowning, but Karen has me breathing from my right side! I've always breathed from my left, never could from the right, until now. All in all, I'm feeling much more comfortable in the water and swimming smoother, with much less effort.

I saw Dr. Stadler last Thursday about my knee. It's actually my IT band that is acting up. The IT band runs from the hip to the knee. If it's tight, it will rub the bony protrusions of the knee causing swelling and some really bad pain. I'm on an anti-inflammatory to keep the swelling down and have to wear a strap above my knee to keep the IT band from moving around. Lots of stretching and taking my running very slow. It's VERY frustrating as I've really been enjoying my runs. I can get about 20 minutes of running in before it begins to hurt and I have to head back. My second run this week did go better than the first, but it's hard to not be able to really run. I want to run so bad I can't stand it. I want to be on the track. I want to open it up and really get some hard runs in. I do know that the IT band injury can't be rushed. It's not something that you can "run through", so I'm being smart about it. I have to be sure I stop and stretch really good if I feel it hurting.

I've updated my race schedule, removing the Kinetic Half Ironman. Not because of my IT band, but because, quite frankly, couldn't get over the fact of spending $150 on a race to "go through the motions". We were starting to realize how much this Ironman trip is going to cost and looking at things to cut back on! Nikki stated that if I'm gonna save us $150, she'll stand on the side of the road and hand me water bottles and food as I do the Half Iron distance in training one Saturday.

Logan turns 5 on Saturday. He's already started soccer and swimming. Following in my Dad's footsteps, I'm the assistant coach of his soccer team. His first game is April 5th. I can't wait! He's so excited!

My Cousin Aaron got promoted to Executive Chef at
Tristan in Charleston, SC. Congrats Aaron! If you are ever visiting Charleston, check it out. Outstanding food and service!

I'll get my training log updated tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been pretty bummed out on my performance at the Shamrock Marathon. I'm pleased to have finished my third Marathon, however, really wanted a 3:30. Instead I settled for a 4:15 finish.

I don't even really know what happened. I was on pace up through 15, then my left knee started hurting REALLY bad. I had to pull up, thinking that I'll be okay after a few minutes of a slightly slower pace. I let Kev and Jen go with the thought of picking it up after things felt better. I was hoping that the 5 miles in direct headwind, partly on the concrete boardwalk, would not completely kill my form for the later stage of the race.

Did I mention that I HATE THE WIND? We've had the worst winds around Richmond in the last three months. A buddy of mine from Indiana was asking "is it always this windy in Richmond?" Have we become the new "windy city"? With my luck, it'll be 40+mph winds in the middle of July at Lake Placid!

But I digress.

After a couple miles at a slower pace, I fall back into the 3:40 pace group. At this point, I'd be happy to be in this group and pull away with 3 or 4 to go. Well, my knee thought otherwise. About 18 I had fallen off the 3:40 group. Then about 20, I was left to walking. Boy did it get cold once I had to start walking. I jogged some, but spent a lot of time walking that last 10K. Also having to take small breaks to kneel down or just stop, as the pain was terrible. The wind was just whipping off the coast, it was cloudy, and in the 40's. After the race, Kev commented that at least it wasn't raining. I said "if it had started raining after I started walking, I would have flagged down the nearest volunteer for a ride back to the finish". I've never felt like that in a race. I was devastated. Nutritionally, I was fine. Breathing, muscles, speed, pace, everything was totally fine. I was just so mad that I couldn't run what I feel I'm capable of running, and it had to do with something I've never had trouble with. I've had right hip trouble in the past, but have gotten stronger and not had issues with it in over a year. And I've never had trouble with either knee. Since January, I've finished the 35K (about 22 miles) trail race, and 2 20 mile runs with no issues. It's still a little sore today, three days later, so I hope Dr. Stadler and Karen can fix me up.

The only thing that did make me smile in that last 10K was walking past these two women cheering the runners on. "Good job #683, you are looking good, and we mean REAL good", "You go ahead and keep walking, we'll be okay just watching", and finally "You make that outfit look REALLY good". As mad as I was, I thanked them with a big smile. I may not have finished at 3:30, but at least I look good!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shamrock Marathon tomorrow

Perfect, the weather looks like 50, with rain and 20mph winds. I do not like this crazy wind we've been having at all. Every weekend seems to have 20-30mph winds.

This one is going to hurt. Look for my race report Sunday or Monday.

The last time I was running a race in Virginia Beach, the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon, I got dehydrated during the race then threw up on the bus ride back to the car. Which caused Kev to pull the car over and throw up as I was telling the story to Nikki! Here's hoping that I don't have a repeat of that scenario!

Also, I'm still working on the camping slideshows.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2008 Camping Trip

We had our annual guys camping trip this past weekend. What a blast! As typical of our camping trips, we arrived in the rain and cold. Saturday morning we awoke to lots of rain and worried that we wouldn't be able to make the hike. After breakfast, hoping it would clear up, we headed over to Old Rag mountain for our day hike. We started out with a very cloudy sky that turned over to a beautiful blue with lots of sunshine! Then, as we were close to the summit, the sky turned black and we all heard thunder. We paused for a bit as the lightning came in and were surprised at what happened next. Hail. Yes, that's right, Hail. The four of us are now cowering near and under a huge boulder for shelter. I mention that we should wait it out, knowing that the high winds would blow this over rather quickly. Sure enough, after about 15 minutes the storm was gone and the sky was blue again. Rainbows are absolutely breathtaking on the top of a mountain. At the top we really got to feel the 50+ mph winds. Nearly blew us off the rocks at the summit. Well, the weather wasn't done just yet. Sleet was next, followed by snow. So in a 6 hour span, we got to experience almost every form of precipitation. Here are a few pictures until I can finish up my slideshow.

Our cozy home for the weekend
That's me, taking in the beauty
Yes, that's Pea Sized Hail!
You just can't make this stuff up!
I'm on top of the world! (well almost, see below, we still have a little left to climb)
Kimmick giving his sponsors some face time
Here I am, taking shelter from the sleet and wind while we eat

Monday, March 3, 2008

Training update

Last weeks numbers appear lower than my "recovery week" but I was pretty busy all week. Missed some workouts due to appointments and family plans. Then had a really busy weekend. I managed to get a lot of miles on the bike, since it's the easiest workout to get in. Just hop on my bike on the trainer while we watch some TV.

Got some
new goggles, so I'm pretty stoked about swimming with them. They fit much better than the last pair I had. No brain cramps from having to be too tight. They look really sweet, but not making me any faster.

Congrats to Kev for throwing down a 19:05 in the Huguenot 3 miler!