Monday, September 28, 2009

Le Tough

Well, the good news is that I finished the Tour de Peach on Saturday. 60 miles in the books, but it wasn't without challenges. Here's the scoop, call it a wild and painful sunday morning with Jenny in the country.

I started the day like normal, with the same alarm clock time as I use for work. Turns out the whole thing was in Gaffney, so the drive was a little farther than expected, but I still got there about 45 minutes before the start. The race packet had 2 t-shirts in it (bonus!), one for the tour and one for a local cycling group Went through the bathroom line, changed into bike clothes and got up to the starting point.

I was going to stretch out some while listening to the pre-ride announcements. I knew the ride benefitted cancer research, which I fully support. But when I pulled up the only announcement I heard was "mass start at the horn -- GO"! and we were off. I literally only had a few seconds to prepare mentally.

There were 30 and 60 mile rides, with aide stations every 20 miles. So both routes were the same into the first aide station. The rain started just a few miles in, and didn't stop for 2 1/2 hours. There was three solid climbs before the first aide station. I took the climbs in stride, but wished I had done some more stretching before the start. Still, the first 20 went pretty fast, and one of the aide station volunteers was joking about how the worst hills were in the last 20. At least, I hoped he was joking.

At the first aide station, glad it was indoors since it was raining

Right after that first station, the 30 mile ride split off to head 10 miles back to the start. With the weather, I think most people changed up and took the quick route back. I did not. In fact, the second 20 was fast, and I was mostly riding around a pack of guys that apparently all knew each other. I hit that second aide station so hard and fast, it may actually be pregnant now. No major climbs, all big chainring stuff, I kept a very consistent pace and just pushed through the whole thing. At the second aide station, the whole pack of folks regrouped, and turns out they all rode together every week and were all from Rutherfordton, NC, one of my favorite small towns on the way to our mountain house. You get a bunch of friendly country boys joking around and hilarity ensues.

40 miles in, starting to feel it a bit

The main group I ended up riding with. I thought they were too friendly to be from SC

The aide station and volunteers. Notice how much darker it is here. The rain had just stopped or slowed down, and it was nice to take a rest.

So the last 20 is where all the trouble began. The first 8 miles in there did have a tough climb, but it wasn't really that hard. But 8 miles in, I busted a spoke on my back wheel.

I don't know if you have ever busted a spoke, but the spokes keep tension maintained on those wheels. And with 110 psi of air pressure and 200 lbs of Flynn sitting on top, the tires really have to hold up well under pressure. A broken spoke warps the wheel rim so it looked like the back tire was waving at me. And every revolution the rim rubs against the brake pads. So the bike is actively working against me at that point. Even going downhill, the bike would slow down almost to a stop if I didn't keep pedalling. So I left it in a low gear on the big chainring and just kept on pedalling. FOR 12 FREAKING MILES.

There were no big climbs left. I didn't have to put it back into the small chainring. I also did not have a cell phone with me to call the SAG van, I just walked out of the house without it. If I could have gotten a ride back to the start I would have gladly called it a day at 48 miles and been happy to get that far before mechanical failure. But my only choices were pedal or walk the bike home. I figured pedalling would be faster.

At least it had stopped raining at that point. But that was still the hardest thing I have ever done. Maybe even harder than the marathon. The first 48 miles took about 2 1/2 hours, the last 12 miles took about 1 1/2 hours. At least the course was cool. We went through downtown Gaffney, even going past my great-grandmother's former cotton farm where my grandfather grew up. Turns out most of his side of my family grew up on that road. But I didn't know that until I was told later. I didn't even recognize the farmhouse as all I was thinking of was the finish line.

I was never so happy to see the Jesus store. It's actually a shoe store, but the sign out front says "Jesus is Lord at Bargain Shoes" so everyone calls it the Jesus store. That's how we roll in conservative SC. It's on a frontage road next to the highway, and when I saw it I knew the finish line was close. I stopped long enough to take a picture of the Giant Peach, which is right across the highway from the Jesus store.

The frontage road where the Jesus store is on the left. This was the last climb back to the finish.

Then I made it back to the car. Unbelievably worn out. My legs shook worse than Jello. It was insane, and it shows. The funniest part was in the parking lot after the ride. I'm sure Glaven will love this, but I actually saw cocks-a-floppin when the other dudes just started changing out of the wet bike gear outside in the public parking lot. Nothing like finishing a 60 mile torture ride with throng of naked men outside in a public parking lot. They did at least check to see if there were any chicks around before stripping down, but still geez. At least I had the decency to close the doors up and change in the back of the van. The funniest part is, I was not far behind the rest of the pack, and there were still about 8 people that finished behind me! Only around 30 people ended up doing the 60 mile route.

Not a naked CJ inside... just showing the bike glad to be back next to the van. Back tire rubbing the brakes for the last 12 miles. ouch.

Just glad to be done.

So for the rest of the day I rested, and I had muscle soreness in muscles I didn't know I had. Like the outside top of each calf. And the muscle right behind the knee. How do you make that one sore? That was some serious pain.

How do you follow that? Sunday I did 7.5 miles in 56 minutes on the elliptical for this weekend's long run. My hip actually feels great right now, but I'm not trusting it for a few more days. Then I'm going to try some drills, as it is supposed to be cool (mid 70's) and mostly sunny for the rest of the week here. As long as my form feels ok, I might try running again thursday.

The whole first 20 miles of the bike ride I was thinking about posts to write on here, and all the great friends I met through the blog. You guys really pushed me through those climbs. Can't wait to read all of the race reports from Augusta and beyond! have a good monday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Le Tour

Thanks for all the well-wishes for the new job. I am really looking forward to getting back amongst the living. It's going to be a tough and strange transition. But we will take it one week at a time and do anything needed to make it all work out. It's tough to sell a house in the wintertime. I still need to get rid of the mountain house. We have another rental property here in Greenville that I'm on the fence about. It's had the same good tenants for the last 4 years, and there's no real reason to sell it. But we could roll that equity into the new house in Raleigh.

I'm going to have to get a car and a cell phone too. It's been fantastic (the last 18 months) not having to pay for insurance, extra gas, and having a second car in the garage. Or paying for the second cell phone line. But I guess it has to be done now.

I'm also so glad I didn't settle for less than the best opportunity. So many times if you are out of work you will take the first thing that comes along. This was the first time I had the luxury to hold out. I write, and C# is a competing language that I also write some. I turned down a fantastic salary several months ago because it was a C# job in the wrong city. I was very dissapointed last month when I didn't get a C# job that paid $15k less than this one does. But I know this is the right environment, the right languages, the right salaray, the right location. And I have to embrace that fact as I listen to my family try to bribe me to stay in Greenville. Or at least keep the kids here.

I tried running again last night without success. After 3 steps it was back to the limpy gimpy form with hip pain. So weird. So I hopped over to the elliptical and knocked out 6 miles, mostly during halftime of the USC/Ole Miss game. It felt good. I'm done complaining about the hip though.

Today it is supposed to be 85 and cloudy here in Greenville. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 70 and raining. Then Sunday it goes back to 82 with a chance of rain.

Good thing the Tour de Peach is tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to the ride, really. It will be my first time trying 60 miles, which I'm going to do a few more times before the B2B. The route starts at an office complex in Spartanburg and goes up to Gaffney (home of the Giant Peach water tower) and back in a big loop. There's no serious climbs, just a bunch of rollers. So IF the rain holds off until the afternoon it should be a great ride. I'm going to try and bring the small camera with me and take some pictures. It should be a good litmus test for the B2B bike leg. If I can cover 60 miles of rolling hills in a decent time/speed, then I will know how much I can push the flat course at the half ironman.

So I'm looking forward to a fun weekend, and I'm so glad it's friday. Good luck if you're running Ironman 70.3 Augusta this weekend! I'll be tracking.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Update - Ch-ch-ch-changes!

It's been a bit hectic around the CJ household. I'll get directly to it here.

Enough whining about the hip. Done with that stupid thing. The PT, yoga, elliptical and bike seem to be getting the job done. I will try running again tomorrow night, and switch to the elliptical if it hurts. I need to do a brick soon too, either tonight or tomorrow. Might be bike/elliptical, but it will be a brick.

Saturday I got in 9 miles on the elliptical in a good time. Then we took off for NC to a bridal shower for one of my fraternity brothers. Have you seen these "couples" wedding showers? Used to, only skirts had to attend those. Now us dudes are getting suckered into going too. Actually, it was great to see the poor bastard again, and we all ended up pounding a few beers (except kelley, she drove my drunk ass home) before heading back to Greenville. The drive was almost 2 hours each way. Kelley's mom and sister (with neice) came to keep the kids at our house while we were out. It was a fantastic getaway.

Sunday I negative split 45 miles on the bike. Broke it down into 15 mile segments, and tried to hit 45 minutes per segment. They timed at 44:50, 44:31, and 43:40. That's right, NEGATIVE SPLIT!! At that distance, that much time, that was unexpected. I felt really strong the whole time. Hung with the fam some until they had to go and sunday was done.

Monday I worked hard at my job. No time to post, but I wanted too. After work monday I drove to Raleigh, NC about 4 hours away. Did some yoga and weights in the morning.

Monday was the last day of summer, and I have to update a goal. I'm not going to call it a fail, but it's not a total success either. You might remember I had a goal this year to wear white pants and make them look good. in an "ooooohhh honey" kind of way, not in a "noooo, honey" kind of way. That was defined as white linen pants with a 34" waist and no shirt, a slight tan, and slight hint of 6-pack abs showing through. Well, with summer at an end I'm in 35" pants, pale as a whole garlic, and no abs shining through yet. I also did not actually purchase these pants yet. However, I'm not calling it a fail because it's the first time in years I've been able to get into those 35" pants, and my abs are slimmer than they have been since I got married. I'll call it a close, but keep your shirt on goal almost met.

Tuesday was the first official day of fall. You know why I like fall? Good things happen in the fall. We get football, the leaves change, the stupid heat goes away, it becomes pleasant to be outside again. I love it. And this tuesday was an especially auspicious start to fall. I was in Raleigh, after all.

Since I work from home, and Kelley's dad also works from home, sometimes I like to go visit him and work from his home office just for a change of pace. But this time it was planned for a reason. I had my first job interview with a company up there, and I freaking GOT IT!!! I'm still in shock. Worked all morning at this job, then went for the 2.5 hour interview. Finished at 4:30. By 5 pm they called with the offer. I accepted. And after a few hours of celebratory jumping and screaming, I drove back to Greenville. Then we watched the Biggest Loser after I got back and called it a day.

This is an awesome company. It's a larger, more stable company than I have worked for recently, and there are 30 other software developers on staff. I've always been the only software developer on staff. Nobody I have ever worked with in the past can type as fast as I can, but everyone there types just as fast as me. It's going to be amazing to be amongst my own kind instead of having to wear the "lone developer" freak label. Two of the three owners are runners, and one even did Ironman CdA last year!

This also initiates an entirely new set of insteresting developments that are all going to go by too fast. I had to quit my existing job today, which was more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I have to buy a car - haven't had one for the last 18 months. Without a commute I had no need for non-bike transportation. We have to sell the house here in Greenville and buy a house in Raleigh. We have to move from said house one to unfound house two. Moving sucks. And I have to convince my parents (and brother Morgan) that it's a good thing to take their grandkids 4 hours away.

I'm going to stay with Kelley's dad during the week and come back to Greenville weekends until we can get moved into the new house. There is a list as long as my arm of things that need to happen to this house before we can sell it. Got to get all of those crayon marks off of the wall. The recent roof replacement and exterior paint were a great start, but now the whole landscaping thing needs to happen. Winter is the slowest time of year to sell a house, and the real estate market is still fairly dormant anyway thanks to the lending crisis and economy.

Kelley will be here with the girls while I am in Raleigh all week long. I do not expect this to go over well. I will have to join a gym in Raleigh and I'm going to get on that has a damn pool. Workouts will have to be confined to while I am in Raleigh as I will have no wife/kids then and I will be solely responsible for wife/kids when back in Greenville. The family tension that is sure to ensue in that scenario will certainly expidite the move to Raleigh.

All summer long I've been lamenting about some kind of big life change. This is it. I've been waiting on this plan to kick into action for months. Step #1 was to find the job. Mission accomplished. I've been complaining about SC and wanting to move back to NC for some time now, but it has to be done the right way. My patience has been rewarded.

Today I worked some and quit my job. Tonight I'm hitting the gym for some bike work, maybe a bike/elliptical brick. Tomorrow is more work, I have to finish the projects I'm working on before starting the new job. Tomorrow night is a run or elliptical or both. I'm going to try out this hip and see what happens.

I'm still so excited about this new opportunity. I feel it is a blessing, a door that has been opened for me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

hip flexor

Well, it looks like the diagnosis is hip flexor strain. This is fairly straightforward, just takes some PT specific movements, balance work, and of course more core strengthening. The piriformis is the balanced (rear) muscle counterpart to the hip flexor, so there's going to be some rump work going on too. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a little bubble butt like this guy. Feel free to send me any url's or scans of pt moves, I'll take all the help google can give me.

Last night I hit the elliptical for 6.5 miles. I think I'm going to keep going with my normal training plan using the elliptical instead of the treadmill while the hip flexor heals. B2B is only 7 weeks away, there's no time to lose here. Next weekend is the Tour de Peach 60 mile ride, there's 2 other 60 mile rides on the training schedule, and long runs of 12 and 14 miles still to come.

This weekend should be fun. Kelley's mom, sister, and our niece are coming in to stay with us. Saturday Kelley and I are going to a friend's wedding shower in Charlotte and they are keeping the girls. I'm also getting a haircut and eye exam/contact lenses saturday morning before we go. I am so sick of wearing these glasses. geez.

I also discovered something new yesterday that I am incredibly excited about. I love the format of ESPN fantasy games, but my time only lets me play 1 team. I can't get into fantasy football thanks to the head-to-head format. I love the stats and number crunching, and I'm actually winning my fantasy baseball league! But yesterday I signed up for a fantasy hockey team. I love hockey, but I just started following it a few years ago. So I'm probably going to get crushed. But I am still so freaking excited!!! My buddy Vince got into the same league so I've already started talking smack to him. He did actually play AAA hockey for the San Jose Sharks, so it's safe to say he knows the game a little better than I do. Still...... FREAKIN FANTASY HOCKEYYYYYYY!!!!! Ah, it does a nerd good.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who Knows

I went to the chiro yesterday to get this hip thing squared away. My regular guy is in Italy teaching the upper cervical procedure to chiropractic school instructors and the government's chiropractors over there. Yes, he is that much of a badass. Kelley went for an adjustment too, and we had to see one of the other doctors at the clinic.

Now Steve always adjusts things that make noise, snapping and popping and you feel like something is really moving in there. I know it's only moving millimeters but still. I got no sounds from this chick. Kelley said she didn't even touch her back. Just some pressure point stuff and tension release on my ITband. $105 later we walked out with no spine adjustments and we both still had all of our pains. Kelley's pissed.

I tried to run last night. The tension release on the IT band should have made my hip discomfort easier IF it really was an ITB thing. I made it half a mile before bailing. In running form, you want your body to have as little up and down movement as possible. It seemed like my body dropped about 4" every time my left foot hit the ground. I know that was compensation for right hip pain. So I can't seem to find proper form until this stupid stupid hip thing goes away. I'm afraid this could become a very expensive deal breaker. It's really pissing me off. I hopped on the elliptical for another 7.5 miles last night and that felt fast and fun. So it looks like I'm riding the elliptical until this stupid thing clears up which will end up being longer than I want it to be.

So what other hip problems can you have if it's not ITB? Today I've got to do the research. RICE, yoga, stretching, and PT excercises haven't done shit yet to help. I'm starting to see some good info come in for 2010 races, but I don't want to sign up for anything until I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. It also could mean blogging might get sporadic as I have no actual running to report on.

Thanks for all the great responses to the last post. I know we each have our own reasons for training and/or racing. It was great to get so many emails telling me why you do all this crazy stuff and put up with all this pain. It was also really great to see other people who share the same concerns I do with being out on the roads.

It's friday eve! hoot!

Monday, September 14, 2009


I got 45 miles on the bike yesterday. it was as awesome as you might imagine 45 miles on the bike could be. Made pace with the splits, 15 miles in 45:13, 15 miles in 45:21, 15 miles in 44:38 avg about 20 mph (15 miles in 45:00 is 20 mph - just so Glaven knows). Fun times, ah tell ya

The hip is still twinging a bit. It's just enough to be annoying, but could be really painful if I try to run again too fast. This has me annoyed.

Why do we do all this crazy shizzle?

Something has been disturbing me lately. Melanie (2nd Chances) and I have become close friends over the last year or so, and she had a tragedy last saturday that I'm sure some of you already know about. Mel's a single mom who works from home like I do. Her son Terron is 10, almost 11 years old. Last saturday Terron's dad, C, suffered a fatal heart attack. Of course I never knew C, but his death has been weighing on my heart lately as I wade through this hip pain.

Here's what we know. C was a smoker (sound familiar?), overweight (I lost 40 lbs last year), and only 34 years old when he died. I'm 34, people my age don't have heart attacks. Mel also informed me that he had diabetes and refused treatment.

That could launch a whole 'nother discussion about US health care reform, and just because you provide health care for everyone doesn't mean they will actually take advantage of it. C knew he needed to stop smoking, lose weight, and watch his diet to control diabetes and he did nothing. He could get all the insulin and other help he needed with no additional cost and he did not take it. So I'm not accusing the guy of being a health nut. But dying from a heart attack at 34 years old was not in his plan for controlling his diabetes, I'm sure.

I made the choice almost 2 years ago to lose weight and stop smoking. My dad's dad passed from a heart attack at 60, which is still young. And I have to tell every doctor that asks about my family medical history about it. Terron will have to tell every doctor that his dad passed from a heart attack at 34, and when he's our age will have to undergo a bunch of tests that might not have been needed if C had taken better care of himself. So I am feeling sorry for Terron's future hassles.

I swim bike run to fight my own demons. Smoking, overweight, high cholesterol, cancer, and when training gets hard I am forced to remember why I do all that crazy stuff. Sure I don't have to race as much as I do. I don't have to cover the long distances or keep challenging longer races like the half iron coming up. But that keeps me focused on a goal. When I take 2+ days off (no workouts thursday, friday or saturday.... thought I was going to start shooting people on saturday) it makes me very jumpy, and snappy. not too pleasant to be around. I don't like the way I feel or the way I talk to others. These are my demons, this is why I keep putting in the miles. If I didn't it could easily be Kelley telling you about our girls instead of Mel telling us about Terron. So C's death combined with my hip/ITB pain/running layout/lack of pool has left me with biking only. And mixed emotions.

And then there's Joe (rockstar tri). Joe's a real rock star taking on the challenge of triathlon for the first time at 48. And he's finished 2 half ironman's, the second one just a few weeks ago. Then he was out on a training ride on his bike when a car ran him down. He survived thank God, but after a few days in the hospital he's still discovering new aches and scratches. The sad and scary thing about bike/car accidents is that the car always wins. Bikes are designed to shatter (not splinter, b/c after the car runs you over it would suck to have shards of carbon splintered into your rib cage), so at least new bikes have safety built into the design. Joe was lucky.

Kelley's dad goes to a gym every sunday for one of the classess offered, and the instructor was a top age group triathlete. Until she was run over by a u-haul on the bike a few months ago. She is still in the hospital. She told Mickey that last week she could run 12 miles, now she was happy she could stand up for 12 minutes. Her injuries were more severe than Joe's. Box trucks like that are significantly heavier than cars. Her bike shattered.

My rules for the road are to stay off. I don't like outdoor workouts when it's too hot anyway, but now that fall is in the air I'm itching to get back outside. But there are rules. I don't run on roads besides cars because my lungs have to work hard enough without sucking exhaust. I like to go to the lake at Furman or some trails for my outdoor runs. I do not bike solo on the roads. My 45 miles yesterday was on the stationary at the gym. Long milage like that takes a lot of country roads, and I'm amazed how boring it is riding the same roads over and over again. A 2.5 mile loop in the neighborhoods is great to run. Hit it 3 or 4 times and that's a fantastic run. Ride the same loop twice and it's amazingly boring. So you have to find a long route, and I refuse to ride with less than 3 people. A group of 3 is much less likely to have car interference than a lone rider. Even two people riding can get separated, but with 3 or more it isn't as likely.

Generally riding is done through neighborhoods or down country roads, so there isn't much exhaust sucking done. But finding safe, challenging routes and consistent riding partners is incredibly difficult. So I stick with the stationary bike & treadmill, and sign up for rides like my upcoming Tour de Peach that include police support. Cycling as a community is gaining awareness amongst motorists, but we still have a long way to go before it is truly safe.

So if I don't bike, or swim bike run, there's weight issues, diabetes, smoking, and heart disease. If there is cycling etc there's cars mowing down people like they are pissed off about it. Seems like there's no way to win. And that has been weighing on me lately. Don't get me started about boats interfering with open water swimmers. ouch. And don't get me started about stupid cyclists that don't wear the right safety gear like helmets or blinking rear lights. or swimmers who wear a black westuit and dark swim cap in open water and expect boat drivers to be able to see them. But when you're dealing with people that know better and choose........ fuggit about it.

I'm just going to go out there and run my races, and execute my training plan. As long as I stay focused on my goals and hitting my milestones that's the best I can do. Yes I have to play it smart and safe. My heart breaks for Mel and Terron. And if I get run down like Joe then that's the way it happens. Everything is risky.

That reminds me, Kelley is convinced I'm going to die at B2B. Made me take out extra life insurance before the marathon and everything. I, of course, disagree. But she actively encourages me to drop the race because she doesn't want to be a widow yet. Her paranoias about death run far and wide, she also gets scared changing light fixtures out. I am gaining confidence about B2B with every workout, but she's still scared.

Have a great week! Sorry for the downer post, but like I said this has been weighing on me lately.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Short Recap

HA! If you think I could do a short recap of a long weekend you must be new to the program. That's ok, welcome aboard.

The garage sale went great saturday. Tip: Make some brownies the night before. We spent $1 on the brownie mix and sold $9 worth of brownies. I like it. The girls were supposed to say "wouldn't you like a scrumptious brownie?" but they never actually would. Dang picky salespeople. Who could resist that? nobody. We ended up profiting about $200. Not enough to pay off the hospital bill, but they should be happy for a while.
The resulting cleanup and recovery time sucked up the rest of saturday.
Sunday I got out to Furman for a bike ride. Made it about 7 miles and got bored. It's a small campus, and there are speedbumps and plenty of cars. Running on the trail or path around the lake at Furman is much better than riding around the campus. It wasn't bad, but I don't think I will do it again without getting into a group that knows a route that leaves campus. The swamp rabbit bike path runs very close to Furman, and I've seen it while running on the trails, but could not find a road intersection to hit it on the bike. The swamp rabbit is several miles long now and will be a big part of fall bike and run training once it's cool enough to get outside again.

That made me determined to find a long ride to get into on Monday, so I found an email on the Spinners list and met up with Cindy and David at my gym parking lot for a 40 - 50 mile ride up and over Paris Mountain, through downtown, and back. David knew the route, Cindy set the pace. Here they are:

And here's a view from 3/4 of the way up Paris Mountain. We didn't take tower rd up to the very top this time like I've done before, but this view of downtown is still quite cool. And I made it up THE WALL this time! 3rd time's the charm I guess. My first two attempts I had to walk the bike up this 18% grade, which was still tough. But this time I rode up the whole thing! awesome. yea baby.

Total route ended up being 33 miles, and we had a blast. It did get hot about 20 miles into the route, and the sun really came out. Check out these tan lines!

Sunburn sleeves from the bike jersey, and the bike gloves left some funny red marks too on my hands. The bottom wrist in that pic also has a nice outline of the Garmin leaving a funny red mark. hahahahaha!!! tan lines make me laugh. My legs got burned pretty bad too.
Also monday was FREE chick-fil-a sandwiches! I can't promote fried chicken in any form, but geez those are my favorite fast food ever! And the free part really feeds my cheap side. We put the kids in Appalachian State t-shirts too and got 4 free sandwiches. Rock on! Hope you guys got some too.

Tuesday was Bigun's first day of 4 yr old kindergarten. Here she is on the first day of school last year:

And here she is from the first day of school this year. We need some kind of marker I guess to show how much she's grown. It's huge. She loves her new teachers, classmates, and the school program. Last year she had to get adjusted to a new social situation, but this time she just dove right in. Tossed her backpack after walking in the door and started playing with her friends. It's both scary and cool to see her grow into accepting a new situation like that.

The hip is still the hip. I did skip saturday's long run. Yesterday was a normal return to work, it felt more like a monday, but i'm still glad to keep the work week short. Last night I did 6 miles on the elliptical instead of my normal treadmill interval workout. Biking and elliptical both make the hip feel better. I think the hip pain has something to do with ITB strain. So I hit the weights at the gym last night too, got in the hip adductor, abductor machines, and some core work. That plus stretching will help the ITB heal. I should be running again soon. Until then, I am loving the bike. There's still some discomfort when I push off with my right leg while walking, but that's about gone away. I know if I don't give enough healing time post-pain that it will come right back with my next run. Maybe saturday's long run will be the next time I will be able to get one in. I'll take it as I can get it.

Only working 4 days this week, I still have to bill 5 days worth of hours. And I've got a dentist appt this afternoon. Gotta pound that code!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Coasting thru friday

This morning I had to release some new software and it went quite well. That means I'm coasting through to a long weekend. Ah the glory. Bask in it. Lurve it.

Tomorrow we are having a garage sale to try and pay down the $590 emergency room bill from my post marathon. Turns out the new health insurance plan from the office sucks. I got excited thinking the $150 hospital bill was all I would have to pay.... until this one came in for uncovered services by my insurance. A funny side note: You know you are sick in a poor state when the $150 hospital bill comes with a note that they have already setup a $25 a month payment plan for you. The hospital here would only demand payment in full with a donated pint of blood.

So garage sale tomorrow. Lots of cleaning up the front yard and organizing. We're trying to really get rid of as much old crap as possible. That means the boxes of "I'm too fat for this" and "I wore this when I was really fat" clothes are all going. The good news is that I tried on some pants from college yesterday and they FIT! I cant' believe it. First, the last time I wore those I was 50 lbs lighter than I am now (I had no muscle in college, grad at 145 lbs); and second I still make those old clothes look good! still, most of them are going into the garage sale. Kelley's also now threatening to turn my office into a thrift store. Baby clothes, old clothes, new clothes, thin clothes, and fat clothes are all going out the door never too return. Plus tons of other crap that we hope to turn into cash. We have good crap though.

Kelley also threatens to do her spring cleaning with a blowtorch. Our 2800 sq ft house is slammed full like we are fucking pack rats, and she wants to abandon everything and buy new stuff in Raleigh when we move. I am looking forward to lightening the load some, but not to that extreme.

Football started last night!!!!!! YEA BABY!!!!! USC vs NCSU was a great game between sub-par teams. I caught some of the first half while dealing with family, and most of the second half while at the gym. I was supposed to get a 5 mile tempo run in, but I was watching football. Looked down at the treadmill when they cut to commercial and it said 5.8 miles. Ooooops. I ran it out to 6 even before they came back from commercial and called it. Good tempo run, after a warm up, I set the speed at 6.4 (slower than normal tempo runs) and went for it.

I also doubled up yesterday. Did yoga before work, and the tri power workout over the workday as usual. but I also got a half hour on the bike trainer before lunch, making it the first time working in a 2-a-day workout. i Love it! Bike in the morning, run or swim at night, I'm going to have to do more of that.

Now for the bad part. This morning I could barely stand up thanks to this hip pain. The hip actually feels better while and after cycling. But it was the run that did it. Today there's also sort of a dull discomfort on the outside of my knee, so I think Wes was right. Seems like ITB pain. I'm just going to have to bend over and take it like Glaven does. I think I'm going to find an ART chiropractor here and see if that will help. Plus work the balanced muscles (adductor and abbductor leg muscles) and get back on track with regular yoga & ITB specific stretches. And skip this weekends long run. RICE anyone? I'm typing this with an ice pack on my hip.

I'm still going to try and get in a bike ride this weekend and maybe a swim if the garage sale doesn't take too long saturday.

Finally, we ended up in a magazine found yesterday! Go Magazine, the sponsor of the 5k & kids race published a pic of me holding Bigun in the september issue, and they had 2 pics of just Bigun online. I have stolen them and put them below for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quick Ouch & new

I just signed up for the Tour de Peach this month. It's Sept 26th, I'm taking the 60 mile option. It will be my first time touring this part of the upstate, first time covering 60 miles. It's mostly rolling countryside so I'm not stressed about it, this will be a fun one. It's a great chance to push the muscular endurance, speed and leg strength. Coach Katie approved this one. I'm really getting excited! Looks like fun.

Last night I hit the gym for speedwork. I was so looking forward to it. Did half mile intervals, and the first one went ok, but not great. Then the second one my right hip started really giving a sharp pain. The third one I slowed the speed down a little, but that hip pain sharpened up. so I walked it out some and called the run short at only 3.1 miles. It feels like some kind of tendon at the front part of the right hip joint.

The part that worries me is that it's gotten incredibly worse today. Just walking around the house is quite painful. Advil doesn't do it, so I don't think it's an inflamation. I'm betting it's an imbalance somewhere in my back. Some muscle has gotten stronger than it's counterpart back there, and it might take a trip to the chiro and some core ab/lower back strength moves to get that hip feeling right again.

The strange thing is it only hurts when walking/running. I did 1:15 on the bike trainer this morning and felt great. No hip problem at all on the bike. The plan is to ice/heat the hip today, hit the bike (on the trainer) again tomorrow morning and try running again tomorrow night for a slow tempo run. You guys got any ideas what that could be? The shoes last night only have 133 miles on them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Totals

It was a wild month. Tons of ups and downs. Here's the milage breakdown:

Swim: 400 m (one race)
Bike: 170 miles (inc one race)
Run: 48.6 miles (inc two races)
Strength: 5 hours
Yoga: 2.5 hours

Today starts phase 4 (maintenance) of the Tri Power program. I got back on that bandwagon yesterday, and did some yoga this morning. It feels good to get back into the regular routine. Eating is going pretty well, but I'm still floating around 200 lbs.

Once again, my swimming is pathetic. August had one sprint tri and a separate 5k race on the same day. The swim leg of the tri was the only time I got in the water. Pathetic. Biking was good, it felt good to finally start getting into some long bike rides. And 48 miles running is not bad really. It should have been higher but I got slack for a couple of weeks after the races.

This is going to sound repetitive, but I feel good about keeping up the schedule. Speedwork run tuesday, bike wednesday, tempo run thursday, long run saturday, long bike ride sunday. Keep the yoga up twice a week, and hit the Tri Power strength program on schedule. Might be able to get in another swim or two before the outdoor pools close. I'm also going to start working in some bike trainer time in the mornings tuesday or thursdays. or both. I think adding a two-a-day will really kick it up a notch.

We're still trying to plan a move to north carolina, and depending on where we land there will be different pool and gym options there. I never thought the move would take this long to work itself out. It has become quite frustrating; we've been planning/searching since January.

But now it's september. Fall is eagerly approaching. August is always my most hated month of the year. It just happens to be when all those one time bills hit like the car property tax and annual life insurance premiums, etc. it's always hot here in SC. for the whole month, it's repressivly hot and humid. The garden mostly dies in the heat. it's depressing.

September brings a new hope, the promise of a new season, and new fun. College football starts thursday. Saturday is when App St will begin their romp through the football season at East Carolina University, which is also in NC. I went to App St, Kelley went to ECU for undergrad (ASU for grad school, that's where we met). So that's a huge rivalry game with us and our friends. Today's high is only 78 outside. I think the hurricane has left a low pressure system in place that will keep us cool all week long and through labor day weekend, about 12 degrees below normal until mid-next-week. It is GLORIOUS. September and October are the last two months of training before the B2B half Nov 7, and I feel good about it now. I know the distances are reachable, but challenging. I am truly excited about the fall and football and seeing how this all plays out. It's nice to have hope again.

Holy crap. I just looked at the training plan, and September is supposed to have 499 miles on the bike and 80 miles running. So much for hope. I know, only increase 10% per week.