Friday, January 29, 2016

That week DC got 2 feet of snow and I broke my neck.

Time for the weekly round-up kids. Also, a lesson to be learned here. But first, here's what I actually got accomplished in triathlon life...

swim: 5100 yards
bike: 45.5 miles
run: 4.55 miles
strength training: 1

... so. basically nothing. neck was hurting early in the week, so Tuesday and Wednesday were rest days, still sticking with the hip flexor loving but not much else. Missed a swim and bike workout on those days which wasn't pleased about, but better to baby this thing for a few days than stress it out this early in the season.

The storm began in earnst friday afternoon - so friday morning I did my run outside (MAF work) followed by a short, sweet swim finishing 3 minutes before the pool closed for the weekend (prep for storm). My run is continuing to improve a bit, less hip pain and a more fluid stride, though IT band pain still present.

Saturday was a slice of heaven on earth. I stayed in DC all weekend with a good friend and we woke up Saturday morning to a literal wonderland. The city was asleep other than a few plows that were out but the snow was falling and the city was *quiet*. We woke up early to watch the snow, then went back to sleep for a couple hours. Around 10, we met up with a friend that lives really close and we headed to Meridian Park for round 1 of snow fun. The dogs that were off leash and jumping in the snow made my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much. Watching dogs play with pure uninhibited joy is just awesome.

We sledded down some steps, made snow angels, ran down more steps and jumped into the unblemished expanse of snow that had blanketed everything overnight. We decided to explore the mall and monuments so with a quick break for clothing change, coffee and baileys and travel snacks, we headed out on our winter wonderland adventure. Walking down the center of normally busy streets was surreal - it was reminiscent of "Day After Tomorrow". People were out and about, in boots, skis, snowshoes, you name it. We watched downhill skiers on 15th street. We even saw the military Humvee's out and about on U street in the newly declared disaster zone.

The White House was our first stop. We weren't the only ones searching for presidential snow angels. After an obligatory photo op and an impromptu snow ball fight with complete strangers, we continued on past the WWII memorial, the reflecting pool, and onto the Lincoln Memorial. We had a blast running through the knee-thigh (depending on how tall you are...) snow and parked ourselves on the steps. We slid, we rolled, we tumbled down the snow covered stairs to the sweet musical tones of disney pandora. We had snow beers and shared muffins with pigeons before returning to home base for a quick break.

Then - THEN - the epic sledding of 15th street. We rode down the hill sitting on a snowboard at first. Then Ian grabbed his mountain bike and a surfing leash and proceeding to fly down 15th street hill towing me in a laundry basket.

Oh yea. That happened. Theres video evidence.

All in all, we walked at least 7 miles in snow which was borderline exhausting but exhilarating at the same time. I LOVE snow. Me and snow - we're committed for life.

Ambitiously, and still riding the winter wonderland high, we then decided to take on a 2 and a half hour trainer ride. I was pretty proud of us. We had a dynamite dinner of salmon and rice and chocolate and passed out watching House of Cards.

Sunday morning, I woke up very early and checked on the snow. I headed back to bed to sleep in. An hour later, I woke up in SEARING neck pain.

Oh for the love of God, I just wanted to cry. So I did.

I ended up obtaining my usual pharmacy of drugs that I treat my disk flare-ups with (THANK YOU JESUS) but the snowball fight and snow playtime were sadly out of the question. We spent the day lounging around watching even more House of Cards until it was football time. Headed to the navy yard to his friend's apartment to partake in football and food and drinks for the rest of the night while I tried incredibly hard to sit perfectly still.

Monday morning, I felt worse. I actually woke up from crying in my sleep at 4:30 am. Thankfully, I had a more than capable caretaker to make sure I didn't off myself or die from pain so that was most excellent. I felt better through the day, forced myself into a 2 hour trainer ride sitting up which was the only position that didn't hurt. Sitting hurt, laying down hurt, but shockingly, my neck position on the bike was comfortable so I embraced this small 2 hour relief in the form of a relatively laid-back trainer ride.

The rest of this week has just been hell. My neck is slowing improving and I eeked out an hour long trainer ride this morning. Tomorrow I have an hour run on the books (which I am overly excited about) before I head out to sign an apartment lease and trek out to Annapolis for the Navy-Army hockey game and dinner at one of my favorite places in town.

Here's to a painfully slow recovery week...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby, I'm a streaker.

You heard me. 9 day streaker. I have worked out 9 days in a row and its cause for celebration because the last time I did that was over a year ago. I feel tired - but good tired. Plus seeing all those little green boxes in training peaks makes my OCD super happy.

I pulled out a 1:30 trainer ride and hour swim on Wednesday - I was exhausted (still getting back into this training thing...) but I was riding that lovely exhaustion where you just want to eat and chill on the couch and relax but not pass out in a post-workout-coma. Other notable workout - 2:30 trainer ride on friday and it felt good. It was hard but I pushed it and felt pretty damn decent. so, yay.

workouts from last week:
swim (2): 7050 yds
bike (3): 110 miles
run (3): 14 miles

(I missed my Saturday "flop" swim after the run because a child pooped in the pool... which I was legitimately sad about because it was a short and sweet splash in the pool and I was super sweaty from the run.)

So - training is good - I love the specificity of the workouts with intervals (thanks Sonja and RTTC!).

Snowstorm is apparently coming this weekend. Even if I'm holed up in my apartment, I've got a few training rides on the books and I can always run on my beloved treadmill...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oh hi. It's me. I'm BACK.

Let's try one more time to stay on top of all things in the online world, shall we?

So we left off early November in a real slump. Its improved - in ways different than expected, but its improved.

My body is not 100%, lets admit that fact. Thanks to that good ole boot from weeks back, the left side of my body decided to stay jacked up - we're working on it. Hip flexor needs some lovin' - PT style. Don't be gross.

My motivation is back. Hello! New year, new you? Yea, I'm not buying that crap either, but in the spirit of new-gym-memberships-and-weight-loss-goals-and-improving-oneself, lets jump on the bandwagon and get this training show on the road, shall we?

I hired a new coach (happy dance). I will miss Taneen and her spirit and motivation - she and I had a great year and I learned a lot - about myself, about things I like and dislike in triathlon and training and 2015 was a great stepping stone to lead into 2016. I have 2 more Ironmans under my belt, I've been pretty consistent but its time to leap off that plateau and climb the next mountain. Its going to be tough and, let's be honest, I'll probably cry... because, you know... me... - but I'm ready.

I'm a week and a half into the first block of training. I did the first swim workout last monday and then promptly came down with some nasty virus that nearly killed me for three days. Jumped back on the horse friday with the first run in weeks... did 3.7 whole miles and felt awkward but the leg is *marginally* getting better. Is it all in my head? Maybe. But I think its better, so I'm going with that.

Saturday was a off day since we were doing a threshold test the following morning at off-season-spin. So - that threshold test eh... After having a few cocktails and staying up a tad too late at a party (with other triathletes, so I think that makes it legit), I showed up to OSS and kicked my ass. But I got it done and done effectively.

At that point is when my body decided it had had enough for the day. The intention was to follow OSS with an easy 40 minute run. And I'm going to say this out loud for accountability sake - I need to learn to to run easy when it says to "run easy". EASY. Especially with other people.

I started running and my leg felt even better than it had on Friday. So - I ran too fast. After a mile and a half or so, I felt my legs start to die and I knew the next 28 minutes were going to be quite uncomfortable. And they were. Even when I slowed down to an embarrassingly slow pace that a 3 year old could sustain, my heart rate was in the 700's and I was watching my legs move but they seemed to have a mind of their own. I mean, the heart rate *might* have been a shade lower than that exaggerated number... but lets say new numbers were showing up that the 910 has never witnessed.

I was grumpy (sorry to running partner...) and hangry after that brick workout. Though the bloody mary that followed put me in a much better mood and I recovered with tacos (thank you District Taco!) and How to Make a Murderer all afternoon/evening... As much as some workouts can suck - I love being in training again!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It turns out I don't suck.

Keep it appropriate kids. This is a PG-13 blog with occasional profanity, not sexual interludes.

One of the cool things about the triathlon world is being part of a team. Whether its the local tri club, an ambassador program, a racing team - triathlon accepts any and all people and encourages participation regardless of ability.

This past year, I had an awesome opportunity to represent SOAS - a women-specific brand created by women. The company is amazing, I love their vision for active women - just being a part of it this year and seeing it grow by leaps and bounds in 2015 alone has been exciting! They constantly seek our input and take our ideas into account - and make them happen! Our private facebook group is a safe haven for the "SOAS sisters" and is a constant go-to source for inspiration and motivation. I feel like I know so many of them through our interactions on facebook, messages, texts, etc. This past year, I had multiple opportunities to meet some of the fellow ambassadors and have even stayed in close contact with some of them - plus the fact that one of my best friends is on the team is incredibly awesome. I've even found an awesome teammate that lives local that I've ridden with and become friends with! I wouldn't have had these opportunities without SOAS and I'm so grateful.

This being my second year of racing (and the first year of having some semblance of knowledge about the sport), representing SOAS increased my confidence level which pushed me to apply for a local "elite" team, the Snapple Tri Team.

Lo and behold, they actually accepted me. Whaaaaaaat!

*happy dancing all around*

Despite the annoying, nagging, OBNOXIOUS injuries plaguing me - I'm pumped and excited for 2016. I get to hang with a team of awesome people and hopefully their awesomeness rubs off on me!

(Plus District Taco is a sponsor... HELLO, WELCOME TO MY DREAM WORLD.)

And look, I even became famous in the online world.

Cheers to an amazing 2016!