Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Some 15 years ago I decided to become a Yogi. Without a lot of thought or without any really I decided I wanted to become good at yoga. I knew nothing about yoga.  I am sure I read an article someplace that said yoga is good for runners, will open your hips....and so what I saw was yoga will make me a faster runner.  

This was what my class was like- not kidding

With a 3 and 5yo my time was limited.  I did extensive research, meaning I googled yoga near me, and impulsively bought a 7 day pass to the Bikram studio 2 miles from my house.  Having read nothing all about Bikram I decided to run to the class, double up my workouts.  I took off with my towel, yoga mat and water bottle crammed in a backpack.  I am wearing running clothes.  Upon arrival I am taken back by the aroma in the room, "what is that smell?"  I am subtly smelling my armpits to see if that smell is emanating from me.  No, it was the carpeted floor.  

I plop down and lay there for a few minuntes and people are streaming in, packing the room, almost touching my mat.  Meanwhile I am wondering why is it so hot in here? I am eagerly awaiing for the instructor to come in and turn on the air. But when Don or Ron or Lon came i wearing a speedo he cranks up the heat and starts...I am stunned and sandwhiched between a lot of people.  I am clueless, in the back, following along, sweating a river and I reach for my bottle and Don/Ron/Lon says NO and wags his finger at me.  " As a reminder we have scheduled water breaks"  What ?  I can't drink water when I like.  So this 7 hour class or 90 minutes ends and I am prone, trying not to puke, smelling the horrific carpet thinking, wow that was awesome.  I crawled home.
all you do every time

Only because I was a committed yogi or really obstinate did I return.  I drove back, fully hydrated and went in there sloshing around with 2 bottles and  8 towels. Don/Ron/Lon nods at me and I smirk.I am ready to kick ass today.  I am eager to see what today brings but well you know Bikram it was the same as yesterday.  I am trying to get into it and well hydration plan was working but I could no longer move as my bladder was bursting.   I head for the door and sneak out.  The other natzi  receptionist stops me as I go to return to class and tells me " you cannot go back in there, it will disrupt the class"  WHAT?  45 minutes later I left and quit being a yogi.

10 years went by.... triathlon was a part of my life and once again the 4 letter word came up again YOGA.  "its good for you"  "keeps your body whole" blah blah blah...ok this time I really did read about the various yoga practices.  Bikram was out!  
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I read up on the others... Ashtanga - same poses, same order- NO. Hatha- more relaxed, sounded boring and I was looking for something between the death march of Bikram and too relaxed. I tried Iyengar but all the props turned me off. I settled on Vinyasa but realized I sucked at it- the flow was a challenge. 

 Someone suggested CorePower- they recently opened near my old house and offered all kinds of classes.  Mistakenly the first class I went to was Sculpt- holy cow- yoga on steroids,  105 degrees, hopping music and weights. it was sick, but I kinda liked it. 1- I could guzzle water and 2- I could leave at any time and come back.  In any case I found a place I liked- I  could to Core Power 1- interting and warm, CorePower 2- hot and harder, Hot Power Fusion- well you can imagine. I committed twice a week and went.

Confession- I never really liked it. I wanted to like it but the hot classes were so well HOT and draining when i was tired and some of the restorative classes were like sleeping at home.  So I quit going.  I stop and start yoga, go for a while, commit, pay $$ so I feel badly for not going, but don't want to go.  I want to want to go, but I don't. 

I have gone off and on but I know I NEED to go and coach subtily hinted " You are not doing YOGA"  ...  So just joined ClassPass, which I feel kind of badly about as my good friend Heidi was working for a competitor that went out of business. I kinda feel like I am cheating on her somehow- weird I know.  But for $99 I have a choice of 20+ yoga classes a day within 10 miles of my house.  This way I can try out places and find one that works.

HOT is not happening now- I am tired and sore from major training and need this to be a positive experience not a "fuel up for it"

Some sort of Iyengar makes sense-- lots of props for my inflexible body.  And I have to find a yoga class that is NOT a workout- I have plenty of workouts happening. 

Yesterday I checked out https://yoga80.com/   I went to a Vinyasa class called Hip Opener.  Walking in the class I knew I could handle it on a recovery day, just by looking at the other yogi's.  When I walk into some Yoga6 or CorePower Classes and everyone is twisted like a pretzel, weighing 90 lbs and ripped - you know it will be a hard class.     This was super mellow, lots of props and I left feeling good. So this is now a Monday staple! 

I need to find another class.... and I will get to harder hotter yoga but not when I am so tired. 

Frankly this is more fitting for me 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Snowmass Vacation

So sweet!  Taz and Jax made us Valentines! 
Bro, hubby and me
My bro and his family come to Aspen annually and rent an incredible slope side condo on Snowmass Mountain. We have been a few times and loved it all!  Each year I go big,  ski hard and am all in.  Chasing my brother around who is an expert skier takes all I have, but I love it.

  Each  day is a challenge and generally I am scared out of my mind at least once looking down a shoot or hiking up to reach epic heights etc... I love it!  The last time we came up I took one of those yard sale, hard hitting, something broke or tore kina falls.  And as I lay there thinking that my next race was 5 weeks away...I was freaking out.  After all the hard work I have done for triathlon, it could all be for not.   Fortunately for me, it was nothing major but it was a wake up call.  Time to rethink this.

The usual post ski fun
Le't play William Tell and you shoot
the apple off my head with the
marshmallow shooter
So the rational next step was no more skiing.  Makes perfect sense right?  It's either Double Blacks or not ski.  I did try, really I did.  The following year I skied with the kids and did not take risks, slowed down, lots of groomers, few blacks but nothing gnarly.  It was epic?.  While the right answer would be yes, perfect family time and see I can do things in moderation, in actuality I left Mammoth deciding I was done skiing.

So why was I just in Snowmass? Vacation, see the family and the idea was train at altitude.  Plan was:

Hiking up to Gwens High Apline
Day 1:  Find a pool and go for a swim.  Run somewhere and chill out.

Uncle Braman has "challengs" for Taz and Jax
waterbaloon toss in the snow in bathing suits.
snow angels in bathing suits and more fun 
  What we did instead was put on yak trax and hike/run up 2800 ft to meet the family for lunch and run back down.   Holy workout, gasping for air and sore as all get out.

first run up with my niece Tasman

Day 2: Find a pool, do a strength workout and see what is next.  Did not of that and went to the Nordic Center.

 I have always wanted to try this and I hear it is a great workout.  This is how I envisioned John and I after our 30 min lesson (see above).  Well it seems this is a lot harder than we imagined.   Instead we spent 90 min swearing, cladding along in these tracks around a snow covered baseball field and when we had not mastered that we headed out to the rolling golf course.  It was not scenic, not fluid, not fun.  It was like being stuck in the flats on ski's.  Ok the ski's are light and thin but they are NOT easy.  At one point our perky instructor in her skirt, yes the had a skirt and tights and was gliding along, singing the waltz to encourage our rhythm.

 At this point if I was not struggling to keep moving I would have punched her in the face.  She is humming and spouting off about the beauty of the snow, the lovely earth and all I could think of was how much I wanted to throw my ski's in the next snow bank and go home.  

 Let's just say we did get a killer workout, not from skiing 20 miles, my garmin auto paused so many times it hardly tracked us. I was sore from polling my sorry ass around that track, falling down on packed snow and snowplowing without edges on the hills.   Let's just say when they offered us 10% off our rentals for 2 days I declined.

Skiing (in control with Scott
Day 3: Screw it all, $280 later I had demo ski's and a lift ticket.  Let me do something I know.....and it was great!    My first run down was with my 10yo niece and she chose the bumps and left me in the dust, but politely did wait a few times and kept an eye on her aging Aunt.   The rest of the day was great fun with my brother and sister-in-law. Steep groomers and a few bumps!  good times and I have found my sweet spot and passion to ski again.   I even used the geeky ski tracks app. 5 hours. 17,500 vertical feet, max speed 48.2 ( had I know I
was this close, I would have hit 50)  NO I was being safe.  Quit while I was feeling good !  Left wanting more AND I did a transition run.  That was "fun"  at 8300 ft - but I got IT done!

Skiing is a perfect family vacation..breakfast together, day of adventure and group dinners!  Eating, drinking and drinking and talking.  Trip went too fast. Lots of time to catch up have fun and be together.

Best part of skiing- Lunch- yes that it a kale salad and
a Guinness!  Life is good

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Ironman rules

Ironman just released revised rules for racing-  for all 70.3 and 140.6 Ironman branded races the following apply.

1: Increased age-group draft zone from 10 meters to 12 meters.  12 meters is roughly 6 bike lengths/
    - note athletes who enter the 12 meter draft distance of a forward bike must complete the pass in 25 seconds
    - athletes overtaken who fail to drop back 12 meters will receive a drafting penalty  -               nothing is more frustrating than passing an athlete who does not drop back. 
    - 12 meters is further than most think.  I have athletes who were given penalties when the        draft zone was 10 meters and they were sure they were 10 back.  Practice riding                "legally" behind others in training. 

2: Snorkels will be prohibited.  as they should. IMHO, really a snorkel? 

3: During non- westsuit swims, swimwear sleeves or race kids worn under sleeves swimwear may now extend from shoulders to elbows. 

There are a few other changes which can be seen below.  It is the responsibility of the racer to know the rules.   Take a few minutes before each race and ready the athlete guide,  There maybe specifics to each race,  ie: no pass zones etc.  A penalty can cost you 4 minutes but can also put you and another athlete in danger.  IE - passing on the right, this is a penalty.  


Friday, February 5, 2016

Adventures at Function Smart

 After my appt earlier this week at Torrey Pines Orthopedic where the Dr assured me my foot is "ready to run"  or maybe he said it is healing well.  Ok what he really said is yes the bone is healing, solid callous and getting strong.  I say "great it is healed"  Dr " no it takes 6-10 months for it to heal"  When my eyes opened to the size of saucers and started to well with tears he then said "but that does not mean you have to wait that long to run"  The exhalation of air at that moment was immense and lucky for us both in that tiny room I brushed my teeth and did not have onions for breakfast.  I lean in....  

I tilt my head, like Roo, okay "so it's not healed but I can run?"  Dr "yes and no"  The hyperventilation begins slowly ..... until he says "let pain be your guide"  

Ok so the swelling is not a problem? "NO" it may swell for a year. 
Ok so the numb sensation I get is not a problem ? "NO" that is scar tissue 
Ok gotta go as I am lacing up my shoes and planning to run.....

This is the clearance I have been waiting for!  

With that I went to see Gino Cinco (master thumbs) to work out some of the scar tissue and get the bones moving.  I was hesitant to have someone digging in my foot until I was sure the bones are solid.  Because, ok confession here, in Barcelona when my foot started hurting and after a night out drinkng I diagnosed myself with tendinitis and followed Dr Google's suggestion of pressing as hard as you can on the sore point and pull toward the top of my foot.  It says " it will be very painful but you SHOULD then get relief"  It was very painful and I did not get relief, in fact I am sure I screamed a little.

At the bottom of the article NOT THE TOP it says "Warning, if you suspect a stress fracture DO NOT do this"  So let's just say WHY WAS THIS NOT IN BLINKING RED at the top of the article.  

I digress.....and 12 weeks later.  So  I am at Gino's for some ART and he says first we are going to use the Renew Enhanced Circulation.  Ok, whatever that is.   

 So the premise is Recovery Pump or Normatech but x 1000.  Medical grade.  You have cuffs vs boots and they are strapped on you as well as ekg sensors + a HR monition.  The external counter-pulsation is timed to inflate and deflate between heartbeats. So when your HR is lower the inflate/deflate is slower, HR increase so does the increase/decrease. It was really amazing.   The idea is to significantly enhance blood flow in cardiac patients but they are now testing on athletes. Because as we all know, athletes will spend $$ to heal faster, get stronger, recover faster.....

I say wow, how much do these run?  $70,000 .... so maybe I won't get a pair this season.
In any case I cannot say I skipped out of there but my tragically sore legs do feel better. (week 3 of the MKAST  - marilyn kick ass strength training and I am really sore)

Function Smart  is using the machines to do some research on recovery, fitness gains etc on the Elite Tri Squad. But my thought is why test on these 20 year olds who recover in 8 hours anyway...how about a test in 50yo women ???? Just a suggestion.   I realize how lucky I am to have such hi-tech facilities right here.    

Then Gino worked his magic the bones in my feet are moving.... we are on the right path.

So I signed up for 7 races and ..... no I did not!  6 weeks of solid running and THEN we plan the race season.   

But we are on the right trajectory....