Thursday, June 23, 2011


how the drugs make me feel
I admittedly take my good health and relatively injury free status for granted....until now that is.   This allergic reaction has made me aware that when we don't have our health so much else falls apart.   Now on day 10 of this but it is definitely getting better.  

The week in Cancun was hardly tolerable but I did it - thanks to the various medications, beautiful ocean and my wonderful kids.  Upon my return I saw my Dr who put me on a strong dose of prednisone which is powerful stuff.  Day 1 I felt like I was on speed all day, felt immediate improvement and was so relieved to finally see progress.   Still did not sleep but now on day 4...I see the progress and am thankful.  What I am not thankful for are the horrendous side effects. Stomach upset- unless you eat with a lot of food- pancakes are perfect so that is less of an issue.  But the water retention is horrific.   Started with puffy eyes and now is puffy everything.   I cannot see my wrist bones and had to loosen my watch.  Not only is it disgusting to see that in the mirror but my skin hurts from being stretched.  And the grand finale is the red blotchy rash that is from the drug- not my rash.  Really a sight for sore eyes....when you google prednisone and read of others who are on this long term....I get a grasp on reality- 6 days for me.  I am self conscious in public - assuming people are staring at me and wondering what is going on with that lady- my vanity surely to assume anyone is even looking,  But when I take off my sunglasses and you can see bags  full set of luggage under my eyes, people do a double take-

So training.....well that has been interesting.  Monday am I was awake from 3am so I went to swim- water felt great and swim was fantastic- until I got out and the chlorine took its toll on the rash.  Tried running later in the day but the drugs had elevated my heart rate so much I was afraid.  Tuesday.... boost of a little sleep (4 hours ) and was so eager to ride again and had  date with Beth and the GWL. Oh boy... immediately the sunscreen burned the rash to no end.  Had to rinse off and try again...finally I used my Zealios and not only did it not burn it soothed...maybe the zinc, not sure.  In any case the ride started out cloudy which was awesome but as soon as the sun peaked out  I was so not prepared for the effect of the heat on the rash - painful, itchy, swelling and we had to cut the ride short and went home to a cold shower hoping I had not undone all the healing.    Tue night was a breakthrough 6 hours of sleep- 2 x 3 hour increments.  This was great!!! Learning that I can only train inside or the dark I was at the pool early and on the TM for a run.  I actually feel great training- the sweat is cleansing and I lose some of the puffiness, comes right back, but is a relief.  Today was an early ride and coffee date with John and back inside before the June gloom wore off.   Next few days will be early as well....

I am racing San Diego International on Sunday and cannot quite fathom how that will play out - where is my fitness, no clue.   Did some solid running in Cancun - hoping that pays off.  Not much swimming and cycling is all over the board.  No speed work and this is a short race- will my legs go fast?  Averaging 2-4 hours of sleep for 10 days- that is taking a serious toll.  Medications....certainly not performance enhancing- I am thinking of asking for a head start due to my condition???

The good is a short race, early and on the coast so I hope no sun!   The idea of showing up in my Michelin man puffy state is not fun.....but to not race because of appearances only would be lame.

The day will be what the day will be!   So in the meantime....I apply lotion every 2 hours to my poor damaged skin, wear sunglasses inside, am still irritable and grumpy but am trying to be nicer, appreciating the time of day I feel great, hoping for more sleep each night!   Thankful this is temporary and empathic for those who suffer with major maladies every day!

Anyone want a review of lotions, topical treatments.....happy to share!!! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dear Zen

So Zen is our chocolate lab who has had skin issues since we rescued him 6+ years ago....he goes through phases of constant scratching and biting. Yes, I take him to the vet when it gets bad and we put him on meds. But on a daily basis he can be seen or heard scratching or biting...I tend to holler at him to STOP ZEN.

But I head into day 6 of the horrible affliction I empathize with him and am shamed for all the times I yelled at him to stop and did not offer assistance.  I am sure he has raging itching is places he cannot reach and he does not have the dexterity to use a towel to aggressively scratch the itch.

Itchy skin is horrible.....When there are red welts, blisters and lesions that is not fun either.  But as the wounds heal there is phantom itching, perhaps akin to what someone feels after losing a limb?  I am not sure.  But at 7 days post outcropping my skin is 70% better- buy my skin is crawling (literally feels like 1000+ ants) at any given time of the day.  It moves from my hands to arms and chest. 

Seriously.... I am sorry to whoever put this hex upon me!!! I will repent, just tell me how.

I have quit most of the Mexican meds as I have no clue what they really are.....the itching stops in the water and at random times of the day. Nighttime it takes on a life of its own and thus sleep is a limited option.... Ice feels great but is not a long term solution.  

I carry a candle of solidarity with Zen and anyone else with major skin issues…..I always have know skin is the largest organ with the most nerve endings…but now I REALLY get it!

So here we are out last night in paradise and yes the affliction is better.. but long from being gone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cancun and Cozumel..the good and the bad

No photos? Why not.....well the underwater camera is well underwater, or at least is carrying a solid cup of water inside the camera so there will be no photo essay of the 2 tank dive trip we did today in Cozumel. One cool wall dive and a nice reef dive. Visibility was as far as you can see, water temp 80-85 and heavenly. Good day indeed!

Time of this blog...good question- seems when a watch says water resistant to 50 feet they do not mean it is resistant to 80 feet. Since we dove to 80 watch gave out- but it was fun being at 80 feet and the surface looking like it was 10 feet away. It was a crappy watch anyway.

Puppies’ breath does Riley- we had to shorten our first dive- I had 1500PSI's and Riley had 500. Early surfacing for us- but thankful she was vigilant in watching her air. 2nd dive she slowed down breathing and we maxed out the dive.

Seen 3 Dr's in Mexico...nice they come to my hotel room. 1st one came with big shots to clear up my raging rash. Combination of steroids (non performance enhancing- I have since learned- not even the benefit of doping through this ordeal) and antihistamine + anti-inflammatory. 50% improvement over night and another round I was well on my way to enjoying Cancun outside my hotel room- no sun allowed on the raging rash.

Great day on Wednesday leaving the crowdedness of hotel row in Cancun and took the ferry to Cozumel. 1st day I felt great and we had some fun at Senior Frogs and enjoyed live local music on the ride over. Water in Cozumel beckons blue and clear and inviting. We dumped our gear in the hotel room and went snorkeling- not a lot to see but nice to enjoy the water and get excited for our diving on Thursday.

Kids are getting along marvelously and I am pretty sure all the bartenders see their purple wristbands which mean virgin drinks! They have been great making sure I am not dying and checking in on me while quarantined from the sun.

I was not missing diving, was feeling much better and spent more $$ on my rash issue by investing in a 50spf rash guard for our day of diving. Each resort offers 5-10 restaurants for dinner and since it is all inclusive we can choose- we have been alternating casual and dressed up - pants and collared shirt for JD and dress for RM and mom - no flip flops.

Our Brazilian adventure was fun in Cancun and we opted for the nice Italian spot here in Cozumel. Kids had pizza? Really.... yes. With menus in Spanish I took the waiters recommendation for the "classic" Italian fish dish. Looked like a giant fish stick to me.... more vegetables please and another glass of wine and I will be fine. Brazilian Steak House was a win; Italian in Cozumel was a bust. But nice white cloth dining and a good refresher on which fork to use with each course.

 Mexican games and fun around the pool and off to bed.... Rash came alive around 11 and kept me awake and miserable until around 2am- more for the magical drugs. I was not missing diving and was sure the magical Mexican Caribbean would cure all. In the water, I am golden, out of the water....time to call a Doctor. Over $400 in Dr bills and medicines I hope to have this leashed. Hard to understand what she was saying....but when you hear lesions and your name you know it is not pretty, no sun, no sun, no sun- got the message and back to quarantined or become a vampire- rats! Hoping for sleep and will take it one day at a time.

Tomorrow we head back to the mainland for 2 nights in Playa del Carmen. We are thinking of underground cave tours on Saturday - no sun in caves right?

 Thankfully the resorts have nice gyms so I can run every day - inside and air conditioned.

So I am making the best of this trip...... all in all we are having a lot of fun! Kids are really enjoying it so that is a bonus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun with the underwater camera

Made it to Cozumel....sensational!  Wonderful hotel and water is to die for.  Had to test the underwater camera today before we scuba tomorrow!


Kids so excited to be in clear water....wait until they see a reef!!

sea urchins....scary memory from my youth - glad the kids found this and not me

Post snorkeling... viring pina's by the pool and a serious game of hearts

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Canun Fun!

Despite my wicked rash and being quarantined from the heat and sun..we are having fun!  Great food and fun at the Moon Palace in Cancun.  Ocean must be 85 degrees....serious bathtub water-
Kids have been just jet skiing, swimming, game room, tennis and checking on me throughout the day.  Once the sun went down we headed out for some fun.

Very fun pool bar with swings .... good photo editing on my part so you cannot see the rash.

13 restaurant on property- we had Mexican the first night and hit the Brazilian Steak House last night. Nothing like meat on a stick.... steak, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, short ribs and more.   Delicious side dishes and desserts as well.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


To say I travel a lot would be a say I traveled a lot the last 3 weeks would be the truth!  4 cites in 3 weeks.... 6+ airplanes, 3 rental cars, shuttles and town cars, 5 hotels and lots of good food.   This was work travel and I worked it out as best I could to fall during a convenient time for me!  No family conflicts, no Ironman training so it was all good.  And I am done, well as far as I know for a few months.
I hope we can survive
The next travel on deck is all for fun...... Kids and I are Cancun bound on Monday!   The kids and I went to Puerto Vallarta 5+ years ago and it was a great trip.  I love John and we love traveling as a family but Mom and kids time is important as well.  I have "needed" to go to Cancun for a long all actuality I really do.  I have booked a number of clients there and have no clue how Cancun is set up, what any of the hotels are like etc....and well knowledge is an important factor in my job.  I was invited on a "fam" - familiarization trip to Cancun.  A fam trip is when hotels or a destination flies you there at their cost for a few days to experience what they have to offer.  6+ years ago when I was new to the business I loved such they are time away from my family, a lot of walking (running I can do- but walking) to see multiple hotels and venues each day etc- there is always stellar food and beverages but it is work after all.  Surely when it comes work- this is not really work, but to me it is.  So back to my story... I decided I would go on the fam trip but then had a better idea- skip the fam trip, pay our own way and have some serious RnR with the kids.

They get out of school on Thursday and we are heading out Monday!  3 days in Cancun and 3 in Cozumel for some scuba diving!!  Between now and then they have 2 finals to take, last day of school fun to include R hanging with a friend and JD golfing, Friday JD working and Riley at a party and me at the Cove...followed by too graduation parties on Saturday and Sunday!

Few ride....going back for more fun on Saturday in Rainbow and Sunday remains to be seen...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mid Season break...or sort of

After Wildflower I was insistent that I needed some unstructured suggested a mid- season break- um okay, well not really.   I am simply not good at this break thing - I like to train and it is part of my day.  I realize I could make a lot more prospecting calls if I was not swimming.biking.running and could be a better wife, mom, daughter and who else knows....but well not a better me.

So here we are 5 weeks post WF and I am thinking I took a solid break...that is until coach sends me my weekly training totals.  Okay so not a total break but nothing like Ironman training and if you break it down it is quite random.  You will see day off, which is unheard of for me, followed by 5+hour ride and a run (without an Ironman looming) But this is what is fun.  I feel like the social trainer...I find what my friends are doing and join them- long run Friday - ok I'm in, swim.ride Tue - ok works for me, another ride Wed- ok I am good... you get the picture.  The best way to describe my training is last Saturday-  leave my house at 7:15 with John and we ride 45 minutes to Carmel Valley and pick up Jen and turn around and ride back to pick up Liz at 8:45 and then head out to Rancho Sante Fe and along the coast coming back we (unplanned) pick up Johan, drop off Jen in CV, Liz peel off for her IM ride and Johan and I ride home.  Some thrilled route with great but it was fun to see so many friends in one day!   I have gotten back to riding to UCSD to swim 1:15 and then swimming masters and riding home.  Perfect for a 2:30 ride and 1:15 swim and I am saving gas and parking money...

Speaking of gas.  So finally the insurance company figured out that yes the girl that slammed into my car was at fault, CA State Law.  In any case, so once that was determined then I had to find the "right" shop to fix my baby.  Not the scary shop the insurance company sent me to where Stan (but crack showing) did my appraisal.  Nice..... CA State law allows me to take the car any place.  So I call my buddy at Audi and get hooked up and of course since they are a good shop I have to wait another 2 weeks to get in. My car is drivable, just a bit banged up and the best part is that the hatch opener was hit so when I hold down the unlock button it sounds like a machine fun. Seriously I have scared a few people in parking lots and JD is so jealous...he wants one on his car.

So anyway car is at the plastic surgeon getting fixed....but my rental car story is great.  So I am insisting that I need a hatch back, why?  for my bike, silly.  I go back and forth with them and they say they will "deliver" a comparable car.  So there I am and what drives up?  A massive Crown Victoria- you are kidding me, the same jumbo "luxury" car I had the privilege of driving in Seattle.  Wow....not going to work.  Their rational is that I drive a luxury car and this is a luxury rental and while it is not a hatch back it has a very large truck- true, I could fit my entire family, my bike and my dog in there.  But I am not driving this boat for 2 weeks... back to the rental car shop.... seriously just find me Ford Fiesta with a hatch back - not happening.  I was all set in a cool pick up truck until I realized the seat some sort of a rocking chair-oops, seems that last renter tipped the scales at 300+ lbs and must have bent? the bolts that hold the chair?  Not finally I rolled out with a Jetta- decent car   Thanks to Jen I learned the seats fold down and then I can put my bike it!  Really that was all I wanted.