Friday, December 20, 2013

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars {vegan & gluten free}

Fuel for my ride tomorrow!!
  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
  3. Measure out just 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Timing will depend on what size pan you use, but definitely check around 15 minutes. Once finished baking, cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut into 16 slices.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


So I wrote this for my Oceanside training group and decided to blog it too.,,,,

The off season is over (for many)  and you are ramping up training.   Holiday foods are abound....but with increased training hopefully you can keep off unwanted lbs. 

Don’t deprive yourself of all holiday eating but don’t over stress. Avoid fasting all day so you can binge at the party or the big meal.  Small snacks/meals throughout the day are best for your metabolism and avoid blood sugar swings.  Lay off the sugars and carbs as much as you can.  Eat whole foods vs packaged or processed.  Fuel to train so avoid skipping breakfast before working out.  Ditch the bagel and start your day with a banana and almond butter, cup of Greek yogurt or my favorite a few tablespoons of Nuttzo butter. For an am workout of 60 min or less no post workout fuel needed, enjoy some coffee and a mid AM snack.

If your 2nd workout of the day is at lunch – train first then eat.   If you are starving have banana or a less processed nutrition bar: Lara (peanut butter/choc chip is my favorite) , Pure (Cherry Cashew is my fav- not a fan of the Dark Chocololate - too dry) , GoodOnYa (PB Choc is the bomb). Workout, drink lots of water and then eat when you are hungry.   I read the label and once there are words I don’t understand, I move on 

If your 2nd workout is post work- eat a healthy lunch and be mindful of your workout, you may need a snack (banana/bar) preworkout. 

Keep in mind most mid-week workouts are 60 min max to extra fueling/calories are not necessary. When the workouts are 2+ hours or you are linking workouts then you should be mindful of 150-200 calories an hour for maximum performance. 

For workouts over 3 hours, fuel well before workout, 200-250/hour during and plan recovery meal 300 calories within 30 min post workout- this can be a healthy smoothies, eggs + veggies and rice/quinoa.   

If you are worried about gaining weight skip the carbs when possible- no bread or rolls, no rice or pasta, appetizers in party …go for the veggies and protein.  When carbs necessary- are 3+ hours of training, your body needs carbs for fuel, but not throughout the day. 
Holiday Baking…check out my blog for some healthy holiday treats.  Using dates vs sugar, less flour... the dark chocolate gingerbread cookies “taste real” per my 17 year old Real as in “real cookie” but in essence it is good fuel and satisfies your sweet craving.   I have been using the choc gingerbread cookies as pre workout calories as well as the pumpkin bars.             

Hydration-  training in the cold you still need to drink 20 oz/hour- even though your sweat rate feel lower- you are losing moisture through breath, with layers you maybe sweating more than you realize.   If you inclined ( as I am) for enjoy some wine or holiday cheer, go ahead, add 12 oz of water between alcoholic beverages. 

Whole foods…I try to eat whole foods over packages as much as possible.  Lots of veggies.  A goto dinner for me is whatever veggies we have diced and cooked in a bit of olive oil and cooked with eggs.  Fast, easy and healthy.   Kale- cooked, raw in salads – the key to eating kale raw is to rub your hands with olive oil and salt and manually conch the leaves- breaking the membranes and letting the oil and salt soften the leaf.  Let sit 1 hour and use in any salad. Last night kale, blueberries, sunflower seeds, green onions, shredded carrots tossed with EVO, lemon juice and white wine vinegar.  I am not a big animal eater at home…so not many recipes.  Another good one- can black beans, 1 cup organic frozen corn, 1 can diced chilies, can kidney beans, 1 cup edemame, 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies drained. ½ diced red onion – mix in a bowl, add shredded cheese and pour in dish and bake.  You can line dish with corn tortillas as well.  Add hot sauce and yum!   All of these are great for lunch the next day….

Looking to lose some weight or start working toward race weight?  Start with a food log – record everything you eat and drink for a week and then let’s talk.  Questions….comments??

Monday, December 16, 2013

More healthy holiday baking.... Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars

Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars  

1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses  used 1/2 cup
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)  used 1/8 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:

1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's brand, see note)  I used almond flour 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries.  used dried cherries

Result....very soft and chewy.  I used more molasses and less coconut sugar and they taste a lot like molasses.  Not sweet.  Had for breakfast and loved them.  May consider using dark chocolate next time instead of or alongside the cherries.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Kale Salad

SUMMER  WINTER KALE SALAD - I know its not summer but it was still delicious! 

recipe image

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen shelled
edamame (soybeans), thawed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrot
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
(such as Ocean Spray® Craisins®)
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup shelled, roasted sunflower
1.           Whisk sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved; set aside.

2.           Toss kale, edamame, red onion, carrot, blueberries, dried cranberries, cashew pieces, and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Serve remaining dressing on side.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holidays are here......

Tis the season..... and it is a lot of fun.   Family, food, wine, pie, biking and swimming note the absence of running.    JD came home for 27 hours for Thanksgiving and it was great to see him. Short and sweet but all family.  We hosted Thanksgiving and it was nice.  

We had the usual holiday stress when the Turkey was done, not done, but out of the oven.  Dad, John and bystanders offering advice.  My father handled it all with grace and the meal was sensational.   Combining friends and family is the best.   

Turkey week was a lot of riding... well a lot of riding compared to what I have been doing. Coming back from injury, surgery and time off it it a long road back. I am trying NOT to look at power and just put in the miles.   I am frankly happy to be riding with my friends and husband.   I rode nearly every day, some easy, some hard and then all hard because I was tired.   I am sleeping well and feeling good. 

Clothes are still snug....but with time probably post holidays the extra padding will come off.   I am officially waiting until Jan 1 and then I will have to dial it back and focus on what goes in the body.   Although I am going to experiment with some healthy holiday cookies.  The one I cannot falter on are classic Sugar Cookies- My Grandmother' recipe with buttercream frosting.  YUMMMM!!  That is motivation to train more.... eat more cookies. 

Sunday was mega fun... 100 x 100's in the pool.  Fun stuff.... I did this last year and it was brutal- Sunday we did it on a reasonable send off and while it was long and tiring it was manageable.  Dead arms and major chafing were the issues.... but it was what I love.  A big goal, camaraderie and team work.  11 of us finished the 10K but many more did between 0-75.  A big success for all.  So much fun in fact....we already planned the next adventure 12/22.  Tis the season to log swim miles :) Swimming 100 x 100 is "fun" ....but is really fun when it is over, bragging rights and all.

I logged another 3 swims this week. 1 ez 2000, a solid 4500 yard masters and then a 5300 self workout- which was NOT fast, as my arms are tired so i did all long slow and easy with intermittent toys - paddles, fins.. Today I went for a 4th swim and had nothing- after 1500 I called it a day.  23,800 yards for the week -  I am okay not making it to 25,000.   If you can't run....may as well swim a lot.  Dry skin, bleachy smell, itchy- just like the old days.  

As for the taboo subject.... running or not running as it remains.   My knee is coming along just dine.... my foot and the Plantar Fascitis are angry.  I am beyond angry, for the 10th time, I don't deserve this. Standing in bad shoes = no running for 8+ weeks.  I am sooo old.  Yeah....more swimming and biking.  I will run  soon, I will run soon....aggressively treating the PF!  

And am crazy busy ramping up coaching.  My Oceanside 16 week group kicks off Monday!  15 people for fun and adventure and my individual coaching is near max.  I have to limit how many I can take on in order to maintain the personalization that I am committed to.  I love love it and am eager to be working with so many new athletes and many who are embarking on their journey of their first Ironman.  Gets me excited thinking about it. 


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Healthy Holiday Baking Begins...  absolutely delicious!!!!   Should have doubled the recips

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks (I used Enjoy Life New Chocolate Chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add dates to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Mash dates with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and mash more.
Add date mixture, coconut oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (almond flour/meal through cloves).  Add dry ingredients to the date mixture and process mixture until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.  Stir in dark chocolate.
Spoon tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet.  Leave at least an inch and half of room for the cookies to spread.
Bake 8-10 minutes until puffy.  The cookies will be soft but will harden slightly when cooled.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.  Release the cookies from the pan with a spatula.
These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator (if not eaten right away) or they freeze well.
Makes 15 to 18 cookies

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

If you cannot run......ride your bike

Fck....yes.  I cannot believe that I cannot run YET due to my foot. Come on..... I have not run since 9/5 really.   I followed the proper surgery follow up, I did not push the exercise, I waited and waited....but I made one REALLY BIG mistake - Reef flip flops x tile floor x 3 days- really, really I am that fragile.  I have done 8 Ironman races and now I cannot wear flip flops for a few days and not fall apart.  Apparently NOT.  

My knee is GREAT and I ran 10 minutes , then 15 minutes and then 20 minutes and it was great. So great I emailed Dr Wahl  and told him thank you, thank you..... at my 5 week post op I was worried about my foot. He did the knee follow up and then I asked about Plantar Fasciitis.  He said 2 weeks...if not better then "ping me" So I pinged.... and he wrote back and said his foot Dr will be in touch.

Okay, rant if you cannot run - ride your bike. And I have.  For 3 weeks now and it was a gradual ramp up and finally I am feeling decent on the bike.   I am riding with all different people and loving it. I did the triple last week- 3 days of GWL. Day 1 was with my mid week girls and we de-virginized Gina- good stuff.  It was fun..... Good girl time and so humbling.  The 1st GWL after a 4 month break is so humbling.  Cold in Descanso but a nice ride.

3 days later repeat with an athlete I coach, John and Liz.  It was  more reasonable pace but still tough....10 min slower but felt harder.  

Sunday was just the loop and the group was social....thankfully as I was tired!!! 

I logged 1 hour Friday in the rain with Les but still rode. Monday I was TIRED no riding....Tue we did a killer local ride with part of Highland Valley and Wednesday did Elfin on tired legs.  Power is down...but logging miles is good!  Tomorrow John and i will log some more.   

Swim is good... backed off a bit this week as Sunday is epic swim 100x 100 and then Dec is swim month so I will be logging lots of pool miles.  

So the plan for now....ride ALOT, swim ALOT and wait 2 weeks on the PF and hope I can start running again.   It my bike and swim are where i want them when I am ready to run I can focus on running.   Not ideal, but well, I am a triathlete so I have 3 sports.... 

JD flies in tomorrow- yeah!  Its okay he is working and we will be eager to have him as the honored guest.  Looking forward to a great dinner....Cooking for 10- with help.  Mix of family and friends.  It's all 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Can you say 15 minutes is running?

When you have not run since 9/7 YES 15 minutes is running.  Last week I logged 4x 10 minute runs and all was good. So Saturday I ran 15 minutes and today I ran 17 minutes.  It feels is slow....really slow but that is okay. I AM RUNNING  - as Les said, I like to log it 15m so one could infer miles vs minutes.  Baby steps...I am following to the minute my ramping up per the Dr.  Knee is awesome!!

Splint 1

Plantar Fasciitis (that I developed standing in the hospital in flip flops on tile floor for 3 days while favoring my knee I had surgery on) is getting much better thanks to my new night splints. I panicked last week and went to the Dr.  My foot was painful- 8 our of 10 painful- I could hardly walk.  Dr D says 80% of PF will clear up with the night split IF, IF you 1- catch it early 2- are not running on it every day ( so my 10 min every other day does not register as running to Dr D- but it does to me). Splint 1: Futuro - Amazon for $26 but I was desperate and paid $37 at rip me off  CVS but I was desperate.  I like this one actually, I can sleep most of the night with minor annoyance.  But Dr D insisted on splint 2 which I 
Splint 2
bought off Amazon and is not as comfortable. He says it is better...but by 2am I am pulling it off. So I take it off...sleep and then put on Splint 1 around 4am.  I begged for Dr D to fix it...he said "trust me"  I did not but had no choice and well.... 5 days later it is 80% better.

Rest of training is going well...logged a killer swim on Saturday on my own - 5K and then rode 4 hours on Sunday and nearly died.... I was just getting tad bit cocky that my fitness was coming back.. I was wiped out- needed a nap wiped out.  It's all is only November.  Building slowly.... today was a swim - what I thought hoped  would be easy Master Swim and it was Sprint Monday - 2 sets of 6x50 all out and then 2 sets of 3x100 all out- OUCH is all I can say.  But it gave me inspiration for my Noon Masters- they too got Sprint Monday! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Beet Juice on the Bike

So I juiced a bunch of beets, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, apples and limes and bottled 4 bottles on Sunday.  Tuesday ride, I filled water bottle with the juice and it gave me power to get up Del Dios.  Tasted great, a bit like dirt but well beets taste like dirt,  and all was good.
Wednesday I went for it again....and well that was 1 day too long.  It was a bit carbonated, fermented,  and let's just say that did not sit so well with me on the ride.

I like the juice on the bike, especially if it is post swim as I am looking for some good calories.  I did less celery and no kale on this batch and it was good.  I think next time I will freeze the bottles so they are fresh.  

Today was great fun.... Les, Maureen and I met at BG Club for a planned 5k swim, The pool chemicals were off, smelled like sulfur and my tongue was stuck to my cheek and if you smiled your lips stayed there.  Not so good.... At 3300 yards they closed the pool - danger chemical imbalance.  Seriously 2 shower later I still smell like bleach have used Coconut Oil as lotion and it was sucked right up.  We moved to the therapy pool- 90 degrees and managed 300 and was feeling sick. Although I can see a hot pool maybe good heat training.  We strapped on the belts and aqua jogged for 45 min Full chatting and we looked like old ladies up and down the pool.  Onto our bikes for spin up the coast.... I am feeling like a real athlete again!!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

baking, cooking, swimming, riding and a tad bit of running

I am still swimming alot  ( well not Ironma alot but a lot more than I was swimming) .... not as much as I was a few weeks ago but more than I did July-Oct.  When all you can do is swim, I swim a lot.   But then add spinning and then graduate to riding (outside) and I would rather be riding outside on my bike.   Even linked a few workouts together and swam then rode, sort of feeling like a triathlete again,  Double workouts and all!    I am thankful for Leslie who is on the IR list as well as a runner, took a few months of recreational riding and swimming who is now training as well.  We are ramping back up together.  And she truly understands the pure glory in running 10 minutes.  

The weather has been warm and wonderful for riding.  So fun to be outside with my girlfriends on my bike!  While I loved "lunching" and having coffee, I so prefer riding and chatting....

I have 4, yes count them 4 x 10 minute runs under my belt.  It really is sad when I am excited about 40 minutes of running in 7 days....alas.  The good news is NO knee pain. Stiff, yes, a bit inflexible, but loosening up (thanks to the master Gino and his magical hand at ART)  as well as Dr Chad Wells.   Yes I am actively rehabbing as best I can.   The bummer, huge fricking no fair bummer.  is that I have Plantar Fascitis in my left foot. WTH, its not like I have been running. The unfairness of this all is that it flared up when my mom was in the hospital  3+ days on tile floor in flip flops, dumb ass me,  as well as favoring my right leg due to surgery and after the 3rd day I was wondering why me heel hurt so badly.  Light bulb went off....really PF from standing in bad shoes on hard floors for 3 days.  Dr asked if there was anyway I was running laps at night....I wish.  Hopefully I get this under control ASAP...night splint, orthotics, name it.  I am so desperate right now I swear if my Dr told me that putting bananas in my shoes and dying my hair purple would make the PF go away I would do it. #desperatetorun

Bummed I missed the TCSD Pre-Viewing of Kona.  Had it all planned out....conference call 3-4, head to Mission Bay for event (bring John along) leave a bit early and cruise to Encinitas for Kona party. What really happened... so tired took a 10 min power nap, didn't walk the dogs before my confernece all, quick walk with the dogs and Zen went in the black murky swam, bath time, change clothes...head to work function at 5:00 not 4:00 and now it is 6:45 still in Mission Bay and just not in the cards to go to Encinitas.  So John and I met for a nice dinner at Catch (near Peets off the 56)   We are both going a million miles an hour and it was good to connect.   Food was great but staff is not good good...sloppy, not well spoken and did not understand my question about whether the fish was farm raised or line caught. He looked at me like  I was farm? I could almost see the bubble above his head of a cow pasture with fish.  Hopefully they figure it out...the sashimi was delicious! 

Baking and cooking....2 good recipes form the weekend 

Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Bread
Power through your mornings with this nutrient-packed fall treat from triathlete-chef Lentine Zahler.


1 cup unbleached white flour (used GF flour)
1 cup spelt flour (or whole-wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup puréed pumpkin (home roasted or canned)
1 ripe banana, mashed
½ cup unsweetened, canned coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 T unsalted butter, softened (used coconut oil)
2/3 cup evaporated cane juice (cane sugar)
2 large eggs*
1 cup golden and red raisins
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Powdered sugar (optional) did not use
*Can substitute 2 T ground flaxseed and 4 T warm water
- see link for details

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

  • Yield: Serves six.
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lenthwise
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges or 4 or 5 slices
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups or more of vegetable broth*
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz can of Great Northern white beans, drained
If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Masters Swim

I had a 6:45 swim lesson and decided to get up early and go to Masters.  I have not been to masters in months....but I have been swimming a lot the last 2+ weeks and decided to show up.   It was an all freestyle day (thank goodness because I really, really dislike other strokes)  I had no expectations and was happy to see Ted there - Ted is about my pace or faster so I was eager to see how it went.  I was really happy, really happy when we
started doing sets on base interval and I was making them no problem.  Yowza... solid 300's and then sets of 3x100 and I was pulling solid 100's.  Super motivating and great way to start the day.  Backed up my swim with my 1st Elliptical session.  1 step closer to running.... 30 minutes on the elliptical and NO pain, NO swelling and it was good.  I didn't push it, much like spinning, I did the time and kept the tension low.  Keeping it safe! 

So I was super excited..... great swim and nice to be doing more than spinning and walking!  Baby steps and I am keeping them baby. 

From there it was onto Kaiser for the next 8+ hours.... Mom's pinned hip did not take and thus she was scheduled for a hip replacement.  Kaiser is not concierge medicine... check in at 8.. pre-op 8:45 and I said goodbye to her around 9:30.  Surgeon found me at 12:00 in the uncomfortable, smelly  plush surgical waiting room with the good news.  1- the pins were not healing (hence the ongoing pain) and 2- the replacement went well.  So good news....then the waiting and waiting went on and one.  Post op....blood pressure too low for her to move, blood pressure is up and no room to move to, then blood pressure down and cannot move. So every hour for 10 minutes I would walk down the hall and see her and then get kicked out and back to my "next"  Thankfully there was a Starbucks and a Sprouts near by and I was stocked up with Kombucha, dried kale chips, wasabe edamame, organic grapes, tamari almonds... all good.  Venti Latte x 2 and close to 5 we were moved to a room!  Yeah.. she had a room, was settled and stable.  And I sadly said goodbye  ran out of the hospital and headed home.   I hit my limit... 

Now it a big kale salad, chocolate and an oakey chardonnay... Somehow I managed to make phone calls, review contracts, follow up on a number of outstanding issues, had a athlete-coach meeting and set up 2 new athletes for coaching beginning Nov 1.  Have laptop + iPhone and will travel and work. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Fun

Without real training I find I am staying up to 10, even 11 pm...holy cow!  It's all good for now...let loose, recovery, have surgery, rehab, no schedule and then crack down in December.

With that I wanted to go out to Haunted Trails in Balboa Park.  There is a maze and then a trail that you go through.  I convinced  went with Riley and a friend of hers. We had Greek food and arrived at 7:30 when the opened.  

The maze was terrifying.... we got lost, stuck and there were jumpy scary creatures, strobe lights, hanging things and a few times I freaked.  I was not sure we would get out. We did.. I sweating and my HR was higher than it has been in months.

Onto the trails, if I cannot run trails, may as well hike them in the dark with scary creatures.  It was maybe 20 minutes and I am sure I screamed 50 times and a time nearly peed... I jumped a mile and jogged (protect the knee, run from the zombie, he cannot touch me, run from the zombie.   We laughed so hard, screamed and it was just plain FUN!!  So glad we went.  

What else.... more spinning and swimming. I have to take a swim break- my arms are trashed and my shoulder is sore.  Not the labrum (thankfully) says Dr Wells but the tendon is impinged.  He worked miracles and it was good until I logged 3500 today and it is back.  He says to me "the good news is (although not sure I should tell someone like you) is that you are not doing damage to a muscle or tendon.  When you swim it just hurts and is inflamed. So you can keep getting treated, keep swimming and deal with the pain OR you can get treated, take time off swimming and feel better.  Ok so rationally, stop swimming.  My current state....Ok in a week I will back of swimming because then I can ride outside yes Dr, I understand. I will swim for a week will back off and see you next week and fess up that I was swimming.   Its my sanity...really.  Violins out please....have not run since 9/6, off the bike 2 weeks and now can spin 45 min easy on the trainer.  Let me swim.... NO CrossFit every :( Maybe yoga but not for a while.... I see Pilates, so good for me but so NOT CROSSFIT  in my future.  I get it, I get it...I don't like it but I get it.  I want to bike and run pain free!!!  Trade offs...I tell you 

And, most favorite beverage of the year is in stock!!  Frankly I wish there was a ban on all Christmas Decorations until the day after Thanksgiving..but this holiday gem can gladly show up now!    I love it...not the soy nog, not the coconut milk nog, EGG NOG.  Yes is has 1000 calories and sugar and fat..I love it!  I love it best with rum, so occasionally I mix it up, but I drink it (cut with NF milk) over ice for dessert!  When I am training, more than 45 minutes, it is the perfect recovery drink.   I really need to get of the injured list- mostly so I can drink Egg Nog. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

17 days post time flies

14 days post op and the Dr was great... looks great, mobility great, all is good as can be expected.  He took off the steri- strips and the deep incision bubbled up with blood - so he said 4 more days until I can swim. Infection in the knee is BAD, really bad. So Monday, my birthday I hit the pool, very tentatively.

I started with a buoy and open turns and was scared. Felt good to use the legs a bit but was tentative. Logged 3500 and texted Dr ( did I mention how accessible and awesome he is) and asked can I do flip turns and kick.  Reply "use the knee you are ok"  Tuesday I swam "normally", slow for sure but swam. While I would love to log 5K I am still nursing my shoulder ( throwing the chuck-it 2 hours a day due do injury + energetic Vizsla) and I want to swim every day.  Tuesday 3k.  Wed 3k. By Thur the ever so familiar "feel for the water" was returning.  If you know that feeling, it is blissful. I have done the same workout every day. 500sw, 5x100 on base + 5, 400 steady, 4x100 on base (ouch, as I can only make 2 right now) 300 (100ez100hard100ez) 3x 100 on base +5,  200 ez, 2x100 on base - 200 ez.  I am hoping hoping that by next week I can make 5x100 on base.  We will see. 

Feels great to smell like chlorine, have flaky skin, and frizzy hair  be exercising and feel sore muscles vs bed sores from sitting on the couch.

birthday with good friends, family, food and a lot of pity...hard to feel great when I am basically lame and feeling not great....but I had fun and felt a lot of love from family and friends so that is all good! 

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Friday I was cleared for 30 min spin!! yeah... went to a spin class I don't like indoor cycling let alone in a class but figured I would be entertained.  not really but got the 30 in and then thankfully John set me up on the Computrainer for my next days of spinning Sat :30 min, Sun: 45 , Mon: 45 and all is good....NO knee pain and while I am pushing pathetic power it is okay. Goal is ROM and to begin building back...Dr said if NO pain after indoor for a week I can get outside - yeah!!!  I don't want to overdo it but I really dislike the trainer.   I cannot wait to be outside again riding... running too (2.5 weeks) 

I hate the trainer...but am happy
to be riding at all

Friday, October 18, 2013

6 days post op

 Ok so I love my surgeon...not in that way- I am married and so he is but really I love his bedside manner, attentiveness and is spirit.  I cruised in this AM feeling pretty good, After a pretty good walk with the dogs and a good icing session I headed over and was seen at 9:01 for a 9:00 appointment.  Again, why I love this Dr.  No waiting.  He took off the steri strips and was pleased with the incisions.  Sutures are inside.  Minor bruising and swollen but not all that much.  Few drops of blood but all in all they are healing.

I walk without a limp and can fully extend my knee- all good!   He recapped that part of my knees are of a 14yo ( which he is shocked considering the stress I put on my knees.  He has 15 pictures of  inside my knee.  So very cool!  

This is the torn meniscus.  (LEFT)   The frayed part is the tear, the part on the right, nice and smooth is how cartilage should look, He cleaned up where he could and saved 70% of the meniscus, which I need to be running ( in 4 weeks) 

This is the underside of my knee cap - sort of looks like shag carpet-all that roughness is what grinds and crunches.  He shaved/cleaned that up the best he could.  

I will spare you the gross, so gross pictures of the cyst. Which was the size of an apricot.... and yes I have photos.  Absolutely discusting and no wonder my hamstring hurt. The cyst was rooted in the joint and grew from there- UGH. 

Any way all looks good.  I am cleared to swim on Monday (Happy Birthday to me) and next Friday I can spin inside.   If it was not for the cyst I could spin now but he is worried any synovial fluid released will go down the same path and re-create the cyst.  So...7 days.  Then easy and see how it goes.  Each week I can do more.  As for riding outside, a few weeks. Hill are out and if I feel pain it is best to stop ASAP and that is hard to do when I am a few miles form home.

4 weeks next appt and then I get to run!! 10 min x 5 days... a start.  My hope was to be running by 12/1 and now it looks like I will be running by 11/17.  Baby steps...

For now... walking is good, bending is good but so is elevation and ice. So I am still camped on the couch when working. 

Today I had a BIG day.... Dr appt, coffee with Dad and K and then lunch at Veg Grill with Les.   See triathletes don't "do lunch" we swim, bike, run and have coffee or do dinner. But with 2 injured girls (although Les swam and pool ran) we have time to meet at the mall for lunch.  It was so.... fun but weird.  We both commented on how much longer the days are without training.  Ugh...soon, soon I hope to have that problem of not enough hours in the day.

All in all I feel pretty good and pleased. I am on the road to recovery.. just need to hold onto patience. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 3 post surgery

Day 1 was a blur, Day 2 was Ironman World Championships = 10+ hours of couch time watching friends and professionals chase dreams and reap the benefits of so much work, Day 3 was hard, poor sleep followed by false expectations of feeling better, where in reality I felt nauseated, sluggish and depressed.  Day 4 was awesome... 10 hours of sleep with only 1 wake up and no added pain meds.  7:20 woke up refreshed and hopped, well glided out of bed, feeling less stiff and sore than the night before.   Eased downstairs and felt good enough to take the dogs out.  Beautiful morning, crisp and clear and we headed to the park where I walked, slowly, for 15 minutes and the threw the ball (left armed) for another 30 minutes.  Happy dogs, Riley was able to sleep in then I checked email and had a nice hour in the park.  Mako found a big mud puddle and got really, really muddy.... all 4 legs and his muzzle.  Riley was up by now and happily met me at the door and ushered him into the shower for a nice warm bath.

My office, place of refuge, is the couch.  I am camped out with my leg on 2 pillows, the ice machine on the floor, phone, laptop, window ledge for my various drinks and snacks, briefcase with random stuff, yellow pad and I am set.  I  had a rather productive work day.... conference calls done, contracts reviewed, hotels called- all done from the couch. Flexible work space... around 11 I moved to the garage and set up in an Adirondack chair, leg up on a Rubbermaid bin, chair has arms for my laptop and the benefit of this.... I can see the sun, Mako can hunt lizards in the front garden, Zen can relish in the sun and we all get a change of venue. 

Lunch arrived around 1pm, courtesy of my 79 yo mom who is pending another surgery to fix her hip...I can hear the walker as she arrives with a wonderful Greek salad in a bag.  The lame helping the lame.... she wants to help and I greatly appreciated it as Riley was out job hunting. 

I left the house for the first time since Friday with Riley for an appointment. Nice to get out... I survived in a car, away for 2 hours without ice and my couch.  And I am off the major pain meds and doing well Aleve.  Pain is tolerable.

Tomorrow....I get to take a shower! No more hair washing in the sink and bath in the sink.  I get to take off the gauze... sutures are inside and only steri strips.  Really excited.  And I get to walk more..... 

Post op is Thur and I hope, hope PT soon there after.    And tomorrow...I can drive too.  Life is looking up....Funny I was depressed about not running or riding hard and now I am simply excited to drive and leave the house.  


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Surgery..a first for me

Once the prognosis of a torn meniscus came my way I knew I wanted to get it repaired ASAP to begin the road to recovery. I was referred to Dr Chris Wahl - Chief of UCSD Sports Medicine Orthopedics.  Sounded good to me and after "checking" him out the feedback was good.  I felt fortunate to get an appt 2 days later and was blown away by the offices.  Not just the decor of the  "Concierge" medicine I believe they call it  with wood floors, covered walls and leather couches, but also personalized amazing service...impressed on all fronts. 

I was there for over 90 minutes and the team was thorough.  From the RN to the PA to the Dr.  They all thoroughly examined, explained and discussed all options.  By the time Dr W said we have 3 options. 1, the conservative approach - I cut him off and said I want aggressive, I want to be running by December and racing in March, doable  We skipped the details of option 1 and 2 (as he later told the resident he suspected would be the case) 

He showed me the MRI and the flap tear and the cyst which looked huge ( big cherry/small apricot) and was clearly displacing my hamstring.  Plan was 1- shave off the flap on the meniscus and "clean up" necessary parts 2- remove the cyst, which generally is not the protocol  (as having surgery just to remove a cyst is a bit much and they opt to drain it) but since I was already having surgery he did not want any risk of it coming back.

How soon can we do this?  Day after tomorrow....gulp, okay, Friday it is.

Instructions- no food/drink after midnight.  No issue as I go to bed at 9.  Wash entire body with antiseptic skin drying  soap, clean towel and pj's and I assumed no spooning with Mako that night.  Up at 4:30 to tire the dogs, another leg shower with antiseptic really, really skin drying  soap and clean clothes.  Riley was up and ready to go at 5:30 and off we went.

Checked in at 6 am and the staff was equally impressive.  Friendly and helpful.  Signed 1000 papers, had to explain my interpretation of the surgery to 3 different people.  Soon Dr W stopped in calm and collected to see if I had questions. In my gown, slippers and hat I walked into the OR, which was freezing and laid down. Dr W said I had my game face on. My eyes were wide and I was apprehensive and nervous, yes a bit like before a race. Anesthesiologist tells me I will feel light headed and I wonder how one feels light headed laying down but sure enough I did and that was it for me. Apparently shortly there after Dr W asked I was feeling and I say " like I am about to bonk at mile 20 of the marathon"  #orhumor 

And then I was waking up.  Bizarre.... best sleep I have had in months.  I don't remember much but soon I was released with a full compression stocking over a massive gauze
no this is not me- 
wrapping around my knee.  I walked out and off we went.  I was a bit nauseous but that soon passed and we stopped for coffee and bagels on the way home.   Since then I have been camped out on the couch.  Leg on a pillow and this cool Cryo/Cuff Cooler that filters ice water + compression onto my knee.  As long as I don't move much, take anti-inflammatory + pain meds and ice hourly I am okay.  When I do get up I can walk unattended it day 1/2 it was the cyst incision that hurt the most but today it the meniscus. 

Instructions were little movement day 1 and 2 to ensure no excess bleeding and today I can move a bit more.  Oddly today I feel a bit worse. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge and I may just be tired.   I am starving... already had eggs and kale + green tea and it was delicious.

Riley has been amazing... taking care of the dogs, me, cooking, cleaning and getting me what I need.  Mom and Dad each delivered dinner one night so we are well fed for sure. 

Tomorrow I can drive- woo hoo...not sure I will as the swelling and bandage make it hard. I am not coaching as I definitely cannot stand on deck for an hour.  Tuesday I take off the gauze and can shower!  yeah.....leave the steri-strips on until Thur when I see Dr W. All sutures are on the inside which is good. 

Per Dr W surgery went great.....he cleaned up the flap and shaved of what looked like shag carpeting so it's nice and smooth and cleaned up the underside of the knee cap while he was there.  Glad he took the cyst out as some cartridge had started to form, not good. It was big... He called me Friday night from his personal cell to give me an update and said I can call anytime with questions or concerns.  

And there you have it!  hoping to start PT asap and get an idea of when I can resume training.