Monday, March 23, 2015


Tucson has some amazing views 
Last week I went to Band camp... just kidding I went to Triathlon Camp.  As an adult and a triathlete, a camp is about as good as it gets!  This was my 4th camp.

My first being a Multisports Camp put on my Paul Huddle, Paula Newby-Frasier, Heather Fuhr and Roch Frey when I was a 100% newbie.  I had done 1 Sprint and was registered for Oceanside 70.3.  I was a deer in headlights, the one with a notepad in jaw dropping awe of the campers who had done a full Ironman.  Taking it all in and scared of every workout. I was afraid of messing up, getting dropped, saying the wrong thing.  It was here in San Diego and it was sooo fun!

Camp 2 was a mini camp and a recon for Ironman St George.  It was 3 days of course recon for an upcoming Ironman.  It was the first time I hung with other triathletes from all over and chatted swim/bike/run for 3 days. Gordo Byrne and Kevin Purcell put it on.  It was not a crushing camp - good fun, work and camaraderie, It scared the heck out of me for Ironman SG.  But it set me up for one of my best races,  I had the opportunity to ride that wicked hilly and hard  beautiful course and run that mf'ing up and down the beautiful hills of SG in November before the May inaugural Ironman.  My coach at the time KP made sure I was riding and running on similar terrain so when the hardest climb came at mile 90 I was ready, we trained for that.  When the 2nd loop of the marathon started for another 900 feet of climbing I was ready for that.  Ironman Course camps are VERY valuable especially for challenging courses.  You know what to expect race day.

new camp friends
happy my hubby came to camp
Camp 3 was an Endurance Corner Camp in Boulder in 2012.  It was a 6 day Ironman camp and I trained for the camp and rested for the camp.  This was challenging.... it took patience to hold back the first few days knowing it was getting harder, we trained very day 5-6 hours.  It was about fueling, training, recovery and hanging on. I had altitude sickness, was puking on the bike, struggled some days and crushed other days.  It about about breakthroughs and testing yourself. We had some amazing speakers and I learned a lot about power, pacing and the science of triathlon. We finished the camp with an Olympic Distance race- baked at 7000ft.  I made friends for life that week.

So camp 4 was last Thur-Sun in Tucson with D3 Multisport, put on by my coach Mike Ricci.  Prior to camp I had only met Mike once at IMAZ (while I was there coachng as was he)  at mile 22 at 10pm last November.  We started working together in December so the "relationship" is new.  I don't have an issue that he is in Boulder and I am in San Diego because are in constant communication.  I have athletes in other locations and it works well.  But there is something great about spending time face to face.  So that was what Tucson was about.  Getting past the swim bike run and understanding the person.  John being there was great- he is a big part of the dynamic.

John and I drove out Wed.  It was a small camp- 7 of us, which was a bonus.  More 1:1 time- 2 coaches and 6.5 athletes (john only did 50%)   We swam 3 days.  I swam alone - poor me, but it was fun having my coach on deck.  I did get some good feedback on my stroke and now am all stressed about my right hand!   I don't think when I swim and now I am thinking.

We rode every day.... Gates Pass was a nice climb for the first day.
 Day 2 was a bit of death wish ride on Oracle Rd and after 3 flats and a blown sidewall McGiver aka John found us an alternate route that was awesome!

Day 3 was the epic Mt Lemmon- we rode from the hotel- 20 miles and then began the epic 25 mile climb.   Holy cow...stunning views, 1000's of feet up to 8200 ft, it got really cold- so cold I begged for socks and Mike the miracle coach produced a pair of socks out of the van.  Mt Lemmon is deceiving because you think you are at the top but then you descend for 2 miies and climb again and than arrive at the ski area but we had to go to the cookie cabin and now I know why.  Holy big ass cookie.... not kidding this was 1 cookie. And it was amazing... I was cold, tired and hungry!!!  1 hour descent and done!

I was not impressed with a lot of the riding in Tucson. We are just too spoiled here in San Diego with good roads and epic riding.  But I was impressed with Mt Lemmon,  It was epic and glad I have done it.

I did not have any great runs... or any runs at all(other than in the pool and well those are simply not fun, but necessary) .  I was most looking forward to the running drills and track but well -no bueno.   Guss I have to go to Boulder Camp in June :)

It was all I wanted.... time with John, time with my coach and meeting new friends.  Pretty darn sweet life.

Oh right we did bike skills and transition practice (which I have room to improve on) We had a great nutrition talk (not that my problems are solved) but we had a good conversation and we talked all aspects of triathlon.   We shared dog and kid stories ....surely a few of the people we met I know we will cross paths with again in the future either at another camp, a race or a training weekend.

At the end of the day.... the people are what make this sport!!!

Frustrated, angry and impatient

So I left Tucson D3 Multisport camp feeling fit, happy and strong.  Good times with my coach and other D3 athletes.  Even though I not able to run, I knocked out some solid cycling and swimming.   I spent the camp shifting my thoughts from Oceanside (knowing that race was out) to St George and how that would be my A pre - season race.

SG is hilly.  Hilly bike, hilly run, All good.   It's amazing how my psyche flipped in 12 +hours... Walking not running because I can't the dogs this AM I can feel my shin but have been possibly lying thinking it has been getting better each day. I ice/heat/ice is, roll it, stretch it, roll the calves, roll the quads, do my back exercises.... all the modalities prescribed.   Roo was chasing a bird and darted in the street, 20 steps running and pain, real pain. Stop me in my tracks pain.  Really.... 11 days no running and I have apparently made zero progress. Wait I have spent over $500+ ( I quit keep track)  and my rehab efforts have been spot on but the shin is ANGRY!   I wish I could tell you I took this in stride this am, that I took a breath and calmly carried on being thankful for all I have.   I did not- I was swearing and pissed and have been every since.

Went to see Steve at Paragon. Grumpy Monday AM.  We test and retest and he is very serious, could be the bone he says "but let's see" .  He works, digs, tortures me, ices and well I do get some relief.  Maybe not the bone.  Ugh.... I just want to know.     He put a heel lift in my shoe to see if taking some of the pressure off helps- yes and no.   Ice = magic.  But soon the pain is back.

So.... I have another Dr appt  tomorrow.  I need to get a scan to see if this is bone or tendon/fascia/?.   So I am now thinking past SG- what about Vineman or Canada... how long will I not be running. Will I race this season? what if Santa Cruz in Sept is my first race then I have to find a late Ironman.... At least I have options- really I do.

If it were left to me I would be out riding 5 hours hilly tomorrow and then next day and the next day..... coach says no.  I want to be suffering and getting fitter somehow.... will see how that plays out.

Yoga- maybe I will take a yoga challenge? Shoot me now.   Swim- great I can work on my swim.

Oceanside- Aquabike. Sure I'll do it,  I have athletes to follow on the run, so I can help coach encourage them.  I have teammates and friends racing so I can support them.  Ideal NO.  Life= yes.   As for what is next.... I don't know.

Rant over... next post about how awesome camp was :)   

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

On being a masters athlete and when things go awry

Maybe a bit dramatic....I know 

While there are some days I feel 25 there are other days I feel 65.  Take the last 2 weeks.  I did an epic aerial event while skiing in 10 inches of powder and tweaked my back or I woke up from sleeping and tweaked my back.  Option 2 is the case for me.  Really... I have no recollection of anything epic, adventurous or fun but I earned a lot of pain.  Add a tiny shin pain that has now escalated to not being able to run and you have me.   

The back... think stabbing knife under the scapula - it goes from stabbing to aching.  Ice is good, heat is better. Dull headache and feeling of being hung over is constant.  My adventures with ART,  Chiro, massage have all lessened the pain and 11 days later I am feeling about 80%.  Mostly there- it was a combo of 2 Chiro's, having my Atlas adjusted  (the first cervical vertebra, known as the Atlas or C1, plays the most delicate and at the same time primary role for the entire spine- Who knew.)    Seems the Atlas adjustment works wonders for people with migraines, headaches , backaches etc.  It does't hurt so why not give it a go... Dr Kenny Sheppard

Just as the back was becoming tolerable my shin flared up as in- niggle went to pain went to not running in the course of 7 days.   I took 5 days off and toed the line for Super Seal (after getting ART, massage and PT/massage combo) hoping to pull it off.  Swim - solid. Bike- solid.  Run-  pain at the start and I was hoping it would loosen up.  At 1.5 miles the pain was severe, that kind of pain that can lead to no good.   I pulled out tying to keep my brain centered around the big picture... Oceanside, St George but really IM Canada.

Here we are 3 days later and I have seen 2 Dr's, ART and a PT.  Over treating...possibly but there is no real consensus other than 1- my calf is a wreck, my hamstring is really tight and my shins are ropey.   With a lot of work the pain eases up but soon returns.

Ironically Dr Sheppard is in the same office as Dan Selstad - Dr Pain (ART) as the sign in his office says but really I am amazed at what he can do.   And the last one Steve Percy who one of my athletes recommended. Dan and Steve are "working" on my calf/shin dilemma and both have really different approaches.  All my free time and time I don't have has been getting treated. Triage of sorts.... And I did see my primary ( Sports Med)  So let's just say it takes a village when I am injured.  

So we head to Tucson for a Training Camp tomorrow but will be more likely a swim/bike camp for me.  One at a time but I have to at least acknowledge Oceanside may not happen- it is upsetting and frustration but it is reality.    We are packing the RadRoller, foam roller, The Stick.. what fun!!

I have a book now of what to roll, when to ice, what to stretch....its a whole other workout regime but very necessary.  

Talking to coach today- when was the defining moment?  Hard to say but the day my back flared up, the wheels were coming off in other ways and while I did pull the plug on that days workouts I had a pretty hard weekend.  So hindsight... which we need to use for learning would be that the day my back flared up would have been time for 2-3 days off.  So live and learn!