Thursday, February 19, 2009

Steve in a Speedo Interviews Coach Liz: A Blogger Exclusive!

The meds are kicking in again and I have more pep in my step. The weather was a beautiful cloudless, 69 degree day and I had a good one hour long run. The only thing that I did not like about the run was having to play chicken with the school buses on a street that had two lanes in each direction divided by an esplanade and no sidewalks. I had to dodge mail boxes, cactus gardens, and little brick walls as I jumped out of the way of oncoming buses that would not move over a lane when they were the only motor vehicle on the road. Whatever!!!

So, here is the exclusive interview that I know you are all (NOT) ready to pounce all over.

Steve in a Speedo presented me with some burning questions to really get to the core of who Coach Liz really is. I just referred to myself in the third person. That was weird. So without further ado...

Coach Liz

The slow but determined triathlete who would be worm free

Steve in a Speedo: So Coach Liz, what's your best and your worst race experience? Explain.

Coach Liz: I would have to say that I have two races that really come in as a tie for the best race experience. One would be Ironman Arizona. I trained well and put in a lot of hard work leading up to that race and everything all fell in place on race day. My good girlfriend and my Dad and Step-Mom and even one of the guys who takes my spin class were all there cheering me on. When my Coach told me on the second loop of the run that I was looking strong and that he was heading home because he knew I was going to finish well it made me feel like I had everything under control. Hell! I was a frickin' IRONMAN!!! The second race that ranks right up there as one of the best race experiences was going to Clearwater for the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship Race. I felt like I was totally crashing the party and that the slow girl had snuck into the race. I had a stellar bike leg and I never saw any of those draft groups around me that everyone seems to bitch about. I was able to pull out a PR for that race and break the 6 hour streak that I had been on for forever. It was a wonderful end to a spectacular season one year after knee surgery.

My worst race would have to be the 2008 Los Angeles Marathon. I was good through the 13.1 marker and then I had to hit a port-o-can. There was no TP anywhere and I really needed it. From that point on, my gut went from mildly irritated, to painful, to debilitating. I wanted to throw up so bad but there were too many spectators and if I threw up I knew that I would never see the finish. I had to walk a good portion of miles 14.5 through 22 because I was doubled over with sharp cramps. I was glad that I had my iPod to crank up and drown out the spectators who were telling me "You look good, keep going!" and that I had sunglasses to hide the tears that were streaming down my face from the pain. I could not DNF that race because I was in a strange city, my friend who was behind me in the race had no idea what was going on, and I had a flight to catch later that afternoon. To top it off, the race t-shirt was monkey-ass ugly and lame.
Coach Liz is a Pilates trainer with 10 years of experience of teaching Mat Pilates classes and working with clients on the Reformer, the Wunda Chair, the Step Barrel, the Cadillac and Tower.

SS: What was the race that got you "hooked"? Explain.

CL: I would have to say that the Tri-America Walt Disney World Olympic Triathlon was the race that hooked me. I had done two sprints leading up to my first Oly race and they were cool, but they were smaller races. The Walt Disney World race was a big one! I did this race with Team in Training and I did it withe the Palm Beach Chapter out of Florida since my local Chapter did not offer triathlons yet. I trained all on my own, did my fundraising, drove with the family out to Orlando through a tropical storm in Louisiana and then proved some coach from the North Texas Chapter wrong when he told me that I should do well to finish in 3 hours for my first Olympic distance race. I finished in 2:35. From there, the rest is history. I was not even mad when I found out that the hubby and the kid did not see any of the race but were in line for Space Mountain. I was on cloud 9.

One month after knee surgery, Coach Liz and her son, Buddy (pictured here in 2006) rode the 40 mile route of the Lance Armstrong Foundation LiveSTRONG Challenge.

SS: If you had to pick a current game show to be on, which one would you pick? Why?

CL: Well right now my favorite show is Top Chef (Go Carla!) and that would be an interesting game show to be on, but I would be told to pack my knives and leave in the first show. I can cook and I can cook good, but not like these people who just have all of these recipes in their heads and can create such beautiful plates of food. I am sure that I would do better on The Amazing Race. I would love to do all that wild travel and see all of those places. Who would I do the race with? I don't know, my husband has the smarts to do it but you also need someone who can run and be physical as well. His bum knee could hold him back.
This is NOT Coach Liz' bike.

SS: On your drive to work, do you listen to alternative, classic rock, NPR, or the local pop station with the trashy and shameless morning show?

CL: Sadly, the trashy and shameless morning show on the pop station that I have been listening to since 1985 when I moved to Houston mid way through high school. My kid insists that we always change the station to the Classic Rock station. I guess mom embarrasses him as I sing Single Ladies, Just Dance, and Right Round by Flo-rida.

Coach Liz' Hero of the moment. Trust me, he would be your hero too if you had the worms.

SS: If you could replace one leg of a triathlon (swim, bike, run) with ANYTHING else (canoe, 1/4 mile of monkey bars, off-road baja car race, pull-up challenge, etc), what part would you replace? Why? What would the new leg be? Why?

CL: Well, the swim is my favorite part and I am solid on the bike. My run has been my weakest leg, but it was getting better. At this point in my training, it could be sorely lacking so let's say I will trade in the run leg for a Scavenger Hunt leg. EVERYONE is on a level playing field for that one. You do have to run from one place to another as you collect clues or items and all the clues you collect is a puzzle that needs to be put together like some phrase such as, "Hugh Jackman is AWESOME!" or "X-Men Origin Movie Tickets in Mike Riley's Pocket" Chrisie Wellington better hope she does not have a tire patch kit or 3 CO2 cartridges on her list to find.

So there you go folks. If you want to play along:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!"
2. I will respond by giving you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Hope you enjoyed it. Later Gators!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Am I getting any better???

I'm not sure if I can give an affirmative answer to that question. I started my second round of the anti-parasitic meds this morning and I am still dragging. My adrenal glands are burnt out. I have a lot of the classic symptoms of adrenal fatigue and even though I started feeling better at the end of last week and got in some good workouts, when I was off the anti-parasitic meds for 5 days all the fatigue and other issues came back.

I made the decision to skip out on the Lone Star 1/2 Iron distance race in April and I am hoping that I will be able to get my workouts in for Buffalo Springs. The fatigue is very hard to deal with. I can sleep for 8 to 10 hours a night and still feel tired and want a nap later in the day. The fatigue causes me to miss workouts and then I feel lazy and it is frustrating. I get angry that the people who come to my classes and workouts can always just say, "Dang, I am running out of time and I won't be able to make it to the gym today if I want to get all my stuff done." I cannot use that excuse. They would be P.O. if I was not there to teach their noon Step aerobics class. And then they give me the guilt statement of, "You are the only reason that I come to this gym. Your classes are so good!" ARRRGHH!!!

I have the Disney Princess Half Marathon in less than two weeks and I know that I will be able to run it. I am not running it for a PR but just to have fun and do it for the pictures and stuff. I just hope it won't burn me out for the rest of our family trip. At least the run is on the 4th day of our 5 day vacation. I can hear the Lazy River at Typhoon Lagoon calling my name.

Just as a word of reflection, if you are an endurance junkie like me or you just keep a busy and hectic lifestyle, you need to take time off and DO NOTHING and be a slug. I live in a climate that there is really no off season. As soon as tri season is over, it is marathon season. I think the Europeans have it right with taking the entire month of August off. It took forever to find a doctor who could tell me what I was suffering with and now it almost seems like the symptoms are almost too bad to fix.

Ok, enough of my complaining. Off to go teach classes when I really want to go back to bed.

Later Gators,


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Ok, in the last 10 days I have lost 8 pounds and most of it was water that I was hauling around from inflammation. My ankles no longer look puffy and I can get my rings off my fingers again. I can see and feel the veins on my forearms again. It has been a while since my "Incredible Hulk" veins were visible.

Still no sugar which is hard, but I am hanging in there.

Later Gators,


Monday, February 9, 2009

Totally Revolted

I have been on my anti-parasitic program and I have been hitting the Internet to find out more about these pesky things that are taking up residence in my GI track and all I can say after a week is that I am totally revolted! The fatigue has been bad. I have had to skip a lot of workouts in the last week due to having my eyes roll into the back of my head after lunch and having my head hit the pillow for 2-3 hour naps. I hope that when these parasites are gone, that I will have more energy. I have also had to make mad dashes to the bathroom since something that I am taking is acting as a laxative to keep things moving through the system. And I have been washing my hands like a mad woman. I hope that I do not develop an O/C disorder after this. Oh, and I am still itching and I will explain why.

Here are a few gems to keep you informed and grossed out:

  • It is estimated that 85% of Americans will have intestinal parasites at some time in their life.

  • Children are notorious carriers and spreaders of intestinal parasites. Just think of how many times a kid's fingers go in their mouth.

  • You can get intestinal parasites from your dog licking your hands or face and by cleaning a cat's litter box.

  • Organic fruits and veggies need to be washed carefully and should even get a dip in a mild water and bleach solution to kill parasites.

  • Parasites can enter the body through your mouth, your nose, a cut or sore, even through your ears.

  • The eggs of parasites can be air born and will survive on surfaces such as a door handle, a computer key board, or a phone for two weeks.

  • Good hand washing also requires that you use a nail brush to scrub under your finger nails where parasites and their eggs can hide.

  • Intestinal parasites can cause hives, skin rashes, and eczema from the release of waste products and toxins into the blood stream which in turn is carried to the skin as the body tries to clear it from the bloodstream.

  • Intestinal parasites can leech important vitamins and minerals out of your bloodstream rendering you vitamin deficient and anemic.

  • Sheets, towels, undergarments, and any other clothing that comes in contact with the body near the rectum such as running shorts with a liner, should be washed in hot water to reduce the spread of parasites. Sheets should be changed at least once a week and towels should not be shared with other family members or friends.

  • Intestinal parasites can be hard to detect because they cause symptoms that are similar to other ailments such as fatigue, lack of concentration, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fungal infections such as athlete's foot or jock itch, skin rashes, bad breath, dandruff, yeast infections, anemia, nausea, headaches, asthma, food allergies, nasal congestion, muscle and joint pain, stunted growth in children, weight gain, weight loss, loss of appetite, night sweats, chills, and vitamin deficiencies. 

  • Our western diets of processed and enriched foods with low levels of fiber help to make it easier for parasites to thrive in the intestines. 

On a happier note, my Team in Training tri group started their practices this weekend and I just got back from their first swim workout. How many of you are swimming in an outdoor pool at this time of year? We have our first bike ride this weekend and they get a lesson on how to change a flat tire. I must say that I have a pretty good lot of swimmers. There are only a small handful that are going to need extra work in the pool to get comfortable with putting their face in the water or with learning how to swim at all. I know that they can do it and I know that I an help them make it to the finish line!

Ok, off to bed so I can teach my early spin class in the morning. Later Gators!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ugh!!! I am totally grossed out!!!

Over the past year I have struggled with the allergies, the food restrictions due to gluten and corn, the itching, the lack of energy, the gastro-intestinal problems, and the muscle and joint issues that a normal healthy person should not have to deal with. The family practice doctor could not figure it out, the allergist could not figure it out, so I decided that it was time to visit a registered dietitian and figure out what my food intolerances were and how to deal with them.

I found out that I have intestinal parasites.


It seems that the onset may have been as long ago as the spring of 2003 when I did a triathlon in Florida. I remember having horrible gastro intestinal problems after that race that lasted for almost a year and a half. When I was training for IMAZ, I went on the Paleo Diet and a lot of the issues disappeared because I was not consuming dairy products and grains. It seems that the straw that broke the camel's back was when I had knee surgery in the fall of 2006 because I have a sensitivity to anesthesia and it somehow triggered something in my body and the pesky parasites have been having a rave in my intestines ever since and wreaking havoc on my adrenal glands and my spleen. I thought that I was loosing my mind at times trying to explain to doctors and my family what I was going through and many times I felt like people thought I was nuts so I just tended to keep my mouth shut and just suffered through the gas, bloating, nausea, headaches, hives, fatigue, and craving for sugar.

I am now taking stuff to get rid of my little friends who are no longer welcome to live in my intestines. I will be on two rounds of the parasite eradicator, 10 days on/ 5 days off. During that time I cannot have any sugar. That means no alcohol, no fruit, no dairy, no gels, no juice, no sports drinks, as well as no gluten. After my worms are gone, I will be able to reintroduce fruit back into the diet but it looks like dairy may be out for good because I have a high sensitivity to casein in dairy products which is what they are pushing in that Activa yogurt in the commercials.

Please keep me in your prayers that I don't kill someone as I detox and break my addiction to chocolate and that I will start feeling better as I purge the worms and parasites.

Oh, I came in 5th in my age group at the Rockets Run with an official time of 24:12. At least that is good news!

Later Gators,