Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh, We Need a Little Christmas...

Right this very minute!

These past few weeks have almost been a blur.  Sometimes I wish things would slow down, and then at other times, I am glad that the train is rumbling along the tracks.  A few things have taken place that may put a different spin on 2012.  I am remaining positive that it will all be for good things to come.

I have been training.  Not as well as I would like, but I am training.  I did my 21 miler last Thursday and I have one month to go until I run the Houston Marathon.  This was supposed to be the race where I was going to qualify for Boston, but I have had one thing after the other try to interfere with my training and I just don't feel like my speed is where it needs to be.  Of course, I could pull out a "Race Day Miracle" and really surprise myself.  Everyone else seems to think that I can do it.  My coach thinks I can do it.  My personal drill instructor thinks I can do it.  My athletes I coach think I can do it.  Even my sports docs think I can do it.  How come I am still on the fence on this one?  I guess that it is because none of these people have been out on a run with me and gotten a good look at how my training is really going.  Out in the trenches, it is a lot different than on paper.

The "Big Box Gym" that I work for sold off 171 of its locations to another "Big Box Gym" right around Thanksgiving.  Now things are kind of like the Wild West around here.  Our corporate offices were in locations where all of the gyms in our Big Box Organization were bought up by the other company.  So now, no one really seems to know where the corporate offices are.  My "boss" from California is no longer my boss and my Personal Training Manager is letting me call the shots on what days group exercise classes are going to be held at our gym around the holidays.   I have heard that our now named Small Box Organization will not be spending any of the $153 Million dollars from the sale in the first quarter of 2012 and they will be looking at which of the 100 or so clubs left can be profitable for the first quarter.  I do not know if that means if clubs that are not profitable or ones that just break even are going to be shuttered as a few were in Dallas and one here in town in slated for.  I need to put together my resume, for the first time in nearly 19 years, and start shopping myself around to other gyms that are more elite in clientele and in what they offer in programming.  I do feel like a rat going down on a sinking ship, but I have to hang in there as long as I can for my very dedicated clients that I work with.

My health has been wacky.  I am not sick, but I am not well.  I am not contagious, but I need to figure out what is causing my symptoms.  I am a puzzle.  I am "THAT" patient.  You know, "THAT" patient, the one who gets assigned to 3rd or 4th year interns by their supervising doctors and asked to figure out what is wrong with them and everyone is stumped?  Yeah, that's me.  Since August I have had little health issues building into big health issues.  What started as a random itchy spot on my arm for a few hours, every once in a while has grown into a full blown case of hives that cover my arms, shoulders, trunk, back, legs, and scalp lasting for days on end.  A blind person could read War & Peace on my arms!  My allergist has no clue what to do other than take an Allegra in the morning and a Zertek at night.  I have had strange digestive issues that no one really wants to talk about, but my doctors tell me I have to spill the beans.  Joint and muscular issues seem to pop up out of no where when I have not even been training hard or even with those muscles.  I have had fatigue one day and then loads of energy the next.  It looks like my liver may be the culprit and I am under orders to undergo a cleanse or liver purification process to clear out the excessive toxins that the liver accumulates as it filters the blood.  For the next 21 days I am only able to eat very lean free-range organic proteins, organic vegetables, organic fruits, healthy fats, and the occasional serving of legumes.  I will be taking a few supplements as well, but I have to stay away from dairy, grains, nuts and seeds, caffeine, and all refined foods.  I have done this Paleo diet before and I know I can do it.  I just have to make sure that my fridge and my pantry are ready for it.  Tomorrow's breakfast should be exciting.  I will keep the updates coming.

Finally, tomorrow I start my certification to become a Newton Natural Running Coach.  I am really looking forward to this.  I had to teach myself how to run again after I had knee surgery in 2006 and little did I know that I taught myself Natural Running.  Now I get to learn the in's and out's and how to watch other people run and help them modify or change their running style to avoid injury and to pick up some extra speed.  Again, I will make updates on what I have learned.

Ok, it is off to bed for me and on to another day.

Later Gators!

Me and the kid at a holiday party. I am in 4" heels to be that tall next to him.
Liz

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Life


Sorry it has taken so long to recount some of my adventures, but basically, life has been like a roller coaster with ups and downs, laughter and screams, a little bit of motion sickness, and time and space rushing past this girl that I have either not had the time to update this blog or I did not have the strength to do it.  A lot has happened in the past seven weeks and this might be the longest that I have abandoned my blog. Not that anyone minds, I am sure there are much more exciting and fun things to read/glance at on Facebook and Twitter.  Taking time to read one of my blog posts is just not in the cards for most people anymore.   I am going to try my best to see if I can keep this post short.  HA!

Ryan "Ironman" Barnett and I are enjoying the java from the Coffees of Hawaii Catamaran.
When I left off seven weeks ago, I was preparing for a HUGE adventure.  I went to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to watch and volunteer at the Ironman World Championship.  I flew in and was picked up at the airport by Ryan "Ironman" Barnett.  The next morning we swam out to the Coffees of Hawaii catamaran and got our morning cup of java along with an interview by John Newsome and Bevin James Eyles for their IM Talk podcast.  Ryan and I did a run in the Energy Lab and I finished of the day with a spectacular vegan dinner with Coach Carrie Barrett and Hillary Biscay and Belinda Granger.  The next few days were spent hanging out with Coach Carrie and Shawn Barrett as we hit the race expo and participating in the Kona Underwear Run.  On Race Day, Carrie and I had a blogger buddy meet up with Shirley Pratt and volunteering on the run course at Pro Aid Station Number 1.  It was amazing seeing all of the professionals racing, as well as the final finisher to come across the line before the clock hit 17 hours.  I don't think that I could have had a better "first time" trip to Hawaii or a better birthday.

Getting interviewed for IM Talk.


Hanging with Craig in the showers after a swim.


A post Energy Lab Run photo.


A fantastic dinner with two beautiful women of this sport.  Thank you Hillary and Belinda for a wonderful evening.


Blogger Buddy meet up with Shirley Pratt and working a run course aid station.


When I got home, it was back to reality and back to being a single mom as El Esposo headed off to Trinidad for three weeks.  It was time to get back to workouts with regularity and time to figure out why I was breaking out in hives multiple times during the day.  I met with Dr. Krupka who is a specialist in Functional Medicine.  He works on finding the root cause of the symptoms rather than finding a way to cover up the symptoms and make them disappear.  I had to wait a week to get in to see him once my test results came in from a saliva sample I had sent off to a lab before going to Hawaii.  Originally, we were looking to see if I had a gluten sensitivity.  The results came back negative.  That is good.  I can still eat bread!  However, we found out that an enzyme that is in everyone's saliva to help break down food as you chew it up before it gets to the stomach was missing.  This results in the stomach and intestines getting irritated by certain foods that have naturally occurring histamines in them.  The enzyme in the saliva breaks down the histamines in tomatoes, spinach, salmon, chocolate, citrus fruits, red wine, yeast, hard cheeses, and other foods.  When you have allergies, it is the body reacting to histamines you encounter in the air or surfaces you come in contact with.  My histamine levels were off the charts and the only way the body knew how to "dump" them was to try and excrete them out of my skin, resulting in the hives.  Allergies shots, smoke in the Texas air due to wildfires, naturally occurring fall pollen and ragweed, and the inability to break down the histamines in foods before they got to the stomach had done a number on me.  Now, I am on a treatment to try and lower the histamine levels in my body.  I still have the hives, but now it may be only once a day instead of multiple times a day.  I have a long way to go, but it is a start.

Work has been work.  Fun at times, and work at other times.  I taught a successful Pilates Master Class utilizing the Pilates Chair and the Arc.  The participants enjoyed the challenge of the class and requested another.  I am going to see if I can get some more equipment brought over from another gym to teach another Master Class next month.  One of my personal training clients told me that she really buckled down and cut back on the nightly glass of red wine and bowl of Goldfish to loose 10 lbs.  Way to go!  Just making small changes can make big differences.  Another one of my personal training clients has hit the one year mark of working with me.  In that year, she has lost 35 lbs., gone from a Chicos size 4 to a 1.5, and feels amazing with her new energy.  Her big test this week is to see if she can keep up with her family on a ski trip and get up on her own when she falls down.  I know she can do it.  I am so proud of her and she is determined to keep going with her weight loss.  She has 20 more pounds to go to hit her goal and we are taking steps to get her orthodics so that she can start running again without her bunion bothering her.  On the other end of the spectrum, 171 gym locations of my employer were sold off to a huge competitor.  There are about 100 gyms left and Texas was spared.  It shall be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks and what changes will be made.

In the days leading up to Halloween, I was feeling an impending sense of dread about the holiday.  I did not want to pull out my decorations, I did not want to buy candy, I did not want to open my door to Trick-or-treaters.  I ended up taping black garbage bags over my windows and sitting in a dark house.  Later that week, I had to bail on a long run because I knew that nothing productive would come of it.  I was in pain from hormonal shifts and after a brisk 30 minute walk, I realized that it would be too painful to run.  That was a bummer.  But the funk didn't stop there.  I became increasingly down in the dumps even though it was sunny outside.  I had issues weighing heavy on me about work and my training (or lack of it), and things I had to get done before time ran out on me.  After a good cry, things started to get better and then I ate a donut.  That donut about killed me.

For five days I was in severe abdominal pain as the donut loitered in my gut.  I despise donuts but I succumbed to it's mesmerizing evil cyclops eye and ate it after a bike ride that left me hungry.  I could have waited to get something else, but the donut was there and it was quick calories.  It was like throwing a grenade in a hole and throwing cement down with it as a chaser.  I wanted the donut to exit my body by any means possible, but it did not want to leave my gut and hung in there as long as it could, making me miserable.  Dr. Krupka first laughed at me for eating the donut and then gave me the "I know I'm preaching to the choir, but..." speech.  The yeast, sugar, and trans fats had inflamed my stomach and intestines so much that things basically shut down and the donut did not move for a good couple of days and festered inside of me.  After the 5th day and some of Dr. Krupka's treatment, I was starting to feel better and wanted to get my long run in.  So, last Thursday, I ran 16 miles and ran the last of that donut out of my system.  I feel so much better and I will never eat another donut again, no matter what.

And that leads me to the present.  I think I may be coming down with some sort of sinus thing.  I had to take a decongestant for the first time in a long time and my nose is drippy.  I want to keep this above the neck and not get it into my chest.  We shall see.  The Banana had a good swim meet a few weekends ago and swam the 1650 yd. event in 22:29:34.  The kid is fast.  He participated in the District Honor Band auditions and made 2nd Chair Trumpet.  He had a great band concert last week that my dad and step mom got to come in to town for.  The report card came with A's and B's on it!  He has one more swim meet and another band concert before the end of the year.  Coaching my Team in Training tri team has been good.  More people are starting to show up to weekend trainings as we start getting closer to 2012.  I am still not in a holiday mood and and a little ticked off at the radio stations that have been playing Christmas music for the past few weeks.  I am sure it will pass.  Once I struggle with getting a 35+ year old fake tree up and mess with the lights until it pisses me off and I throw some ornaments on it, I am sure that I will feel more jolly.  Ok, so next post will contain a pic of the tree.

Until then, later gators!

 Liz

Sunday, October 2, 2011

48 hours...



That is all the time left that I have to get a whole lot of things done.  And I should be doing some of them right now.  Well, it can wait for just a few minutes.

Sometimes there are things that quickly pop up that you make some plans on.  Exciting things!  You look forward to them with anticipation.  It may be one of the things that you have experienced in the past and you LOVED IT.  And then events and schedules merge and the thing you wanted to do must be postponed.  It is frustrating.  Will the opportunity come up again?  How long will I have to wait for things to fall in place one more time?  Bummer.

These are the times you just have to accept that this was not the right time or the best time to embark on that adventure.

But then there are BIG things you plan on.  Months in advance you start working on organizing the major details.  With each major piece of the puzzle put into place, it becomes more real.  There is preparation to do and gear to be purchased.  As the event quickly approaches, all of the details are solidified and it becomes more exciting.  There is no turning back now!  Of course there will be one or two things missing from the picture.  Inevitably, there is something that is forgotten or some favorite lucky charm that had to be left behind.

And suddenly, it is here!  The months of waiting, dreaming, and anticipating are over.  There is a message in your "In Box" to confirm that you will be there in 48 hours.  There is a message waiting to confirm what size you wear.  You have to get everything together, but remember not to take too much.  If you need it that badly, you can get it when you arrive because EVERYTHING you might ever need or want will be there.

The hardest part is the last 48-hours.  The final hours of waiting.  The final details to put in place so that mayhem does not ensue when embark on the journey.  The last days of another year quickly come to a close.

It is pau hana.  Wikiwiki Tuesday!  I am ready!  Hau`oli la Hanau Mo'o!!!

Stay Tuned!!!

Liz  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I want to run!


Well, here it is 22 days later and I was not very good at keeping this blog going.  I again have no excuses other than being lazy and letting other things distract me when I know that I needed to spend time to sit down and let Christi know what is up in my end of the country.  I am sure other than my Dad and Christi, no one else reads this blog anymore and I am partly to blame for that.  I just have not been really interesting lately.  I have no contests and give-aways.  I don't do any product reviews.  I have not been racing.  And right now, I'm not even training.

WHAT??!!??

Yes, I am grounded from training.  How did that happen???  Well, the quick version is that I am human and I am not a professional at this whole sports thing.  Being that I am not a professional that means that even though I have training of my own to get done, I also have a job that requires me to exercise more, I have to be swim team/cross country/band mom, somewhere in there I have to try to do some housework or at least not let my husband think we live in a bear den, and then try to get enough rest and recovery.  I have been good at getting a little of everything done but bad at not getting much of anything done.
I was feeling like I had been cheating doing my running indoors on a treadmill but my mileage was over 10 miles and with morning temperatures over 85 degrees, I was just not able to carry enough water with me and I had been having problems maintaining the pace that I needed to be running at.  The treadmill let me be close to a bathroom, close to more water, and to stay on pace or be spit off the back of the treadmill.  I set the incline to 2% and got the speed up, but I am sure that I was still cheating.  However, I have mastered running 14 miles on a treadmill.  

I did try to run outside, but with all of the smoke from the Texas wildfires, it was making my lungs hurt and my esophagus feel like it was lined with broken glass, and since I have asthma, it was back to the treadmill.  Again, I felt like I was cheating and not really putting in the effort that I needed to.  On the second week of the month, I failed to recognize that it was the start of the next four-week cycle and I was on remote control and did the old workouts rather than the new ones.  That was a forehead slap there.  I was too busy with getting other things done to pay attention to my training.  Bad.  I had great TRX and Kettlebell workouts, but it is the running workouts that really matter.

My long runs were getting done, but I was secretly dreading them.  I dreaded them because there was some chick who always seemed to be on the treadmill that I wanted to run on.  I had the Goldilocks Syndrome going on.  That one is too close to the weight floor.  That one is not balanced and wobbles above 4.7 speed.  That one is too close to the mirrors.  I was also dreading the long run because somewhere between 9 and 10 miles, the pain set in.  The pain was different every time and it moved all around.  One time it would be burning in my calves, next it would be pain in the right oblique or in my left lower abdomen.  Sometimes it was in the left shoulder and then the next week it was in the right shoulder.  This pain would make the last three to four miles really rough.  I had to grit my teeth and just get through it.  ARGH!!!

Dr. H was great about getting me unwound and unbound but the pain would just return in a different place on the next long run.  Dr. H said that my adrenal glands were probably fired up from the car accident and recommended that I try to see Dr. Krupka.  I had heard of the amazing Dr. Krupka before from my Sports Stretch therapist, Kimberly.  Dr. Krupka was highly recommended so I was willing to wait a full week to get in to see him.  I kept going with my workouts and waited.

Last week when I got to see Dr. Krupka, he explained to me that along with chiropractic work, he practices Functional Medicine.  Functional Medicine is to look at root of the problem and not to just treat the symptoms.  After a little question and answer time and some muscle testing, Dr. Krupka confirmed that my adrenal glands, my ovaries, and my pituitary gland were all in a cage fight with each other and that we needed to figure out what was causing this.  Dr. Krupka suspects that I might have a gluten intolerance that I have also suspected in the past.  I was told to do a saliva collection and send off to a lab to look for certain markers for adrenal fatigue and gluten intolerance.  I was also told to try to avoid gluten for a week and to see what would happen.  So my spit sample is in a lab and I am waiting for the results.
I saw Dr. H the next day and he tuned me up and told me that I needed to take one week off from exercise just to be pro-active.  WHAT?!?  I called Coach Woofie and reported to him what Dr. K and Dr. H had to say and he agreed that I needed to take one week off from workouts and if I could, one week off from work since work involves me exercising.  WHAT??!!??  Ok, how about I take the time off in another week when I have a good excuse to goof off (more on that in a bit).  The members at the gym would never understand that I had to take a week off.  Well, yes they would, but they would not be happy about it.  WAIT, is this what they were all talking about?  I had stressors in my life that were causing the glandular and hormonal smack-down and I just had to walk away for a while and let everyone else get their knickers in a twist for a week.

The next day I had my long run and I told myself that I was just going to run 7 or 8 miles.  During my cycling class that I teach at 5:30 am, I felt a muscle twinge in the inside of my right leg that Dr. H had told me to be aware of that was a signal that the adrenal glands were crying "Uncle".  I got on the treadmill after class and within 3 minutes I hit the STOP button and bailed on the workout.  I felt like a looser.  I took it easy the rest of the day.  Friday was a little easier, but I had stuff I had to get done, so skipping the workout actually gave me more time.  Saturday was h.a.r.d.  I was coaching my TNT tri TEAM and they were doing a run.  I did the water stops but it hurt watching everyone else running and it was sad to watch the shirtless runner boys run off into the distance and I could not run after them.  I just had to climb in the Element and go home.  

On Sunday, I realized that some of the a few of the symptoms from the adrenals were going away such as the crazy irregular heart beat when I would go to bed, and the eyelid twitch.  I guess the extra sleep was helping, but I was still waking up after 8 hours feeling like I needed more sleep.  Some things were worse.  The hives on my arms, shoulders, and chest were out of control and on Saturday night I woke myself up five times scratching my arms.  I was scratching my arms in my sleep!  Dr. K said that the hives might get worse as my body was trying to clear out the toxins from the gluten and that because I was not working out and sweating, the hives were going to get worse.  

On Monday, I was in a funk.  I felt tired, ugly, and sad.  I felt like a disappointment to others for not getting my sh*t together and getting done what needed to be done.  I forgot to get someone signed up for a swim meet, I didn't check back on a confirmation to send the kid to a swim clinic, I accidentally ate a slice of bread.  I felt like I just needed to crawl in a hole and disappear.  But I could not do that, I had too much that I had to get done!  I had to go to work and teach classes, bake bread for lunch, finish laundry so the kid had clean running clothes, pick him up from tutorials, drive him to swim practice, get after him to work on his English project due later this week, and have him practice his trumpet.   I wanted to pull my hair out and then Greyhound threw me a bone and put me in contact with a spectacular trumpet instructor who gives private lessons at the high school up the road.   THANK YOU GREYHOUND!!!

After some sleep, a chance to sweat while teaching my cycling class, an opportunity to spend a gift card from Lululemon that I had received from a PT client, a nice quiet lunch, a handful of mallow creme pumpkin candy, a spectacular find of a $16 bikini to take with me on my adventure next week, and a thumbs up from Bud's band director to take private lessons from Mr. Kavanaugh, my day was 120% better.  I was smiling again!  And my hives were under control and not itchy!

I have six more "sleeps" until I get to escape while my family has to fend for themselves and my clients at the gym have to figure out how to get by without me for a while.  I will be on a secret mission on Saturday, October 8th.  I cannot tell anyone about it until after it happens because it is that Top Secret!  It is such an AMAZING Birthday treat that I am almost giddy.  I am grinning from ear to ear right now!  
So sorry for all the downer stuff earlier but check back in the next few days to see how the transition back to workouts goes and how the Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole Mission goes down!
Stay tuned and have a great day kids!

Later Gators,

Liz

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Well, there went August...

     I have been bad about updating this blog for many reasons.  The main reason has just been pure laziness.  I know that people do not like to reveal their shortcomings but I will admit that I am lazy, a procrastinator, and perpetually late...for everything.  Even if I write down a "To do" list, program in electronic reminders in my iPhone, or set the clocks 13 minutes ahead in my house, I still end up not getting things done, I am down to the wire on getting projects finished, and I am always 5 minutes late showing up somewhere.  I hate it.  I have tried working on these faults for years and I get a few successes here and there, but then things go back to normal, and I am rushing around to get things completed, I roll up late, and something just never get done.
Oh yeah, the kid and I ran a 5K.  More lame excuses...
     So here are my lame excuses.  The last weekend of July, I was attending a TRX Suspension Training Sports Medicine certification.  From time to time I get clients who come to me after being set free from their physical therapist or doctor to resume exercising again.  Most times, these clients are weak and are still hesitant to use the previously injured joint or limb.  This training was attended mainly by chiropractic doctors, physical therapists, and some personal trainers.  I am in no way a personal training superstar but the other 20 people in that training seemed to have very limited experience working with clients and patients, and did not have very good communication skills.  I know that this is probably not true, but I guess I have high standards.  The training was at a very nice (read very exclusive and pricey) health club in town and it had a beautiful Pilates studio.  It made me wonder why I am still working at the gym where I do work.  I realized that it was my clients.  I have taken pay cuts and other lame excuses from this company and continue to work there because I really like my clients and many of them have been working with me for over five years.  Some as long as eleven years.  I would feel guilty for leaving.

CAAAAKE, YUMMY CAAAAKE...
     Ok, so immediately after that, the next week was busy with the Team in Training Kick-Off and our first TEAM training.  I am coaching 34 athletes to compete at the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, TX on April 1st and at the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 on May 5th.  For all but two of the group, this will be their first 70.3 distance.  So my excuse for not blogging was that I was building training calendars and workouts for the first 9 weeks of training.  Lame excuse, I know.  You want an even lamer excuse?  I had to bake a birthday cake for someone.  Not just any old birthday cake.  A Red Velvet and White Vanilla checkerboard cake with white butter frosting and decorated up nicely with roses on top.  The heat made frosting the cake a B-TCH but I finally got it to set up.  Super lame.  Come on, everyone bakes cakes from scratch.  I have no excuses.
Pretty cool packets for packet pick up.
     The same weekend, I was a very proud mommy.  My kid did his first sprint triathlon!  He rode one of my bikes and I had some Team in Training gear that he could wear.  He had a dash to the finish with the boy that would take third place by one one hundredth of a second.  He was not too pleased about that.  Of course, he had a great swim and averaged over 17 mph on the bike, but the heat we have been experiencing here in Texas made him take a few walking breaks on the run and put him in that mad dash to the finish position.  I waited to see him cross the finish after I had finished and I am sure I had a stupid smile on my face.  My race was good.  I was second in my AG for the swim, 7th on the bike with a 22.3 mph average and way low on the run with a 9:04 average even though I was running the entire time and passing people.  I guess it was not as fast as I thought.  I ended up 7th overall in my AG out of 50+ women.  Meh...

How come I look short in this photo???
     During the week, we went to the local movie theater to see the live presentation of Drum Corps International's World Championships.  It was pretty awesome and we ended up seeing many of the same performances that we saw live at our school district's football stadium at the end of July.  I did not expect that I would be spending 5.5 hours in a movie theater and having to eat movie theater food.  Oh well, the kid is super motivated about playing his trumpet so I will take one for the team and eat a rubbery hot dog.


     The second weekend of August I had to go to San Antonio for another TRX Suspension Training certification.  It was a nice opportunity for me to get over to see my parents in Canyon Lake and to give the kid one last little trip before school had to start.  Since the training was not a Level 2 training like the Sports Medicine training, there were more personal trainers in attendance.  It is always fun to see big muscle dudes sweating bullets and struggling with the TRX Suspension Trainer.  I had the same instructor that I had when I took a training back in March and she knew that I had really been using the TRX Suspension Trainer both for my clients and for my own training.  She had me demonstrate some of the advanced exercises while she talked to the group.  I guess that cemented my credibility as being not just a skinny old chick.  When we were split up into groups later in the training to work on a case study, all of the male trainers in my group were stoked that I was in their group.  I guess the other chicks at the training were not so stoked about that.

     The third week of August was not so fun.  I was on my way home from a Sports Stretch session and when I was at a complete stop in traffic, I was rear ended with enough force that it sent me crashing into the car in front of me.  The worst part was that the person who hit me left the scene of the accident and off all of the other people in drive-home traffic, no one stopped to offer any information or to prevent the person from leaving the accident.  I had no witnesses.  I can only say that the car that hit me was silver and not a truck, mini van, or SUV.  That's it.  I was able to get uninsured motorist coverage and I only have to pay $250 on all repairs rather than the $1000.00 deductible.  My 8 month old car had over $6500 of damage and it is still in the body shop.  Thankfully, I have not had any neck or back pain and my Sports Chiropractor, Dr. Hassenbank, has been taking good care of me.  The first week after the crash my run workouts were not very good and they have gotten much better as he has been working out some issues.
And we drove all over town looking for this thing...

     I spent the next weekend coaching my TNT 70.3 TEAM through their first bike workout and doing Middle School check-in.  I had to do a little back-to-school shopping and that put me in a foul mood and I got flack at home for spending too much or not getting cool enough stuff.  I give up.  I'm just not cool.  Deal with it.

We both look a little hot and tired.
     School and swim team started back up on the 22nd and it has been a whirlwind of drop offs for swim practice, cross country practice, and band sectionals.  I also had to help out with our Team in Training Nations Tri Team as they hosted Dave Scott for the Clear Lake International Triathlon.  Dave Scott is our National Coach and he did the race in Team in Training gear.  Very cool!  On Sunday, we had a tri camp with Dave Scott that had about 27 participants.  We had a great venue for the camp out at the Houston Oaks Country Club.  We had a swim session in the 25 yd pool and then an open water session in the lake just a few steps away.  I was on kayak duty for that.  Dave gave some great stretch and flexibility training and then the group went out for a 15 mile ride.  While they were gone, the volunteers had to get things ready for the run training and strength training session.  We had a big open air pavilion to use for the strength training session and then run drills were done on the outfield of a baseball diamond just a short walk away.  A 2 mile run had been planned but the temps soared to 109 and we called that off.  Lunch was great and then Dave finished up with a nutrition lecture.  Everyone at the camp seemed to have a good experience.  The nice thing was that 80% of the camp attendees had no relationship with Team in Training and it was a great way to show people in the triathlon community that Team in Training does not work with only beginners.  We have Ironman finishers, Boston Marathon qualifiers, Triathlon National Championship qualifiers, and a Triathlon World Championship qualifier in our Houston TEAM.

     This last week has been all about settling into my new school year schedule.  My training is coming along well with "Weapon XL".  I am running a little faster and I have been hitting all the workouts that Coach Woofie has given me.  I still do not know which half marathon I will be running for time this fall.  I should find out in the next few weeks.  It has been lonely training on my own.  But really, who wants to run 12 miles on a treadmill?  No one.  It has just been too hot outside the past month but we have had a temperature break this past weekend and hopefully I can get back to running outside.
And we took care of this lost pup until the owners were found.  They were ecstatic to have Cinnamon back home.

     I had two interviews at personal training centers.  They are both great places but I think one of them might be a better fit since it is not too far away from where I already work and most of my clients would follow me and I would be able to do Pilates work.  I have to be patient.  Both locations would have nothing ready for me before mid-October.  

     So basically, I have had no good excuses to not update my blog.  Pure laziness.  I have been a bad influence on my kid.  I will try to do better job in September.

Later Gators,

Liz


Friday, July 22, 2011

Long Run


Protocol Four: Run ten miles broken into 3, 4, and 3 mile sections at a 9:00 min/mile pace with 5 minutes of jogging between. Foam Roll after.

Findings: Subject hid at back of cage most of the morning as if sensing there was another test today. Subject was finally coaxed out of cage with the promise of a new setting for the protocol. The subject was given plenty of water and audio stimulation to use on the run and was released out on the path that it usually takes but was diverted under the bridge rather than sent over it. This path provided shade and helped the 85 degree environment seem more manageable. Once off the path, the subject was sent out in the heat and sun to a park to catch another trail that was a single-track that followed a creek bed. The subject had to slow the pace to deal with the technical route that not only twisted and turned, but had climbs and drops. At mile 2.5, the subject emerged from the trees and undergrowth to cross over a roadway and bridge to dodge back into the pines. H2O was administered. The path now widened and provided the challenge of soft sand and piles of horse dung that were along the trail. Around mile 3.5, the subject had to run along a drainage ditch to avoid entering a stable. The drainage ditch provided three "hills" to go over at the bridges. At the third bridge and mile 4.5, the subject was allowed to turn around and return to base. H2O was administered. The sand on the way back slowed the pace for the subject and the subject appeared to tire. Once back on the technical single track, the subject had to take more walking breaks and walk the larger hills. H2O was administered. The heat now registered 90 degrees. The subject emerged from the woods and proceeded across the road to the path to the path back to the first bridge. Again the subject had to walk to deal with heat and exhaustion. The subject had to work hard to make it back to base and run the last mile.

9 miles total were covered in a time of 1:49:38. The subject seemed dejected but relieved to have the protocol come to an end. Subject was set under a stream of cool water to lower body temperature and remove sand, dirt, and sweat. Subject was rewarded with three pieces of cold homemade pizza. Foam rolling took place after the subject was fed and watered. Subject continued to sweat for an additional 30 minutes as the body temperature returned to homeostasis.

Subject will be asked to do another TRX protocol on Friday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weapon XL Update


Protocol Three--Balance on Wobble Board to warm up and then 5 x 1 minute of jumping rope followed by Ankle & Foot Workout 1.1 (Important, do not skip). TRX 1 workout + TRX Row to Rotation 1 X 10 only.

Findings: Subject worked on Wobble Board in the Frontal, Sagital, and Transverse plane for 8 minutes followed by the jump rope sessions. Subject noted that quads were sore from yesterday's run intervals and that the Gastrocnemius and Solieus were fatiguing fast in the first two jump rope intervals but that the burning sensation abated in the last three intervals. Foot and Ankle workout was completed and Subject noticed the dynamic stretching helped to loosen up the lower leg. TRX work was completed in a timely manner and the Subject was still able to maintain core control and form at the end of the workout.

Workout was short to allow for extra recovery before the Subject's lengthy protocol tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 2: Weapon XL


Protocol Two-- 2 x 1 mile @ 7:00 min/mile pace or incline of 2 and speed setting of 8.3 on the treadmill with 2:00 minute easy jog recovery. Follow up with foam rolling to the Piriformis, Hamstrings, and IT Band.

Findings: Subject was apprehensive to begin session. With prodding, and keeping the treadmill on a low speed for the first 3 minutes, the subject began easy jogging. Two outcomes were going to be looked at. One, would the subject suffer from fatigue due to cycle ergonometer intervals that had just taken place; and two, would the subject suffer from a GI Track failure. There were only two high intensity efforts, but the subject seemed daunted at the intensity of the session. As the first "test" session began, the subject kept close contact of the left upper appendage on the treadmill. The subject did not seem to be hanging on, but rather the contact seemed to provide mental comfort that the subject would not be thrown off of the back of the treadmill. Audio stimulation was provided and the first selection was chosen to keep the subject relaxed for the first portion of the "test" Breathing stayed even and lower appendage turnover was quick and efficient. The subject even became confident enough to remove contact with the upper appendage to the treadmill. No drift or decrease in pace was noted. Audio stimulation was changed to promote an increase of speed. Subject responded well and breathing remained under control. At the conclusion of the first 7:00 minute test, the subject's heart rate was still in the high aerobic zone without having gone into the "Red Zone". 2 minutes of power walking with an additional 2 minutes of easy jogging was given to recover and prepare for the second interval.

"Test" #2 unfolded in much the same way as "test" #1, but with one difference. The audio stimulation was changed to reverse the stimulus. Rather than leading off with a relaxing sequence and concluding with a selection that would promote increased energy and tempo, the down tempo sequence was administered at the half way point to the end. Even though the stimulus was provided by N.E.R.D., the subject was caught "clock watching" on more than one occasion to assess how much time was left in the "test" and the breathing became ragged in the final 60 seconds of the interval. Despite this, the subject was able to successfully complete the "test" the second time and did not experience a loss of power or a failure of the GI track.

Foam rolling was administered to the Piriformis, Hamstrings, and Illio-Tibial Band on both sides of the subject. Subject seemed to respond well to the deep tissue work and there were no instances of agitation such as growling or snapping. Proper hydration, nutrition and cooling were administered.

Normal activity will resume until the administration of tomorrow's protocol.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weapon XL


Project Commence:

Protocol One--20 X :30 seconds @ level 9 on treadmill and incline of 2 or outside with a speed of 7:00 min/mile, with :30 recovery of half speed.

Findings: Subject is restless and seems ready to begin. Responds well to heat, humidity, and lack of air circulation. Initial intervals seem overly easy as there are some slight negative grades. As solar radiation is activated, subject seems to fall into a more labored recovery sequence with excessive sweating and panting. After 10 X the interval, subject is allowed to walk through the recovery. Subject grumbles about mild GI track discomfort. Second half of intervals begin and subject is instructed to run at half speed for recoveries. Subject is allowed to increase the audio stimulus to enhance performance. Intervals become increasingly more difficult for subject to produce a quick cadence and to cover the same distance as the interval before. Subject again grumbles about GI track discomfort. With three intervals remaining, subject must slow the recovery speed to avoid overtaking three other test subjects on bicycles. At the conclusion of the protocol, subject is allowed to walk for 20 seconds and then must run at half speed back to project base.

Proper cooling, hydration, and fueling were administered. Subject avoided any leaks or breaks in the system.

Normal activity is resumed until tomorrow's protocol.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm In!


I was lucky enough to get a lottery slot for the Houston Marathon on January 15th, 2012. And it is just in time! Over the past seven weeks, I have gone from fit to bleh. I have been out running with my longest run in at 9.54 miles. Most of my run outings are around 4 to 5 miles. I have not been in the pool since Ironman Texas. My bike still has the race wheels on it and my bike shoes are still attached to the pedals from race day. I have been using my TRX, but I need to foam roll my muscles.

The worst of it has been all the eating and partaking of adult beverages that I have been doing. Things were great until just about two or three weeks ago and all of a sudden the extra weight leaped on my body by just looking at food or being within three feet of it. Even though I am still able to purchase the smallest size shorts that J.Crew offers, I feel like a bloated tick that got picked off of a dog in late summer.

I know that this is the natural order of things and that I was starting to look like I had a terminal disease, but I feel yucko. I go and run just to get the G.I. track moving so that I won't go days without not carrying around several days worth of meals. But it is so hot outside in this city. If I don't get my run started by 6:30 in the morning, then it will be brutal if I try to run longer than six miles. When the temperature is already 80 degrees before the sun comes up, you have to be careful in the heat.

But there is hope! Coach Woofie gets home from his vacation this week and he said that I should have a new training plan in the next week to ten days. It will be run focused without much bike or swim other than just for cross training or to give the legs a break from all the pounding from running. I have one more triathlon on the schedule. I will be taking part in the Bridgelands Sprint Tri on the first Sunday of August. I will have a training partner over the next few weeks in my kid. I signed him up to do his first Sprint Distance tri. He is a little apprehensive but he will do great. The kid can swim, I have an extra bike for him to ride, and he is a good runner.

And boy, can that kid swim. This past weekend, Bud had the Ponderosa Invitational. He had to qualify just to be able to participate in this meet and he qualified in all five of his individual events. Even better, he swam faster in his events than his seed times and made the finals for his 50 Free, 50 Breaststroke, and 50 IM events. Best yet, he swam faster in the finals than he did in the preliminary races. He swam in the B Finals and came in 1st place in the 50 Free and 50 Breaststroke and was at least a full body length ahead of second place finisher. He ended up being the 9th highest point winner for the Boys Age 12. I am very proud of my Aquaman!
Bud and his teammates and coaches after winning 6th place overall for the Progressive Relay.

Well, it is time to go pick him up at swim practice.

Later Gators!

Liz

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Survived!


Walt Disney World was a blast. The only bad thing about a vacation like that is that you kind of need a vacation from your vacation when you get back home. Well, the kid was surprised and he had a great time and that was what I wanted. It will not be long before he will not want to go to The Magic Kingdom and he will not want to take a vacation with him mom so I had to seize the opportunity to do it. Here are a few of the highlights...

On the flight to Orlando, we had no seat assignments. I ended up sitting in an emergency exit row with lots of leg room. Yahoo! I got to sit next to a woman who's excess flesh swallowed up the armrest that contained my tray table. I tried to be polite when asking if I could retrieve the tray table to set my $7 mojito down. I don't want to recall how that tray table was extracted from the armrest. Our flight was late getting to Orlando (NO! Really???) and after picking up the rental car, we were so hungry that we made a "run for the boarder" to the first Taco Hell we saw and got some fast grub. The resort was in Celebration, FL and was a suite with a kitchen. Nice.

Day one was spent at Epcot. We did all the major attractions and hit some things we had not done in the past. I was there for the food. The Land pavilion has the best food. For lunch I had a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts. The kid had a seared Ahi tuna noodle salad. Later for dinner we had wonderful green salad and a sampling of grilled Mahi Mahi on a bed of rice pilaf with mango and red bell peppers, beef loin tip on braised kale, and turkey breast on rosemary mashed potatoes. YUM! Dessert was a nectarine and raspberry crisp with vanilla bean whipped cream. I did a little shopping in the Japan pavilion and got me a bunch of cool little things all with koi on them. I have a thing for koi. They are so peaceful to watch gliding through the water. The fireworks were over by 9:30 and it was time to head back to the resort and get some sleep.
Bud on Test Track
My delicious Grilled Beet Salad...
and our fantastic dinner at The Garden Grill.
Crush the Sea Turtle!
One day soon I will not be on the other side of the glass, I will be swimming with one of these.

Day two was spent at the Magic Kingdom. We hit the Fast Pass for Space Mountain and then the kid proceeded to get me nauseated and give me a headache on the spinning teacups in Fantasyland. Yay! We saw the parades and had dinner in the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eore. I had some yummy prime rib there. After the sun went down, we saw the fireworks and then hit more rides. The park did not close until 1 am so we had time to rave out at a dance party with Chip and Dale, and Stitch in Tomorrowland, ride Space Mountain again, and hit Thunder Mountain Rail Road five times in a row before the park closed.
Ooo, those teacups made me feel bad.
Party Rockers in the House Tonight....

Day three was at Hollywood Studios and I needed serious coffee. I might have snoozed for a few moments during the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and possibly during the Muppets 3D movie. Not as many rides at this park so it was a bit more low key and after the Fantasmic laser light show and fireworks, we headed home to get some sleep.

Day four was at Animal Kingdom. Lunch was at the tasty Yak & Yeti (hehe, get it?) where I had a plate of tamarind chicken and a slice of mango pie and the kid had some lo mien, and a sorbet trio. We hit a few things we had not done before such as the Dinosaur ride and the Bird show. The Dinosaur ride was fun enough that we went on it two more times before we left around 7pm. The best part was doing the silly poses for the pictures and looking rather calm or goofy while everyone else in the picture was screaming their head off. The kid rode the Everest Expedition six times. I passed because I refuse to pay for cardiac arrest.
Tigger, is that you???
Would you like a snake with those fries?
Gigantic Fruit Bat
Sometimes this is how you have to feed them.

After Animal Kingdom, we went back to Magic Kingdom because it was open until midnight and we could get another 5 hours of WDW goodness in before the end of the trip. I stuck to my guns and bought myself one of those huge caramel apples that I always want but decline from getting. I ate the whole thing. It was delicious. It was good for me. It was an apple. It was justified.
Would you like an apple my pretty?
Yes, I would like the Minnie Mouse caramel apple please.

It began to thunder as rain clouds headed in and the outdoor rides were closed down. After seeing the line was too long at the Haunted Mansion, we got to Pirates of the Caribbean and saw that it was shut down. All the "Cast Members" were standing outside informing people of the tragic news. I looked at the kid and said, "You know what this means don't you?" "IT'S A SMALL WORLD!!!" I was met with groans from the kid and laughter and smiles from the "Cast Members" and we took off as it started to rain.
It's a Small World!

The rain seemed to send a lot of people home early and we were able to get into a bunch of rides that we had never done before because the lines were too long. That was fun. We had a late snack (and a cup of coffee) and saw the fireworks and ran to Space Mountain and were the last riders through the ride. Here is our silly photo.
Photobomb!

Thursday was time to pack and check out and we headed to Downtown Disney to do some last minute shopping for the kid and have some lunch before heading home. On the way to the airport the kid said, "This was a really fun trip." Yes, yes it was and we will have a bunch of memories for just the two of us. The plane was delayed four hours but what can you do. We got home late and it was straight to bed.

And it has been back to work, back to swim team, back to laundry, and back to 100 degree days in H-Town. I am ready to get back to training and I will be contacting Coach Woofie to get me some strength training and interval work to get started on. The gluttony and sloth are over and it is time to get busy again.
Shutting it down past midnight.

Stay tuned to find out what is in the works for the future. Trust me, it is exciting!

Later Gators,

Liz

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Feeling Magical!


I was super sneaky and I managed to fool the kid big time! After his swim meet in the morning, I distracted him by running some errands and then making him take a shower. While he was in the shower, I took the opportunity to take our pre-packed and hidden carry-on bags out to the car. Not more than ten minutes out of the shower, he fell asleep on the floor and I hopped in the shower and got cleaned up and ready to go.

Waking up the kid, he was not wanting to go with me to "get something to eat" and he wanted to go back to sleep. I had to be persistent to get him to put his shoes on and get out to the car. He was a bit cranky, but I knew that would change. I told him that I forgot some kettlebells at a client's house where I do some training and I had to pick them up. That put us going in the direction of the airport without him thinking anything was strange. Then I missed the exit. Oops! I said I would head to the ramp near the airport to get us back on the tollway. Again, he suspected nothing. When we made the U-turn to get on the ramp, I fooled him again and looped around to head to the long term parking. I told him that I had lied and that I did not need to pick up the kettlebells. He gave me a strange look and asked if we were getting a dog and going to pick it up.

No...

Then I told him that we were going to Disney World....NOW....and our flight would be leaving in 90 minutes. The look on his face was priceless. He quickly looked in the back and asked where luggage was. I had hidden it behind seat behind him and he could not see it. When we parked and got out of the car, I got a big hug.

After a great day at Epcot, we are off to The Magic Kingdom tomorrow. A great birthday surprise for the banana and my last hurrah before starting my training again.

Have a magical day!

Later Gators,

Liz

Friday, June 10, 2011

Covert Ops


For those of you that read to the end of the last post, my Covert Ops Mission is about to commence. There are only three or four people who know about this mission. Of course, immediate family have been informed to the highest degree of accuracy. Co-workers have agreed to employ the cloak and dagger techniques they know so well as to not raise alarm. And then there is one more person who is sworn to secrecy.

This mission has absolutely nothing to do with swimming, biking, or running. Ok, some swimming and some running may take place. My dossiers are ready and my documents are prepared. I may meet with some initial resistance at the beginning of my mission to lure my target into the plan; however, I will not be armed and I do not anticipate extreme force to be used.

Until I receive my signal, it is business as usual. I will just blend in with the locals and try not to stand out, or raise suspicions. This may be my last opportunity to be Mrs. Incredible. Stay tuned to see how the events unfold.
Yes, Elastigirl is now sponsored by UnderArmor.
Later Gators,

Liz

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lazy Liz...That's My New Name!

I started running again this past week. My back hurt when I was standing around or walking, but it was pretty pain-free when I ran. Go figure. It was only short 30 minute runs, here and there and then I did an hour run yesterday. I hit the wall at mile 6. Not bad considering that I took no Shot Bloks with me, it was already 80 degrees at 7 am, and I only ate a half a piece of toast with Nutella on it before the run. I will probably go run here in a few minutes. It is not that I am training again, I am just trying to burn off some of the cookies and Dr. Pepper I have been indulging in over the past two weeks.

I have become "Swim Team Mom" the past few weeks. Not only am I shuttling Bud to two different workouts, but I have been volunteering at the weekend swim meets. I have done parking duty, computer room runner, and concessions. Last week, the neighborhood team took a loss against a team that just had more older girls than we did. They racked up the points pretty fast. This past weekend, we won by a landslide. It is a lot of hot work, but it is better to be moving around than just sitting around in the heat.
Bud had done VERY WELL and so far has qualified for the elite meet the first weekend of July in all of his individual events. The relays are hit and miss. Some of the other kids on his relay teams are not as fast as he is so it has been close for a first or second place finish. As you can see from the photo below, there is no one around him when he swims. No one. He is usually so far ahead it is silly.
We have another meet again this weekend and hopefully it will not be 105 degrees at the meet like it was here in H-Town yesterday. After that, I have a covert operation in the works that is right up there with a SEAL Team 6 operation. I can't say much more or I would have to start killing people to silence them. So your best bet is to stay tuned and see what happens.

Later Gators!

Liz