Thursday, August 31, 2006

Maddie's Birthday!

Maddie is 4 today! I know it is totally lame, but Maddie's B-day is always party day at my house (good excuse). So I'm about to go home to make a big pot of jumbalaya, and have a fun night with the roommies and my pup. Here are some pictures of the Mad-dog from puppy till now.

Her favorite season is winter and this was taken at a park by my house. We go every chance we get.

This one is especially funny, since she is rarely mistaken for a good dog, but would like you to think she is! ; )

Maddie giving me "the teeth". In dog language this means "screw you". She usually gives you the teeth just before she throws a temper tantrum (you have to see it to believe it)

A tired puppy is a good puppy:

She was so tiny when I got her. This was after I had her for a couple weeks. Her first trip out of the house:

So sleepy! This picture was not typical of her personality. She was the most active, crazy, neurotic puppy in the world. She's better now (just kept the neurotic part)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Quick update- swimming rocks!

Went to CSU master's practice this morning and had an awesome workout. I was a little scared when I saw that we had an impending set of 100's

4 x 100 on 1:45
1 x 100 kick on 3:00
4 x 100 on 1:35
2 x 100 kick on 3:00
4 x 100 on 1:30
3 x 100 kick on 3:00

(note, this is in the practice pool which is yards)

I thought- no way am I going to be able to cut this set. So I moved to the slow lane.

I did the first 100 and looked at the clock


WTF? I haven't swam a 1:20 in practice, well... ever! I did another one


No way this can't be right. Another one


So I asked the coach- is this a short pool? Nope 25 yards.


Sunday, August 27, 2006


I have been thinking a lot lately about why it bothered me so much that our patient died the other day. He was a terminal cancer patient (small cell lung cancer), so it was unlikely that he was every going to make it out of the hospital. I had little to no personal interaction with him in my 3 days of following my boss around during rounds. And then it hit me. It wasn’t that he died, it was how. My boss and I heard the code called over the system as we were walking up to round on the patients. Ward 42 room X, bed X. Ward 42- is that one of our patients? I think so. We hurried up and saw our team and 20 other various nurses and residents and students huddled in his room and in the hall. Things didn’t look good. 12 minutes later they got his pulse back. 12 minutes of him lying naked in front of a couple dozen strangers having his chest heaved in. And then he got to take a trip to the ICU. When I say I saw him “die” that’s not totally accurate. I left him in the ICU. I can’t be sure, but I highly doubt he had brain function left after being out for 12 minutes. I have to say, I think that is the absolutely worst way to die. With strangers in a lonely hospital room.

That’s what got me thinking about Carl.

Carl taught me more about medicine than I could ever learn from a book. He was my first patient.

At Case we are given a single patient to follow for our first 2 years of medical school. We can choose either a pregnant woman (and then we would follow her pregnancy and delivery and then the baby thereafter), or an elderly patient. It was a no-brainer for me. I love older people. I savored working at Milwaukee County Stadium and taking my breaks with the old guys talking baseball. Plus, I think that you can learn so much from older people. Not only because of their medical problems, but also because of all of the life experience that they have gained. Maybe it’s because my grandparents didn’t live very long into my life, but I could sit and talk to an 80-year old for hours.

Enter Carl

I was VERY nervous the day I was to meet him for our first appointment. I knew absolutely squat about medicine. I had just started medical school and didn’t even know how to take a blood pressure (not that I’m much better now). I got there 45 minutes early and waited. 10 minutes later an older gentlemen walked into the door with a cane. Buttoned-down shirt and Khaki pants (as always from then on). Somehow I knew it was him. I had called him the night before to introduce myself. He looked at me and said

You must be Jodi

I had just met the person who would influence the rest of my career.

Carl was 76 was I first met him. Reasonably healthy, but had enough health problems to allow me to see him at least once per month. He was unbelievably intelligent. He had been the chair of the History department at Case before retiring a decade or so earlier. He was internet Savvy and liked to watch movies. He was progressive. Moved by one of his daughter’s good friends who was a lesbian, he was a subscriber of The Advocate (how many 76 year old heterosexual males do you know that would do that?). He was a veteran, but that is one thing that we never talked about. He didn’t use the VA system and didn’t want to bring back those memories. But everything else was open to discussion.

For 2 years I met with Carl once a month or so. He and I would get to his appointments a half hour early to talk about movies and history and politics. He became a dear friend to me. Then it was time to move on to graduate school. But I wasn’t ready to let Carl go. I asked his doctor’s if I could continue following him. They didn’t have a problem with it, but none of them thought I would actually do it. I think many MD PhD candidates have tried and failed to keep up their patient’s after leaving the medical school. But they didn’t have Carl as a patient.

I continued following him for the next year. As the year progressed I became more and more instrumental in his care. His heart failure had progressed, so now I would meet him at the door with a wheelchair so he didn’t have to walk to his appointments. I would wheel him back to his car when we were done. In a little way I’d like to think that I allowed him to keep his independence as his health worsened.

Then in October, after I had been following him for 3 years he got sick. Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. It was bad. I found out from his primary care doc that he was going to be coming in for a cardiology appointment. I will never forget this. He came in on a gurney, brought in my 2 guys who worked for the ambulance. It was absolutely terrible to see him like that.

And then he saw me.

Who is that? The transporters asked

That’s my Angel he said

It still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it

The docs put him on a medication that had to be delivered by IV. It was absolutely keeping him alive and he couldn’t have it delivered at home (he lived alone). So Carl was placed in a rehab facility.

I had gotten to know 2 of his 4 daughters because they would come to his appointments from time to time. They appreciated how I had helped their dad and knew that we had become close. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to get the phone call

Daddy has decided that he doesn’t want to continue the drug anymore. All of us (his daughters) are here and they are going to start tapering the medicine soon.

I’ll be right there

I got to the rehab facility at 3pm. All of Carl’s favorite people in the world were sitting around him (his daughters, who lived in 4 corners of the US and were very rarely ever together). He had already said goodbye to each and every one of them. I knew how important that was to him. When I got there they had just started tapering his meds and he was still awake. I told him goodbye and thank you for all that he had taught me over the years.

And then we waited. It was just his daughters and I. I played the role of his medical advocate and ran to get the nurses to up his morphine when the pain got bad. It was just a waiting game at that point.

Carl lost consciousness at about 5pm that night. For the hours that came next I sat with his daughters. We laughed and cried and shared stories about their Dad. We did the crossword. We both hoped and feared that it would end soon. But we knew that he was going to die that night. We knew because he told the hospice care people that he wanted to die that day. We all knew Carl. He would make it happen.

At around 11pm his breathing became shallow. I went to one side of the bed and held his hand. His oldest daughter went to the other side and held his other hand. For 45 minutes we waited. Every time his breath sounded more labored we would hold our breath. There were a lot of tears at the end. Then at 11:45 he passed away.

Some time later the girls took me out to dinner. We spoke freely, mostly small talk, but I felt like I was with old friends. And then they gave me a gift. It was a clock from their Dad’s apartment.

Don’t worry- it’s not a family heirloom. He just really liked it

It is a wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright designed piece that sits on my mantle. Every time I look at it I think of Carl. And I think of how I want to live my life and what kind of doctor I want to be.

I know that I won’t be able to hold all of my patient’s hands when they die, but I really wish that someone was there for them. And that is why it bothered me so much when the patient died on Friday. He didn’t have his family there. There were no friends. And he was alone. After seeing how peaceful and loving the end of life can be, it was terrible to see the juxtaposition.

You will have many friends when you need them

That was straight from my fortune cookie last night. (If you're curious my lucky numbers were 33, 21, 45, 7, 12, 38) So true, and so timely.

I absolutely have some of the best friends in the world. Phone calls from both TriSaraTops and DaisyDuc cheered me up yesterday afternoon. Then my roommate Colleen got home early and we spent the night baking banana bread, drinking Mojitos, and watching The Ladies Man (absolutely hilariously ridiculous movie). I am feeling so much better now.

On to training.

I am currently soaking wet. Had a really fun and interesting brick workout today. The plan was to meet about 3 miles from my house where there is a track right next to a traffic oval without stoplights. 3 miles biking working up to race pace followed by about a half mile run around the track. Repeat as desired TriFrog was our feerless leader.

When I woke up I was disappointed to see the rain. Not that cycling in the rain is the worst thing in the world, but I'm still shaky on the new bike and not quite healed (physically and emotionally) from my 1 crash and 1 fall this month. The thought of riding quickly in a circle in the rain was making me very nervous. I kept checking the forum to see if there was a cancellation or delay. No such luck. And then the voice in my head slapped me across the face

Allright chicken, you are going to be an Ironman. Suck it up

So I went. And I am so glad that I did. It was not only a very fun workout, but everytime I ride my bike, especially in poor conditions, I gain a little confidence. And that is what I desperately need right now. I am acutely aware that the thing that will make me crash more than anything is low confidence in my handling skills.

Things practiced:

1. Bike to run transition
2. Taking off my shoes on the bike
3. Putting on my shoes on the bike
4. Riding in the rain
5. Taking corners (not tight ones) in the aero position
6. Getting my butt out of the house in non-ideal conditions

We ended up doing the workout 5 times. My totals were probably 20 miles on the bike and 2 miles running. I didn't bring the Garmin today so the bike miles are estimated.

Now I have to take a shower. I'm wet and dirty and smelly.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Where's my pot of gold?

Another happy place picture to start this post. Today I need it.

I've had the kind of week that makes me want to find a hole to crawl into and never come out. Yeah, it's been that good. I saw one of our patients die and I got dumped within the course of 12 hours. Slept 5 hours in 2 nights. Got dehydrated and bonked on my run. The 8 hours of tears probably didn't help my fluid status at all. Went to get a prescription filled and found out I've been dropped from insurance coverage (don't ask me why). And I get to spend the rest of the day by myself. Well, that's probably for the better at this point.

If the saying "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is accurate then consider me SuperWoman.

So it's time for some emotional rebuilding again. It's allright, I can certainly use it, and it will be great for my training (like that really matters in the grand scheme of things). I just have to keep telling myself that no matter how many people give up on me, I'll never give up on myself. Keep plugging ahead.

I digress. My training was stalled Thursday and Friday. I did nothing. So today I picked my butt off the floor and decided to get a good day in. Went to spinning at 10am. Well, I got there at 9:15 because I wanted to make sure I got a bike. Did some stretching and spun easy until the instructor came in.

The class was good. I really like spinning because you can cater it to your own ability. I had a moderately hard workout, but wanted to save something for my long run.

12pm. Left for my long run. It was blazing hot and sunny. My goal was 9 miles.

I went out and ran until I told myself "I'm not in Kansas anymore" aka City of Cleveland. That is when I started to get thirsty- mile 4. At mile 5 I noticed that my heart rate was creeping up. At mile 6 I had complete breakdown. My emotions started getting the better of me, I went from a little thirsty to completely dehydrated, and I almost passed out. I walked for a full 5 minutes and wasn't able to get my heart rate below 165. I was 2 miles from my house. I stopped 2 more times to walk, but just told myself I had to keep moving, one foot in front of the other. I let the music carry me. Not the best choices of music. A lot of depressing stuff, but it was stuff I could relate to today and I made it home.

Drank 40 ounces of Gatorade Endurance in 5 minutes. Now I'm feeling better. Well, physically.

Stats: 8.00 miles
calories: 1463 (yeah right)
Total time 1:22:23
Total ascent: 2273 feet
Mile 1 9:44 Avg heart rate 171
Mile 2 9:46 Avg heart rate 176
Mile 3 9:43 Avg heart rate 180
Mile 4 10:02 Avg heart rate 181
Mile 5 10:21 Avg heart rate 187 (meltdown coming)
Mile 6 10:13 Avg heart rate 191 (total and complete brain and engine failure)
mile 7 10:52 Avg heart rate 183
Mile 8 11:35 Avg heart rate 181

So tonight I am going to try to get some sleep. I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Open water swimming is awesome

An opening picture of my happy place- Two of the "apostles" along the Great Ocean Road in Southern Australia. When I look back at the pictures that I took on that trip I am still amazed that I was ever at a place that beautiful.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast:

I haven't been out to my normal Tuesday night Columbia park swim for quite some time. So finally tonight I didn't have other commitments and headed out there. It's a little silly to drive 45 minutes one way just to go for a swim, but it's always worth it. And tonight was no exception. Put in a good mile out there. But before I get any further I want to give a little shout out to IronTriSteve:

Thank you for saving me from the Canadian border patrol.

See, I have a swimming disability. It is the inability to swim in a strait line when sighting into the sun. I've blogged about this in the past. Well tonight on our last pass into the current I managed to line myself up directly into the waves and strait north. For quite awhile. By the time I heard Steve whistling for me the people on shore looked like peas. So thanks for keeping me out of harms way! I was just trying to get in extra yardage.... yeah that's it!

That's the last pool yardage I'll have this week because I am going to go on rounds with my boss Wed-Fri mornings. But I promise I'll get back to Master's practice next week :)

Have a wonderful rest-of-the-week. Enjoy this absolutely beautiful Cleveland weather. It won't last long ;)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Training update

Saturday afternoon:

So after the exceedingly uncomfortable run because of the stomach issues I was having, I decided to go for a bike ride. I was thinking of doing a 20-30 mile ride, just to get comfortable on the new bike. So I got the bike all ready. Put my bottle cages on the new rear seat bottle holder and was ready to go. Noticed it had just started drizzling. Less than desirable, but okay. I'm tough. Let's go (little voice inside my head saying- don't go. You've had a bad enough day already and aren't used to the bike yet, so don't go out by yourself in the rain, idiot. I ignored the little voice.

So I'm off. Within the first 1.5 miles I:

1. Got breezed by 3 cars getting way too close for comfort
2. Lost BOTH bottles from the rear bottle "launchers" (didn't even hit a bump!)
3. Tried to go retrieve bottle #2 and went down. Right on my bruises/road rash from last time!

The little voice in my head became a really big voice in my head "Okay stupid, you can't do this ride with no water, and you're spooked. And bleeding. Go home"

So I went home and let Cindy Crawford kick my ass via VHS


You read the race report. Later that day (9am)I went on a bike ride with some CTCers. It was a very fun group ride. Met a really nice guy from LA that Charlie picked up on the way and heard horror stories about century rides up mountains. Those are the stories that keep me up at night!

Stats for the ride:
30.28 miles in 2 hours (including stop lights and conversation, etc)
New max speed for the bike 35.4 mph (could have went WAY faster if I was comfortable in the new setup. The hill is killer.
Elevation climbed: 1820 feet
Avg heart rate 154 Max 183
Good time had by all!


Woke up at 5:45 intending to do a 4 mile tempo run. I really wanted to keep the miles under 8:20. Ate a banana (new for me. I really dislike them, but they saved me on the century ride so I'm giving them another try), put on the Garmin, and was off.

Does anyone else have problems going hard in the morning? I had such a hard time running this morning. I averaged about 20 seconds per mile slower than I had anticipated. This was not helped by the fact that the Garmin HRM strap is too big! I spent half the run messing with it- had to stop once to try to shove it into my sports bra, then gave up altogether and let it sit around my waist at the end of the run. I realize that they have to make it fit the "average American", and our larger population, but I'm really not that skinny. Anyway, enough of my rant (I figured out a way to make it fit today). My end run stats were 4 miles in 34:30 (8:40 pace). Then I took my bike to work for a 10 miler to top off the day. Not too bad.

So now I'm so sore! Open water swim tomorrow!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Love-a-Stray 5k race report

by guest columnist Maddie

The girl woke up early again today. I saw it coming- she had all of her stuff ready last night. I hate these days. I have to get up early while I'd still like to stay in bed, get dragged around our boring neighborhood (who can possibly do their business at that hour, come on!) and then the girl leaves and I spend a stupid boring day all by myself. Yippee.

But wait... she wants me to come with her! This is so exciting! I wonder where we are going? She doesn't have enough stuff for a visit to grandma and grandpa's and she didn't mention the park. What an exciting adventure! I try my little trick to get the window to open so that I can feel the wind in my face. And it does! The day is just getting better and better.

It's still dark out and we just got off the fast road. Must mean we are getting out of the car soon. Fun!

Hmmm... Never been here before. But there are a lot of people. I love people. And oh my God- dogs! This is the best early morning ever!

This place is cool. The perfect place to do my business. It is just so cool to go to the bathroom in new places. Lets see how many times I can do it today. This whole place will be marked by me by the time we leave.

The girl keeps telling me to stop pulling. I wish she would just let me off this stupid leash. I could do so much exploring here if I was just on my own.

Now she is making me sit by a picnic table. She's filling out some stupid form. Can't I just play? I see a dog- Yes! We are going to say hi. It is a girl dog named Ruby. I'm bigger than she is, but she smells ok and is friendly. Maybe she will be my new friend.

What is going on? All the people are going over and standing together in one place. There must be an important meeting going to happen. Maybe everyone is gathering to say hi to me!

Wait- where is everyone going? Wait up! I'm coming!

We're running! This is so fun! I wish the girl would let me go faster. Ruby is getting away. I could totally keep up with anyone if she would let me off this stupid leash.

1.3 miles later....

Oh, man I'm tired. Can we be done now? I think that I'm done. Ooh- look- water! I'm thirsty so I'm just going to lay here for a little while and drink some water. It's hot out.

Wait- I don't want to run anymore. The stupid girl wants me to run again. I thought this was supposed to be a fun play day. I mean, I used to run with the girl all the time, but I'm just not feeling it today. Maybe I can find something to eat.

Stop pulling me! I just want to walk. That would be fun- let's walk. Hey- look at all the people again! Why are they going that way? Hey up there- I think that everyone is going the other way. Can we follow them? No? Ugh. this sucks.

Look- people with water. I love people. And they are nice. I love it when people pet me. Are we done yet? No? But I'm hot and tired! Hmmm... Problem solving time. Wait- the perfect solution. A drainage ditch. I love these. They are all full of water and mud. My favorite. I am going to smell so sweet.

Hey up there- I'm just going to hang out down here in the mud for awhile, kay? Nice cool mud. Nothing like it. The day is getting better again finally.

Ugh, she's pulling me again. I'm fine here, thank you. Just pick me up later. She never listens. When I don't listen I get yelled at, but she just does what she wants. Not fair.

Ok, ok, I'll walk.

Hey- there's Ruby coming back to say hi! What a sweet girl. Maybe I can play with her again sometime. Hey look, we're back to where all the people were. Cool.

Why do I have to run through that arch thing? This is seriously some weird stuff. Maybe the girl will let me just stay home and nap next time. That was hard work.

Oh my God! Does that nice lady have what I think she has? Is it a treat? YES! I love these weird race things. I wish the girl would bring me to these more often.


Someone told me my race time was 37:10.1. I think that that's a pretty sweet time. I know cause they gave me this big trophy at the end. I must have won the whole race!


Mile 1 8:50
Mile 2 11:08
Mile 3 15:18

About the author: Maddie is a 4 year black lab mix who lives with the girl and 2 other people in a big brick house. Her favorite activities are eating, sleeping, and long walks in the park. Her favorite foods are green peppers, grapes, pig ears, the girl's underwear, and anything that can be found in the trash.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

First real "long run"

I've finally decided to hit the ironman training and sticking to a more defined training schedule. Today was my first "long run". I put it in quotes because I am just starting and it is so short compared to a lot of guys out there. My goal was 7 miles at 10 minutes per mile or so. I wanted to be in the zone 2-3 area. Since I think that my lactate threshold is around 190 my zones are:

Zone 1- 126-161
Zone 2- 162-172
Zone 3- 173-181
Zone 4- 182-189
Zone 5a- 190-193
Zone 5b- 194-201
Zone 5c- 202-210

I set out from my house and headed towards the Shaker Lakes area. It is beautiful over there and you can do a fair amount of running on flat trails which is good for the ole knees. So I loaded up my MP3 player with a bunch of mellow artists:

Norah Jones
KT Tunstall
Eliott Smith
John Mayer
The Shins
Alanis Morissette

And I set out on my way. About 2 miles in I got the first signs of GI discomfort. Just a little stomach cramping, no big deal. I was feeling good on the run, so forge ahead! Then at mile 4 I realized that I managed to get myself totally turned around and lost in Shaker Heights. Hmmm... A lot of roads that I don't recognize. More stomach cramps, starting to get more urgent. The bushes are starting to look quite attractive...
Then I saw Lee road- Yay! But in a moment of confusion, abdominal pain, and stupidity I turned the wrong way. It took me about 1-1.5 miles to realize that I had gone in the wrong direction. Fine, I'm still on Lee road, I can find the house now, it will just take awhile. Well, the rest of the run was way uncomfortable with the cramping coming to a head about a mile from my house. I picked it up a bit and just made it home in time to have a true Dumb&Dumber moment. The joys of running!

Total distance: 8.13 miles
Total time: 1:17:57
Avg Pace 9:35/mile
Avg heart rate 172 bpm
Calories : 1489 (I don't believe this stat- too high)

Mile 1 9:43 HR 164 Zone 2
Mile 2 9:29 HR 168 Zone 2
Mile 3 9:30 HR 170 Zone 2
Mile 4 9:56 HR 173 Zone 3
Mile 5 10:36 HR 173 Zone 3
Mile 6 9:18 HR 173 Zone 3
Mile 7 9:08 HR 177 Zone 3
Mile 8 8:56 HR 180 Zone 3
8.13 10:06 HR 184 Zone 4

I'm going to try to get a ride in this afternoon once the weather starts looking better.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bummer Day

Bad news today. My dad broke his ankle this morning and needs surgery. So for those of you who haven't met my dad he is the person that initially got me into triathlons. He did a couple when I was younger and I always thought it was just so dang cool. So then when I got into them this year he decided to give them another go. He trained all summer and then came down for the Cleveland triathlon. It was so much fun to do a race with him! He did awesome, too and got 2nd in his age group. Here is a pic of the two of us after the awards ceremony:

So since then his training has been awesome. He got up to 30 miles biking and 5 miles running and was planning to do an olympic distance at the end of the year. We are also signed up for the Las Vegas half marathon... then disaster struck:

His name is Murphy.

Murphy is one year old now and likes to chase things. So this morning when my dad and Murphy were tearing ass down the road on their run/walk Murphy saw a squirrel. My dad's body was able to twist with Murphy, but not his ankle.

So being the stoic/painless guy he is, my Dad grabbed his foot (which was facing the wrong way) and popped it back into place. He then walked home and told my mom what happened. "let's just wait and see how it feels tonight" he said. "no" was my mom's response "we are going to the emergency room right now to get X-rays". So off they went.

The X-rays showed a spiral fracture of his fibula and possible hairline of his tibia. So they casted it and he went to work (he is totally nuts).

He gets a call later and the doctor wants to see him. More bad news- although he did a surprisingly good job realigning his bones on the fly, they need to do surgery because the tib/fib isn't quite where it is supposed to be. But by now since he went to work the leg is too swollen to operate. So my poor dad is laying with his foot in the air on ice trying to get the swelling down so they can do the surgery on Tuesday.

He is totally bummed out by the news. Me too. I was so proud of him and it was so cool to be able to talk to him about my training and he knew exactly what I was talking about. I have no doubts he will be right back into it next year. I'm sure watching Ironman in June will get him pumped back up!

In other news:
Kind of a rest day for me. I am doing my very first computrainer workout tomorrow with Brooks and he told me to make sure I had fresh legs for the diagnostics. Lets see how high I can get that heart rate! So I just biked to work and back (10 miles) and then took my dog to the park and we did a short 2 mile hike. She loved it! And came home smelling like wet dog. Her favorite smell :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Heart rate zoning

Did the normal Wednesday night newbie run tonight. There were actually people there this time! I was starting to get a complex because since I have taken over the run for Jen (she was busy training for and doing the Barb's race HIM) the attendance has been really bad! So it was fun, and Espeed made it out which was great since I haven't talked to her for awhile.

The topic of todays discussion is: Heart rate zones. Or more specifically, why is my heart rate so freakin high?

Yesterday- 3 mile tempo run- heart rate stayed over 190 for the last 2 miles!

Tonight- 4.5 mile super duper easy recovery run- Average heart rate 165, max 188. So I was in Zone 4 for a run that was paced such that I feel like I could do it forever. Is this normal? I can't even imagine trying to do a zone 3 run. It would be like 15 minute miles! That would be painful.

Stats of the day:
4.55 miles in 47:35 minutes
Average pace 10:26/mile
total calories: 848 (so this is screwed up somehow. When I ran under a bridge it logged me as going 26 miles per hour)
Avg heart rate: 165
Max Heart rate: 188
Total ascent: 1601 feet (this also seems a little (a lot) steep

I think the Garmin has a little trouble in the middle of the city. Oh, well.

Have a great night everyone! Enjoy this tremendous weather. And start to get excited- the best season is knocking on the door. Fall! Football, apple pie, crisp nights, and 2 months of perfect training weather. The only season of the year that the weather is consistently bearable in Cleveland.

Meet my new baby

Here she is. 48cm, 650 c wheels. Born to me on Saturday 8/12/06. Took her first steps on Tuesday 8/15/06.

Isn't she beautiful? I'm looking for a name currently. Any ideas?

I don't think that I can explain how excited I am (and how worked my credit card is feeling). Took her out on a ride with Brooks last night and it was so fun. Just did 19 miles with 6 big hill repeats in the middle. By the end I was feeling very comfy in the aerobars and was happy with the shifting. Best of all, my legs felt so good afterwords! My knee didn't hurt at all during the ride and we did an awesome brick afterwards.

About the run- Brooks is a much better runner than me, so I get such a good workout trying to keep up. There is just no way that if I would run alone I would push myself that hard. The amazing thing is that after 19 miles of biking and hills my legs felt totally fresh. That is such a relief for me because that is pretty much how I justified the tri-bike expense to myself ("I need a tri-bike so that I can have as fresh legs as possible for ironman"). So we went out and did 3.00 miles in 24:11. For reference, my fastest 5k run to date is 25:40, so my brick was a PR! Sweet.

I also bought another toy that got its first use yesterday. And yes, I am totally done with tri-spending. I got a Garmin Forerunner 305 with HRM. So here are the stats from last night:

19.02 miles
Avg speed 14.0 mph (lots of stoplights)
Max speed: 29 mph
Total calories 813
Avg heart rate: 150
Max heart rate: 191
Total elevation climbed: 1480 feet

3.00 miles
Avg speed: 8:03/mile
Max speed: 7:24/mile
Total calories: 368
Avg heart rate: 185
Max heart rate: 195
Total elevation climbed: 272 feet

Life is good :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

GCT Photos

Here are a couple early photos courtesy of Elizabeth:

Running to T1- wetsuit off!

Pre-race thumb's up

GCT Aquabike Race Report!

This is the most fun I've ever had doing a race! I'm sure that is in part because it lacked my least favorite component- the run, but it was really a blast.

Pre-race- It was amazing how many CTC members were out racing and volunteering. It felt like a club reunion! As we lined up for the swim and spotted the buoys being set down I think most of our eyes got wide. This was for sure to be the longest 1.2 mile swim of all time! You could barely see the end buoy it was so far away, and it was also right into the sun. Not that again! I need to get dark goggles for sure.

The swim was a litte bit delayed because the buoys weren't all out when the race was set to begin at 7am. I think it ended up starting closer to 7:30. I felt bad for the people that had jumped in to warm up because it was a very chilly morning. The water was definitely warmer than the air.

Oh, and I finally found a goo that I Like! Chocolate. This was a very exciting development for my future ironman training and racing :)

Swim: It was a beach start. Good practice for Ironman, except that there were only about 10 people in my wave. I was disappointed that it wasn't a water start because I had to pee so bad! I had never peed in my wetsuit not to mention while swimming so that was to be a first. (I know, TMI). So I ran in and tried to get into my swimming groove. Kind of a bad swim for me. For one, it took me about 10 minutes and a lot of concentration to be able to pee while exercising. And then ewwwww! warm. Gross. But it was such a relief I didn't care too much. Then the other thing that held me back was spotting. Since the sun was so bright I couldn't see the turnaround buoy so I kept having to stop to try to sight. Since the start waves were so small, there weren't many people around. Then on the way back I swallowed a bunch of water and then slowed me down again. Finally, when I got to the shore I decided to try to take off my wetsuit in the water. I have been told that is the quickest way- It just slides off! Wrong! I looked like a total fool when I had to sit down in the water to yank it off my ankles. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

Swim time 41 minutes. If I had to honestly extimate the distance it was probably 1.4-1.5 miles based on mine and some very consistent swimmers I know. (Rob did a 25 last week and a 33 on this course)

Transition- Forgot to put on my gloves. Oh, well

Bike- This is such a challenging and beautiful bike course. I don't think I'll ever find a 58 mile route that I like more than this one. Flat for the first 10 then hilly as HELL for the next 36 with 10-12 of flat to downhill to end up. At the first hill (which is also the worst) I passed 3 men who were walking their bikes up. Don't know if that will ever happen again. Halfway up the monster hill I heard my new CTC friend George yelling- keep it up 28! push it! His encouragement really did push me right up the hill and I rode with him for a couple minutes at the top. Fun! I might seem totally crazy, but I really like hilly rides. The challenge really keeps things interesting and gets the heart pumping. I had taken a Gu right before hitting the hill and was feeling great

Then at mile 22 or so I hit the CTC aid station. I had gone through an entire bottle of Endurance between 10 and 22 and was glad to see Carly holding a new one out for me. Also great to see Brooks there with a smile on his face as I nearly wiped out from the force of the gatorade being handed to me. How embarrassing! Need to work on that.

The rest of the bike went very well. Nutrition and hydration were great and I never felt weak. Ran into Suzi with about 12 miles to go and stayed with her to the end. Unfortunately when we were 5 miles out some police officers were very misinformed and had been told that all the bikers were through (which wasn't close to the truth) and had stopped directing traffic at a light. We had to clip out and wait for them to figure it out. Oh, well.

I really hammered the last hour because I knew there was no run to contend with at the end. What a great feeling!

My final bike time: 3:21 for an average of about 17.4 miles per hour. On that course I am so happy with that! And it is officially my last race with the Cannondale. She performed well.

Total time- I think it was about 4:09 Great fun, and since there were only 3 women in the aquabike I got sweet plaque and pair of sunglasses. :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More Xterra Pics

The calm before the storm

This guy was especially pissed. Carried his bike off the course, threw it on the ground, then to top it off threw his helmet at it. Yikes! :)

One of many that came out of the bike course carrying their ride

Muddy Backs!


It's been awhile since I've posted so a lot to update!

First of all, my computer is fixed! It was just the keyboard thankfully. So I had them put in a new CD drive while it was in the shop since that has been broken for 2 years now. I'm good 2 go now :)

This weekend was exciting. I went to Wisconsin to visit the fam and watch the Xterra Midwest Championships. The excitement for me started on Saturday morning when I hit some gravel on my bike when I was cycling with my dad and went down. Got some nice scabs and bruises from that one:

Before the scabs

Leg scars

Fortunately the bike is okay and I think that my body is ok, except for a little bit of rotator cuff discomfort. So no swimming for me until the race on Sunday. My knee is also acting up because of the long drive, so I have to take this week pretty easy unfortunately.

Then Sunday: What a fun race! It started storming like crazy 30 minutes before the start, so the they turned the race into a duathlon (1.8 mile flat run, 19 mile heinous mountain bike, 10k heinous trail run). It was pouring for most of it and I got to see Brooks turn from this:

Into this:

Some other great pics of people finishing the crazy bike ride:

Oh, well, Blogger has told me I'm done putting pics on this post, so I'll post some more later!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I am an idiot

Okay, so in a moment of stupidity on a day when nothing was quite going my way I managed to spill a glass of water on my laptop. So I'll be away until the the tech support people can sort through the remains of my computer and attempt to rescue my PhD thesis. But on the bright side- without my computer I have so much time to train!