Thursday, November 29, 2007

Winter running...

I have a lot of fun memories of winter running. Heading down to the towpath and trudging through the snow. Running down the road last February, passing a woman on skis. But I always seem to block out the one thing that I really hate about winter running. The fact that by the time I'm dressed for the conditions, I feel like this...

It ends up being more of a waddle than anything else.

But then, when I'm frustrated with running, if I'm having a bad day, I always think back a few months. Back then I really didn't know if I would ever run again. It didn't seem like the knee was getting any better. I was starting to resign myself to the life of an aquabiker. But now I have run 22.5 miles this week! I know it pales in comparison to Ironman training weeks. but it is such a huge victory to me.

And.... I'm racing again this weekend.


Monday, November 26, 2007


I was tagged by Jenni to write 5 random things about me....

Since this is a sports related blog, I'll go with the theme...

1. When I was 8 years old I joined the swim club. After a year or so I was asked why I joined. I said it was because I wanted to go to the Olympics for diving. The coach shook his head and told me I was in the wrong sport. Huh?? What sport could possibly be closer to diving than swimming?

Years later I joined the diving team. I wasn't any good at it, but there was absolutely nothing in the world that made me more happy. When I was a Senior in High School I transitioned to just swimming because I just wasn't meant for the acrobatics of higher level diving (Gymnastics! Doh!)

2. In college I missed the water. So I joined the Wisconsin Water Polo team. Man, if I thought I wasn't any good at diving, this was a new class of suck. I made it a year. I wasn't cut out for the aggressive sports. Those girls are animals!

3. Until I was in college I thought that running was the absolute most stupid sport EVER. I mean, who on earth would put their bodies through a marathon! How Stupid! (I choked on those words all 26.2 miles in June...)

4. Growing up, baseball was always my passion. Starting when I was 7 I played softball, then fastpitch. I watched or listened to every damn Brewers game for years and years. Then I got a job at the stadium. And for 3 years, they PAID me to sit in the third base side box seats and watch games. Best job ever.

5. I got scuba certified when I was 16 because we were taking a family trip to Australia. I've now been down under a total of 7 months of my life and have yet to dive there. Although I have had some absolutely phenomenal dives elsewhere, so it was totally worth it!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quality Time

It's been awhile since the Mad dog and I had quality time together. So today I decided to get up early and take her to her favorite park. My school owns a 500 acre property east of town, and it's my dog's favorite place in the world. We used to go out there 3-5 times per week back when I had more spare time in my life. There are rarely people there that aren't walking their dogs (it is quite far from school), so I usually can let her run off leash.

Here are some pics of our day

Friday, November 23, 2007


Just some thoughts on the things in the world I am thankful for at this very minute...

- My family (of course!). My mom who goes to my blog no less than 12 times per day, my dad who I am so proud of for heading down to Vegas next weekend to run his very first half marathon, and my brothers and their wonderful wives (and the kiddos!) who I always look forward to talking with and seeing. I am so thankful that they all understand why I had to stay in Cleveland this year for Thanksgiving. I'll be home for Christmas!

- My Cleveland family. Until this year I didn't have anyone in Cleveland that I was close enough to consider my family. You know, the kind of people that make you feel that you can crash their Thanksgiving without thinking twice. Having Lanny and Kathy in my life has really made me feel like Cleveland is a home for the very first time in my 7 years here.

And here is one reason that I feel at home at their place:

They even let me bring the mutt!

Speaking of the mutt...

- I am thankful for the day in September 2002 when I drove out to pick up baby Maddie. She has become my buddy. My training partner. Even though I give her stupid names, like Madame Poopsalot, she's still the best running buddy a girl could have. We can go out for an hour where I can use 4 simple words and we can run in perfect harmony: Wait (stop), Cross (the road), Hup! (Jump onto the sidewalk), and Faster! She loves to race me up hills and sprint the last 0.5 miles home.

- I am thankful that Jonathan gave me a long distance kick in the ass to get my big -overstuffed by cake- butt out the door tonight and go on a wonderful 4.7 mile run with Madame Poopsalot. I feel like a million bucks right now!

-I am thankful that Paulo has a conference in Ohio in a couple weeks and is coming to visit. I'm hoping to get him out in the snow for couple chilly runs. I will NOT forget my camera this time! If you get a chance, head over to see a great interview with one of the best triathlon coaches around. Check out the hat!


- And of course I'm thankful to all my friends who read my blog. A lot of you I've met in person, a lot I haven't, yet. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and/or friends!

And for those of you who wanted to see what my hair looks like from the front- here's a pic!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My first day as a redhead

OK, so maybe it's not exactly RED, but it definitely has some red/purple/bronze highlights. I'm liking it so far. We'll see how it looks when I have 15 minutes to get from the pool to my car tomorrow. That's the real test!

Today I sat around like a lump. I haven't been this sore in ages! Who knew <24 minutes of exercise could inflict so much pain? I managed to do 30 minutes on the trainer to "loosen up", but I think I was more stiff when I got off the bike than before.

I start 2 weeks of Neurology tomorrow. I'm terrified of it. Neuro was in a league of its own in difficulty in the first 2 years of med school. It's been 5 years since I learned that stuff, so I'm looking forward to being the class moron. It's ok, I've become a pro at that!

And your moment of zen...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pigskin Classic 5k race report!

I haven't run a 5k since early April, 2006. Yeah, it's been awhile. I ran something like 26:50, which was a bit off my PR from the year before when I ran 25:40 on the same flat course. I know that I haven't been running very much (like hardly at all) for the past 7 months because of my injury, but I still thought that with my current fitness I should be able to run faster than that. So in a way, signing up for this race was kind of intimidating because I knew that I would be really bummed if I couldn't PR with the amount of training I have done since the last race.

Coming into today I had a couple of really, really tough weeks emotionally. I found out that someone that I really cared about and trusted had been very deceptive. And I had to find that out from someone else. It was particularly troublesome because I've been through this all before and it was probably the lowest point in my life. I've had a lot of crazy feelings and old memories come flooding in and it has really been draining. Sorry- I don't really want to get into it, but let's just say that I have a lot of manger (man anger) built up in me right now. So Colleen and I spent last night picking out a bunch of wonderfully mangry songs for me to put on my ipod for the race- Before he Cheats by Carrie Underwood and Fighter by Christina Aguilara were 2 of the gems. There was also some Alanis thrown in for good measure. Nothing like a little extra motivation to get you to dig deep!

Race Day!

This morning I had a big cup of coffee for the first time in about a month. I started shaking about half way in and just about shit myself (thought you would like that gem). But It made me super hyper and I was really stoked for the race, which is probably the most fun race in the area. It is a huge tailgate party for the Ohio State/Michigan game and all runners have to choose either a blue or red shirt. Every entrant gets a free beer after the race and it's just a huge party. The race itself isn't really a PR course. There is a very long and reasonably steep hill that you go down at the beginning and then have to climb back up at about mile 2.4. It is BRUTAL! But the course is fun because you get to go around Browns stadium twice and a lot of it is right along the lakefront.

When we got to the race we immediately ran into Janet:

And I had to associate with a Michigan fan for the rest of the day (roommie Colleen):

Also at the race were a bunch of CTCers and my roommate Matt and his gf Shanna.

Colleen, Janet and I took off to go for a warm up run around the flats downtown. We were out for about a mile at a super easy pace and then did some stretching. I remember back when I thought it was crazy that people warmed up for these things. Why run even farther?? But after you've run a marathon or half marathon, you realize that you actually CAN warm up for the short races! It was great!

Then we lined up for the race.

Mistake #1: Lining up at the front

The race started a little late, which was kind of a bummer. I had to restart my ipod 4 times because I really wanted to start the race with "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (I know, I know, the song is practically a racing cliche but I like it!). But when the race started the adrenaline started to pump.

Mile 1:

I can't remember the last time I actually ran fast. I think my legs gave out on me about 3 times in the first block just trying to get into the rhythm. Then we turned downhill for about 0.4 miles. I was being passed like I was standing still! It was really a defeating feeling. I was feeling sluggish and slow and my lungs were starting to burn from the cold air (I have a tad bit of asthma). The 1 mile marker came up on me without warning

Mistake #2: Running mile 1 in 6:55

Oh, F&ck! I'm pretty sure that my fastest mile ever was somewhere around 7:45. I was in for a world of hurt.

Mile 2:

Pain. Lots and lots of pain. I think I did it in around 7:45

Mile 3: Uphill. What kind of sick freaking joke is that??? My lungs were screaming for albuterol. I was fading, but so was everyone else. The hill was scary.

The finish:

When I turned the corner towards the finish I looked at my watch and say that it was still in the 22's. That gave me such an amazing boost. I didn't have as much kick as a lot of people I saw, but I was thrilled!


Pace: 7:37 per mile
Place: 24th overall female (out of 266)

I think if I could actually breathe I would have thrown up. It hurt like hell to take deep breaths. I looked longingly at the people that could run through the finish line straight to the post-race bagels. The thought of food was repulsive to me. But... I did manage to choke down a beer


I am now officially addicted to road racing. The adrenaline, the pain, the brevity, the free t-shirt. Who wouldn't love it?

Then I went to do what all girls do when a relationship ends in a fabulously horrible way. I spent an exorbitant amount of money at a hair salon- cut, color, the works!. And I'm heading out on the town tonight. Pics to come!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

HTFU, Jodi

So... I had a pretty crappy week. Felt emotionally drained, zapped, spent. Couldn't quite live up to the strong persona I would like.

I started thinking back to Ironman. The week of CdA I came across a link on Slowtwitch to a video. I immediately knew it was going to be a hit with Coach Paulo because it is aligned with his method of coaching. But it also was just what I needed because I knew the race was going to open up a world of hurt that I'd never visited before. When I felt a low point I remembered the words of Chopper Reid:

(warning- use of the F-bomb)

So today I grabbed my special hat on the way out the door to go for a trail run with Colleen. And the run was wonderful. Absolutely the best run I have had in 6 months. We hit 5.5 miles and I wanted to do more. But I didn't, because I'm saving it up for my big race next weekend. A huge 5k!

I'm gunning for a PR next weekend. Considering I haven't done a 5k in almost 2 years, I think I just might be able to knock back a sub- 25:40. Especially if I HTFU.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Potts for the win!

I don't know if anyone else out there was totally glued to their computers all morning, but I just saw the most amazing finish I've ever seen. Potts and Galindez were neck in neck for the last mile of the 70.3 World Championships this morning and then Potts threw it into a completely new gear to come across for the finish. It was AMAZING!

Congrats Andy Potts!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Things overheard...

Things overheard during Gynecologic surgery that just might be found inappropriate on the street:

1. Make sure you get plenty lubed up before you go in there

2. I lost the cervix-- where's the cervix??

3. If you don't tack down the vagina it could just flap inside out

4. Holler at me if you see the cervix

5. OK, now I think we can just take the rest of this out through the vagina.

6. Now we should fill the bladder- can you go out and grab someone from the hall to fill the bladder??

7. Wow, that really looks like a Uterus!

8. If I can get this into the cervix, we can get anything in there

9. Jodi, go between her legs and wiggle that thing for us

And last but not least...

10. Just jam the *Kocher in her vagina and I'll take it from there

*surgical instrument

Monday, November 05, 2007


I was thinking today about how people react to bad situations. And I think it is the true measure of the strength of a person's character.

Some people get diagnosed with cancer and fight it from day 1 kicking and screaming (My friend Steve is a good example. Also Lance Armstrong). Other get depressed and shut down

Some people lose a loved one and turn around and start a crusade to prevent it from happening to others (Katie Couric and Colon Cancer, the founders of MADD, SADD, etc). Some people turn into recluses.

I see a whole spectrum of people at the hospital who are dealing with horrible, life altering diagnoses, and I have a lot of sympathy for them no matter how they react. But I am always so inspired by people who stay strong. No sulking, second guessing, no looking back. Just looking forward. Even people who know they will die. Because they know that they will be forever remembered by how they are at the end. That not giving up is going to forever influence the lives of sons/daughters/grandkids. They will have a role model for how to fight adversity.

When smaller things happen to me I always fall into this- feel sorry for myself- funk. It sometimes lasts as little as a few minutes, sometimes weeks. But I just can't look at myself in the mirror when I'm acting like that. And then I make myself realize that any negative thing that happens in your life, no matter how big or small, can be made into a positive if you really want it to.

So I'll add a couple inspirational quotes here. So that everyone out there who is in a funk can use this to try to snap out of it. Life is too short to be funky

We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
Charles R. Swindoll

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
Tom Bodett

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.
Francesca Reigler

Happy Monday!


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trail-Running through the leaves

I have the whole weekend off (which just never happens) and I was tired of running around my neighborhood. Thankfully, I was able to twist Colleen's arm to go on a trail run with me. Running alone is therapeutic, but running with friends is so fun.

We headed down to North Chagrin Reservation to hit the Bridle trail for some great, low impact, but hilly running. The trees were absolutely stunning!

Here was our starting point behind Squire Castle:

Then we popped out of the woods and crossed a bridge:

How awesome is this!:

Coming back into the parking area after 58 minutes (yes- I ran for 58 whole minutes without knee pain!) of great conversation and tough terrain:

Another view of the Castle on the way back

Now for a little story about the monster. I made 2 apple pies last week. Just one of those things I love to do in the fall. The pie was wonderful. We had gotten through one pie in a matter of a couple days. The other one was still up on the counter waiting to be cut open. Well, then I came home to see this:

and this:


Friday, November 02, 2007

Holy Crap!

So this afternoon I discovered a whole new world of hurt. And the ringleader of this world is this man:

This afternoon, after my morning of mental toughness, exam style, I came home to this:

I saw heart rates that I didn't think were possible on a trainer. I felt glorious pain from my legs. I spun, I sprinted, I prevailed. And then I fell, like a lump of flesh onto my couch. Sweet!

Then once I was able to drag my body off the couch I gave Mike Honcho some TLC. I was so embarrassed that I allowed my prized possession to get so dirty. So we had some time together with a hose, soap, and a toothbrush, and now he's beautiful again. At least having a dirty bike is better than having a clean bike that never gets used!

And this just in from IMFL... Apparently the InsideOut Sports tent is selling...

More Cowbell T-shirts!

I feel like such a trendsetter


Thursday, November 01, 2007

What happened to coffee?

So something weird happened to me a couple weeks ago

I lost my taste for coffee


I wouldn't say I was a coffee junkie, but I really, really enjoyed my morning coffee. And an occasional afternoon coffee. I use all caffeinated gels and bars. I just enjoy my caffeine. But then 2 weeks ago, the thought of drinking coffee just turned my stomach. So I battled through two weeks of headaches and now I'm de-caffeinated.

Now I'll never be one of those people that talks badly about coffee. I think it has a lot of god properties and anti-oxidants. But I can say this- I have been sleeping like a baby! I slept for 10 solid glorious hours last night. It was something truly special, let me tell you!

In other news...

I had a study day today. So I set up my trainer right in front of my computer and spun my heart out while listening to 2 hours of lectures. Then I hopped off and did a 23 minute brick run. Good stuff. In the middle of my trainer ride I started riding the train to bonkville. I was attempting to do the workout on just water. Not for any particular reason, I just was too lazy to make gatorade and didn't have any Accelerade and I don't really like eating on the trainer. So anyway, I get about 1:30 into my ride and I start feeling a bit tired. I looked around the room and found my savior-

Halloween sized Reeces Pieces.

Better than any Gu I've ever tried. Yum!

So I downed a handful of Reeces Pieces and headed out on my run.

Have I mentioned how awesome it is to be able to run again? It is wonderful!

On that note- off to study. Big, big exam tomorrow morning!