Saturday, February 28, 2009

Training update

Training has been going pretty well. I feel a bit random this year, as it is truly a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of season. I determine how much time I have to train and then make my training plan, sometimes the same day. Despite this, my swim has definitely come around, but that is attributable to my masters team. I was feeling pretty darn pleased with myself when I came in at 5:52 for my 400 the other day until I looked at the board to see the sendoff... 5:30 I should be able to make that sendoff by.... never. But I can still be pleased that I managed about 17,500 yards (10 miles) in the water this week. Take that speedsters!

Being that it is a self-coached year I have tried to avoid gauging out my eyes with a pencil eraser out of boredom by making up some new and interesting bike trainer workouts. My favorite new one is called- Up and down pain mountain. It is:

10 minute warm up

Set 1
5 minutes zone 3
2 minutes high zone 2
1 minute zone 4
2 minutes high zone 2

Set 2
4 minutes zone 3
2 minutes high zone 2
2 minutes zone 4
2 minutes high zone 2

Set 3
3 minutes zone 3
2 minutes high zone 2
3 minutes zone 4
2 minutes high zone 2

It ends up being

Warm up
Set 1 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 1
Cool Down

Or any combination of the sets. It's freaking hard. Zone 4 is basically an all out effort on the bike trainer for me. I shoot for a heart rate between 172-180. It's sick. Almost as sick as spending 6-10 hours per week on a bike indoors for 6 months out of the year. I think all of us northerners need our heads examined...

The run has been ok. I'm still struggling to run more than an hour at a time without something starting to bother me. My ITB flared a touch this week but it seems to be fine. I'm starting to think I'm just big pansy and need to HTFU. I have been able to do all my speedwork treadmill runs, so that's progress. One the subject of running, I have to put a plug in for the free podcast Podrunner.

I am not a fan of running to music because of the variability in cadence. Podrunner makes its mixes by RPM, so you can choose your running cadence. I run to the 180BPM mixes. They are phenomenal!

That's about it for training. I bought my tickets to spend a week with my bike (hopefully the new Trek who will be named Little Miss Big Wheels, or B-dub for short) in Florida. Then I come home for a week before heading out for Oceanside and Timex camp! It's coming up so close- Scary!

As for the big career change, the list is in and the wait is on! I hear where I spend the next 3-4 years of my life on March 19th.

And I also chopped off about 6 inches of hair!

Sorry for the boring post, hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Dreaded Rank List

Residency is probably the most important period of intellectual and career development of a physician's life. And no matter what specialty you choose, it's hard. Damn hard. You work long hours for little pay, are responsible for the lives of hundreds, more likely thousands of critically ill patients, and have dozens of attending physicians constantly expecting more and more of you. And through that process, you grow, mature, and develop the confidence that you will need when the day comes when there is no one looking over your shoulder; when you have dozens of people counting on you to lead the ship, when it's your decisions that determine whether a patient lives or dies.

This Wednesday is the day that thousands of future physicians all over the country have to turn in their "rank list". This is a numbered list of where they want to go for residency, from the top to bottom. On the same day, all residencies have to put in a list of who they want to see fill their residency positions. 3 weeks later a computer spits out the "match". Like it or not, the hospital on that little computer generated sheet is your future.

Needless to say, I'm freaking out. I've already gone in and changed my list once. Before Wednesday it will happen again. What it has to come down to is where I think I will get kind of education where I will be competent and confident to manage any medical emergency or trauma that can be wheeled in the doors of my emergency department when I'm the only attending on staff in the middle of the night. I have to keep telling myself that this decision is not about location. It's not about triathlon. It's not about where the best cycling is. It's about my career. After spending 8 post-graduate years in school busting my tail to publish papers and be the best clinician I can be, I owe it to myself to find the best training opportunity to continue my education.

Damn, this is hard...

All will be revealed by the magic computer on March 19th. Unfortunately I'll be on my bike in Estero, FL... hey, I'm not in residency YET!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

One ticket to Bonkville, please...

It is the time of the year when you look back on the training and achievements of the past and think...

How the F&%$ did I ever do that???

Today was a big, 4.5 hour training day. It started with a big bowl of oatmeal before 4400 yards in the pool with a different masters squad. It was just ok (actually, it was super frustrating and I was grumpy for most of it because of how crowded and unorganized the lane was) until the last set. I stepped forward and asked if I could lead the 2 x (2 x 200) on 3:15. 200's are my favorites and I was feeling pretty good. It was the very first set I have done since September where I felt at one with the water. And I hit them all on 2:55. Progress!

Then I downed a powerbar and headed to the gym. Did :40 on the elliptical and :30 on the treadmill (still slowly moving up my running mileage). Then as I was leaving, absolutely abs was just starting. Couldn't miss that!

Then home to eat some scrambled Egg Beaters, 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and a cup of fruit salad. As soon as that had digested it was time for my 2 hour trainer ride with 5 x 10 minutes big gear. Let me tell know you should have probably eaten a bit more, or had more than G2 on the bike at hour 4.5 of training on the day when...

1. You push and push and push and that heart rate falls and falls and falls
2. You begin to hallucinate that you are being chased by giant gummy bears
3. Finding something to grab onto in the likely event that you collapse off the trainer becomes a priority
4. You begin to pity the unfortunate soul that finds your dead, sweaty and stinky body still clipped into the pedals.

Seriously, there was a time that I knocked off 8 hour training days like they were my job. I am now sitting on the couch, nearly comatose. I'm only blogging because my computer is right here in front of my and the bed is down the hall, approximately 10 miles away in my current state. It might be a sleep on the couch kind of night...

In other, training related news... I still feel like a big fatty, so I resolved to lose my excess weight. I mean it this time, damn it. Found the coolest iPhone application called "Lose it!" that I am using to track everything that goes into my body and all my training. It's pretty sweet. At 126 pounds this week (Ugh), I only need to lose 1.5 pounds per week to get to race weight by Oceanside. Can I do it? We'll see.... it's the red wine- gets me every time!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chasing the feet of my lost fitness

I will be the first to admit it... I totally neglected the pool for 3 months. Traveling all over the country for interviews I decided that I couldn't fret about finding a pool when my mission was to find a residency. So week upon week I lost a little bit more swim fitness. My shoulders atrophied, arms wilted into amorphous fatty blobs and I seemingly lost all semblance of off-land coordination. It was sad. And I was very scared to get back in the water. But I forced myself in the pool, more often by myself than with my CSU masters team, who had all but forgotten who I was. I was avoiding the Monday masters distance/pull session like the plague. But I could avoid the torture hour no more. Lanny called me Sunday and asked if I was going. Once I make a commitment I don't break it. I would hitch-hike there with two broken thumbs if I had to. So just a few short hours after enjoying beer, chili and football I headed out the door. (As an aside, it's pretty hard to crop dust at the pool)

Now the thing about swimming with Lanny is that we are dead even in the water when we are both in shape. And having a second home in Florida, he is in quite good shape all year. The main set was 10 x 200, first 5 pull, last 5 swim. Needless to say I not only couldn't keep up on the pulls, but I ended each 200 nearly drowning, taking on water, red as fresh summer tomato and panting like a black dog in the desert. It wasn't pretty. But then the 5 x 200 swim came around and it stopped being Lanny's feet that I was chasing. It was my feet. It was the feet of in-shape Jodi. And then it all became so much easier. Getting back into my old swim form is totally achievable. The 3400 yards cruised by. So now I am expected in my lane every MWF. A 4:30 wake-up call. 45 minutes of driving. $40 per month. Priceless.