Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just a Short Note

Did another stupid move this week. Turned my ankle and strained a muscle in my leg. It's almost 100% but it set me back a couple days since I'm so anal now about letting injuries heal. But I am so excited that my dog is back! My Dad is in town and brought Maddie with him. I haven't had her in Cleveland since September. She met the Mookster and they are getting along well. Pics in a bit!

The real reason for the post is to direct you to a friend's blog. I thought he had a great entry today. Check it out if you have a minute!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


In the next month it is my responsibility to come up with a rank list of places that I want to go for residency. I interviewed with 10 programs. In the order that I interviewed (so as not to give anyone out there an idea of my current preference) they are:

Orlando Regional Medical Center
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Indiana University (Indianapolis)
Vanderbilt (Nashville)
Maricopa Medical Center (Phoenix)
University of Arizona (Tucson)
University of New Mexico (Albuquerque)
Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte)
Denver Health
Metro Health / Cleveland Clinic

I think that I have figured out my top 3 choices but am having a very hard time ranking within them. Two of the three programs are in cities that I have family or family and friends. One of the places that really loved, however, I don't know anyone. Initially the thought of going somewhere that I don't know anyone was really scary. However, yesterday I came upon a realization. When I moved to Cleveland 8 years ago, not only did I not know anyone in the city, I didn't know a soul in the surrounding STATES. I was a complete orphan.

The reason it took me so long to realize that is because in the past 4 years I have developed not only the best group of friends I could imagine, but a group of people that I really consider family. In the past 5 days I was invited to two of my best friend's places for family dinners. Never a day goes by where I don't feel like I could just walk into one of their houses and make myself at home. I train with these people, vacation with them, and talk their ears off about life's problems. The comfort I get from my Cleveland family factors into my decision in two competing ways. On one hand, it's hard to even imagine moving to a place where I don't have "family". But on the other hand, just knowing that I moved here a complete orphan and now have such a great group of people around me gives me hope that it could happen again.

Some pics of me with the "fam" over the past few years:

Oh, man this decision is going to be SOOOO HARD!!!!

If anyone out there has great opinions on the above cities I would certainly be happy to hear them!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Don't even know what to do with myself!

Now that interviews and two more medical board exams are in the books I don't even know what to do with myself on a Saturday morning! Just getting back into training I don't want to overdo it, so I don't want to start too early- I already have about 4 hours planned for the day. So I figured it was time to give the blog some love. Let me tell you, that is not the easiest task for the computer challenged. If you have any suggestions, let them fly!

Some random thought diarrhea...

- The weather here blows. Like really, really blows. It snowed constantly and we had sub-zero windchills for about 2 weeks. Then yesterday the temps hit 40 only to have our hopes DASHED today. Cold again, snow again. GRRRRRR. I joined a gym just so that I could always have a place to run. Can't run in this crap most of the time since there aren't many sidewalks around and running in the street in the snow is not so safe. Ah well, at least I now have a backup place to swim and a place to go today for Absolutely Abs and Urban Iron. Fun! I haven't really done any strength work in the past, but I really want to work my core this year. And there is always that hidden motive to look good naked (come on, admit it. It's a hidden motivation for everyone...)

- I miss my Maddie! My parents have had my dog during the interview season since I don't have a reliable dog-sitter in Cleveland. But now I'm totally ready to have that mutt back. I have been puppy sitting all week, so that has eased the pain a little bit. And I can't wait for Maddie to meet one of my new favorite doggies, the Mookster. I think they will get along just great. What do you think?

My Maddie

Mookie, aka the Mookster

At least they share a common favorite pastime...

- Sports medicine tip of the day:

Many triathlete knee injuries can be attributed to poor bike fit, or at least partially relieved by bike adjustments. This comes as a big surprise to most, since they rarely have knee pain when cycling. As a very general rule, a bike seat that is too low will tend to cause anterior patellofemoral (kneecap) pain, and one that is too high will cause IT band inflammation and posterior knee pain. There are other injuries that can be aggravated by saddle fore/aft and cleat position, but I won't get into that...

I bring that up because I have been riding my road bike on the trainer because the tri-bike is still in Wisconsin. I noticed that ever day that I would run after riding I would develop pretty severe posterior knee pain over time. It never came on bike rest days or when it had been more than 24 hours since my last ride. Time to drop that seat down 5mm... I just need to find my multi-tool!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back at it!

This is the first time in my four years of triathlon that I took a bona fide off-season. I've always been a big proponent of off-season training, but this year my schedule made it pretty much impossible to maintain consistency, especially in the bike and swim. So when I got back from interviews last week, I knew that it was go time. I was totally fine hitting the bike like my ass was firmly glued to it (7 hours last week), and I had never stopped running. It was the swimming that is just painful. It had been 3 months since I had consistently swam and I just didn't want to go at all. I had managed to go on my own twice since I'd been back, but couldn't bring myself to go to masters. I just felt like it would be humiliating and very, very painful. The extra 5 pounds don't help either. Thankfully, my good friend and training buddy Lanny had me over for burgers last night and gave me a subtle reminder about practice in the morning. Then he and Tony were there this morning at the butt crack of dawn and I think it went something like this:

I brought these:

And Although I felt like this:

And looked like this:

I ended up..

Although I think there should seriously be some sort of law outlawing any psycho from waking up at 4:30am when they don't have to be at work until 10:30....

Other notes from my second week back:

Last Friday I went to the store to pick some things up for a party we were having. This was about 5 days into real training. I was hit like a ton of bricks by this insurmountable fatigue and stupidity. It took me more than an hour to get out of that place because I kept forgetting what I was there for. I circled that damn grocery in its entirety no less than three times

The very random appetite pattern has started. Train hard for 3-4 hours? No appetite. Easy day for 1 hour? Eat like a labrador loose in a garbage factory. How does that work?

I ordered my new bike this week! I seriously need to start redesigning this blog now that Team Timex is official. Anyone out there know a good program to use to redesign banners? Has to be free and Mac friendly...

I am too chicket $hit to look to see how many weeks I have left before Oceanside/Timex camp, but I'm already getting nervous. I feel like a slug for all my workouts. Better come together fast!

Hope everyone had a great week!

Monday, January 12, 2009

An Open Letter to the Genius Sidebar of iTunes

I want to preface this letter by saying how much I truly appreciate the service that you provide. At first when you magically showed up when I opened iTunes I was suspicious. Who are YOU to be telling ME what kind of music I should check out?? But I soon became a believer. At the touch of a button, and with the input of just one song, you have repeatedly blended together a mix of songs that I couldn't have mixed any better myself. It's like you are able to crawl inside my brain to figure out exactly what I want to hear. In the airport and about to explode because yet another flight is cancelled? "Here", you say, "listen to this mix of Norah Jones, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and Ben Harper, it should sooth your nerves". Magic!

However, Genius, I can't let what happened this morning slide. As good as you have been to me this year, I will not let you mock me. Sure, I am dreadfully out of shape. I get it. But I really counted on you to take my choice of "It Began in Afrika" by the Chemical Brothers and turn it into a mix that would get me through 90 minutes on that trainer with 50 minutes of intervals. At first, I thought it was going to be yet another song mix of perfection. Aphex Twin, Kings of Convenience, Moby, Boards of Canada... Right-O, Genius! But then you had to go and do the unthinkable. In the middle of my hardest interval, when I was at a moment of pure, sweaty desperation, you did it. I still can't believe the nerve. I mean, I do appreciate you teaching me that I can persevere in the face of adversity, but really, that is not your job. At first when it came on I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I thought- this must be a different mix of this song. She is totally going to bust out her dance moves and give me a new side of the genre. But no, Genius. You actually put the Country Ballad "How Do I Live?" by Leann Rimes smack dab in the middle of my techno workout mix. Although I probably did need a reminder to thin my iTunes collection, this was totally over the line.

I expect an apology. Until I see that this mockery has come to an end, I will be proofreading your work. I am happy to sit down and discuss this at length if you so choose.



Sunday, January 04, 2009

One More Week!

Before this off-season can officially get deep sixed and I can start training again. I feel so very gross. The travel has left me feeling really chubby and super out of shape. January 12th I will get back in the pool and my struggle back into shape begins. But for this week I am enjoying spending 3 days with my aunt and uncle in Charlotte (and interviewing), One night with my former roommate of 4 years in Denver (And interviewing), and 2 nights with another former roommate of 3 years in Los Angeles (and taking my oral boards).

It's not that I haven't been exercising at all. This week I spent about 5 hours on the trainer and got 5 runs in (with one being 7.5 miles). But the lack of consistency isn't helping me build anything resembling fitness. The food, wine and beer aren't really aiding the situation either. So Monday it's back to disciplined life. I have a race in 3 months. That's a very scary thought....

In other news, this week I took my written boards and turned 30 (on the same day). People asked me if taking a 9 hour exam was a way of denying the milestone birthday. The reality of the situation is that I am a professional procrastinator and December 31st happens to be a popular deadline. But if anyone asks this year, I'm 29 damn it.

OK, time to have breakfast with my favorite aunt (and one of my biggest fans). We are hitting the Y today for a long workout session after stopping by the Apple store to pick up my birthday present from Mom. Watch out world, I'm getting an iPhone!