Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back on TRACK

little-by-little, step-by-step, day-by-day
Last night was the first time I've set foot on a track since probably, well I can't even remember how long, so it's been way too long. I don't even know if I can consider what we did an actual track workout, I mean it was, we were at the track and running around it and had a purpose to what we were doing, so a track workout it was.

The speed and run form are still not back, nor are they things I'm going to rush. Many things in life cannot be rushed, you just do what you can with what you have and when the time is right things will start falling into place once again.

But dirt track Wednesdays are back and I'm very excited about it!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thanks

That's all, thanks, I just want to say thanks to everyone that has been there for me in the past couple of months! You know who you are! You guys are ALL the best! I wouldn't be where I am right now without you all and I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know!
I just read this on Linsey Corbin's blog, "The high's are great, but it's in the trenches where you find your true colors, your true supporters and what drives you to keep pushing on. It's the ultimate test of self belief." Smart lady she is.

Onward!




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A New Year....

...new goals....new ambitions...new enthusiasm...new everything!

I've been quiet on the blog front, dealing with some life stress and changes, but things are moving in the right direction and 2016 is shaping up to be a great year...


... here I come!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On recovering from knee surgery...

I know I posted a while ago that I would have an update on how my knee was doing post surgery and what was going on in my little piece of the world. So, for anyone who cares, here ya go.

Rule #1...DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT crash on your bicycle. That will totally mess up your ability to get back in the swing of things and swimbikerun like you want. (more on this at the end)

Rule #2...listen to your doctor, if s/he says wait to run, then wait to run (this I listened to, it wasn't easy, but I listened even when my doctor didn't think I would. He was afraid he would be divining up the street and see me running 3 days post-op, nope, I was a good little patient.
I walked out of surgery, well they wheeled me out in a wheel chair because protocol, but I could walk up the stairs when I got home and didn't even really need any of my pain meds, but I waited the 6.5 weeks post op to even think about "jogging" again. I did however, get up to an 8 mile walk and was pulling in the pool as soon as my incisions were healed!
Walking is no joke, if you ever can't run, try walking, you'l still get a great workout in and you don't have to worry about not being able to run. I wouldn't say I was power walking per-say, but I was walking at a pretty good pace. Aqua jogging is also a great recovery option! When I did get the all clear to start "running" again is was 20 minutes of run easy 1 minute, walk 2 minutes and I slowly and carefully progressed up from there.

Rule #3...do the PT...religiously, EVERY DAY. And make your friends join in, it'll make it much more fun. I was helping coach the Honolulu Marathon clinic at BOCA and once a week we were doing core/strength exercises before the group went out on their runs...what an opportunity for me to do my PT and for the group to get in some great strength/stability exercises. I think a few people found muscles they didn't know they had!

Rule #4...do what you can. This I struggled with, I have found something I truly love in triathlon and to be derailed from doing what I enjoy was and is difficult. I know that having surgery was the right thing and 12 weeks, in the grand scheme of things is not long at all. I started swimming more when I could and was able to go on a few hikes. I know at times, I was pretty grumpy from lack of wanted activity and I'm sure not the most fun person to be around...sorry! But being derailed for a short period of time is a great opportunity to work on strength, core, find something new to add into your routine. As I'm writing it, I realize I'm not very good at this rule and it's something I need to continue to work on.

Rule #5...it's not the end of the world, you will heal, you will get better. Embrace this downtime and see Rule #4.

ok....now back to Rule #1...DO NOT CRASH YOUR BICYCLE...so I crashed my bicycle...3.5 weeks ago. Just as I got the all clear to start swimbikerun again, I crashed. I guess it was the universe saying I wasn't ready to train again. I thought I was, but apparently not. 

I'm fine, I'm alive, nothing is broken, my bike is not damaged, but I'm back to square 1 in this recovery game. It was no one's fault but my own, the roads here are crap, I probably wasn't as attentive as I should have been, a car was very close to me, I went one way, then over-corrected and went down (my fault). I landed HARD on my hip. In good news, didn't hurt my surgery knee at all! I saw my doctor, PT and chiro, I had an x-ray and nothing is broken. Haven't had an MRI, not sure it's necessary, but not totally ruled out just yet. I'm a lot better than I was 3 weeks ago, but I'm still in some pain and can't run AGAIN. I can pull in the pool as long as I tie my feet together and don't push off the wall with my left leg, I started riding easy, but that might be put back on hold after this weekend. So recovery once again. 
It's the holidays and the end of the year so as much as I hate not being able to do what I love, it will get better, I just need to give things appropriate time to heal, what is the appropriate amount of time, you ask, that's the hard part, I wish someone could just tell me, give it X-amount of days, weeks and you'll be good to go, but that's not the case, the body does what the body needs to do to heal itself so only time will tell. Once again, I've likely become not the most fun person to be around, lack of activity does that to me...my bad, sorry again to everyone that has dealt with all my mood swings and irritability. 

Note to self: See Rule #4 and Rule #5. 

Happy Holidays everyone!!

PS. Side note...the ROKA women's Pro Race jersey and short can stand up to a crash! Score for them! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ocean Swimming

I have really started to LOVE ocean swimming these past couple months. Since we got back from Canada, almost every weekend was spent swimming in the ocean with friends, playing with dolphins and Honu and even the occasional (RARE!) monk seals playing with each other. Mostly, just enjoying our time swimming and exploring the beautiful ocean we are so lucky to have right outside our doors...





...until recently.

I was really looking forward to finally swimming the Double Roughwater this year, however in recent weeks there have been some goings on in the ocean, in Hawaii and ultimately they have canceled the race for this year.

There has been a spike in shark attacks here in Hawaii.

Typically, October and November are when sharks come in closer to the main Hawaiian Islands to give birth, it's safer for them closer to shore, makes sense. (the closer we swim to shore the safer we feel, usually, right?). In addition, the Sea Turtle population has grown considerably in the past few years and the man in the gray suit loves him some Honu, this year the water temperature is approximately 5 degrees warmer than it was last year at this time (the coral is bleached white all over the place), el Nino, it's been raining a TON which causes run off into the oceans which makes the water brown and murky...so, there have been some attacks. Which is extremely unfortunate, to say the least. More and more beaches (on all sides of the island) have been closed lately or had signs put up indicating "Shark Sightings." Are we just more aware or are there truly more sharks closer to shore? I'm not sure.

Now don't get me wrong, I know sharks and other big things live in the ocean, it's their home and we are just visiting, however it's never really been on my mind. I know they are there and if we stay out of their way then they will stay out of ours. Naive? Maybe. But it's really never truly been on my mind.

I will be back in the ocean soon, but I think it's smart right now to respect what is going on. The climate in the ocean is different and shark activity has increased. We should give it some time and let the experts figure out what is going on. It's sad to think ocean swims will be limited, but I'm not going to take my chances right now. Be smart and be safe out there.

Here's a few of my ocean safety tips if you are going to be recreating in the ocean:
-don't go alone!
-wear a bight colored swim cap
-don't go in the water with any open wounds (blood attracts)
-if you swim in a group...a kayak or stand up support is always a good idea
-don't go farther than you are physically capable
-stay within view of shore/lifeguards
-for goodness sake, don't swim in murky or brown water
-aviod wearing sparkly or shiny items while swimming in the ocean
-wear a SharkBanz (My parents sent us 2, haven't tried it out...but it certainly won't hurt to have an extra layer of protection)
-get out calmly and quickly if you see a shark, don't panic, splash around and cause a raucous

and since I will be spending a lot more time in the pool in the near future...an article I came across, "Dear Swimming"

Stay safe out there!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bueller?

When you haven't blogged in a while, it's hard to start again, I haven't had a whole lot going on around here. My season ended with Whistler and very soon after that I had knee surgery, so it's been a whole lotta swimming, rehab and strengthening for the past month working my way back!

I will have a post-surgery update soon, but things are moving in the right direction #slowlybutsurely I will get back!

A little update, on tentative plans for next year! First, I'm still waffling on the Double Roughwater here in about a month and a half, I'll probably end up doing it because I've been swimming a ton since surgery. I just haven't signed up yet, we shall see what happens on that front. So, that'll probably be it for 2015. I'm signed up for the marathon, but that's not going to happen.....maybe, maybe, maybe I'll be able to run a little of it and help pace some friends, but that's a big maybe as I'm not pushing the run right now, I want to give my knee the time it needs to fully recover and not jump right back into things ASAP (as much as I REALLY REALLY want to ).

I might be ready to run fast again in time for the Great Aloha Run in February, that could be fun, I haven't done that race since 2011. The local races: Lanikai Tri (the most important race of the year!) and the 2nd Annual North Shore tri, the staples here on Oahu. Honu is in the books and I just went online to sign up for Placid, and guess I dropped the ball on that one and it's closed! Whoops, which makes my decision, not a decision at all. IM Boulder it is! I want to go back to Whistler, but next year is too soon! I would like to try to do the North Shore Swim series here next summer, but I'd like to do them ALL and it seems like something always comes up and impedes my ability to get them all done so I don't do any, I'm going to try to not let that happen this year. I'm sure there will be a few more scattered throughout the year, but those are the main ones for now!

Happy training and racing!

Update on my knee progress soon.....


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pesky little knee

Update.....
So, since Ironman Canada, I've been dealing with my knee. Well, let's back up....since May, well probably late April, I've been dealing with my knee. As soon as I crossed the finish line at NorthShore tri, I knew something was up. I could barely walk. I didn't crash, I didn't trip and twist something, I have no idea what happened, there wasn't an event, but I was in pain and it wasn't good. I iced and rested and limped around the rest of the day hoping I would wake up and it would be a fluke, just a random pain, but the next morning was worse, I couldn't put any weight on it. I knew something was seriously wrong, but what it was, I wasn't sure.

Triathlon is full of wonderful people...in my world BOCA (and the small triathlon community on Oahu) is full of AMAZING people that will always be there to lend a helping hand, knowledge or services when you are in need. I'm lucky enough to be part of such a great family! As soon as I started reaching out, I was instantly connected, referred and put on lists to get the help I needed. Thank you so very much to everyone that was there to help me figure this out!!
I cannot say thank you enough to everyone that went out of their way to help me out!!!

So what happened......I went to JACO, got an MRI (thanks Bonnie and Ryan!), was referred to a great orthopedic and we began trying to understand what the problem was. The MRI was a little bit inconclusive due to bad pictures caused by previous ACL surgery and little flecks of metal that were floating around in my knee (not the cause of any of my pain and pretty typical after ACL surgery, who knew!?) that blurred the field of vision. However, due to the area where I was feeling the pain and what the doctor could see from the MRI, it was determined that I likely had a small lateral tear of my meniscus, JOY!

Now what?! It's mid May I have Honu in 2 weeks and Ironman Canada at the end of July. Definitely not enough time for surgery and recovery before either race. And surgery was not even a thought in my mind (nor my doctor or Jaco's) initially, if I could rehab this and strengthen my knee and surrounding areas, then that was the way I wanted to go. I was in and out of periods of being totally pain free and thinking I was crazy to have even gone to all these doctors, tests and specialists, to times when I was in pain enough that I couldn't run at all. I was able to swim and bike pain free, so I swam and biked as much as I wanted/was on the schedule. Rehab, ocean running and actual running as little as possible to get me through these races was what was up.

A week out from Honu, I had some decisions to make. (Thanks Dr. Tom, for all your help during this time!) Do I push through the pain and do this race (something I'm sure I could have done) and jeopardize IM Canada where I would have the opportunity for a Kona spot? Or do I bail on Honu and do what I need/can do to be able to make the best of Canada and give myself the best shot at trying for a Kona spot? Now, it's comical to think that that was even going to be an option!? If I had gotten a Kona spot, of course I would have taken it and I would be in the cycle again of being in pain and doing the minimal to get through the race and next time I race Kona, I want to RACE, I don't want to just "get through it." The things that go through your my mind. So, if you've been keeping up with the blog, I decided to bag Honu, (after I raced the swim of course, which was super fun. I love swimming in Hapuna and it's not like Ironman would give me back my entry fee anyways, so I might as well do the swim!) and do what I needed to do to give myself the best shot at having a good race in Canada. And at the time I really did think I was going to be able to have a good race in Canada.

The weeks went by and I was able to put in all the swimming and biking necessary to ensure the best race possible. I even got up to a 20-miler. About 3 weeks out I was cautious, but confident that my knee, my head and my body were in the right place to put together a solid race in Canada and then 2 weeks out I was running a 16-18-miler and my knee became noticeable once again. It wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't ideal, so we backed down the running (at this point there was nothing that was going to hurt my race training wise, I could only make things worse) and continued about the taper process.

Flash forward to Canada, great swim, miserable bike and a not ideal run. I got through the race and those are the exact right words "got through the race." It probably wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had, but I wasn't about to quit, that's just me. But that lead to me not being able to walk for a week (not due to Ironman stiffness, I was actually the least sore and stiff I've ever been after an Ironman, likely because I was fitter than I've ever been before an Ironman). Not good.

Once we got home, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my ortho and we decided that since I didn't really have anything on the schedule in the near future, the best option was to go in there and fix the problem! Surgery was scheduled for a week after we returned from vacation.

Surgery went great! It was a minimally invasive procedure so in-and-out within a couple of hours. There was a piece of bone floating around in my knee that was removed (which was likely the big culprit!), some meniscus needling to increase blood flow and help heal the micro tears that were there, as well as a bit of scar tissue clean up and an influx of bone marrow into the knee to aid in the healing process. Doc was super happy with results and says I can be back at it in no time!

It's been 2-weeks since surgery and I was able to get back in the water on Monday, thank goodness I can move the body again. I know in the grand scheme of things 2-weeks is not a long time at all, but I was starting to get a little bit grumpy, sorry Aaron! I'm PT-ing, swimming and can spin easy on the bike for now so things are looking great. I'm looking forward to healing up and being able to get back out there, but in the mean time, it's been "fun" to relax a bit and have some down time.

Thanks for everyone that's helped me out in the past couple of months, I really, truly appreciate everything!

Not sure what's on tap next, but maybe the DOUBLE ROUGHWATER in November.