Sunday, June 30, 2013

Plans for July: It Begins

So now it is 4 1/2 hours from the start of July, the month you have all been waiting for.

Race Month!  The plans:
We are both running the Butte to Butte- me for the 3rd time, him for the 2nd time.

I am doing my half-Ironman on July 21, in Lake Stevens Washington.

M is doing his first tri, the Olympic distance at the Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove on July 28.

The Butte to Butte has become a fun July 4 tradition.  I don't always get race shirts, but the Butte to Butte ones are fun!  

My plan for this one is to run it as a training race- I am debating if I'm going to try the run-two-minutes-walk-one-minute strategy I'm considering for the Ironman run, or if I'll do a flat-out hilly 10K and see how I do.

After the race, we plan to head out to the Bend area for a little low-key camping.  If we can still get a Lake Cultus area tent spot, we will bring the wetsuits and do some swimming.  (Cold lake + swim = recovery from hot run.)

The triathlon anxiety dreams have started.  It's the usual, by now.  I arrive at the race.  In the dream, I had my tri bag ready to go, but I found that the start line was pretty far from T1.  So I set everything up, and went to the start line, only to discover I didn't have my shoes or my watch or my Road ID.  Can't race without Road ID!  So I go back to my bag, only to find that someone has packed up my transition area.  So I set my area up again, put on my things, and head to the start line... only to discover that I don't have my shoes or watch or Road ID.  So I go back to the T1, where I find someone has packed it up.  So I unpack it, and head back to the start line, where I can see they are starting to run racers, and if I don't hurry, I'll miss my race.  So I get to the start line... and guess what?  Yep, no shoes or watch or Road ID.  So I spend the whole dream watching wave after wave go off while I never had exactly what I need.  It's basically Sisphyus, triathlon-style.

Other than that, training is OK.  My swim is a little less strong than I'd like it to be.  It takes me so long to get comfy in a wetsuit.  I often wish I had a sleeveless one for more arm movement!  My swim form is much, much better- so much better that I could actually keep pace with M yesterday when I was concentrating on form and cadence.  I did so great that he actually clobbered me in the head with a mighty swimmer elbow, because I got too close!  For the rest of the month, I think I should concentrate on endurance, since I've changed so much about my stroke.  Now it's time to keep that stroke together for a whole mile!

My bike feels fantastic.  I am finishing hard push rides with plenty left in the tank, so I think I'll have a happy ride.  I'm not worried about coming out of the water queasy, since I think it was the beginning of a bonk yesterday when I got queasy in the water.  On race day, by the time I start getting hungry, I'll be on the bike and that's a rolling buffet.

My run... well, I'm woefully undertrained for a half marathon.  I think I might try a run til I can't, then switch to Run Two Minutes, Walk One Minute around mile 3 or 4.  It'll be a survival run.  Training plans include running on the Ridgeline trail to keep cool and work hills, perhaps some early morning runs around my neighborhood, and the Butte to Butte.

Outside work will be sparing this week- it is HOT.  It was 104 outside my garage this afternoon, and I'm already sporting a mondo sunburn from this weekend's adventures.  (There's not enough SPF in the world.)  I have to let this burn heal so I don't get worse!

For karma balance, I am going to volunteer at the Rolf Prima.  I really wanted to be there at the finish line when M finishes his first race, and I think it's great to volunteer at races.  None of this would be possible without the incredible volunteers, and it's been a few years since I volunteered.  It's time to give back- it's good balance!  So I am volunteering as the person who writes your number on your leg, meaning I'll be right near the swim start, and near transition, so I can keep an eye on M as he goes through things!

Wish us luck!

BONUS for reading this far:  Watermelon Slush.  I've been drinking this for two days now, because it's slushy and cool and it's HOT.

You need a blender.
Fill the blender loosely with watermelon chunks.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Real lemonade is also OK.
If you like ginger, toss in a peeled piece of ginger, about 1/2" wide.
Smush a whole tray of ice cubes into there.

Press start, and when the watermelon has blended to the point where it starts chunking up the ice, hit ice cube mode on your blender.  Blend until it's slushy in texture.

Drink away!  I'm sure you could put vodka or something into this (maybe a white wine?) but I don't like alcohol on super-hot days like this.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Aquabike, and I Discover a Way I Don't Hate Oatmeal

Today, on our way out the door for a bike ride, we decided it was so friggin' hot that we'd like to take our swim stuff and throw in a swim.  I settled on Cottage Grove (the cleanest, coldest lake around, and also the one M will be swimming in the Rolf Prima Tri this month).

Our first attempt at bike ride was a no-go- the Gears group is so much fun to ride with, but I'd ridden the route they were doing today a few times and I wanted new and fun.  So we headed to Cottage Grove to do our own thing.  We elected to ride around the lake with a few extra miles tacked on, which will be great so M can get used to the road and know what he's facing for his race.  Yeah, we're that kind of triathlete now, who pre-rides race courses.

Oh, hey, look!  A bald eagle nest!  M had some fun whistling to it, and some bird or another (we don't if it was the eagle or not) was calling back.  

The ride was great- a little wind, but just enough so I got a great workout without it being killer.  I also had my homemade electrolyte drink (modified from the Thrive recipe- basically, I leave out the dates).  I drank a full bottle of that in the first hour on the bike.

After that, we suited up in wetsuits (right around the time I realized I had brought no dry clothes to wear home.  Whoops).  We got in the water.  Oh, sure, I whined a bit about the cold water, but in reality, it felt really good.

Cottage Grove is a great lake to swim in.  I wish it didn't allow motorboats.  I find the big wakes to be disorienting when they hit me.

I had a good first 2/3 of the swim, but the last 1/3 went downhill.  I started feeling pretty awful- queasy, negative energy, uncomfortable, dragging... I forced myself through the last bit of that swim, but opted out of the last out-and-back to the last buoy.  So it was a slightly shorter swim that I had planned.  (Maybe by 1 or 2 hundred yards?)

But once in the car, as we got started home, I started asking for McDonald's Chicken Sandwiches.  Thankfully, M has known me long enough by now and pulled over so I could get a banana and a Kind bar out of our cooler in the back instead.  I spent the ride home sipping away on my second bottle of drink and sharing the food, and felt 1,000% better by the time we got home.  I'd just burned all my available fuel in that nearly three hour workout!  I don't anticipate this being a problem on race day- the swim comes first, and I have a snack before the swim.  Then by the time I'm on the bike, I'm getting hungry, so I used the bike to eat and drink.  I never feel good on the run, so I find I eat pretty light on the run.  The bike is my rolling buffet! (Later in the afternoon, while at the grocery store, I would go ape for some salty kale chips, so I have to remember that my body dumps electrolytes and keep the salt up.)

In other news, I have been a lifelong oatmeal hater.  I just hate it.  I've never liked any warm cereals or mushy things: grits, cream of wheat, oatmeal.  Bleah.  M likes it in a bowl with a ton of milk.  I say again, bleah.

But when we got home, he'd chopped up a mango.  I'd read about someone who did oatmeal, banana, and peanut butter... so I thought "fresh mango chunks, what can go wrong!"  I microwaved some oatmeal with a little less water than it called for, so it was still big flakes instead of mushy nothings.  I mixed it with the mango, some dried cranberries, and a few almonds.

THIS is what delicious oatmeal looks like.  I would like to eat more of this, 
perhaps on our big 4th of July camping trip!  

So overall verdict: MAN, it is OREGON HOT today!  (It's over 75.  It is amazing we can live like this!)  But a good solid workout and so I call it a win. 

For some reason, we thought that tempeh ragu over roasted spaghetti squash was a good idea.  For the record, next time it's a hot day like this, I'm calling it for take-out sushi.  

Don't feel bad if I don't record anything this week: plans include getting M registered for the Rolf Prima, running the Butte to Butte (10K, as always!), and a nice little mini camping trip.

Friday Adventure: Wild Seals

So my friends have all been telling me about the wild starfish. I grew up on the East Coast, in Connecticut. Our idea of "ocean" is something like Long Island Sound.  It's really rocky.  On a really, really windy day, the waves might get really exciting- maybe six inches high, if you're lucky.  You can walk about a mile out to 'sea' and still be waist-deep in bathwater warm water.

Then I moved to the West Coast.  The waves here are HUGE- they look like they are about as big as I am tall!- and you have to be really careful.  Even the most careful people are surprised by sneaker waves- huge swathes of water that just come out of nowhere.  I have really learned to respect the Ocean here.

The continental shelf is actually pretty short, so at the right times of year you can watch for whales from the shore!

I was naturally intrigued by the idea of seeing starfish in their natural habitat.  A friend of mine who is a scientist-type told me about "negative tides", which in my parlance means "the days when the tide is really, really low".  So we found a day of negative tides and decided to go for some starfish hunting!

We succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.  I'd never seen tide pools before, and certainly never like this.  They were like aquariums on the beach.  We found hundreds of starfish, crabs (both live and not alive), mussels bigger than my hand (made me hungry!), sea anemones, neat creatures that I couldn't identify but that reacted to our touch, and WILD SEALS!

Despite my best efforts, I got well sun-burned (drat!) in a streak over my left shoulder.  I guess there is just not enough spray sport sunscreen in the universe.  At least, the waxy stuff I use on my face prevented a big burn there, too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Friday Adventure

I wonder if I (and several of my teammates) are suffering from Early Taper.  A few of us have had major life stress in the last year and while we like being active, we are just exhausted.  I kind of want to go swimming and ride my bike and sit on the couch.  Last year, I was all revved up and excited by everyone's different race reports, and this year I feel like a Curmudgeon: "Don'tcha'all want to just sit down and stop racing them damn bikes all the time?"  

Seriously.  Let's have a nice, fun, no-stress bike ride, and then let's have a nice lemonade, preferably on a shady porch with a swing.  I still want to ride my bike, but it's stressing me out to think "Oh, can I ride today, or is this a long run day??"  

So last Friday, we went for our Friday Adventures.  These have been a series of things we do together on Friday.  We shut off Facebook (I even delete the app from my phone these days!), turn off internet, and head out for a low-tech fun time.  We usually pack a picnic.  

We went walking on the Eagle Creek trail.  We were pretty much entirely under tree cover the whole day.  

We saw lots of wildlife.  HUGE slugs, lots of huge slugs.  Should I spare you the picture?
Nah.  That is M's hand, by the way.  Dude's 6 feet tall.  That's a beeg slug!
I started calling these Easter Egg snails.  Their shells were pretty brown, but their bodies were all different colors!

And my favorites: 

Salamanders!  We saw dozens of these guys.  M even got a great sunny picture of one, but that's on his phone.  At some point, I will replace my poor broken-down Canon Powershot (the digital display went out, and I just haven't gotten around to replacing it yet), and my pictures will be nice and clear again. 

Overall, it was a nice adventurous hike of 4+ hours!  We took a rice pilaf dressed with a nice Thrive dressing, but actually didn't eat it- we just weren't hungry on the trail.  So, later on, after we'd cleaned up from the super muddy trail: 
one's shoe worth of mud.  Seriously, it's like cement, if you let it dry!
 We re-packed our picnic into our adorable little picnic basket- best anniversary gift ever!  we use it ALL THE TIME!- and we went to a local winery that was having a free tasting party and inviting picnics. 

Our dinner view. 

Overall, we agreed it was one of the best Friday adventures so far!  Active, new to both of us, and very tasty!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dairy Got Me Again

So I was hungry yesterday without a snack on hand. (Also part of the learning process). I went to my favorite coffee shop, where, alas!, they were out of vegan muffins.  So I tried my other coffee shop, where they tried to work with me to make a dairy-free alternative.  They were "pretty sure" the bread was a dairy free variety. So they made me a special PB and J.  I heart them.  

Sadly, the bread was NOT dairy free. Oh my. I spent the rest of the evening and most of today in misery. Oh well.  Not their fault.  

Lesson learned. Must always have a Picky Bar in my possession. 

In other news, we are going to adjust our automated emeals plan and do a modified paleo (meaning I will probably sub out most of the meat with veg options, but otherwise try the paleo plan) for a while. We have been doing the vegetarian plan all this time, and while it is often good, sometimes really blah, and occassionally has a dreadful meal, it is also pretty dairy heavy, and very carb heavy.  The Paleo plan seemed to be dairy free without my having to constantly be on the watch.  So we wanted to try it and see if it helps me keep my protein up.  

I'm going for a follow up with the doctor early next week.  I switched doctors when I learned that my previous doc had written zero chart notes except "Gastritis". Basically, my chart reflects only that ive had an upset tummy.  No mention of the lactose intolerance symptoms, or strict dairy free diet I was asked to follow, no record of Any sort of deduction.  It looks like the doc thought i was a hypochondriac and so didn't bother to write notes.  So for all this major life change, the only record is what I have written down.  Not acceptable.  If I'm making major life changes like being an Italian girl giving up mozzarella, there damn well better be a legit record.  So, new doc.  Hopefully, I can have a good conversation, find some solutions, and maybe get a referral for nutrition so I can be sure that what I'm doing is the right thing.  

A picture of snake, and a Gross Triathlete Trick post

Warning: This is a post about gross triathlete things.  How about, first, I'll show you a picture of a snake that I saw on my run?  Then you can make up your own mind about whether to proceed.  

I saw a whole bunch of snakes.  There was a bigger one of these, as well as a really big one that I couldn't tell what he was because I couldn't see his head.  I didn't bug any of them.  They didn't bug me.  Thankfully, I'm not terrified of snakes, otherwise I'd never run on the Fern Ridge marsh again.  

 I've always been among the cleaner triathletes.  I don't try to eat gels while in the water and I've never done an entire bike ride with peanut butter smeared on my face.  (Still grosses me out to THIS DAY!)  I usually clean the mold out of my water bottles when I use them or when my poor long suffering mother notices.  (Whoops.)  

Sure, I pee in the lake like everyone else in the universe does especially as I approach the end of the swim.  (I figure, get it out of the way and move on with your life, right?)  But I've never peed on my bike. 

Yes, my boys at LifeCycle.  Mine is a pee-free frame.  You're welcome.  

I take the hit and stop at a Porta-john like a lady.  

I also usually carry a rag or something to wipe my nose.  I call it a "snot rag" to myself, but to everyone else, I call it a "hankie".  

Ever since giving up dairy, what I thought was my hayfever and grass allergies have almost entirely disappeared.  This is a huge improvement from earlier years, when I rotated through three or four different medicines and took allergy meds for months on end.  Suddenly... almost total disappearance of this symptom.  Which makes me wonder how long I was really having dairy issues for, after all.  I have next to no stuffy nose issues and almost no runny nose, ever, now.  This is usually very handy.  I only take allergy medicine when I'll be out doing an extended workout in the wilds on a day with a really high pollen count.  

Like the other day, when I went on my long run out towards the marshes.  It's a beautiful run.  
(Pretty much dead center, there's this amazing blue heron.)

So close I could see the feathers on his head. 

Alas, I forgot to take my meds.  Which meant I got super-sneezy on that long, very grassy run. 

A human being can only snort so much snot back up before it has to come out somewhere.  

That is how, as I ran along, I found myself contemplating whether a snot rocket was really as bad as I've always thought it would be.  I mean, guys do it all time.  (Guys also spit and scratch their balls, and I don't do that, either, so I do have SOME standards.)  But my nose was SO gross and the path SO deserted.  

So I did it.  I assumed the position and blew a most excellent snot rocket, thereby clearing out my nostrils most excellently.  I did it once more (for the other side of my face) and enjoyed a delightful run after that.  

I am not going to recommend snot rockets for a regular action, and still advise the carrying of a snot rag if one can manage it.  But I suppose this is one more tool for my handy dandy tri toolbox of gross-but-really-handy tricks.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

My house is pretty

This is not tri related, unless I say something like "I was standing on my deck yesterday after I'd gotten home and showered and changed after my long hot gross run". 

But this is life in the hills.  

We watched the sunset instead of TV for a long time.  

Oh, here, I'll make this post tri-related.  I made the Thrive sports drink this morning.  I was starting to get those headaches that I get when I drink straight water.  I know that everyone else in the universe can drink straight water, but I think my body dumps electrolytes like a three-year old with a Tonka truck full of Legos.  I have, for as long as I remember, had this issue where if I drink more than 16 oz of straight water, I start getting a headache that doesn't resolve until I eat something salty.  

Last summer, I got the Thrive book (vegan triathlete, neat recipes mostly, though I wish more of them had serving sizes listed) and drank the sports drink pretty much round the clock all summer.  Once I started doing that, headaches totally resolved and cramping dropped way down.  So it was time to up the electrolyte intake again.  It's a lemon-lime-coconut oil-date mixture, and is totally worth checking the book out of your local library.  Thrive, Brendan Brazier.  

I also made a batch of energy bars from the No Meat Athlete energy bar formula site, and have them in my freezer.  Easy peasy, delicious.  

Basically, I'm into a few big build weeks now.  I gotta get my run up in distance, and start solidifying my swim distance with all the changes I've made, and get in a few long bikes.  

M and I are planning some century rides later this summer (after the races).  And hopefully, some big hikes with friends!  So it'll be a fun summer.  

Long Runs, Hot Bike Path

So my run speed is an abomination.  Whoops.  I was doing so well working on speed, for a while there.  I think I'm just a lazy runner and I need other runners to keep me honest.  Or I need a better run tracker, since my Allsport GPS app averages everything including walk breaks and stretching into your overall miles per minute.  I've been trying a strategy where, when you get tired, instead of fighting it, you slow to a fast walk for 1 minute, and then start up again.  It always seems to help.  

Yesterday I went for an afternoon longer run- we've been running the Ridgeline trail, doing a 2 minutes on, 1 minute off philosophy, up and down those big steep hills.  So I wanted to go flat and fast.  

I did the Fern Ridge bike path down to Greenhill... pretty much as flat as you are going to get. 

Unfortunately, I always forget how sunny it is.  I didn't wear a visor and I overdressed.  I could have worn shorts and a tank.  I wore pants and a tee.  So I was hot.  Really hot and sweaty.  I finished the run (6 miles from my house) in just about an hour, with three 1 minute walk breaks and one stretch break (my left hip flexor was being whiny.)  

This morning, I started off with two Barre3 stretch and core workouts.  Perhaps I should make that a morning routine.  The stretching is very, very good, and the core can only help me, right?  It's harder to fit in Barre3 with M home, because I feel so silly doing workouts with an audience, and our house is TEENY.  

In other news, dairy issues continue to plague me.  So far, no attempts at reintroducing anything has gone well.  Everything seems to be causing a reaction at this point.  So I am sticking to non-dairy options until I can discuss it with my (new) doctor (after I dumped my last doctor for lousy charting, a blah bedside manner, and loosey goosey staff who lost my appointment that I waited over a month for).  

I am trying to focus on replacing the protein without over-carbing.  It is very complicated and I think I might need to get a nutritionist.  (My last doctor didn't want to send me to a nutritionist.  She just said, "Oh, so you need protein.  That'll be complicated." Another thing that nixed her.)  My weight sprang back up a few pounds with all the dairy issues, but I am hopeful that since I am tracking in a different way now, I can bring it back down.  I think I was eating too many easy carbs. One thing I have discovered is that dairy free or vegan options can be three times as high in calories as their dairy counter parts.  Once, I got "allergy free" burger buns for a picnic- I found they were 340 calories, EACH!  Yikes!  So I have to be careful.  

Also- regards the carbs- perhaps I should remind myself that if it is hard to cook (i.e., rice takes a long time to cook, as does millet and amaranth, and other grains), it is probably better for me than the easy thing (the tortilla that takes 30 seconds to defrost).  I should focus on difficult carbs, because they will fuel my body better and are probably better overall nutritionally.  

Eating has been REALLY COMPLICATED this season.  But I'm working on it.  And I AM down about 9 pounds from the beginning of the year, so it's a work in progress.  I have 9 more that I want to go before my race.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Swimming with Sound- Super Exciting!

When I got my cochlear implant, I started discovering all sorts of things that made sound that I didn't know made sounds.  Like footsteps in the grass, or computers. It was months before I figured out "loud" and "soft".  I actually sat in the piano practice rooms humming along to the pianos, and sometimes shouting and whispering to myself to learn "loud" and "soft".

Some sounds, though, I was perfectly content to live without.  Our dorms shared bathrooms, and I quickly discovered that I loathe the sound of running water.  It's noisy and just grates on my nerves.  Faucets.  Toilets.  Showers.  Waterfalls.  Rivers.  Even beach waves.  I tolerate them, but I find the noise annoying.  So I never felt that I missed out on singing in the shower.  (All of my roommates have always been glad about that!)  One of my biggest pet peeves is people who talk while on the toilet.  For pete's sake, people, leave me (and each other!) alone if I'm on the pot!  I really, really hate those desktop water fountains.  I once had to do pre-surgical rounds to a unit that had one in their "serenity corner".  Sweet unit.  Too bad that I always had this urge to throw things at that damn fountain. They probably thought, "Oh, great, here comes Chaplain Rage again!"  

But I've often been curious about swimming sounds.  I've wanted to hear my teammates while in the lake, or my coach while in the pool.  I've wanted to know what it sounds like to rotate your head in the water.  I've wondered what the starting gun sounds like.

So I wrote to Cochlear (the company that makes my processor and implant) and said something along the lines of "Hey, this is really annoying, and it's high time you made something waterproof!"

Turns out they are indeed working on increasingly waterproof sound processors, and they have a drybag in the works.  It is not yet approved by the FDA, so not available in the USA yet, but they sent me a few advance models to try out. (Update: Since I started writing this a month ago, it has been approved and is for sale!)  

On one hand, it looks ridiculous.

I'm pretty sure it will ruin my T1 times, as I'll have to pause and cut this thing out of its bag, since you are nuts if you think I'm going to ride with that. (Update: I have decided that I will keep my current processor on hand in T1 to switch into.  I'll use this- my backup processor- just for the swim! Smart, huh?)

But on the other hand...

It was pretty neat to be able to get directions from my coach easily.

I was totally distracted for the first 30 minutes in the water, sticking my head under water and doing all the dumb things that kids do- talking under water, singing under water, playing dolphin.  I swam the crawl so I could hear the whoosh whoosh of dipping my head in and out of the water.  I kept my head under for too many strokes so I could figure out what made the "glub glub" sound (it was breathing, that's what it was).

The battery in my backup processor only lasted about 30 minutes, and then it cut out.  I don't know why, yet, so I'm doing a battery test right now to figure out if it's the processor or something with the baggie.  It's sort of annoying since my backup processor hasn't been worn in a while and sounds funny.

Overwall, I'd like to try it in a lake (with my swim cap keeping it safe) and I'll only be trying this on my backup processor.  I don't want my current processor going for an accidental submarine attempt!   Still have to try the open water bit, as of today. 

BUT I did see- after I sent my review to Cochlear- that it has been approved and I can now buy them off the Cochlear site!  Whoo hoo!!  If you are a cochlear wearer and a swimmer, you should definitely invest in these.  They look effin' ridiculous, and I couldn't imagine wearing it without a swim cap or a head band for extra security, but it was SO NICE to be able to talk to my coach.  And I REALLY can't wait to do a race with one- finally able to talk to competitors before the gun.  AND THE GUN!! I can't wait to hear the starting gun.  

I wouldn't wear it all the time- I have been swimming without it.  If I'm doing a workout on my own, then I don't see the need to hear everything.  Contrary to the hearing world perception, I don't feel I need to hear everything all the time.  Sometimes it's kinda nice to be able to have a mellow workout with just my own thoughts.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Plans for the Week

Well, after going to bed around 9:30PM, falling asleep without really meaning to, and sleeping til 7:30AM, I feel much more like my normal self.

I even got a little hyper and made muffins out of my new used cookbook for dairy-free cooking.  They are a little on the sweet side, so I think I'll cut down the sugar next time.  But it'll be nice to have muffins!  I think I'll bake some and bring them to work so I can have muffins without always having to get the Mega-Gigantic Vegan Muffin at Full City.  While that's a very good muffin indeed, it's about the size of two of my fists... a bit too much muffin, really.

So today I am writing like a fiend and have organizing to do.  We have been cleaning things up and getting stuff re-unified.  Amazing how un-unified our record keeping had become, and now I have to do things like re-integrate his car records with the car-maintenance-records-file, and figure out where to convince him to file his papers, so that we don't have constant Paper Pile on the coffee table.

This week:

I plan at least three swims- one of those as an open water, if I can!  I want to try my new stroke in the wetsuit.

Three to four runs- at least one long run of 8 miles to hold onto my base, and one shorty one for speed, and at least two trail runs on the Ridgeline to work on my hills and overall whininess.  I attacked hills all last year on my bike and it made me that much stronger.  Time to get over the fear of hills on the run, as well!

Bike rides- well, my bike is so strong at this point that, while I'm not the fastest chick on the road, I don't think anything of throwing down a 50 mile fun ride.  So alas, bikes are going to have to be workout candy for me.  I have to do my OTHER workouts before I can play on bikes.  I hope that I can join the LifeCycle ride on Wednesday, and perhaps the Gears ride on Saturday.  I'd check out my calendar, but I think I accidentally left it home.  Oops!  (Very frustrating as Monday mornings are typically the day when I correlate all my calendars!)  :-(

Off I go.  I shall report on the week as we go along.  I will have a VERY exciting report for tomorrow's swim with my swim coach!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

No workout weekend

My job sometimes weird hours- usually, for great reasons.  This week was bookended by two celebrations and filled in the middle with services.  

I was just beat.  I got a ton of walking done but No real workout. Ah well. 

My left ankle has been sore- like it's been stretched too much- and both my feet feel like balloons.  I'm just a bit lethargic.  I guess thats par for the course when you stand up for a living! I decided a weekend of no running could only benefit that ankle. The compression socks were awesome too.  I pulled them on when I got home from work at three and wore them out to a party.  Nuts? Maybe. But they really feel so good on my feetsies! I want more compression socks!  

Dairy free note- reading my new (used) dairy free cookbook, it's explaining me to a T. I bet I've been slowly becoming lactose intolerant for years.  I'm breathing better than I can remember- in fact, I almost feel like have a superpower nose right now.  I've become very fussy about taste, probably due to the heightened smell.  The white coating on my tongue disappeared and I have a very pink tongue.  No headaches (except from the devil kava).  All this seems to jive with the lactose intolerant information.  So now it's just figuring out whether its an intolerance or an allergy, and how long it will last.  Many nice people have shared with me their stories- many people can eventually have a little dairy, some recover fully, but many others have just stayed off entirely.  I think I'll stay off for a while and try experimenting in the all, after the season is done.  No reason to screw around with my tummy too early!  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kava, the Drink of the Damned

So yesterday, we went to Portland.  We are making Fridays our adventure day- taking the day off from work and housekeeping and just spending time together doing the adventurous stuff we've heard and talked about for the last two years but never did.  

This week we drove to Portland to see the Flower Festival.

It was pretty tame- just one big display and the Beat Goes On marching band, complete with cheerleaders and baton twirlers. I should totally do that when I retire.  The pompons will be holograms by then but I bet I can still remember some of my old cheer routines.  Thinking about cheer routines and walking a few miles is like working out, right? 

We did some walking by the water.  We went to Powells Books, where we both fulfilled our vow to buy books rather than getting angry at the library for making me wait 6 months, or subsisting entirely on red books.  Yes, I bought a book with actual money. It was Ann Patchett, whose work I really enjoy. State of Wonder.  I am enjoying it already. 

For dinner, we planned to go to Sunshine Tavern, which i Kept seeing reviews of. It wasn't open til 5, and we got there just before 4.  There was a "Bula Kava House" next door, but neither of us knew what kava was.  So we decided to be ADVENTUROUS and try a shell each.  


If you strained mud and drank the mud juice, you'd have a tasty idea of the flavor.  Worse yet, the drink turned my lips and tongue numb... And the numb feeling was creeping down my throat.  Think of the dentist and novacaine.  As the numb feeling spread, I became unhappier and unhappier.  Soon, the beginnings of what would become a whanging headache set in. 

Kava also "relaxes your body", which explains why after about 15 minutes I was bolting for the bathroom.  Let us speak no more of that.  

There was a game on the table- the one where you jump pegs until only one peg remains.  M says that after about 30 minutes, I was saying things like "I can see patterns!" In the game pieces.  I felt like I was floating out of my body.  

Definitely not an experience I care to repeat! 

At 5, we went to Sunshine, where I got a few plates of pickles to wipe the mud flavor from my mouth, and then split a nice greasy pork belly sandwich.  Right now, I'm following a philosophy where I'll eat meat if its the safest option on the menu.  There were no vegan options on the menu at all, and many sandwiches included buttermilk as an ingredient.  The pork belly was the safest, truly! So I split that with M. 

After supper I fell asleep in the car, spent most of the night in a stupor with heavy limbs and a huge headache, where reportedly i woke up at one point and threatened to urn down the kava shop, and finally woke up at 5AM with the most raging hangover.  My ankles were swollen and my rings stuck on my finger from water retention.  Apparently, this is all known effects of kava.  Which is, btw, banned in several countries! Can't imagine why. 

To be fair, M did not experience such bad effects, but he's also bigger than me.  So something about my biochemistry just doesn't mesh with evil kava.  

After several cups of Yerba mate, toast and nutritional yeast spread, a runny egg, a bunch of Aleve, a vat of water, and a salad potluck where I ate a bunch of kale, I am feeling much better.  (I'm also three pounds lighter after all that food. And tea.  Which means that I'm almost back to normal since this morning.)
Ahhhhh. Salad potluck! 

No kava for me, ever again, no way, no how.  That was easily the biggest BLECH!!! food item I have ever consumed.