swim, bike, run, repeat.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A nice Christmas Eve jog

Since our gym is open today but doesn't have daycare, Ben graciously watched our niece (1 year) and nephew (4 years) while my sister and I went for a run. Six months ago, I would not have been able to say that. My sister, a smoker for over 20 years, did not run. It was not her thing.

But, she started taking Chantix and has been smoke free for 4 months. Go, Cherie! And now, she's addicted to the gym and has started running. She even did a 2 mile race on Thanksgiving. She was in a bit of a panic about no gym daycare today, but was excited to come over and run. We got in 3.1 miles in about 35 minutes, which was a lot faster than she thought we would be. She kept apologizing for being so slow, but I honestly didn't care. I am not fast compared to a lot of people, and I've quit apologizing for myself. If I'm too slow for you, save me a banana at the finish.

Now, if I could only get her into some tech fabrics....

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever you celebrate!

Mr. Cheese reluctantly wishes you a "HAPI CRIMOOS".
At least that's what I think he said.

Over the river and through the woods...

Well, it was more like through some trees, down some rocks, by a river, up a nasty hill, through some more trees....This morning, Ben and I ran the Otter Creek trail race. We opted for the 8 miler, tho if we had been ambitious, we could have gone for the 16 miler or the marathon.

I love this race. We did it last year, and it was cold and dry. This year, it was in the low 40s, and wet. There was a lot of fog, mud, and squooshy clay. There is also one part just past the half point where you don't run - you climb. And of course, that part was covered in clay. But lord, that race was so much fun. I didn't even fall this year (as compared to 3 times last year), tho I did have several moments where I went stumbling about, arms pinwheeling.

After we finished (Ben tried to push his way in front of me at the finish "line"), we trekked back to the car to clean up. I had mud all over my legs. It was fantastic. My shoes were a mess, my gloves were filthy (I grabbed a lot of trees for balance), and I had salt on my face. Yay! Then it was back to the nature center for soup, chili, and gingerbread.

Once we got back home, it was almost noon, and Ben and I both passed out on the couch. A good day.

P.S. I even peed in the woods.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

4 years ago....

So, four years ago I was fat. Not hugely obese, but more than chubby. I'm 5'3"ish, and weighed at least 175 lbs, probably more. I lied to myself and told myself that my eating habits weren't that bad and that I was active. I was a vegetarian at the time (mainly because I was afraid of killing Ben and myself by not cooking meat properly), but I was by no means a healthy vegetarian. Cheese pizza and ice cream don't have meat in them, but they aren't nutritionally sound, either. I'd go to the gym sporadically, and had even run my first half marathon the spring before (and then didn't run again until October).

In late summer 2003, I noticed a lump in my groin. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Cat Scratch Disease. A month of antibiotics, no biggie. But my doc also noticed that my blood pressure was a little high. Not cool for a 25 year old. After repeated follow up visits, my blood pressure didn't get any lower (if anything, it got higher), and I kept trying to lower it - cut out salt, went off the pill, started exercising for real (swimming 4 or 5 times a week for an hour, plus other random stuff), but nothing worked. My thyroid was tested, but it came back normal. Finally, at one visit, I had my head lowered in resignation that I'd have to go on blood pressure meds when my doc looked at me and asked when I had started losing my hair.

Now, I realized my hair was falling out. As a child, I had so much curly hair that I would hide under that bed when my mom would try to brush it. But now, my hair was thin - so thin you could see my scalp in the front and at the crown. I had just blamed it on being vegetarian, but the doc said I shouldn't have lost that much hair. He ordered more blood work, and I had to collect my own pee for 24 hours (let me tell you, that's a fun one to do at work). A few days later, we had an answer.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. That afternoon, I went to Kroger and picked up prescriptions for Metformin and Spironolactone.

Normally, I consider the internet a wondrous thing. However, once I had a name for what was wrong with me, the internet was full of scary, scary information. I learned that I had high levels of testosterone (the Spiro would help suppress it), and that my fertility hormone levels were really screwed up, which could sorta explain the BP issues. That's why my hair was falling out, and I had some other body hair issues. My insulin levels were also whacked, hence the Metformin ( a diabetic drug - it sensitizes your body to insulin). Basically, my endocrine system had shat itself.

On the plus side, that day was a turning point. PCOS can be managed with meds, exercise, and diet. I had to get off my ass and move, and cut out sugar pretty much completely. I started eating meat again (I know I could have stayed veg, but there was no way I was going to make the effort to be a healthy veg), learned more about fiber, the glycemic index, and nutrition in general that I ever wanted to know, and started running.

So far, I've managed drop over 30 lbs, depending on what my start weight was, and my hair has stopped falling out. My blood pressure is still a little touchy, so I get to visit my friendly doctor's office every few months or so. I have blood work done routinely. I know how much I weigh on any given day. If I go more than 36 hours without exercising, I start to freak out a little. My pee usually smells a little weird and has a greenish cast due to all the protein I take in (ok, so maybe that was a little much to share).

But, that all said, I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

finally, a use for my running journal

So the Marine Corps is done and over with (20 minutes slower than my Chicago time last year, but oh well) and I've started on on my own version of boot camp. Weights three times a week and an absolute crapload of cardio - running (faster, since it's shorter distances), biking, elliptical, whatever. Burn, fat on my ass, burn!!!!

I've also started keeping (in meticulous detail) track of everything I eat and all my activity. I've found that if I'm going to write it down, it deters me from eating it. So far, egg white omelets, apples, and cottage cheese are popping up quite frequently. The test is next week, when I get to tour Western Kentucky for work.

If I can't get the scale to budge, I'm taking my little book with me to my doctor's appointment next month, showing it to him, and asking what the hell I'm doing wrong.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Meet the players.

I thought it might be time to introduce the main people in my life, at least in regards to this whole running/swimming/biking/oh-my-god-you're doing-what?!? thing. This is by no means everyone, but it's a start.


Meet my husband. We met about the same time we started college, and have been married five and a half years now. He's unbelievable supportive of this whole venture, and has even done a sprint tri himself. He works for an ad agency and is starting a running team there for the local mini-marathon that's part of the Kentucky Derby Festival next spring.


Debi is awesome. She's my main training partner these days, as my others are pretty much only runners. She's a mother of five. She managed to convince me that I can actually survive the Ironman, and pointed out that I would be kicking myself if she did the race and I didn't. She gets me to do a lot of races that way.Ben refers to her as my enabler. I think that's pretty accurate. Also, as a side note, her nickname is Princess, but not for why you would think. When she runs, she holds her arms and hands in a way that remind me of the princess from Super Mario Bros 2. And to be fair, my nickname is T-Rex, because as I get tired when I run, my arms come up like one.


Before there was Debi, there was Tammy. (nickname: Crazy Legs) She and I have run together almost every Thursday after work for about 4 years. She is fast. She is small. She ran the Boston Marathon this spring, and has re-qualified. She can stick to a training plan like no other. And she just got a PR at the Portland Marathon last weekend.


I've know Sara since high school. She took the photos of my wedding. I was a bridesmaid in hers. She is now Dr. Sara, and is doing her residency in pediatrics. She is also the person who got me to lace up a pair of running shoes for the first time. She decided to train for the above mentioned mini-marathon, and asked me if I wanted to do it with her. I said no, but I'd do the 10k that was part of the race series. I did the 10k, and then did the 10 miler, and lo and behold, I did the damn mini-marathon. I nearly blacked out afterward at breakfast, but I finished. Sara doesn't know it yet, but she's going to some of my run training with me for Ironman.

Dr. J

He's my doctor (duh). I'll go into what's wrong with me at a later date, but he's the person who keeps me healthy. I have to go see him rather often for someone who on the outside seems very healthy, but that's okay. I have a condition that was kinda hard to diagnose, and a pain to manage.

Now, that's just a few. There are a lot more (like my family, for starters), but these are the ones I'm most likely to write about.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

quick note

Had a checkup on Friday (I get to go every few months due to some fun medical issues), and the doc gave the all clear for Ironman! Considering he was the one person who could have told me not to do it and actually have me listen, this is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Don't go down Piercy Mill Road.

Seriously. Especially if you are on a bike. Debi created a route for us to ride that had me (since somehow I had gotten into the lead) turning first right onto this ...slope. I can't even call it a hill. As soon as I turned, I realized just how steep this road was, and I tried to yell a warning to Debi, but then just started screaming "Holy shit!" over and over. This road was narrow. This road was bumpy. If there had been a car coming, I would have been toast, because it was all that I could do to keep my bike under any semblance of control. I was braking so had that I had a brief thought that I might burn through all of my brakes. And when I finally get to the bottom and wait for my buddy to walk her bike down, we realize that the bridge that she saw on the map that would take us over to Beckley Station apparently has not yet been built.

Sometimes I think Debi may be trying to kill me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's already the end of September, so it's only a month until Marine Corp. I haven't run for a week, when I did a 10K in Barcelona, Spain while on vacation. I did do a lot of walking (I'm talking hours and hours a day), but I also gave myself free rein on food while over there (drinking chocolate! beer! ice cream! beer! bread! beer!). Luckily, no major damage, as the weight stayed the same, but I've got to get my ass back on the road tomorrow. I've got my last long run next weekend, which is supposed to be 20 miles, but it might get cut back to 15, since Debi's having trouble with her hip and thinks it might be her IT band. Ouch.

I have on ouch too, but it's not keeping me from running - after a 40 mile bike ride a few weeks ago, my wrists and thumbs were sore (I have carpal tunnel already), and have been kinda achy since. It doesn't help that, for whatever reason, I've been sleeping with my arms under me with my wrists bent at bizarre angles. My right wrist doesn't want to bend too much right now, so i'm going to try sleeping with a brace. We'll see. I don't plan on biking a whole lot until after the marathon anyway.

The plan is just to survive the marathon, and then spend the next few months getting ready to really train. I'm going to try and put on some muscle (back to the Muscle-Tech classes with Tina at the LAC; I may try and drag my sister with me) and drop some weight. I'd like to get down to 133 or so, but the lowest I've really ever been was 137, and that was after a bout of food poisoning. My doc says I'm fine at the weight I'm at, but while my top half is pretty lean, my lower body leaves some to be desired. That, and every pound is a pound that I'll have to lug with me for 140.6 miles, so the less pounds there are, the better. It would be easire if I just didn't like food so damn much.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The word that I took the plunge and registered for the Ironman is slowly getting out. Two people at work know (one I told, the other found out here), a number of my friends know, and I told my sister. The response has been more of less positive (my sister, being practical, asked if I have told my doctor). I have decided not to tell my parents until sometime next summer. Why, you may ask? Well, let's use this an an example:

During my first marathon in Chicago in 2005, my husband (who was following me around the city to cheer me on) received a phone call to confirm I wasn't dead. That's right. Not dead. My mom had some pretty serious concerns that I was not going to survive running 26.2 miles. So one can imagine her thoughts of a race covering 140.6 miles in one day. (On the plus side, when I called her after last year's marathon, her response was less fatalistic: "I'm glad you're done. Don't do it again.")

On a very positive note, I've quit having panic attacks every hour. I'm sure they'll start up again when the nitty-gritty training really starts, but I'm just kinda enjoying the idea of the race right now. I put aero-bars on my bike (2005 Fuji Bordeaux) and tonight I'm taking it over to Debi's to test them out. I'm not a strong cyclist, and I can use any help I can get. I would coat myself in Vaseline if I thought it would make my more aerodynamic.

Monday, September 3, 2007

And so it begins

Today, Ben and I participated in the Mayor's Hike & Bike, and I decided to wear the Louisville Ironman jersey that he bought me. I had several people yell out their congratulations, and then I had to explain that no, I hadn't done it, my husband had bought it for me to keep me motivated, blah blah blah. Shallow or not, it did make me feel good that people thought I actually *could* have done it (though if I had, I probably still wouldn't be able to walk right, much less ride a bike). So, after much debating, I took the plunge. I came home, and without even changing out of my stinky, sweaty riding clothes, I signed up for Ironman Louisville 2008. Yippee! I had a brief moment of holy crap, what the hell did I just do?, but I'm okay now.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Another day, another wavering back and forth about 60 times. I'll be so sure that I'm going to do the full distance, I'll get really excited, and then BAM! I change my mind and start thinking WTF?!?! That is insane!

Also, my wonderful husband Ben wrote a nice post letting me see how my decision won't just affect my life. For either race, the training will be long and intense, not to mention time-consuming, but for the full distance, it seems all the more daunting. Is it fair to my family (not to mention everyone else) for me to embark on such a time-sucker? Am I willing to make the sacrifices? I'm just not so sure.

I've run 2 marathons, and will run another in October. For them, I've had about a 4 month training period, and have quite often cursed and complained my way through them. I haven't even told the majority of my running buddies that I'm doing a marathon this year because I didn't want the pressure of having my training plan (or lack thereof, quite frankly) critiqued. I just wanted to run. I have no time goal, other than to beat the straggler bus. I am not a fast runner. I do the turtle-shuffle, and that's okay with me. I'm a strong swimmer, having spent 8 years on a swim team. I can ride a bike, but am not very good at it. It scares me - if /when I fall, it's going to hurt. I go faster than I'm comfortable with, and I'm not even going all that fast. I'm sure some of these feelings will pass, but lord, 112 miles ! That just seems insane.

I'm doubting my ability to commit to the Ironman - or, more precisely, to it's training. I'm sure that I could suffer through the actual race. But I'm not sure I could force myself to suffer through the training. The half distance is starting to seem a lot more reasonable. I've biked 34 miles before. The jump to 56 seems doable. I can already swim 1.2 miles, and most of my weekly long runs are longer than 13.1 miles. But, with time, who's to say I wouldn't be able to make the leap the Ironman distances?

Sigh. Such indecision.

As of a little while ago, the race was still open, so I guess I get to waver some more. Any input would be appreciated.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What to do, what to do....

Louisville had it's first Ironman this Sunday. I've done a few sprint triathlons, and had a blast. So, I was pretty psyched to go watch and volunteer, and then - the plan went- to go sign up for 2008 on Monday.

It's now Thursday. And I haven't signed up.

What happened? I was so sure I could do it; I really really *wanted* to do it. I could already hear "Kelly Wilson, you are an Ironman!" in my head. But then, as I was stationed by the medical tent Sunday night and watched all the normal, non-pro athletes coming in for help, I completely freaked. I decided that the half distance was the way to go. I broke this to my training partner (Debi), who took it rather well, though she made me promise to train with her.

The race hasn't closed (as of this morning), and I'm still on the fence. I want to do the full Ironman, but I am also terrified of the idea, if only because of the biking (more on this later). I'm half-hoping that it closes before I can make a decision, so the pressure would be off. On the one hand, I'm feeling like a weenie for doing only a half, but on the other hand, 70.3 miles is still a freakin' long way to go!

So, long story short, come along for the ride. Right now, I can't even tell you how long it will be, but it will be a fun trip. And feel free to give me you opinion - I'm one of those people who will stop and ask for directions.