Tag training

Back, after a summer of R&R&R…


Yes, it’s been a long time since my last post. I had run my first stage race and my body rebelled. It was a long time in the works (the problems started back in Feb), and that fun little adventure put me over the edge. Enter the first R – Rehabilitation. I tried a few different types of therapy. I think the first 2 worked at getting the inflammation of my ITB down and breaking up any scar tissue that was developing. I tried some Rest, but little bits of aggravation told me that the problem was still not fixed. Trying not to get too frustrated, I went to yet another therapist that was going to attack things from a different angle – biomechanics. (hence their name, Chattanooga Performance Biomechanics and Rehabilitation).

We started with an analysis of my gait – both walking & running, barefoot & with several types of shoes. The verdict?  I had a ton of crossover with an added twist, that with repeated motion (say…. 60 miles?!) was going to keep my ITB tweaked. The answer was simple: just change the way you move. I want to type, “easier said than done”, but I have surprised myself. Yes, it’s been several months of rest, exercises, & stretching diligence (with lots of yoga, cycling to try to occupy my excess energy), but I can tell a HUGE difference.

The miles are slowly starting to build back up. I did the Greenway 5 mile race in August and at the time, that was the longest I had run since the stage race. I’m now prepping for the StumpJump 11 miler – nope, not the full monty 50, but these 11 miles will hopefully have a stout effort behind them (and a little bit of speed if I’m lucky).  It’s hard not to jump up to the big mileage races of fall, but I’m trying to further my patience.

So what else did I get to do while in this downtime? Well, not train much in the blasted heat that just would not leave. (Talk about timing an injury right!) I did get to do a lot of race spectating & supporting for Anders in his quest to tear up the south’s road racing scene. (mission accomplished!)

Now that the weather is starting to cool off, mileage will ramp back up, with my lucky entry into two of NC’s hottest races – the Shut-In Ridge Run and the infamous Mt. Mitchell Challenge. (Yes, the 40 once again, as long as the body’s feeling up to it!) In between, I’m hoping to catch a few cyclocross races in the region and hopefully improve a bit with that madness.

training wheels

after xrays, bone scans and mri’s, the dr has given me the thumbs up to start running again! yeah! i started with a 30 min run, then a 45, and joyfully joined the wednesday night trail running crew for a slow 60 minutes this week. it’s tough to make yourself take it this easy, but the last thing i want to do is get reinjured and sit out longer. the ankles definitely do not feel 100%, but I’m hoping my plan to ease into time/distance will pay off.

i’ve been so excited to get back into it, that i’ve signed up for a few events this week and my year is starting to take shape. a few upcoming events…  more details to come!

winter training

from frazz:

always remember your headlamp.
maybe santa will bring new bike lights….

broken things…

#1. my road bike. yup, i’ve joined the ranks of Those That Drive Their Cars Into Their Garages With Their Bikes Still on Top. dumbdumbdumb. that distinct sound of a hollow carbon fiber fork snapping in two is unmistakeable. It sits in 2 pieces right now. fingers crossed it is not a total loss. Anyone want to hook me up with a 52cm loaner for a little bit? (I guess this means i won’t be buying that new cyclocross bike i was hoping for!)

#2. heart. ok, in this case it isn’t really broken, but rather, problematic. i’ve had breathing issues for awhile, coupled with some annoying palpitations on occasion (sidelined me at the Blankets Duathlon, Raccoon SERC Race, Tsali Challenge, Leadville…). Asthma? Who knows… my pulmonary dr a few weeks ago said that my chest xray was normal and any asthma i has was slight. (but here’s a bunch of meds to try and see if symptoms are alleviated. uh, yeah doc. whatever.) so on to the next dr – my cardiologist, dr steve austin (awesome guy!). he found a few inconsistencies in one test and referred me to a cardiac electrophysiologist, who i saw today. dr david wendt (super awesome guy!) told me that i have type 1 second degree heart blockages. WTF! it’s not arterial blockage as may first come to mind, but rather interruption in electrical conduction. thankfully it is a benign condition and i don’t need to do anything about it. in fact, he wasn’t really surprised that i had this either – said it is not uncommon in high performing athletes.

so, what next? of course i could just cut back the intensity of my training and racing, since that is when most of the problems arise. but the doc said that didn’t seem to fit my lifestyle. (WOW, a dr that understands me!!), so it’s on to a few more tests. we’ll do what we can locally, then make the decision on whether or not to seek treatment with someone that specializes in working with athletes. (he recommended either CO Springs, or the Cooper Institute in TX.) so, we’ll see…. but it’s nice to know that i’m not going to keel over dead. (i must say i totally freaked out when i was first told what was up. thanks to all my friends for being there for me!)

in the red

looks like another evening of planned training is going down the drain… i certainly don’t mind getting wet (it’s quite refreshing in this godawful heat we’re having), but dodging lightning can be counter-productive.

Severe thunderstorms capable of producing quarter size hail and 60 mph winds are blowing through Southeast Tennessee and a severe thunderstorm watch is in affect until 8 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

a different kind of pain

right about now, i should be on top of cherohala, or perhaps suffering on my way to the top.  115 miles, 9000′ of gain. we had worried about the rain; as i look at the weather radar, it looks it be absolutely a picture perfect day. 

right?  NOT.
as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, the throbbing began.  a few hours later, having perhaps nodded off for a few minutes, i finally get up after tossing & turning. 2:50am. the culprit? a tooth. (somewhere between # 12 & 15). i google various home remedies, finally setting on gargling a shot of whisky, which acts as a topical anesthetic. it worked for a little while, but i decided not to keep this up as i’d be drunk pretty quick. jeramie finally gives me my wake up call at 4:30am. i break the bad news: there is no way i can go do cherohala today.
i finally fell asleep about an hour later (probably due to pure exhaustion) for a bit. and now i’m up, dealing with the pain again. one of scv’s sponsors (and avid mtn biker- he was out doing trail maintenance when i called him) is calling me in some pain meds to hopefully get me through the weekend and avoid an emergency after-hours dental visit (read that as: super mega expensive, esp when you don’t have dental insurance. ah, the joys of being self-employed…)
hopefully the pain will subside soon and i can actually get something done today. but depending on how it affects me, i may or may not be able to get a ride in. which sucks, as this was an important day for leadville training. 
oh, and the worst part??  
blue skies outside. (damnit weatherman!!)
here are some pics from last year’s challenge. i’m sorry i won’t be able to add to the collection with this year’s shots. (unless anyone wants to join me on a future ride……)


I’m not much of a comics person, but I dig Frazz. The writer/illustrator, Jef Mallett, is a triathlete, so sometimes athletic-y stuff gets worked into the storyline… like today. This one seems to hit close to home (ok, not the sausage part, the schedule part!)

a tad injured…

i only lasted about 15 min on tonight’s run. i was thinking the pain in my knee would be the limiting factor, but it was the handlebar-to-the-groin one that made me stop. the impact of running was just too much i guess. there isn’t much visible bruising, but it feels like some hematomas have developed.  i guess my epsom baths aren’t going to help much; should move to ice packs (but it’s really not fun to ice there).  any other suggestions are welcome :)

sunday training days

i haven’t kept up with posting things lately but that doesn’t mean i’m sitting back being lazy – on top of lots of training, work has been super busy too. i’ll write more about this past weekend’s duathlon soon, but here’s a quick visual recap of the previous two weekends…

shannon, jeramie and i hit the cherohala skyway for some road bike action. after fueling up with momma’s pancake breakfast, we drove over to tellico plains and parked near the ranger station at the base of the skyway. our plan was to ride up, over, and down to snowbird for a snack, then ride back up, over, and down. jeramie’s modest estimate was 5-5.5hrs. well once we got to the top we realized it was going to be closer to 6.5-7hrs… daylight would have been tight and the skyway isn’t a place to be caught at dusk. plus i don’t think we’d have brought enough clothing for the temps at the top an hour or two later. (and not sure any of us had the legs for 10,000′+ feet of gain today!)

totals: 4.5hrs, 57 miles, 6625′ elevation gain (started around 680′, topped out at 5390′ at Santeelah Gap)

the sunday before (that would be the weekend of the CPZ race i did not do), a group of us headed over to the ocoee for a tour of the big frog 65 race route. sunday’s weather was great – clear skies, but still chilly; a good bit of snow still on the ground. didn’t take too many pics – i had to work hard to keep up with the seasoned riders i was with. that is until my front brakes totally failed. a piston in the lever fell out; no trailside fix for that. luckily we were only 5 or 6 miles from the end, so i took it easy/safe. (thankfully i noticed this problem before a big downhill!)

totals: 4hrs20min, 38 miles, about 4000′ elevation gain

shannon, me, micah, jeramie, jamie

my ghetto feet warmers
(forgot my booties so i was at the mercy of jeramie’s leftovers. 
micah called them “grover feet”. hey, they did the trick…)

running update

the crew at Edward’s Point

still playing catchup with some pics. these are from last weekend’s run at signal mtn. i felt good and ran somewhere around 15 miles (2h44min). i’m definitely making progress, although starting to feel a little apprehensive with the upcoming race. i’ve resigned myself to the fact that the Challenge will once again not be a possibility and at this point, i’m hoping i can whip out the 5hrs necessary for me to do the marathon. (‘course i would like to beat last year’s time). we’ll see. my plan will be to continue to increase my weekly mileage smartly. (but i bombed that with no long run this weekend. dumb me. there was a velo vixen training ride i joined saturday, with intentions of running after, but some errands and dealing with AT&T; (#!%!?*!) just wore me down. i did have a nice run today – in the rain – but much shorter than it should have been. i did try to work in every nearby hill though, which in this neighborhood is pretty significant).

Suck Creek

Joey at Mushroom Rock

Sergio on the Swinging Bridge

the Tennessee River from Edward’s Point
(looking towards Chattanooga)