Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let me take you back a few days to when I only had one issue-my feet! That was Wednesday, when we met Roberta, Caulie, and Lisa at the beach and ran 3 miles and then did an ocean swim. My feet felt pretty good while running, but hurt while walking on the beach. We did better in our wetsuits this time because we pulled them up further, so it restricted our shoulders less, so that was good. We practiced swimming over and hitting and kicking each other in the water like it will be for the Ironman start. Then, we went to Carraba's with the group and had some good food and good conversation.

Then Thursday rolled around and I had a good day at work, came home and got a few things done, then Dustin and I got in my Nissan Murano and left for the Yates YMCA on Riverside for spin and swim class. Dustin was making a left hand turn on a solid green light. One lane of oncoming traffic was backed up so the guy stopped and waved us on, but there was another car in the far lane coming opposite us that Dustin didn't see. We turned left and almost made it out of their way. They hit us at a pretty good speed in the passenger side at the back wheel and sent us into a 180 degree spin. It jolted us pretty good, but thankfully we were both wearing our seatbelts and all the passenger side (not front) airbags deployed. I couldn't believe that we had actually been in an accident. I was crying and hyperventilating a bit and my right shoulder stung. Dustin was just yelling, "are you ok, are you ok?" and I said I thought I was, but I was just freaking out. He ran over to the other car and they were okay too, thankfully. I'm not sure what hurt my neck, the jolt of the car or the airbags, but I do know that my hat I had on my head ended up in the back seat behind Dustin's seat. The crazy thing about this is that the first thing that we both thought of was, "Can we still do the Ironman?" Like Dustin said, it is our baby right now, and if a baby was in the car with us, that would have been our first thought. We've just trained so long and hard for this; it IS our life right now.

I was pretty freaked out looking at the airbags and feeling so lucky that no one was seriously hurt. The other car was probably totaled, and we don't know about my poor Murano yet. It is at a repair shop waiting on the insurance people right now. I knew that Dustin was so incredibly sorry, but I also new that if I was driving, this wouldn't have happened because I saw the car and screamed for him to stop. It's hard to be mad at Dustin, so I forgive him, but my poor car and my poor neck. It's weird, because at times I feel sorry for myself, but then think about how incredibly lucky we are! My mom said that she was so glad Dustin was with me, but I said, "I'm not; this wouldn't have happened if he wasn't with me!" :)

So, I am training for a triathlon, yet I can't swim because of my neck, I can't bike because we don't have a car able to put our bike rack on, plus I don't want to be flexing my neck/back right now, and I can't run because of my feet! So, I'm just falling apart! Yesterday, I didn't work and just simply layed around ALL day not moving my neck too much! That sucked big time! I figured out that I am addict; I have an addiction to exercise!

So, this morning I had to get a fix..........something that wasn't going to make my neck hurt worse, so I headed over to our community center and did the recumbant bike for 30 minutes and at least worked up a sweat and got my heart rate up a bit. I felt better afterwards, but still kind of depressed because Dustin was out biking on his real bike for 30 miles in the rain. I wanted to be with him; I didn't care that it was raining!

The good news is that my feet are feeling better; maybe because I have this new neck pain, but they are a little better. I have been religiously keeping up with the routine of strengthening, stretching and ice massage to heal them as best as possible.

We are heading down to Camp Blanding soon to volunteer at the HOT olympic distance triathlon. I was supposed to do the run leg of a relay, but not anymore with my trainwreck of injuries! Dustin is still doing the run leg for another relay team though, so that should be fun for him! I am going to go crazy, seeing all these people exercising, but I will put all my efforts into cheering as loudly as I can with the headache that I have.

I am going to have so much pent up energy by the time September 9th rolls around, that I might just break the world record time for Ironman! I guess whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ok, well now it's 21 days left. I'm making it a habit of writing in this once a week and then I forget all we did during the week. Sorry about that. Allow me to be a little negative for a minute and then I'll try to finish with positivity. All of you know I'm not a very negative person usually.............but..................

I have plantar fascitis for sure! The bottoms of both of my feet are killing me! There are plenty of people who suffer from this, but in all my marathons and other shorter tri's, I've never had any problems, so why now, why when there are only 21 days left until the race of a lifetime, does it have to show up now?????? It hurts like hell and it started after our 18 mile run (not during it) and has gotten worse each day. I haven't really run on it because I was scared to, but yesterday after our 90 mile bike, we ran 5 miles. It hurt pretty bad for the first 2 miles and got better. This morning, Dustin and I ran with Joy (who is doing her first Ironman next weekend) and we did just over 9 miles. I put biofreeze on the bottoms of my feet and it felt weird, it helped, but only for a little bit. I've been doing everything I can to treat it. I've been massaging it with a golf ball (ouch!), doing ice massage with a big piece of ice straight on the bottom of my foot (not fun), bought insoles for my shoes, and today I tried emersing both my feet in a bunch of ice water. I simply could not handle the pain, I had to put just part of one foot in at a time. If anyone would like to try that at home, go ahead. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I just could not do it. That also pissed me off because I do not like knowing I can't do something, whatever it may be. I can't really walk barefooted right now at all on my left foot. I have to shower sitting down (how pitiful-I feel like one of my elderly patients). Dustin went to the ocean swim with the Hammerheads (tri club, not sharks hopefully) and I am stuck sitting here at the computer being negative! I didn't think that I could stand to walk on the beach in flip flops right now. So, I'm getting this negativity out of me right now! I'm just sick of this Ironman crap at this moment (I'm sure I will come around-don't worry). It totally takes over your life (lives in our case.) I couldn't sleep last night because I was having nightmares of the Ironman and it's still three weeks away! I am anal and I want to start packing now! Every spare moment I get, I'm calling or emailing people about our training or about the weekend coming up in Wisconsin. We make up lists upon lists of what we need. We watch videos on youtube about the Ironman. We watch triathlon stuff on TV all the time. We talk about every single possible scenario of how Dustin and I will "run into" eachother on the race course. We eat healthy, we drink protein shakes which I totally despise! I also have to ice my knees after biking! I am so worried about getting a cold or getting sick in the next few weeks or on the plane to Wisconsin with all the germs! I guess what it boils down to is that I am just plain worried about the whole thing and I'm not usually a worrier!

Okay, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that felt good. I got it out. Now, for the positives. I am breathing. I am able to train my body to make it to the Ironman! I have a husband who is as into this Ironman stuff as I am (if not more!) and we get to bounce ideas off of each other all the time! We have wonderful families and wonderful friends all over the US who are supporting us in this endeavor. We are able to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while we are training and have raised about $5000!! We have about 25 people in our cheering squad in Wisconsin that are going to watch us attempt this crazy thing! We have wonderful triathlon friends here and in Wisconsin who give us awesome advice and give us the confidence that we can do this. We had a dinner last night with Joy who is doing the Inagural Louisville Ironman, Jennifer who did Wisconsin last year and her husband Joey, and Susan, who has done 26 Ironmans! They gave us some very good advice on the ins and outs of Ironman and got us pumped up. Okay, I'm back, I'm okay. I'm listening to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and he says "If you had one shot, one oppurtunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment, would you capture it?" Uhhhhhhhh, hell yeah! Positive Angie is back!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We did 100 mile ride today in the hills of Clermont. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! It was close to 100 degrees, very little shade, no wind and a bunch of freakin hills! There is so much I can say about this ride, and during it, I have all these thoughts of what I'm going to write in my blog. I'm thankful that I have this blog because it actually makes me think more when I am out there training. Of course, some of those thoughts escape me by the time I get to the computer though. Some of what I remember is as follows:

It was hot. It was humid. Dustin was there. There were a lot of other bikers out there. We ran into 2 fellow Hammerhead Tri Club members, Teresa and Minya. We found a bike path and explored. It was hot there too. There was some shade. We were around a lot of pretty lakes. There were a lot of hills. I had a 70 mile bonk, but recovered about mile 75. My heart rate strap wasn't reading my heart rate. I was breathing very heavy at the end. We injested our nutrition as planned. I was nauseated at times. Dustin felt good most of the time. It was hot. Dustin almost got hit by a reckless cop who wasn't paying attention. We filed a complaint over the phone. We stopped for water a lot, because we were sweating like fools. At mile 97, I had a breakdown. I almost cried. I was overwhelmed at the support we are going to have in Wisconsin. There were no spectators out there today. We were alone. It was hot. We averaged 15.1 mph ride time. With breaks, it took us 7 hours and 25 minutes. We went to Taco Bell afterwards. We drove home the 2 hours and then ordered pizza. I had two pepsi's today and I deserved both of them. I am going to bed now. Bring it on Ironman in 28 days.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Well, another productive day! We started running this morning at 6:30 AM from our house. Our intention was to run at least 16 miles. Dave came over to test Dustin's mountain bike out for his first tri next weekend. He was nice enough to take a backpack with him full of water, gatorade, gu, endurolytes, and bodyglide (all of which we used).

We wanted to do a long run today after doing a long workout yesterday, because we have heard it is similar to how your legs will feel during the Ironman. I don't know that it was that bad, but they were definitely fatiqued and sore and got more fatigued and more sore as the miles went on. We went up Girvin to Wonderwood to the bridge hills to practice for the Wisconsin hills. We ended up doing 18 miles and didn't feel too bad at all! It was hot and very humid. We were pretty much soaked from 10 minutes into it all the way until we were done 3 hours later. Dave on the bike as our "personal servant" worked out pretty well, that's for sure. We took a dip in the pool when we returned after stretching. Then, we took the boat out for awhile with the new wakeboard tower on it. Dustin loved it and Dave, Dustin and Stuart tried out the tower and made it look easy. We came back home after washing the boat out and I continued my productivity with mail, emails, and business stuff. Then, Dave continued his "personal servant" duties and cooked us some great spicy, garlic basil chicken stir fry with rice. Another productive day, which always puts me in a good mood. I'm so glad that we got that 18 mile run out of the way. We will be trying to do a 20 mile run in the next 2 weeks sometime and a 100 mile ride in Clermont next weekend to get in the massive hills there! We are getting excited already!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wednesday night, we went to another Hammerhead Triathlon meeting and learned some more stuff about running and mingled with fellow triathletes. It's great to be around people who are so supportive of what you are doing. We didn't have time to fit in a workout that night, so we decided to double up on Thursday.

Thursday, after work, we headed to the Yates YMCA for two straight spin classes for 2.5 hours and then went running over the bridges (hills in Jacksonville) downtown with our new friend, Martin. We kept a really good pace for the bridges (8:15 pace) for almost 5 miles. It was drizzling a bit, which actually really felt good. Our legs were pretty dead afterwards, but we felt good for working out for over 3 hours on a weeknight. We didn't get to eat dinner that night until after 10:30, but we fixed a great salmon and rice meal that was worth the wait!

Friday, as usual, was our day off, so after work, we picked up our boat with Dustin's new wakeboard tower on it, which he is really excited about. (We might take it out on Sunday).

So, now, as for TODAY! Wow, we entered the "ocean marathon" that our tri club puts on. It started at 8 AM and we basically swam in a straight line (well, supposed to be) from south to north 2.5 miles with a little bit of current helping us out. There were only about 50 or so people who swam that distance, and it spread out pretty fast. I pretty much felt like I was swimming alone in the ocean for 1 hour and 42 minutes! I do not like swimming in the ocean alone; I don't like swimming in the ocean with only Dustin; I have always needed a group to feel safe, and there was definitely NOT a group anywhere! I was swallowing all kinds of salt water, weaving left and right, and trying to block out the fact that I was swimming in a huge body of water with all kinds of creatures (I think I touched a jelly fish!). I truly have a fear of doing what I did this morning, and I feel so good that my mind was strong enough to overcome it. That gave me an enormous amount of confidence, even though the pains in my back, neck, and shoulders were not helping my confidence! Dustin did very well too and finished in 1 hour and 38 minutes. Oh yeah, and I won my age group for females 25-29. Now, I'm not going to tell you that I was the only person in my age group though! I guess it isn't the popular thing to do for 25 year old women on a Saturday morning. I got a cool goggle case for my prize, so I'm happy! Some thoughts going through my mind on the swim were, "why the heck am I doing this? And, I'm using our friend, Kellie's line of "because I can!" I had to keep telling myself that and keeping positive thoughts going through my mind to get the sharks and jellyfish thoughts out of my head!

Oh yeah, then afterwards, we biked 60 miles to St. Augustine and back and did the Vilano bridge twice and some intervals too! Our new friend, Martin went with us, even though he is a faster biker than we are. He helped push us though. It was hard after the swim because my shoulders and neck hurt so bad!!! We ran a mile afterwards just to make sure our stomachs were okay and they were. Then, we hopped in the ocean to cool our muscles a bit. Now, we are home on the couch watching Scrubs. Tomorrow, we are gonna try to run 16 miles. We will see! Here we come Ironman; we are peaking with our workouts and hopefully we will feel completely ready soon!

A thought as you read this: if you have a fear of something, conquer that fear somehow. I did today and that is a most wonderful feeling to have that your mind is so powerful!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We are back from Wisconsin and I have some catching up to do on this blog. However, I'm not going to go back and tell you everything. I will tell you that we feel a lot more ready for the Ironman now after our extended weekend trip. Besides getting to play in the very fun golf tournament that Jeff and Kendra throw with all of their friends, we got in some good training.

We got there on Thursday afternoon and our bikes had been shipped already. We got right to putting them together in case we had problems. All was going well at first (until I got frustrated that I'm just not meant to be a mechanic). So, basically Dustin did everything while I cleaned the bikes! Jen, Kendra, Jeff, Dustin and I ate a good spaghetti dinner and Jeff and his neighbor tried to diagnose my bike. After no success trying to figure out the gears, we decided to head to the bike shop. Problem was they closed at 8, not 9 and didn't open until 10 the next morning. So, we hung our heads as we entered at 7:55 while batting our eyelids to see if they could help me with my gears and Dustin with his brakes. They quickly took care of the problems and didn't even charge us! I bought some leg warmers from them (cause ya never know how cold Wisconsin may be in September and I want to be prepared!). We owe them big time!

On Saturday morning, we packed up the car with all our stuff and headed to Madison. We didn't get on the bikes until after 10, but it's not as big of a deal there, because it's not as hot or humid! It was awesome to see the course and Kendra showed us where to turn, plus we had directions taped to our handlebars. There are definitely a lot of hills and one big, long one (where they decided to put pea gravel all up and down it so we spun out a couple times). We did the two loops that we will be doing on September 9th and it was 85 miles. We took some breaks to refuel at gas stations and back at the car once. When we were riding, we averaged 14.5 mph, but that doesn't include our stops! So, we will need to step it up the day of the race! Making the bike cut off is going to be tough for all three of us, so in the next month, we are going to work on getting faster and stronger! After the ride, we ran 3 miles on the trails just to make sure our legs and stomachs were working okay. We all digested pretty well and did great overall.

We drove back to Madison and ate some good pizza and then went to our hotel (University Inn)on State Street. We met some of the rest of the golf crew at the Terrace and drank a few beers and hung out for awhile. I'm suprised we weren't more tired than we were!

Saturday morning, Kendra, Dustin and I woke up and headed down to Lake Minona (where we will be swimming our 2.4 miles on Sept. 9th). We wanted to try out our wetsuits in water temperatures where we wouldn't suffocate ourselves. We both had wetsuits with arms and figured out that we wanted them without arms for better movement, because the water really wasn't too cold at all and it can't get much colder by September, right? We didn't get to swim too much, because we just went off this random boat launch area down from where we will actually swim. Apparently, they don't clear that area out too much, because there was all kinds of grass/seaweed hitting my arms and feet the whole time! Now, if you know me, you know that I don't like things touching me in the water. I like to pretend that I'm the only thing in the water, even though I know that's not true. If I was hitting grass, living things like that grass and it was frankly freaking me out. I actually started to not be able to catch my breath, but Dustin and Kendra were able to calm me down. Thank God I had a wetsuit on though! We were able to test our wetsuits and the water though, so it was still productive! Plus, we got to see the terrace where the transition area will be and the helix things we have to run up and bike down and bike up!

Then, we went to the infamous Farmers Market at the Capital and it was awesome just like last year. We got cheese curds and beef jerkey and Kendra showed us where the finish line will be and we got really pumped! We couldn't stay long though because we had a golf outing to get to! Now, that's a "sport" that I am not good at-golf! I don't have the patience, but I got a little better after the 10th hole. I golfed with Jeff, Dustin, and Kendra, all good golfers, so I felt like I should have done better! Oh well, we had an awesome time so that's all that matters!

And of course, we attended the picnic afterwards and then went out after the golf outing and Amber (our neighbor across the street) and her friends suprised Dustin at the bar (one last bday suprise). So, fun was had by all!

Sunday, it was a bit harder to wake up and we barely made it out of the room by checkout at 12. We went to the Nitty Gritty and got some more cheese curds (got them on the golf course twice too). Then, we drove part of the run course and familiarized ourselves a bit with that and there are a good few hills in that too! I'm glad we saw it though so we will be prepared. There's only so much you can get from the elevation charts and maps on the website.

When we got back to Jeff and Kendra's, we had to break down our bikes and pack them back in the boxes because we were checking them as luggage on the plane. I am SOOOOO glad that we are doing Tri Bike Transport for the Ironman. That means that they will pick our bikes up in one piece at a local bike shop the week before and then, put them on a truck in one piece and drive them to Madison and we pick them up in Ironman Village on Friday or Saturday. Then, after the race, we drop them off in one piece and they arrive back in Jacksonville the next week. No breaking down, no putting back together, no nothing but convenience. Of course, we had to pay $225 for each bike though. Speaking of paying, we were supposed to be charged $65 for each bike on the plane ride, but we didn't get charged (I think because Dustin is in the military).

Ok, gotta go to spin class, but wanted to also say that we got to read a long blog about the course and the event last year that was scary, yet inspiring, so that also helped with our preparation. And, on Monday before we flew out, we ran about 5 miles with Jen and Kendra in the trails around Wauwautosa. Then, Tuesday, I swam 1.75 miles and Dustin swam 2 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes in the pool (the most we have swam so far).

Also, wanted to mention that my brother's wife, Melina's father, Dale has been suffering with a brain tumor for awhile now. He is in his late sixties and they don't expect him to make it much longer at all, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I know we will be thinking about him and the rest of the family, hoping they will be okay.