Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2 Things That Make Me Smile (when I'm cranky)

Cricket-  scooped up from an animal shelter in Maine.

Getting unexpected packages in the mail with very cool schwag.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Green Light

I got it.

A conservative 2 watt  green light, but I got one.
 I can spin, I can water run and I can do yogahhhhh now. HELLO Prana Power Yoga!! Wouldn't you know, I splurged on 2 pairs of LuLu pants and BAM! I was cut off with my injury before i even got to rip the tags of those suckers.
  So Yay! I have to say, my eyes have started to glaze over with the thoughts of swimming and NEVER would I thought I'd be excited to start some water running.  6 solid weeks of just swimming had started to compare to watching paint dry.

I got reacquainted with my dust collecting bike with the dry chain and flat tires. First just a 30 minute spin, then a 40 minute go and today, a whopping  50 minute session all without any real resistance on the pedals.  I hooked up the Ironman Florida course on my CT. Something I've never done before.  I did a smidgen of the course and It got me thinking; do people really get on on Computrainers and ride full Ironman courses?
Just not my cup of tea I guess. Rather poke hot needles in my eye than have my a$$ planted on a stationary rodent wheel  for hours on end.
It looks as though April 25 is my target date to begin some normalcy in training as long as I don't lose my sanity and do something moronic  and blow my itsy bitsy ever so slow- re-introduction to training.

Happy matzo and peep eating this week.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22 and Why It's A Great Day!

It's going to be a great week. I KNOW THIS even though I got stuck in the MIT parking lot for 20 minutes after morning masters today until a maintenance guy finished his coffee and egg McMuffin and finally sauntered over to fix the broken exit gate. Then, I  was lucky enough to get stuck behind the recycle truck on a street I park on for work. You see, the recycle truck/garbage guys like to toy with us drivers trying to scurry to or leave for work.  It's a total power trip for them to block the entire street while they pick up the recycle bins and if you piss them off by beeping or getting right up behind them, forgetaboutit. You just screwed the rest of us drivers behind you as we too wait for the right of passage by the recycle truck. 
One "move your ass" beep and  you just sent them marchin'  over to the other side of the Charles River to MIT with the gate fixer,  to have coffee and an egg McMuffin and then perhaps come back and move their truck so you can get by.
Speaking for myself, I've befriended the  recycle truck men. I show them the proper recycle respect and If I'm the FIRST car that comes up to the happy recycle custodians with their big ol truck.  I do 2 things.

 I don't get all up in their manly man faces with my car almost touching their truck with a nasty look on my face. No no.  I work WITH the system NOT against it.  I give them a solid 150 feet and sit and wait back there with a smile, looking relaxed and sending "I RESPECT YOU" vibes up there... Then when I've been granted passage, I smile REALLY big and give a little- Marlo Thomas That Girl!  wink and a wave.

Simple and effective.

Now back to why it's going to be a great week.  I have an orthopedic appointment on Thursday and  I'm allowed to either water run or spin (for the first time in too many weeks to count) to test out my leg and assess my healing which I think is going fabulously.  It's the beginning of the end and things are looking up.

My upper body is in dire need of a massage with all the swimming I've been doing. I'm feeling like Lou Ferigno all fit up top but tight as hell and wasting away from the hips down, but as I've said before, nothing is forever and I'll be re-balanced  and running as smooth as the Brookline recycle truck before you know it.

Here's a swim set I really liked today I will share.

300 w/up  ez
5x 100  20 sec rest inbtwn.
evens: stroke/swim
4-count strokes  on 55
4- stroke choice on 60

Main Set (3x through)
400 on 5:40 (1:25 pace)
200 on 3:15 (catch your breath here)
4x 50 on 40 ( these should be HARD)
2x25 ez on 40

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken soup and Femur snapping orthotics?

I'm in a shitty shitty  mood today and guess what?  Every time it's 75 degrees out and sunny, you can guess my mood. It's MARCH people. I swear, when I was healthy as a damn Ox, NEVER was it 75 and sunny in frickin' MARCH here in Boston.  It's supposed to be SNOWING and WINDY and 42 damn it.

Not this year! Oh. no... I'm crippled and it's SUMMER!!  GO FREAKING FIGURE...
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I am so cranky.   I think I've cleaned my bathroom 6 times this week, I know I've vacuumed  4. I've changed my toenail polish at least 3 times.
Today I bought new sheets, and towels and a Vera Wang top grain leather bag I didn't need, earrings, and more cleaning supplies to re-clean any hard surface I can find to re-clean.

Good god......

    I'm making homemade chicken soup protesting the weather I can't go out and train in. Ha!

All my tests have come back normal. Bone density, Vitamin D deficiency,  all with in normal limits.
I got nothing. No clear answers how I could possibly have 2 stress fractures in 2 years.

But I've been digging.. and searching and trying to make some sense of this.  left side, femoral compression
stress fracture and I think.....

I may....
be on......

to something........

These orthotics were made for me in November. I took my time in "breaking them in" but as you can
see the LEFT one is much different from the right one. Do I have a huge leg discrepancy? Um... no.
These were made like this because "my left arch seemed to be collapsing a bit and I was told, I needed
the extra lift and support in the left arch area.

Honestly, I never really looked at how different they really were.  I think they crippled me.  I paid $200 for
bone snapping orthotics  that I'm pretty much convinced made me buy new sheets, towels, earrings and that supple leather Vera Wang leather bag today along with cleaning supplies to re-clean my already sterile  domain all to I try to keep busy and maintain  my SANITY!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Under The Swim Stroke Microscope.

If you ever find yourself the opportunity  in which to have a swim coach look at your stroke and and I'm talking HIGH ON THE FOOD CHAIN kind  who is insightful, knowledgeable and thorough, get yourself to the pool where he or she coaches and  get that freestyle stroke (you think is so sexy and fast.. 'cause it  probably ain't) shredded and analyzed.

I have never considered my freestyle stroke as anything special. I can swim 1:20's but working much harder than I probably have to if  I just took the time to correct some of the many flaws my stroke contains.
I've tried to address them in the past but only  halfheartedly.   Having your stroke analyzed above and below the water through video combined with constructive feedback that is easy to understand is the basic element for correction.

I had the opportunity  to swim in Sudbury, MA with The West Side Swim Club on Saturday. I normally swim in Boston, at MIT with masters  during the week. The coach of West Side is  Nate McBride. Nate takes swimming serious and if you ever decide you want to join WS, don't show up without serious commitment conveniently tucked in your pocket or you'll be weeded out like pachysandra in a tulip garden.

Nate invited me to swim and I couldn't pass it up. So up at 4:50 am on Saturday I was to not be late
for the 6:20 deck time. Saturday was distance day and WAIT  TIL YOU SEE THE SET.  I did NOT
finish the main set.  I physically could not do it. I felt like a loser getting out of the pool while the other girls
completed it. We even got a food and drink break. Nate was very understanding (on the outside) while probably thinking.. "girl..HTFU, this is SWIMMING!" Didn't you Nate?... I think he gave me a hall pass for a  partially cracked healing femur.
Ok, so before I show you the actual workout and my distance for the day, ( it's impressive) I can't forget to mention Coach Nate sitting on the bottom of the pool wedged up against the wall with a heavy weight on his lap to keep him there as i flip turned above him while he video taped me.  THANK YOU NATE!!!

I am ever grateful for the day's attention and valuable tools to tweak a very (non sexy eh..not so fast either)
freestyle and flip turn.

Saturday's workout  ( I only did 6200 of this and got out after the first set of 5x 4-200's)Only??
 I'm not supposed to do 6200 until my 62nd birthday I thought!!

3 x 150 – 1:50 – 3/5, 4/6, 5/7 BP by 150
1 x 350 – pull – 300 free/50 br – 4:45
Main set:
4 x 200 – #1 on 3:45 always changes  /#2 #3 #4  desend on 3:00
  1/6 – #1 – pull,   #2-#4 descend
  2/7 – #1 – drill choice,  #2-#4 descend
  3/8 – #1 – IM, #2-#4 descend
  4/9 – #1 – choice, #2-#4 descend
  5/10 – #1 – MAX EFFORT, #2-#4 descend
10,400 Yards (2h45m)  How crazy is this???

I'll share some of my feedback and a video
I have nine videos and I'll torture you with just one!  Here

"Your kick is killing you...that big old gap down there is almost like scissors cutting cardboard...every time you create that big of a gap you create a side-flow that you then have to kick against...legs should be tight and rapid...the smaller the gap the better.
Streamline off the wall is good although you are missing one little component...namely dolphin kicks or even flutter kicks for that matter. If you added in even one dolphin kick and a few flutter kicks you would easily get four more feet." 
"Recovery is not so bad although you do not really finish your stroke at the hips with a flourish. You sort of just finish at the top hip and then pull your hand out. You should really finish pulling that water all the way to the bottom hip.
Your kick needs work...stat.  

You are dropping both of your elbows pretty badly. Your extension is really good and strong but you are not taking advantage of it. You need to extend, keep that elbow high, jack up that early vertical forearm and then pull yourself forward. Dropped elbow leads to half-catch and 2x stroke rate. You definitely need to take advantage of being long. Your rotation is excellent by the way...very balanced. Head position is nice and neutral as well." 

Happy swimming!

Friday, March 12, 2010

TGP's Recipe Corner

Chicken Sausage,Pasta and Broccoli Rabe
Here's your shopping list

One lemon
One bunch of broccoli rabe
pasta of your choice,  something that the olive oil and garlic can hang on to
Orecchiette would be a good choice. (little pasta ears)
Olive oil
4 table spoons of crushed garlic ( I used the jar stuff)
1.5-2lbs of fresh lowfat chicken sausage
Grated or shaved cheese of your choice

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic.
As it's browning, cut up the sausage and add it to the pan. Cook until browned.
while the meat is browning, wash and cut the ends off the broccoli rabe (it can be bitter)
Next, transfer the cooked sausage from the pan to a plate
leaving behind most of the garlic and olive oil
Toss that broccoli rabe in your boiling water and cook just until wilted

Here's my pasta of choice
Remove and drain the broccoli rabe from the water and toss it into the pan with the remaining garlic and oil and cook until tender. DON'T toss out the water. You will need it for cooking the pasta next!
See.. like this!
Toss in your chicken sausage when the broccoli rabe is just about finished

ream your lemon and get all the juice out and add it to the skillet mixure

Toss your cooked and drained pasta with the skillet mixture. Add shaved Parmesan
cheese and SERVE IT UP!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Idle hands..... feet and legs

I thought I might jump out of my  own skin this weekend not being able to get on my bike or even go for a walk in the bright  warm sunshine. It was TOUGH.   Forced triathlon detox???? Ummm. Yes

I knew I was doomed when some of my non triathlon related plans fell though this weekend that held  promise in keeping me well distracted. Then, when I heard the weather forecasted for dry, sunny and 60 degrees for both days, I knew I was in deep poopy.  

"Get creative, you'll be fine!" I told myself.

 First, I played with my blog freshening it up a bit and added a new font. Don't even ask... I couldn't tell you now  how I managed to do this even following a tutorial but it worked on the very first try following many many steps. Purely a stroke of luck it worked. Ha!
So here's what else I did while it seemed  the universe of triathletes were outside on two wheels:

lets see... I made some peanut butter cookies

while simultaneously starting a food diary so I could track how many cookies
I shoveled in while having the consequences of accounting  for my bad behavior. Writing things down gives instant SELF CONTROL!!!

I organized my winter clothes closet as you can see here. Look how OCD-like the colors are all sorted!

and detailed my car, Inside

and out. You could eat lunch off the floor mats. :-)

Happy Spring cleaning!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Doin What Dory Says.....


I could fill up this entire page with some quality moaning.  Surely I could kick all of yer butts in the pool by now swimming 5 day a week while simultaneously out- whining you with my injury woes.

So with all this chlorination fun I've been experiencing, I decided to test my SBR  FOGGLE wipes at the pool  this morning.  I am a long time user of Speedo anti-fog spray. It's not superior but it helps in cutting down the fogging especially as your goggles age so I was delighted to try something new.  FOGGLE comes in towelettes, not spray.  One towelette was good for my 3 pairs of goggles hanging in my locker ( if not more).  Now my advice to you is, if you try this and you only have one pair of goggles to use it on, wrap that sucker back up for future use or better yet, SHARE it with your fellow swimmers so they too can see how great this stuff works. IT IS AWESOME and I'm not
BS-ing here. If you are looking for a good anti-fog product and haven't gotten the results with anti-fog spray, you must try this.  I'm sold. Thank you SBR.


Now for the proof: 

  This is Steve and I POST swim today. Notice Steve's icky fog-filled goggles and my  super cool, fashionably pink and FOG FREE CLEAR lenses!!!  Woop Woop Wooooooooo.

Finally, THANK YOU Sue for the stress fracture bone regenerating chocolate bars. XXXOOOO
See people???? Cracking bones gets you soul soothing TREATS!!!!   :-)