Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oregon rain and some Arizona sun


AM Run – 3.75 miles

Followed up with AM Swim

6 x 500s / 1500 w/paddles

Total yardage - 3000


AM Run – 3 hours LSD

Eh, I had to get my tail out of bed at 4am to get this bad boy hammered out. Not exactly my cup ‘o tea, but you do what you got to do, right? I awoke 10 minutes before the alarm went off. I had a poor night of sleep, waking every couple hours.

I received disturbing news on my drive home from work last night. It was on my mind through most of the night. I found out my grandfather has lung cancer, yet again. He first had it 10 years back. When he first went in for surgery he told the docs that if they thought the cancer would grow to remove the whole lung, so they did. He donated the lung to OHSU for cancer research. 6 months down the road the lung was overtaken by cancer. Since then has been in remission, until of late. He’s recently had some issues breathing, turns out his other lung now has cancer on it. Ugh. He’s too old and unstable for surgery; it is not an option. He’ll be going in next week for a biopsy and then start radiation. We can only pray from there. This really sucks. My grandfather is the most unselfish, loving person I know. Seriously, I don’t know of another human with a larger heart. He met my Nanana with 4 children ages 2-7, and took care of them as if they were his own. My grandparents never had much money but would always make sure we had a roof over our head and our bellies were fed; even if that meant they would starve. My Nanana had strokes for the last 10 years of her life. She couldn’t do much on her own. She couldn’t walk, eat or function much….yet my grandfather stood by her side. He would color her fiery Irish hair red each month and doll her face up with light make up, so she never felt “old”. He stuck by her side hospital visit after hospital visit for over 10 years. Whenever I doubt LOVE with another person I can look at my grandfather and know it exists. If he goes I feel my hope will go. I just don’t know if they make men like that anymore.

Alas, back to my run. I quickly got up and devoured my normal breakfast; a bowl of cheerios w/soy milk and an English muffin with PB and honey. How well my body felt surprised me. No stiffness and no pains. I threw on my Zoot Active CompressRX Calf sleeves, Smartwool socks, Craft thermal tights, Craft baselayer, Sugoi Versa jacket, Brooks reflective hat and my Brooks Adrenalines and I was off, running down a dream. Oy! It was wet outside, pissing down wet. I had 3 loops mapped that would take me back to my house on each hour. This was so I could change and refuel/hydrate if needed, and this was needed. The first hour went by fast. Not saying that I ever went fast. My body felt really good. I enjoyed running through the neighborhood while most people were still sleeping. I ran past the gym and the only person inside was the janitor. This is 24hr fitness people! Why are you not getting your fitness on at 4:30am? Fitness has not time limitations. My first hour in and my Versa Jacket was soaked through. Gear change! I replaced my Craft baselayer with another Craft baselayer, ditto for the Smartwool socks and replaced my jacket with a Gortex waterproof jacket. The rain was not going to stop me!

The second loop out was different than the first. Aren’t they all? Body still felt good, but the rain was now starting to annoy me. I suppose I could blame it on the rain, but in reality I think the thoughts of my grandfather haunted me. I’m scared. As the rain started to pour down I started to cry. I’m not too sure why. I am not a crier, but I accepted it. Maybe the angels above were crying along with me. Crying turned to random yelling as my sadness turned to anger. F%^# cancer! I am so sick of it affecting so many people in my life. My mother, my father, my grandfather…..F^$&*en A, give me a break! Agh! At one point it all stopped, and the rain died to a slow drizzle. I felt somewhat better after my irrational outburst.

I hit the house for another sock swap and see my roommate waiting outside to run the last hour with me. She is getting sick and I heard her coughing all throughout the night, yet there she was unselfishly there to support me. I told her to go back in and rest up. I was good to run the remaining alone. I already went through my darkest hour. The last hour was done on the Nike bark chip trail. Oooooo, the bark felt soooooo good on my feet. One loop in and I could feel it starting to tax my energy. It was either the bark or I was a GU too short, more than likely a little of both. I ran the last mile and a half on the road. I had new-found energy and for the first time in weeks I was able to accelerate. I had new-found muscular power to do so. Or maybe I just had the oh-so famous runners high.

Walking in the front door I was greeted with the aroma of pumpkin pancakes. Yea, I pretty much have the best room mate ever! I quickly ate and took myself to work.

Summary – 2:50 hrs LSD – 18.25 miles

A Starbucks Venti coffee energized my 4-hour workday. Mmmmm, Starbucks had samples of their peppermint brownie. I highly recommend it. My….shall I say it again? Badass roommate bought me 4 bags of ice and had them waiting in the tub when I got home. Luv this girl! 28lb ice bath later and my legs are feeling numb, but good. Rockin’ my Zoot CompressRX recovery tights and I’m out the door headed for IMAZ. Get to spend some time with a special friend and gonna cheer on another friend for her first Ironman. Goooooooo JESSICA! I’m hoping all the fun in the next couple hours/days will help alleviate some of the worry and stress.

PS – No, I am not sponsored by any of the above brands. Nor could I be with my career as it is a conflict of interest. I just see importance of calling out what works and what doesn’t.

Saturday – Arizona

AM Open water swim – 30ish minutes

A buddy and I went out and swam part of the IM swim course. The water was chilly. I think they reported 64. Apparently I have no sense of how cold 64 is, I felt it would be ok to swim sans wetsuit. Luckily I was talked into wearing one and rocked a 2xU demo. Not my first choice but I took what I could get as Blue Seventy was not present. Tried out the TYR Nest Pro goggles. Loved the fit but not the clear lenses. Clear lenses aren’t really made for OW but beggars can’t be choosers when you leave your goggles at home. I did happen to remember to bring my badass TYR orange goldfish swim cap w/ fin. I may not be able to see where I was going but at least I would be visible to those around me! So let’s go back to the water temp. Brrrrr! I was struck with an instant ice cream headache without the tasty goodness. A few strokes in and my brain froze. Mother$%@. Swam a bit more and it went away. Wetsuit didn’t compare to my Helix and this was apparent 10-15 minutes in and my shoulders grew fatigued. The neoprene didn’t thin out our stretch enough in the shoulders and arms. The one thing I did like about the suit was that the arms fit my short limbs and the torso didn’t feel compact. My buddy swam with me on the way out. On the way back he pulls ahead and then waits. I then get this smart ass comment “I could drop you…but what fun would that be?” He says this with smiles, then instantly drops my ass. At first I thought “WTF?” but then smiled along and found humor in that fact that I am just a mediocre swimmer and he was a better, and a smart ass. I liked that. I hadn’t swum OW since IMC, it was a breath of dirty water : ) but much appreciated dirty water.

Post swim….

AM Run – 30ish mins

OMG! How I loved running in the mid 60s with the sun shinning. Sure as hell beats 3 hours in the dark, mid 40s in the pouring rain.

Met up with some PDX friends and spent the afternoon at an IMAZ send off BBQ. It was good catching up with friends I hadn’t seen since IMC. Bittersweet we live miles from one another and it took hundreds of miles away to do so.

Wished Jessica the best on her first IM and Sue on trying to qualify for Kona.

The evening was spent with a “special” friend indulging in yummy sushi, tasty cocktails and a slice of amazing Godiva chocolate cheesecake. Life is good.

Sunday – IMAZ cheering / 90 min easy run

Made it to the start a tad bit late but was able to see the 1:00+ swimmers exit the water. Next it was on to a 90 min easy run.

Easy? Yes and no. Cardiovasular wise? Very much so. Hydration? Fatigue? Not so much. 10hrs of sleep in 2 days is just not enough. Add a couple drinks the night prior, 2 PRs and “a broken damn”, I was one tired kitty. This was all evident as the start of the run was s struggle. I was dehydrated and the dry Arizona air wasn’t helping anything. 45 minutes in and my energy changed. This could be from the GU Roctane or just maybe….my badass running partner. This sir, is what you would call a compliment. Saying, “I could run fast, but I wanted to run with you.” is not what one would view as a compliment. Your lucky I knew that’s not what you meant. You can only shove your foot in your mouth so far before you choke, ya know? J I do recall that your arms are longer than your legs; maybe your mouth is bigger than your brain? Lol, J/K. 80 minutes in and I was pretty much done. My fingers started to turn to miniature sausages. Dehydrated with swelling is not a pleasant feeling. I also suffered from windburn on my face. Ouch! 90 minutes and 10 miles later I was happy to be done. Time to recover with In-N-Out Burger – yay!

The afternoon was spent in the IMAZ VIP tent drinking wine, eating good food and watching and cheering the pros in. The best part was having a “special” someone by my side.

A few of the highlights of the IMAZ finish included

*Watching my favorite female pro – Sam McGlone take fer first IM WIN while crushing the IMAZ course record. What a superstar!

*Watching Sue cross the finish line with an aggressive time, possibly qualifying for Kona, all with a smile on her face.

*Giving Jessica a high five on the run course – She was rocking a massive smile and looked strong.

Now I sit at the airport writing, waiting for my late night flight home. I’m already missing my “special” someone. : ( Aw, distance makes the heart grow fonder…..right?

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