Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Spreading my wings I fly
Without fear and without pain
1-2, 1-2, 1-2 I repeat over and over again
Always quick and sometimes quicker-foot prints
they tap 1-2, 1-2, 1-2
I run to my own soundtrack
The pitter patter of my feet and screaming thoughts console me
Nothing holds me down
I fly

PS - I can not put into words how I long I have waited to feel this way. I am in a good place.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thank you Vitamin D

It was one of those days......amazing that is!

It started off right with my roommate, some Kona peaberry coffee, blueberry oat (gluten free) waffles and my favorite meat of choice -
After properly fueled we headed down stairs to attack the task at hand.....minimize crap.

This took us down to the basement where I stumbled upon 10-20 years worth of s***. Not all of it was s***, just 80%. I learned something about myself today. I am a huge pack rat.
YUP. That's a 12yr old Salted Nut Roll. Hehe - who wouldn't hold on to a salted nut roll?
Eh, I need to change my pack rat ways. As I was rummaging through all of the boxes I came across stories I wrote many moons ago. Apparently my writing starting when I was a kid and I would fantasize about shoes going on dates and murder mysteries. Oh my! I had an imagination. Not only did I write but I painted, colored and drew lots of pictures. These are all things I found myself doing this summer when I couldn't train. When we're stripped of what we've come to know we go back to our roots, right?
And I found this picture!

Yes! I was a fat kid. I suppose Snickers and Slurpee's are not a breakfast for champions.
I also found these

I had a few first place swim meet ribbons. Maybe if I got fat again I'd be a better swimmer!
A couple hours later and I got rid of boxes and boxes of crap. That stuff only weighs you down, right?

Thankfully Sunny-D-ecided to bless the Oregon skies and I got an afternoon bike ride in the sun! I have not been outside on my bike OR on a ride of 2 hours for 6-8 weeks. Ooooooweeee It was a good one. I wish the sun would say Hi a little more often.

Post ride I indulged in some good 'ol masochism. Mmmmm, a deep tissue massage. I have a great therapist who turns into the Incredible Hulk as soon as I lay over on my back. She's such a tiny girl I don't know how she inflicts a whirlwind of pain. I think she climbs up the side of the wall like a ninja and suspends all of her body weight in her elbow which pulverizes my lats. If Bikram's Yoga didn't hurt me this sure as hell will. Tomorrow will be a "tri'ing" day to say the least.

What's a Saturday night without a good ending?

Guesses on my poison of choice?

Yogi Bear

I went back to Bikham Yoga Friday night after 4-5 weeks off. Oy! Part of me was dreading it while the other part was looking forward to it. I knew my poses wouldn't be complete and I'd suffer craptastic DOMS. The mental and flexibility benefits were worth it. I went in realistic - my glass was half full. To my surprise my glass was 3/4 full! I accomplished all of the standing floor series 100% without losing strength and falling out. I think this was a first!

The easiest standing floor pose has to be The Eagle or Guradasana. The hardest is the Toe Stand or Padangustasana. Thus far I've only been able to balance on the floor on one leg, one hand touching. I'd like to be able to complete the pose one day.
On we went to the floor series. I don't know why but I always feel like this series should be easier or less difficult than the standing series, but it never is. The only pose I'm able to not execute is the Half Tortoise Pose -Ardha Kurmasana. That's usually a 50/50 for me. Sometimes my knees and ankles b**** so I don't even attempt it. This was one of those times. With 2 poses left to the end I lay in Savasana and pray for it to be over. My breathing is deep and fast and I'm laying in a (WO)man made lake. Ewwwww. Breathe Kat Breathe. Alas it is over and I reap the benefits of my effort.
Here's a great run down of the poses

I started Bikram Yoga during the off season to help with my flexibility and autoimmune issues. I was surprised at how much more it has helped over time. Not only am I able to turn myself into a backward pretzel but my mental state is much clearer and focused. I can go into class completely stressed out and leave floating on a cloud.
Who would have thought an such un-coordinated, inflexible, clumsy girl could pull this off? I've really come to love Bikram Yoga.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Small accomplishments

Tuesday I had my swim stroke reviewed. I swam 500y and was pretty easy to spot the error of my ways. After watching it on video I was a little astounded that I wasn't in pain from my jacked up stroke. It looked like my right arm was doing the breast stroke once it hit the water WTF?! was I thinking? It looked like I was reaching out to touch someone. Wow! Ok. I need to work on that. I was given a few drills to do to correct the "wide one armed stance".

Wednesday night I ran by the moonlight w/my coach. This was the most invigorating, stimulating, and confidence boosting workout I've had in months. I've been limited to running on flats at *said* pace for sometime now. I completely understand and respect the logic behind this. But that's not to say it didn't get boring *YAWN* Wednesday we ran at a nice clip (for what I'm used to that is) maintaining comfortable conversation for the duration of the 6 mile run. I didn't pay much attention to my Garmin until after the run. We finished :10-:30 faster per avg mile then what I've been running at yet the perceived effort seemed about the same. My HR on the other hand was jacked up to 175-180avg. PE is a funny thing. Most people would feel exhausting effort at that high of a HR. But then again I ran a marathon with a 180 run HR is high. It is what it is. I'm sure the mid 30 temperature didn't help much in that department either.
I finally found a way around running in the cold. I've been avoiding it, sticking to the dreaded treadmill for the last couple months. My Reynaud's gets so bad I can't feel my feet. When I can't feel my feet when I run I can't feel the ground, which means my form turns to shizzit. And this is something I can not afford to f*** around with. A friend of mine suffers from the same condition and recommended I put Little Hotties on my toes 30 mins before I go out to run in the cold. I put on my thickest pair of Smartwool socks, the Little Hotties and stepped out into the frigid air. My toes got cold but they never went numb. After 10 minutes of running they were warm and stayed warm throughout the entire run. Yay!

A short recap - I found a way to productively run in the cold. My confidence was boosted as I was able to comfortably run faster at moderate effort with no pain during or after.

This evening I had my next swim w/o. I focused on my keeping my right arm closer in. Damn, I think that w/o was more challenging mentally than physically. I had to focus so much and when I'd loose it my right arm would wander again. They say habits are hard to break. It's just something I'll have to keep focusing on. The good news is that my 200s decreased in time by 7-9 secs, 100s decreased by 5-6 secs and 50s by 3-4. Hmmmm, if I can fix this little oddity in my stroke I may actually become a decent swimmer. This calls for another round of "YaY's"!

I swam in my first one piece swimsuit since I was a kid tonight. For the most part I dislike one pieces. I usually feel like the straps dig into my shoulders thus causing pain and annoyance. My torso is a fair bit long relative to my height and two piece suits have always had a non-constrictive comfortable feel. TYR has a new style one piece suit - the Rockstar with a Thin X-Back that I wanted to try out. When I originally put the suit on I thought it was too small. I really had to stretch the thing to get it over my shoulders. But once in the the water the fabric relaxed just enough to create a perfect fit. The thin, open straps gave great freedom of movement. I never felt restricted. Made with durable rubber straps and a poly blend I know it's going to last.
I give it 5 stars for us long torso girls.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Self Confidence

I think most people don't understand the value of self confidence. I don't think I ever understood the value until recently.

I lacked a lot of confidence growing up. I think this was due to moving around a lot. I was never at any school long enough to build long friendships. I was a fugly kid. There was a reason that in 4th grade my nick name was "marshmallow" - I looked just like one. A fat little blonde girl shaped like a stumpy, soft rectangle. My self image needed a lot of work.
I left home early and was pretty much thrown to the wolves in my mid-teens. This is where my self confidence was formed. When I hit the bottom of a well I had no where to look but up. Stone by stone I climbed myself out. I could only rely on myself. And how can we let ourself down?

With each obstacle I over came grew a seed of confidence. Reflecting back on my past I should have been one of many statistics. If I would have accepted the life that was thrown at me I'd probably have a dozen or more children, have a heavy drug abuse problem, be on welfare, a victim to physical violence and just over all F***ed up. For many years I didn't think I would ever make it to 25, let alone my 30s.

Anywho - what doesn't kill us (literally) makes us stronger. And I became STRONG. My strength came from knowing myself. High integrity, discipline and what I believe are good ethics had me climbing to the top. I climbed in my career. I grew a huge circle of friendships - long lasting. I soared in volunteer work. I excelled in physical sports. I WAS self confident.

Then a hard year came around. Probably one of my hardest to face since I was a teenager. In my opinion it may have been the scariest. Dealing with health problems that destroyed my goals and would change my life forever. It was all out of my control. Having no control and massive amounts of fear slowly ate away my confidence. Month after month I felt like I was chipped away. Until I hit bottom......alas, the well.

I'm not sure when it hit me. I think it may have been the last week....or two. Or maybe even last month when I was sick for 3-4 weeks. Who am I to sit at the bottom of the well staring down? I can't dig my way out. I'm not going any further down into the hole. I have started to climb. To reach out for the next stone and pull myself out of this hole or wishing well. I am NOT weak. I still have my integrity, discipline and ethics. My health may have changed but my values have remained the same. I am strong. I am confident. I WILL be back racing for 2011. For those that have believed and supported me - Thank You. I will not let my self confidence run astray ever again. It is time to start moving mountains.

"Do not follow where the path my lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad TV

My momma saved me on Sunday. She graciously spent the day with her comatose daughter. The highlight and event of the day? Going out to eat for soup and gluten free sandwiches. Oh yea, we live life on the edge. The rest of the day was spent watching really, really and I mean REALLy bad TV. First we watched the end of The Flinstones. Next was The Cat In The Hat. I actually enjoyed this. Then again I was on my second douse of codeine for the day. Plus I've always had an odd crush on Alec Baldwin. The original Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory came next. Which in my opinion is the one exception of good TV for the day. Jean Wilder is a hoot. I really want an orange oompa loompa....kind of like a pet. Is that discrimination? My favorite part of that movie is when Violet turns into a blueberry. I've always been afraid I would turn into what I eat. There is some truth to that, ya know? I would have been axed in the bubble chamber. With my inability to make myself burp I would have chopped up like chop-suey by the fans in the ceiling. Now that I think about it that movie is rather frightful.

I saved my new found guilty pleasure until my mom left - The Jersey Shore. Yes I did catch the boat too late for this one. I'm ok with that because I'm still ashamed to say I've watched it. My room mate first tried to turn me onto it a few months ago. She DVR'd a few episodes and suggested I see what all the talk was about. I think I made it through maybe 15 mins? It was disgusting, disgusting and disturbing. Do people really act like that? I left it alone for a couple months. Then one day I was on JetBlue swapping through channels. Stuck on a plane bored out of my mind I decided to give it another try. Somehow I became intrigued. I think I'm just amazed that people like this exist. The next few times I watched it I was under the alcohol influence and couldn't look away. It was like a bad train wreck. I had to keep watching. So alas....doped up on Sudafed and Codeine I turned toThe Jersey Shore to kill of a few more brain cells. When I first thought to write about this show and the characters only insults filled the page. I can't just insult people. I mean they are human right? Maybe? Anywho, I think that would bring me to their level. But I have to ask.....When is it ok to show your undergarments or private areas to strangers at the club? Or on live TV none the less? And how can you be a man and generalize and insult all women whom you make contact with? Which one is going to get skin cancer first? Or how many have STDs? I am rather amused how they get mad at one another for being fake. Fake, really? How do these people live with God-like complex's? Did MTV cancel this series or is it still on?
Oy! I need more drugs....

On a positive note my sinuses are better today - Monday. I'm no longer taking the cough syrup w/codeine and my antibiotics are clearing up my head. My body on the other hand is turning on me. Three days of doing nothing, just sitting is making my fibro very pissed off. This morning was a struggle. I hurt for most of the day. I'm still supposed to lay off the cardio so I came home and did Pilates. Which were very hard but I think helped. Tomorrow I have an easy spin and easy run. I hope to feel back to normal sooner than later.....I can only take so much of bad TV. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Is what my room mate calls me. Is this a compliment or an insult?

I have been sick now for 3 1/2 weeks. I thought I had fought and won the battle last week as I was feeling mucho better. Then Tuesday came and I found myself with an annoying throat tickle which turned into a nasty cough. After 3 nights in a row on no more than 2 hours of solid sleep due to coughing fits I decided it was time to go to urgent care.

I dragged my ass out of bed around 7am. Oh, I was in a state of confusion. I contemplated getting my bike w/o in first. I quickly dropped that thought when I almost fell over from coughing while making the morning coffee. Ugh...cream. Black it is today. I get online and was happy to see urgent care didn't open until 10am. I needed the extra time to pull myself together to drive.

Hungover from NyQuil is the perfect state to deal with bulk style grocery shopping. It didn't really bother me that parents let their children run around like wild animals at the zoo eating candy out of the bulk bins. Gross! Nothing really bothered me. I was pretty numb. My trip took a little longer then expected. I always read nutritional labels when shopping. In my doped up state it took much longer to read and cypher through what was good and what was toxic. Alas I made it home, on my magic carpet.

I left for the hospital about an hour early. Saturday morning urgent care had to be busy.
I take ticket number 41 and was told to grab a seat. I was the first one there that I knew of and number 41 threw me for a mind****. I really didn't want to wait behind 40 people. And where were these so called 40 people? Anywho...I sit criss-cross apple sauce style in front of a color blocked puzzle/toy thing-a-ma-jig

The nurse comes over and asks me if I'm number 41 and then says that I am first. There were a few elderly people and children behind me and she wanted to know if I'd be ok with letting them go ahead of me. My first thought was no. I got there early because I knew there'd be a big line. Then I thought about how craptastic the children felt AND that if I was old I'd already spent a lifetime waiting in line. Plus I had this puzzle thing to entertain me, so I let them go in ahead and I continued to color block.

Eventually I got called up and sat alone in a cold, bright room waiting for the designated doc. I opted to count all the holes in the ceiling. I counted 3/4 of the ceiling before the doc came in. Quick stats and questions resulted in a sinus infection. Ugh. I'm prone to these and usually know from the massive pounding going on in my head that I have one before it ever gets this bad. I've been taking big doses of Ibuprofen daily to deal with my RA (an alternative to nasty steroids). This resulted in keeping a fever and headache away. The infection was an aftermath of the cold I had a couple of weeks prior. Ugh, Can't someone break me off a piece of a Kit Kat bar? I got a mass of prescriptions filled and headed home. The doc even gave me a surgical mask so that I could still prep all my food for the week. Sweet!

Once I got home I immediatly took all that was given. Suped up Sudafed, Robitussin w/codeine and antibiotics. Oh Alice fell down the hole and Wonderland was delightful. I'm lucky I'm drugged up because I'm being forced to take a couple of days off from training. I can't lose sanity if sanity is not present, right?

The rest of the day I found comfort in organizing and cleaning. Yes, this is proof that I am sick as normally you couldn't pay me to pick up a broom. I utilized my surgeon mask and made a delightful peanut Thai chicken dish for dinner.

I made it spicy as all hell so that I could taste it.

Tomorrow I look forward to another day of cleaning and organizing. These words should be quoted as I may never say them again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?


I swear a family of phlegm is using my lungs as a hostel. That or I've recently been on an episode of "You Can't Do That On Television" and I've been slimed. My easy recovery spin was mind numbingly boring. It wouldn't have been so bad if my breaths weren't so short. Not short like I was exhausting actual effort as my HR sat around a comfortable 135. Short from the phlegm monsters multiplying surround my lungs like they were at war for territory. David Blaine's magic tricks kept me somewhat entertained and provoked a smile here and there.

The slime grew as the day went on.....I was stuck in the movie Ghostbusters. Instead of pink slime mine was green. Environmental, eh?

I managed to go to the pool in the evening. Probably shouldn't have but we all know 24hr Fitness doesn't like swimmers. So this swim I decided to give back to the great hospitality that 24hr has given me. I think my body position was awesome! My lungs felt like they were weighed down by a bowling ball. Great! Chest down, legs up. Inhaling pretty much sucked. But what is better than swimming with a heavy chest? Aqua running! Oh yea! I got to do 30 minutes running up and down the pool lane with a few z3/z4 pick ups. My chest lit up like a f***ing inferno....which was exactly what I needed to starting breaking down the wall in my lungs. Burning.....but I could breathe by the end :)

As much as I b**** about how much my training today sucked it sure as hell beats sitting on the sofa in a ball of snot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For the love of.....

Oh you people! Muah!

It's hard to write when everything you've ever written about is gone. 99% of what I've blogged has gone back to triathlon. And yes, I do consider drinking alcohol the 4th unspoken discipline in triathlon. :P The question I ask myself is "Have I trained in the last year?" Yes. So logic tells me that I should be able to write. BUT logic doesn't account for human emotion. I have lost most of the love I had for the sport. Being stuck in the vortex know as Zone 1/Zone 2 can drive a person mad. And not racing for a year? What do you think that does? I've never been one to sit on the side lines.....watching and supporting. Yet that has been 2010 in a nutshell. If we got medals for cheering I think I would have received a gold for all the IMs I went to and supported. I once again circle back to the "Negative Nelly". If you don't have anything positive to say/write then don't say anything at I've been quiet. I've always been a proud person. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins and once my pride was diminished I understood why.

Now that I have no pride my confidence is shot. I'm scared of everything. Do you have any idea what it's like to confess that to the world? Humbling to say the least, eh?

But alas.....I still have hope. There is no hope mingled with fear and no fear unmingled with hope. AND thankfully I'm paying someone to provide the confidence I can't achieve on my own right now. We all need a helping hand at one time or another.

I have races planned for this year. I will be back. Hopefully sooner than later.
Thank you for all your kind words.